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Monday, April 12, 2010

Daily news & Analysis

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CMS Bans Aetna From Enrolling New Medicare Beneficiaries

By: Les Masterson, for HealthLeaders Media, April 9, 2010

CMS issued an immediate sanction notice to Aetna after the insurer "continued to improperly administer the Medicare drug benefit in the plan's national standalone prescription drug plan and its 25 Medicare Advantage prescription drug contracts," according to CMS. The immediate sanction prevents Aetna from marketing to and enrolling new beneficiaries effective April 21.

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National Effort Scrutinizes Costly Blood Transfusion Complications

By: Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, April 12, 2010

Blood transfusions cause "tens of thousands" of non-infectious adverse reactions in hospitalized patients annually and many of them are quite serious resulting in longer, more costly care, says Matthew J. Kuehnert, MD, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Office of Blood, Organ, and Other Tissue Safety. But until now, there hasn't been an organized effort to define them, count them, and find better ways to prevent them.

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Saint Joseph's Health System, Piedmont Healthcare Seek Merger

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, April 9, 2010

Atlanta-based Saint Joseph's Health System and Piedmont Healthcare have signed a letter of intent to create a joint operating company serving northern Georgia, the two health systems announced. The JOC would be co-sponsored by the two nonprofit systems, which are expected to complete negotiations within a 90-day due diligence period.

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EHR Early Adopter Offers Advice for Providers Vetting New Technologies

By: Andrea Kraynak, for HealthLeaders Media, April 9, 2010

Upcoming EHR meaningful use subsidies may give many hospitals the additional incentive necessary to push toward a largely paperless existence. Many less-than-obvious points warrant consideration when selecting potential EHR technologies.

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Levy Tells Hospitalists to Focus on Values—Not Health Reform Debate

By: Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, April 12, 2010

While healthcare reform is fresh in everyone's mind, it might be helpful to step back and "ignore what is going on in Washington—to ignore the healthcare reform bill, to ignore all the fuss about it," Paul Levy, president and CEO of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, told 2,500 attendees at the annual Society of Hospital Medicine meeting on Friday.

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CT Hospital Eyes Waste Stream Improvements

By: Ben Cole, for HealthLeaders Media, April 12, 2010

The Hospital of Central Connecticut has announced a commitment to air quality standards and diminishing its environmental impact by implementing waste stream solutions. The initiatives are implemented with Stericycle, which provides the hospital's medical waste disposal and other services, and focus on reusable sharps containers, proper pharmaceutical waste disposal, and overall recycling efforts.

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BCBS of TN Hard Drive Theft Now Threatens 1 Million Customers

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, April 9, 2010

The theft of 57 hard drives from a BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee training facility last fall has put at risk the private information of nearly one million customers in at least 32 states, the insurer said week in an investigative update. So far, there has been no documented identity theft or credit fraud affecting BlueCross members as a result of this incident, BCBS of Tennessee said.

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ACR Plans Breast MRI Accreditation Program

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, April 9, 2010

The American College of Radiology announced it will launch a Breast Magnetic Resonance Imaging Accreditation Program on May 10. It will provide peer-review assessment of facilities' breast MRI services equipment, processes, and the quality of their images.

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A Hospital Dies in Manhattan—Are More to Come?

By: Philip Betbeze, for HealthLeaders Media, April 9, 2010

When St. Vincent's Hospital Manhattan announced midweek that it would be closing, the news wasn't especially surprising, but it was still a sad day for hospital leaders everywhere.

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