hospitals

At an Overrun ICU, ‘the Problem Is We Are Running Out of Hallways’

BILLINGS, Mont. — Nurses fill the hospital room to turn a patient from his stomach to his back. The ventilator forcing air into him is most effective when he’s on his stomach, so he is in that position most hours of the day, sedated and paralyzed by drugs. Lying on his stomach all those hours …

At an Overrun ICU, ‘the Problem Is We Are Running Out of Hallways’ Read More »

Healthcare leaders share lessons learned addressing social determinants of health

Leaders with insurers and health systems said that taking a holistic approach and partnering with community organizations is key to standing up a successful social determinants of health program at a panel discussion hosted by MedCity INVEST Digital Health. 

‘An Arm and a Leg’: They Turned Grief Into Action

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen. In 2004, 24-year-old Manny Lanza urgently needed surgery for a life-threatening brain condition. But he didn’t have insurance, so his hospital refused to schedule the treatment — until it was too late. Manny died waiting.  In the months that followed, Manny’s parents, Reynaldo Prieto and Levia Lanza, …

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Consumerism is driving a bold new vision for home healthcare

Consumers want the healthcare industry to meet them where they are, and this shift in patient mindset has expanded the definition of home healthcare and who benefits from it, according to a panel at MedCity INVEST Digital Health conference.

Study: Resilience, emotional support key to helping healthcare workers fight stress

Along with daily surveys, a research team from Mount Sinai used Apple Watches to measure how stress impacted healthcare workers’ bodies and pinpointed the characteristics that were associated with lower stress levels over time.

Covid-Overwhelmed Hospitals Postpone Cancer Care and Other Treatment

It’s a bad time to get sick in Oregon. That’s the message from some doctors, as hospitals fill up with covid-19 patients and other medical conditions go untreated. Charlie Callagan looked perfectly healthy sitting outside recently on his deck in the smoky summer air in the small Rogue Valley town of Merlin, in southern Oregon. …

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Hive is a new & potentially devastating type of ransomware. Here’s what you need to know.

This new type of ransomware — which was linked to a cyberattack against an Ohio-based health system in August — employs a multi-pronged approach, focusing not only on encrypting sensitive data but also on terminating backup processes to make it harder for organizations to recover from the attack.

Analysis: Cost of care for unvaccinated Covid patients spikes to $5.7B

The cost of hospital care for unvaccinated Covid-19 patients has more than doubled, jumping from about $2 billion to $5.7 billion over the summer. And this figure may still be lower than the actual cost burden unvaccinated people represent to the healthcare system.

Under Pressure, Montana Hospital Considers Adding Psych Beds Amid a Shortage

Gary Popiel had to drive more than 200 miles round trip to visit his adult daughters in separate behavioral health facilities as they received psychiatric and medical treatment.   It was 2000, and the family’s only options for inpatient psychiatric beds were in Helena and Missoula — far from their Bozeman, Montana, home and from each …

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ICUs Are Filled With Covid — And Regret

It’s a struggle for Joe Gammon to talk. Lying in his bed in the intensive care unit at Ascension Saint Thomas Hospital in Nashville, Tennessee, this month, he described himself as “naive.”  “If I would have known six months ago that this could be possible, this would have been a no-brainer,” said the 45-year-old father of …

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Babyscripts raises $12M, plans to expand to all 50 states

The maternal care startup is backed by major health systems including MemorialCare Health System, whose innovation arm led the most recent funding round. Babyscripts offers a mobile app providing education and resources for the pregnancy and postpartum journey.

We’re not out of the COVID woods yet. But what we’ve already learned is going to save millions of lives.

Covid-19 exposed serious weaknesses in the American healthcare system, and has taken an unfortunate personal and economic toll on the entire world. But in the end, I do believe that our healthcare system will emerge more accessible, affordable, and effective

ECMO Life Support Is a Last Resort for Covid, and in Short Supply in South

Hospital discharge day for Phoua Yang was more like a pep rally. On her way rolling out of TriStar Centennial Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee, she teared up as streamers and confetti rained down on her. Nurses chanted her name as they wheeled her out of the hospital for the first time since she arrived …

ECMO Life Support Is a Last Resort for Covid, and in Short Supply in South Read More »

How tech can help solve the overpayments problem in healthcare RCM

When CMS overpays for services, providers and commercial payers are responsible for paying the agency back, and at times, they are on the hook for millions of dollars. But technology can help healthcare stakeholders catch the mistakes that lead to overpayments, thereby reducing unnecessary costs.

Reducing low-value care starts by understanding its drivers

There is no single driver of low-value care — providers, systems, and patients all play a role. But with the right tools, stakeholders can work together to re-align incentives and transform our healthcare delivery system into one that prioritizes value, eliminates waste and leads to better overall patient outcomes.

Mayo Clinic, Google develop AI algorithm to enhance electrical brain stimulation

The algorithm maps interactions between different areas of the brain, which can help guide the placement of electrodes for stimulating devices to treat brain diseases, like epilepsy, and movement disorders.

Report: 60% of top 20 US hospitals do not offer online scheduling for new patients

Not only do a majority of the top 20 hospitals on U.S. News & World Report’s 2020-21 Best Hospitals rankings not offer online scheduling, but about 65% also do not provide new patients the option to schedule a virtual visit online, despite strong consumer preference for digital access to healthcare.

NorthShore University Health System to test Laguna Health’s new post-discharge recovery app

The app provides users with a personalized recovery plan, education materials and virtual access to a care team that includes behavioral health specialists. The NorthShore system will conduct a clinical trial to test the app after which it will decide whether to deploy the solution across its hospitals.

Ohio Judge Reverses Order Requiring Covid Patient to Be Given Ivermectin

An intubated patient was prescribed the deworming drug by his doctor. Federal health officials have said that it has not been shown to be effective against the coronavirus and that it can be toxic in humans.

Ohio Judge Reverses Order Requiring Covid Patient to Be Given Ivermectin

An intubated patient was prescribed the deworming drug by his doctor. Federal health officials have said that it has not been shown to be effective against the coronavirus and that it can be toxic in humans.

As Delta surges, CMIOs’ focus on plans to provide vaccine booster shots, fight false information

Chief medical information officers are in a unique position to help their organizations fight the Covid-19 pandemic — from setting up IT systems to support Covid testing, care and vaccination to helping fight fast-spreading misinformation.

Ohio Judge Reverses Order Requiring Covid Patient to Be Given Ivermectin

An intubated patient was prescribed the deworming drug by his doctor. Federal health officials have said that it has not been shown to be effective against the coronavirus and that it can be toxic in humans.

Should we do away with ACOs? The answer depends on who you ask  

In a new study, researchers suggest ACOs are not helping CMS save substantial amounts of money as they were expected to do, so the model should be eliminated. But other experts in the industry disagree, taking issue with the study’s methods and conclusions.

