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Chinese hackers hit Community Health Systems; others vulnerable
August 18, 2014
An outside group of hackers targeted Community Health Systems' computer network and stole nonmedical patient data on 4.5 million individuals, the company disclosed in a regulatory filing.

Devicemaker sales reps being replaced in the OR
August 16, 2014
To cut the price of orthopedic implants and curb the influence of manufacturers, some hospitals are training their own employees to provide technical assistance to operating room staff, displacing company sales representatives who have offered this service to surgeons for decades.

Hospitals in Washington state can't board psych patients in EDs, but where will they go?
August 18, 2014
Starting next week, hospitals in Washington state will be prohibited from boarding psychiatric patients in emergency departments while they wait for inpatient beds to open up.

Genesis, Skilled Healthcare deal to create $5.5B post-acute giant
August 18, 2014
Privately held Genesis Healthcare and publicly traded Skilled Healthcare Group intend to merge, creating a post-acute-care behemoth with approximately $5.5 billion in pro forma revenue.

Reform Update: Medical-home adoption growing; evidence of effectiveness still elusive
August 18, 2014
Primary care is a foundation of healthcare reform efforts, and patient-centered medical homes are one of the delivery system innovations encouraged by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. But recent studies present a mixed picture of the effectiveness of medical homes in improving...

Cleveland Clinic sees lower margin and volume, higher expenses
August 18, 2014
The Cleveland Clinic Health System reported its operating margin declined in the second quarter of this year as it faced lower patient volume and higher expenses, particularly from rising pharmaceutical, salary and benefit costs.

Modern Healthcare's 2014 Best Places to Work in Healthcare (Alphabetical List)
August 15, 2014
No matter what the industry, it's an organization's staff that makes all the difference in customer care. That's exceptionally true in healthcare, since the bottom line is patient safety and quality of services delivered. And top talent always gravitates toward the best places to work. Modern...

New medical technology poses safety problems if users not trained properly
August 16, 2014
Experts say some types of adverse events and near-misses commonly happen when new technology is introduced without adequate analysis of how staff will interact with new devices.

Dignity Health teams with SAS for analytics to address Medicare penalties
August 19, 2014
Dignity Health is jumping into predictive analytics with a new tech partner, analytics firm SAS. Initially, Dignity will be targeting what many other healthcare organizations have been aiming at in a recent wave of projects involving predictive analytics, namely to reduce readmissions subject to...

CMS to withhold one-third of provider data as Open Payments website problems mount
August 18, 2014
The CMS has confirmed that it will withhold until next June about one-third of submitted records on drug and device industry payments to physicians and teaching hospitals due to suspected inaccuracies with data included on its Open Payments website.

Cleveland Clinic takes cardiac network to New York
August 19, 2014
The Cleveland Clinic said Tuesday that it has chosen North Shore-LIJ Health System in Great Neck, N.Y., as its exclusive partner in New York for heart-care referrals.

U.S. won't reveal records on security
August 19, 2014
After promising not to withhold government information over "speculative or abstract fears," the Obama administration has concluded it will not publicly disclose federal records that could shed light on the security of the government's healthcare website because doing so could "potentially" allow...

AHA doled out $3.3 million in 2013 to advocate Medicaid expansion
August 18, 2014
The American Hospital Association's expenditures increased by 7% in 2013, to $117 million, spurred in part by efforts to convince states to expand Medicaid, according to the organization's most recent tax return.

Reform Update: Arkansas may make Medicaid enrollees fund HSAs
August 19, 2014
Arkansas, the first state to establish the conservative private-plan model for expanding Medicaid under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, now is looking to join several other conservative-leaning states in requiring low-income beneficiaries to make monthly contributions to their...

Number of providers facing Stage 2 EHR hurdle puts billions at stake
August 15, 2014
Billions of dollars in federal electronic health-record incentive payments appear to be in jeopardy as hospitals, physicians and other eligible professionals who got an early start on the payment program face a more stringent set of criteria this year, according to a Modern Healthcare analysis of...

Two more hospitals join Rochester Regional Health; CEO search continues
August 19, 2014
United Memorial Medical Center, Batavia, N.Y., and Clifton Springs (N.Y.) Hospital & Clinic will join newly formed Rochester (N.Y.) Regional Health System by the end of this year, according to a formal binding agreement unanimously approved by each organization's board last month.

Without Medicaid expansion, some hospitals suffer
August 16, 2014
Hospitals in Medicaid expansion states are seeing deep reductions in their uninsured volume and the amount of uncompensated care they deliver. That's not happening in nonexpansion states.

Molina Healthcare names new medical chief
August 19, 2014
Managed-care insurer Molina Healthcare has named Dr. Keith Wilson chief medical officer. He has been with Long Beach, Calif.-based Molina since March 2013, serving as VP of clinical services for Molina's medical clinics and American Family Care, a subsidiary of the company.

Palmetto Health feels squeeze from high-deductible plans
August 18, 2014
Revenue at Palmetto Health, a four-hospital system based in Columbia, S.C., increased a modest 1.9% in the first nine months of its fiscal 2014, which ended June 30. The nationwide shift toward high-deductible health plans was a factor in lower commercially insured volumes and revenue, officials...

Uptick seen in purchase of surgical lights; average prices spiked 30% in May
August 19, 2014
The average prices paid for surgical lights briefly jumped by 30% in May as more hospitals purchased highly configured and expensive systems, according to the Modern Healthcare/ECRI Institute Technology Price Index. But that increase is not expected to last.

