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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

ACA hits nation’s largest insurer’s bottom line

First quarter earnings for UnitedHealth Group Inc. show a 7.8 percent drop, reflecting in part the cuts to Medicare Advantage programs, new taxes and additional regulation created by the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the company said.

Physicians contributed $1.6 trillion to economy in 2012

A new report commissioned by the American Medical Association attempts to quantify the direct and indirect economic output of physicians in order to educate policy makers and the public.

Kansas cancer center settles with DOJ for $2.9 million

Hope Cancer Institute in Kansas City and its owner Raj Sadasivan, M.D., were accused of submitting Medicare claims for chemotherapy drugs that were never provided.

Lowell General Hospital and Tufts Medical Center form new health system

Boston’s prestigious Tufts Medical Center teaching hospital will partner with Lowell General Hospital, a community hospital with two campuses in Lowell, Mass., under a new parent company yet to be named.

ACA could raise your malpractice insurance rates

A key element of healthcare is leveraging technology and system efficiencies to allow individual providers to see more patients. But as the number of patients goes up, so does a provider’s malpractice risk according to a new study from the RAND Corporation.

Mergers and acquisitions continue at fast pace, especially for not-for-profits

A new report by independent consulting firm Kaufman Hall finds that U.S. hospital merger and acquisition activity increased 3 percent in 2013, with deals announced for 98 hospital and health system combinations.

Massachusetts state officials working to re-open bankrupt rural hospital

The abrupt closure of North Adams Regional Hospital in the rural community of North Adams, Mass., created a public outcry and has gotten legislators and policy makers involved in trying to broker a deal whereby another health system may be able to take over and re-open the facility.

ICD-10 delay positive for not-for-profit hospitals says finance firm

Credit ratings and research firm Fitch Ratings has analyzed the one-year delay on ICD-10 implementation and come to the conclusion that it will help more than hurt the finances of not-for-profit hospitals.

SC health system loses right to build new hospital to Tenet competitor

South Carolina’s fractured certificate of need (CON) process for new hospital construction has led to a protracted fight over who would be allowed to build a new hospital in Fort Mill, S.C. On Tuesday, a judge took the CON last awarded to Carolinas HealthCare System in 2011 and handed it to competitor Piedmont Medical Center, a hospital operated by a Tenet Healthcare subsidiary.

Montana’s largest healthcare provider adds medical center in Missoula

The Board of the non-profit community-owned Community Medical Center in Missoula, Mont., has approved a joint venture with the Billings Clinic and RegionalCare Hospital Partners that would, among other objectives, switch it to a for-profit entity.

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