This week's highlights: The CMS increases the minimum penalty for hospitals that fail to comply with the Hospital Price Transparency final rule to $10 per bed per day starting January 1, 2022, Diabetes management technology company Intuity Medical announced that its POGO Automatic Blood Glucose Monitoring System is available in the United States, &Several MEDITECH customers were recently named to the Digital Health Most Wired list by the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives.
Regulatory, Legislative, and Legal News
- Medicare payments to hospitals for outpatient services will see a 2.0% increase in payment rate for 2022, while home health providers will get a 2.6% boost, part of a pair of rules released by the CMS.
- The CMS said hospitals and other healthcare facilities must mandate COVID-19 vaccination among employees or risk losing Medicare and Medicaid funding. Employees must be fully vaccinated by January 4th and there is no testing exception. The rule applies to both clinical and non-clinical employees, including students, trainees, volunteers and people providing treatment or other services under contract or other arrangements.
- The CMS increases the minimum penalty for hospitals that fail to comply with the Hospital Price Transparency final rule to $10 per bed per day starting January 1, 2022. The final CMS rule also prohibits hospitals from hiding their machine-readable price files from search engines.
Financial and Investment News
- HCA Healthcare finalized its deal to sell 47 Brookdale Health Care Services agencies to Louisiana-based LHC Group. Through the deal, LHC Group is acquiring 23 home health locations, 11 hospice and 13 therapy agencies in 22 states.
- General Electric announced it will become three separate companies focusing on healthcare, aviation, and energy sending the company’s shares higher in early trading. GE intends to execute the spin-off of Healthcare in early 2023 and the spin-off of the Renewable Energy and Power business in early 2024. Following these transactions, GE will be an aviation-focused company.
- Tenet Healthcare and subsidiary United Surgical Partners International are expanding their ownership of ambulatory surgery centers, buying 92 from SurgCenter Development in a $1.2 billion deal.
New Products and Services
- Nuance collaborates with Collective Medical to launch Nuance PowerShare Image Aware, which alerts ED physicians of prior radiology studies.
- Redox announces a solution that enables payers to meet the CMS Interoperability and Patient Access final rule requirements.
- Diabetes management technology company Intuity Medical announced that its POGO Automatic Blood Glucose Monitoring System is available in the U.S. It uses a cartridge with 10 test strips and lancets contained in one device and can also connect via Bluetooth to the Patterns app, which collects glucose data and gives people with diabetes the ability to see glucose trends and share that data with their healthcare providers.
Privacy and Security
- Attackers are collecting sensitive, encrypted data now in the hope that they’ll be able to unlock it at some point in the future using quantum computing. In response, the Department of Homeland Security recently released a road map for the transition towards what is known as post-quantum cryptography.
- SailPoint is releasing a security fix to address a critical vulnerability in all current releases of IdentityIQ.
- The Cybersecurity Infrastructure and Security Agency released a binding operational directive this week requiring federal agencies to patch known exploited vulnerabilities carrying "significant risk" to the federal enterprise.
- Several MEDITECH customers were recently named to the Digital Health Most Wired list by the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives.
- National Nurses United pushed back against hospital-at-home programs in a statement, arguing such programs do not offer patients the same level of care and threaten to cut nurses' jobs.
- Prevea Health (WI) announced an end to its nine-year partnership with Aaron Rodgers after the Green Bay Packers quarterback confirmed he is unvaccinated against COVID-19 and has sought unproven treatments to ward off the virus.