Modern Healthcare - - LATE NEWS -

Fed­eral pay­ments for Medi­care Part D cat­a­strophic cov­er­age ex­ceeded $33 bil­lion in 2015, which is more than triple the amount paid in 2010, ac­cord­ing to a HHS Of­fice of In­spec­tor Gen­eral re­port re­leased Jan. 5. The cat­a­strophic drug ben­e­fit un­der Medi­care Part D is meant to cover costs for ben­e­fi­cia­ries with chronic con­di­tions who quickly rack up high drug ex­penses. The two most ex­pen­sive drugs were Har­voni, which treats hep­ati­tis C and costs cat­a­strophic en­rollees an av­er­age of $33,000 a month, and Revlimid, the blood can­cer med­i­ca­tion which costs more than $11,000 a month.

The Univer­sity of Texas MD An­der­son Can­cer Cen­ter will cut about 800 to 900 peo­ple from its pay­roll, or 5% of its work­force, as it tries to re­cover from fi­nan­cial losses after im­ple­ment­ing its elec­tronic health record. The Hous­ton­based can­cer cen­ter re­ported sig­nif­i­cant losses in fis­cal 2016 partly be­cause of a dif­fi­cult adap­ta­tion of its new Epic Sys­tems Corp. net­work, which went live last March. Physi­cians and nurses won’t be af­fected by the lay­offs. Cuts will be among ad­min­is­tra­tive po­si­tions such as billing em­ploy­ees.

As­cen­sion Ven­tures, the in­vest­ment arm of hos­pi­tal gi­ant As­cen­sion, is part of a group that re­cently in­vested $20 mil­lion in Rep­u­ta­tion. com, one the largest and most in­flu­en­tial providers of on­line rep­u­ta­tion-man­age­ment ser­vices. Rep­u­ta­ has a suite of prod­ucts that helps com­pa­nies see what con­sumers are say­ing about them on so­cial net­works and re­view sites. It also of­fers ways for those com­pa­nies to en­gage the con­sumers to try to trou­bleshoot prob­lems and turn neg­a­tive feed­back to at least neu­tral re­views.

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