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Pharmacy benefits manager Express Scripts said it will lose Anthem as a client when its current contract expires at the end of 2019, claiming it can’t agree to the price concessions Anthem has been demanding.

Medical equipment giant Becton, Dickinson and Co. (BD) is getting bigger, announcing a $24 billion cash-and-stock deal to acquire CR Bard, including its portfolio in oncology, vascular and surgical products.

Mergers and acquisition (M&A) activity in healthcare isn’t slowing down, with the first quarter of 2017 being the tenth straight with more than 200 deals. What did change, according to a report from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), was the disclosed value of those transactions.

HHS Secretary Tom Price and CMS Administrator Seema Verma have both expressed skepticism about making bundled payments mandatory for providers in certain regions, but switching them to voluntary participation could slow the transition to value-based care, according to five Brookings Institution experts writing in a Health Affairs blog post.

Despite claims by President Donald Trump, Republican members of Congress, and some insurance CEOs, the Affordable Care Act (ACA)’s health insurance exchanges aren’t in a death spiral, according to a Standard and Poor’s (S&P) analysis, which predicts the individual market is actually on a path to profitability in 2018.

 

Recent Headlines

Donations to U.S. nonprofit hospitals up slightly in 2016

Gifts, pledges and grants to nonprofit hospitals in the United States went by 0.2 percent in 2016, totaling $9.6 billion, according to a report from the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy (AHP).

Allergan to acquire LifeCell for $2.9 billion

Biopharmaceutical company Allergan is acquiring Acelity’s LifeCell, a regenerative medicine unit, for $2.9 billion, according to a news release.

CMS expands opportunities for 5% APM bonus in 2018

Practices and payers which want a chance to earn the 5 percent incentive payment offered under CMS’s Advanced Alternative Payment Models (APMs) will have a chance to apply for two qualifying models for 2018.

How Medicare will be impacted by ACA repeal

A full repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) would mean increased payments to hospitals, providers and Medicare Advantage plans, while likely increasing premiums, deductibles and other costs paid for by beneficiaries.

UPenn Health System expanding into New Jersey

Princeton Healthcare System (PCHS) will join the University of Pennsylvania Health System (UPHS), marking the latter’s first expansion beyond Pennsylvania’s borders.

MedPAC recommends higher pay for docs, hospitals in 2018, but not for ASCs

Medicare payments to physicians and hospitals should increase in 2018, but a planned payment bump for ambulatory surgical centers (ASCs) should be scrapped, according to the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC).

Humana to write off $591 million owed in risk corridor payments

Humana indicated it doesn’t expect to receive the $591 million its owed by the federal government under the risk corridor program of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Texas hospital employees seek donations after facility can't make payroll

Weimar Medical Center (WMC) in Texas has been closed since Nov. 26 when it didn’t have enough money to pay its employees. Several weeks later, workers are still waiting on checks.

Nonprofit hospitals maintain stable outlook in Moody’s report

Moody’s Investor Service projects nonprofit hospitals and health systems will remain stable in 2017, despite uncertainty caused by the results of the presidential and congressional elections.

‘A true clean slate:’ What hospitals want in ACA repeal

If Republicans in Congress move forward with plans to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) without a replacement ready, hospitals could lose hundreds of billions of dollars.

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