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More rural hospitals are closing. Here's where—and why—they're shutting their doors.

October 4, 2018

A new Government Accountability Office report shows a total of 64 rural hospitals in the United States closed from 2013 through 2017, which is more than twice the number of rural hospital closures that occurred during the previous five-year period.

Congress sends bipartisan, bicameral bill to combat opioid epidemic to Trump

October 4, 2018

The 660-page legislative package seeks to address the opioid epidemic through a variety of public health initiatives to expand access to treatments for opioid use disorders, promote the development of alternative treatments for pain, and prevent the entry of illicit drugs into the United States.

SCOTUS to hear hospitals' challenge to Medicare payment change

October 2, 2018

James Segroves, a partner at Reed Smith, says the case will be the first Medicare-related case the Supreme Court will hear in several years.

CMS wants to loosen oversight of transplant programs—but not everyone thinks that's a good idea

October 1, 2018

CMS under a newly proposed rule would abandon a decades-old regulation that places hospitals at risk of losing Medicare funding if a large number of their organ transplant patients die or experience organ failure.

Hospital and other industry groups oppose CMS' proposed move to site-neutral payments

October 1, 2018

Hospital and other industry groups say CMS' proposed update to Medicare's Hospital Outpatient and Ambulatory Surgical Center Payment Systems for calendar year 2019 could inhibit patients' access to care.

The 2,599 hospitals facing readmissions penalties this year, mapped

September 28, 2018

New CMS data show Medicare under the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program will reduce reimbursements for 2,599 hospitals for fiscal year 2019.

CMS says it got some providers' MIPS adjustments wrong

September 27, 2018

CMS says it has implemented solutions to address errors in its quality scores for clinicians participating in the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) track under MACRA's Quality Payment Program and has updated the 2017 MIPS final scores and 2019 MIPS payment adjustment of affected clinicians.

Judge dismisses lab group's suit over Medicare payment cuts

September 26, 2018

U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson rules that, although she believes the American Clinical Laboratory Association raises valid questions in its lawsuit challenging CMS' method for calculating Medicare reimbursements for most clinical lab tests, she must dismiss the suit because "Congress expressly precluded judicial review of issues such as these."

The 'secret' clause in hospital contracts that insurers blame for high prices

September 20, 2018

A Wall Street Journal analysis shows that dozens of contracts between hospitals and insurers include secret, restrictive terms such as "anti-steering" clauses that limit insurers' ability to design low-cost health plans for major employers, such as Walmart and Home Depot.

Medicare's surprising slowdown: Why per-person costs are falling—and what the health system can learn from it

September 18, 2018

When actuaries detected a slowdown in Medicare spending growth a few years ago, Medicare officials claimed it was a one-time blip due to the recession. But one expert is spearheading research that paints a different picture—revealing a sustained slowdown in spending that the larger health care system could learn from.

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