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Top Stories

Coverage expansion, low cost growth, continued reform battles highlight 2014

By Harris Meyer  |  December 20, 2014

Healthcare providers and insurers were busy implementing healthcare reform in 2014, millions of uninsured Americans gained coverage, and healthcare spending growth remained modest even as partisan warfare over the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act continued in full force.

Late News

Court tosses AHA's suit over delayed RAC appeals

By Adam Rubenfire  |  December 20, 2014

A U.S. District Court judge last week dismissed a lawsuit by hospitals seeking to compel HHS to meet statutory timelines for processing appeals to recovery audits.

Providers decry imposing EHR penalties in 2015

By Joseph Conn  |  December 20, 2014

A CMS announcement last week that many doctors and hospitals 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.

The Week Ahead

New drug tracking and safety law takes effect Jan. 1

By Jaimy Lee  |  December 20, 2014

The first phase of a new “track and trace” law to help manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers and pharmacists better monitor the pharmaceutical supply chain goes into effect Jan. 1.

Regional News

Tight expense management helps boost surplus at Sutter

By Beth Kutscher  |  December 20, 2014

Sutter Health, a 24-hospital system based in Sacramento, Calif., has continued to improve its operating performance through the first nine months of the year, cutting expenses to overcome flat revenue growth.

News

CHI faces financial strains in building national network

By Melanie Evans  |  December 20, 2014

In the ongoing rush of healthcare deals, perhaps no other health system has been as aggressive as Catholic Health Initiatives, which has executed a dozen transactions in the past three years that have expanded its operations into health insurance and established a $1 billion foothold in Texas.

CMS now says CME payments to docs must be reported

By Jaimy Lee  |  December 20, 2014

Consumer groups appear to have won the latest round of the regulatory tussle over whether manufacturers' indirect payments to doctors for continuing medical education activities must be reported to the Open Payments database.

Obamacare enrollment on pace to meet predictions

By Adam Rubenfire  |  December 20, 2014

The latest enrollment numbers from the insurance exchanges show that after the first month of open enrollment, sign-ups are on track to meet or surpass the Obama administration's projection that 9 million to 10 million Americans will buy exchange plan coverage for 2015.

Tennessee hospitals' funding of Medicaid expansion is about survival

By Virgil Dickson  |  December 20, 2014

Tennessee hospitals' decision to help fund Medicaid expansion under Republican Gov. Bill Haslam's new waiver proposal was driven by hospitals' financial survival as well as their desire to extend coverage to 200,000 low-income Tennesseans, hospital leaders there say.

Cover Story

Coverage expansion, low cost growth, continued reform battles highlight 2014

By Harris Meyer  |  December 20, 2014

Healthcare providers and insurers were busy implementing healthcare reform in 2014, millions of uninsured Americans gained coverage, and healthcare spending growth remained modest even as partisan warfare over the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act continued in full force.

Features
Editorial

A holiday wish list for healthcare

By Merrill Goozner  |  December 20, 2014

The holiday season is a time when we count our blessings and shower gifts on those we love. It's also the time when we vow to do better in the coming year.

Guest Commentary
Letters
Q&A

It's 'stupidity' to install health IT without re-engineering workflow

By Modern Healthcare  |  December 20, 2014

Dr. Glenn Steele Jr., president and CEO of Geisinger Health System, discusses how his organization is dealing with Medicaid and exchange-plan growth, his concerns about implementation of pay-for-performance and health IT, and his legacy at Geisinger.

By the Numbers

Top hospitals in patient satisfaction, selected questions, 2013

December 20, 2014

A list of the top hospitals in patient satisfaction, based on two selected questions from the 2013 Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey, and listed by percentage of respondents who answered "yes." Source: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

News Makers
Data Points

Data Points for Dec. 22, 2014

By Modern Healthcare  |  December 20, 2014

Data Points for the week of Dec. 22, 2014, covered the following topic: heart transplants

Outliers

Edward Hopper's 'Nighthawks' get the JAMA treatment

By Modern Healthcare  |  December 20, 2014

Nighthawks,” Edward Hopper's famous 1942 painting, has been the subject of numerous tributes and parodies. “Simpsons” characters, superheroes and the “Star Trek” cast have all taken a seat at Hopper's all-night diner.

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