Patrick Soon-Shiong Brought Hope To Deeply Indebted California Health System. A Year Later It’s Been Dashed. Billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong promised great improvements for the struggling Verity Health System when he took it over last year. Now it stands on the edge of bankruptcy. Modern Healthcare: Google, Amazon, Microsoft And Others Have A Long Road Ahead In Healthcare In the year since Los Angeles billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong took control of a deeply indebted California hospital system, it invested millions in technology that advanced his for-profit interests while cutting charity care and neglecting earthquake preparedness. Now, it stands at the brink of sale or, possibly, bankruptcy. Soon-Shiong, the Los Angeles surgeon and entrepreneur whose empire includes health technology firms and foundations, part of the L.A. Lakers and, most recently, ownership of the Los Angeles Times, bought a controlling stake in the firm that operates the struggling Verity Health System hospital chain in July 2017. Soon-Shiong saw Verity as a place to fulfill his longtime dream of advancing high-tech approaches to cancer treatment, and promised to provide “the highest level of care with the best outcomes at lowest cost for all Californians.” (Tahir, 8/28) As tech giants start to forge paths into healthcare, they stand to put pressure on established healthcare IT firms to open up their systems and adopt data standards. But change won’t happen overnight, and these outsiders will need to adjust too, gaining access to healthcare data and making it useful while potentially moving at a slower pace than they’re used to. (Arndt, 8/27) Politico: Did Patrick Soon-Shiong’s High-Tech Gamble Help Bring 6 Hospitals To The Brink? In other health industry news — Modern Healthcare: Cutting Higher Payments To Long-Term Care Hospitals Could Save $4.6 Billion A trio of economists has a suggestion it says will save taxpayers about $4.6 billion per year with no harm to patients: get rid of higher payments to long-term care hospitals. A National Bureau of Economic Research study released Monday found that despite being reimbursed at much higher rates than skilled nursing facilities and home healthcare providers, long-term care hospitals don’t produce better outcomes in three important areas: They don’t reduce mortality or length of stay and they leave patients with higher out-of-pocket costs. (Bannow, 8/27) This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.