Top 5 healthcare finance stories in September

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Medicare payment rules and hospital closures were among the healthcare finance topics that piqued the interest of readers in September. 

Here are five of the most popular finance stories published by Becker's Hospital Review in September: 

1. Physician quits after his employer charged $11K for COVID-19 antibody test
Zachary Sussman, MD, went to his employer, Physicians Premier ER, for a COVID-19 antibody test. The company billed and got paid $10,984 for the visit. Dr. Sussman said he was so shaken by the amount his insurance company was charged for the test that he resigned. 

2. Where furloughs stand at 93 hospitals, health systems
U.S. hospitals and health systems were forced to make cost reduction a priority this spring to offset decreases in patient volume, a ban on elective procedures and increased expenses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While cost reduction strategies differed across organizations, more than 266 hospitals and health systems announced plans to furlough a portion of their staff to help address the financial fallout.

3. CMS releases final inpatient payment rule for 2021
CMS released its annual Inpatient Prospective Payment System final rule Sept. 2, which raises Medicare payment rates for acute care hospitals. The rule, which affects approximately 3,200 acute care hospitals, applies to discharges occurring on or after Oct. 1, 2020. 

4. 2 Georgia hospitals to close in October
Seven rural hospitals in Georgia have closed since 2008, and two more are slated to shut down in October. 

5. Ascension records $1B annual loss
Ascension's revenue remained mostly flat year over year in fiscal 2020, but the St. Louis-based health system ended the period with a loss.

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