Week in Review: 7 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. CMS releases OPPS rule for 2016, finalizes two-midnight changes: 10 things to know
CMS on Oct. 30 released its final 2016 Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System and Ambulatory Surgical Center Payment System rule. The rule finalizes CMS' proposal to alter its controversial two-midnight rule and implements previously announced modifications to CMS' medical review strategy. For a more detailed breakdown of the 2016 rule, which applies to more than 4,000 facilities paid under the OPPS, click here.

2. Minnesota hospital at risk of losing Medicare funding after patient shoots deputy
CMS warned St. Cloud (Minn.) Hospital it will be terminated from the Medicare program effective Nov. 19 unless the hospital corrects safety problems that put patients in "immediate jeopardy," according to a KNSI report. The hospital was put on "immediate jeopardy" status following a visit by the Minnesota Department of Health, which reviewed St. Cloud's policies and procedures, some of which are related to a shooting at the hospital last month. St. Cloud has already taken steps to resolve the issues the health department identified, including those related to the shooting, which involved an Aitkin County Sherriff's Investigator who was shot and killed by a patient he was guarding. The hospital expects to have the issue resolved ahead of the Nov. 19 deadline.

3. Dallas hospital closes after failing to make payroll
Forest Park Medical Center's hospital in Dallas closed Oct. 30, affecting about 150 employees, the Dallas Business Journal reported. Todd Furniss, chairman of the management company for the Dallas-based Forest Park system, notified employees in the Dallas facility the morning the hospital closed, informing them they would not be paid because of an "unexpected funding issue."  

4. Walgreens selects Epic EHR for healthcare clinics
Retail healthcare giant Walgreens announced plans to transition to Epic's EHR platform in its more than 400 healthcare clinics across the U.S. Patrick Carroll, MD, CMO of Walgreens' Healthcare Clinics said they hope the switch to Epic will support greater care coordination, communication and interoperability with other health systems and local providers.

5. HCA acquires 14 urgent care centers in Las Vegas
Nashville, Tenn.-based Hospital Corporation of America acquired Urgent Care Extra's Nevada operations, which include 14 urgent care centers in Las Vegas, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Through the deal, HCA also acquired six additional urgent care centers that are under development. HCA now owns a total of 65 urgent care centers across the nation.

6. Tenet, Duke LifePoint reach agreement for sale of Tenet's NC hospitals
Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare and Brentwood, Tenn.-based Duke LifePoint Healthcare entered a definitive agreement for the sale of Tenet's North Carolina hospitals and associated operations. Duke LifePoint will take over Sanford, N.C.-based Central Carolina Hospital, Hickory, N.C.-based Frye Regional Medical Center and 19 physician practices. Under the agreement, Duke LifePoint will continue the services provided at Central Carolina Hospital and Frye Regional Medical Center. Duke LifePoint will also offer employment to  employees at both facilities. The transaction is expected to be completed between the end of the fourth quarter of 2015 and the middle of the first quarter of 2016.

7. CMS adds 17 new procedures to the ASC payable list
CMS last month released 17 new ASC payable codes along with the 2016 ASC payment rule, according to an ASCA report. ASCA representatives spent time advocating for all the new codes, and six additional codes were added since the proposed rule. For a detailed list of new codes for the ASC payable list, click here.

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