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Millennial patients know less about their health benefits, are less likely to pay their medical bills in full and often don’t save for medical expenses, according to a survey published by TransUnion Healthcare.

St. Louis-based Ascension Health and Renton, Washington-based Providence St. Joseph Health are discussing a merger, according to the Wall Street Journal, which would create a massive nonprofit health system of 191 hospitals in 27 states.

More than a year after first announcing they were negotiating a merger, Dignity Health and Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI) have a definitive agreement to create a massive nonprofit health system based out of Chicago with more than $28 billion in combined revenue.

CMS reported national health spending grew at a slower rate in 2016, increasing by 4.3 percent with slower growth across almost all spending categories, including private health insurance, Medicare, Medicaid and retail prescription drug spending.

Optum, the consulting and services arm of health insurance giant UnitedHealth Group, has continued a series of major acquisitions with the announcement it will buy DaVita Medical Group, a division of kidney dialysis firm DaVita, for $4.9 billion.

 

Recent Headlines

267,000 healthcare jobs would be eliminated under latest ACA repeal plan

The Graham-Cassidy legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) would cause an immediate downturn in healthcare employment, amounting to more than 267,000 fewer jobs in the industry by 2026, according to a report from George Washington University’s Milken Institute School of Public Health and the Commonwealth Fund.

Moody’s: Despite ACA uncertainty, health insurers’ outlook stable

U.S. health insurers maintained a stable outlook in the latest report from Moody’s Investor Service, with the rating agency expecting insurance companies “will continue generating solid results owing to disciplined medical management and moderate medical cost trends.”

UPMC buys 50% stake in Rome hospital

University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) has expanded its operations in Italy, buying a 50 percent stake in the 75-bed Salvator Mundi International Hospital in Rome and taking over clinical operations.

What states would lose under Graham-Cassidy ACA repeal

If the Graham-Cassidy proposal is passed by the Senate, most states would lose funding compared to what they be paid under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2020, as the ACA’s insurance subsidies and Medicaid expansion funding would be turned into a fixed block grant. Over a 20-year period, healthcare funding to states will be reduced by $4 trillion, according to Avalere Health.

Anthem to buy Medicare Advantage insurer HealthSun

Insurance giant Anthem has announced it will acquire Florida Medicare Advantage plan HealthSun, which could add 40,000 members from the Miami metropolitan area to Anthem’s affiliated Medicare and Medicaid plans in the state.

University of Texas, Ardent Health to acquire 10-hospital system in joint venture

The East Texas Medical Center (ETMC) Regional Healthcare System will be acquired by a new joint venture between Nashville-based Ardent Health System and the University of Texas (UT) System, the two announced in a Sept. 13 press release, with Ardent assuming control of day-to-day operations.

5 reactions to proposed 2018 Physician Fee Schedule

The comment period for the proposed Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) has closed, with policy and payment updates drawing a typically mixed reaction from stakeholders within the industry.

Centene buying New York’s Fidelis Care for $3.75B

Health insurer Centene announced on Sept. 12 it had entered into a definitive agreement to buy Fidelis Care, the leading Medicaid managed care insurer in New York, for $3.75 billion.

1 in 6 practices paying fees for receiving electronic payments

One-sixth (17 percent) of physician practices responding to a Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) poll said they’re paying fees from 2 to 5 percent for receiving payments electronically—a practice the MGMA wants CMS to prohibit.

UnitedHealth in talks to buy Chilean insurer Banmedica

UnitedHealth Group, the largest health insurer in the U.S., is considering acquiring Banmedica, an insurer based in Chile, for an undisclosed amount.

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