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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Daily news & Analysis

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20 People Who Make Healthcare Better

By: November 16, 2009

The very essence of healthcare is to make a difference for good. In our annual HealthLeaders 20, we offer profiles of some who are doing just that.

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Freshman Senators' Amendments Focus on Improving Value

By: Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, December 9, 2009

A group of 11 freshman Democratic senators, organized by Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA), introduced a set of amendments to the Senate healthcare reform measure that they said will promote more cost awareness and affordability. In a speech on the floor, Warner compared the bill to the efforts years before to promote cheaper airfares online.

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Initiative Hopes to Improve Patient Safety in Public Hospitals

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, December 9, 2009

The National Patient Safety Foundation, the National Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems, and Kaiser Permanente this week launched the "Patient Safety Initiative at America's Public Hospitals." Forty-two hospitals were selected for Phase I in 2009, with the remaining 43 to be selected for Phase 2 in 2010. There is potential to expand this program to all 140 NAPH member hospitals.

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EPA: Despite Plenty of Hospital Activity, No Added Scrutiny on Healthcare

By: Scott Wallask, for HealthLeaders Media, December 10, 2009

Though it may seem there has been an upswing in hospital-related activity by the Environmental Protection Agency this year, a spokesperson for the EPA said there is not a formal boost in hospital enforcement. But she agreed various aspects the agency is pursuing have direct effects on healthcare. "We are not aware of any overall increased focus on hospitals within the agency," said Deb Berlin, a press officer for the EPA.

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Patient Knowledge of Their Meds Woeful, Says Study

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, December 10, 2009

Nearly half of hospital patients thought they were receiving a medication they were not, and 96% were unable to recall the name of at least one medication that they had been prescribed during their hospitalization, according to a study released today. Researchers from the University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine assessed patient awareness of their in-hospital medications and surveyed attitudes toward increased patient knowledge of hospital medications.

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SSM Health Care, Select Medical Form Rehab Partnership

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, December 9, 2009

SSM Health Care - St. Louis, and Select Medical Corp., have entered into a joint venture partnership to expand rehabilitation services in the St. Louis area, the two companies announced. The partnership will include a freestanding rehabilitation hospital, and will integrate both organizations' outpatient rehabilitation, occupational medicine, and contract therapy services in St. Louis.

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Long-term Providers Get Look at New Assessment Tool

By: MacKenzie Kimball, for HealthLeaders Media, December 10, 2009

The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services recently released chapters 1, 3, and 5 and appendices A through H of the new Resident Assessment Instrument User's Manual for the Minimum Data Set 3.0, giving long-term care providers insight into how to code the new assessment tool. There are many changes included in the already released chapters of the new RAI User's Manual, such as modified language, different item labeling, and changes to coding instructions for the MDS 3.0, which will be implemented in October 2010.

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Reform Should Create Transparencies Throughout Healthcare

By: Les Masterson, for HealthLeaders Media, December 9, 2009

Provisions in health reform legislation would open up claims and payment data to consumers and require insurers to provide detailed information about policies, such as out-of-pocket costs and claims denial rates.

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Providers Should Get Used To Hand Hygiene Demands

By: Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, December 9, 2009

Every week, it seems, there's another story about a creative way to promote self-disinfection. Now the federal government is getting more involved.

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Four Ways to Make Patient Experience Stick

By: Gienna Shaw, for HealthLeaders Media, December 9, 2009

I recently sat down with a panel of experts who shared their best tactics not only for making patient experience a priority—but making sure it sticks.

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