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Up & Comers nomination deadline is Monday
By Modern Healthcare | July 31, 2014
The nomination deadline is approaching for Modern Healthcare's 28th annual Up & Comers recognition program. The program is sponsored by Witt/Kieffer, an Oak Brook, Ill.-based executive search firm.
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Baxter to offload vaccine business to Pfizer for $635 million
By Kristen Schorsch, Crain's Chicago Business | July 31, 2014
Baxter International is selling its vaccine business to Pfizer for $635 million as it prepares to split into two companies.
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Becton Dickinson and Co. sees third-quarter net rise on strong surgical system demand
By Sabriya Rice | July 31, 2014 | Basic Web Basic Web Subscription Details
Becton, Dickinson and Co. on Thursday reported that its fiscal third-quarter net income rose 5.1% to $2.2 billion from $2.1 billion in the same period last year, surpassing analysts' projections.
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Probe exposes flaws behind HealthCare.gov rollout
By Associated Press | July 31, 2014
Management failures by the Obama administration set the stage for computer woes that paralyzed the president's new healthcare program last fall, nonpartisan investigators said in a report released Wednesday.
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Tell us what you think
July 31, 2014 | Basic Web Basic Web Subscription Details
Click here to comment on today's news or other matters. Or submit your comments below.
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Reform Update: Economists waiting for more numbers before dissecting ACA's impact on spending
By Melanie Evans | July 30, 2014 | Basic Web Basic Web Subscription Details
Consumer health spending did not accelerate in April, May and June even as insurance coverage purchased through March under Obamacare went into effect, a preliminary federal estimate shows. Economists, however, met the news with more skepticism than curiosity, perhaps because of dramatic revisions...
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News
Healthcare spending growth lags overall economy
By Melanie Evans | July 30, 2014 | Basic Web Basic Web Subscription Details
Consumer health spending growth remained largely flat in the second quarter, preliminary federal estimates show. Annualized spending by consumers for hospital care, clinic visits and other medical services increased 3% in the second quarter compared with the same quarter a year ago, in line with...
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Information
After hours, weekends the worst times to have a heart attack
By CBS News | July 30, 2014
The time at which heart attack patients arrive at the hospital may affect their chances for survival, new research suggests. Showing up at the emergency room at night, on weekends or during holidays is associated with a 13% higher risk for death than arriving during regular business hours,...
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News
NYU Langone rebounding financially from Superstorm Sandy
By Bob Herman | July 30, 2014 | Basic Web Basic Web Subscription Details
NYU Langone Medical Center is well on the mend from the damage Superstorm Sandy wreaked on its New York City facilities more than a year and a half ago, its latest financials demonstrate.
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News
Amedisys sees earnings improve as impact of cost-cutting felt
By Beth Kutscher | July 30, 2014 | Basic Web Basic Web Subscription Details
Amedisys, the home health and hospice operator that has struggled in recent quarters to meet earnings expectations, reported a significant improvement in its performance during the second quarter.
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News
WellPoint gains policyholders as earnings slip
By Virgil Dickson | July 30, 2014 | Basic Web Basic Web Subscription Details
WellPoint, repeating a pattern reported by insurer Humana, saw its customer base increase significantly while its earnings fell during the second quarter.
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News
Express Scripts continues to see fallout from Medco purchase; income falls
By Virgil Dickson | July 30, 2014 | Basic Web Basic Web Subscription Details
The continued ripple effects of a major client exit following a big merger contributed to a second-quarter drop in net income for Express Scripts Holding Co.
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Information
U.S. appeals court blocks Mississippi abortion law
By Associated Press | July 30, 2014
Mississippi's governor and attorney general will have to decide whether to challenge a federal appeals court ruling that is keeping the state's only abortion clinic in business. A panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals voted 2-1 Tuesday to block a 2012 Mississippi law that requires abortion...
