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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

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.

CMS finalizes 2018 skilled nursing, inpatient rehab, hospice payment rules

CMS has issued its final rules for 2018 Medicare payment rates and policy updates for skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) and inpatient rehabilitation facilities (IRFs).

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