Week in review: 8 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. CHS to sell 25 hospitals as net loss swells to $1.7B in 2016
Franklin, Tenn.-based Community Health Systems recorded operating revenues of $4.5 billion in the fourth quarter of 2016, down 6.9 percent from revenues of $4.8 billion in the same period of the year prior. The company's net loss widened from $83 million in the fourth quarter of 2015 to $220 million in the fourth quarter of last year. Despite CHS' declining financial performance, Chairman and CEO Wayne T. Smith has a positive outlook on the company's future.

2. Healthgrades names 2017 Best Hospitals: 5 things to know
Healthgrades, an online resource for information on physicians and hospitals, named its list of America's 50 and 100 Best Hospitals for 2017 on Tuesday. To determine Best Hospitals Award winners, Healthgrades examined Medicare inpatient data from the Medicare Provider Analysis and Review database from 2013 through 2015 for the 32 most common inpatient conditions and procedures, among other data points.

3. How did CMS rate Healthgrades' 50 Best Hospitals?
Healthgrades released its list of America's 50 Best Hospitals on Tuesday, citing them as being in the top 1 percent in the nation for consistent clinical excellence. However, in the CMS' Overall Hospital Quality Star Rating program, just four Healthgrades Best Hospitals earned a five-star rating — and four earned a two-star rating.

4. Blood test license revoked at second Theranos lab
CMS revoked the U.S. testing license at a Theranos-run blood test lab after an investigation into the lab found it puts patients at risk and failed to remedy its deficiencies promptly, The Wall Street Journal reported based on a Jan. 27 letter it obtained from CMS following a public records request.

5. Trump administration requests delay in ACA lawsuit
The Department of Justice and House Republicans asked a court for further delay in a lawsuit over ACA cost-sharing subsidies, The Hill reports. The lawsuit in question was filed two years ago. In the lawsuit, House Republicans questioned the legality of paying insurers billions of dollars to reduce co-payments for lower-income people, claiming the cost-sharing subsidies are illegal because federal lawmakers have not provided a specific appropriation for them, The Hill reports.

6. Swedish Health Services CEO Tony Armada resigns following investigation into medical practices
Anthony Armada, the CEO of Seattle-based Swedish Health Services, resigned Monday, just days after a Seattle Times report prompted state regulators to investigate the Swedish Neuroscience Institute on the Cherry Hill campus in Seattle.

7. Surgeon sentenced to life in prison for maiming elderly patient
Former neurosurgeon Christopher Duntsch, MD, PhD, was sentenced Monday to life in prison for injury to an elderly person, which is a first-degree felony, according to The Dallas Morning News.

8. How this flu season stacks up to past seasons
It appears as though the 2016-17 flu season has not yet peaked. "Influenza activity in the United States began to increase in mid-December, remained elevated through February 4, 2017, and is expected to continue for several more weeks," according to a CDC report issued Friday.

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