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If the 5 percent bonus payment in the Advanced Alternative Payment Model (APMs) track was available in 2015, accountable care organizations (ACOs) would’ve earned additional net payments of $886 million if they had assumed downside risk under the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP).

Most doctors saw a similar increase in compensation last year as they had in 2015, with an average raise of 2.9 percent across all specialties reported in the American Medical Group Association’s (AMGA) annual medical group compensation and productivity survey. Productivity, however, remained flat, and the move to value-based incentives in compensation continues to be slower than anticipated.

CMS has released its proposed rules for the 2018 Physician Fee Schedule (PFS), Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) and Ambulatory Surgical Center (ASC) Payment System, with the biggest change being halving the Medicare reimbursement for off-campus services.

President Donald Trump had proposed a 16 percent cut across HHS in his budget blueprint for fiscal year 2018, but the Republican majority on the House Appropriations Committee added $14.5 billion over his request in its own budget proposal released on July 12.

Jason Considine, senior vice president of patient collections and engagement at Experian Health, argued at the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) conference in Orlando that providers should first rely on leveraging data and crafting flexible payment options before paying any contingency fees to collectors. He spoke with HealthExec about mistakes providers are making with their collection practices and what data they need to improve the process.

 

Recent Headlines

Amsurg acquires Sheridan Healthcare in transaction valued at $2.35 Billion

Ambulatory surgery center operator Amsurg Corp., Nashville, Tennessee, is making a big play to expand into the fast-growing physician outsourcing market with its purchase of Sheridan Healthcare based in Sunrise, Florida.

PwC finds hospital and physician practice deals down in Q1

In its quarterly analysis of healthcare merger and acquisition activity, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, concludes that compared to the first quarter of last year, 2014 so far is fairly soft in announced deals for hospitals and physician practices even thought the incentives to merge are still strong.

AtlantiCare and Geisinger health systems make merger plans official

If regulatory approval is given, AtlantiCare, southern New Jersey’s largest healthcare organization, will become a part of the Geisinger Health System sometime next year. The two organizations have signed a definitive agreement for AtlantiCare to become a member of the Geisinger Health System, and expect the regulatory approval phase to take 9 to 12 months to complete.

Moody’s special report confirms importance of hospitals diversifying

It’s not quite “diversify or die,” but a new report from Moody’s Investors Service on the not-for-profit hospital sector does stress the need for hospitals to expand into outpatient services, along with making investments in efficiency and information technology.

CHE Trinity partners with Walgreens in latest strategic step

Since Richard Gilfillan, M.D., left his post as director of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Innovation Center last June to become CEO of newly merged CHE Trinity Health, the healthcare systems has made several strategic moves to align itself with changes driven by healthcare reform. The latest came this week when it announced a deal with Walgreens, the nation’s largest drugstore chain, to collaborate on clinical care and population health initiatives.

Milliman measure finds healthcare cost growth slowing to 5.4%

The annual Milliman Medical Index estimate of the projected total cost of healthcare for a hypothetical family of four is out and the good news is that the amount only increased 5.4 percent this year, the lowest rate of annual increase since Milliman first began tracking this cost in 2002. The bad news is that the cost is now up to $23,215.

Partners HealthCare reaches deal with Massachusetts’ attorney general

Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley says her office has reached an agreement with Partners HealthCare that lets New England’s largest not-for-profit health system purchase an additional community hospital in the state in exchange for agreeing to adhere to certain terms that limit its ability to continue to grow and leverage its size and market dominance to raise prices.

FTC official hints at increased policing of healthcare mergers

Writing in Health Affairs, Martin Gaynor, director of the Bureau of Economics of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), in Washington, D.C., observed that given new findings on the impact of healthcare mergers on prices, it is important for the FTC to work with the Department of Justice (DOJ) and other government agencies to maintain “antitrust enforcement and consumer protection in healthcare markets.”

Irving Levin finds decline in healthcare merger and acquisition activity

Contradicting other analysts’ findings, as well as popular expectations, Irving Levin Associates of Norwalk, Connecticut, has concluded that merger and acquisition activity in the healthcare sector was actually down last year.

Moody’s downgrades Indiana’s Good Samaritan Hospital and places Detroit’s Henry Ford Health System under review

Moody's Investors Service has downgraded the bond rating of Good Samaritan Hospital in Vincennes, Indiana, to Baa1 from A3 on $82.1 million of outstanding debt, and it is considering also downgrading the Detroit-area’s Henry Ford Health System’s $831 million of debt. It currently has an A2 rating.

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