Current Issue of Becker's Hospital Review

September 2019 Issue of Becker's Healthcare Review

 

ON THE COVER

How Intermountain's new company, Castell, aims to ease shift to value-based care
Salt Lake City-based Intermountain Healthcare has launched a new company focused on helping providers, payers, health systems and accountable care organizations navigate the shift from fee-for-service to value-based care.

City of Hope's chief digital officer on crafting a strategy that avoids 'digitization for the sake of digitization'
While the chief digital officer position has been around in other industries for quite some time, only recently have hospitals and health systems begun to make room among their C-level leadership for the role.

Steering the American Medical Association and speaking truth to power: Q&A with Dr. Patrice Harris
On June 11, Patrice A. Harris, MD, made history when she was sworn in as the first black female president of the American Medical Association. Here, she discusses the association's priorities, growth opportunities and leadership lessons she has learned.

A $500K investment in employee ideas: How CHOP is helping patients in its own backyard
Five years ago, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia started a unique program to help its employees improve community members' health: the CHOP Cares Grant Program.

Cook County Health's Dr. John Jay Shannon: Impending Medicaid DSH cuts are 'immoral'
Healthcare is likely to remain a key part of discussions among 2020 presidential candidates as they vie for the nation's top post.

Michael Dowling: Where are healthcare CEOs in the fight against gun violence?
All healthcare executives can attest to the fact that leadership is never easy. We are routinely put in difficult positions where any decision we make opens us up to criticism, both inside and outside the organization.

Corner Office: Caravan Health Founder, CEO Lynn Barr on problem-solving for rural hospitals
In 2013, Lynn Barr was working as CIO of Tahoe Forest Health System, a critical access hospital in Truckee, Calif., when she realized there were too many barriers for rural health providers looking to establish value-based care programs.

EHR snooping: Best efforts to bust, punish and prevent it
Whether it’s the result of sheer curiosity or motivated by an act of malice, EHR snooping is a serious employee offense that can occur at any hospital.

100 great hospitals in America | 2019
Becker's Healthcare is pleased to release the 2019 edition of its list of "100 great hospitals in America."

100 great community hospitals | 2019
Becker's Hospital Review is proud to recognize the following hospitals as great community hospitals in 2019.

UnitedHealth records $3.3B profit in Q2
UnitedHealth Group saw its revenue and net income increase in the second quarter of 2019, buoyed by growth in its Medicare and Optum lines.

HCA defeats false claims lawsuit over office deals
The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals refused to revive a False Claims Act lawsuit against HCA Healthcare, alleging the Nashville, Tenn.-based hospital operator illegally induced physician referrals.

Mayo Clinic wins $11.5M tax fight
A federal judge sided with Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic in a dispute over $11.5 million in tax refunds, according to Law360.

Hackensack Meridian is betting big on long-term care
Edison, N.J.-based Hackensack Meridian Health is adding three nursing homes to its network in a $65 million deal that aims to bolster its post-acute care presence in northern New Jersey, the 17-hospital system announced on July 30.

Why Democrats aren’t blaming hospitals for healthcare costs
The early rounds of debates suggest Democrats have decided on one issue: Insurance companies — and to some degree pharmaceutical companies — are responsible for the United States' healthcare cost predicament, as Olga Khazan points out in a July 31 column in The Atlantic.

Moody’s: CommonSpirit’s atypical dualCEO model is potentially cumbersome
Moody's Investors Service assigned a "Baa1" rating to CommonSpirit Health's approximately $5.8 billion of proposed series 2019 revenue bonds on July 15.

Cerner inks partnership with Amazon Web Services
Cerner named Amazon Web Services its preferred cloud provider in a move that will increase the EHR vendor’s analytics and machine learning services to help drive its clinical and business insights.

San Francisco hospital CEO resigns amid patient abuse scandal
Health officials allege six staff members systematically abused patients at a San Francisco hospital between 2016 and 2019, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.

CFO / FINANCE

CMS pitches 3 sweeping payment rules for 2020: 10 things to know
CMS released three proposed rules on July 29, which include payment updates for outpatient and physician services and expanded price transparency initiatives.

Hospital groups speak out against price transparency in OPPS rule
The country's major hospital associations called a proposed CMS rule that would require hospitals to disclose payer-specific negotiated rates "a misguided attempt to improve price transparency."

CMS releases proposed home health payment rule for 2020: 7 takeaways
CMS released its proposed Home Health Prospective Payment System rule for 2020, which would increase home health payments and remove one quality measure from the Home Health Quality Reporting Program.

