News

GAO: Remove financial incentives from 340B program

A new Government Accountability Office report recommends that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services curtail the financial incentives offered to safety-net hospitals that participate in the 340B drug discount program.

California rehab hospital sues HHS over backlogged appeals for denied claims

The Casa Colina Hospital and Centers for Healthcare in Pomona, California, has filed a suit against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, claiming its backlogged process for resolving Medicare payment disputes has removed sorely needed revenue from its coffers.

Medicare proposes to pay doctors for end-of-life discussions with patients

The proposed 2016 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule released this week includes a plan to pay physicians that have end-of-life conversations with their patients.

How post-King v. Burwell merger mania will affect hospitals

Hospitals are ideally positioned to withstand consolidation in the health insurance industry, according to a report from Fitch Ratings.

Only 5 states receive passing grade on price transparency

Only five states provide consumers with enough healthcare pricing information to make informed decisions, according to the third annual report from the Health Care Incentives Improvement Institute and Catalyst for Payment Reform.

How lump-sum payments could streamline emergency care

A redesign of the reimbursement model for hospital emergency departments and uncompensated care would provide incentives to improve emergency care and keep competition robust, argues Christopher Pope, Ph.D., senior advisor at the Gary and Mary West Health Policy Center, in a blog post from Health Affairs.

RFID tracking slowly working its way into hospital inventory control

Supermarkets and your refrigerator tend to have the same issue in common: "Best If Used By" labels. If you don't get around to selling or consuming that yogurt or luncheon meat by a...

CMS proposes to trim outpatient payments in 2016

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed a modest trim to payments to hospitals for outpatient services and to ambulatory care providers for the 2016 calendar year, as well as a slight revision to the two-midnight rule, MedPage Today has reported.

Improved continuity of care could save billions of dollars, study says

Streamlining the continuity of care among Medicare patients could save the United States hundreds of billions of dollars a year, TheStreet.com has reported.

Crowdfunding helps more patients pay bills

Crowdfunding continues to take hold as a potential solution for cash-strapped Americans trying to pay for their medical care, the Los Angeles Times has reported. Sites such as Indiegogo have created campaigns specially tailored to people who have personal needs such as paying medical bills, according to the newspaper.

Hospitals shift from episodic care to population health initiatives

New payment structures conceived as part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) are prompting hospitals to shift away from treating patients on a case-by-case basis to instead adopt a population health model focusing on chronic conditions such as diabetes and obesity, the Philadelphia Inquirer has reported.

Hospitals add 10,600 jobs in June

Hospital employment had a decent showing in June, adding more than 10,000 jobs during the month, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Groups ask IRS to reconsider community benefits guidelines on housing

Advocacy groups want the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to consider housing offered by not-for-profit hospitals as a legitimate community benefit without the current restrictions, AHA News Now has reported.

CMS proposes to ease--but not abolish--two-midnight rule

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services this week proposed an amendment to the broadly unpopular "two-midnight rule" for patients' inpatient and outpatient status.

Independence Day

Fiercemarkets will be closed on Friday, July 3 in observance of Independence Day. To make sure our readers don't miss any important news, we are delivering Friday's issue of...

CFOs may have more leverage over organized labor

With unions weakened and management emboldened by shifts in worker demographics in recent decades, organized labor is recalculating how to obtain more leverage in negotiations moving forward, the Wall Street Journal has reported.

Feds, Michigan file antitrust suit against four hospital systems

The United States Department of Justice and the Michigan Attorney General have filed an antitrust lawsuit against four hospital systems in the Great Lakes State, claiming they entered into agreements to curb their marketing to allocated territories.

Drug, medical device companies paid teaching hospitals, docs nearly $6.5B last year

The pharmaceutical and medical device industry contributed a shade under $6.5 billion to the nation's teaching hospitals and physicians last year, the Wall Street Journal has reported. That sum includes consulting services, research and promotional speeches about drugs. The money also included non-clinical payments, such as the value of free food provided to doctors by drug and medical device sales representatives.

Observation care notification law goes into effect in Virginia

A new law went into effect in Virginia this week that requires hospitals to inform patients if they are being held on observation status as opposed to being fully admitted as an inpatient.

Cash-strapped hospitals made more progress on hospital-acquired infections

Hospitals that have made the most progress reducing hospital-acquired infections are also some of the most financially constrained, according to Medscape MultiSpecialty.