KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Bay Area Health System Consolidation — How Will It Impact Costs?

Elsewhere, Cincinnati health systems report profits went up, while for some Ohio insurers they went down. And, in New Hampshire, a hospital is planning to increase nurses' pay in order to draw new talent and address a staffing shortage.

KQED: As Bay Area Hospitals Consolidate, Will Costs Go Up Or Down?
The Bay Area’s health care systems — think Stanford, Sutter, John Muir and more — are continuing to align and consolidate in different ways to expand across the region, a new analysis shows, and it’s unclear if this will lead to lower or higher health care costs. (Aliferis, 1/14)

The Cincinnati Enquirer: Report: Cincinnati Hospital Profits Up In 2014
Cincinnati’s hospital systems saw a surge in net income in 2014, although the increases came about more from investments, government grants and philanthropy than from operations, a new review of Ohio’s health-care economy shows. The 13th edition of “Ohio Health Market Review” also found that the overall profits for Ohio’s health insurers went down even as the carriers picked up about 800,000 more customers through the Affordable Care Act and the expansion of Medicaid in Ohio. (Saker, 1/14)

Concord Monitor: New Hampshire Hospital Hopes Raise For Nurses Helps Draw New Talent
Officials at New Hampshire Hospital are hoping a recently approved raise for its nurses will help draw new talent and alleviate a staffing shortage. At its first meeting of the year, the Executive Council unanimously approved $465,127 for the remainder of the fiscal year and an additional $1.6 million for fiscal year 2017 to boost nurses’ wages at the state-operated, publicly funded facility. The shortage has also delayed the opening of a new 10-bed crisis unit at the hospital. The unit is already constructed, and is meant to be a place for people who are forced to wait in their local emergency room until a bed becomes available at the state hospital. (Nilsen, 1/14)

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