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News
Ascension forms senior-care unit to integrate post-acute-care services
By Steven Ross Johnson | July 30, 2014 | Basic Web Basic Web Subscription Details
To strengthen its footprint in the post-acute-care sector, Ascension Health has formed a senior-care division to integrate its extensive post-acute-care services and establish more uniform care standards.
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Hospira earnings double on strong sales of injectable drugs
By Bob Herman | July 30, 2014 | Basic Web Basic Web Subscription Details
Pharmaceutical and medical-device maker Hospira saw its earnings soar in the second quarter of 2014, thanks mostly to large sales of drugs that have been in short supply.
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News
Merge Healthcare sees losses narrowing despite lower sales
By John N. Frank | July 30, 2014 | Basic Web Basic Web Subscription Details
Merge Healthcare, a developer of imaging and interoperability software systems, reported a net loss of $4 million in the second quarter, a marked improvement from a $28.1 million loss in the same quarter last year.
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Humana's revenue rises, earnings fall on exchange, drug costs
By Rachel Landen | July 30, 2014 | Basic Web Basic Web Subscription Details
Humana's investments tied to healthcare reform combined with high drug costs dragged its bottom line down roughly 18% in the second quarter, even as membership growth drove revenue higher.
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News
Senate confirms McDonald as VA secretary
By Associated Press | July 29, 2014 | Basic Web Basic Web Subscription Details
The Senate on Tuesday unanimously confirmed former Procter & Gamble CEO Robert McDonald as the new Veterans Affairs secretary, with a mission to overhaul an agency beleaguered by long veterans' waits for healthcare and VA workers falsifying records to cover up delays.
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News
Smart-pill maker raises $172 million; investors still hungry for digital health
By Darius Tahir | July 29, 2014 | Basic Web Basic Web Subscription Details
Startup Proteus Digital Health, whose flagship product is essentially a smart pill to help patients and doctors monitor medication adherence and data, has raised $172 million in new funding, demonstrating investors' continued strong appetite for digital health opportunities.
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News
Obamacare coverage brings HCA more paying patients
By Beth Kutscher | July 29, 2014 | Basic Web Basic Web Subscription Details
HCA, the largest publicly traded hospital chain by revenue, reported a 14.2% increase in second-quarter net income as it treated more patients and improved its payer mix thanks to insurance expansion under the healthcare reform law.
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Reform Update: Saying Medicaid expansion will help some vets is not likely to sway opponents
By Virgil Dickson | July 29, 2014 | Basic Web Basic Web Subscription Details
Congress this week is expected to approve new funding to get veterans off waiting lists and into care. While that moves forward, some patient advocates, hospital leaders and politicians are pointing to another more controversial way to help a small portion of the veteran population that doesn't...
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Information
Pfizer's 2Q profit sinks 79% but tops forecasts
By Associated Press | July 29, 2014
Pfizer's second-quarter earnings plunged 79% from last year, when the world's second-largest drugmaker booked a $10 billion-plus gain from a business spinoff.
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Vital Signs
Sovaldi likely to cost Medicare billions
By Virgil Dickson | July 29, 2014
The rising cost of hepatitis C drugs like Sovaldi and Olysio will increase Medicare Part D spending by $2.9 billion to $5.8 billion next year and could drive up premiums as much as 8.6%, according to a new report by the actuarial firm Milliman.
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Merck 2Q profit more than doubles
By Associated Press | July 29, 2014
A big one-time gain and a tax benefit helped drugmaker Merck & Co. more than double its second-quarter profit, improve its profit forecast and top analysts' expectations.
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Vital Signs
Medication reconciliation improvements needed: report
By Joseph Conn | July 29, 2014
Medication reconciliation, a standard operating procedure at hospitals, remains a process in need of work, according to a report based on a study of 19 hospitals released by the National Institute for Health Care Reform.
