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Industry News

Aug 21, 2015
Google, which recently announced plans to reorganize the company and its multiple ventures, will launch a life sciences company to develop new healthcare technology, the company's co-founder announced.

Sergey Brin said in a blog post Friday that the new company would bring together software engineers, oncologists and others to build upon work that began three years ago with an effort to fit computers onto contact lenses. The research has since expanded into other areas, including cardiology...

Aug 21, 2015

The Veterans Affairs Department is struggling with staffing issues, poor communication, and the complexities of the one-year-old Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act. But VA Secretary Robert McDonald said progress has been made in transforming the agency's culture and vowed that it would continue.

“The VA is in the customer service business,” McDonald said while speaking at a Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee hearing being held in Gainesville, Ga. He noted that the VA has...

Aug 21, 2015

Third-party administrators of insurance plans can be sued over allegedly failing to follow a federal law that requires insurers to offer mental health coverage equal to that provided for physical problems, a federal appeals court ruled Thursday.

It's a decision that could lead to more patients and providers challenging plan administrators who try to limit access to mental health services, some say. It's also the first case to address the issue of whether plan administrators may be...

Aug 21, 2015
An increase in admissions led to an uptick in income for Rush University Medical Center, but the system also incurred a big charge for bond refinancing for the fiscal year ended June 30.

The Chicago-based not for-profit hospital reported a 12.2% increase in operating income over 2014, as expanded Medicaid coverage for adults took hold and led to a 2.9% uptick in admissions. The state of Illinois is following through with its intention to move half of its Medicaid population to managed care...

Aug 21, 2015

A federal government analysis that said Arizona's health insurance co-op had gotten just a fraction of its projected enrollment last year missed thousands of signups and incorrectly showed the state not-for-profit set up under the Affordable Care Act signed up only 4% of the people it expected in 2014.

The report by the HHS' inspector general looked at co-ops operating in 23 states in 2014 and found Arizona's was among the worst-performing.

However, a review by the Associated...

Aug 21, 2015

A bill to reform the nation's behavioral healthcare delivery system seeks to weaken a law that protects the medical records of millions of drug and alcohol abuse patients.

Sen. Bill Cassidy, (R-La.) a physician, and Sen. Chris Murphy, (D. Conn.), a lawyer, introduced their Mental Health Reform Act of 2015 this month.

The bill proposes integrating physical and mental health services, focusing on treatment and early intervention and identifying and funding new, more effective...

Aug 21, 2015

A selection of opinions on health care from around the country.

The Washington Post's Plum Line: Why The GOP Presidential Candidates Can’t Reform Health Care
In the last few days, Scott Walker and Marco Rubio released health care plans, and other Republican candidates are sure to follow soon. Most will probably be pretty similar, even if some are more fully fleshed out than others. But they’ll all share one feature, the thing that tells you that they aren’t even remotely...

Aug 21, 2015

Health care stories are reported from Texas, New York, North Carolina, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Florida, Maryland and Connecticut.

The Associated Press: Dallas Hospital With Link To JFK Moves To New $1.3B Building
About 600 patients were moved Thursday into a new $1.3 billion hospital in Dallas that replaces an aging facility memorialized in U.S. history as the place John F. Kennedy was pronounced dead after his assassination. Some 1,700 staff members and volunteers...

Aug 21, 2015

More than 2 million people with coverage on the health insurance exchanges may be missing out on subsidies that could lower their deductibles, copayments and maximum out-of-pocket spending limits, according to a new analysis by Avalere Health.

Those who may be missing out are people with incomes between 100 and 250 percent of the federal poverty level ($11,770 to $29,425). Under the health law, people at those income levels are eligible for cost-sharing reductions that can...

Aug 20, 2015

A proposed regulation issued in March by the key federal healthcare information technology policy agency will affect how providers meet and attest for completion of their meaningful-use objectives under the federal electronic health record incentive payment.

The 431-page proposed rule by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology seeks to change how EHR developers test and certify their software, a requirement if it is to be used by hospitals, office-...