Loans for self-pay patients; Beneficiary cost-sharing

> St. Rita's Medical Center in Lima, Ohio, Blanchard Valley Health System in Findlay, Ohio, and St. Mary's Medical Center in Evansville, Ind., have separately signed agreements with San Diego-based CSI Financial Services to give their self-pay patients access to low-interest bank loans for paying their hospital bills, reports the Healthcare Finance News. Article

> Providers can waive beneficiary cost-sharing amounts related to retroactive increases in their payment rates due to the implementation of new federal statutes or regulations--as long as they follow a few simple rules, according to a new policy from the Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Policy

> Carolinas HealthCare System in Charlotte is getting public scrutiny for a potential conflict of interest because it co-owns the company that administers health benefits for its 30,000 employees, reports the Charlotte Observer. Article

> The University of Michigan Health System's system for providing full disclosure of medical errors, including an online incident reporting system and outreach to plaintiffs' attorneys, "significantly reduced malpractice claims and costs per claim, hastened the claims resolution process, and reduced insurance reserve requirements," according to a new Innovation Profile from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Profile

> Palomar Medical Center in Escondido, Calif., is in a court fight over a recovery audit contractor's (RAC) right to re-open a Medicare claim, saying the RAC lacked good cause for its action, reports the American Medical News. Article

> The Board of Trustees of the American Medical Association will investigate how often hospitals sue physicians to get back their outlays for medical liability settlements, reports the American Medical News. Article

> The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has issued a new Advanced Beneficiary Notice of Noncoverage (ABN) booklet to help staff navigate the proper use and completion of ABNs for Medicare beneficiaries. Booklet

> Caromont Health in Gastonia, N.C., will participate in a bundled-payment pilot project, reports the Gaston Gazette. Article

And Finally ... So there is a reason that annoying, yappy little dogs exist. Article