Modern Healthcare - - LATE NEWS -

The Bureau of La­bor Sta­tis­tics’ acute-care hospi­tal Pro­ducer Price In­dex re­mained un­changed in May.

The data—the broader of two federal in­fla­tion mea­sures—are the lat­est to po­ten­tially ease fears of a pos­si­ble sharp ac­cel­er­a­tion in health­care spend­ing this year. The price data fol­low new health-spend­ing sur­vey data that showed far weaker de­mand for hospi­tal and physi­cian ser­vices be­tween Jan­uary and March than had been pro­jected in an April federal es­ti­mate.

Ma­jor Wash­ing­ton state health sys­tems an­nounced di­rect con­tracts with aero­space gi­ant Boe­ing Co. that in­clude fi­nan­cial in­cen­tives for faster, cheaper and higher-qual­ity med­i­cal care.

Prov­i­dence Health & Ser­vices, Renton, Wash., and Swedish Health Ser­vices, Seat­tle, jointly en­tered into a con­tract with Chicago-based Boe­ing, as did the Univer­sity of Wash­ing­ton Medicine. Roughly 27,000 Boe­ing em­ploy­ees in the Puget Sound area will par­tic­i­pate in health plans un­der the new ac­count­able care con­tracts among the op­tions for ben­e­fits next year, with fi­nan­cial in­cen­tives to en­cour­age their use. Boe­ing is seek­ing to test its abil­ity to reach di­rect con­tracts with providers that can deliver sav­ings, as well as gains in qual­ity, ac­cess and pa­tient ex­pe­ri­ence, said Alan May, vice pres­i­dent of hu­man re­sources for Boe­ing Commercial Air­planes. “This is the first, as a model,” May said.

Xerox, blood­ied by its ex­pe­ri­ences try­ing to run Ne­vada’s health in­sur­ance ex­change, isn’t walk­ing away from other ex­change busi­ness.

In­stead, it has landed a con­tract to work with Mary­land’s state ex­change and is bid­ding to help New York with its Med­i­caid pro­gram. Ur­sula Burns, Xerox chair­woman and CEO, ex­plained why the firm is in­sis­tent on pur­su­ing govern­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties. “De­mo­graph­ics are all tail­winds for it, all in the fa­vor of govern­ment health,” she said.

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