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NEWS
July 29, 2016 | By Karen Langley, HARRISBURG BUREAU
Saying their own costs have risen, health insurance companies made their cases to state regulators Wednesday for double-digit rate increases next year for individual policies in Pennsylvania. The requests before the Insurance Department include proposed average rate increases of 17.2 percent for Aetna Health Inc., 25.4 percent to 48.1 percent for Highmark companies, 0.9 percent to 16.2 percent for UPMC companies, and 19.9 percent to 22.5 percent for Independence Blue Cross companies, according to the department.
NEWS
July 27, 2016
ISSUE | MENTAL HEALTH More N.J. aid needed Community mental-health providers are struggling to deliver medication management services to individuals with mental illnesses - and, in many cases, substance-use disorders - because the fee-for-service rates have not been increased. The rates are not being adjusted despite proof that they fall short of the cost and despite the dire consequences for those who need them. By getting these and other outpatient services, individuals would be able to avoid more costly emergency room visits and hospitalizations for behavioral and physical health issues.
BUSINESS
July 25, 2016 | By Suzette Parmley, Staff Writer
How about treating yourself to a shopping spree after getting good news at your annual physical? That opportunity has arrived, as more mall spaces are being used as medical offices and health centers to resuscitate struggling suburban malls. Examples in the Philadelphia area include Main Line Health Center at Exton Square Mall, Suburban Health Center at Plymouth Meeting Mall, and the Center for Neurological and Neurodevelopmental Health (CNNH) at Voorhees Town Center. Retail and real estate experts say the trend is on the rise, especially among malls looking to fill space vacated by traditional retailers with new tenants to generate rental income and increase traffic.
FOOD
July 21, 2016
Since our last guide to Chinatown in early 2014, more attention than ever has been paid to restaurant health inspections across Philadelphia – sparked in large part by a banquet that sickened more than 100 lawyers at Joy Tsin Lau in early 2015. With the city Health Department gaining more power to enforce recommended closures, and the Inquirer's Sam Wood noting the worst offenders in his regular "Clean Plates" column (which includes a database to search recent reports), a number of notable Chinatown spots have been forced into closing temporarily.
SPORTS
July 20, 2016 | By Mike Sielski, Inquirer Columnist
At exactly 8:35 p.m. local time Monday in Etoy, Switzerland, Michael Brooks picked up the phone and - who can say the last time he did this? - dialed a Philadelphia number. He had decided to explain where he has been, why he has been there, and why he has been so quiet for so long. It was his first opportunity, he said, to respond to the phone messages I had left and the emails I had sent him last week. When he called me Monday, he had not yet read a column that had been published on Philly.com on Friday and in the Sunday Inquirer - a column that I had wanted to be about his reflections on the 1980 U.S. Olympic boycott but that, as I reported the piece, became something else entirely.
NEWS
July 16, 2016 | By Sam Wood, Staff Writer
A Jefferson Health employee who posted an invective-filled, racist rant on social media was fired Wednesday after her screed went viral. Diane Amoratis, 53, of Bridesburg, apparently wrote the inflammatory Facebook post after Saturday night's Black Lives Matter protest in North Philadelphia. "They should have bulldozed the BLM protest at the 24/25 district last night. Disgraceful!!!" read the post. "I am sick and tired of all this b- with the black people!!" The diatribe, which also praised police restraint at the protest, smoldered unnoticed for a day before it was shared tens of thousands of times by outraged Facebook users across the nation.
BUSINESS
July 15, 2016 | By Sam Wood, Staff Writer
This story has been updated. The Philadelphia region's largest health-care employer may be extending its reach farther into New Jersey. The University of Pennsylvania Health System, better known as Penn Medicine, announced Wednesday that it had signed a letter of intent to partner with Princeton HealthCare System. In a statement, Penn Medicine CEO Ralph Muller said the partnership would give central New Jersey residents access to Penn's world-class patient-care programs.
NEWS
July 12, 2016 | By Andy Carter
  We are hearing quite a bit about the transformation of health care, but what does that really mean? If you are Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, it is the complete repeal of the Affordable Care Act. If you are the Democratic front-runner, Hillary Clinton, it is modifying the existing platform. Regardless of the interpretation, we are a long way from implementation of any significant policy shifts. We simply shouldn't delay tackling the challenges right in front of us while the presidential campaign drags on and a new administration sets up shop.
BUSINESS
July 8, 2016 | By Harold Brubaker, STAFF WRITER
The special investigations unit of Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey generated $43.2 million in savings last year by rooting out fraud, the Newark, N.J., health insurer said Wednesday. Horizon said one of the latest trends in fraud is the "phantom doctor's office," which are shell offices that submit bogus claims using stolen insurance identification numbers and then vanish. Another increasingly common scheme, Horizon said, is "the impossible day," on which a doctor claims to have seen dozens or even hundreds of patients.
BUSINESS
July 8, 2016 | By Harold Brubaker, Staff Writer
Thomas Jefferson University on Wednesday announced the completion of its combination with Aria Health, creating a regional health care giant with 23,000 employees, $4.5 billion in annual revenue, and 2,217 inpatient beds. "I'm excited. This is one of the best days of my two-and-a-half years here," Jefferson chief executive Stephen Klasko told a crowd during a ceremonial signing of merger papers at Aria's Torresdale campus. The deal was formally completed on July 1, according to a note to Jefferson bondholders.
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