August 2, 2023
Providers | Tea Leaves
  • CVS Health is cutting approximately 5,000 jobs to save on costs amid its ongoing push into health care delivery. The layoffs will primarily affect corporate positions, and those affected will receive severance pay and benefits, including outplacement services. It does not expect customer-oriented roles in stores, pharmacies, and clinics to be affected by the layoff plan. (Articles here and here)
  • Amazon is adding video telemedicine visits in all 50 states to a virtual clinic it launched last fall, as the e-commerce giant pushes deeper into care delivery. The direct-to-consumer telehealth service gives users access to third-party providers for non-urgent health conditions ranging from pink eye to urinary tract infections. The clinic, which doesn’t accept insurance, launched last fall with a focus on text message-based consultations. Those remain available in 34 states. The new video telemedicine option also will be available in Washington, D.C. (Articles here, here, and here)
  • The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that inpatient hospitals will see a larger Medicare payment hike next fiscal year than first proposed. Acute care hospitals complying with quality reporting rules and electronic health record guidelines will get a 3.1 percent net increase in Medicare reimbursements in fiscal 2024 under the hospital inpatient prospective payment system final rule. In April, CMS issued a proposed rule that would have boosted reimbursements 2.8 percent. CMS also set a 0.2 percent reimbursement increase for long-term care hospitals. The final rule for inpatient hospitals reflects a 3.3 percent market basket increase and a negative 0.2 percentage point productivity adjustment. Hospitals that don’t submit required quality data could see penalties of up to one-quarter of their reimbursements. (Articles here and here)