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The number of hospital mergers and acquisitions (M&A) has reached 87 through the end of the third quarter, according to an analysis from consulting firm Kaufman Hall, putting 2017 M&A activity in the sector on pace to surpass the 102 deals that were completed in 2016.

The impact of hurricanes Harvey and Irma on hospitals owned by Nashville, Tennessee-based HCA Healthcare was spelled out in a preview of its third quarter earnings report, with the company saying it lost $140 million thanks to additional expenses and lost revenue at its facilities in Texas, Florida, Georgia and South Carolina.

A bonus of up to 10 percent has been proposed for using an upgraded electronic health record (EHR) system for reporting in the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) in 2018, but speakers at two recent industry conventions warned it’s likely not a worthwhile investment for providers.

When the previous administration at CMS finalized rules on mandatory bundled payment models for cardiac and orthopedic care late in 2016, 221 public comments were received. The cancellation of those same bundles, however, drew only 85 official comments as of Oct. 18.

Four accountable care organization (ACO) models generated more in gross savings in 2016, but unlike in previous years, CMS hasn’t publicly touted the results as it re-examines payment models created under the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI).

 

Recent Headlines

CMS asked to delay cuts to Medicaid DSH payments

The American Hospital Association (AHA) and dozens of doctors and hospitals have asked CMS to delay proposed cuts to Medicaid disproportionate share hospital (DSH) payments, arguing reductions would hamper safety-net hospitals and criticizing how the payments would be calculated.

Northwell Health to shut down its insurance business

The largest hospital system in New York, Northwell Health, announced it will wind down operations of its CareConnect insurance division due to financial losses caused by the Affordable Care Act’s risk adjustment program.

Ascension to acquire Chicago’s Presence Health

Ascension Health, already the largest integrated health system in the U.S. by number of facilities, will grow larger by acquiring Chicago-based Presence Health, the largest Catholic health system in Illinois.

3 things to know about Moody’s hospital report

Moody’s Investor Service released its latest review of financial performance for the 323 not-for-profit hospitals it rates on Aug. 21, showing tighter profit margins and a milestone being reached for outpatient revenue in 2016 while retaining a stable outlook for the sector.

Medica buying Mayo Clinic’s health benefits division

Minnetonka, Minnesota-based Medica has reached a deal with Mayo Clinic to acquire its Mayo Clinic Health Solutions division, also known as MMSI, for an undisclosed sum.

Hospital’s nonprofit status revoked by IRS for the 1st time

In a first for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), it stripped a hospital’s nonprofit tax status over failing to meet charity care requirements which went into effect, though the unnamed hospital also claimed it didn’t want or need tax-exempt status.

CBO: Premiums would spike 20% in 2018 if ACA insurer subsidies pulled

If payment of cost-sharing reduction subsidies, or CSRs, for insurers offering coverage on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplace are terminated, premiums would be 20 percent higher on average in 2018 and federal spending would increase, but the ACA market would remain stable, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

Deloitte’s Chip Newton: Where your practice is overspending on labor

When it comes to finding waste in their labor costs, healthcare leaders need to sweat the small stuff, according to Chip Newton, senior manager at Deloitte Consulting LLP.

ACA insurers get 3 extra weeks to file final rates for 2018

CMS has pushed back the deadline for insurers to file their final 2018 rate requests for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) exchanges until Sept. 5, giving companies extra time to decide what plans and prices to offer.

Few patients making use of price transparency tools

Two studies published in the August edition of Health Affairs emphasized while patients like the idea of having healthcare prices available for comparison shopping, in practice, few actually take advantage of the tools.

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