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Friday, December 11, 2009

Daily news & Analysis

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Health Leaders Speak Out About MedPAC's Proposed Lower Payments for 2010

By: Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, December 11, 2009

A draft recommendation to Congress released by the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) Thursday has hospital officials concerned about payments for the year. The draft, which can still be revised before the full MedPAC panel votes on it in January, provides for a full "market basket" update for fiscal 2011 outpatient and inpatient hospital payments. The data "reinforces our concerns about the Medicare buy in proposal that's currently part of the Senate health reform bill," said American Hospital Association President and CEO Rich Umbdenstock.

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Senate Looks for Possible Compromises on Public Option

By: Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, December 11, 2009

On the 11th day of Senate floor debate on healthcare reform, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) slowed down the pace—reserving the afternoon to address appropriations legislation and cancelling plans to work around the weekend like the week before. Ironically, the most disappointed in this slowdown were the Republicans.

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CBO: Medical Malpractice Reform Could Save $54 Billion

By: Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, December 10, 2009

The Congressional Budget Office has concluded, after evaluating tort reform research and meeting with healthcare experts, that "the weight of empirical evidence" currently demonstrates a link between tort reform and the use of healthcare services. The CBO response is to questions posed by Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) regarding medical malpractice.

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Planned Cancer Center Stresses Patient Experience, Evidence-based Design

By: Marianne Aiello, for HealthLeaders Media, December 10, 2009

When M. D. Anderson Banner Cancer Center opens its doors in Gilbert, AZ, in fall 2010, its first patients will have the benefit of testing out features that were made with them in mind. Not the latest clinical technology or electronic medical system—though there will be plenty of that—but rather water features, gathering spaces, a massage parlor, and an appearance center.

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Five Holiday and Winter Safety Tips for Hospitals

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

With season's greetings and wintry weather on many minds, let's look at a series of related precautions that can keep your patients, staff members, and buildings safer. Hospitals should take precautions with holiday decorations and portable space heaters, and keep the front of the hosptial and lobby free of snow and ice.

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Microsoft Looks to Expand Healthcare Offerings

By: Les Masterson, for HealthLeaders Media, December 10, 2009

Microsoft announced that it expects to acquire Sentillion, Inc., an Andover, MA-based healthcare software company, which the technology giant said will "make it easier for nurses to use IT to improve patient care." Microsoft believes combining Sentillion's context management and single sign-on technologies with its Amalga Unified Intelligence System will give clinicians information about patients in real time.

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Guide Looks to Engage Patients and Families in Healthcare Quality

By: Heather Comak, for HealthLeaders Media, December 11, 2009

A team of healthcare organizations is working together to engage the patient and family in the healthcare experience. As part of the 2009 Accelerating Change and Transformation in Organizations and Networks research grants awarded by the Agency for Healthcare Quality and Research, a number of groups are creating the Guide to Patient and Family Engagement in Health Care Quality and Safety in the Hospital Setting.

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South Jersey Program Seeks to Reduce Readmissions, Improve Quality

By: Ben Cole, for HealthLeaders Media, December 10, 2009

By having heart failure patients monitor their own conditions after leaving the hospital, a partnership between South Jersey Healthcare and Pharos Innovations has the potential to reduce rehospitalizations and costs. Through the program, heart failure patients at South Jersey Healthcare's two acute care hospitals have access to Pharos' Tel-Assurance remote patient monitoring system.

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HealthLeaders Media '09: Moving Forward

By: December 4, 2009

HealthLeaders Media '09: Moving Forward, our annual gathering of top healthcare leaders, featured exceptional executives with compelling stories to share. Throughout the two-day event in Chicago, leaders from successful healthcare organizations—large and small, urban and rural—shared insights on becoming the hospital of the future now during panel discussions on leadership, design, culture, patient experience, outcomes, and talent. In addition, those honored as Top Leadership Teams in Healthcare provided real-world examples of best practices in action.

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Small Practices Face Big Challenges

By: Elyas Bakhtiari, for HealthLeaders Media, December 10, 2009

In Atul Gawande's latest piece in The New Yorker, he offers long-term hope amidst the short-term pessimism about the future of healthcare. But his thoughts may not be reassuring to one segment of physicians.

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Can Congress Legislate Quality?

By: Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, December 10, 2009

While quality in healthcare is important, its viability in the actual healthcare reform legislation has been pushed to the background in light of other issues—until this week.

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