Data quality killed my analytics program October 22, 2014 | Michael A. Simon, Contributing Writer
data transfer
The importance of population health management has become apparent to all stakeholders in the healthcare marketplace
Improving the health of at-risk, vulnerable and chronically sick populations remains a massive challenge for healthcare organizations' financial administrators. In order to properly manage complex populations, comprehensive and reliable data on patient health and demographics are required. More
The risks of inpatient price variation October 21, 2014 | Chris Nerney, Contributing Writer
stethoscope over money
Just as there is with quality, there is significant variation in pricing among hospitals
Significant inpatient pricing variation between hospitals in the state of Washington is "putting some consumers at financial risk," according to a recent study by the Washington Health Alliance. But the state's hospitals are questioning the report's conclusions, claiming that price variation should not be surprising. More
'Defensive medicine' a flawed concept October 20, 2014 | Don McCanne, MD, Contributing Writer
doctor calculator
The concept that there is excessive resource-intensive care provided strictly as defensive medicine should be abandoned
An article published last week in the New England Journal of Medicine casts doubt that malpractice reform would reduce the use of supposed "defensive medicine." More
New CMS ACO model for rural areas October 17, 2014 | Ken Perez, Contributing Writer
raining money
CMS intends to use the ACO Investment Model to encourage MSSP ACOs to move to higher levels of financial risk
This week CMS launched an ACO Investment Model, which will provide up to $114 million in upfront investments, to up to 75 Medicare Shared Savings Program ACOs. The program aims to help ACOs succeed in the MSSP by providing upfront capital to cover startup and ongoing infrastructure costs. More
Inpatient census continues to sink October 16, 2014 | Chris Nerney, Contributing Writer
census ticker
Inpatient utilization was flat or declined in the first half of 2014 for 68 percent of respondents to Kaufman Hall’s survey
While reducing reliance on expensive inpatient care is a sensible goal for hospitals, the transition away from a bricks-and-mortar, fee-for-service model is creating tremendous pressures on chief financial officers. More
Assessing payer-provider transactions October 15, 2014 | Tom Dean, Contributing Writer
stethoscope on credit cards and cash
There are expenses associated with each payment modality, but cost is only one consideration among several
Like many other industries, healthcare is looking to leverage information technology to transform financial payments and automate the posting of accounts payable and accounts receivable processing systems. But which method to choose? More
Improved revenue starts with the patient October 14, 2014 | Monte Sandler, Contributing Writer
money and stethoscope
Patients are now responsible for closer to 30 to 35 percent of their healthcare bill
Healthcare providers are realizing they must create and sustain a more effective revenue cycle to ensure long-term viability. To remain competitive, providers must closely evaluate the current state of their revenue cycle and implement improvement opportunities. More
Chaos in commercial surrogacy tourism October 13, 2014 | Julie Munro, CEO of InterMed Global
Illustration of pregnant woman
Surrogacy tourism, like other medical travel services, is commonly promoted to be a “fraction of the cost” of commercial surrogacy in the US
For those in the medical tourism industry, the issue of "surrogacy tourism" or commercial surrogacy is not an issue of morality. Whatever one believes, there is a need for surrogacy services and people will take chances with the law in order to have children. More
Price transparency is real in one state October 10, 2014 | Martha Bebinger, Contributing Writer
boston, massachusetts
Massachusetts is the first state to require that insurers offer real-time prices by provider in consumer-friendly formats
While a few states are moving toward more healthcare price transparency, none have gone as far as Massachusetts to make the information accessible to consumers. But the most frequent early users of the newly disclosed data are probably providers. More
Medicare patients pay more at CAHs October 09, 2014 | Jordan Rau, Kaiser Health News
patient payment
Many supplemental insurance policies for the elderly pick up the tab, but one in seven Medicare recipients lacks such a policy
Many Medicare beneficiaries treated at primarily rural "critical access" hospitals end up paying between two and six times more for outpatient services than do patients at other hospitals, according to a report released Wednesday by the HHS inspector general. More
Today’s Headlines
Commercial insurers inaccurately process about 20 percent of claims filed by medical practices. It's an industry standard that has weathered the test of time -- though not in a good way. More
When assessing CFO candidates, hospitals today are seeking "true financial leaders" who can be strategic partners to the CEO. A CFO leader needn't be a visionary, but they do have to... More
The offical transition to the ICD-10 coding set takes place next October (or so we hope). Many providers have already spent a good deal of money preparing for the inevitable, but even so, you need to... More
A new leader is taking the helm of the nation's oldest hospital, in a health system trying to bring emerging therapies and adapt new payment models. More
Medical Properties Trust has signed a deal to acquire and lease back substantially all of the real estate assets of privately-held MEDIAN Kliniken Group, the largest private provider of post-acute... More
The powerful California Nurses Association has put Ebola on the bargaining table in its negotiations for a new contract with Kaiser Permanente. The health system hasn't responded to all of the... More