CMS delays new RAC contracts

A legal entanglement involving the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and one of its recovery audit contractors has delayed the awarding of new RAC contracts, AHA News Now reported.

Utah system one of few in nation tracking specific costs

How much does it cost for a hospital to treat a single patient and apply that experience elsewhere? That is a mystery a Utah hospital system wants to crack, Kaiser Health News reports.

Many hospitals will face steep hospital-acquired infection penalties

Hospitals in many states will face significant penalties for not preventing hospital-acquired infections (HAIs), according to multiple media sources.

Providers use consumer data to profile health risks

Some healthcare providers use publicly available data to profile their patients and create a risk score based on their purchase, according to Bloomberg Business Week.

S&P: Long-term not-for-profit hospital forecast leaning negative

The nation's hospitals have been tremendously flexible in adjusting to how the Great Recession roiled their finances, but they are still facing long-term declines in patient volume and other challenges to their bottom lines.

340B backers say program is sound

The 340B drug program has not gone off the rails and continues to provide crucial therapeutic and financial support for not-for-profit hospitals. That was the assertion made by the chief executive officer of Safety Net Hospitals for Pharmaceutical Access (SNHPA) at the Healthcare Financial Management Association's (HFMA) annual conference in Las Vegas earlier this week.

Stark price differences between hospitals and outpatient settings

There is an often significant price difference between common procedures performed at hospitals versus at a physician's office or in outpatient surgery centers, according to two new studies.

Drop in GDP growth may be linked to healthcare

The surprise drop in the U.S. Gross Domestic Product during the first quarter may be linked to healthcare and the impact of the Affordable Care Act, the Wall Street Journal reported. According to the...

Financial benchmarking can improve hospital margins

If a healthcare organization is experiencing negative net margins, should it try to raise revenue 6 percent, or cut costs by 6 percent?

Cost of prostate surgery varies widely among hospitals

The cost of prostate cancer surgery varies widely across the United States, and the variations in what a patient pays bears little on the quality of care they receive, HealthDay News reported.

HFMA: Hospitals must be more proactive with patients on bills

Hospital finance departments must be willing to engage patients early and often if they want a good chance of collecting all of their outstanding balances after a medical procedure, according to the leader of the Healthcare Financial Management Association's patient-friendly billing project.

HFMA: Financial need no longer driving hospital M&As

Financial need is no longer the primary driver for many hospital mergers, acquisitions and affiliations, the Healthcare Financial Management Association announced at its annual national institute conference in Las Vegas.

Gambling on HFMA ANI's showroom floor

ClearPoint Companies is my new favorite company in healthcare finance, not so much for their business model, but for the fact that theyhad a poker table at their booth that was staffed by a couple of professional poker players and a dealer"It's all about drawing people to the booths," Rudiger Merz, ClearPoint's chief strategy officer, told me. ClearPoint was not the only vendor with a gambling theme in line with the Las Vegas venue (last year's meeting was in Florida, where as I recall the theme was savage humidity). 

Providers fall short on price transparency

Only one-quarter of healthcare consumers get pre-treatment cost estimates from their providers, according to a new survey from TransUnion.

Under ACA, some cities' hospitals fare better than others

The Affordable Care Act's impact on U.S. cities--and by extension, their hospitals--has varied dramatically, according to a new study by the Urban Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Selecting providers based on cash bids could cut costs

Providers who give payers and patients cash-pay options for care can save all parties money, says healthcare economist Peter Boland.

South Carolina offers $15M to help hospitals change business model

The state of South Carolina offered $15 million to its hospitals to shift their business models away from filling empty beds toward something more stable for the long run, the Charleston Post and Courier  reported.

Public Citizen condemns hospital sponsorship of low-cost testing services

The consumer advocacy group Public Citizen urges hospitals and healthcare systems around the country to stop hosting special events that promote unnecessary testing, USA Today reported.


California launches price transparency initiative

The California Department of Insurance tapped the University of California and the San Francisco-based Consumers Union to create a healthcare price transparency and quality database that will likely be ready to launch within a year.

Parkland Hospital raises minimum wage for frontline workers

Parkland Health & Hospital System in Dallas has decided to think outside of the box for its employees, giving a pool of cash earmarked for executive bonuses to its front-line workers instead.