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Industry News

May 25, 2018
It should be a fairly quiet week in Washington, D.C., on the healthcare front as everyone recovers from a long weekend of parades, pool openings and backyard barbecues. But that doesn't mean nothing is happening.

May 30: Our requisite opioid item—the House Border and Maritime Security Subcommittee holds a field hearing in Phoenix titled "An unsecure border and the opioid crisis: The urgent need for action to save lives." The hearing will look at law enforcement and non-law enforcement "...

May 25, 2018
The political grandstanding is over. Now the real work begins in reshaping how private hospitals and physicians work in the veterans' healthcare system.

Congress sent the long-stalled VA Choice reforms bill to President Donald Trump, who as of deadline is slated to sign it on D-Day, June 6, according to an administration staffer. The legislation—dubbed the VA Mission Act—puts the onus on the Veterans Affairs Department to address problems that have plagued not just the Choice program but...

May 25, 2018

Costs were "anywhere from 10% to 20% higher than we should've been at price point," said Timothy Miller, vice president of procurement and supply chain at HonorHealth. He added that eight of the vendors accounted for 80% of total implant costs, which are about $20 million.

Over several months, HonorHealth leaders worked with surgeons and vendors to negotiate better prices on implants. That effort was successful, to the tune of $1.5 million in annual savings.

HonorHealth is...

May 25, 2018

Clinicians should do more to identify premature infants that are at low risk of developing sepsis to prevent unnecessary antibiotic exposure, which has been associated with increased risks of death, according to a new study.

One in 90 very-low-birth-weight infants develop sepsis, and it can kill up to 50% of the babies born between 22 and 24 weeks that develop the infection. But an analysis published Friday in JAMA Network Open found many infants receive antibiotics without evidence...

May 25, 2018
The Friday Breeze

Newsletter editor Brianna Labuskes, who reads everything on health care to compile our daily Morning Briefing, offers the best and most provocative stories for the weekend.

Happy Friday! Ending a week in which I’ve been wondering if we all have been dropped into the first act of a supervillain movie since the news that the mysterious brain-injury-caused-by-sound has seemingly spread from Cuba into China.


May 25, 2018

A group of doctors on Thursday said they have the path forward to help the CMS launch a direct provider contracting (DPC) model.

America's Physician Groups, an association of medical groups, submitted a so-called "third option" proposal, where a provider network would receive Medicare funds up front to manage their patients' care.

May 25, 2018

After escalating pressure from Elliott Management for Athenahealth to accept its offer to purchase the company, the electronic health record vendor said its board of directors is still deliberating over the proposal.

Not all Athenahealth shareholders are in favor of the deal with the hedge fund, according to Athenahealth, despite Elliott Management's claims in a letter sent Thursday that includes shareholders' and analysts' reactions in support of the offer.

Elliott Management...

May 25, 2018

Of all U.S. electronic health record vendors, Epic had the biggest net growth in U.S. acute care hospital clients in 2017 and the largest share of the U.S. acute care hospital market, according to KLAS.

The Verona, Wis.-based vendor served just over a quarter of the market in 2017, followed closely by Cerner.

Cerner saw the most new contracts of any vendor, but the vendor also lost 25 hospitals—15 of which were due to health systems moving to a single EHR across their...

May 25, 2018

Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Illinois plans to cut Medicaid reimbursement rates by 35% for medical suppliers—apparently an effort to win back business after new enrollees were blocked from the state's revamped Medicaid managed care program.

Another private insurer, IlliniCare, signaled last fall that reimbursements could be slashed by up to 50%.

The proposed cuts, starting Jan. 1, 2019, cover durable medical equipment—wheelchairs, ventilators and oxygen tanks, for example...

May 24, 2018
Quest Diagnostics will be in network for all UnitedHealth Group members beginning Jan. 1, 2019, the organizations announced late Thursday via a new strategic partnership.

The partnership will allow the organizations to expand value-based programs, improve their digital platforms and price transparency efforts, and use real-time data sharing to reduce gaps in care, executives said.

Quest has around a 15% market share of the $50 billion diagnostic market, said Steve Rusckowski,...