News

Becton, CareFusion to merge

Two major hospital suppliers will merge at a time when the sector is under pressure to try and control costs. Becton, Dickinson & Company will pay $12.2 billion to acquire CareFusion, about 26 percent above its stock price just before the deal, according to the New York Times.

ACO status doesn't always mean financial efficiency

Having status as an accountable care organization (ACO) does not necessarily mean financial efficiency, according to a blog post by The Advisory Board Company.

Better management of medical devices can cut hospital costs

The use of better supply management for medical devices can significantly reduce costs at the hospital level, according to a new study in the American Journal of Managed Care.

Will New York's Medicaid revamp lead to hospital closures?

As New York begins an ambitious plan to remake its Medicaid program, some hospitals throughout the state may close their doors, although few are expected to go without a fight.

Wyoming employers mull all-claims database

A group of businesses in the Cowboy State are considering banding together to obtain costs for medical procedures and hospital visits--and then negotiate with providers directly, WyoFile reported.

Hospital mergers drive up hospital costs

The executive director of a major healthcare reform organization claims that mergers between hospitals and hospital systems only serve to drive up costs.

Washington hospital prices vary broadly

As is the case in most parts of the country, hospital prices in Washington state are all over the map, with multiples of three or four between facilities for the same procedure, according to the Washington Health Alliance.

ER physicians increasingly stay out of provider networks

Patients who use an in-network hospital for emergency room visits sometmes get an unwelcome surprise: there is no guarantee the care is rendered in-network, the New York Times reported.

More hospitals seek upfront payments from patients

Even if patients have insurance, hospitals still want their money before or just after providing care.

When given pediatric appendectomy prices, parents pick less expensive version

Parents given a choice of the type of appendectomy procedure for their children tend to pick the less expensive, more invasive kind, according to a study in the Annals of Surgery.

RACs collected nearly $4B in 2013

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services identified $3.75 billion in improper payments within the Medicare Recovery Audit Contractor program, according to CMS' annual RAC report to Congress for fiscal year 2013.

Do CEO stock options impact firm borrowing?

Are publicly-traded healthcare firms less likely to take on debt when their CEOs receive compensation through stock options?

3 more organizations drop out of Pioneer ACO program

Three more hospitals dropped out of the Pioneer ACO program, leaving the long-tange financial vaibility of the program in doubt.

New reaction to high healthcare costs: Consumer anger

Americans have become angry over rising healthcare costs, Consumer Reports reported.

In this era of obstruction, RACs do not stand a chance

A century and a half ago, Walt Whitman published a poem about the music carpenters, masons and other workers made as they went about their day. Americans make few products by hand now, so masonry...

AHA wants contractors to cough up money in short-stay settlement offer

The protracted war between hospitals and recovery audit contractors over how  to handle short-stay payment appeals took a new turn as the American Hospital Association demanded a new concession in a recent settlement offer over RAC clawbacks..

More states pressured to expand Medicaid

Leaders in states hostile to the Affordable Care Act are under increasing pressure to expand Medicaid coverage.

Money not best tool to attract top hospital talent

With hospital finances under pressure, top executives must find new ways other than salaries to attract and recruit top talent.

Bon Secours may expand successful bundled payment program

Bon Secours Health System in Richmond, Virginia, may expand its trial bundled payment program for total joint replacement, according to Hospitals & Health Networks.

Lack of communication often leads to big variations in care, higher costs

It's generally accepted that the rates of surgery patients vary across small and large geographical regions across the county. But the reasons for such huge variations are complicated, Stateline reported.