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Monday, May 11, 2009

Daily news & Analysis

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Provider Groups Propose Plan to White House to Hold Cost Increases to $2 Trillion in the Next Decade

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

Several major healthcare provider groups are expected to pledge today to the White House that they will work to reduce cost increases by 1.5% in each year of the next decade—an amount totalling about $2 trillion. The move by the groups—including the American Hospital Association, the American Medical Association, America's Health Insurance Plans, the Service Employees International Union, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, the California Hospital Association, and the Greater New York Hospital Association—appears to signal that provider groups are willing to participate in healthcare reform efforts.

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Study: Health Insurance Too Expensive for Many

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, May 11, 2009

Most families who aren't covered under an employer-based health plan can't afford to buy health insurance on their own, a new study by HHS' Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality shows. The study, Wealth, Income, and The Affordability of Health Insurance, published in the May/June 2009 issue of Health Affairs, shows that measuring families' median net worth—the value of their savings, plus other assets, minus debt, rather than just income—provides more precise estimates of the percentage who could purchase policies if they chose to do so.

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Hospital Job Growth Slows

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, May 8, 2009

Hospitals only added 600 new jobs in April, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data released today. By comparison, the hospital sector added 11,300 jobs in April 2008, and 7,300 jobs in April 2007.

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HHS Names HIT Committee Members

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, May 8, 2009

David Blumenthal, MD, HHS' national coordinator for health information technology, was one of three men appointed today by HHS to the Health Information Technology Policy Committee, an advisory panel that meets for the first time on Monday in Washington, DC.

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Group Says Community-Based Nursing Model Could Boost Primary Care Coverage

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

In light of growing shortages of primary care physicians across the country, the role of community-based nurses needs to be reexamined during the healthcare reform debate, according to an American Academy of Nursing group. Without changes soon, various areas could experience "Massachusetts-style growing pains," in which consumers have difficulties finding primary care physicians when they seek medical services, said Donna Shalala, the former Health and Human Services secretary, who spoke Friday as part of AAN's "Raise the Voice" campaign that she chairs.

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Privacy Experts: Beware of the Inside Job

By: Dom Nicastro, for HealthLeaders Media, May 8, 2009

In the world of protecting your patients' private data, you need more than the fancy equipment, the best encryption software on the market, and firewalls galore.

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Obama Looks to Improve Rural Health

By: Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, May 8, 2009

Though the Obama administration's proposed 2010 rural health funding for the Health Resources and Services Administration was cut by $44 million, the budget also includes many increases for rural health, according to the administration.

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LTC Certification Could Shorten Providers' Software Searches

By: MacKenzie Kimball , for HealthLeaders Media, May 8, 2009

If your nursing facility is looking for new software, chances are your team will spend a significant amount of time drafting a request for proposal for vendors. But the selection process could soon become simpler for long-term care providers.

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Facility's Fall Assessment Policy Raises the Bar

By: Matt Phillion, for HealthLeaders Media, May 8, 2009

A Wisconsin facility utilized resources from hospital-affiliated home care to build upon a tool to assess patients' likelihood and risk of falling.

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A Cookie for Cost-Cutting

By: Philip Betbeze, for HealthLeaders Media, May 8, 2009

Hospitals are cutting costs in a variety of ways. It's painful, but it has to be done. Still, cost-cutting is not a long-term strategy with much staying power.

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