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Modern Healthcare - - LATE NEWS -

A year­long in­ves­ti­ga­tion of HCA-op­er­ated trauma cen­ters in Florida found that the com­pany charges the high­est rates, on aver­age, for trauma fa­cil­i­ties in the state, ac­cord­ing to the Tampa Bay Times. The news­pa­per’s in­ves­ti­ga­tion comes as more than a dozen law­suits have been filed in Florida to pre­vent HCA from op­er­at­ing trauma cen­ters at three fa­cil­i­ties: Blake Med­i­cal Cen­ter in Braden­ton; Re­gional Med­i­cal Cen­ter-Bay­o­net Point in Hud­son; and Ocala (Fla.) Re­gional Med­i­cal Cen­ter, ac­cord­ing to news re­ports. Both houses of Florida’s Leg­is­la­ture are ad­vanc­ing their own ver­sions of a bill that would cod­ify how many trauma cen­ters should be al­lowed across the state.

Cast­light Health went pub­lic with a bang Fri­day, with its shares open­ing at $16 a share only to soar to a clos­ing price of $39.80, up 149% for the day. The quick runup demon­strates in­vestors’ ex­pec­ta­tions for vast profit po­ten­tial in the type of price trans­parency soft­ware that Cast­light is of­fer­ing, mar­ket an­a­lysts said. Cast­light’s mar­ket val­u­a­tion of roughly $3 bil­lion af­ter its first day of trad­ing “re­flects a lot of op­ti­mistic as­sump­tions about the com­pany,” said Jay Rit­ter, a fi­nance pro­fes­sor at the Univer­sity of Florida who an­a­lyzes ini­tial pub­lic of­fer­ing val­u­a­tions. The San Fran­cis­cobased com­pany, which counts Wal­Mart Stores and Mi­crosoft Corp. as cus­tomers, lost $62 mil­lion in 2013.

Federal of­fi­cials in­tend to re­lax the health­care re­form law’s med­i­cal loss-ra­tio rules re­quir­ing car­ri­ers to spend at least 80% of pre­mi­ums on med­i­cal costs be­cause in­sur­ance com­pa­nies were com­pelled to spend heav­ily to help HHS re­cover from the dis­as­trous launch of Health­Care.gov. “We in­tend to pro­pose stan­dard­ized method­olo­gies to take into ac­count the spe­cial cir­cum­stances of is­suers as­so­ci­ated with the ini­tial open en­roll­ment and other changes to the mar­ket in 2014, in­clud­ing in­curred costs due to tech­ni­cal prob­lems dur­ing the launch of the state and federal ex­changes,” HHS said in a no­tice in the Federal Reg­is­ter.

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