HCA says it's open to rule on publishing hospital rates, welcomes competitionHCA says it's open to rule on publishing hospital rates, welcomes competition
Nashville, Tenn.-based HCA Healthcare said it is receptive to a proposed hospital price transparency rule from CMS and the competitive opportunities it could bring, according to Nashville Public Radio.

Alaska hospital closes
Sitka (Alaska) Community Hospital closed July 29, and the facility will be integrated into Mt. Edgecumbe Medical Center in Sitka Aug. 1.

Methodist Le Bonheur suspends debt collection suits amid backlash
Memphis, Tenn.-based Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare has suspended debt collection lawsuits over unpaid medical bills, according to NPR and MLK50, a member of the ProPublica Local Reporting Network.

Drexel to lay off 40% of medical staff due to hospital closure
Philadelphia-based Drexel University is laying off 40 percent of its clinical staff due to the impending closure of Hahnemann University Hospital in Philadelphia, according to CBS Philly.

Hacienda Children's Hospital to close due to 'enormous unbudgeted costs'
Phoenix-based Hacienda HealthCare announced July 19 that it plans to close Hacienda Children's Hospital in Mesa, Ariz., according to the Arizona Republic.

Nurses challenge sale, closure of Pennsylvania hospitals
The Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses and Allied Professionals is challenging the planned closure of Hahnemann University Hospital and objecting to proposed bidding and auction procedures to be used for the sale of St. Christopher's Hospital for Children, according to Bloomberg Law.

Texas hospital closes
Financial challenges forced Hamlin (Texas) Memorial Hospital to close July 31.

UnitedHealth records $3.3B profit in Q2
UnitedHealth Group saw its revenue and net income increase in the second quarter of 2019, buoyed by growth in its Medicare and Optum lines.

California hospital seeks lucrative title change
Enloe Medical Center in Chico, Calif., is fighting to be recognized as a Sole Community Hospital to increase its federal funding after a devastating wildfire last year forced a hospital in Paradise, Calif., to close, according to the Enterprise-Record.

HCA defeats false claims lawsuit over office deals
The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals refused to revive a False Claims Act lawsuit against HCA Healthcare, alleging the Nashville, Tenn.-based hospital operator illegally induced physician referrals.

The average price for treating primary care conditions in ED? $2,032, UnitedHealth says
Each time a patient enters the emergency department with a condition that can be treated in a primary care setting, it comes at an average cost of $2,032 to the healthcare system, according to an analysis published by UnitedHealth Group.

Mayo Clinic wins $11.5M tax fight
A federal judge sided with Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic in a dispute over $11.5 million in tax refunds, according to Law360.

BCBS of Minnesota defends restrictive policies that hospitals call unlawful
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota held strong against criticism over its new policies that end reimbursement for routine colonoscopies and other services under certain circumstances, according to the Star Tribune.

2019 drug price hikes running 5 times the rate of inflation
Pharmaceutical companies have raised the prices of 3,400 drugs this year, 17 percent more than during the same period last year, according to a new Rx Savings Solutions analysis cited by CBS News. 

CEO / STRATEGY

Trump issues executive order on kidney care: 6 notes
President Donald Trump issued an executive order July 10 detailing plans to transform kidney care in the U.S.

White House racing to craft healthcare measures ahead of election
White House advisers are meeting with President Donald Trump daily with an aim to unveil a new healthcare measure every two to three weeks until the 2020 election, according to The Washington Post.

Trump preparing executive order for flu vaccine
The Trump administration is preparing an executive order to incentivize flu shot makers to use new development processes and encourage vaccination, Politico first reported.

Biden unveils healthcare plan: 8 key takeaways
Former Vice President Joe Biden on July 15 unveiled a healthcare blueprint for his 2020 presidential run.

Hackensack Meridian is betting big on long-term care
Edison, N.J.-based Hackensack Meridian Health is adding three nursing homes to its network in a $65 million deal that aims to bolster its post-acute care presence in northern New Jersey, the 17-hospital system announced on July 30.

Why Democrats aren’t blaming hospitals for healthcare costs
The early rounds of debates suggest Democrats have decided on one issue: Insurance companies — and to some degree pharmaceutical companies — are responsible for the United States' healthcare cost predicament, as Olga Khazan points out in a July 31 column in The Atlantic.

Moody’s: CommonSpirit’s atypical dualCEO model is potentially cumbersome
Moody's Investors Service assigned a "Baa1" rating to CommonSpirit Health's approximately $5.8 billion of proposed series 2019 revenue bonds on July 15.

