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Jul 11, 2018
A few years ago, the Illinois Health Facilities & Services Review Board wrestled over proposals for major new hospitals. More recently, board members have had to become expert on such matters as diabetes and renal care.

While new hospital construction has slowed, there has been a surge in the development of dialysis centers. The June 5 meeting of the board had nine proposals for dialysis centers.

"Our applications track where the need for healthcare is currently," says Courtney...

Jul 11, 2018

Now that healthcare consumerism is replacing traditional retail storefronts with dental and urgent-care clinics, the sector has drawn ravenous interest from private equity. But a new analysis finds some would-be buyers are getting discouraged by increasingly high prices.

One in 4 respondents to West Monroe Partners' recent survey on 100 private equity groups and strategic healthcare buyers said their top challenge in completing healthcare mergers and acquisitions is a shortage of...

Jul 11, 2018
Grand Rapids-based Spectrum Health, one of Michigan's largest not-for-profit health systems, and Lakeland Health, a three-hospital system based in St. Joseph, have signed a letter of intent and expect to merge by Oct. 1, officials said Wednesday.

"We have a long-standing relationship with Lakeland Health and admire their excellent clinical care, strong leadership team and commitment to the community," Richard Breon, Spectrum's CEO, said in a statement.

"Our board has spent the past...

Jul 11, 2018

The House HHS appropriations committee on Wednesday passed amendments to its $177 billion health funding bill to soften and chip away at the Trump administration's rescinded family separation policy and the continued fallout.

The committee approved an amendment introduced by health subcommittee chair Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) to keep families awaiting adjudication in the courts together under Department of Homeland Security jurisdiction.

A similar proposal by Sen. Thom Tillis (R...

Jul 11, 2018

Bright Health, the startup plan that partners with hospital systems to offer narrow network options on the exchanges, will expand into nine new markets including New York City.

The company announced the expansion on Wednesday, only a few weeks after the tech-focused startup Oscar Health disclosed its plan to enter six new markets. Both moves show an eagerness from the young venture capital-backed companies to nab their share of the Obamacare exchange markets. In the past month, other...

Jul 11, 2018
President Donald Trump says pharmaceutical company Pfizer is "rolling back price hikes, so American patients don't pay more."

Trump is tweeting that he and HHS Secretary Alex Azar discussed the issue Tuesday with Pfizer CEO Ian Read.

Pfizer has issued a statement saying Read has agreed to "defer the company's price increases that were effective on July 1 to give the president an opportunity to work on his blueprint to strengthen the healthcare system."

Pfizer says it will "...

Jul 11, 2018

When Rob Lazerow, a managing director at the Advisory Board Co., recently met with the executive team of a large health system, he noticed a construction project had been downsized from the prior year.

The organization decided to replace its aging facilities with smaller structures, which would potentially allow it to fine-tune its staffing model and reduce its inventory of excess supplies.

This development reinforces...

Jul 10, 2018

The CMS has released an annual funding notice for navigators for the federal exchange. Applicants will compete for just $10 million in funding, down from $36 million last year. They will also be expected to promote not just qualified health plans but association and short term plans as well.

A minimum of $100,000 will be awarded in each of the 34 states that use to enroll people into coverage. Contracts will go to chambers of commerce, small businesses, trade...

Jul 10, 2018

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Senate Democrats, who are divided on abortion policy, are instead turning to health care as a rallying cry for opposition to President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee.

Specifically, they are sounding the alarm that confirming conservative District Court Judge Brett Kavanaugh could jeopardize one of the Affordable Care Act’s most popular provisions — its protections for...

Jul 10, 2018

The CMS on Tuesday announced it would drop a Medicaid rule that since 2014 has allowed unions to have dues paid through checks sent to state-subsidized home healthcare workers.

The Obama administration allowed state governments to divert Medicaid payments from providers to third parties such as in-home personal care workers or to cover court-ordered wage holdings, child support orders, and other state-issued legal judgments.

"The law provides that Medicaid providers must be...