Finance Roundup—It's 'business as usual' for FTC on antitrust enforcement; Geisinger taps new CFO

A stethoscope and paper money.
Geisinger has a new chief financial officer, plus more finance headlines. (Getty/utah778)

Former FTC official expects 'business as usual' for hospital merger antitrust enforcement 

Deborah Feinstein, the head of the Federal Trade Commission's Bureau of Competition from 2013 to 2017, said it will be "business as usual" for the agency in pursuing antitrust cases in healthcare, though the number of hospital mergers continues at a fast pace

It remains to be seen whether FTC action against some recent hospitals will have a chilling effect on the industry's "merger-mania," she said. (Healthcare Financial Management Association

Geisinger names new chief financial officer

Kevin V. Roberts will become Geisinger Health System's new chief financial officer, taking over for the system's longtime CFO, Kevin Brennan, who retired at the end of 2017. Roberts comes to Geisinger from BJC Healthcare, where he also served as CFO. (Announcement

Lifespan joins Partners, Care New England merger talks 

Lifespan, Rhode Island's largest health system, has entered into formal talks with Partners HealthCare and Care New England Health System to explore ways all three can work together to improve health in the state. 

The announcement doesn't explicitly name the potential alignment a merger, but says the three organizations would "combine talent, experience and resources" to improve care integration and coordination. (FierceHealthcare

CVS, Aetna aim to reduce hospital use 

Attorneys representing CVS and Aetna testified before Congress this week to defend their planned merger, and said one plan the companies have is to reduce hospital use, and thus, healthcare costs. 

Thomas Moriarity, executive vice president and general counsel for CVS, said that expanding access to MinuteClinics, for example, would offer an alternative to pricey emergency room visits, decreasing costs. (Healthcare Financial Management Association

Report dives into how hospital use and disability connect 

Researchers at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine found that hospital use is not associated with disease severity, as determined by the Social Security Administration's definition of "severe impairment." 

Predictive models could better determine how disease severity intersects with healthcare use, the researchers said, though those models will have to be evaluated regularly as the industry continues to evolve. (Report