CMS considers covering HIV screening for all Medicare beneficiaries
August 19, 2014
The CMS has accepted a request from HIV/AIDS advocates to consider paying for HIV screening of all Medicare beneficiaries without regard to perceived risk behavior rather than only for pregnant women and those at high risk for the virus.

VA bill signed into law, now doc-recruitment challenge looms
August 07, 2014
President Barack Obama has signed a bill that not only gives the Veterans Affairs Department billions more to contract out care for vets but also roughly $5 billion to hire more medical personnel. However, experts caution that the VA will need to do a superior marketing job to lure doctors away...

Despite noted revenue growth, Medtronic sees drop in profits
August 19, 2014
Medical devicemaker Medtronic reported a drop in profits even as the company enjoyed what CEO Omar Ishrak described as its “highest revenue growth performance in five years.” The Minneapolis-based company disclosed no new information about its pending deal to acquire Irish medical...

Audit: Obamacare medical-device tax not meeting revenue target
August 19, 2014
An Obamacare tax on medical devices is falling short of its revenue target because thousands of companies aren't paying it, according to a government audit released Tuesday.

Summa CEO Strauss to retire
August 19, 2014
Summa Health System CEO Tom Strauss will retire by the end of this year, the Akron, Ohio-based system announced Tuesday. Strauss, 61, has led Summa for 15 years. Summa's board is creating a CEO search committee to find Strauss' replacement.

Mednax buys revenue-cycle company MedData
August 18, 2014
Physician-outsourcing firm Mednax signed a definitive deal Monday to acquire MedData, a company that provides revenue-cycle services to physician groups and hospitals.

ECRI Institute founder Dr. Joel Nobel dies at 79
August 19, 2014
Dr. Joel Nobel, who founded the not-for-profit ECRI Institute in 1968 to address safety, quality and costs issues in the field of healthcare, died last week at age 79, the organization said Tuesday.

SCL Health's margin slips, but Medicaid expansion fuels optimism
August 19, 2014
SCL Health's operating margin fell slightly in the first half of its fiscal year, but the Denver-based system believes new healthcare reform efforts such as Medicaid expansion will help it in the long run.

Carondelet to pay $35 million in rehab overbilling case
August 19, 2014
Carondelet Health Network, a Tucson, Ariz.-based division of Ascension Health, has agreed to pay $35 million to settle allegations that two of its hospitals inappropriately billed Medicare and other federal health programs for inpatient rehabilitation care at two of its hospitals.

Baptist Health South Florida's surplus soars
August 16, 2014
Baptist Health South Florida's bottom line grew considerably in the first nine months of its fiscal year, even though Baptist Health Medical Group, which includes more than 100 system physicians, lost more than $39 million.

Reform Update: Political season injects variables into healthcare agenda
August 15, 2014
The dynamics of healthcare reform may wildly change in the weeks ahead. The congressional calendar calls for a short legislative session followed by nonstop campaigning, a November election followed by a lame-duck session, and then finally the seating of a new Congress that could feature a shift in...

Premera Blue Cross adds Seattle Children's to settle dispute
August 18, 2014
Premera Blue Cross will add Seattle Children's hospital to its provider network for plans sold on Washington state's insurance exchange, ending a long-running dispute over network adequacy.

'Copper plans' could cut subsidies, lower deficit, but would consumers bite?
August 19, 2014
Allowing cheaper health plans designed to cover just half of medical costs to be sold on the exchanges would result in 350,000 additional individuals enrolling in coverage in the next decade, according to an analysis by Avalere Health.

Reform Update: Flood of new patients worries mental health workers
August 12, 2014
Many behavioral healthcare advocates and providers across the country are reporting significantly increased demand for their services because of the Medicaid expansion in some states. But they are worried about whether underfunded and understaffed mental health centers will be able to adequately...

Criticism of Oregon's med-mal mediation law off base, lawmaker says
August 15, 2014
An Oregon law to encourage settlement of medical malpractice claims through disclosure, apology and compensation has taken heat from HHS and the consumer advocacy group Public Citizen because it exempts some claims from being reported to the National Practitioner Data Bank. But the bill's sponsor...

Reform Update: Patients' cost sensitivity worries some doctors
August 13, 2014
Doctors who are more accustomed to fielding patient questions about the benefits of procedures, tests, drugs and specialist referrals say patients increasingly are demanding answers to two additional questions: How much will it cost and do I really need it?

Patients should have access to network info before buying health plans: analyst
August 13, 2014
Regulators should back off health plans that give patients a limited choice of hospital and physician options or risk stifling innovation and raising prices, a health policy expert argues in the New England Journal of Medicine.

A great hacker will find HIT system flaws, exploit them
August 19, 2014
When you think about how an “advanced persistent threat,” i.e., a hacker, works, think of a professional quarterback like the Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rogers.

OSHA fines New York hospital over workplace violence
August 12, 2014
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has fined Brookdale University Hospital and Medical Center, a 790-bed hospital in New York, $78,000 because of dozens of incidents in which patients and visitors assaulted employees. One of the most egregious events left a nurse with severe brain...

Predictive analytics do more than dodge readmission penalties
August 08, 2014
Predictive analytics systems predate the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010. But there's always been a shortage of cash to incentivize the data exchange needed to allow such systems to grow and increase their capabilities in healthcare.

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