- Hiring across healthcare in January continued the uptick seen at the end of last year, adding 38,300 jobs across ambulatory care, hospitals and skilled nursing. A hiring increase of 0.3% last month brought the sector's total employment to 14.9 million, preliminary figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show. For the year that ended in January, healthcare employers added 342,100 workers, an increase of 2.3%. Economists and policymakers are watching the numbers closely as an indicator of anticipated demand and a coming surge in the rate of healthcare spending growth. Hospitals added 9,600 jobs in January after strong hiring in November and December.
- Tuomey Healthcare System, facing legal damages believed to be the largest of their kind levied against a community hospital, apparently has found a white knight. The Sumter, S.C.-based system is entering negotiations to partner with South Carolina's Palmetto Health. The not-for-profit Tuomey system is anchored by Tuomey Regional Medical Center, which has 301 licensed beds. It's the only hospital in Sumter, a city of about 40,000. Palmetto Health has 1,138 licensed beds and is based in Columbia, about 45 miles from Sumter. A federal judge two years ago ordered Tuomey to pay the government $237 million, a sum that exceeds its annual revenue. Tuomey's board and management are continuing to pursue a settlement with the government. They've also appealed the penalty to the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
- The American Medical Association, a sharp critic of federal efforts to promote electronic health records, is taking its own path to stimulate health information technology improvements, partnering with an incubator “to drive innovation,” according to an AMA statement. The AMA will operate what it describes as an “interaction studio” with Matter, a Chicago-based incubator. Matter's founders have been signing up entrepreneurs and plan to open this year. Sixty-five companies are enrolled thus far.
Healthcare industry sees uptick in hiring, and other news
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