House launches rural healthcare task force
The House Ways and Means Committee on July 16 formed a healthcare task force for rural and underserved populations.

South Dakota hospital churned through 27 CEOs in 9 years
The Indian Health Service hospital on the Rosebud (S.D.) Sioux reservation made efforts to improve quality of care after its emergency department temporarily closed, but it continued to face several challenges, including untrained staff and leadership turnover, according to HHS' Office of Inspector General.

Kamala Harris unveils healthcare plan: 5 things to know
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris released the details of her healthcare plan July 29, a few days before the second Democratic presidential debate.

To change healthcare, knowing the business side is important — 4 physicians share why they pursued MBAs
More physicians are pursuing MBA degrees due to the uncertainty of Medicare for All, shift to EHRs and rising levels of health system employment.

CMS Innovation Center head Adam Boehler to leave post: 3 things to know
Adam Boehler, HHS deputy administrator and director of CMS' Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, has been nominated to lead the International Development Finance Corp. and is leaving HHS, according to Bloomberg Law.

CIO/HEALTH IT

VA has been inaccurately tracking costs of legacy EHR system, report finds
The Department of Veterans Affairs is unaware of the accurate maintenance cost of its Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture because the department did not follow “well-documented methodology” on cost tracking for decades, according to a July 25 U.S. Government Accountability Office report.

Cerner inks partnership with Amazon Web Services
Cerner named Amazon Web Services its preferred cloud provider in a move that will increase the EHR vendor’s analytics and machine learning services to help drive its clinical and business insights.

Slow adoption of $83M Epic EHR costs
Covenant Health millions in losses Tewksbury, Mass.-based Covenant Health reported $60.9 million in
operating losses after implementing its new $83 million Epic EHR last year, Boston Business Journal reported.

Can Amazon, Apple and Google disrupt healthcare delivery? 4 hospital execs weigh in
Large technology companies including Amazon, Apple and Google have made well-documented moves into the healthcare space.

Allscripts CEO Paul Black on interoperability, APIs and the 1 EMR perception he’d change overnight
Paul Black, CEO of Allscripts, discussed the health IT vendor’s efforts to improve EMR interoperability and what software vendors need most from ONC’s proposed rule.

Patient data from EHR vendors found for sale online
Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox browser extensions were used to extract and sell users’ personal
information from more than 50 companies, including EHR providers DrChrono and Kareo, according to The Washington Post.

$32M Cerner EHR install at Washington state facilities delayed for years
Negotiations between state and vendor caused delays to the Cerner EHR implementation at Washington’s Department of Social and Health Services, The News Tribune reported July 8.

EHR snooping: Best efforts to bust, punish and prevent it
Whether it’s the result of sheer curiosity or motivated by an act of malice, EHR snooping is a serious employee offense that can occur at any hospital.

Hackers try to reroute payroll deposits at Texas health system
After Wise Health System fell victim to a phishing attack in March, the hackers used the information to access an employee’s information in an attempt to re-route direct deposit checks, according to the Wise County Messenger.

LabCorp rolls out direct-to-consumer blood tests
LabCorp, one of the largest clinical laboratory companies in the world, is now giving consumers the option to order their own blood tests online as it positions itself for a major expansion of brick-and-mortar testing sites in Walgreens stores.

Data breaches cost hospitals $408 per record: 5 things to know
The U.S. healthcare system lost $6.2 billion in 2016 due to data breaches, with the average data breach costing healthcare organizations’ $2.2 million, according to an HHS report, which includes data between 2016 and 2018.

CMO/CARE DELIVERY

San Francisco hospital CEO resigns amid patient abuse scandal
Health officials allege six staff members systematically abused patients at a San Francisco hospital between 2016 and 2019, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.

Erlanger VP resigns over patient safety concerns: 'I can no longer in good conscience remain in my role'
Erlanger Health System's vice president of patient safety and quality resigned July 12 amid serious patient safety and care quality concerns at the Chattanooga, Tenn.-based system, reports the Times Free Press.

Second Ben Taub patient found dead in bathroom
A second patient was found dead in a bathroom at Houston-based Ben Taub Hospital after waiting for emergency care, according to the Houston Chronicle.

Salary potential influences most residency choices: 10 highest-paid residencies
Almost all medical residents — 93 percent — say salary potential influenced their specialty choice, at least to some degree, according to a survey conducted by Medscape.

The 'Starbucks of primary care'? What you need to know about One Medical right now
One Medical, a tech-based primary care medical group, is in growth mode. One investor says the company, valued at nearly $2 billion, could be "the Starbucks of primary care," according to CNBC.

