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A look back on healthcare finance in 2014

The year 2014 was one of the more historic in terms of healthcare finance. Millions of Americans gained health insurance coverage through new health insurance exchanges under the Affordable Care Act, as well as the expansion of Medicaid eligibility. But it was also a year of anxiety for healthcare and hospitals as a new disease entered the United States for the first time.

Prime Healthcare's bid for six Calif. hospitals comes under scrutiny

Prime Healthcare Services, the Southern California-based, for-profit chain that has generated much controversy in recent years for its business practices, is making a bid to acquire six hospitals operated by the Catholic Daughters of Charity healthcare system.

High deductibles may push patients to put off care

The rising out-of-pocket costs for health insurance force millions of middle-class Americans to forego checkups and other needed medical care, according to USA Today.

Healthcare spending may reach $10K per person this year

The year 2015 may be the year where healthcare spending in the United States reaches a specific milestone: $10,000 per person.

Medicaid expansion helps hospitals' bottom lines

Hospitals in states that expanded Medicaid as part of the Affordable Care Act report financial gains as more patients can now pay their bills, according to a Kaiser Health News report.

 

Accretive Health restates earnings, finds nearly $1.4B gap

Accretive Health, the publicly-traded Chicago-based hospital financial consulting firm, quietly released its restated earnings last month and nearly $1.4 billion in revenue has vanished.

CMS makes changes to DSH rules

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has issued a final rule on how how to define uninsured patients for the purpose of collecting disproportionate share hospital payments that may offer relief to some hospitals. 

VA wasted billions on project cost overruns as patient care suffered

The Department of Veterans Affairs squandered billions of dollars on hospital construction projects that each went hundreds of millions of dollars over budget, all the while mismanaging a patient care system that often led to deadly delays for veterans seeking care and is apparently brimming with sentinel events.

Does Mayo Clinic's reputation justify higher costs?

Duluth News-Tribune report claims that the Minnesota-based Mayo Clinic has used its reputation and market leverage to charge some of the highest prices in the state, prompting some businesses and purchasing groups to consider less expensive options.

IRS issues new regulations on patient finances, collections

The Internal Revenue Service on Monday released new regulations on how non-profit hospitals collect sums owed by patients.

Stark differences in hospital finances by state

The decisions by individual states to expand Medicaid eligibility under the Affordable Care Act has created decidely different financial pressures on hospitals.

Prisons struggle to pay for hepatitis C drugs

Hepatitis C has been the scourge of prison healthcare systems for decades--first as a nearly endemic disease, and now as a potential budget-buster now that a cure is on the horizon. National Public Radio reports that Gilead's recently released blockbuster drug that all but cures hepatitis C has become a burden on correctional systems' budgets due to its enormous cost. 

3 essential qualities for CFOs

As the post-Affordable Care Act healthcare landscape shifts, the job of chief financial officers becomes more complex, and effective CFOs must have a few key traits, according to Becker's Hospital Review.

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays! FierceHealthFinance will be taking its annual publisher's holiday the next two weeks and will return to its regular publishing schedule after the New Year on January 6, 2015. But...

iPad apps to arrive before Christmas: 2014 edition

It's that most wonderful time of the year again. With a little more time on my hands, snow on the ground and a roaring blaze in the hearth (I live in Los Angeles, but I am optimistic such events...

Dallas hospital bounces back from Ebola losses

The Ebola bump proved to be only temporary for Texas Health Presbyterian, according to Becker's Hospital Review.

Hospitals that reduce readmissions still hit with penalties

Even if a hospital succeeds in cutting readmissions, it could still experience steep financial penalties from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, according to a new report by the Altarum Institute's Center for Elder Care and Advanced Illness.

AHA's RAC appeals lawsuit dismissed

Hospitals appealing RAC clawbacks will get no legal relief, at least for now. A judge in the District of Columbia has dismissed the lawsuit, concluding that the current backlog in RAC appeals cases did not warrant legal intervention, AHA News Now reported.

States move to expand nurse scope of practice

More states are expanding the scope of practice for non-physician healthcare professionals to make up for the continuing physician shortage.

CDC: Smoking accounts for 9% of all healthcare spending

For more than half a century, it's been known that cigarette smoking takes a huge personal toll on those who light up. But now a specific cost has been assigned to the healthcare system as well.