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Jan 28, 2019

Sharp HealthCare released its 2018 financial report Monday as it gears up to welcome a new CEO later in the week.

The San Diego, Calif.-based not-for-profit health system drew $3.8 billion in revenue in its fiscal 2018, which ended Sept. 30, up 9.4% from fiscal 2017, when it was $3.5 billion. Expenses rose at a slightly slower clip: 8.4% to $3.6 billion in the recently ended fiscal year.

On Thursday, longtime SSM Health executive Christopher Howard will take over as Sharp's...

Jan 28, 2019

This story also ran on NPR.
This story can be republished for free (details).

Listen to NPR’s All Things Considered tonight for our audio report on Bill of the Month. It’s scheduled to air at approximately 5:20 p.m. on your local public radio station.

Matt Gleason had skipped getting a flu shot for more than a decade.

But after suffering a nasty bout of the virus last winter, he decided to get vaccinated at his...

Jan 28, 2019

Throughout emergency rooms in Southeast Michigan, there are patients in the midst of a psychological crisis — and they're waiting, sometimes for days.

And healthcare organizations report that the amount of time it takes for people to go from diagnosis to being admitted to a hospital psych ward is growing, partly because of shortage of available beds and partly because of growing demand in a state where suicide rates and substance abuse are rising.

Solutions exist, but they...

Jan 28, 2019

As physicians, we are taught that our duty is to do no harm. A proposed rule by the Department of Homeland Security may lead to harm by having the opposite of its intended effect.

The proposed "public charge" rule would make it harder for legal immigrants in this country to extend a visa or qualify for a green card if they have used public benefits. The rule could harm low-income workers by forcing them to choose between accessing vital work supports—basic health coverage, food and...

Jan 25, 2019

There's no shortage of contentious issues in American public life and few as thorny as healthcare policy. We will soon spend 20% of our gross domestic product on health, and yet we hardly seem to agree on the best path forward.

Making matters worse, this tremendous investment of resources often fails to reach the places that require it most. Think about the savings that would accrue if we spent more of those resources addressing the social determinants of health, which include all...

Jan 25, 2019
Geisinger Health System, which saw Dr. David Feinberg jump ship late last year to join Google, is pushing some innovative ideas, including giving patients refunds if they aren't satisfied with their care and using new technology platforms designed to improve care delivery. Interim CEO Dr. Jaewon Ryu and Chief Innovation Officer Karen Murphy sat down with Modern Healthcare finance reporter Tara Bannow to talk about what's ahead for the Danville, Pa.-based system. The following is an edited...
Jan 25, 2019

Hospital executives probably aren't too stoked about the Internal Revenue Service's recent notice on how the new excise tax on executive pay applies to their organizations.

The interim guidance clarifies how not-for-profit organizations should implement the 21% excise tax on executive compensation that exceeds $1 million, part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. It says that payment for duties like teaching and performing research are indeed subject to the tax. Many health systems...

Jan 25, 2019
Healthcare providers—and all businesses for that matter—constantly debate whether to make short-term investments to maintain their core business or to put profits toward alternative revenue sources that hold potential long-term returns.

Those questions are even more pressing as health systems' expenses climb and revenue falls. They're also grappling with the reality of the hospital's diminishing role as care—and revenue—shift to the ambulatory space. Investment income is keeping hospitals...

Jan 25, 2019

As hospitals and health systems look to trim expenses, many have seemingly flipped the narrative with minimum wage raises.

Systems including Atrium Health, Advocate Aurora Health, Cleveland Clinic, Hartford HealthCare, Jefferson Health, UPMC and Trinity Health have bumped up their base wages in recent months. More are expected to follow, a trend that is poised to boost the broader economy as pay hikes in the economic powerhouse industry of healthcare have wide-reaching impacts....

Jan 25, 2019

The Senate's veteran watchdog is taking HHS' top officials to task over a report that Medicare's new laboratory fee schedule could cost the federal government billions of dollars more than is necessary.

Senate Finance Chair Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) this week pressed HHS Secretary Alex Azar and CMS Administrator Seema Verma on a November Government Accountability Office report that questioned the CMS' methods in calculating the new lab payment rates.

The CMS launched its new fee...