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CMS finalizes EHR meaningful-use rule, adds some flexibility August 29, 2014 The CMS late Friday finalized a rule allowing hospitals and eligible professionals more flexibility in how they meet meaningful-use requirements for the electronic health-record incentive program. The agency had first proposed the idea in a May draft rule. Friday's final rule left the May proposal...
AMA proposes Medicare pay for end-of-life counseling August 31, 2014 The American Medical Association has proposed a new Medicare billing code for physicians who provide counseling for patients who want to write end-of-life directives, the New York Times reports.
Indiana hospitals fight state's salary disclosure law September 01, 2014 Indiana county hospitals are seeking an exemption from a requirement that they make the salaries of doctors and staff public, saying doing so puts them at a disadvantage with their private counterparts.
CMS offers holiday sale on audit appeals August 30, 2014 In a pre-Labor Day weekend bid to lower its backlog of contentious payment disputes, the CMS late Friday offered to pay hospitals 68% of all medical claims appealed by the service providers after having been rejected by outside auditors.
Federal judge strikes down Texas abortion clinic restrictions August 30, 2014 Tough new Texas abortion restrictions are on hold after a federal judge found Republican-led efforts to hold abortion clinics to hospital-level operating standards unconstitutional in a ruling that spares more than a dozen clinics from imminent closure.
Obamacare's political turning point August 30, 2014 We've come to a fascinating point in the Obamacare political battle where Republican candidates aren't sure they still want to attack Democrats over the law, and Democrats still aren't sure they want to claim credit for it.
Reform Update: Facing ACA mandates, insurers diversify into technology August 28, 2014 Health insurance companies, now required to spend the lion's share of premium revenue on patient care, are looking for higher investment returns elsewhere. As a result, they're increasingly putting money into technology ventures where they expect to realize higher returns.
Outsourcing lab services can save money, but it's not that simple August 30, 2014 Hospitals increasingly are outsourcing nonclinical services such as laundry and food to save money. Now, some are turning the cost spotlight on clinical services such as labs and diagnostic imaging. But such moves require hospitals to evaluate service and quality issues.
Reform Update: Ascension deals signal new economic reality in healthcare August 27, 2014 Ascension Health, one of the nation's largest hospital owners, is expanding rapidly with a string of announced deals that its CEO says will grow its reach beyond hospitals to keep pace with rapid Obamacare-induced changes in the marketplace. But notably, Ascension is not on an acquisition spree.
Pennsylvania to expand Medicaid, but with strings attached August 29, 2014 The Medicaid agreement between the Obama administration and Gov. Tom Corbett will extend coverage to more than 500,000 Pennsylvanians, but advocates for the state's low-income residents continue to express concern over some of concessions the CMS made to get another Republican-led state to expand...
Providence agrees to lift Catholic restrictions at new clinic August 29, 2014 Responding to pressure from the American Civil Liberties Union, Providence Health & Services has agreed to modify the provisions of a partnership agreement with Washington State University to lift restrictions on healthcare services that are contrary to Catholic religious doctrine at a new teaching...
VA names new director of Massachusetts facility August 27, 2014 The Veterans Affairs Department has named Christine Croteau permanent director of Edith Nourse Rogers VA Memorial Medical Center, a 461-bed facility in Bedford, Mass., effective this week.
Another year of pay hikes for non-profit hospital CEOs August 09, 2014 Despite public ire aimed at executives at not-for-profit healthcare systems because of their multimillion-dollar pay packages, their salaries and total cash compensation continued to rise at a far faster clip than average worker salaries in 2012—the most recent year with full data available.
Expanding economy got little help from healthcare in last quarter August 28, 2014 The national economy grew more robustly than was believed a month ago, but the expansion owed little to health spending—at least according to the latest estimates of the evolving picture of U.S. economic growth and demand for healthcare as millions gained insurance.
Defense contractors storm the Obamacare contract beach August 28, 2014 HHS' Office of Inspector General released a report this week showing a chorus of companies is being paid to build and maintain HealthCare.gov. The familiar names were there, but two companies in particular raised an eyebrow.
Med staff turnover remains high as doc retirements rise August 26, 2014 The recovering economy has created challenges for medical staff retention with high turnover rates for doctors, physician assistants and nurse practitioners, according to a survey by the American Medical Group Association and the St. Louis-based Cejka Search recruitment firm.
International clampdown needed on e-cig use, says WHO August 26, 2014 The World Health Organization on Tuesday called on countries to impose tougher regulations on electronic cigarettes out of concerns over their unknown health risks, recommending bans on indoor use as well as sales to minors.
Most-costly ACA plans cheapest for specialty drug patients August 27, 2014 Individuals with chronic diseases such as multiple sclerosis or cancer will likely spend far less money if they enroll in platinum plans through the exchanges, even though those typically have the highest monthly premiums, according to a new study by researchers at HealthPocket. That's because...
Pennsylvania becomes 27th state to expand Medicaid August 28, 2014 A half-million more low-income Pennsylvanians are in line to get federally funded health insurance after HHS approved the state's plan to accept Medicaid expansion money under the landmark 2010 federal healthcare law, officials said Thursday.
New York, Missouri blood centers merge August 05, 2014 New York Blood Center in Manhattan and Community Blood Center of Greater Kansas City (Mo.) have finalized a merger agreement, creating one of the largest community-based, not-for-profit blood centers in the country.
Amazon meets with FDA, healthcare is likely the topic August 21, 2014 The road to the Food and Drug Administration's Silver Spring, Md., office this year has been well-traveled by the big technology firms. Both Google and Apple have met with FDA leadership to talk about healthcare plans, and a recent review of FDA's public calendar reveals Amazon.com has joined the...
Los Angeles goes after patient-dumping for a third time August 28, 2014 Glendale (Calif.) Adventist Medical Center has agreed to pay $700,000 to settle allegations the 462-bed hospital dropped off a homeless patient on Los Angeles' Skid Row—a downtown district infamous for its homeless population.
Anesthesiologists pioneered solutions for tubing risks August 25, 2014 The Joint Commission's Sentinel Event alert last week warning of the hazards of misconnected medical tubes harkened back to how anesthesiologists addressed similar issues in the prehistory of the patient-safety movement.
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...
Sharp HealthCare ACO drops out of Medicare's Pioneer program August 26, 2014 Another Medicare Pioneer accountable care organization has exited the program, renewing questions about its long-term sustainability. Sharp HealthCare, a five-hospital system in San Diego, said in its third-quarter financial statement that it dropped out of the Pioneer ACO program.
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