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Mar 16, 2018

When offered a raise, hundreds of physicians in Quebec just said no. Or at least they've signed a petition protesting the pay hikes that were recently negotiated between their federations and the provincial government. Give the money to nurses and other healthcare workers, they said.

By deadline, nearly 900 general practitioners, specialists, residents and medical students had signed the online petition begun Feb. 25 by Médecins Québécois Pour le Régime Public, a physician healthcare...

Mar 16, 2018

Psychologist Andrew Morral is a senior behavioral scientist at the RAND Corp. He leads RAND's initiative to understand the effects of U.S. public policies on guns, which are involved in 33,000 deaths—nearly two-thirds of them suicides—and 79,000 injuries each year. RAND recently released a comprehensive review of research on the effects of 13 broad classes of policies. Modern Healthcare senior reporter Harris Meyer spoke with Morral about the impact of various policies in reducing gun...

Mar 16, 2018

It's the end of bad debt as we know it.

A new accounting standard dramatically narrows what hospitals can report as bad debt, or payments they anticipated but never received. The majority of what used to qualify as bad debt won't be reported as such under new U.S. generally accepted accounting principles, which most health systems started using Jan. 1.

That could throw a wrench into how hospitals report their community benefits.

Although the Internal Revenue Service...

Mar 16, 2018
Amazon has hired former U.S. FDA chief health informatics officer Dr. Taha Kass-Hout. He will work on healthcare business development for the tech and commerce giant's Grand Challenge team, also known as 1492.

Most recently, after leaving the FDA, Kass-Hout was senior vice president and chief digital health and intelligence officer for Trinity Health. Before his time at the FDA, he was director of health informatics solutions and operations for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention...

Mar 16, 2018
The CMS announced Friday that it will cover diagnostic laboratory tests using gene sequencing technology for Medicare cancer patients.

The CMS said the tests — called next generation sequencing — can help patients and their oncologists make better treatment decisions as well as help more patients enroll in clinical trials. Patients with recurrent, metastatic, relapsed, refractory or stages III or IV cancers will be eligible to get the tests covered under Medicare, according to the agency...

Mar 16, 2018

The healthcare industry is applauding a new group of U.S. House of Representatives lawmakers that plans to push federal policies on value-based care models and accompanying technologies — another step in the federal government's shift away from fee-for-service — but it is unclear what role the lawmakers will immediately play.

The Health Care Innovation Caucus, formed by Reps. Mike...

Mar 16, 2018

Idaho Republican officials are continuing to press their case with the CMS to approve their unprecedented effort to let insurers sell health plans that do not comply with Affordable Care Act coverage rules.

Lt. Gov. Brad Little, state Insurance Department director Dean Cameron and Sen. Jim Risch (R-Idaho) met CMS Administrator Seema Verma Wednesday to persuade her to reconsider her March 8 letter rejecting their "state-based plan" model. They say they don't regard the letter as a...

Mar 16, 2018
HHS chief information security officer Chris Wlaschin has resigned and will leave the post at the end of March. He had held the position since January 2017.

Wlaschin was involved in the late-2017 removal of two HHS officials, Leo Scanlon and Maggie Amato, who led the government's Healthcare Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center, a repository of cybersecurity information. Notably, the center helped share information during the WannaCry ransomware attack last May.


Mar 16, 2018

Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.), the oldest sitting member of Congress and a healthcare giant who helped steer the Affordable Care Act through passage, has died at 88.

According to her chief of staff, Slaughter fell last week at her Washington, D.C., home and had been in treatment and monitoring for a concussion at George Washington University Hospital.

Slaughter, the first woman to chair the House Committee on Rules and co-chair of the Pro-Choice Caucus, was a key figure in...

Mar 16, 2018

A former vice president of Minneapolis-based Allina Health on Thursday pleaded guilty to embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars from the system.

David Matthew Johnson, Allina's former vice president of talent and human resource services, is accused of submitting fraudulent mileage expenses to Allina for reimbursement.

Since 2013, Johnson admitted to taking more than $417,000, according to local reports. An internal investigation, however, found he embezzled closer to $775,...