Archive | National News

CHI and Dignity Health in Final Stages of Merger Talks

Englewood-based Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI) and San Francisco-based Dignity Health are in the final stages of merger negotiations to combine the two nonprofit health care systems.  A letter-of-intent was signed and due-diligence began in October of last year.   Each hospital system has ties to the Roman Catholic church and CHI additionally partners with the Adventist […]

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CMS Scores AHCA

The Chief Actuary from the Department of Human Services, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, has issued his findings on the estimated financial effect of the “American Health Care Act of 2017″.  His memorandum is linked below. In his executive summary, three key findings include: 1.  ” In 2018, the number of uninsured is estimated […]

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MACRA Rule Change for Smaller Medical Practices

On Tuesday, June 20, CMS issued their much anticipated proposed rule  change updating the “Quality Payment Program” for 2018.  For the time being, the new proposal exempts  small provider with $90,000 or less in Medicare Part B charges or 200 or fewer Medicare patients from participation in MACRA.  The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act […]

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Cerner Awarded Another Federal EHR Contract

Without a bidding process, the Department of Veterans Affairs has awarded a contract to Kansas City-based Cerner Corp. to develop the department’s next generation electronic health records system.  Cerner currently holds a 10-year, $4.3 billion Department of Defence EHR contract, MHS Genesis. The U.S. Department of Veterans Services will continue to use Epic Systems for […]

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Four Suburban SCL Hospitals Sold to Arizona-based Trust

Four community hospitals operated by SCL Health and joint venture partner Emerus have been sold to Scottsdale-based Healthcare Trust of America.  In November 2013, SCL Health  announced plans to partner with Woodlands, Texas-based Emerus, the nation’s first and largest operator of micro-hospitals, to build and operate four free-standing, inpatient hospitals around the metro-area.  Over the […]

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Supreme Court Rules on Pension Requirements for Faith-based Hospitals

With an 8-0 vote, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that faith-based hospitals can claim exemption from federal pension requirements.  Three different lawsuits challenging the validity of including hospitals with a religious-affiliation in the Employee Retirement Income Security Act’s (ERISA) “church plan” exemption were the impetus for the Supreme Court decision. As a result of the […]

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New Medicare Cards Without Social Security Numbers

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid are on track to replace Medicare cards for all eligible Medicare beneficiaries with a card that does not contain a social security number.  A series of eleven random numbers will replace the holder’s social security number by the deadline set by Congress of April 2019.  The move is intended […]

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Optum & Merck Ink “Pay-for-Performance” Collaboration

UnitedHealth Group’s Optum and pharmaceutical giant, Merck, will collaborate to develop and test reimbursement models that align prescription drug payments to patient health outcomes. Optum’s claims and clinical data will be used to evaluate the effectiveness of different drugs within Merck’s product line with patient outcomes in a variety of patient populations.   It is hoped […]

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CBO Out with Numbers on AHCA

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and the staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) estimate that enacting the American Health Care Act would reduce federal deficits by $119 billion over the coming decade and increase the number of people who are uninsured by 23 million in 2026 compared with leaving in tact the Affordable […]

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Birth Control Mandate Under Review

The Trump Administration has drafted a rule that would roll back the Affordable Care Act requirement that all employer sponsored health insurance include birth control coverage as a benefit.  Religious employers objected to the requirement on faith grounds.  On May 4, President Trump issued an executive order instructing three cabinet departments to review the mandatory […]

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