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News
Universal American's zeal for ACOs is fading
By Melanie Evans | July 29, 2014 | Basic Web Basic Web Subscription Details
Insurer Universal American, the largest operator of Medicare accountable care organizations, has exited three ACOs and may drop more as the company sheds poorly performing or fringe businesses, said executives with the publicly traded insurer.
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Four New Hampshire hospitals partner to address population health
By Bob Herman | July 29, 2014 | Basic Web Basic Web Subscription Details
Four critical-access hospitals in the upper third of New Hampshire have signed a nonbinding letter of intent to collaborate in the care of a population that is among the sickest and poorest in the state.
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News
Kindred makes its case for a full Gentiva takeover
By Beth Kutscher | July 29, 2014 | Basic Web Basic Web Subscription Details
One day after Kindred Healthcare abandoned its plan to acquire a 14.9% stake in Gentiva Health Services, the post-acute-care operator is stepping up its efforts to pursue a full takeover of Gentiva at $17.25 a share.
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Despite exchanges' drag on income, Aetna's profits rise
By Paul Demko | July 29, 2014 | Basic Web Basic Web Subscription Details
Aetna's participation in state and federal exchanges is creating a modest drag on profitability, company officials said repeatedly on a call with investors Tuesday. Despite that financial challenge, the insurer beat analysts' expectations for earnings in the second quarter and plans to expand into...
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News
Revamp funding for training residents: IOM
By Andis Robeznieks | July 29, 2014 | Basic Web Basic Web Subscription Details
The current mechanisms for funding graduate medical education feature “a striking absence of transparency and accountability,” a new Institute of Medicine report concluded. In the report, Graduate Medical Education That Meets the Nation's Health Needs, the IOM panel says future funding...
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News
Medicare trustees' report finds 'cautious optimism'
By Darius Tahir | July 28, 2014 | Basic Web Basic Web Subscription Details
The Medicare trustees say there are reasons for “cautious optimism” about Medicare's financial outlook, and that Obamacare deserves at least some credit for that.
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News
Steele to step down as Geisinger CEO next year
By Rachel Landen | July 28, 2014 | Basic Web Basic Web Subscription Details
Geisinger Health System has launched the search for a successor to CEO Dr. Glenn Steele.
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Information
N.C. mayor finishes walk to D.C. to protest hospital closure
July 28, 2014
A North Carolina mayor fighting for the hospital that closed in his rural town finished his two-week protest march to the nation's capital, where he told a crowd that his community's problems are part of a larger healthcare struggle.
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News
Bill would give VA $17 billion infusion
By Virgil Dickson | July 28, 2014 | Basic Web Basic Web Subscription Details
The leaders of the conference committee established to merge House and Senate bills to reform the U.S. Veterans Affairs Department have agreed to give $17 billion to the beleaguered federal agency to turn things around.
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Vital Signs
Lou Gehrig's disease an extremely rare malady, CDC says
By Bob Herman | July 28, 2014
Lou Gehrig, the iconic New York Yankee slugger, was forced to retire from baseball in 1939 because of a rare neuromuscular disorder. New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gives a first-of-its-kind glimpse into just how rare that incurable disease is.
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News
Healthcare adviser Butler exiting Heritage Foundation for Brookings
By Rachel Landen | July 28, 2014 | Basic Web Basic Web Subscription Details
Stuart Butler, a noted healthcare scholar and adviser, plans to join the Brookings Institution in September as a senior fellow in its economic studies program.
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News
Osteopathic group leader calls for more research, IT innovation
By Andis Robeznieks | July 28, 2014 | Basic Web Basic Web Subscription Details
Dr. Robert Juhasz recently began his term as the 118th president of the American Osteopathic Association by issuing a challenge to the AOA House of Delegates to dramatically improve and increase their output of osteopathic research.
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Information
Antiviral-drug maker fights pediatricians' new advice
By Associated Press | July 28, 2014
A costly drug given mostly to premature babies is at the center of a clash between the manufacturer and the nation's leading pediatrician's group, which recommends scaling back use of the medicine.
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