Healthcare spending and price growth trends remain modest

Healthcare spending trends are continuing along their historic lows, according to data from the Altarum Institute, while prices are also near similar levels.

Medicare has not only remade healthcare finance, but pushed race relations forward

At age 50, Medicare is baked into the American landscape in much the same way as guns and pizza. Take any of those three away, and the entire republic would probably collapse. But unlike guns and...

Good luck getting specialty provider prices in Massachusetts

Despite enacting a groundbreaking law on healthcare price transparency, it remains difficult to actually obtain prices from Massachusetts providers, according to a second study this year by the Pioneer Institute, which surveyed the offices of more than 90 specialty providers such as gastroenterologists, dermatologists, ophthalmologists and dentists.

Private hospitals not entitled to indigent care reimbursement in Florida

In Florida, private providers appear to be shut out of getting paid for treating indigent patients, according to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

Low petroleum prices help hospital supply chain

Recent drops in petroleum prices could wind up being a boon for hospital supply purchasing, Healthcare Finance News has reported.

Why Swedish Health Services slashed its outpatient prices

At a time when healthcare prices continue to rise, Swedish Health Services in Seattle cut its prices for the large proportion of its outpatient services by an average of 35 percent earlier this year, according to a report by the Heartland Institute.

Hospital patients in rural areas less likely to receive follow-up care

Rural hospitals appear to be struggling with providing follow-up care to patients after discharge, amplifying the risk of their readmission with 30 days

CMS: Success of bundled-payment program leads to 360 new participants

After a Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services bundled payment pilot project saved $1 million its first year while strengthening outcomes, CMS announced 360 more providers will join the program.

Time to revisit benchmarks for physician pay

It's time to overhaul the current use of the work relative value units to determine how physicians are paid, argues an article in the most recent issue of HFM Magazine.

Affordable Care Act hasn't killed jobs but hasn't created them either

There has been a long-running debate as to whether the Affordable Care Act is actually killing jobs, creating them or doing little at all. A new study suggests it is the third case.


Are hospitals wasting GME money?

The federal government pays $15 billion a year for the training of medical residents--an expenditure that may be largely unnecessary, according to the International Business Times.

Hospital performance measures often overlook overuse of care

Measures that chart hospital performance often neglect another large facet of healthcare delivery: Unnecessary or overutilized services. 

CMS extends two-midnight rule enforcement delay

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services  will extend its partial enforcement delay of the unpopular two-midnight policy until the end of the year. The postponement coincides with proposed changes to the short-stay rule that the agency issued in July.

Fitch: Finances of non-profit hospitals continue to improve

Cash flows and other financial indicators are making gains for some non-profit hospitals, but only those in a strong financial position to begin with, according to a Fitch Ratings report. 

Physician quality reporting means greater financial risk for hospitals

As hospitals acquire more and more physician practices, it can mean increased costs, due in part to pending payment adjustments to the Physician Quality Reporting System. To avoid penalties, hospital leaders must move beyond a hospital-centric perspective, according to Healthcare Finance News.

Price transparency progressing despite poor state grades

I suspect that all parents of school-aged children have experienced a moment of anxiety when a report card shows up in the mail: How are they doing? Are they failing anything? For advocates of...

Hospital stocks take hit after HCA earnings release

Publicly-traded hospital stocks were hit hard last week due to a spike in uninsured patients at one company, Investor's Business Daily has reported.

Labor union balks at Hawaii hospital privatizations

A labor union representing workers at three Hawaiian hospitals has filed suit to block a privatization effort, according to Pacific Business News.

St. Luke's used tough tactics to keep patients within system

St. Luke's Health System jealously kept its patients within its hospitals in Idaho, the Idaho Statesman has reported, a business model that ultimately played into the unraveling of its acquisition of Idaho's largest medical group.

Hospitals added 15,700 jobs in July

Hospitals, which just a few years ago balked at the idea of adding new employees, have become a job-generating machine for the U.S. economy, according to the latest labor data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.