Feds slap UPMC, cardiothoracic surgery chair with billing fraud suit

The lawsuit alleges that UPMC and the chair of its cardiothoracic surgery department knowing submitted false claims for concurrent surgeries that violated regulations. But, according to UPMC, there is no regulation that prohibits overlapping surgeries or billing for them.

Survey: 40% of health systems ramping up hiring efforts amid workforce shortage

A majority of organizations (93%) said they are focused on both attracting and retaining top talent, a new survey from Aon shows. They are offering various benefits to do so, including onsite or near-site health clinics for employees.

Collaborative care with a virtual lens: enabling patients and providers to overcome the mental health crisis

By establishing a virtual relationship with consulting telepsychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, and licensed clinical social workers, PCPs and their behavioral care managers have access anytime to the appropriate support for patients’ mental health needs.

Sutter Health to pay $90M to resolve False Claims allegations

The California-based health system will pay a hefty price to resolve allegations that it knowingly submitted inflated diagnosis codes for certain Medicare Advantage beneficiaries to receive higher payments. Sutter Health does not admit any liability in the matter.

Delta Cutting ‘Like a Buzzsaw’ Through Oregon-California Border Counties

If you live in one of the rural communities tucked into the forested hillsides along the Oregon-California border and need serious medical care, you’ll probably wind up at Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center. It serves about nine counties on either side of the border.   It is one of three hospitals Asante owns in the region. …

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Lack of a Vaccine Mandate Becomes Competitive Advantage in Hospital Staffing Wars

In the rural northeastern corner of Missouri, Scotland County Hospital has been so low on staff that it sometimes had to turn away patients amid a surge in covid-19 cases. The national covid staffing crunch means CEO Dr. Randy Tobler has hired more travel nurses to fill the gaps. And the prices are steep — …

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Hackensack Meridian Health, Englewood Health appeal court decision to block merger  

The FTC sued to block the merger between the two New Jersey-based health systems and won a preliminary injunction earlier this month. But the providers believe that the merger would not raise prices or stifle competition — like the FTC alleges it would — and have filed an appeal.

Jaw Surgery Takes a $27,119 Bite out of One Man’s Budget

For years, Ely Bair dealt with migraine headaches, jaw pain and high blood pressure, until a dentist recommended surgery to realign his jaw to get to the root of his health problems. The fix would involve two surgeries over a couple of years and wearing braces on his teeth before and in between the procedures. …

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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Vaccine Approval Moves the Needle on Covid

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. You can also listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts or wherever you listen to podcasts. The Food and Drug Administration gave full approval this week to the covid-19 vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech, which will henceforth be known as “Comirnaty.” It is …

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Trinity Health Mid-Atlantic to deploy NeuroFlow’s mental health tools across 3 hospitals

Through a program funded by Independence Blue Cross Foundation, 1,800 frontline healthcare workers across the three Pennsylvania-based hospitals will gain access to NeuroFlow’s technology, which will measure and track their mental health symptoms and provide support via educational resources and a clinical care team.

New Campaign from THE CONVERSATION / LA CONVERSACIÓN about Kids and the COVID Vaccines

August 25, 2021 – THE CONVERSATION / LA CONVERSACIÓN expands to address questions about the COVID-19 vaccines and children with new FAQ videos featuring pediatricians. This installment of the campaign is produced by KFF (Kaiser Family Foundation) under its Greater Than COVID public information response and is presented with the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).…More

Mission and Money Clash in Nonprofit Hospitals’ Venture Capital Ambitions

Cone Health, a small not-for-profit health care network in North Carolina, spent several years developing a smartphone-based system called Wellsmith to help people manage their diabetes. But after investing $12 million, the network disclosed last year it was shutting down the company even though initial results were promising, with users losing weight and recording lower …

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‘An Arm and a Leg’: Meet the Mississippi Lawyer Who Helped Start the Fight for Charity Care

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen. Richard “Dickie” Scruggs, famous for taking on Big Tobacco in the ’90s and winning, worked on a series of ill-fated national lawsuits against nonprofit hospitals. The goal? Get nonprofit — or “charity” — hospitals to actually provide charity care instead of price-gouging and dunning low-income patients.  Scruggs …

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Analysis: Care for the unvaccinated may be costing U.S. healthcare system $2.3B

The report, released by Kaiser Family Foundation and the Peterson Center on Healthcare, details the high cost of Covid care for the unvaccinated. In fact, the analysis indicates the figure could be even higher than $2.3 billion, as the authors did not take into account the cost of outpatient treatment for Covid-19.

Study: Private consultancies can influence hospital participation in CMS bundled payments model 

Partnering with private consulting firms can spur greater hospital participation in the Bundled Payments for Care Improvement initiative Advanced Model, in which hospitals earn rewards for spending less than CMS-set benchmarks on an episode of care or pay penalties if they spend more.

Impact of Certificate of Need on Health

An interesting paper from Kevin Chiu in the Journal of Health Economics looks at the relationship between certificate of need laws and health outcomes: Certificate of need (CON) regulations requires that health care providers obtain state approval before offering a new service or expanding existing facilities. The purported goal of CON regulations is to reduce …

Impact of Certificate of Need on Health Read More »

Reports: 1 in 10 adults delayed care in spring amid trailing healthcare utilization levels

According to two new reports, hospital admissions were about 85% of what was expected based on historic patterns at the beginning of April, and in the same month, 11% of adults reported delaying care because of Covid, including 16% of Hispanic and 13% of Black adults.

Mass General Brigham is diversifying its innovation process. Here’s how.

Called the Innovator Community Expansion Initiative, the main goal of the effort is to pinpoint and remove obstacles keeping underrepresented groups, like women, out of the innovation process. The initiative will promote networking and education about the path to commercialization.

‘Tainted’ Blood: Covid Skeptics Request Blood Transfusions From Unvaccinated Donors

The nation’s roiling tensions over vaccination against covid-19 have spilled into an unexpected arena: lifesaving blood transfusions. With nearly 60% of the eligible U.S. population fully vaccinated, most of the nation’s blood supply is now coming from donors who have been inoculated, experts said. That’s led some patients who are skeptical of the shots to …

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How payers, providers are tackling homelessness & extending care access

Homelessness, a key social determinant of health, is on the rise, prompting action from payers and providers. Though their efforts are varied, ranging from subsidizing housing to making it easier for those living in encampments or temporary housing to access care, they have a common goal.

Hackensack Meridian Health partners with NowPow to create SDOH referral program

The NowPow referral platform, which is integrated into the New Jersey-based health system’s EHR, will enable clinicians and other care team members to provide patients — whose socioeconomic conditions are negatively affecting their health — with referrals to community resources, like food banks or rental assistance.

