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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

Q&A with HFMA’s Richard Gundling: Key Financial Issues in 2013

More than any other concept in health care, value has become a guiding principle for health care leaders and stakeholders as they wade into the era of health care reform. To assist health care financial leaders in their drive to value, the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) launched the HFMA Value Project, yielding a collection of case studies, presentations, and assorted educational resources that can be found on its website. HealthCXO spoke with HFMA’s Richard Gundling, VP, Financial Healthcare Practices, to identify the key financial issues facing hospitals and physician practices in 2013.

Uncompensated Care: Sharp Healthcare Turns ED Losses into Gains

In 2009, the recession was in full swing, unemployment rates were high, and health care facilities were providing more than $39 billion a year in uncompensated care for the uninsured. Instead of riding out the recession with uncertainty and accruing more debt, Sharp HealthCare (San Diego, California) joined forces with the nonprofit Foundation for Health Coverage Education (FHCE) (San Mateo, California) to meet the problem head on. Sharp leveraged a Web-based eligibility software program and took on a strong patient advocacy role to provide uninsured patients with much-needed eligibility assistance.

Analyst Forecasts Continuing Headwinds in Health-care Financial Markets

Consolidation, the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), and efforts to use capitation for Medicare patients will all have an impact on health-related stocks, over then next few years.

Serving Low-income Patients Inland Empire Health Plan’s PPACA Strategy

One of the most contentious issues associated with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) has been the creation of health insurance exchanges (HIEs), which must be composed entirely of private health insurers. While many states have resisted participation, others, like California, have begun building an exchange.

M&A Part II: Practical Considerations of the Deal

In the hospital space, as in other markets, mergers and acquisitions (M&A) can be fraught with emotion. However, setting feelings aside and concentrating on practical matters—especially unique challenges that are inherent in merging with or acquiring a particular type of institution—are essential to deal-making success.

Vetting a Partnership: When to Consider a Merger or Acquisition

Health care reform has catalyzed providers—especially independent hospitals—to consider the business models and structures within which they will operate going forward. As such, many will contemplate mergers or acquisitions, but there is much to consider before pursuing such a path.

WellPoint Founder: Health Reform Law Is Not Enough

Leonard Schaeffer, founding CEO and former chairman of WellPoint insurance company, gave a sobering opinion on the ability of the federal reform legislation to bend the health care cost curve at The 8th Annual American Health Care Congress and Exhibition.

Hospital Employment: What Hospitals and Physicians Should Know

American physicians are again rushing to become employed by hospitals—and hospitals are responding in kind, says D. Louis Glaser, JD, partner with Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP in Chicago, Illinois. "The trend is being driven by the uncertainty of the future," he says. "Physicians and hospitals are wondering how reimbursement is going to change,

OhioHealth: Creating a High-performance Revenue Cycle

When Jane Berkebile, vice president of revenue cycle for OhioHealth (Columbus, Ohio), joined the organization five years ago, she was already impressed by its revenue cycle performance. “The triad for success, as I call it, was up and running when I came here: patient access, medical records, and business office activities were all reporting to the

Leadership and Succession Planning for Health Care

Multiple factors stand to shake up health care organizations' leadership structures in the coming years, says Will Powley, senior consulting leader with GE Healthcare's Performance Solutions group: economic recovery, health care reform, and, perhaps with the most impact, the impending retirement of the Baby Boomer generation. Combined, these three

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