Health system, patient care hit by rising claim denial rates

Modern Healthcare notes a “significant” increase in denied insurance claims over the past year, which has led to increased administrative work, reduced hospital cash flow, and delays in patient care. Separately, Axios reports on how Medicare inflation is affecting large employers.

Modern health care: Insurance claim denial rates rising as health systems struggle

Health systems across the country have experienced a significant increase in denied claims over the past year, leading to more administrative work for providers, less cash flow for hospitals and, in some cases, postponed patient care. (Devereaux, 11/21)

More on the cost of coverage –

Axios: How Medicare Inflation Is Trapping Large Employers

A convergence of factors driving up health costs is threatening to make next year very expensive for large employers, forcing some to make tough compromises and eat up some of the extra spending. (Reed and Gonzalez, 11/21)

North Carolina health news: More than 2 million Medicare enrollees face important choices

With the Dec. 7 deadline looming, North Carolinians over age 65 will be up for health insurance coverage for 2023 under traditional Medicare or one of 150 options on a growing list of privately operated Medicare Advantage plans across the state. Working with options. (Goldsmith, 11/22)

Status: The case for universal oral health coverage according to WHO

On Friday, oral health advocates around the world got an early holiday gift from their longtime wish list. They’ve been waiting their entire careers—with some STATs, nearly half a century—to turn oral health into conversations calling for health care access for all. The World Health Organization’s new Global Oral Health Status Report took the first step. (Castillo, 11/21)

In other health care industry news –

Modern Healthcare: Intermountain Healthcare reported a profit of $2.16 billion in the third quarter

Intermountain Healthcare continues to make money during a difficult period for the hospital sector, reporting net income of $2.16 billion for the first nine months of the year, according to an unaudited financial report released Thursday. (Hudson, 11/21)

Modern Healthcare: Providence Closes 27 Southern California Retail Clinics

Renton, Washington-based Providence closed all 27 of Providence ExpressCare’s facilities on November 17. Southern California retail clinics posted “unprecedented operating losses” amid labor shortages, inflation, supply chain disruptions, lower-than-expected volumes and more competition. retail clinic area, the spokesman said. (Kasik, 11/21)

The Stat: Can Telehealth Help Hospitals Mitigate the Climate Crisis?

As the world stares down the barrel of climate change, the health care system — which accounts for about 9% of all US greenhouse gas emissions — is finally starting to act. Hospitals, in particular, are working to reduce their impact, and have held telehealth as a key strategy to cut carbon, by eliminating millions of miles of travel from health care centers. (Palmer, 11/22)

The Boston Globe: Community colleges working to ease nursing shortage

Northern Essex Community College is participating in a national program to address the nursing shortage and make the profession more accessible to people from diverse backgrounds. (Ladler, 11/21)

Modern Healthcare: Atrium Hosts Annual Talent Show for Health Staff

Atrium Health employees want to showcase their talents at work and on stage. Each year, the Charlotte, North Carolina-based nonprofit health system invites its 70,000 staff members to participate in “Atrium Health Has Talent,” a talent show. Physicians, administrative staff, leadership and other team members come together to showcase their skills from across the 40-hospital system. (Berryman, 11/22)

In legal news-

Des Moines Register: Jury awards $27 million to Iowa man after misdiagnosis of meningitis

A Polk County jury has awarded a Des Moines man $27 million in damages after a local urgent care clinic failed to diagnose a severe meningitis infection that ultimately resulted in permanent brain damage. (Ram, 11/21)

The New York Times: A Botched Cancer Test, A National Scandal, and an Irish Hero

A subsequent official investigation revealed that at least 220 other Irish women had also developed cervical cancer after receiving negative results for state-run pap smears, which were classified as possible positives in a later review. Should have been marked. About 30 of these women have since died, according to 221+, an advocacy group founded by Vicky Phelan and other affected women and their survivors. (O’Loughlin, 11/17)

It is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for email subscription.

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