Archive for Uncategorized

 

Senators Push IRS on Non-Profit Compliance

Two prominent senators have written to the Internal Revenue Service seeking information about what the agency is doing to ensure that non-profit hospitals comply with the requirements for providing sufficient community benefits to justify their tax-exempt status.

 Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, and Chuck Grassley (R-IA), a senior member of that committee, have asked the IRS to provide their committee with specific information about how the IRS evaluates non-profit hospitals’ Form 990 Schedule H; about guidance the IRS provides regarding how hospitals define their communities and their communities’ needs; about the performance and outcome of IRS reviews of individual non-profit hospitals’ compliance with legal tax-exemption requirements; and about the status of the IRS’s anticipated report to Congress on tax-exempt and public hospitals.

Go here to see the senators’ news release about their letter and the letter itself.…

Physician-Owned Hospitals Returning?

In testimony before the House Ways and Means Committee, new Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar indicated that he may be receptive to easing restrictions on physician-owned hospitals.

The Affordable Care Act made it difficult for doctors either to launch new hospitals of their own or to expand physician-owned hospitals already in operation, and many existing physician-owned facilities stopped serving Medicare patients.  In response to a question from a committee member, Azar expressed his interest in working to enable physician-owned hospitals to operate.

Learn more from this Fierce Healthcare article.…

The Telehealth Trend

Patients, insurers (including government), and providers are all looking toward telehealth as a means of enhancing access to care and improving the health of people.  In recognition of this trend, the web site Healthcare Finance News has published a series of articles looking at telehealth:

Click the links to view the individual articles.…

Fitch: Stable Outlook for Health Care in 2018

Despite a number of potential threats, Fitch Ratings predicts a stable financial environment for the health care industry in 2018.

Fitch’s warns, though, of “outside disruptions” that could threaten that stability.  Among those potential disruptions are tax reform legislation, government regulations, Amazon’s rumored entry into the industry, and advances in technology.

The company predicts that ratings downgrades will exceed upgrades in the coming year.

Learn more about Fitch’s predictions in this Healthcare Dive article.…

Alternative Payment Model Spending Grows

In 2016, 29 percent of all health care payments were made through alternative payment models, continuing the movement toward paying for value rather than for volume.

That 29 percent in 2016 was up from 23 percent in 2015.

APMs include shared savings and shared risk programs, bundled payments, and population-based payments.

Fee-for-service and other “legacy” payments accounted for 43 percent of health care payments in 2016 and pay for performance or care coordination fees accounted for another 28 percent of payments.

These numbers come from a report from the Health Care Payment Learning and Action Network.

Learn more about the continued shift from volume to value in health care payments in this Healthcare Finance News article.…