CMS seeks comment on potential release of Medicare physician data   08/08/2013
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services seeks public input as it considers an appropriate policy regarding the disclosure of individual physician payment data, noting that a federal district court recently lifted a 1979 injunction that prohibited the agency from disclosing annual Medicare payments to individual physicians. “In light of this recent legal development and our ongoing commitment to greater transparency in the health care system, CMS seeks public input on the most appropriate policies with respect to disclosure of individual physician payment data,” the agency said in an Aug. 6 notice seeking comments for 30 days.
Health sector job growth flat for first time in decade   08/08/2013
Health care employment rose by only 2,500 jobs in July, well below the 24-month average of 22,000 and the lowest increase since July 2003, according to the latest Labor Brief from the Altarum Institute's Center for Sustainable Health Spending. Hospitals have lost 13,000 jobs over the past three months, including 4,400 in July, the report notes. “This jibes with reports of unexpectedly low hospital utilization rates and belt tightening in anticipation of very low Medicare payment rate increases,” said Center Director Charles Roehrig. “We will be watching hospital jobs closely in the next couple of months to see if this is the start of a longer term trend.” Ambulatory care employment rose by 6,600 in July, well below the 24-month average of 15,600, while nursing and residential care job growth is essentially flat, according to the report.
AHA announces new trustees for 2014   08/08/2013
The AHA has selected eight members to serve on its Board of Trustees for three-year terms beginning Jan. 1, and one member to fill a one-year vacancy on the board. The new board members are: Alan Aviles, president and CEO of New York City Health and Hospitals Corp.; Kris Doody, RN, CEO for Cary Medical Center in Caribou, ME; Brian Gragnolati, senior vice president for Johns Hopkins Health System in Baltimore; Daniel Gross, RN, executive vice president for Sharp HealthCare in San Diego; Constance Howes, Esq., president and CEO of Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island in Providence; Steven Rose, RN, CEO at Nanticoke Memorial Hospital and Physician Network in Seaford, DE; John Vassall, M.D., chief medical officer for Swedish Health Services in Seattle; Larry Veitz, CEO of Spearfish (SD) Regional Hospital; and Eugene Woods, executive vice president and chief operating officer of CHRISTUS Health in Irving, TX. For more information, see the AHA news release.