As work went remote, cybersecurity teams doubled down on clear communication, flexibility

In a remote work environment, cybersecurity teams learned that they needed to support their organizations by providing workers with the information they needed to secure their data, while also remaining flexible to changing needs, panelists said at a HIMSS Digital session.

Widespread use of health IT can cause burnout but also help curb it

In a HIMSS 21 Digital session, panelists detailed the dichotomy of technology advancement for clinicians. Though technology has made it harder for them to disconnect from work leading to burnout, IT tools can also be used to identify pain points and implement solutions to alleviate stress.

A Quarter of US Hospitals, and Counting, Demand Workers Get Vaccinated. But Not Here.

Hospitals coast to coast are demanding their employees get vaccinated against covid as the highly contagious delta variant tears through populations with low vaccination rates. Nearly 1,500 hospitals — roughly a quarter of all hospitals in the U.S. —now require staffers to get a covid vaccine, said Colin Milligan, a spokesperson for the American Hospital …

A Quarter of US Hospitals, and Counting, Demand Workers Get Vaccinated. But Not Here. Read More »

Injuries Mount as Sales Reps for Device Makers Cozy Up to Surgeons, Even in Operating Rooms

Cristina Martinez’s spinal operation in Houston was expected to be routine. But after destabilizing her spine, the surgeon discovered the implant he was ready to put in her back was larger than he wanted to use — and the device company’s sales rep didn’t have a smaller size on hand, according to a report he …

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Cadence launches with $41M, strikes partnership with LifePoint Health

The company offers a remote patient monitoring platform that enables clinicians to not only monitor patients at home but also provide personalized feedback via texts and video visits. The platform will be deployed at LifePoint Health facilities and used to deliver remote care to more than 100,000 patients.

Providence-KP Team Up to Attract Patients in California’s Growing High Desert Region

A plan by Providence and Kaiser Permanente to build a new medical center in the High Desert region of California is the latest example of leading hospital chains seeking market advantage. They intend to spend up to $1 billion to build a hospital in Victorville, a city of about 123,000 that sits 85 miles northeast …

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Providers will likely face more lawsuits against vaccine mandates. But they are also more likely to win.

Providers’ legal defense against lawsuits aiming to tear down vaccine mandates is wide-ranging, from making the argument that allowing an unvaccinated worker into their facilities could pose a direct threat to the worker to invoking a 1905 precedent set by the Supreme Court.

CMS repeals MA rate disclosure requirement, boosts hospital payments by $2.3B

CMS has finalized its 2022 inpatient payment rule, which will not only repeal part of the price transparency requirements related to Medicare Advantage rates and increase payments to hospitals but will also require facilities to report Covid-19 vaccination uptake among its employees.

A Health Care Giant Sold Off Dozens of Hospitals — But Continued Suing Patients

Tennova Healthcare-Lebanon doesn’t exist anymore as a hospital. But it still sued Hope Cantwell. A knock came on the door of Cantwell’s Nashville, Tennessee, apartment early this year. She said she hadn’t been vaccinated against covid-19 yet and wasn’t answering the door to strangers. So she didn’t. But then several more attempts came over the …

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12,000 Square Miles Without Obstetrics? It’s a Possibility in West Texas

The message from Big Bend Regional Medical Center was stark: The only hospital in a sparsely populated region of far West Texas notified local physicians last month that because of a nursing shortage its labor and delivery unit needed to temporarily close its doors and that women in labor should instead be sent to the …

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Watch: Cyclist Hits Olympic-Size Medical Bills After Crash

“CBS This Morning,” in partnership with KHN and NPR, interviews Phil Gaimon, a cyclist who had hoped to be in Tokyo next week as a competitor in the track events on the USA Cycling national team. Instead, a crash on the velodrome track in Pennsylvania in 2019 ended his Olympic dream and left him with …

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Texas law eases prior auth burdens, but payers see it as a dangerous move

The law, which will take effect in September, prohibits payers from requiring pre-approval from certain providers. While providers believe the law will cut administrative burdens, and improve care delivery, payers say it could lead to patient harm.

Olympic Dream Dashed After Bike Crash and Nightmare Medical Bill Over $200K

It was a race in Pennsylvania that could have sent cyclist Phil Gaimon to the Tokyo Olympics; instead, a serious crash landed the Californian in two hospitals on the East Coast. Gaimon knows accidents are, unfortunately, part of the sport. He had retired from competitive road cycling three years earlier, but a recruiting call came …

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340B hospitals among those that provide lowest levels of community benefit across the country

The 340B program reached $38 billion in sales at the discounted price in 2020. This is a 27% increase over sales in 2019, and the program is now more than four times the size it was in 2014. Unfortunately, despite pharmaceutical manufacturers paying more and more money in 340B discounts, there is no evidence that …

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Bye-Bye to Health Insurance ‘Birthday Rule’? Kansas Lawmaker Floats Fix

When Kayla Kjelshus gave birth to her first child, the infant spent seven days in the neonatal intensive care unit, known as the NICU. This stressful medical experience was followed by an equally stressful financial one. Because of an obscure health insurance policy called the “birthday rule,” Kjelshus and her husband, Mikkel, were hit with …

Bye-Bye to Health Insurance ‘Birthday Rule’? Kansas Lawmaker Floats Fix Read More »

Only 5% hospitals are compliant with price transparency rule. Here’s how they did it.

The hospitals that were found to be fully compliant with the federal price transparency rule had a few strategies in common, including picking the right technology partner and beginning their efforts early — in some cases before the rule was even proposed.

Bon Secours Mercy Health invests in Trilliant Health as part of larger push into analytics

The health system has invested an undisclosed amount in Trilliant Health, which provides a predictive analytics platform giving users insights into market dynamics. Bon Secours Mercy Health is also a founding member of another healthcare data company: Truveta.

Readers and Tweeters Connect the Dots on Topics From Vaccine Development to Long Covid

Letters to the Editor is a periodic feature. We welcome all comments and will publish a selection. We edit for length and clarity and require full names. A Concerned Taxpayer Takes Stock of Vaccine Efforts Your recent article “Novavax’s Effort to Vaccinate the World, From Zero to Not Quite Warp Speed” (July 19) seems to reveal Maryland-based Novavax …

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After 18 Months, Sutter Antitrust Settlement Finally Poised for Formal Approval

More than 18 months after Sutter Health agreed to a tentative settlement in a closely watched antitrust case joined by the California Attorney General’s Office, the judge presiding over the case indicated she would sign off on the terms, pending agreement on attorney fees. The nonprofit health care giant, based in Sacramento, stood accused of …

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Sema4 goes public via SPAC merger

With a goal of making precision medicine the standard of care at health systems, Sema4 struck a nearly $800 million deal with CM Life Sciences to go public. The company, which offers tools that combine genomic and clinical data to glean patient care insights, will get $500 million in cash proceeds to grow its business.

