News

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.

Alameda Health System in financial straits

One of the Bay Area's largest public health providers asked for a bailout due to deep financial problems, leading to speculation that its hospitals are ineptly managed, the Contra Costa Times reported.

Prompting physicians to follow care guidelines can save millions

Prodding physicians to follow recommended care guidelines can help reduce utilization and reduce costs, the Wall Street Journal  reported.

So, what happened to healthcare inflation?

Is the cost curve in health delivery broken? All the recent data appears to verify it. Whereas the per capita cost of healthcare spending grew nearly 50 percent from 2000 to 2006, it's been much...

More beds mean too much care

Regions with excess hospital beds tend to provide patients with more services than they need, according to a new report by National Public Radio and Kaiser Health News.

Rex Healthcare's surgical program rankles local doctors

A North Carolina hospital may set the tone for physician employment at acute care facilities in the future, the Raleigh News & Observer reports.

For smaller hospitals, not all mergers created equal

In a healthcare environment where small hospitals increasingly have no choice but to affiliate with larger facilities and chains, the new primary consideration is often which network to join.

AHA: Hospital CME must focus on improving, aligning care

Hospitals fully fund more than a third of all continuing medical education, but some wonder whether they get their money's worth.

"Drive-by doctoring" drives up hospital costs

Specialty surgeons insert themselves into medical procedures--often without the knowledge of the patient--driving up costs considerably, the New York Times reported.

Are ACO operators eyeing Medicare Advantage instead?

The challenges of operating an ACO that cuts costs without losing money can be so daunting that some ACO operators may launch a Medicare Advantage health plan to replace it, according to Healthcare Finance News.

NH price transparency pressures hospitals

New Hampshire is one of the few states that compels insurers to report and make public the rates insurers pay to providers--which sometimes leads to lower hospital prices, Kaiser Health News reported.