Hospital Bond Issuances Fall To Lowest Level In At Least A Decade
Modern Healthcare reports that some nonprofit hospitals opted to spend money on IT systems rather than on building projects in 2014. In addition, questions about how Hepatitis C drug exclusivity deals impact physician practice and Heritage Provider Network launches a joint venture with Trinity Health.
Not-for-profit Hospitals Shunned Bond Market In 2014
Hospital bond issuances fell to their lowest level in more than a decade last year as not-for-profit providers scaled back their capital spending despite low interest rates and eager lenders. Instead of investing in traditional brick-and-mortar building projects, many health systems are focusing their attention on upgrading their information technology systems. These projects are not only less expensive, but they have a relatively short lifespan before providers must make the next upgrade. (Kutscher, 1/12)
Los Angeles Times:
Heritage Provider Network Teams Up With Hospital Chain Trinity Health
Southern California-based Heritage Provider Network is forming a joint venture with the nation's second-largest nonprofit hospital system to better coordinate patient care across much of the country. The agreement announced Monday calls for Heritage and Trinity Health to build networks in different markets that focus on integrating the fragmented care many patients receive from multiple providers. Financial terms of the deal weren't disclosed. (Terhune, 1/12)
Are Hep C Exclusivity Deals Taking Power From Doctors?
Exclusivity deals for hepatitis C drugs by pharmacy benefit managers and a major health plan have raised concerns that the decision of which drug is best for a patient is being taken away from clinicians. Last week Anthem became the first payer to announce an exclusivity deal for a hepatitis C drug. As part of the pact, beneficiaries must try Gilead Sciences' Harvoni before trying any other treatment for hepatitis C genotype 1, which accounts for up to 75% of all U.S. cases. (Dickson, 1/12)
Meanwhile, news outlets also detail changes in the marketplace from the emergence of big-box store walk-in clinics to how smartphones might play a role in personal health -
The Huffington Post:
Why We're Picking Walmart And CVS Over Doctors' Offices
The American health care system may finally be catching up to the rest of the 21st-century economy, in which convenience is not only expected, but demanded -- and massive retailers are driving the change. Patients suffering everyday complaints like chest colds or ankle sprains have long faced the lamentable choice between waiting days to see their family doctors or enduring time-sucking, unpleasant and expensive visits to hospital emergency rooms, especially at night and on weekends when physicians typically aren't open for business. It's one of the most annoying aspects of the way medical care is provided in the United States. (Young, 1/12)
Imagining A Future When The Doctor's Office Is In Your Home
Extracting medical care from the health care system is all too often an expensive exercise in frustration. Dr. Eric Topol says your smartphone could make it cheaper, faster, better and safer. That's the gist of his new book, The Patient Will See You Now. Lots of people are bullish on the future of mobile health to transform health care, but Topol gets extra cred because of his major medical chops: Former head of cardiology at the Cleveland Clinic and present director of the Scripps Translations Science Institute in La Jolla, Calif. (Shute, 1/13)