Hospital M&A picks up in first half; RegionalCare is acquired;

News From Around The Web

> Hospital mergers and acquisitions picked up during the third quarter, with 29 deals closed versus 26 during the second quarter of the year, and more deals involving for-profit providers, according to Kaufman Hall. Announcement

> The RegionalCare Hospital Partners system has been acquired by investment fund Apollo Global Management, according to the Nashville Business Journal. RegionalCare operates eight hospitals. Article

> The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has made a variety of changes to limit the ability of recovery audit contractors to audit hospital Medicare claims. Announcement (.pdf)

Provider News

> The embattled Department of Veterans Affairs paid out $142 million in executive and employee bonuses in 2014, the same year a major, ongoing scandal involving care delays first broke, according to USA Today. Article

Healthcare IT News

> Four senators are asking the Department of Health and Human Services what it's doing to prevent data breaches at provider and payer organizations. In a letter to Andy Slavitt, acting administrator for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, and Jocelyn Samuels, director of the HHS Office for Civil Rights, the senators point to five major breaches in the past year--Anthem, Premera, Carefirst, Excellus and UCLA Health--that have affected up to 105 million people. Article

And finally...Should caffeine-infused peanut butter be regulated? Article