Modern Healthcare - - LATE NEWS -

RWJBarn­abas Health and Rut­gers Uni­ver­sity are part­ner­ing to cre­ate New Jer­sey’s largest aca­demic health­care sys­tem. “In this busi­ness, scale means ev­ery­thing,” Rut­gers Pres­i­dent Dr. Robert Barchi said in a con­fer­ence call last week with reporters. “If you want to de­liver first-rate care, per­form pop­u­la­tion health-based re­search, cap­i­tal­ize what you do across the en­tire sys­tem and bring in tal­ent in­clud­ing com­mu­nity-based physi­cians, hospi­tal physi­cian groups and aca­demic and re­search groups, you need scale.” RWJBarn­abas Health is New Jer­sey’s largest health sys­tem with 13 hos­pi­tals and an­nual rev­enue of $5.1 bil­lion; Rut­gers and its health group in­clude 1,000 em­ployed physi­cians as well as den­tists, psy­chol­o­gists, nurses, phar­ma­cists and other health­care pro­fes­sion­als. The or­ga­ni­za­tions will re­main sep­a­rate cor­po­ra­tions.

The Food and Drug Ad­min­is­tra­tion last week an­nounced a pi­lot pro­gram to look into new pre­cer­ti­fi­ca­tion pro­ce­dures for com­pa­nies that make soft­ware. The agency hopes the ini­tia­tive will help cut down on the time and money needed to en­ter the dig­i­tal health mar­ket. Up to nine com­pa­nies will par­tic­i­pate in the pro­gram and give the agency ad­vice and feed­back on what kinds of pro­to­cols could sup­plant the cur­rent re­quire­ments for some prod­ucts. The agency hopes to come up with pro­cesses that al­low soft­ware to change “in a timely fash­ion.”

The CMS ap­proved a waiver that will al­low Mary­land hos­pi­tals and doc­tors to en­ter care-co­or­di­na­tion part­ner­ships and share sav­ings stem­ming from more ef­fi­cient treat­ment, ac­cord­ing to Ni­cole Dempsey Stallings, vice pres­i­dent of pol­icy at the Mary­land Hospi­tal As­so­ci­a­tion. Such part­ner­ships could trig­ger fed­eral anti-kick­back laws, but the ap­proved plan waives par­tic­i­pants’ li­a­bil­ity start­ing July 1. Six­teen hos­pi­tals will par­tic­i­pate in the Care Re­design Pro­gram, and more will be able to join next year.

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