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Industry News

Jan 08, 2018

A slew of cities and counties in Indiana have joined the growing ranks of municipalities and states that have sued the major drug distributors for allegedly overlooking suspicious opioid prescriptions and fueling the abuse epidemic.

Harrison County, Terre Haute, Fort Wayne, Muncie and the town of Atlanta filed lawsuits Friday and Monday accusing the "big three" wholesale drug distributors—AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health and McKesson Corp.—of fulfilling massive opioid orders and...

Jan 08, 2018
Allscripts is paying $100 million for Practice Fusion in an acquisition that will help the electronic health records vendor further develop its big data and analytics capabilities.

The acquisition also gives Allscripts new business, since 30,000 ambulatory practices currently use Practice Fusion's cloud-based EHR. That EHR will "complement and round out" Allscripts' ambulatory offerings, according to an Allscripts news release.

Specifically, Allscripts will use Practice Fusion's EHR...

Jan 08, 2018

Idaho's top elected leaders signed an executive order on Friday directing the state Department of Insurance to create guidelines for health insurance carriers to offer lower-priced coverage plans.

"Congress and President Donald Trump have eliminated the individual mandate requiring all Americans to buy Obamacare plans or face financial penalties. That means we will no longer be penalized for buying coverage that doesn't meet all the Obamacare rules," Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter said at...

Jan 08, 2018

Iowa's shift to privately-managed Medicaid will save the state 80% less money this year than originally predicted, according to a new state estimate.

A quarterly report prepared by Iowa Department of Human Services staff members says the state now stands to save $47.1 million this fiscal year by having private companies manage the $4 billion program, the Des Moines Register reported Saturday.

Former Gov. Terry Branstad, who ordered the privatization that began in 2016, had...

Jan 08, 2018
Florida officials say hackers may have accessed the personal information and medical records of up to 30,000 Medicaid recipients two months ago.

The state's Agency for Health Care Administration said in a Friday evening news release that one of its employees "was the victim of a malicious phishing email" on Nov. 15, and on Tuesday, agency leaders were notified about the preliminary findings of an Inspector General investigation. It found that hackers may have partly or fully accessed the...

Jan 08, 2018

U.S. physicians generated a collective $2.3 trillion in economic activity and nearly 12.6 million jobs in 2015, according to a new American Medical Association report designed to push back against states the group says are creating difficult practice environments.

The AMA's report, released Monday, examined physicians' direct and indirect effects on the economy across the country as well as in their respective states. It looked at total output, jobs, wages and benefits and state and...

Jan 05, 2018

Now that a U.S. District Court has postponed the hospital industry's legal challenge to cutbacks in the 340B drug discount program, it falls to Congress to reverse the Trump administration's egregious new rules.

Believe it or not, there's hope, since the new rules benefit no one—quite literally. Legislation reversing them has even gained bipartisan backing in Congress.

Some background: The pharmaceutical industry has had the 340B program in its crosshairs since its inception....

Jan 05, 2018
On one end sits a prisoner facing a screen, the sound of a freeway hundreds of miles away faint through the computer speakers. On the other end, next to that freeway, sits a doctor in a nondescript office building near Houston. Telemedicine brings the two together, allowing Dr. Li-Yun Chuo, a psychiatrist for University of Texas Medical Branch, to see patients in prisons across Texas.

While the nation struggles with an overall shortage of mental health providers, so do prisons, where the...

Jan 05, 2018

Laura Kaiser took over as CEO at SSM Health in May 2017 and immediately set her sights on harnessing the strengths of each of the Catholic health system's four major markets. In Wisconsin, that means expanding on the organization's only integrated delivery system, which Kaiser calls an incubator of sorts. Kaiser formerly was chief operating officer of Intermountain Healthcare and CEO of Ascension Health's Sacred Heart Health System. Modern Healthcare Managing Editor Matthew Weinstock...

Jan 05, 2018

More than six weeks after his nomination, HHS Secretary-designate Alex Azar will receive his official confirmation hearing with the Senate Finance Committee Tuesday morning.

The Jan. 9 hearing follows his Nov. 29 courtesy hearing with the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. It falls to the Finance Committee, however, to hold the actual vote to advance Azar's nomination to the Senate floor.

President Donald Trump also had to renominate Azar because the...