[ArticleTrump admin rips up inpatient only surgery list, cuts 340B pay

(Healthcare Dive, December 3, 2020)

"CMS is eliminating the inpatient-only list that requires roughly 1,700 medical procedures to occur inside a hospital for Medicare members. The inpatient-only list will be completely phased out by 2024. Ultimately, the list expands the options of where certain surgeries can be performed and may ultimately reduce out-of-pocket expenses for Medicare members as surgeries performed in an outpatient setting, such as an ambulatory surgery center, can be less costly."

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[Article] How kids’ immune systems can evade COVID

(Nature, December 10, 2020)

"Young children account for only a small percentage of COVID-19 infections — a trend that has puzzled scientists. Now, a growing body of evidence suggests why: kids’ immune systems seem better equipped to eliminate SARS-CoV-2 than are adults’. Even when they are infected with SARS-CoV-2, children are most likely to experience mild or asymptomatic illness. Another clue that children’s response to the virus differs from that of adults is that some children develop COVID-19 symptoms and antibodies specific to SARS-CoV-2 but never test positive for the virus on a standard RT-PCR test."

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[Article] Tenet strikes $1.1B deal for 45 surgery centers

(Becker’s Hospital Review, December 10, 2020)

"Tenet will purchase majority interests in up to 45 centers located in Arizona, Florida, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, Ohio, New Hampshire, Texas and Wisconsin. Tenet will fully acquire SurgCenter Development's interest in the centers and partially acquire interests from physician partners. The centers will be operated by Tenet's United Surgical Partners International subsidiary."

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[Article] Fitch Ratings Predicts Rough Times Ahead for NFP Hospitals

(HealthLeaders Media, December 9, 2020)

"The ongoing pandemic-related public health emergency prompted a shutdown of money-making elective procedures in 2020 for hospitals, and the latest, soaring wave of COVID-19 cases suggest that elective procedures may continue to be restricted in 2021. It's a case of 'been there, done that' in a sense with hospitals treating COVID-19 patients more efficiently, which is leading to shorter hospital stays, however, hospitals will face continued financial stress in the first half of 2021, until vaccines are widely available."

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[Article] Fitch Ratings Predicts Rough Times Ahead for NFP Hospitals

(Fierce Healthcare, December 2, 2020)

"Starting in 2021, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) will launch an initiative called Project US@ to create a unified, industrywide healthcare specification for representing mailing addresses within the year. Getting cross-industry agreement around how to standardize patient addresses in healthcare documents could be a big step forward in improving patient matching." 

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