Modern Healthcare - - LATE NEWS -

Health­care added 19,400 jobs last month, as the over­all econ­omy in­creased hir­ing by 192,000 and un­em­ploy­ment held steady at 6.7%. The new pre­lim­i­nary num­bers from the U.S. Bureau of La­bor Sta­tis­tics showed a con­tin­ued trend of ane­mic job growth among hos­pi­tals, which face pres­sure from pub­lic and pri­vate in­sur­ers to pre­vent avoid­able ad­mis­sions, while con­sumers con­tinue to strug­gle in a weak econ­omy. Hos­pi­tals re­ported weak to de­clin­ing ad­mis­sions, rat­ings an­a­lysts said. Hospi­tal em­ploy­ment grew by 4,000 jobs, or 0.1%, last month.

The UPMC sys­tem, which is en­gaged in a con­tract fight with its largest commercial payer, re­ported growth in its pa­tient vol­umes and in­sur­ance busi­ness that led to im­proved earn­ings in the first half of its fis­cal 2014. The Pitts­burgh­based, 13-hospi­tal sys­tem re­ported op­er­at­ing in­come of $112 mil­lion on rev­enue of $5.7 bil­lion in the first half of its fis­cal 2014, which ends in June. That’s up from $85 mil­lion in op­er­at­ing in­come on $4.96 bil­lion in rev­enue the pre­vi­ous fis­cal year. The UPMC sys­tem is in the last year of its con­tract with health in­surer High­mark, which last year ac­quired UPMC ri­val West Penn Al­legheny Health Sys­tem, Pitts­burgh. The $1 bil­lion deal cre­ated one of the largest in­te­grated de­liv­ery net­works in the coun­try, the Al­legheny Health Net­work, and heated up com­pe­ti­tion in the Pitts­burgh mar­ket.

Health­care data an­a­lyt­ics and con­sult­ing firm IMS Health Hold­ings went pub­lic in a big way Fri­day, suc­cess­fully pulling off the sec­ond largest ini­tial pub­lic of­fer­ing of the year and watch­ing its stock climb more than 17% for the day, an­other in­di­ca­tion of a mar­ket bullish on health­care tech­nol­ogy. Dan­bury, Conn.-based IMS of­fered 65 mil­lion shares at an ini­tial price of $20 a share, rais­ing roughly $1.3 bil­lion. That ranked as the sec­ond­largest IPO this year, be­hind auto lender San­tander Con­sumer USA Hold­ings, whose Jan­uary IPO raised $2 bil­lion.

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