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Flawed data led to $140M in Medicare hospital overpayments, according to HHS' OIG

November 29, 2018

HHS' Office of the Inspector General in a new report identifies "material inaccuracies" in data CMS used to calculate the Medicare Area Wage Index, which the agency uses to adjust hospitals' Medicare payments.

Amazon just took a leap into the $7B EHR industry

November 28, 2018

Amazon Web Services is selling a new language processing service designed to mine unstructured medical data from electronic health records to extract information on diagnoses, medical dosages, symptoms, and other health-related details.

Inside CMS' plan to lower drug costs for Medicare Part D enrollees

November 28, 2018

CMS' proposed rule seeks to eliminate barriers that prevent Medicare Part D and Medicare Advantage enrollees from accessing lower-cost drugs by giving Part D plans more flexibility to use formulary management tools, such as prior authorizations and step therapy.

Rural hospitals keep closing—and that could have significant health effects

November 27, 2018

Hospital closures, particularly in rural areas, have outpaced new hospitals every year since 2011, and research shows that trend can have significant health consequences on the local population.

How Geisinger Health Plan cut hepatitis C treatment costs by 20%—without sacrificing cure rate

November 26, 2018

The medical community celebrated when researchers developed a breakthrough therapy that could fully eliminate hepatitis C, but the treatment's $100,000 price tag prompted Geisinger Health Plan to craft a unique approach to reducing costs.

Walmart is offering no-cost spinal surgeries to employees—but there's a catch

November 21, 2018

Walmart beginning next year will require employees who need spinal surgery to get the procedure at one of a handful of hospitals nationwide that the company has selected for offering better-quality care at lower prices.

A shift in primary care: More adults seeing NPs, PAs than physicians, analysis finds

November 16, 2018

A new analysis shows U.S. adults with employer-sponsored health plans are making fewer trips to their primary care physicians, while office visits to nurse practitioners and physician assistants have increased.

When hospitals merge, prices can increase by more than 50%, according to a new analysis

November 16, 2018

Hospitals often argue that consolidation will lower prices, but an analysis from the Nicholas C. Petris Center at the University of California-Berkeley finds that consolidation actually leads to higher prices.

North Carolina wants to save $300M a year by pegging reimbursement to Medicare rates—but hospitals are pushing back

November 15, 2018

Hospitals in North Carolina are pushing back against a plan to tie what the state pays for workers' health care to Medicare's reimbursement rate—a move that hospitals say could jeopardize access to care.

The case for treating antibiotic resistance as a national security problem

November 14, 2018

Many of the antibiotics people use today could become ineffective within three decades, and experts predict there will be few replacements unless major changes are made to the research and development process.

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