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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

Physician recruitment statistics reflect increasing demand for primary care

The humble primary care services are hot at healthcare organization leaders find that in a post-Affordable Care Act era, future market share hinges on having strong preventive and general care capabilities. The results of the 2014 Association of Staff Physician Recruiters member survey reflect this trend strongly.

Moody’s finds not-for-profit hospitals at all-time lows for revenues and cash flow

The promise of millions of newly insured patients has yet to be realized even as other healthcare reform changes that push care into the less costly outpatient setting are impacting revenues and cash flow notes Moody’s Investor Service in its latest report on the not-for-profit hospital sector.

Arizona’s Carondelet Health Network reaches $35 million false claims settlement with DOJ

Non-profit Catholic health system Carondelet Health Network, which operates Carondelet St. Mary’s Hospital and Carondelet St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tucson, Arizona, will settle civil allegations that its hospitals improperly billed the government for inpatient rehabilitation services. The settlement amount, $35 million, is the largest ever False Claims Act recovery in that state, according to the Department of Justice (DOJ).

Sen. Murphy: For-profit hospitals drive up healthcare costs

A report issued Friday by the office of Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) finds that states where for-profit hospitals dominate spend around 3 percent more per Medicare beneficiary than states where not-for-profit hospitals dominate.

FEMA awards NYU Langone Medical Center $1.13 billion for Hurricane Sandy recovery

According to the office of U.S. Senator Charles E. Shumer (D-NY), the $1.13 billion in Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Public Assistance funding for Sandy repair work and mitigation projects at New York University’s (NYU) Langone Medical Center is the second-largest Project Worksheet in FEMA’s history.

UCSF Medical Center and John Muir Health to form joint care network

UCSF Medical Center and John Muir Health have signed a letter of intent to develop a new company that will be equally owned and operated by both organizations. This new company, the healthcare systems say, will allow them to each remain independent yet at the same time work together on a health care network covering the whole San Francisco Bay Area region.

Community Health Systems Q2 results miss guidance by $90 million

Community Health Systems had a slow first quarter with winter weather disruptions that plagued its initial months of operation following its blockbuster merger with Health Management Associates. The second quarter did not do enough to lift revenue and the leading U.S. hospital operator came in short of guidance by $90 million just after other companies like LifePoint Hospitals and HCA Holdings had released stellar Q2 results for their hospitals.

Mercy faces backlash over physician pay standardization

Some physicians in the St. Louis, Missouri area are opting out of their employment contracts with the non-profit Catholic healthcare system Mercy over new efforts to standardize physician pay by linking them more directly to individual physician RVUs.

HCA second quarter results show positive impact of healthcare reform

Fewer uninsured and charity-care patients, more admissions and emergency room visits, and a higher acuity and longer stays for admitted patients — these are just a few of the effects of healthcare reform that are lifting revenue for HCA Holdings, the nation’s largest publically traded hospital operator say company officials.

Analysts find inpatient volumes increasing for first time in many quarters

After multiple quarters of consistent declines in hospital inpatient volumes, financial analysts from Jefferies LLC found a modest 0.4 percent average inpatient admission increase in their survey on 2014 second quarter volume trends.

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