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Delta Changes the Covid Conversation

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. You can also listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts or wherever you listen to podcasts. The resurgence of covid cases in the U.S. — largely attributable to the much more contagious delta variant — has given policymakers the jitters. The Biden administration …

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The Sleeper Health Cost Policy

In this Axios column, Drew Altman unpacks President Biden’s recent executive order on promoting competition, exploring its significance for new efforts to control health costs by addressing consolidation in the health care industry.

Report: First half of 2021 sees massive spike in number of data breach victims

Provider organizations accounted for 73% of all data breaches reported to the HHS in the first six months of 2021, impacting about 22.7 million individuals overall, a new report shows. This represents a 185% jump in individuals affected compared to the same period last year.

CMS proposes fining hospitals up to $2M annually for not following price transparency rule

CMS’ latest proposed rule, which includes stringent penalties for hospitals that are found to be flouting the price transparency rule, comes on the heels of an analysis showing that a vast majority of hospitals are not in compliance with the regulation that went into effect on Jan. 1.

As independent practices vanish, experts debate the pros & cons of a consolidated market

Independent physician practices are being gobbled up by hospitals, payers and private equity, and while some see it as a boon for the practices and industry as a whole, others believe it will raise costs and block access to care.

Transforming rural healthcare will require a funding overhaul. Here’s one way to do it.

The answer to rural healthcare’s financial issues could lie in a payment model that pools funds from public and private insurers alike to pay for agreed-upon core services, allowing rural hospitals to provide the care most needed by the communities they serve.

Matthew’s health care tidbits

Each week I’ve been adding a brief tidbits section to the THCB Reader, our weekly newsletter that summarizes the best of THCB that week (Sign up here!). Then I had the brainwave to add them to the blog. They’re short and usually not too sweet! –Matthew Holt In this week’s health care tidbits, Shannon Brownlee …

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Hospital ‘Trauma Centers’ Charge Enormous Fees to Treat Minor Injuries and Send People Home

The care was ordinary. A hospital in Modesto, California, treated a 30-year-old man for shoulder and back pain after a car accident. He went home in less than three hours. The bill was extraordinary. Sutter Health Memorial Medical Center charged $44,914 including an $8,928 “trauma alert” fee, billed for summoning the hospital’s top surgical specialists …

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How ERs Fail Patients With Addiction: One Patient’s Tragic Death

Jameson Rybak tried to quit using opioids nearly a dozen times within five years. Each time, he’d wait out the vomiting, sweating and chills from withdrawal in his bedroom. It was difficult to watch, said his mother, Suzanne Rybak, but she admired his persistence. On March 11, 2020, though, Suzanne grew worried. Jameson, 30 at …

How ERs Fail Patients With Addiction: One Patient’s Tragic Death Read More »

Simulation tech played key role in staff training at this academic medical center during Covid-19

Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, the University of Nebraska Medical Center turned to patient simulation and visualization technologies to help train its staff on coronavirus-specific clinical protocols. Developed along with Gaumard Scientific, the provider’s medical simulation facility was able to train thousands of healthcare professionals over the course of the public health crisis.

Report: Telehealth use plateaus, but still 38 times higher than pre-pandemic levels

Though telehealth use has dropped since hitting its peak last April, it has stabilized at a much higher level than before the pandemic, says a new report. But not all specialties utilize telehealth equally, with uptake especially high in psychiatry and substance use disorder treatment.

Journalists Tackle Delta Variant, Hospital Prices and Public Health Spending

Midwest correspondent Lauren Weber discussed the covid-19 delta variant on NPR’s “The 1A” on July 2. Click here to hear Weber on NPR Senior correspondent Julie Appleby discussed hospital price transparency on WGN’s “NewsNation Now” on July 2. Click here to watch Appleby on WGN Read Appleby’s “Hospital Prices Must Now Be Transparent. For Many …

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Biden’s latest executive order aims to boost healthcare competition

President Joe Biden has signed a new executive order to tackle anti-competitive behavior across American industries. With regard to healthcare, Biden is directing federal agencies to revise guidelines for hospital mergers, enable people to comparison shop health plans on the ACA marketplaces and work with states to import drugs from Canada.

Effort to Decipher Hospital Prices Yields Key Finding: Don’t Try It at Home

A federal price transparency rule that took effect this year was supposed to give patients, employers and insurers a clearer picture of the true cost of hospital care. When the Trump administration unveiled the rule in 2019, Seema Verma, then chief of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, promised it would “upend the status …

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Federal Speech Rulings May Embolden Health Care Workers to Call Out Safety Issues

Karen Jo Young wrote a letter to her local newspaper criticizing executives at the hospital where she worked as an activities coordinator, arguing that their actions led to staffing shortages and other patient safety problems. Hours after her letter was published in September 2017, officials at Maine Coast Memorial Hospital in Ellsworth, Maine, fired her, …

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Provider-owned Innovation Lab partners with Olive to build automation tools

Innovation Lab, an incubator owned by six nonprofit health systems, is joining forces with Olive to co-develop technology that will automate operational and clinical workflows. The companies will leverage Olive’s AI platform, as well as Innovation Lab’s frontline access to its health system owners.

Report: Healthcare M&A skewing toward regional partnerships

The total number of mergers and acquisitions in healthcare fell below historic figures for the second quarter of the year, but total transacted revenue remained high at $8.5 billion. Trends appear to be shifting however, with an increasing number of regional partnerships occurring among health systems as opposed to acquisitions of independent hospitals.

Federal agencies issue rule enforcing surprise billing ban

HHS, along with other federal agencies, have released the first set of regulations that ban surprise billing and out-of-network charges for several types of services. More regulations are expected, especially those pertaining to the independent dispute resolution process that providers and payers will have to undergo if they cannot agree on out-of-network claims payment.

Hospital Prices Must Now Be Transparent. For Many Consumers, They’re Still Anyone’s Guess.

A colonoscopy might cost you or your insurer a few hundred dollars — or several thousand, depending on which hospital or insurer you use. Long hidden, such price variations are supposed to be available in stark black and white under a Trump administration price transparency rule that took effect at the start of this year. …

Hospital Prices Must Now Be Transparent. For Many Consumers, They’re Still Anyone’s Guess. Read More »

Jefferson Health-backed Tendo Systems gains $50M to digitize patient journey

Tendo Systems, a company that is co-developing a digital engagement platform with provider organizations like Jefferson Health, raised $50 million in a new funding round. The funds will be used to advance the development of the platform, which aims to be the “OpenTable” of healthcare.

INVEST Precision Medicine Conference Video: Pediatrics and Precision Medicine

A panel of precision medicine experts from Children’s hospitals take part in a conversation that highlights the work being done to improve the way rare diseases and pediatric cancer is diagnosed and treated.

