Northwestern Memorial HealthCare reported stronger revenue for its second quarter, thanks primarily to its acquisition of a large physician practice group. Helped along by an influx of $395.4 million in revenue from the physician group, the Chicago-based system booked a consolidated $1.2 billion in revenue for the six-month period ended Feb. 28, 2014. The boost in overall revenue represents a 42% increase from the $849.8 million posted for the year-ago period. That improvement was a direct result of the integration of the 900-plus physician group, renamed Northwestern Medical Group, particularly because revenue from the system’s other operations remained relatively flat.
State Medicaid agencies could be putting beneficiaries’ personal information at risk by offshoring administrative functions, according to a report from HHS’ Office of the Inspector General. The report, sent April 11 to CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner and Leon Rodriguez, director of HHS’ Office for Civil Rights, analyzed the practices of 56 Medicaid agencies. It found that 11 agencies allow outsourced offshore administrative functions, while four agencies have specific bans against it. The remaining 41 Medicaid agencies have no rules against offshore outsourcing, but also do not send any work to other countries. Among the 11 agencies that allow outsourcing, seven are planning to not allow personal health information offshore, the report noted.
Little progress has been made toward reducing food poisoning in the U. S., according to new federal data. Illnesses from salmonella, the most common cause of foodborne sickness, were down 9% in 2013 compared with the average from 2010-2012, according to findings published in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Still, more than 2,000 people were hospitalized for salmonella poisoning in 2013 and 27 people died from it.