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Pennsylvania Hospitals Add Jobs for Eleven Straight Months

August 21, 2017

During July, Pennsylvania hospitals added 900 jobs to their workforce, capping off an 11-month hiring frenzy which resulted in 8,900 new hospital jobs since August 2016 and record high hospital employment in Pennsylvania. Preliminary, not seasonally adjusted, Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry data show that direct hospital employment reached 278,200 in July 2017. Hospital employment in Pennsylvania has risen 5.7 percent (15,100 jobs added) since their recession low of 263,100 jobs in April 2010.

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Governor Announces New Leaders for Department of Human Services, Insurance

August 18, 2017

Governor Wolf has announced that he has nominated Teresa Miller, current Commissioner for the Pennsylvania Insurance Department to serve as Secretary for the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS), effective August 21.

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CMS Releases Tool for Transparency in Hospice Care

August 18, 2017

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released Hospice Compare, an informational website that allows consumers to learn more about hospice care in their area.

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CMS Announces Major Changes to Bundled Programs

August 17, 2017

This week the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a proposed rule that would significantly reduce mandatory bundled programs. 

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President Signs Veterans Choice Appropriations Bill

August 16, 2017

President Trump signed into law legislation providing $2.1 billion in funding to continue the Veterans Choice Program that allows veterans to see a civilian health care provider if they cannot be seen by a VA medical facility in a timely manner or if they face burdens in traveling to a VA medical facility.

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CMS Extends Deadline for Insurers to File 2018 Rates

August 15, 2017

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that insurers participating in the Health Insurance Marketplaces (HealthCare.gov) have until September 5 to file their final rates for 2018. The action provides additional time for insurers to adjust their premiums due to continued uncertainty surrounding the Affordable Care Act, including the possibility that cost-sharing reduction (CSR) subsidies will go unfunded next year.

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HAP Welcomes Doug Barber as Senior Accountant

August 15, 2017

News Release:  Effective August 1, J. Douglas Barber has been appointed Senior Accountant for The Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania (HAP). In this position, Barber will assist the controller in all functions of the association’s financial operations and will serve as the main accountant for outside organizations contracting with HAP for financial and accounting services.

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President Declares Opioid Crisis a National Emergency

August 14, 2017

President Trump has declared the country’s opioid crisis a national emergency and has instructed the administration to use all appropriate emergency and other authorities to respond to the crisis.

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PA Tracks National Averages in Most Behavioral Health Metrics; Heroin Use/Adult Mental Health Service Use Higher

August 11, 2017

Pennsylvania’s annual averages in substance use prevalence are similar to national annual averages across most measures in youth and adult substance use or mental health illness. But in two metrics, Pennsylvania’s annual averages were higher than national averages.

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Employers Plan to Adopt Consumer-Focused Strategies to Reduce Health Care Costs

August 10, 2017

Two health care employer surveys released recently reveal that, faced with a five to 5.5 percent increase in health care benefit costs in 2018, United States employers plan to adopt new strategies to manage costs.

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South Central Hospitals and Health Care Providers Meet to Improve Emergency Preparedness

August 09, 2017

South Central Pennsylvania health care preparedness officials met in Harrisburg to kick off the region’s new Health Care Coalition, which focuses on improving emergency preparedness across the health care delivery system. 

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HHS Secretary Price Says All Options on the Table to Fight Opioid Crisis

August 08, 2017

Following a briefing from the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis, Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price addressed the media and pledged continued support from the Trump Administration to fight the crisis.

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Hospitals Continue Adding to the Pennsylvania Workforce

August 07, 2017

Unlike colleges and universities that laid off nearly 20 percent of their workforce during June, hospitals added 2,100 workers. Preliminary, not seasonally adjusted, Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry data show that direct hospital employment reached 277,500 during June 2017, an increase of more than 3 percent during the last year.

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New KPMG/Forbes Study: Health Care Firms are Unprepared for Next Cyber Security Breach

August 04, 2017

A new KPMG and Forbes Insights report found that the health care industry is “elevating cyber security to a strategic imperative but at a pace that lags behind [its] desire to adopt digital technologies to drive innovation.”

The report found that during the past two years, 47 percent of health care “firms have had a HIPPA-related security violation or breach."

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New CDC Report Outlines New Guidelines for Antibiotic Use

August 04, 2017

“Antibiotic Use in the United States, 2017—Progress and Opportunities”, a new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), describes how antibiotics have saved millions of lives during the years in treating bacterial infections. The report, however, also highlights ways that the overuse or misuse of antibiotics has contributed to the development of superbugs (highly resistant bacteria), serious infections such as Clostridium difficile (CDI), poor patient outcomes, and increased patient care costs.

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