Check out video highlights of INVEST Precision Medicine conference from pediatrics to funding trends

The INVEST Precision Medicine conference cast a spotlight on the role of children’s hospitals, biopharma companies, diagnostic companies and startups in biopharma innovation. The video recordings of the conference sessions are now available to view.

Texas Children’s, PeriGen bring AI-powered maternal-fetal monitoring system to Malawi

In collaboration with PeriGen, Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women is deploying the PeriWatch Vigilance automated early warning system in a hospital in Malawi, Africa. The system continuously tracks maternal and fetal data to prevent complications and deaths during childbirth.

Report: As ambulatory visits fell in California, kids saw steeper declines than adults

In late March 2020, ambulatory visit volumes fell by more than 50% compared to pre-pandemic levels in California, according to a report by the state’s largest nonprofit health information network. Declines in visits were greater among children and adolescents than adults, which is “concerning,” the CEO of the HIN said.

MedCity Pivot Podcast: A conversation with Dr. Robert Pearl about how best to transform physician culture

In this episode, Dr. Pearl who led the Permanente Medical Group for almost two decades and is the author of a new book on physician culture, reveals how doctors may be unintentionally harming the healthcare system and how that culture needs to be transformed for the betterment of all involved.

Report: Hospitals, insurers, PE firms own nearly half of physician practices

The Covid-19 pandemic spurred the rate of physician practice acquisition by hospitals and corporate entities, like payers and private equity firms, a new report shows. As a result, by January 2021, about 48% of physician practices across the country were owned by one or the other entity.

A Hospital Charged $722.50 to Push Medicine Through an IV. Twice.

Claire Lang-Ree was in a lab coat taking a college chemistry class remotely in the kitchen of her Colorado Springs, Colorado, home when a profound pain twisted into her lower abdomen. She called her mom, Jen Lang-Ree, a nurse practitioner who worried it was appendicitis and found a nearby hospital in the family’s health insurance …

A Hospital Charged $722.50 to Push Medicine Through an IV. Twice. Read More »

Covid’s Lingering Effects Can Put the Brakes on Elective Surgeries

The week before Brian Colvin was scheduled for shoulder surgery in November, he tested positive for covid-19. What he thought at first was a head cold had morphed into shortness of breath and chest congestion coupled with profound fatigue and loss of balance. Now, seven months have passed and Colvin, 44, is still waiting to …

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Overcoming barriers to healthcare innovation to improve provider engagement and patient outcomes

Virtual care delivery can offer increased convenience and accessibility for patients. But the larger challenge is laying a foundation for innovation in health systems that enables providers to optimize their workflows and collaborate more effectively—ultimately improving patient care.

Q&A: Cleveland Clinic Innovations’ new head has his eyes trained on the future

In a wide-ranging interview, Dr. Geoff Vince, the new executive director of Cleveland Clinic Innovations, discussed his plans for how the commercialization arm will operate, the technologies he thinks will drive interest and whether the pandemic has changed approaches to innovation.

RxLightning raises $3M to help providers streamline specialty drug enrollment

The health technology company offers a platform that enables clinicians to more quickly and accurately complete specialty drug enrollment processes and communicate with specialty pharmacies. The goal is to simplify the administrative burden on providers and get patients quicker access to the medications they need.

Providers win deadline extension for use of CARES funds, but it may cause some confusion

The HHS has extended some of the deadlines for using provider relief funds and reporting on that use. Though the move is mostly positive for providers — who were clamoring for this extension — there may be some additional work required to prevent confusion.

In Alleged Health Care ‘Money Grab,’ Nation’s Largest Hospital Chain Cashes In on Trauma Centers

After falling from a ladder and cutting his arm, Ed Knight said, he found himself at Richmond, Virginia’s Chippenham Hospital surrounded by nearly a dozen doctors, nurses and technicians — its crack “trauma team” charged with saving the most badly hurt victims of accidents and assaults. But Knight’s wound, while requiring about 30 stitches, wasn’t …

In Alleged Health Care ‘Money Grab,’ Nation’s Largest Hospital Chain Cashes In on Trauma Centers Read More »

In Western Europe, hospitals look to quell the mental health epidemic among staff

The Covid-19 pandemic pushed healthcare workers to their breaking point worldwide. In Western Europe, hospitals responded by offering free counseling and sharing videos on meditation and relaxation techniques, among other resources. But these efforts need to continue as it is likely the mental health epidemic will grow from here on out.

Precision medicine is growing fast. Can hospitals and clinicians can keep pace?

New technologies that enable precision medicine approaches to treating disease are reaching more patients. But panelists speaking at MedCity News’ INVEST Precision Medicine Conference added that advances in technology are happening faster than the ability of hospitals and health systems to keep pace.

INVEST Precision Medicine Day 3: A look at the state of precision medicine, non dilutive funding

On the final day of INVEST Precision Medicine, a panel with Caris Health, CVS Health, and Intermountain Healthcare will share assessments of precision medicine’s progress and the outlook for this sector. Also, a panel will highlight non dilutive funding opportunities for startups. Register now!

Kaiser Permanente, Centene, others join White House effort to boost vaccination rates

Several organizations, both providers and payers, have pledged to help the White House achieve its goal of administering at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine to 70% of Americans over the next month. These organizations are launching various initiatives to engage the unvaccinated, including call campaigns and financial incentives.

Labor Department Issues Emergency Rules to Protect Health Care Workers From Covid

Labor Department officials on Thursday announced a temporary emergency standard to protect health care workers, saying they face “grave danger” in the workplace from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The new standard would require employers to remove workers who have covid-19 from the workplace, notify workers of covid exposure at work and strengthen requirements for employers …

Labor Department Issues Emergency Rules to Protect Health Care Workers From Covid Read More »

INVEST Precision Medicine conference kicks off today. Register now to be part of the conversation.

Register for the INVEST Precision Medicine conference, which kicks off today. Over the next three days industry experts will talk about precision medicine developments across pediatrics, bioinformatics, startups and more.

Health systems’ telehealth strategies shifting as pandemic winds down

The new normal of care delivery will almost certainly involve telehealth. But health systems’ strategy for telehealth moving forward is shifting, with some looking to redesign care delivery and others focusing on filling in gaps in patient experience.

ONC: Rural, critical access, independent hospitals trail behind in providing health data via apps

The number of hospitals providing patients electronic access to their health information via apps has increased exponentially over the past decade. But small, rural, critical access and independent hospitals were still falling significantly behind their counterparts as of 2019, a new ONC report shows.

Report: Which US markets are ripe for ‘payvider’ models? 

“Payvider” models — that is, collaborative arrangements between payers and providers — are growing in popularity. But not all markets are created equal with regard to payvider adoption and growth. In a new report, consultancy firm Guidehouse identifies the markets with the most opportunities for payviders.

