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Jan 16, 2018

The CMS plans to release a finalized version of an Obama-era rulemaking that outlines new standards that critical-access hospitals must comply with to continue billing under Medicare.

The federal agency released the proposed version of the rule in June 2016 and it was not finalized before the Trump administration started in January 2017. The CMS plans to release a final version of the rule some time over the next 17 months, according to a Jan. 12 Federal Register notice, which...

Jan 16, 2018

Since the Great Depression, Hill-Rom Holdings has ranked as one of the top suppliers of hospital beds around the country. Today, CEO John Greisch is betting there's more money to be made in blood pressure monitors and retina scanning devices than adjustable mattresses.

Under Greisch, a Baxter International executive before he landed at Hill-Rom in 2010, the company has completed seven acquisitions in the past five years to expand sales into physicians offices, urgent care clinics and...

Jan 16, 2018

Hospitals have begun to tally their losses to come from cuts in their disproportionate share hospital payments as they grow increasingly nervous Congress won't stop them.

In Colorado, at least a dozen hospitals eye a $30 million, or 15%, funding cut in their federal DSH payments.

In Missouri that number climbs to about $141 million.

Although the DSH cuts have technically gone into effect, hospitals haven't started to feel the pain yet because states haven't started...

Jan 16, 2018

For-profit healthcare companies last week were buzzing about the savings they expect to reap from the Trump administration's sweeping tax overhaul, which reduced the corporate tax rate to 21% from 35%.

Details were sparse on just how much they expect to save due to the lower tax rate—although Express Scripts CEO said the pharmacy benefit manager would see a $850 million reduction in taxes thanks to reform. The St. Louis-based PBM's 2016 net income totaled $3.4 billion.

"We...

Jan 16, 2018

National health insurer UnitedHealth Group on Tuesday announced that its full-year 2017 revenue cracked the $200 billion mark for the first time, while its profit nearly doubled over 2016.

On top of those stellar results, the nation's No. 1 insurer will reap an extra $1.7 billion in earnings in 2018 thanks to the Trump administration's recent tax overhaul that reduced the corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%.

UnitedHealth CEO David Wichmann said Tuesday during a conference call...

Jan 16, 2018


About Insuring Your Health

KHN contributing columnist Michelle Andrews writes the series Insuring Your Health, which explores health care coverage and costs.

To contact Michelle with a question or comment, click here.

When I went to the imaging center for my regular mammogram last year, the woman behind the desk asked me if I’d like to get a “3-D” mammogram instead of the standard test I’d had in the past.

“It’s more accurate,” she...

Jan 15, 2018
Rural hospital executive Randy McCleese has been named the 2017 John E Gall Jr. CIO of the year. The award is presented by the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives and Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society.

McCleese, CIO at Methodist Hospital, a two-hospital system in Western Kentucky, was praised for working to advance health IT at small and rural hospitals. Methodist includes a 192-bed hospital in Henderson, a critical access hospital in Morganfield, as...

Jan 12, 2018

TenetHealthcareCorp.planstolayoff2,000workers. That's up from 1,300 jobs that were initially going to be eliminated. RonaldRittenmeyer, who took over as CEO in October after Trevor Fetter resigned, is charged with reshaping an organization that's carrying about $15 billion in debt. Modern Healthcare reporter Tara Bannow caught up with Rittenmeyer at last week's J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference.

1)Jobcuts

It won't have any effect on the operations. These are broader-based cuts...

Jan 12, 2018

Dr. Larry Graham couldn't handle sending one more patient showing signs of substance abuse home without a clear path for follow-up treatment. He and his colleagues would try to secure appointments with addiction specialists only to come up empty or add them to a waitlist.

THE TAKEAWAY
Hospitals are teaming with community-based behavioral health providers to hasten access to treatment for patients battling addiction.

"We were reinventing the wheel every time...
Jan 12, 2018
It's a propitious time, at least for conservatives, for Alex Azar to take the top job at HHS. All elements have aligned for him to mold the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid and Medicare according to a vision they can support.

Things have changed since Azar last served at HHS under President George W. Bush. The ACA didn't exist then, and the Bush era's major overhaul to Medicare with Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D became Azar's signature accomplishments during his time at the department...

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