Week in review: 10 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. 2 states' plans to save PPACA subsidies earn approval
Delaware and Pennsylvania were "conditionally approved" to create their own health insurance exchanges. They are the only two states that have submitted contingency plans for the high court ruling on the PPACA subsidies. In a letter HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell sent to both states' health officials to congratulate them on receiving approval, Ms. Burwell also announced that Arkansas received approval for a small business marketplace.

2. CMS unable to verify $2.8B in payments to insurers
CMS did not effectively track subsidies paid to insurers under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act between January and April 2014, putting $2.8 billion at risk, according to a report issued Tuesday from the HHS Office of Inspector General.

3. Feds hit with second cyberattack compromising PHI for millions
Just two weeks after the Office of Personnel Management reported a cyberattack on the agency's computer system, federal officials indicated another cyberattack targeted on intelligence and military personnel. U.S. officials told The Hill Chinese hackers gained access to security clearance information by way of background check forms, including employees with the CIA, National Security Agency and the Pentagon.

4. 46 medical professionals charged in connection with $712M in false billings
The Medicare Fraud Strike Force charged 243 individuals, including 46 physicians, nurses and other licensed medical professionals, for their alleged participation in fraud schemes involving approximately $712 million in false billings, according to the Department of Justice. This nationwide takedown is the largest one ever coordinated by the Strike Force in terms of people charged and the loss amount.

5. Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital prepares to care for escaped fugitives
Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital in Plattsburgh, N.Y., created a plan to care for two convicted killers who broke out of Clinton Correctional Facility, a maximum-security prison in Dannemora, N.Y., as well as anyone involved in the manhunt.

6. Anthem, UnitedHealth seek to pick up smaller insurers
The health insurance sector is in the midst of a merger frenzy. Within the last two weeks, Anthem made two takeover bids for Cigna, and Cigna rejected both of them, according to The Wall Street Journal. The most recent takeover bid from Anthem was $175 a share, according to the report. At the same time, UnitedHealth Group approached Aetna about a takeover deal early this week. The takeover deal would likely be valued at more than $40 billion, according to The Wall Street Journal. It is still unclear if Aetna has responded to UnitedHealth's proposal. Additionally, Humana entered takeover talks with both Cigna and Aetna.

7. North Shore-LIJ notifies 18,000 patients of breach due to stolen laptops
Great Neck, N.Y.-based North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System is notifying patients their health information may be compromised after laptops were stolen from a contractor's office. Five laptops were stolen in September 2014 from offices at Global Care Delivery, a firm based in Dallas that processes and collected payments going from payers to hospitals. Four of the stolen laptops potentially contained health information of approximately 18,000 North Shore-LIJ patients, including names, birth dates, internal account numbers, insurance information and diagnosis and procedure codes.

8. Leavitt Partners, Brookings Institution joining forces to form world's largest ACO collaborative
Two accountable care consulting powerhouses — Leavitt Partners and the Brookings Institution — announced a merger Thursday that will result in the largest accountable care collaborative in the world, chaired by former HHS Secretary Gov. Mike Leavitt and former CMS Administrator and U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Mark McClellan, MD, PhD.

9. Former Cleveland Clinic chairman and CEO dies at 78
Floyd Loop, MD, former chairman and CEO of Cleveland Clinic and predecessor of current chief Delos M. Cosgrove, MD, died June 11 of sarcoma. He was 78. Dr. Loop joined Cleveland Clinic in 1970 as a cardiac surgeon and served as chairman and CEO from 1989 to 2004.

10. Rady Children's CFO dies in bicycling accident
Roger Roux, CFO of Rady Children's Hospital-San Diego, died Sunday afternoon after he was struck by a car while riding a bike. Mr. Roux had been with Rady Children's since April 2003.

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