UPMC spins out AI-driven analytics company focused on chronic disease patients

Realyze Intelligence, incubated at and funded by UPMC Enterprises, provides a platform that uses EMR data to identify chronic disease patients and help clinicians link them to appropriate treatment options. The platform leverages not only the structured data available in EMRs but also unstructured clinical notes.

100+ workers sue Houston Methodist over mandatory Covid-19 vaccination policy

The lawsuit alleges that the policy is akin to forcing employees to participate in a medical experiment as none of the vaccines available have received full FDA approval. But Houston Methodist rebutted these claims saying the vaccines are safe and effective, and requiring employees to get vaccinated is in the best interest of the patient.

Bassett Healthcare Network outsources IT, RCM operations to Optum

The New York-based rural health system has entered into a collaboration to outsource its IT and revenue cycle management operations to Optum. Further, about 500 Bassett employees, who currently perform those functions, will be given the opportunity to transition to Optum.

Register for INVEST Precision Medicine virtual conference June 9-11 where life science and health tech meet

The conference will include conversations with healthcare industry experts from The Steve & Cindy Rasmussen Institute for Genomic Medicine, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Vineti, Ori Biotech, CVS Caremark, Caris Life Sciences, HHS, University City Science Center, and more.

HCA, Google partnership to focus on data analytics

The health system and technology giant are teaming up to create a data analytics platform and tools that support workflow management. Google Cloud will gain access to the massive trove of patient information gathered at HCA’s 184 hospitals, though data access and use will be governed by privacy rules.

Geisinger rolls out platform for virtual monitoring of chronic disease patients

Developed by Noteworth, the ConnectedCare365 application will enable Geisinger clinicians to virtually monitor patient vital signs and intervene when needed. The platform will be used for several clinical initiatives, including chronic condition management and behavioral health.

‘Better Than the Hospital’: Pandemic Boosts Care for Serious Illnesses at Home

Late last year, Janet Yetenekian was one of the thousands of people in Southern California whose case of covid-19 was serious enough to send her to the hospital. But Yetenekian’s recovery was not typical: She received hospital-level care in her own home in Glendale. “It was even better than the hospital,” Yetenekian said, laughing. “They …

‘Better Than the Hospital’: Pandemic Boosts Care for Serious Illnesses at Home Read More »

A new report ranking urban hospitals based on racial inclusivity finds ‘de facto segregation’

A new analysis from the Lown Institute identified the most and least racially inclusive hospitals in America, but hospitals at the bottom of the list dispute the methodology. Still, the analysis indicates a troubling trend of racial segregation in healthcare.

Pandemic Leads Doctors to Rethink Unnecessary Treatment

Covid-19 is opening the door for researchers to address a problem that has vexed the medical community for decades: the overtreatment and unnecessary treatment of patients. This story also ran on The Washington Post. It can be republished for free. On one hand, the pandemic caused major health setbacks for non-covid patients who were forced …

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Pakistan’s Private Vaccinations Draw Criticism

An inoculation push, plagued with limited supplies and red tape, makes doses available to those who can pay for them. In a country with a struggling economy, most can’t.

Pakistan’s Private Vaccinations Draw Criticism

An inoculation push, plagued with limited supplies and red tape, makes doses available to those who can pay for them. In a country with a struggling economy, most can’t.

Pakistan’s Private Vaccinations Draw Criticism

An inoculation push, plagued with limited supplies and red tape, makes doses available to those who can pay for them. In a country with a struggling economy, most can’t.

ChristianaCare added a primary care practice to its cancer center. Here’s why.

When ChristianaCare’s Graham Cancer Center saw that a significant number of its patients did not have a primary care provider, they decided to take action. Now, any patient that doesn’t already have a PCP is connected to one onsite at the cancer center, expanding the care each patient receives.

Where 5 CIOs see IT innovation heading as pandemic winds down  

The Covid-19 pandemic has upended the healthcare industry in a myriad of ways — including the focus of IT innovation. Healthcare CIOs are seeing IT innovation priorities shift to arenas like at-home care, data science and supply chain.

Limitations of CMS’s Hospital Star Ratings System

Is your hospital high quality? Well, this depends on what quality means. Does it have low readmission rates? Low rates of mortality? Do they follow clinical guidelines? Are patients satisfied? Are they good at cardiology care? What about cancer treatment? Combining all these different dimensions of quality is a complex task. The Centers for Medicare …

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NYC Health + Hospitals drops use of two race-based clinical assessments

The nation’s largest public health system will stop using clinical assessments for kidney function and vaginal delivery after C-sections that use race-based calculations for determining illness severity and risk. These assessments can result in people of color not receiving the diagnoses and treatments they need.

Providers, payers & startups are all looking for key pieces to solve the maternal care puzzle

America’s abysmal record on maternal care outcomes and equity has spurred the rise of startups as well as innovative strategies from providers and payers, each trying to solve a piece of the larger problem. But these entities will also need the help of policymakers to truly improve care in this arena.

Kaiser Permanente, Mayo Clinic invest $100M in hospital-at-home company

The health systems are sinking a combined $100 million into Medically Home Group, which enables clinicians to provide hospital-level care in patients’ homes. The funds are intended to scale the company’s operations and expand access to its care delivery model.

32 hospitals in non-Medicaid expansion states sue HHS over payments for low-income patients

The hospitals are pushing HHS to recognize patients eligible for Medicaid under the ACA as “low-income” when calculating Medicare disproportionate share hospital payments in states that did not expand Medicaid. The agency’s refusal to do so resulted in the hospitals receiving lower reimbursements for three years, the lawsuit claims.

Mayo Clinic strikes remote patient monitoring partnership with NXgenPort

Mayo Clinic is ramping up activity in the remote patient monitoring arena. Its latest move is a collaboration with biomedical technology company NXgenPort, which will focus on an implantable catheter that can remotely monitor cancer patients for complications as they undergo treatment.

Hospitals caught in crossfire of battle between Rhode Island AG, PE-owned operator

Amid a heated battle over an ownership change, Prospect Medical Holdings has threatened to close two of its hospitals in Rhode Island in response to conditions the state’s attorney general proposed. The hospital chain’s private equity owner is looking to sell its majority stake but requires state approval to move forward.

The Making of Reluctant Activists: A Police Shooting in a Hospital Forces One Family to Rethink American Justice

The beer bottle that cracked over Christian Pean’s head unleashed rivulets of blood that ran down his face and seeped into the soil in which Harold and Paloma Pean were growing their three boys. At the time, Christian was a confident high school student, a football player in the suburbs of McAllen, Texas, a border …

The Making of Reluctant Activists: A Police Shooting in a Hospital Forces One Family to Rethink American Justice Read More »

Study: PE firms acquire hospitals with high operating margins, boosting them further

Hospitals acquired by PE firms tend to have higher operating margins than those that are not acquired — and that gap widens over time, a new study shows. But it is too early to say whether these glowing financial figures equate to better support for clinical care.

