Healthcare Economics & Policy

Not far from any policy debate is the oft-repeated fact that healthcare makes up one-sixth of the U.S. economy. Newly published research took a deeper dive to investigate the impact of medical schools and teaching hospitals. And, as one would guess, they contribute a lot of the American economy, accounting for 3.1 percent of gross domestic product.

Accountable care organizations (ACOs) were supposed to result in savings for Medicare, but an analysis from Avalere said ACOs in the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) have instead increased federal spending—an evaluation a national group of ACOs called “rather simplistic," ignoring positive impacts they've made on quality.

Drug-related deaths more than tripled between 1999 and 2015—and many of those can be attributed to opioids. But the numbers may be more alarming than previously thought, according to a new report from Kaiser Health News and Side Effects Public Media.

Efforts from Republicans in Washington, D.C., failed to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), but that hasn’t stopped some states from taking matters into their own hands. Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds is expected to sign legislation that would allow insurers to sell certain plans that don’t meet ACA regulations.

Jefferson Health and Einstein Healthcare Network, both based in Philadelphia, have announced they’ve signed a letter of intent to merge, the latest in a string of acquisitions by Jefferson.

Discussions to create the largest hospital system in the country by combining Ascension and Providence St. Joseph Health have ended, with the two companies deciding to focus on restructuring existing operations, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Mergers and acquisitions that have consolidated healthcare markets in California have raised prices for procedures and insurance premiums, especially in the northern part of the state, according to a report from the University of California, Berkeley’s Petris Center on Health Care Markets and Consumer Welfare.

Reports from Monday, March 26, state former Cleveland Clinic CEO Tony Cosgrove is a leading figure to replace embattled Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin, should be he ousted in the near future.

In a survey conducted by Global Healthcare Exchange, some of the top providers for supply chain performance said making better use of data would be their No. 1 priority this year, either through expanded analytics or standardizing their data process across the organization.

The last few months in mergers and acquisition (M&A) activity in healthcare have been dominated by massive deals proposed across sectors—like drugstore chain CVS Health wanting to buy health insurer Aetna for $69 billion. What those companies should watch for, writes Morning Consult’s Jon Reid, is the result of the case challenging a merger with similar dynamics: the combination of AT&T and Time Warner.

For-profit hospital giant HCA has entered into discussions to acquire Mission Health, a nonprofit six-hospital system based out of Asheville, North Carolina, in a deal Mission admitted may result in some jobs being eliminated.

Downers Grove, Illinois-based Advocate Health Care and Milwaukee’s Aurora Health Care have gotten the final approval needed to close their merger, which will create the 10th largest nonprofit, integrated health system in the country.