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Six things that could kill the SGR fix

By Paul Demko  |  March 21, 2015

With the March 31 deadline to act on the sustainable growth-rate formula a week away, there are at least six potential landmines that could derail the surprise $200 billion-plus deal negotiated by House Speaker John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

Late News

GOP budget plans slash at healthcare spending

By Paul Demko  |  March 21, 2015

Senate and House Republicans released federal budget blueprints last week that seek to eliminate deficit spending in a decade and repeal the Affordable Care Act.

CMS proposes third stage for meaningful use

By Darius Tahir  |  March 21, 2015

Draft regulations the CMS issued last Friday would add a third and final stage to the federal incentive program that requires doctors and hospitals to adopt and meaningfully use electronic health records.

Trade group seeks RAC reform

By Lisa Schencker  |  March 21, 2015

The American Orthotic & Prosthetic Association is proposing a change to Medicare's recovery audit contractor program that it contends would keep providers from suffering devastating financial losses while appealing disputed claims.

Regional News

N.Y. e-prescribing delay sounds cautionary note for other states

By Adam Rubenfire  |  March 21, 2015

New York's attempt to become the first state to penalize physicians who don't use e-prescription software has been pushed back a year and an old health information technology villain is being blamed—software that has yet to be certified for provider use.

Banner Health sees revenue, operating surplus rise

By Beth Kutscher  |  March 21, 2015

Banner Health, the 24-hospital, Phoenix-based system that recently completed its acquisition of the University of Arizona Health Network, reported a higher operating surplus for 2014 as its payer mix improved and revenue grew 5.9%.

Brookdale investor targets board in restructuring bid

By Beth Kutscher  |  March 21, 2015

An activist investor pushing for change at Brookdale Senior Living has put forward a slate of three nominees for the company's board to help usher in a corporate restructuring.

News

Blues' tax-exempt loss raises red flag

By Bob Herman  |  March 21, 2015

The belated disclosure that not-for-profit insurer Blue Shield of California lost its tax exemption last summer raises questions of whether other not-for-profit insurers and hospitals may face similar scrutiny of their finances and community-benefit record.

Hospitals seek extension of 'two-midnight' moratorium

By Paul Demko  |  March 21, 2015

Hospitals are lobbying for an extension of the moratorium on enforcement of the “two-midnight” policy for short hospital stays that expires at the end of the month. They're hoping Congress will include the extension in action it takes this month on the Medicare physician-payment formula.

Clinical data hack could haunt Premera customers

By Adam Rubenfire  |  March 21, 2015

The cyberattack against Premera Blue Cross disclosed last week affects significantly fewer people than the Anthem hack revealed last month. But the hacked Premera data could have greater value and cause more damage to customers.

Seeking entries for Healthcare Marketing IMPACT Awards

By Modern Healthcare  |  March 21, 2015

Modern Healthcare and sister publication Advertising Age are now accepting entries for the second annual Healthcare Marketing IMPACT Awards. The program recognizes healthcare's best advertising, marketing, promotion and communication campaigns across all media platforms.

Eyeing 2017, GOP pitches Medicaid state block grants

By Virgil Dickson  |  March 21, 2015

House and Senate Republicans have proposed that Medicaid be turned into a capped state block-grant program to save hundreds of billions of dollars over a decade. But political observers predict the proposal won't be seriously considered unless Republicans win the White House and hold Congress in...

Cover Story

Six things that could kill the SGR fix

By Paul Demko  |  March 21, 2015

With the March 31 deadline to act on the sustainable growth-rate formula a week away, there are at least six potential landmines that could derail the surprise $200 billion-plus deal negotiated by House Speaker John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

Features
Editorial
Guest Commentary
Letters

Patient-assistance program comparisons misleading and other letters

March 21, 2015

The provocative title of your article, “Lifesavers or kickbacks?”, got my attention. However, it seems misleading to suggest that patient-assistance programs are either lifesavers for patients in need of help or kickbacks to drug manufacturers, which would be a felony offense as defined...

Innovations

New app aids Mount Sinai asthma research

By Darius Tahir  |  March 21, 2015

Mount Sinai Hospital had been working closely with mobile application developer LifeMap Solutions since the New York City-based firm was launched last May. That closeness paid off when an unexpected opportunity arrived.

Q&A
By the Numbers

Top Medicaid managed-care insurers

March 21, 2015

A list of the nation's 20 top Medicaid managed-care insurers, based on number of Medicaid covered lives as of the third quarter of 2014. Source: Weiss Ratings and Modern Healthcare reporting. Published March 23, 2015, p. 34.

News Makers
Data Points

Data Points for March 23, 2015

By Modern Healthcare  |  March 21, 2015

Data Points for the week of March 23, 2015, covered the following topics: Out-of-pocket costs for patients, deductibles and medical debt

Outliers
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