Critical-access hospitals' ongoing financial woes are being compounded by Medicare cuts imposed by sequestration and the failure of most rural states to expand Medicaid, and there's little prospect of legislative or regulatory relief in sight.
After last year's devastating flu season, which hospitalized the largest number of seniors in the U.S. ever recorded, public health officials have had to assure providers that the flu vaccines they're getting right about now will work.
Some healthcare organizations are beginning to recognize that addressing housing issues not only meets the needs of low-income patients but helps them meet the Affordable Care Act's community benefit requirements.
Diabetic patients are a popular target population for health systems that hope to improve patients' health with better care coordination and closer management. But new data from the research collaborative OptumLabs suggest diabetes management can be too aggressive.
A Chicago facility looking to save time on the surgical floor finds that Lean quality-improvement methodologies—which put front-line staff in control of change—can have benefits, but that the process isn't necessarily a painless one.
Medical groups, health systems and other organizations are trying to figure out the needs and desires of millennial doctors and other healthcare professionals so they can more effectively court them for jobs.
All 140 seats in both chambers of the Virginia General Assembly are up for election, and some observers say the Virginia state elections not only could swing the outcome of that state's Medicaid battle but could affect expansion's national momentum.
While the number of primary-care doctors in retainer-based arrangements remains relatively small—about 6,000 across the U.S.—it has grown by as much as 25% over the past few years. Some experts warn concierge practices threaten to exacerbate the primary-care physician squeeze.
A growing number of providers are building facilities that offer a wide range of hospital-type services without inpatient beds. These facilities offer a mix of telemedicine, imaging, short-term observation care and surgery. Technology lets patients avoid being kept overnight for monitoring.
Ready or not, the U.S. healthcare industry is poised to flip the switch from the ICD-9 to the ICD-10 diagnostic and procedural coding system on Oct. 1, significantly changing how billions of dollars in medical claims are calculated and billed every day.
The CMS, private payers, policymakers and provider systems are placing heavy reliance on using financial incentives to change provider behavior to improve quality of care and reduce costs. But researchers say much depends on properly structuring the incentive programs to achieve the desired results.
While value-based payment and delivery innovations by Medicare and commercial insurers have gotten more media attention, some experts say Medicaid has proven more fertile ground for innovation.