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University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) has expanded its operations in Italy, buying a 50 percent stake in the 75-bed Salvator Mundi International Hospital in Rome and taking over clinical operations.

If the Graham-Cassidy proposal is passed by the Senate, most states would lose funding compared to what they be paid under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2020, as the ACA’s insurance subsidies and Medicaid expansion funding would be turned into a fixed block grant. Over a 20-year period, healthcare funding to states will be reduced by $4 trillion, according to Avalere Health.

Insurance giant Anthem has announced it will acquire Florida Medicare Advantage plan HealthSun, which could add 40,000 members from the Miami metropolitan area to Anthem’s affiliated Medicare and Medicaid plans in the state.

The comment period for the proposed Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) has closed, with policy and payment updates drawing a typically mixed reaction from stakeholders within the industry.

One-sixth (17 percent) of physician practices responding to a Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) poll said they’re paying fees from 2 to 5 percent for receiving payments electronically—a practice the MGMA wants CMS to prohibit.

 

Recent Headlines

Hospital spending growth falls to 28-year low

Between June 2016 and June 2017, hospital spending grew by 0.8 percent, according to revised economic indicators data posted by the Altarum Institute.

Tenet selling more hospitals amid discussion of company break-up

Tenet Healthcare announced it will sell eight hospitals in the U.S. and its nine hospitals and clinics in the United Kingdom, yielding up to $1 billion for the company, though breaking up the company’s three main business lines is also a possibility, according to outgoing CEO Trevor Fetter.

Washington hospital sued for allegedly withholding charity care

St. Joseph Medical Center in Tacoma, Washington, has been sued by the state’s attorney general for allegedly instructing employees not to mention the availability of charity care to patients, even when they were “obviously low-income or homeless.”

Insurers can match bargaining power of consolidated providers but consumers don’t benefit

In markets where both insurers and providers have become highly concentrated, insurers had enough bargaining power to reduce prices on hospitalization and certain specialty care. Those savings were not, however, passed onto consumers in the form of lower premiums.

Carolinas HealthCare to merge with UNC Health

Charlotte-based Carolinas HealthCare System, already the largest health system in North Carolina, has announced plans to grow even bigger by creating a joint venture with University of North Carolina (UNC) Health Care.

Advocate 'actively exploring' acquisitions, affiliations after 42% drop in operating income

Second quarter financials for Downers Grove, Illinois-based Advocate Health Care showed a 41.8 percent year-over-year drop in operating income, which fell to $47.4 million.

UnitedHealth buys Advisory Board’s healthcare division as part of $2.6B deal

The Advisory Board Company has announced a $2.6 billion deal which will see UnitedHealth Group’s Optum health services segment take over its healthcare business.

CMS asked to delay cuts to Medicaid DSH payments

The American Hospital Association (AHA) and dozens of doctors and hospitals have asked CMS to delay proposed cuts to Medicaid disproportionate share hospital (DSH) payments, arguing reductions would hamper safety-net hospitals and criticizing how the payments would be calculated.

Northwell Health to shut down its insurance business

The largest hospital system in New York, Northwell Health, announced it will wind down operations of its CareConnect insurance division due to financial losses caused by the Affordable Care Act’s risk adjustment program.

Ascension to acquire Chicago’s Presence Health

Ascension Health, already the largest integrated health system in the U.S. by number of facilities, will grow larger by acquiring Chicago-based Presence Health, the largest Catholic health system in Illinois.

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