Ah yes, the end of the annual federal holiday drought is rapidly approaching. Congress has left town until June 5. Here’s the Week in Congress’s one pager on the the past week’s activities on Capitol Hill. 

Doug Badger, a senior fellow at the Galen Institute, writes “Bludgeoning the opposition with CBO numbers [on the American Health Care Act] does not advance debate.  It silences it.”  Well put. Mr. Badger’s backs up his statement here.

Healthcare Dive reports that Steward Healthcare is poised to be the largest for profit hospital operator in the U.S. following the announcement of its acquisition of a competitor. Healthcare Dive explains

The merger is part of an ongoing trend that also recently included a Geisinger and Jersey Shore deal. Steward and Community Health Systems (CHS) also announced earlier this month that Boston-based Steward purchased eight CHS hospitals. These moves show Steward attempting to become a bigger player in the competitive for-profit hospital industry.
While Steward is rapidly increasing its footprints, other large for-profit hospital systems like CHS and Tenet are divesting hospitals, as they face financial issues, including flat or lost revenue in the first quarter of the year, and mounting debt.
The deal will give Steward nearly 7,500 patient beds across 10 states and about 38,000 employees, including “more than 1,800 directly employed multi-specialty physicians and several thousand aligned physicians,” according to Steward Health Care.

Of course, the “ongoing trend” was initiated by the ACA.

A truism if there ever was one — “Coordination of care among healthcare providers is the single most important criteria influencing member satisfaction with their health plan, according to the J.D. Power 2017 Member Health Plan Study.”  Of course, the statement begs the question – how?

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