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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Daily news & Analysis

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Senator Proposes Insurance Cooperatives as an Alternative to Public Plan Option

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

In the United States, there are rural electric co-ops, milk co-ops, child care co-ops, and food co-ops. So why not healthcare co-ops? The idea of member-run healthcare insurance cooperatives was proposed this week by Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-ND) as an alternate approach to proposed public health insurance options in healthcare reform legislation pending on Capitol Hill—and it has been garnering its share of attention.

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Feds Settle $2 million Medicaid Fraud Case with NJ Hospital

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

The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey will pay the federal government $2 million to settle a whistleblower lawsuit alleging that it bilked Medicaid in a double-billing scheme that went on for nearly a decade, according to the Justice Department.

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Assistants and Nurses Improve Specialists' Bottom Lines and Reduce Patient Wait Time

By: Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, June 11, 2009

Increasingly in demand, gastroenterology, orthopedic, and dermatology specialists can resolve bottlenecks in their appointment calendars and increase revenue dramatically by using more physician assistants and nurse practitioners to help treat patients, according to a new California Healthcare Foundation study. However, not all states' scope of practice laws may be sufficiently broad to allow the practice.

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Have a RAC Question? CMS Has Some Answers

By: Andrea Kraynak, for HealthLeaders Media, June 11, 2009

While none of the newest Recovery Audit Contractor FAQs released by CMS—it published 15 in the last week—are particularly surprising, they are perhaps a sign that CMS is continuing to make every effort to share RAC information providers need to know through as many channels as possible. It may be sharing the same information during RAC outreach sessions or during Open Door Forum calls, but now the information is also readily available to those who wish to learn about RACs in a Q&A format.

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Survey Shows PCP Shortage and Lopsided Distribution

By: Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, June 10, 2009

California has nearly 20% fewer practicing physicians than was assumed, and not nearly enough active primary care providers to meet the state's needs, according to the 2008 Medical Board of California's database. Though it has an "abundance" of specialists, half the counties don't have nearly enough.

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Nurses Rap About Hand Hygiene in Mass General Campaign

By: Keri Mucci, for HealthLeaders Media, June 10, 2009

Hospitals commonly display visual aids, such as banners, posters, and signs, to remind staff to practice proper hand hygiene, but nurses in Massachusetts General Hospital's same day surgery unit may have found a more memorable way to get the message across: creating a rap video.

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Public Plan Would Stifle Innovation. Or, Would It?

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

Private insurers are on the verge of possible destruction. How they respond to the issues tearing down the industry will be a major factor in whether private insurance remains.

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Social Media and Employee Communications: An Opportunity to Experiment

By: Gienna Shaw, for HealthLeaders Media, June 10, 2009

Internal communications might be an opportunity to experiment with new forms of media, to measure reception and effectiveness, and to figure out which tools work for your organization.

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Rural Ethics in Healthcare: Are They Different? Should They Be?

By: Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, June 10, 2009

Are doctors and hospitals in rural settings expected to uphold the same strict code of ethics as their urban counterparts? Are the situations always comparable?

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