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Industry News

Oct 21, 2015
Pediatric skilled-nursing company Epic Health Services continued its recent acquisition binge with the announcement Tuesday that the Dallas-based firm will buy Medco, an enteral therapy services provider. Enteral therapy provides nutrition for patients through tube feeding.

Epic, which has no connection to electronic health-record provider Epic Systems Corp., now provides services to 34,000 patients in 17 states, up from 26,000 patients and 16 states before acquiring Houston-based Medco,...

Oct 21, 2015
A decrease in same-hospital admissions dragged down profits at Community Health Systems in the third quarter, the company said in a preview of its results late Wednesday.

The Franklin, Tenn.-based chain is the second investor-owned hospital operator to preview quarterly earnings results that are below analyst expectations. Last year set a high bar for the publicly-traded hospital chains as newly insured patients flocked to providers with pent-up healthcare needs. But now investors are...

Oct 21, 2015

Biogen plans to cut about 11% of its workforce as it refocuses its research on treatments for Alzheimer's disease and multiple sclerosis.

The company announced the job cuts Wednesday as boosted its profit outlook and it reported a 12.7% jump in third-quarter earnings to $965.6 million, or $4.15 per share. Revenue rose 11% to $2.78 billion.

Earnings, adjusted for one-time gains and costs, were $4.48 per share, surpassing Wall Street's per-share projections by 65 cents, according...

Oct 21, 2015

St. Jude Medical reported a dip in earnings due to rising income taxes and declining sales of implantable cardioverter defibrillators, pacemakers and some cardiovascular products.

The St. Paul, Minn.-based devicemaker reported earnings of $215 million for the three months ended October 3, down 9.7% from last year's third quarter. Sales were $1.3 billion, down 2% from the same period last year.

Income taxes cost the company $46 million, at a 17.6% effective tax rate, which is...

Oct 21, 2015

A selection of opinions on health care from around the country.

The Wall Street Journal: The Ryan Stakes: He Can Lead, But Will Enough Republicans Follow?
Republicans say they’re waiting to see if Paul Ryan will decide to lead them as House Speaker, but the better way to think about this is whether Republicans will follow Mr. Ryan if he does accept what amounts to a draft by most of the GOP conference. ... Mr. Ryan is part of the GOP’s modern growth wing, which was founded...

Oct 21, 2015

Insurers that manage care for the Massachusetts Medicaid program lost millions of dollars last year, spurring the lawmakers' concern. In other statehouse news, Mass. lawmakers also are skeptical of the governor's plan to curb opioid abuse. Meanwhile, New York lawmakers mull a plan to move people with disabilities to community residences. And, in Florida, the Senate president is advancing a measure to increase funding for infants and toddlers with developmental disabilities and delays....

Oct 21, 2015

The Obama administration is stepping up its defense of this part of the 2010 health law in the face of attacks not only by Republicans in Congress, but by some Democrats, too. Meanwhile, news outlets also report on how the undoing of some health insurance co-ops could bring higher costs to the marketplace.

The Boston Globe: Tax On ‘Cadillac’ Health Plans Splits Leaders
The White House has launched a bid to preserve a tax on generous, employer-sponsored insurance plans that...

Oct 20, 2015

The CMS will engage providers in New York in an effort to turn around the state's struggling experiment to coordinate care for low-income and disabled residents eligible for both Medicaid and Medicare.

A dozen states have rolled out three-year demonstrations to serve dual eligibles, who often receive splintered care at extremely high costs. Most of the demonstrations are facing similar problems.

In New York, as many as 124,000 residents were eligible for the state initiative...

Oct 20, 2015

Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center is the latest to pull out of the CMS Innovation Center's Pioneer ACO initiative, Medicare's earliest and most aggressive test of accountable care, which has lost nearly half its initial cohort.

The Lebanon, N.H., medical center lost money during the Innovation Center's Pioneer ACO initiative, which requires participating hospitals and doctors to repay Medicare for failing to meet performance targets on quality and savings. The Dartmouth-Hitchcock ACO...

Oct 20, 2015

Trinity Health, a health system that operates in 21 states, ended its fiscal year with a healthier margin as an improved economy and the Affordable Care Act's insurance expansion boosted demand for medical care.

The Livonia, Mich.-based organization reported more demand inside and outside its hospitals in the year ended June 30. That growth is the result of employment gains and patients who gained subsidized insurance and Medicaid coverage under the healthcare reform law, Trinity...