Covid Testing Has Turned Into a Financial Windfall for Hospitals and Other Providers

Pamela Valfer needed multiple covid tests after repeatedly visiting the hospital last fall to see her mother, who was being treated for cancer. Beds there were filling with covid patients. Valfer heard the tests would be free. This story also ran on Fortune. It can be republished for free. So, she was surprised when the …

Covid Testing Has Turned Into a Financial Windfall for Hospitals and Other Providers Read More »

Survey: 42% of Americans may not go back to in-person care this year

Despite the ongoing Covid-19 vaccine rollout, a significant percentage of Americans say they are planning to delay care in 2021 or are unsure about in-person care, a new survey shows. Virtual visit options, insurance coverage and clear information on Covid-19 safety protocols are some of the factors that will drive provider selection this year.

New Analysis Summarizes Recent Research on the Effects of ACA Medicaid Expansion, Providing Context for Renewed Expansion Debates in States

New federal financial incentives for Medicaid expansion and the increased reliance on Medicaid as a coverage safety net during the pandemic have renewed debate in the 12 states that have not adopted the Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act. A new KFF literature review provides context for these expansion debates by summarizing evidence from…More

Telemedicine Is a Tool — Not a Replacement for Your Doctor’s Touch

Earlier in the pandemic it was vital to see doctors over platforms like Zoom or FaceTime when in-person appointments posed risks of coronavirus exposure. Insurers were forced — often for the first time — to reimburse for all sorts of virtual medical visits and generally at the same price as in-person consultations. This story also …

Telemedicine Is a Tool — Not a Replacement for Your Doctor’s Touch Read More »

KFF’s Kaiser Health News and Gray Television Partner to Examine the Drive Times and Roadblocks for Stroke Victims in Appalachia and the Mississippi Delta

KHN and Gray Television’s InvestigateTV team joined forces to dig into the underlying reasons why strokes are a deadlier threat across most counties in Appalachia and the Mississippi Delta, rural regions that are characterized by high rates of poverty, vulnerable elderly populations, a shortage of medical providers and an epidemic of local hospital closures. They…More

Covid ‘Doesn’t Discriminate by Age’: Serious Cases on the Rise in Younger Adults

After spending much of the past year tending to elderly patients, doctors are seeing a clear demographic shift: young and middle-aged adults make up a growing share of the patients in covid-19 hospital wards. This story also ran on NPR. It can be republished for free. It’s both a sign of the country’s success in …

Covid ‘Doesn’t Discriminate by Age’: Serious Cases on the Rise in Younger Adults Read More »

Scripps Health IT applications pushed offline following cyberattack

The San Diego-based health system experienced a cyberattack on Saturday, following which it suspended user access to several IT applications, including its patient portal. Though it is not clear if patient data was compromised, care services were affected, with the system having to reschedule some appointments and revert to paper records.

Covid-19 and chronic disease: A spotlight and a stoplight 

Covid-19 has demonstrated the grave need for us to invest in chronic disease prevention and support by building stronger, deeper relationships with patients and families, and by focusing more on the environmental, social, and psychological factors that lead to chronic disease and impact long-term disease management.

Journalists Track Biden’s First 100 Days

Chief Washington correspondent Julie Rovner discussed Biden’s first 100 days on WAMU/NPR’s “1A” on Wednesday. She also joined Wisconsin Public Radio’s “Central Time” to talk about why hospitals aren’t cooperating with price transparency requirements. Click here to hear Rovner on WAMU/NPR Read Rovner’s “The Great Undoing: Which of Trump’s Policies Will Biden Reverse?” Click here …

Journalists Track Biden’s First 100 Days Read More »

CHIME CEO: Digital acceleration fueling cybersecurity concerns

Healthcare is in the midst of a digital revolution, unlike anything the industry has experienced before. But, according to CHIME CEO Russell Branzell, the growing dependence on technology for patient care and remote work is raising concerns related to cyberattacks.

CMS’ price transparency rule offers providers, payers a win, too

Patients are not the only ones who will benefit from the price transparency rule — providers and payers can also gain competitive advantages as a result of the regulation. These include being able to deepen relationships with patients and support payment contract negotiations.

What a Difference a Year Makes in Colorado’s Case for a Public Option Plan

DENVER — Before the pandemic, Colorado looked set to become the second state to pass what’s known as a “public option” health insurance plan, which would have forced hospitals that lawmakers said were raking in obscene profits to accept lower payments. But when covid-19 struck, legislators hit pause. Use Our Content It can be republished …

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CMS proposes putting $2.5B into hospitals’ coffers, eliminating part of price transparency rule

CMS has released its proposed inpatient payment rule for fiscal year 2022, which includes a payment bump that could increase reimbursement for hospitals by $2.5 billion. Further, in a win for hospitals, the proposal aims to repeal a part of the price transparency rule related to Medicare Advantage plans.

Pandemic Imperiled Non-English Speakers More Than Others

In March 2020, just weeks into the covid-19 pandemic, the incident command center at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston was scrambling to understand this deadly new disease. It appeared to be killing more Black and brown patients than whites. For Latinos, there was an additional warning sign: language. This story is part of a …

Pandemic Imperiled Non-English Speakers More Than Others Read More »

Kaiser Permanente to shell out nearly $19M to settle discrimination lawsuits 

The California-based health system agreed to settle two lawsuits alleging unfair practices that resulted in Black and Hispanic workers being paid less and receiving fewer promotions than their white counterparts. In total, Kaiser Permanente agreed to pay $18.9 million as part of the settlements.

From Hospital Profits to Gender Gaps, Journalists Are on the Case

KHN freelancer Christine Spolar discussed how during the pandemic the nation’s richest hospitals and health systems profited after accepting the lion’s share of the federal health care bailout grant with WESA’s “The Confluence” on Tuesday. Click here to hear Spolar on WESA Read “Despite Covid, Many Wealthy Hospitals Had a Banner Year With Federal Bailout” …

From Hospital Profits to Gender Gaps, Journalists Are on the Case Read More »

To help tackle healthcare worker burnout, start talking about it

Healthcare staff are working through immense loss, grief and uncertainty to provide care during the Covid-19 pandemic. As organizations think about how to support their staff, speakers at a MedCity INVEST panel said they must first talk about it openly and provide a safe space for workers to discuss their feelings.

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Picking Up the Pace of Undoing Trump Policies

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. The Biden administration is speeding up the pace of efforts to undo Trump administration health policies. The two most recent: overturning a ban on fetal tissue research funded by the National Institutes of Health and canceling a last-minute extension of a Medicaid waiver for Texas. …

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Picking Up the Pace of Undoing Trump Policies Read More »

In scramble to respond to Covid-19, hospitals turned to models with high risk of bias

Of 26 health systems surveyed by MedCity News, nearly half used automated tools to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic, but none of them were regulated. Even as some hospitals continued using these algorithms, experts cautioned against their use in high-stakes decisions.

