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The Rural Community Hospital Demonstration Program, which aims to test payments to rural facilities under a “reasonable cost-based methodology” for Medicare inpatient services, has 17 returning and 13 new participants as part of a five-year extension of the program.

A California judge ruled Sacramento-based Sutter Health “intentionally destroyed” 192 boxes of documents which were sought in an antitrust lawsuit against the not-for-profit health system.

Shareholders of the Advisory Board Company signed off on the $1.3 billion sale of its healthcare division to UnitedHealth Group’s Optum health services segment.

Policymakers may think elderly Americans should be satisfied with their Medicare coverage, but, according to new research from the Commonwealth Fund, they come in last place when compared to senior healthcare in 10 other countries.

Price growth in healthcare was at a 1.1 percent annual rate as of Sept. 2017 compared to the year prior, according to the Altarum Institute, coming close to the all-time low of 0.9 percent annual growth seen in Dec. 2015.

 

Recent Headlines

Annual IT costs as high as $19,000 per doctor for some practices

In 2016, physician-owned practices spent between $2,000 and $4,000 more on IT expenses per full-time-equivalent (FTE) physician, according to Medical Group Management Association’s (MGMA) annual DataDive Cost and Revenue Survey.

Q&A: Avalere finds most ACOs would benefit from taking on downside risk with APM bonus

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).

M&A activity increased among larger systems in 2nd quarter

Thirty-one partnership transactions among hospitals and health systems were announced in the second quarter of 2017, and 58 have been announced so far this year, according to an analysis on merger and acquisition (M&A) activity by Skokie, Ill.-based consulting firm Kaufman Hall.

Physician compensation up nearly 3%; productivity, collections flat as costs rise

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.

Urgent care operator American Family Care lands $1B investment

Private equity and real estate firm American Development Partners has agreed to invest $1 billion into American Family Care, the largest operator of urgent care centers in the U.S, to accelerate its expansion plans.

Recognizing Medicare Advantage as Advanced APM supported by members of Congress

24 members of the U.S. House of Representatives have written CMS asking the agency to include risk-based Medicare Advantage (MA) arrangements to count towards requirements for Advanced Alternative Payment Models (APMs) under the Quality Payment Program (QPP).

5 things to know about 2018 physician fee schedule, OPPS proposed rules

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.

House’s HHS budget defies Trump on NIH funding, keeps ONC cuts

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.

Q&A with Experian exec: Embrace payment plans before going to collections

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.

Insurers see record earnings on ACA exchange plans in Q1 2017

Insurance companies earned an average of $298 per member in plans offered on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplace in the first quarter of 2017, the best first quarter performance since the exchanges opened.

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