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Healthcare Economics & Policy


Two Catholic health systems, Maryland-based Bon Secours and Cincinnati’s Mercy Health have announced plans to merge into a 43-hospital system stretching across seven states in the eastern half of the U.S.

The tax cut legislation signed into law late last year will help most for-profit hospitals in 2018, boosting their bottom lines at a time when several major chains are struggling with weak admissions and making acquisitions and capital investments more attractive.

Three months after the transaction was first announced, St. Louis-based Ascension Health and Chicago’s Presence Health have signed a definitive agreement for Presence to join Ascension’s existing joint venture in Illinois, AMITA Health.

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) can move forward with a lawsuit alleging UnitedHealth Group wrongly collected more than $1 billion through Medicare Advantage by finding conditions to increase a patient’s risk adjustment payment from CMS.

The proposed merger between Downers Grove, Illinois-based Advocate Health Care and Milwaukee’s Aurora Health Care now has the blessing of the Federal Trade Commission and regulators in Illinois, leaving regulatory approval in Wisconsin as the final hurdle for creating the 10th largest nonprofit health system in the U.S.


Recent Headlines

Newly renamed Atrium Health to merge with Georgia’s Navicent

Just one day after announcing a name change from Carolinas HealthCare System, Charlotte, North Carolina-based Atrium Health has signed a letter of intent to merge with another system, Navicent Health, based in Macon, Georgia.

What is—and isn’t—an Advanced APM in 2018

CMS has outlined which alternative payment models (APMs) qualify as Advanced APM under the Quality Payment Program (QPP) this year, thus giving participating providers a 5 percent payment bonus.

Kindred asks stockholders to approve Humana merger

In a proxy statement filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Louisville, Kentucky-based Kindred Healthcare urged its shareholders to follow the recommendation of Kindred board members and vote yes on the proposed $4.1 billion sale of the company to insurer Humana and two private equity firms.

Justice Department requests more info on CVS-Aetna merger

The $69 billion proposed acquisition of Aetna by CVS Health remains under review by the Department of Justice (DOJ), which requested the companies provide more information on their merger agreement.

Hospitals can expect 7.35% increase in drug prices

Between July 1, 2018, and June 30, 2019, health systems should expect pharmaceutical prices to jump up by 7.35 percent, a slightly lower increase than in recent years as fewer products see “exorbitant” price hikes and costs moderate for high-priced hepatitis C drugs.

Wellmont, MHSA get final OK to merge into Ballad Health

The merger of Wellmont Health System and Mountain States Health Alliance (MSHA) cleared its last hurdle on Jan. 31, as the Tennessee Department of Health issued the Certificate of Public Advantage (COPA) allowing the deal to be completed.

GAO: Oversight of imported radiological material needs to be improved

On Jan. 12, the U.S. Government Accounting Office (GAO) published a 28-page report on its website that called for U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to improve its ability to verify the licenses of imported radiological material.

Carolinas-UNC merger under state review

A special committee formed by the University of North Carolina’s board of governors has until Dec. 20 to review the proposed joint venture between the UNC Health Care System and Carolinas HealthCare System.