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Healthcare in 2020: Progress continues, but challenges remain

Healthcare costs will continue to be a major focus in a year that will also see health systems struggle with adequate staffing and security threats.

Providers and insurers can expect to see a continuation of federal policy to rein in healthcare costs as well as more potential legislation on surprise bills and drug prices in the New Year. Also, telehealth will continue to grow as a cost-effective and convenient alternative to in-person care while physician and nurse shortages and the threat of cybersecurity breaches are ever present.

Pricing disparities an issue as Trump's executive order on healthcare price transparency takes hold

The national disparity between gross charges for each procedure is significant with a 297% difference between the lowest and highest gross charge.

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Study sheds light on executive pay in healthcare industry

Compensation for CEOs ranged from $274,300 to $1.4 million, depending on the size of the hospital.

Single payer systems likely to save money in U.S., analysis finds

In all, 19 of 22 models predicted net savings in the first year after implementation, averaging 3.5% of total healthcare spending.

MedPAC suggests making Medicare Advantage bonuses budget neutral

UnitedHealthcare reported its strongest enrollment ever for Medicare Advantage plans in 2020.

Blue Cross Blue Shield organizations and Civica Rx partner on lower cost generic drugs

The 18 BCBS companies will provide $55 million to help create a Civica subsidiary focused on generic medications outside of the hospital setting.

Mergers in 2020 expected to be more strategic than financial in nature

The hospital-to-hospital merger or partnership is about complementary resources put together for the benefit of both, according to Kaufman Hall.

Drug supply chain, pricing system reforms will slash healthcare costs, says PRI

An interventionist approach from the government may not work as intended; market competition and systemic reform will be paramount.

Mergers slowed in 2018 as hospitals turn to deals more strategic than financial in nature

Organizations continuing an M&A approach will be those implementing a continuum of care strategy and establishing acute sites of care, report says.

MGMA looks at what's ahead for physicians in 2020

Staffing shortages, regulatory burden and reimbursement, and patient expectations on cost, quality and convenience top priorities.

ACOs in the MSSP model head into future risk

The numbers for MSSP participation starting this month are an important measure of ACO willingness to take downside risk.

Price transparency rule could lead to narrower networks, experts say

For capitalism to continue in healthcare, negotiations need to continue behind closed doors, expert says.

Healthcare paperwork cost U.S. $812 billion in 2017, 4 times more per capita than Canada

Doctors, hospitals and other health providers in the U.S. spent far more on administration due to complexity.

CMS releases 2021 Medicare Advantage risk adjustment payment changes

Risk scores will be calculated using 75% encounter data, an increase of 25% over this year.

20 Democratic states ask Supreme Court to review ACA decision

The petition asks the Court to review the case before the end of the current term in June.

Telehealth laws and regulations in 2019 have set the stage for increased access and use

As the care delivery platform becomes more legitimate and accepted, governments, payers and providers are coping with the changes it will bring.

Moody's upgrades 2020 outlook for non-profit healthcare sector to stable

Non-profit hospitals on track for higher operating cash flow and continuing M&A activity, though demographic and policy risks remain.

Machine learning, AI, telemedicine and other technologies will pose data security risks, says Dr. John Halamka

While the shift is necessary, the transition period will likely see hackers targeting newly vulnerable information, said Halamka.

Uptake of population health analytics on the increase – but gaps remain

A new KLAS report explores how pop health platforms are being used specifically for care management, and shows how various vendors' tools are able to support care managers' work.

Job opportunities for physicians increase by 5% as demand surges, though worries about a shortage remain

Physician compensation has also increased, and in New Orleans, pay growth hit 10%.

Healthcare spending rises to $3.6 trillion in the U.S., driven partly by health insurance tax

After a slower growth rate in 2017, 2018 saw growth rates about equal to those of 2016, driven in part by the reinstatement of a fee on insurers.

Millennials, Gen Xers less satisfied with health plans, new survey shows

Incentive for healthy behaviors was the biggest demand from those who took the survey, with 46% saying it was missing from their plans.

Republican satisfaction with U.S. healthcare costs is on the upswing, finds Gallup

For Democrats and independents, the trend is more or less flat, with cost satisfaction clocking in at 9% and 25%, respectively.