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The “Amazon effect” is finally being felt in health care. With this phenomenon, more emphasis is placed on data, which means more money on technology and systems, and bigger investments in infrastructure. Not every practice will have the resources to manage this seismic disruption, and those that fail to keep up may find themselves at a competitve disadvantage. More than 500 hospitals have merged into larger health systems in the past 10 years. In the last six years, $100 billion has been spent on hospital consolidation. Thinking about a sale or strategic partnership? Below are 10 factors to consider.

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Health care is not only one of the largest industries, but it is also one of the most complex. The combination of the size and complexity of the industry has resulted in endless frustration for practice managers when interpreting intense quantities of data. How are industry leaders supposed to make sense of this convoluted information and turn it into stronger results? The answer, in short, is benchmarking. Benchmarking, in this instance, is comparing the processes and metrics of a single business to those in the industry.

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In recent years, the health care industry has become susceptible to cyberattacks and lags behind other industries when it comes to cybersecurity. The shift from paper records to electronic records has left the industry with a difficult challenge: improving patient experience with online charts and quick turnaround of results, while simultaneously protecting all patient information. In order to understand the magnitude of the risk of insecure patient records, health care providers need to recall the vulnerable information they retain from patients, including social security numbers and credit card information.

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With much of the rhetoric in Washington D.C. during the past couple of weeks over funding of the border wall and the current government shut down, employers still may have reporting requirements for 2018 under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The Act requires insurers, self-insuring employers, and those employers with 50 or more full-time equivalents (FTEs) to report certain information to the IRS and Social Security Administration using forms 1095-B, 1095-C and 1094.

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Pfizer recently announced a major restructuring into three business segments. The move followed an unsuccessful attempt by the company to market its OTC, or Consumer Healthcare segment as it will be named under the new regime. The reorganization will position the company’s most promising growth area as its rebranded Innovative Medicines segment with the existing business lines from the old segment, as well as adding biosimilars and a new hospital business unit.

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Revenue Procedure 2018-27 provides relief for those with family coverage under high deductible health plans (HDHP) in regards to the annual deductible contributions limit for 2018 health savings accounts (HSA) under Internal Revenue Service Code section 223. The maximum coverage was initially issued as $6,900 on May 4, 2017. On March 2, 2018 the limit was reduced to $6,850 after tax reform changed the calculation for 2018 and future years.

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In a recent announcement, the IRS indicated that it will begin sending notices to employers that have failed to comply with the employer responsibilities related to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). For the 2015 calendar year, the IRS plans to issue Letter 226J informing applicable large employers of their potential liability for an employer shared responsibility payment (ESRP), if any, in late 2017.

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As part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), one of the many excise taxes imposed by this act is again quickly approaching. The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) fee is an excise tax imposed on health insurance issuers and plan sponsors of self-insured health plans effective for plan years ending on or after Oct. 1, 2012.

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The Affordable Care Act (“ACA”), otherwise known as Obamacare, has been in the headlines lately as Republicans work to replace the ACA or otherwise repeal it entirely. In recent days, efforts to replace the law have fallen through as certain Republican senators have pledged to oppose it. The debates surrounding the ACA have also brought the Net Investment Income Tax (“NIIT”) into the spotlight.

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On May 4, the House of Representatives passed the American Health Care Act (AHCA) by a vote of 217 to 213. However, instead of promptly sending the bill to the Senate, the House instead waited for the Congressional Budget Office's (CBO) analysis. The CBO, along with the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) issued its report on May 24.

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