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GOP eyeing Medicare, Medicaid reform in 2018, Ryan says

December 8, 2017


House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) says Republican lawmakers next year will "have to get back [to] entitlement reform," such as Medicare and Medicaid reform, as a way of "tackl[ing] the debt and the deficit."

Temp, full-time doctors provide similar quality of care, study suggests

December 8, 2017


Staff Care, a national recruiting firm that connects locum tenens physicians with hospitals, estimates that the number of temp doctors has almost doubled since 2002, totaling about 48,000 in 2017.

US health spending slows, but consumers' out-of-pocket spending soars, CMS data show

December 7, 2017


In an annual report, CMS actuaries find U.S. health spending increased by 4.3% to $3.3 trillion in 2016, down from growth rates of 5.8% in 2015 and 5.1% in 2014—but consumers' out-of-pocket spending rose at its fastest rate since 2007.

Study: Largest US insurers are depending more on Medicare, Medicaid for revenues, enrollment

December 7, 2017


The study finds that Medicare and Medicaid plans offered by the United States' five largest health insurers accounted for 59% of the insurers' total revenue and 20% of the insurers' combined enrollment in 2016, demonstrating the insurers' growing dependence on government health programs.

CMS extends enforcement delay for some long-term care requirements

December 6, 2017


CMS in a recent notice says it is imposing an 18-month moratorium on enforcement activities for several portions of a final rule for long-term care facilities so the agency can "address concerns regarding the scope and timing of the revised requirements."

Moody's revises 2018 outlook for nonprofit, public hospitals to 'negative'

December 6, 2017


Moody's Investors Services projects that nonprofit and public hospitals will see their operating cash flows decline by between 2% and 4% over the next 12 to 18 months.

FDA approves first test to detect cancer-causing mutations in hundreds of genes

December 5, 2017


FDA says the test, known as FoundationOne CDx, could help reduce health care costs and bolster patient care, and CMS says it plans to cover the test for qualifying Medicare beneficiaries.

Analysts warn hospital bankruptcies could be looming

December 5, 2017


Industry observers say an increasing number of hospitals and other health care companies likely will file for bankruptcy or restructure their debt in the coming year.

CVS + Aetna: How the $69B merger could shake up the health care industry

December 4, 2017


Observers say the proposed deal aims to combine Aetna's medical expertise with CVS Health's pharmacy locations to create sites for convenient, local care—and stem rising health care costs.

CMS proposes reporting measures for Medicare quality, VBP programs

December 4, 2017


Kate Goodrich, director of CMS' Center for Clinical Standards & Quality, says the list of quality and cost measures under consideration for Medicare quality reporting and value-based purchasing programs includes 32 measures focused "on clearly defined, meaningful measure priority areas that safeguard public health and improve patient outcomes."

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