Deep Dive

Industry insights from our journalists


  • Carney Hospital
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    Getty Images North America via Getty Images
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    Steward bankruptcy likely as massive debt remains, with few options left

    Steward Health Care’s forbearance period ends in less than 15 days. Analysts say this time, creditors are unlikely to extend the embattled company another lifeline.

    Susanna Vogel • April 16, 2024
  • Doctor in the radiology control room and looking at a medical scan
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    andresr via Getty Images
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    Change cyberattack serves as wake-up call for healthcare cybersecurity

    The outage shows why health systems need to plan for inevitable cyberattacks, evaluating risks and putting operational backups in place, experts say.

    Emily Olsen • April 4, 2024
  • A crowd of conferencegoers under banners emblazoned with the HIMSS24 logo.
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    Permission granted by HIMSS
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    ‘As fast as possible but no faster than is safe’: Hospitals, tech companies confront AI governance

    Regulators seeking to erect guardrails around AI are facing a Sisyphean task, experts said at HIMSS. How do you oversee something that is constantly changing?

    Rebecca Pifer • March 18, 2024
  • Cigna's logo is seen on a door.
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    Julia Rendleman via Getty Images
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    Why Cigna is capping cost increases for pricey GLP-1 weight loss drugs

    The move — the first of its kind — comes as pharmacy benefit managers continue to try to prove their value to clients, and shows how major players are shoring up to meet sky-high GLP-1 demand.

    Rebecca Pifer • March 8, 2024
  • Stethoscope lying on top of dollar bills
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    Sensay via Getty Images
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    Insurers brace for continued Medicare Advantage medical costs

    The big question coming out of the health insurance earnings season is how much elevated utilization among seniors is carrying over into 2024.

    Rebecca Pifer • Feb. 20, 2024
  • A stethoscope rests on a medical insurance claim form.
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    iStock / Getty Images Plus via Getty Images
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    Trends shaping the business of health insurance in 2024

    The uninsured rate will rise. Medicare Advantage enrollment will swell, with less instability. Major pharmacy benefit managers will launch more transparent products. Here’s what industry watchers are expecting in 2024.

    Rebecca Pifer • Jan. 16, 2024
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    monkeybusinessimages via Getty Images
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    Key hospital and provider trends in 2024

    As slim operating margins continue to challenge hospitals, experts predict providers will trim unnecessary expenses and focus on strategic labor investments.

    Susanna Vogel • Jan. 10, 2024
  • A healthcare worker in blue scrubs holds a tablet in a clinical setting
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    SDI Productions via Getty Images
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    Healthcare technology trends to watch in 2024

    Experts discuss their predictions for healthcare industry trends, including investment and consolidation in digital health, adoption of artificial intelligence and improving cybersecurity in healthcare in 2024.

    Emily Olsen • Jan. 8, 2024
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    stock via Getty Images
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    A Cigna-Humana merger could face a long regulatory delay. But it might get approved.

    As rumors swirl that the two major health insurers are inching toward a merger, experts say antitrust agencies have grounds to block a deal — but may not be successful.

    Rebecca Pifer • Dec. 4, 2023
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    iStock.com/PeopleImages

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    Where are all the nurses? Hospitals, advocates disagree on crisis

    Hospitals and nursing unions clash on what’s driving sluggish application rates for open registered nurse positions — a lack of qualified candidates or a lack of interest.

    Susanna Vogel • Nov. 21, 2023
  • Hospital workers evacuate a patient from NYU Langone Medical Center during Hurricane Sandy the evening of October 29, 2012 in New York City.
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    Michael Heiman / Staff via Getty Images
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    Preparing for the future: Hospital climate resilience plans challenged by cost, uncertainty

    As extreme weather events caused by climate change ramp up in frequency, hospitals are struggling with financial and data challenges in disaster planning.

    Emily Olsen • Nov. 7, 2023
  • Blue Shield of California's logo above the entrance to its headquarters.
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    Eric Risberg/AP

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    Blue Shield of California is promising a simpler, cheaper pharmacy benefits model. Can it deliver?

    Big questions hang over the California health insurer's bold experiment — having five vendors carry out PBM functions previously performed by one — that could threaten BSCA's expected savings.

    Rebecca Pifer • Updated Oct. 26, 2023
  • The HLTH logo on a massive screen at the entrance hall to the convention.
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    Rebecca Pifer/Healthcare Blog
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    GLP-1s for weight loss leave employers in a bind over coverage

    Employers face a difficult decision over whether to cover pricey weight loss drugs that pits the health and wellbeing of their employees against the health of their bottom line.

