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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

919,000 healthcare jobs could be lost under Senate healthcare bill

The Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) would eliminate one of every 22 healthcare jobs by 2026, according to a new study from George Washington University’s Milken Institute School of Public Health and the Commonwealth Fund.

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.

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