Cancer care: Alternate payment models needed

Healthcare providers must embrace alternate payment models to make sure that patients have access to the latest treatments, argues a new study by the advocacy group Turning The Tide Against Cancer.

Global healthcare spending likely to lag in developing countries

The United States has its share of healthcare finance and spending issues, but the developing countries of the world are likely going to be in worst shape in the coming years, according to two new studies published in the British journal The Lancet.

Cost control efforts thrive at state level

The United States is unlikely to rally as a nation to better control healthcare costs, but individual states have embarked on initiatives that have shown varying degrees of effectiveness, according to a new report by the Center for American Progress.

Drug spending continues to soar

The United States spent a net $310 billion on drugs in 2015, up an overall 8.5 percent from 2014, while spending on specialty drugs rose at nearly double that rate, according to a new study from the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics.

CMS gives hospitals, providers chance to check open payment data

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will publish 2015 open payments data from group purchasing organizations and self-insured businesses to physicians, teaching hospitals and other providers on June 30. 

3 bundled payment lessons from the Netherlands

The movement toward value-based payment models has spurred experimentation with bundled payments, but one researcher believes the U.S. could learn a lot about successful models from the Dutch, according to a NEJM Catalyst blog post.

Provider-led health plans continue to lose money, but growth opportunities exist

The number of provider-led health plans and enrollees in those plans is growing, but close to half of 89 provider-led plans lost money over a three-year period, according to a new report from McKinsey & Co.

Massachusetts hospitals want assurances before tax passes

Hospitals in Massachusetts signaled willingness to support a $250 million tax on hospitals recommended by Gov. Charlie Baker if the state meets certain conditions, according to the Lowell Sun.

Value-based payment task force reports strong 2015

Amid a flurry of bad news about healthcare's progress in transitioning to value-based care, a new report finds an alliance of providers, payers and patients is well on its way to its goal of putting 75 percent of its members in value-based care arrangements by the end of the decade.

Return on investment: Docs generate $1.6M each year for hospitals

Despite the push to transition healthcare to value-based care, physicians continue to generate millions of revenue for hospitals, according to an analysis from Merritt Hawkins. Indeed, the survey finds that each physician produces $1.6 million a year in net revenue for his or her affiliated hospital.

Big mergers face federal scrutiny as smaller deals go unnoticed

Big healthcare mergers, like the proposed deal between Advocate Health Care and NorthShore University HealthSystem in Chicago, face intense federal scrutiny. But regulators often ignore smaller deals involving hospitals and physician groups that over time create entities that dominate local or regional markets, The New York Times reports.

Feds head to court to block Chicago hospital merger

If the Federal Trade Commission has its way, the proposed merger between Advocate Health Care and NorthShore University HealthSystem in Chicago will never see the light of day. This week it takes its case to the U.S. District Court to block the deal, claiming that the merger would reduce competition in the area and increase the costs of healthcare services.


Population health management needs non-profit hospital trustees' cooperation

As healthcare transitions from its traditional fee-for-service model to a value-based system, non-profit hospital trustees must overcome their aversion to the short-term high cost and risk of focusing on population health management, argues a commentary published in JAMA.

Proposed CMS rule would cut payments to specialists, hospitals

A new proposed Medicare rule would cut payments to both hospitals and certain specialists while hiking reimbursements for primary care providers, according to an analysis by Avalere.

Emerging quality and savings trends outline challenges and promise of ACO model

The early success of Medicare's move toward value-based payment models has generated enough data from accountable care organizations to assist organizations that may want to make the leap and enter Medicare's Shared Savings Program, according to a white paper from Leavitt Partners.

ER cost saver: Chicago hospitals launch housing for homeless program

Hospitals in Chicago will try to reduce their costs by providing apartments to homeless people who frequently use their emergency departments.


Sutter Health demands arbitration from employers--or higher charges

Sutter Health, the large hospital chain in Northern California, is pushing for employer groups that contract for its services to agree to arbitration if there are legal disputes, or pay far more for services at its out-of-network facilities, according to NPR. 

Prices for four of top 10 drugs double over past five years

Prices for four of the most widely-used specialty drugs in the United States more than doubled over the past five years, Reuters reported.

VIP patients create quandary for hospitals

VIP patients place enormous pressure on hospital staff to treat them differently--including handing out lavish gifts and cash--often making resistance extremely difficult, The Boston Globe has reported

Healthcare mortgages for patients are absurd

The term "Sweet Science" refers to boxing. The term "Dismal Science" pertains to economics. I've always found it amusing that the former--the realm of brain swelling and...