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Industry News

Aug 24, 2015
Texas Health Resources saw higher inpatient and outpatient volume in the first half of the year, but higher operating expenses and volatility in the financial markets depressed its bottom line.

The Arlington, Texas-based system said higher patient volume contributed to a 2.3% increase in revenue for the six-month period ended June 30. It reported revenue of $2 billion, a $45.1 million increase over the same period last year.

Discharges at the systems increased 4.2% while outpatient...

Aug 24, 2015

The largely consolidated dialysis sector has been quiet on the M&A front of late, but the transition to value-based payment models could be renewing the drive for scale.

Two large kidney-care providers announced transactions Monday that will increase their footprints, provide more leverage with payers and allow them to gain access to additional patient data. The deals are expected to close by the end of 2015.

Denver-based DaVita HealthCare Partners announced that it has...

Aug 24, 2015

Inovalon, a publicly traded healthcare analytics company, has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire healthcare consulting firm Avalere Health.

The purchase price is $140 million, which is composed of $135 million of cash and $5 million of restricted stock. Inovalon said the deal would significantly expand its footprint in the pharma/life sciences market, which it estimates could be worth $30 billion or more.

“The sea change taking place in our healthcare system from a...

Aug 24, 2015

A new federal tool aimed at helping patients determine the best hospital for their care is raising questions over whether it provides an accurate assessment of quality.

The CMS is developing a hospital quality star-rating system for the Hospital Compare website. The system will provide currently available data regarding hospital quality measurement to help inform healthcare decisions, according to the federal agency.

The new hospital star system will pull data from several...

Aug 24, 2015

Black and Hispanic populations continue to be underrepresented when it comes to the number of graduate medical education trainees, according to a new analysis. The study raises the question of whether fewer physicians from underrepresented minorities contribute to the health disparities seen among these groups.

A research letter published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine found that out of the more than 688,000 physicians practicing medicine in 2012, more than 9% were from an...

Aug 24, 2015

A federal appeals court on Monday affirmed the Federal Trade Commission's power to regulate cybersecurity—a decision that follows a number of massive healthcare data breaches over the past year.

A panel of judges for the 3rd Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals sided with a lower court, saying the FTC's lawsuit against Wyndham Worldwide Corp. should be allowed to move forward.

In the Wyndham lawsuit, the FTC alleges that Wyndham engaged in unfair cybersecurity practices that exposed...

Aug 24, 2015
Drugmaker Pfizer says it's received the final regulatory approvals for its $15.23 billion purchase of the injectable drug and infusion devicemaker Hospira, and says the deal will close in early September.

The New York company said Monday regulators in the U.S. and Brazil cleared the deal. European Union regulators approved it earlier this month, as did antitrust agencies in Canada and Australia.

Pfizer said the Federal Trade Commission ordered it to sell four drugs in order to...

Aug 24, 2015

If the Veterans Affairs Department expands the scope of practice of its advanced practice nurses, VA hospitals could become “regulatory islands.”

Congress and the VA has for some time debated whether the department should allow advanced practice nurses to independently practice to the full extent of their training. Pending legislation would allow expanded practice authority to VA nurse midwives, clinical nurse specialists, nurse practitioners and potentially certified registered nurse...

Aug 24, 2015
Online privacy advocate Justin Brookman will join the Federal Trade Commission as policy director in its new Office of Technology, Research and Investigation, he announced on Twitter Monday.

The FTC's new office was founded in March to protect consumers from “deceptive and unfair practices involving new technologies.” Brookman comes to the FTC from the Washington-based Center for Democracy and Technology, where he has worked since 2010.

Brookman has led the Center's Consumer Privacy...

Aug 24, 2015

Health care stories are reported from Arizona, Pennsylvania, Washington, Illinois, Florida, Texas and New York.

The Associated Press: Review Shows Feds Misstated Arizona Insurance Co-Op Results
A federal government analysis that said Arizona's health insurance co-op had gotten just a fraction of its projected enrollment last year missed thousands of signups and incorrectly showed the state nonprofit set up under the Affordable Care Act signed up only 4 percent of the...