Many companies in 2018 sought a slice of the healthcare pie, including e-commerce titan Amazon, resulting in a massive conglomerate deal with J.P. Morgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway. Tech-giant Apple began to carve its own path in the industry and...National News
Always available upon request, prices for procedures are now posted online to encourage patients to exercise their healthcare literacy to make market decisions - first lesson: it's not what you'll pay.
Because the list price isn't what price your insurance company pays, critics say CMS' new rule may not be effective when it comes to...Arizona News
University of Arizona College of Nursing clinical instructor Sheri Carson was named Arizona Pediatric Nurse Practitioner of the Year for her work toward creating a more effective screening program for abused children.
Senior lecturer at UA's College of Nursing Mary O'Connell nominated Carson due, in part, to her research concerning...Arizona News
Budget requests from the Arizona Department of Health and Human Services (ADHS) and the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) were received by the Governor's Office of Strategic Planning & Budgeting and will lay the foundation for budget negotiations in the New Year.
ADHS asking for $474.8 million
Pima Community Access Program (PCAP) helped low-income community members in Southern and Southeastern Arizona access quality, affordable health insurance options; all PCAP inquiries are now forwarded to the El Rio Health Center's outreach and enrollment department.
The not-for-profit organization provided access to professional...National News
In a Dec. 20 letter to CMS Administrator Seema Verma, the national insurance advocacy group, American Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), said pass through funding should not be available to subsidize the purchase of alternatives to individual market health insurance, including short-term limited duration insurance.
AHIP was providing...National News
U.S. District Court Judge Reed O'Conner hasn't budged from his view that the ACA is unconstitutional, but issued a stay Dec. 30 allowing the law to stand while his controversial decision is taken up on appeal.
Arizona is one of 20 GOP-led states that brought the case in Texas arguing the ACA's individual mandate is inseverable from...Arizona Comings & Goings
Arizona's Medicaid agency will be led by Snyder beginning Jan. 4. She succeeds the retiring Tom Betlach, the longest serving AHCCCS director in the state's history.
Serving as deputy director of the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) since December of 2017, Snyder isn't new public service, nor to Arizona. She...Arizona News
A study by the American Journal of Medical Care (AJMC) highlighted the hospital grades the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) posted on Hospital Compare for heart failure (HF) and acute myocardial infarction (AMI) readmissions are inconsistent with the scores used to set penalties under the Hospitals Readmissions Reduction...Arizona News
Venture to downtown Phoenix and in the heart of the city on Van Buren St. and Central Ave., right next to Civic Space Park, anyone can see the homeless problem in Phoenix. Park benches and the local transit station is littered with people who do not have anywhere else to sleep. A new program, Street Medicine Phoenix, aims to provide...Arizona News
In collaboration with PolitiFact, ProPublica published a story last week revealing longer wait times for veterans and higher costs for taxpayers as a result of Veterans Choice, a private medical care program for veterans.
The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) has long been a topic of controversy, a fully-government operated...News
On Dec. 21, CMS reported Medicare Next Generation ACOs produced $129 million in savings in 2017 while earning an average of $3.3 million each in bonuses for beating cost targets and meeting quality benchmarks. We report Arizona Care Network and Optum results.
Nearly 73 percent of Next Generation ACOs received a total of $200.5 million...Arizona News
Banner Health began construction and is full-steam ahead with new 245,000 square foot Chandler medical facility. The four-story hospital, Banner Ocotillo Medical Center will set the health system back $155 million, providing patients with approximately 120 beds.
Despite a controversial council meeting last month, the project was...Arizona News
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona (BCBSAZ) and Phoenix Children's Hospital (PCH) will be continuing their provider relationship with a new three-year contract. The initial contract deadline was extended to make room for negotiations, but an agreement was reached.
PCH will continue to be part of the provider network for BCBSAZ...Arizona News
A report by CBRE, commercial real estate and investment firm, reveals the number of outpatient facilities are on the rise, with a 51 percent increase from 2005 to 2016. The firm's research identifies a surge in mergers and acquisitions (M&A) as a cause of lower-cost outpatient centers.
The absorption rate in areas such as...National News
The agency released Part 1 of the 2020 Advance Notice on Dec. 19; The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is proposing to include additional patient conditions when calculating risk adjustment payments for Medicare Advantage (MA) plans.
CMS also proposes to adjust its risk score calculation by boosting the weight of...Arizona News
The merger creating a new company called CommonSpirit Health won't close before the New Year as expected. The merger will create a system with a fleet of 140 hospitals (five in Arizona) operating across 16 states.
CommonSpirit Health would also include 700 care sites and employ 159,000 employees and about 25,000 physicians and other...National News
In the new "Pathways to Success" model, ACOs will have to be ready to take financial risk sooner.
The final policy reduces the amount of time new ACOs can stay in the program without taking risk from six to two years and just one year for existing one-sided ACOs. The agency made one exception to its fast track initiative: new,...Arizona News
There may be more health plan choices in individual markets, but narrow networks are squeezing enrollees when it comes to physician choice. An Avalere analysis found that narrow network plans make up almost 75 percent of the exchange market, which means restricted choices when it comes to doctors and hospitals within a health plan's list...Arizona News
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) still has $1.6 billion to collect in Medicaid overpayments, news revealed through Office of Inspector General (OIG) audits. A new December OIG report explains that CMS's timely recovery of overpayments helps to confirm that federal funds are being used effectively and...Arizona News
NextGen Healthcare Inc. recently launched their Health Data Hub, which will be presented at the upcoming J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco, CA. The hub is a cloud-based Health Information Exchange (HIE) platform, enabling sharing and compiling of patient health data.
In a press release, CEO of Arizona's Health...News
In the final week of the six-week enrollment period, 4.3 million people selected a plan or were automatically re-enrolled in a plan on HealthCare.gov making ACA signups in 2019, just 4 percent lower than last year.
This week's numbers are not final and don't include plan selections for consumers who are still in the HealthCare.gov...Arizona News
If successful, the merger would create one of the largest urgent care providers in the country with 251 clinics across 10 states; FastMed now has 110 clinics (31 in Arizona) and NextCare operates 141 urgent care facilities (42 in Arizona).
In its clinics, FastMed offers a range of acute/episodic and preventive healthcare services,...National News
Health Affairs cites a report that analyzed 2010 MA vs. fee-for services Medicare claims data showing MA is between 9 and 30 percent lower than Traditional Medicare for healthcare spending per enrollee, per month.
In a future study out of Stanford University by Vilsa Curto and colleagues, the researchers write,
We calculate that MA...National News
A November Office of Inspector General (OIG) report found that 46 percent of Medicare patients in Long-term-care hospitals (LTCH) experienced some type of harm during care. The OIG examined other post-acute settings such as skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) and rehabilitation centers, but LTCHs had the highest overall...