Week in review: 11 biggest healthcare stories this week

Stay in the know with Becker's Hospital Review's weekly roundup of the nation's biggest healthcare news. Here's what you need to know this week.

1. Steward Health Care to acquire IASIS Healthcare
Boston-based Steward Health Care has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Franklin, Tenn.-based IASIS Healthcare. Under the deal, Steward will become the largest private for-profit hospital operator in the U.S. with 36 hospitals across 10 states, managed care operations in Arizona, Utah and Massachusetts and projected revenues of nearly $8 billion in 2018, the first year of consolidated operations.

2. HHS delays 340B drug program regulations
HHS on Thursday delayed a regulation preventing drug companies from overcharging hospitals under the 340B drug discount program. The 340B drug pricing program, enacted in 1992, ensures hospitals treating a large proportion of low-income patients can buy drugs from manufacturers at a discount of 20 to 50 percent. About one-third of U.S. hospitals — or 2,000 — participate in the program, purchasing about $12 billion in discounted drugs in 2015, according to The Washington Post.

3. Quorum Health seeks to sell 6 more hospitals
Brentwood, Tenn.-based Quorum Health, the 35-hospital spinoff of Franklin, Tenn.-based Community Health Systems, is focused on restructuring its portfolio to improve financial performance.

4. DHS: Fewer than 10 US organizations reported 'WannaCry' ransomware infection
Although the 'WannaCry' ransomware attack has infected more than 300,000 computers in 150 countries since May 12, organizations in the U.S. were largely spared, according to Reuters.

5. CHS names new CFO
Franklin, Tenn.-based Community Health Systems named Thomas Aaron executive vice president and CFO.

6. 'Save Copper Basin Medical Center!!': Rural hospital seeks to raise $100,000 on GoFundMe
Within 10 days as of May 16, a rural critical access hospital in Copperhill, Tenn., has halted inpatient care, laid off at least 15 nurses and activated a GoFundMe page in hopes to raise $100,000.

7. Police investigate fatal shooting of armed inmate at Delnor Hospital
State and county police are investigating the fatal shooting of Tywon Salters, an inmate who stole a correctional officer's gun and held two nurses hostage May 13 at Geneva, Ill.-based Northwestern Medicine Delnor Hospital, reports Daily Herald.

8. Partners, GE Healthcare launch 10-year AI-focused partnership
Boston-based Partners HealthCare and GE Healthcare have entered into a decade-long collaboration to develop and integrate artificial intelligence and deep learning technology across the healthcare continuum.

9. Idaho woman detained in Mexican hospital for 4 days over $30k medical bill
A 70-year-old woman from Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, said she was held at San Javier Riviera Nayarit hospital in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico, for four days due to her inability to pay tens of thousands of dollars in medical bills, The Spokesman-Review reports.

10. Healthcare execs expect value-based care to disrupt industry more than science in decade ahead
C-level executives and investors from across the healthcare industry rank pricing and reimbursement as the No. 1 strategic pressure facing the healthcare industry today, according to a survey from consulting firm Lazard.

11. Gallup: Percentage of Americans naming healthcare as No. 1 problem surges
A recent Gallup poll, found the greatest proportion of American adults — 18 percent — believe healthcare is the biggest problem facing the country. The same proportion of respondents cited "dissatisfaction with government/poor leadership," as the nation's biggest issue. A survey from Consumer Reports turned up similar findings, with healthcare accounting for the most often-cited issue for American consumers. 

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