Connecticut hospital fined $150K over cancer misdiagnoses
CMS fined Yale New Haven Health's Bridgeport (Conn.) Hospital $150,000 after the facility mixed up eight patients' test specimens, leading to several cancer misdiagnoses, reports The Middletown Press.

Philadelphia hospital closure leaves 570 medical residents scrambling
Hahnemann University Hospital in Philadelphia is closing and its 570 physicians-in-training need to find new placements, according to The Philadelphia Tribune.

Connecticut hospital cited after patient swallows batteries
CMS cited Connecticut Valley Hospital in Middletown for failing to properly monitor a psychiatric patient at risk of self-harm, according to the Hartford Courant.

Leapfrog: Most hospitals don't meet surgical volume standards for safety
Most hospitals do not meet The Leapfrog Group's surgical volume standards, which outline the minimum number of surgeries a hospital must report annually to limit the risk of patient harm, according to the group's 2019 Inpatient Surgery Report.

How to change the conversation on burnout: 4 questions with Ascension Medical Group CMO Dr. Baligh Yehia
Burnout is pervasive among clinicians. It affects 2 in 5 physicians and 3 in 5 nurses, Ascension Medical Group CMO Baligh Yehia, MD, noted in a recent LinkedIn post. Burnout directly affects the quality of care patients receive and costs the U.S. more than $4 billion annually.

150+ employees potentially exposed to dangerous bacteria at Seattle hospital
One hundred and fifty-eight employees at Seattle-based Harborview Medical Center are receiving tests and treatments after potential exposure to the Brucella bacteria, which can cause an infectious disease called brucellosis, according to KIRO 7.

Over half of adverse surgical events due to human error, study finds
Over half of adverse surgical events are due to human error, meaning those events could have been prevented, according to a study published July 31 in JAMA Network Open.

Seattle Children’s fixes mold-related violations that killed 1 patient
CMS found patient safety violations at Seattle Children's hospital related to mold detected in its operating rooms in May, local TV station KING-TV reported.

Third physician says he was punished for complaining about patient safety at New York hospital
Herbert Kunkle Jr., MD, is now the third physician to file a lawsuit against Auburn Community Hospital for allegedly punishing him for complaining about patient safety issues, according to syracuse.com.

Infection outbreak linked to physician's wife mishandling vaccines, Kentucky medical board says
A Kentucky-based physician received five years of probation for allegedly allowing his unlicensed wife to improperly handle flu vaccines, which led to a three-state infection outbreak, according to the Lexington Herald Leader.

THOUGHT LEADERSHIP

BCBS of Mass. CEO: Global payment success 'shows we don't have to wait for political consensus to act in healthcare'
A recent study published in The New England Journal of Medicine found Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts' global budget payments slowed down spending growth while improving healthcare quality — achieving what BCBS of Massachusetts' CEO referred to as the "holy grail in healthcare": higher quality at a lower cost.

How Intermountain's new company, Castell, aims to ease shift to value-based care
Salt Lake City-based Intermountain Healthcare has launched a new company focused on helping providers, payers, health systems and accountable care organizations navigate the shift from fee-for-service to value-based care.

City of Hope's chief digital officer on crafting a strategy that avoids 'digitization for the sake of digitization'
While the chief digital officer position has been around in other industries for quite some time, only recently have hospitals and health systems begun to make room among their C-level leadership for the role.

Steering the American Medical Association and speaking truth to power: Q&A with Dr. Patrice Harris
On June 11, Patrice A. Harris, MD, made history when she was sworn in as the first black female president of the American Medical Association. Here, she discusses the association's priorities, growth opportunities and leadership lessons she has learned.

A $500K investment in employee ideas: How CHOP is helping patients in its own backyard
Five years ago, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia started a unique program to help its employees improve community members' health: the CHOP Cares Grant Program.

Cook County Health's Dr. John Jay Shannon: Impending Medicaid DSH cuts are 'immoral'
Healthcare is likely to remain a key part of discussions among 2020 presidential candidates as they vie for the nation's top post.

Michael Dowling: Where are healthcare CEOs in the fight against gun violence?
All healthcare executives can attest to the fact that leadership is never easy. We are routinely put in difficult positions where any decision we make opens us up to criticism, both inside and outside the organization.

Corner Office: Caravan Health Founder, CEO Lynn Barr on problem-solving for rural hospitals
In 2013, Lynn Barr was working as CIO of Tahoe Forest Health System, a critical access hospital in Truckee, Calif., when she realized there were too many barriers for rural health providers looking to establish value-based care programs.

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