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Industry News

Apr 19, 2018

New data show that the number of prescriptions for opioid painkillers filled in the U.S. fell dramatically last year. They showed their biggest drop in 25 years.

The decline comes amid increasing legal restrictions and public awareness of the dangers of addiction.

A health data firm released a report Thursday showing a 9% average drop nationwide in the number of prescriptions for opioids filled by retail and mail-order pharmacies. All 50 states and the District of Columbia had...

Apr 19, 2018

Gov. Scott Walker's administration filed a request with the federal government seeking a waiver that would allow Wisconsin to offer a $200 million reinsurance program designed to lower premiums and attract more providers to the private marketplace.

Walker told reporters Wednesday that if the program is in effect premiums will go down 5% in 2019, a dramatic shift after they increased 44% this year as enrollment dropped and fewer providers offered coverage.

Walker said he was...

Apr 18, 2018
Community Health Systems announced Wednesday it has signed a definitive agreement to sell its 421-bed hospital in Ocala, Fla., to Adventist Health System Sunbelt Healthcare Corp.

Under the deal, Adventist subsidiary Florida Hospital Ocala will assume the long-term lease and operations of Munroe Regional Medical Center.

The hospital is among the Franklin, Tenn.-based for-profit hospital chain's previously announced planned divestitures. CHS last month reiterated its goal of making $1....

Apr 18, 2018

The provider sector once again beat out its healthcare rivals when it came to global private equity buyouts last year, accounting for 45% of total deals or nearly $19 billion, according to a new report from Bain & Co.

Overall, Bain's report calls 2017 a "banner year" for healthcare private equity dealmaking, despite the political and economic uncertainty around the globe. The disclosed value of private equity deals in healthcare across the world reached $42.6 billion last year,...

Apr 18, 2018

The Joint Commission is advising healthcare facilities on how to address violence—physical and verbal—against staffers.

The nation's largest accrediting body this week released an alert that warns healthcare organizations to take seven steps to address workplace violence. They say hospitals need to more clearly define what constitutes violence, better follow up with and support victims, and develop and assess prevention initiatives. The moves are considered recommendations but...

Apr 18, 2018

The Trump administration's inconsistency on risk corridor payments is sowing more confusion in the individual insurance market, two leading Senate Democrats told HHS Secretary Alex Azar in a letter on Wednesday.

Sens. Ron Wyden of Oregon and Patty Murray of Washington, the ranking Democrats of the Senate Finance and health committees, are pushing Azar to disclose the accounting practices that the administration used to justify its apparent about-face earlier this year on making risk...

Apr 18, 2018

Ford is getting into the non-emergency medical transportation business as it moves toward making money off its experimental ventures in new mobility.

The automaker says its GoRide service is using 15 specially equipped vans to transport patients to more than 200 healthcare facilities in the Beaumont Health Network in the Detroit area.

Ford joins Uber and Lyft in getting into medical transportation. But GoRide offers bedside-to-bedside service from houses and nursing homes to...

Apr 18, 2018

The Rauner administration has cut off Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Illinois from enrolling patients in the state's revamped Medicaid managed care program, a blow to the dominant insurer.

The Illinois Department of Healthcare & Family Services, which oversees Medicaid, stopped enrollment to Blue Cross on April 11 and imposed a $150,000 fine, according to recent letters between HFS and Blue Cross. HFS levied the penalties for two reasons: Blue Cross' network of doctors and...

Apr 18, 2018

Able-bodied adults would have to complete 29 hours of work, job training or education per week to qualify for Medicaid under a bill advancing in Michigan.

A Republican-controlled Senate committee approved the legislation on party lines Wednesday, months after the Trump administration announced it would permit such work requirements under a waiver process. If the bill is enacted, it could affect up to 1 million nonelderly, nondisabled Michigan adults enrolled in Medicaid, government...

Apr 18, 2018

Humana announced Wednesday it has contracted with five physician practices across the U.S. on a new bundled payment model for maternity care.

Humana's Maternity Episode-Based Model, which began in January, is a retrospective shared savings program. Physicians enrolled in the model will receive savings based on their costs and quality performance for Humana members with low-to-...