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Industry News

Feb 01, 2019
The healthcare sector was undeterred by the government shutdown that went on for most of January, making 41,600 new hires last month and nearly 20,000 more new hires as compared to January 2018.

Healthcare was the third biggest job maker in January, trailing behind leisure and hospitality and construction, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' January jobs report released Friday. Although hiring in healthcare was strong, it dropped by 15% compared to the hires made in December....

Feb 01, 2019
Catholic Health Initiatives and Dignity Health sealed the deal Friday on their prolonged three-year courtship, according to the new system's website.

The Chicago-based not-for-profit system—now known as CommonSpirit Health—has 142 hospitals, 150,000 employees, nearly $30 billion in revenue and more than 700 care sites across 21 states, including 30 hospitals in California. Among not-for-profits, it rivals Ascension in total hospitals, trailing by just nine facilities. CommonSpirit will be...

Feb 01, 2019

A measles outbreak near Portland, Oregon, has revived a bitter debate over so-called "philosophical" exemptions to childhood vaccinations as public health officials across the Pacific Northwest scramble to limit the fallout.

At least 43 people in Washington and Oregon have fallen ill in recent weeks with the extraordinarily contagious virus, which was eradicated in the U.S. in 2000 as a result of immunization, but arrives periodically with overseas travelers. More than a dozen more...

Feb 01, 2019

Dental insurance giant Delta Dental of California is facing mounting criticism for paying its CEO exorbitantly, flying board members and their companions to Barbados for a meeting, and spending a small fraction of its revenue on charitable work — all while receiving significant state and federal tax breaks because of its nonprofit status.

Now, the company — which has 36.5 million enrollees in 15 states and the District of Columbia — is hoping to pay $155 million to...

Jan 31, 2019

McKesson Corp. expects to shell out more than $100 million in legal costs stemming from opioid lawsuits this year, its executives said on their third quarter earnings call Thursday.

The wholesale drug distributor, one of the country's largest, is one of several distributors facing lawsuits from a number of municipalities that argue it overlooked high volumes of prescriptions that should have been flagged as suspicious.

Brian Tyler, the company's chief operating officer and...

Jan 31, 2019

(From left) Tom Miller, Kimberly Leonard, Anna Edney, Joanne Kenen and Julie Rovner(Lynne Shallcross/KHN)

The 2020 presidential campaign has begun and health is a big part of it, with Democratic candidates pledging their support for “Medicare-for-all” and many of its variations.

Meanwhile, Republicans and Democrats are both...

Jan 31, 2019

More than half of hospital and health system executives polled would not have a chief executive lined up if their CEO suddenly left, according to a new survey.

Fifty-four percent of 164 executives surveyed said they don't have a ready successor and 43% operate without an effective internal succession plan, according to a new survey from executive search firm Korn Ferry. Nearly a...

Jan 31, 2019

(Updated at 6 p.m. ET)

HHS issued a long-awaited proposed rule on Thursday that excludes the rebates drugmakers pay to pharmacy benefit managers on Medicare Part D plans from protections from anti-kickback laws.

The proposed rule also applies to safe harbor protections for Medicare managed-care organizations.

The agency instead will propose new safe harbor protections to protect certain PBM service fees and another protection for certain price reductions made at the...

Jan 31, 2019

Consumers shopping for insurance online last fall — using search terms such as “Obamacare plans,” “ACA enroll” and “cheap health insurance” — were most often directed to websites that promote individual health plans that didn’t meet consumer protections of the Affordable Care Act, according to a new study.

They also failed to get adequate information about those plans’ limitations, according to the analysis by researchers at Georgetown University’s Center on Health...

Jan 30, 2019

(Updated at 6:20 p.m. ET)

The CMS on Thursday proposed increasing the baseline Medicare Advantage payment rates for 2020 by 1.59%, well below the 3.4% rate hike plans received in 2019.

The agency also outlined changes to the program to address the opioid crisis, including encouraging Medicare Advantage plans to offer targeted benefits and cost-sharing reductions to patients with chronic pain or undergoing addiction treatment.

The rate announcement is the second part...