    Rebecca Pifer • Oct. 13, 2023
  • Closeup shot of an unrecognizable doctor using a digital tablet.
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    iStock via Getty Images
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    Software overload could boost digital health M&A

    Buyers of digital health products are overwhelmed with point solutions, which could accelerate merger and acquisition activity in a slowed funding environment, experts say.

    Emily Olsen • Aug. 29, 2023
  • A stethoscope rests on a medical insurance claim form.
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    iStock / Getty Images Plus via Getty Images
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    Will the Biden administration’s short-term plan rule increase the uninsured rate?

    Free-market advocates argue proposed restrictions on short-term plans will leave consumers without coverage. Health policy researchers aren’t so sure.

    Rebecca Pifer • Aug. 14, 2023
  • Federal Trade Commission
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    Carol Highsmith. (2005). "The Apex Building" [Photo]. Retrieved from Wikimedia Commons.
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    New antitrust merger guidelines could have significant chilling effect on healthcare deals

    Regulators have historically struggled to make a case against complex and non-traditional tie-ups. That could change with the new guidelines.

    Rebecca Pifer • July 21, 2023
  • a medicaid insurance card on top of a small American flag
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    Kameleon007 via Getty Images
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    States’ varying approaches complicate effort to determine impact of Medicaid redeterminations

    Millions of people have been disenrolled from Medicaid, but it’s too early to get a full picture of redeterminations’ effect on vulnerable Americans, experts say.

    Emily Olsen • July 13, 2023
  • The HIMSS logo in front of a tiled mural of Chicago.
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    Rebecca Pifer/Healthcare Blog
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    ‘Hurtling into the future’: The potential and thorny ethics of generative AI in healthcare

    Generative AI has roared onto the tech scene through the large language model backing ChatGPT. Companies are already deploying the algorithms in hospitals. Should healthcare be taking a pause?

    Rebecca Pifer • April 21, 2023
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    webphotographeer via Getty Images
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    Delays in reporting led FDA to late cancer warning on breast implants, advocates say

    Cases need to be better tracked, and the cancer risks should be discussed with patients prior to surgery, patient advocates and physicians said.

    Elise Reuter • March 22, 2023
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    Edward Smith via Getty Images
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    Why regulators didn’t challenge Amazon-One Medical deal, despite data concerns

    The ecommerce giant's $3.9 billion buy of primary care company One Medical closed without a challenge from the FTC, even as consumer protection groups and regulators aired worries about the tie-up.

    Rebecca Pifer • March 1, 2023
  • An illustration of personal info cards passing through a medical cross shape opening in a person's chest.
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    Illustration: Yann Bastard for Healthcare Blog

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    Hacking healthcare: With 385M patient records exposed, cybersecurity experts sound alarm on breach surge

    Healthcare companies must harden their defenses, but it may require regulators and lawmakers to raise the bar on security standards, experts say.

    Jasmine Ye Han • Feb. 28, 2023
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    Fotolia
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    Could Medicaid redeterminations cause short-term health plan signups to spike?

    Short-term plan operators will likely ramp up their marketing in April to nab new consumers from the Medicaid churn, but health policy experts largely aren't concerned.

    Rebecca Pifer • Feb. 21, 2023
  • Federal Trade Commission
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    Carol Highsmith. (2005). "The Apex Building" [Photo]. Retrieved from Wikimedia Commons.
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    FTC’s enforcement action against GoodRx unveiled a new regulatory threat. Should digital health apps be concerned?

    The order suggests the regulator is willing to use every tool in its tookit to tamp down on sensitive data sharing as medical care turns increasingly online.

    Rebecca Pifer • Feb. 13, 2023
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    Fotolia
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    How technology will shape healthcare in 2023

    This year could represent an inflection point for real-world utilization of artificial intelligence, and standards could rise for health data privacy and cybersecurity, industry experts told Healthcare Blog.

    Rebecca Pifer • Jan. 17, 2023
  • An illustration of two large hands in opposing directions, one holds a pill while the other holds a stack of cash.
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    Illustration: Yann Bastard for Healthcare Blog

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    Key trends for payers and providers in 2023

    Providers are likely to clash with payers over rate hikes after a year of intense cost pressures.

    Samantha Liss • Jan. 11, 2023