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Boston-based Steward Health Care System would become the largest for-profit hospital operator in the U.S. if it wins regulatory approval for a $2 billion merger with Franklin, Tennessee-based IASIS Healthcare. 

Policy uncertainty, changing reimbursement models and price transparency are just some of the topics expected to be discussed at the Healthcare Financial Management Association’s upcoming Annual National Institute, which runs from June 25 to 28 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. 

Seventeen healthcare organizations have been named winners of the 2017 MAP Award for High Performance in Revenue Cycle by the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA).

After losing in court for the third time over the $54 billion deal, Anthem has officially terminated its merger with Cigna, though the court battles involving the failed acquisition appear to be far from over.

The need for new or upgraded software, provider consolidation and hiring consultants are some of top trends practices will need to contend with as they prepare for the new payment tracks in the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA).

 

Recent Headlines

Value of M&A activity down, volume nearly flat so far in 2017

Mergers and acquisition (M&A) activity in healthcare isn’t slowing down, with the first quarter of 2017 being the tenth straight with more than 200 deals. What did change, according to a report from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), was the disclosed value of those transactions.

Applications open for extended CMS rural hospital program

Thanks to the 21st Century Cures Act, the Rural Community Hospital Demonstration Program through CMS has been extended for another five years, and eligible hospitals can now apply for the payment program for the first time since 2010. 

Why bundled payment models should stay mandatory

HHS Secretary Tom Price and CMS Administrator Seema Verma have both expressed skepticism about making bundled payments mandatory for providers in certain regions, but switching them to voluntary participation could slow the transition to value-based care, according to five Brookings Institution experts writing in a Health Affairs blog post.

Medical group M&A activity more than doubled in first quarter of 2017

A new report from Irving Levin Associates and HealthCareMandA.com said mergers and acquisition (M&A) activity “surged” among physician medical groups in the first quarter of the year, with 48 deals confirmed.

Universal Health Services CEO was highest-paid hospital leader in 2016

If you were judging hospital executives by their pay, the winner would Alan Miller, MBA, chairman and CEO of Pennsylvania-based Universal Health Services, who earned $51.3 million in 2016.

S&P: ACA markets ‘fragile'—but not in death spiral

Despite claims by President Donald Trump, Republican members of Congress, and some insurance CEOs, the Affordable Care Act (ACA)’s health insurance exchanges aren’t in a death spiral, according to a Standard and Poor’s (S&P) analysis, which predicts the individual market is actually on a path to profitability in 2018.

Cardinal Health nearing $6 billion purchase of Medtronic’s medical supplies unit

Cardinal Health is in exclusive talks to acquire the medical supplies business of Medtronic for $6 billion, sources told Reuters on April 5. 

Hospital chargemaster rates linked to higher payments, but not higher quality care

The list prices for hospital procedures and tests aren’t “inconsequential,” according to economists, and can be associated with higher payments from insurers and patients.

 

Medicare Advantage plans get better than expected rate hike for 2018

Payments to insurers offering Medicare Advantage plans will increase by an average of 0.45 percent, according to the final rate notice issued by CMS, above the 0.25 percent bump in pay the agency had previously proposed.

CMS: Medicaid DSH payments will consider what Medicare, third-party pay

In a final rule issued on March 30, CMS clarified uncompensated care costs for Medicaid patients are limited by what a hospital received from other sources, such as commercial insurers, Medicare or the patients themselves.

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