The CMS has extended the deadline for hospitals, physicians and other eligible professionals to file applications for so-called hardship exemptions from the meaningful use requirements of the electronic health record incentive payment program. The new deadline for hospitals, critical-access hospitals, physicians and other eligible professionals is July 1. The previous deadlines were March 15 for physicians and other eligible professionals and April 1 for hospitals and critical-access hospitals. The CMS said the extension is being granted “so providers have sufficient time to submit their applications to avoid adjustments to their Medicare payments in 2017.”Activist shareholders of TeamHealth, stating the company has made “some missteps in critical areas, including strategy and governance,” are asking for three seats on its board of directors. The seats would go to Nancy Schlichting, the outgoing CEO of Henry Ford Health System in Detroit; a partner at hedge fund firm JANA; and a former chairman of CVS Caremark. In a regulatory filing on
Feb. 16, JANA said that TeamHealth’s mismanagement had led to the physician staffing firm’s stock being undervalued. JANA reported that it spent $231 million to acquire 5.9 million shares of TeamHealth, or 8% of its common shares. Schlichting bought 12,125 shares, while Nashville businessman and former CVS Chairman Edwin Crawford purchased 82,251 shares.Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy has ordered the state’s health department to hold off on approving any major hospital mergers and acquisitions until next year, a move that could delay at least one big deal. The order directed the Public Health Department to halt any final decisions on certificate-of-need applications until Jan. 15, 2017. The order applies to acquisitions of certain not-for-profit hospitals, or deals that would result in a hospital system’s operating revenue exceeding 20% of the state’s total hospital system operating revenue. According to the order, if the state must make a decision on such applications before 2017, it should find against them.