Stanford Health Care seeks up to $1.9M from Anthem in new suit

The California-based provider has filed a lawsuit against the payer, claiming Anthem has yet to pay for the care it provided to patients covered by its affiliate. Stanford and Anthem had an implied contract, and if it is not upheld by the court, the provider is seeking $1.9 million in reimbursement.

NorthShore, Sema4 set up genomics program to advance personalized treatment

The Illinois-based health system is teaming up with the analytics company to launch a genomics program, which will focus on predicting the risk of illness and outcomes among patients. It will also provide free genetic testing to low-income patients in an effort to increase access to genomic care.

UVA Health Will Wipe Out Tens of Thousands of Lawsuits Against Patients

University of Virginia Health System, which for years has sued thousands of patients annually for unpaid bills, said Monday it will cancel a massive backlog of court judgments and liens resulting from those lawsuits dating to the 1990s. This story also ran on The Washington Post. It can be republished for free. Combined with reforms …

UVA Health Will Wipe Out Tens of Thousands of Lawsuits Against Patients Read More »

Providers, payers are ready to listen, root out racism and regain the trust of minorities. Here’s how.

Racism has always existed in healthcare, but the Covid-19 pandemic laid bare how entrenched the problem still is. In response, providers and payers have vowed to fight for health equity by examining the racism within their organizations, listening to minority communities and mounting strategies that take aim at widening care gaps.

Compliance with HIPAA may offer some clues on how providers will fare with new info blocking rules

Despite a 20-year head start, providers still fall short of HIPAA requirements around fulfilling patient requests for their medical records. In light of the federal information blocking rules, providers should first examine their compliance with HIPAA and then address the new demands imposed by the recently enacted regulations.

Steward Health v Aya Healthcare: 4 things to know

The Texas-based health system first sued the staffing firm for “price gouging” amid the Covid-19 pandemic, as wages for nurses shot up from $75 to $160. But the firm countersued, claiming that Steward — which owes Aya over $40 million — previously did not raise objections to its prices.

Cleveland Clinic researchers measure pandemic’s effect on Medicare population

Research conducted by the Cleveland Clinic and Massachusetts-based startup Health Data Analytics Institute (HDAI) measured the difference in mortality during the pandemic  between people covered by Medicare in long-term care facilities and in the community. While a Covid-19 diagnosis increased deaths in both settings, there was a stark difference in those who had not been …

Cleveland Clinic researchers measure pandemic’s effect on Medicare population Read More »

How are healthcare organizations shifting to digital documents? [Sponsored]

In order to gain insight into how organizations are thinking about digitizing medical documents and the strategy behind those decisions, we’re conducting a brief survey of the MedCity News audience and will publish a report based on this survey’s findings.

A Year Into Pandemic, Federal Officials Design New Mask Guidelines to Better Protect More Workers

Federal officials announced new measures to help get fresh, new N95 masks to health care workers and expand their use in other industries after scientists argued that the highly protective masks are essential to keep workers safe from covid-19. Use Our Content It can be republished for free. The changes come as U.S. mask-makers say …

A Year Into Pandemic, Federal Officials Design New Mask Guidelines to Better Protect More Workers Read More »

Orange County Hospital Seeks Divorce From Large Catholic Health System

In early 2013, Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian in Orange County, California, joined with St. Joseph Health, a local Catholic hospital chain, amid enthusiastic promises that their affiliation would broaden access to care and improve the health of residents across the community. This story also ran on U.S. News & World Report. It can be republished …

Orange County Hospital Seeks Divorce From Large Catholic Health System Read More »

Covid Spawns ‘Completely New Category’ of Organ Transplants

In a year when covid-19 shattered the pleas of so many who prayed for miracles, a Georgia man with two new lungs is among the fortunate. Mark Buchanan, of Roopville, received a double-lung transplant in October, nearly three months after covid left him hospitalized and sedated, first on a ventilator and then on the last-resort …

Covid Spawns ‘Completely New Category’ of Organ Transplants Read More »

Report: Fewer health system M&A deals in Q1 2021 offset by larger transactions

Though the number of merger and acquisition deals in the first quarter of 2021 fell below historical averages, the size of the deals was far bigger than the same period last year, a new report from Kaufman Hall shows. The total transacted revenue was $8.8 billion, the second-highest Q1 figure in the last five years.

How CMS final rule will impact E/M coding and documentation requirements

Historically, providers had to meet certain criteria and address three key areas in the patient’s progress notes: patient history, physical exam and medical decision making. CMS has eliminated the history and exam components as required elements for billing purposes, so medical decision making is now the sole driver of the level-of-service.

Readers and Tweeters Give Tips on Treating Diabetes and Long Covid

Letters to the Editor is a periodic feature. We welcome all comments and will publish a selection. We edit for length and clarity and require full names. Glucose Monitors Can Benefit All Types I disagree with the negative tone of a recent KHN article about whether continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) helps non-insulin-using people with Type 2 diabetes (Type …

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Enforcement landscape for HHS data-sharing rules is hazy, experts say

The HHS’ new interoperability and information blocking rules have been in effect for one week, yet how they will be enforced is unclear. But there are some clues that could provide a glimpse into what the enforcement landscape might look like, and the best thing providers and IT developers can do is be proactive, experts …

Enforcement landscape for HHS data-sharing rules is hazy, experts say Read More »

500,000+ Trinity Health patients affected in widespread Accellion data breach

Several healthcare entities that used Accellion’s file transfer software now find themselves the victims of a data breach, including Trinity Health. The software had vulnerabilities that were exploited by cybercriminals, resulting in the exposure of personal health information.

Analysis: Hospital Price Transparency Data Lacks Standardization, Limiting Its Use to Insurers, Employers, and Consumers

In spite of a new price transparency rule that requires hospitals to publish the prices of common health services, comparing prices across hospitals remains challenging due to limited compliance with the law and a lack of standardization in the available data, a new KFF analysis finds. The federal rule, which went into effect on January…More

Early Results from Federal Price Transparency Rule Show Difficultly in Estimating the Cost of Care

A new issue brief examines compliance with a new federal price transparency rule and variation in payer-negotiated rates at U.S. hospitals. The analysis looks at the websites of the two largest hospitals in each state and the District of Columbia, and finds that a lack of consistency in the data and limited compliance among the…More

Poll: About half of healthcare workers feel burned out, anxious when going to work

Though a majority of healthcare workers believe that the pandemic is at least somewhat under control now, about half still feel anxious or burned out when going to work, a new survey shows. Pandemic-related stress has also given rise to physical issues among healthcare workers, including trouble sleeping and headaches.