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In a first for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), it stripped a hospital’s nonprofit tax status over failing to meet charity care requirements which went into effect, though the unnamed hospital also claimed it didn’t want or need tax-exempt status.

If payment of cost-sharing reduction subsidies, or CSRs, for insurers offering coverage on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplace are terminated, premiums would be 20 percent higher on average in 2018 and federal spending would increase, but the ACA market would remain stable, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

When it comes to finding waste in their labor costs, healthcare leaders need to sweat the small stuff, according to Chip Newton, senior manager at Deloitte Consulting LLP.

CMS has pushed back the deadline for insurers to file their final 2018 rate requests for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) exchanges until Sept. 5, giving companies extra time to decide what plans and prices to offer.

Two studies published in the August edition of Health Affairs emphasized while patients like the idea of having healthcare prices available for comparison shopping, in practice, few actually take advantage of the tools.

 

Recent Headlines

Value of M&A activity down, volume nearly flat so far in 2017

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.

Applications open for extended CMS rural hospital program

Thanks to the 21st Century Cures Act, the Rural Community Hospital Demonstration Program through CMS has been extended for another five years, and eligible hospitals can now apply for the payment program for the first time since 2010. 

Why bundled payment models should stay mandatory

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.

Medical group M&A activity more than doubled in first quarter of 2017

A new report from Irving Levin Associates and HealthCareMandA.com said mergers and acquisition (M&A) activity “surged” among physician medical groups in the first quarter of the year, with 48 deals confirmed.

Universal Health Services CEO was highest-paid hospital leader in 2016

If you were judging hospital executives by their pay, the winner would Alan Miller, MBA, chairman and CEO of Pennsylvania-based Universal Health Services, who earned $51.3 million in 2016.

S&P: ACA markets ‘fragile'—but not in death spiral

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.

Cardinal Health nearing $6 billion purchase of Medtronic’s medical supplies unit

Cardinal Health is in exclusive talks to acquire the medical supplies business of Medtronic for $6 billion, sources told Reuters on April 5. 

Hospital chargemaster rates linked to higher payments, but not higher quality care

The list prices for hospital procedures and tests aren’t “inconsequential,” according to economists, and can be associated with higher payments from insurers and patients.

 

Medicare Advantage plans get better than expected rate hike for 2018

Payments to insurers offering Medicare Advantage plans will increase by an average of 0.45 percent, according to the final rate notice issued by CMS, above the 0.25 percent bump in pay the agency had previously proposed.

CMS: Medicaid DSH payments will consider what Medicare, third-party pay

In a final rule issued on March 30, CMS clarified uncompensated care costs for Medicaid patients are limited by what a hospital received from other sources, such as commercial insurers, Medicare or the patients themselves.

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