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Feb 04, 2019

HHS Secretary Alex Azar said hospitals can do a lot more to help consumers understand the chargemaster list prices they are required to post online, shrugging off providers' complaint that the information doesn't shed light on healthcare costs.

Azar, speaking at the National Health Policy Conference in Washington Monday, said the policy that began Jan. 1 requiring hospitals to post list prices for services is the first step in a greater price transparency effort. But hospitals and...

Feb 04, 2019

Providence St. Joseph Health has launched a for-profit population health management company the health system that will draw on its experience as a provider and health plan.

The Renton, Wash.-based not-for-profit health system says its new company, Ayin Health Solutions, will equip payers, providers, employers and government entities will the skills to lower costs, improve care and keep up with healthcare's transition to population health.

"We thought as part of our growth...

Feb 01, 2019

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Flu activity generally occurs from October through May, with activity peaking most often in February. Here's how the 2018-19 season is shaping up.

Feb 01, 2019
Ascension, the nation's largest not-for-profit Catholic system recently split the title of president and CEO and unified its two-pronged structure. That will result in the departure of three top executives including Patricia Maryland, who has been at Ascension for 15 years, most recently in the role of CEO of the healthcare division. She'll leave her post at the end of June. Joe Impicciche will serve in the new role of Ascension president and chief operating officer, leaving Anthony Tersigni...
Feb 01, 2019
Feb. 5: President Donald Trump is scheduled to deliver his second State of the Union Address. The speech comes as congressional and administration negotiators try to hammer out a budget deal before Feb. 15 and avoid another shutdown and bitter standoff between Trump and Democratic leaders. While border security and the economy are sure to be at the forefront of his remarks, Trump continues to rail against the high cost of healthcare, especially drug prices. And last month, he suggested that...
Feb 01, 2019

Experienced accountable care organizations are leaning toward less risky contracts in the recently revamped Medicare Shared Savings Program given the short deadline to apply, but have no plans to exit the program.

About one-third of Medicare ACOs have until Feb. 19 to decide if they want to renew their contracts in light of changes made to the program. And although leaders of current ACOs say they won't be leaving, the short deadline is pushing them to select contracts with less...

Feb 01, 2019
Sen. Chuck Grassley, the senior Iowa Republican and new chair of the Senate Finance Committee, last week issued a sharp warning to the pharmaceutical industry.

“There's too much secrecy in this business,” he told reporters as he mulled prospects for legislative reforms just after the close of his panel's first hearing in a series focusing on drug pricing.

This is now a common sentiment in Washington that applies to more than drugmakers, touching insurers and hospitals as well. Even...

Feb 01, 2019

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Few consumers have heard of the secret, business-to-business payments that the Trump administration wants to ban in an attempt to control drug costs.

But the administration’s plan for drug rebates, announced Thursday, would end the pharmaceutical business as usual, shift billions in revenue and cause far-reaching, unforeseen change, say health policy authorities.

In...

Feb 01, 2019

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David Lerman, a Berkeley, Calif., lawyer, changed health plans this year only to learn that his new insurer has no contract with the dominant medical provider in his community.

Anthem Blue Cross of California, one of the state’s largest health insurers, is battling with Sutter Health over how much it should pay to care for tens of thousands of its enrollees in Northern California...

Feb 01, 2019
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! I’m here to tell you that if you aren’t following the Subsys opioid trial you are missing out—salacious and horrifying details galore are emerging, including stories about executives giving doctors lap dances. (Clickbait-y as it may...

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