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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

Q&A with TransUnion execs: Patients are the new payers

One of the most frequently discussed topics from the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) conference was the need to increase patient engagement when it comes to payment as out-of-pocket costs and deductibles continue to rise.

Billionaire doctor Patrick Soon-Shiong to take over 6 California hospitals

NantWorks, the company run by billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong, MD, will take over operations at six California hospitals after acquiring controlling interest in Integrity Healthcare, the management company of Verity Health System.

Wasteful healthcare spending can’t be pinned on end-of-life care

Reducing medical spending in the last year of a patient’s life isn’t a panacea for limiting growth in overall healthcare costs, according to a study published in the July 2017 issue of Health Affairs.

Providers won’t be able to avoid downside risk much longer

Among hundreds of healthcare finance professionals at a Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) conference presentation, no one could say their systems were taking on downside risk above 5 percent of their total revenue. Francois de Brantes, MS, MBA, vice president of director of the Altarum Institute’s Center for Payment Innovation, said that needs to change.

Aetna moving to New York from Connecticut

Aetna has confirmed its moving its corporate headquarters out of Hartford, Connecticut and into New York City, which offered a package of property and sales tax breaks worth nearly $34 million.

HFMA 2017: Hospital finance execs have ‘significant lack of knowledge’ around MACRA

Nearly halfway through the first year of Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act’s (MACRA) new payment tracks and hospital, a majority of hospital finance executives and professionals say understand the requirements of the new Quality Payment Program (QPP) but, in reality, still seem to be confused.

Epic to launch medical billing unit later in 2017

Electronic health record giant Epic is now expanding into medical billing space, according to a new job listing posted on its website.

HFMA 2017: 2 out of 3 patients don’t pay their hospitals bills in full

68 percent of patients with hospital bills under $500 didn’t pay off the full balance by the end of 2016, according a TransUnion Health study released at the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) conference in Orlando.

HFMA 2017: ACA repeal bills pose credit risk to hospitals

Whether Republicans’ version of an Affordable Care Act repeal-and-replace bill looks like the House-passed American Health Care Act (AHCA) or the Senate’s Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA), it would have a negative impact on the credit ratings of nonprofit hospitals, according to Fitch Ratings.

HFMA 2017: Affiliations, not acquisitions, may be path to value-based care

Transitioning to value-based care and taking on risk is often cited as one of the drivers of the consolidation trend throughout healthcare. Some systems, however, are beginning to look at partnerships more “holistically,” according to Kaufman Hall managing director Anu Singh, MBA, by pursuing creative affiliations to enhance their capabilities rather than a merger or acquisition.

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