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The number of hospital mergers and acquisitions (M&A) has reached 87 through the end of the third quarter, according to an analysis from consulting firm Kaufman Hall, putting 2017 M&A activity in the sector on pace to surpass the 102 deals that were completed in 2016.

The impact of hurricanes Harvey and Irma on hospitals owned by Nashville, Tennessee-based HCA Healthcare was spelled out in a preview of its third quarter earnings report, with the company saying it lost $140 million thanks to additional expenses and lost revenue at its facilities in Texas, Florida, Georgia and South Carolina.

A bonus of up to 10 percent has been proposed for using an upgraded electronic health record (EHR) system for reporting in the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) in 2018, but speakers at two recent industry conventions warned it’s likely not a worthwhile investment for providers.

When the previous administration at CMS finalized rules on mandatory bundled payment models for cardiac and orthopedic care late in 2016, 221 public comments were received. The cancellation of those same bundles, however, drew only 85 official comments as of Oct. 18.

Four accountable care organization (ACO) models generated more in gross savings in 2016, but unlike in previous years, CMS hasn’t publicly touted the results as it re-examines payment models created under the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI).

 

Recent Headlines

Settlement removes legal hurdle for D.C.’s United Medical Center

A D.C. Superior Court judge has dismissed a $100 million lawsuit brought by Capital Behavioral Health (CBH) against the District of Columbia and the not-for-profit operator of United Medical Center, thereby clearing one of the major roadblocks toward either finding a new operating partner or replacing the aging institution.

Florida children’s hospital settles whistleblower suit for $7 million

All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, Fla., has reached an agreement with the government to settle allegations that it violated the Stark Laws by paying inflated salaries and bonuses to doctors who brought in more patients and revenues for Medicaid-covered services.

Threat of FTC denial scuttles Indiana hospital, physician group merger

Beacon Health System and the South Bend Clinic physician group have suspended their merger plans because of a longer than expected Federal Trade Commission (FTC) review and uncertainty over whether the deal would be approved.

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.

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