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CMS Star Ratings Major Setback for 2 Insurers

The federal government hit CVS Health and Centene with lower quality scores for the health-insurance plans they sell to seniors. Star Rating scores are a big deal for health insurers, because plans that score 4 stars or higher receive bonus payments from the federal government that they can use to edge out competition by funding new health-plan benefits to attract more customers.

Pharmacy May Be The Answer To Reducing Healthcare Costs

Back in March, we talked about how the role of the pharmacist in the healthcare ecosystem has been expanding over the past decade. In addition to simple medication fulfillment, pharmacist now complete crucial patient aftercare, education, and vaccination administration. Many believe as the role of the pharmacist expands, they could become the key to reducing all kinds of healthcare costs. Here are three ways pharmacy is helping save costs for healthcare.

5 Ways The Expanding Role of the Pharmacist Is Changing Healthcare

The role of the pharmacist in the healthcare industry has been expanding over the past decade, from simple medication fulfillment to crucial patient aftercare, education, and administering vaccinations. 2015 has already seen big changes within the healthcare industry and we predict that the role of the pharmacist will only expand more.

Hospital Acquired Infections are Down–But Is It Enough?

It’s unclear whether President Obama’s request for funding to combat HAIs will be met by Congress, but regardless of whether or not the funding comes from the federal government, hospitals will need to find the money somewhere to continue investing in HAI prevention, especially as it becomes more inextricably linked with reimbursement as we march forward this year.

2015 Means an Increase in Medicare Penalties for Readmissions

For the third year in a row, Medicare will be increasing the percent penalty for hospitals who have high readmission rates: up now to 3% in 2015. Despite efforts through the ACA and readmission reductions programs, the rate of readmissions continues to rise. Initially, Medicare attempted to stifle this by forcing hospitals to be transparent about their numbers. By making the number of readmissions public, the hope was that there would be a certain accountability and hospitals would then attempt to discern why their rates were so high. When this didn’t prove to drop the rates as much as Medicare would have hoped, they tacked on a financial penalty that hospitals would need to pay if their rates continued to rise.

Hospital Readmissions Are Costing Us $26 Billion Annually

Healthcare has become something of a hard science, if the focus on data and numbers is any indication. It would seem that the research, the endless reporting and spreadsheets of healthcare administration, has served to at least shed light on the problems healthcare is currently facing as an industry - but the fix isn’t likely to be in black and white.

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