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Healthcare news this week …

RACs seek to regain reviewing privileges for Medicare claims

RACs seek to regain reviewing privileges for Medicare claims

September 19, 2018

Recovery Audit Contractors recouped more than $400 million in improper Medicare payments in fiscal year 2016 and are now urging Congress to increase their ability to review more claims. Hospitals meanwhile are seeking to further reduce the amount of claims reviewed by RACs.

News from other sources

By Modern Healthcare  |  September 19, 2018

CVS may rethink its new cost-effectiveness program amid criticism, Novo Nordisk lays off 400 workers and a new research paper finds there is still a ways to go in DNA treatment.

Recovering from Florence, hospitals get an outside assist

Recovering from Florence, hospitals get an outside assist

September 19, 2018

North Carolina hospitals affected by Hurricane Florence are working to get back to normal operations, thanks in part to collaboration with the state, supply chain partners and healthcare providers in less affected areas, like Atrium Health.

Skilled-nursing occupancy hits record low

Skilled-nursing occupancy hits record low

September 19, 2018

Occupancy at SNFs across the United States reached a record low of 81.7% in the second quarter of 2018, down from 83.1% over the same period last year as policy changes take hold and competition ramps up.

California: Drugmaker paid doctors to overprescribe Humira

California: Drugmaker paid doctors to overprescribe Humira

By Associated Press  |  September 19, 2018

California's insurance commissioner accused pharmaceutical giant AbbVie of illegally plying doctors with cash, gifts and services to prescribe Humira, tainting their relationship with patients and driving up insurance costs.

AHA launches 340B hospital transparency effort

AHA launches 340B hospital transparency effort

September 18, 2018

The American Hospital Association's new initiative is meant to better inform both policymakers and the public about the 340B program and how hospitals use the savings they generate from it.

Survey: Hawaii loses 51 doctors as shortage continues

Survey: Hawaii loses 51 doctors as shortage continues

By Associated Press  |  September 18, 2018

After two years of gaining physicians, Hawaii lost 51 full-time doctors in 2017. The state has about 2,900 full-time doctors, approximately 800 short of the number needed across all specialties.

University of Michigan nurses approve 3-day strike

University of Michigan nurses approve 3-day strike

By Kurt Nagl  |  September 18, 2018

Nurses at the University of Michigan voted in favor of a three-day work stoppage to protest "ongoing and continuous violations of their workplace rights" after their contracts expired June 30.

Congress questions its role in healthcare price transparency

Congress questions its role in healthcare price transparency

September 18, 2018

The Senate's health committee is questioning the government's role in helping patients understand what they should pay for their healthcare—and whether Congress can change the incentives in a complex system that doesn't encourage shopping.

Senator proposes federal curbs on balance billing

Senator proposes federal curbs on balance billing

September 17, 2018

A Senate proposal would take aim at hospital balance billing—a practice that has caused sticker-shock reverberations across the country and sparked increasing public outcry.

Senate clears opioids, 'gag clause' legislation

Senate clears opioids, 'gag clause' legislation

September 17, 2018

The Senate passed its opioids legislation, laying the groundwork for a final bicameral deal. The upper chamber also cleared a stand-alone healthcare bill to target insurer gag clauses on pharmacists.

Summa Health begins bridging its financial gap

Summa Health begins bridging its financial gap

By Lydia Coutré  |  September 17, 2018

Following a multimillion-dollar operating loss in 2017, Summa Health in the first half of this year managed to achieve a $43 million turnaround of its finances and is back in the black.


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