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Daily Dose Archive

Sometimes, it's good to be Blue (Cross Blue Shield)

By Bob Herman  |  December 19, 2014

Blue Cross and Blue Shield's clout in Washington was in evidence last week as Congress passed a massive spending bill to keep the government operating into next year. One of the last pages of the bill also included a line about the “modification of treatment of certain health...

Catholic Health Initiatives keeps Fitch rating despite setbacks

By Melanie Evans  |  December 19, 2014

Fitch Ratings is maintaining it's A+ credit rating for Catholic Health Initiatives, the rapidly expanding national health system that earlier this week reported a sharp drop in its operating performance. Rival rating agency Standard & Poor's recently downgraded CHI because of weak financial results.

Recovery audit lawsuit dismissed by federal judge

By Adam Rubenfire  |  December 19, 2014

A U.S. District Court judge has dismissed a lawsuit by hospitals seeking to compel HHS to meet statutory timelines for processing appeals to recovery audits. The American Hospital Association said in a statement that it disagrees with the court's decision and expects to file an appeal.

Investment firm brings on Bill Frist, eyes healthcare funds

By Darius Tahir  |  December 19, 2014

Investment firm Carrick Capital Partners anticipates a busy 2015, with healthcare opportunities clearly in its sights. It has secured the advisory services of former Tennessee Sen. Bill Frist, a physician, and plans to start a new fund that will include many healthcare investments, according to...

House members seek change in 2015 EHR attestation period

By Joseph Conn  |  December 19, 2014

Twenty-nine Republican House members have co-signed a letter with Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-N.C.), calling on HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell to take immediate action to cut the 2015 reporting period for the federal electronic health records incentive-payment program from a full year to 90 days.

Child being monitored in Chicago for Ebola infection

By Adam Rubenfire  |  December 19, 2014

A child is under observation for Ebola infection at the University of Chicago Medical Center after presenting with a fever during screening at the city's O'Hare International Airport.

When not-for-profit hospitals sue their poorest patients

By National Public Radio / ProPublica  |  December 19, 2014

Some not-for-profit hospitals around the country don't ever seize their patients' wages. Some do so only in very rare cases. But others sue hundreds of patients every year.

Docs take note: Make quality-reporting deadline or face penalty

By Andis Robeznieks  |  December 18, 2014

Physician advocates are warning doctors to pay close attention to the CMS' recently released Physician Quality Reporting System data submission deadlines, because the 2014 data they report will be used to calculate their future Medicare payments.

Supreme Court decision could mean $65 billion in lost insurance subsidies

By Paul Demko  |  December 18, 2014

Florida residents would lose $12.3 billion in financial assistance in 2016 if the U.S. Supreme Court strikes down insurance subsidies for states that haven't established their own exchanges, according to an analysis done by Democratic staffers on the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

Ebola fears speed changes in U.S. hospital record systems

By Reuters  |  December 18, 2014

The worst Ebola outbreak on record, and its spread beyond West Africa, has accelerated changes in how U.S. hospitals address the threat of infectious diseases, say health IT companies and industry experts.

Two will plead guilty to Rite Aid surplus resale scheme

By Lisa Schencker  |  December 18, 2014

A former vice president of Rite Aid Corp. and his business associate have signed tentative agreements saying they'll plead guilty to allegations they duped the company out of $14.6 million by profiting from deceptive sales of its surplus inventory.

Providers balk as CMS announces penalties for 2013 EHR issues

By Joseph Conn  |  December 18, 2014

A CMS announcement that many doctors will see their 2015 Medicare payments cut by 1% for failing to meet federal electronic health-record incentive-payment program standards has provoked strong reactions from physician and hospital groups.

It’s the best time to be born as life expectancy tops 70

By Bloomberg.com  |  December 18, 2014

These are good times to be a baby. A child born last year will live six years longer on average than one born in 1990, the first time in history that life expectancy worldwide extends past age 70.

FDA discourages unnecessary 'keepsake' ultrasounds during pregnancy

By Huffington Post  |  December 18, 2014

So-called "prenatal portraits" and ultrasound parties, in which parents-to-be visit commercial outfits for the chance to see and coo at their growing babies, may be trendy, but the Food and Drug Administration is speaking out against both practices.

Why Congress gave in to medical marijuana

By The Atlantic  |  December 18, 2014

Congress may have tried to stop residents of the nation's capital from being able to light up joints with impunity, but lawmakers retreated last week in another important drug-war front: medical marijuana.

Are compounding pharmacies safer now?

By Lisa Schencker  |  December 17, 2014

The indictment of 14 people Wednesday—including two pharmacists on charges of second-degree murder—was the latest in a string of actions taken in response to a deadly 2012 fungal meningitis outbreak linked to a Massachusetts compounder.

Intel to pilot gesture-based EHR at Intermountain

By Darius Tahir  |  December 17, 2014

Intel Corp. and Utah hospital system Intermountain Healthcare are planning to test a system allowing clinicians to interact with electronic health records using gestures, Alice Borrelli, Intel's director of global health and workplace policy, revealed at a health IT event Wednesday.

Amgen's new leukemia drug to carry $178,000 price tag

By Reuters  |  December 17, 2014

Amgen on Wednesday said its new type of treatment for a deadly form of leukemia would cost about $178,000 when it becomes available on Thursday, which would make it one of the world's most expensive cancer drugs.

Hospital price growth in November continues to outpace prior year

By Melanie Evans  |  December 17, 2014

The Consumer Price Index for hospitals increased 0.2% last month as prices for inpatient care edged upward. The Consumer Price Index for the year that ended in November shows a 4.7% increase in hospital prices, compared with 4.4% growth the prior year.

Patients: Partners, clients or consumers?

By Sabriya Rice  |  December 17, 2014

Patients are more frequently being called consumers, partners and clients as healthcare providers focus attention on experience and satisfaction. But in a Dec. 13 blog post, some clinicians suggested a downside of using these descriptions, saying the terms don't capture the complexity of the...

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