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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Daily news & Analysis

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Three Areas Where Quality Could Save Costs in Health Reform

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

Early last year in the healthcare reform debate, the public health insurance option was seen in various discussions as a way to improve the quality of medical care—while delivering it at lower cost. Flash forward to now, and it has become apparent that a public option found in the House reform bill is only hanging by a thread—not very likely to find its way into the reconciled healthcare reform bill. So will achieving quality healthcare at lower cost still be possible? The answer is yes—in some areas.

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Katrina Death Trial May Raise Stakes for Hospital Emergency Planning

By: Scott Wallask, for HealthLeaders Media, January 12, 2010

CEOs, emergency planners, and facility directors should be monitoring the upcoming results of a trial in New Orleans, which has the potential to alter the way hospitals plan for disasters. The family of deceased patient Althea LaCoste is suing Pendleton Methodist Hospital, LLC, in New Orleans, saying that LaCoste died in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina because the facility allegedly failed to design its emergency power infrastructure to withstand flood waters and allegedly failed to have an adequate plan in place to transfer patients.

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Few Doctors Account for Bulk of Workers' Comp Expenses, Says Study

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

A total of 3.8% of 2,034 Louisiana physicians who provided care to workers' compensation claimants accounted for 72% of the claim costs for those workers, according to a report from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. But researcher Edward J. Bernacki, MD, says the amount those 77 high-cost doctors billed was not that different than what the 1,957 other doctors billed for similarly injured workers.

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Doctors Work to Balance Business of Medicine with Patient Care

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, January 11, 2010

Believe it or not, there are some physicians out there who only want to practice medicine, the noble profession to which they've dedicated their entire lives. For some reason, claims coding updates, haggling with insurance companies, monitoring the new walk-in clinic across the street, recruiting new partners to the practice, and developing relationships with referring physicians don't interest them. Depending upon who's talking, these medicine-only physicians represent either a dying breed or a growing trend.

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Five Steps to Appeal RAC Denials Successfully

By: James Carroll, January 11, 2010

Appealing RAC denials is certainly a complex process, but providers can take certain steps to increase their success rate. When chart requests come in, the appeals process begins, and it can last through up to seven different levels, with each level becoming more expensive to pursue. So determining the proper preemptive actions to take is vital.

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Groups Push for Healthcare Workers to Get H1N1 Vaccination

By: Heather Comak, for HealthLeaders Media, January 12, 2010

In recognition of National Influenza Vaccination Week this week, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology have both offered support and resources to healthcare workers and the general public.

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Go Lean (Part 2): Don't be Scared, It's Only Change

By: Karen Minich-Pourshadi, for HealthLeaders Media, January 11, 2010

Getting "Lean" to work at your facility requires you as CFO to help break down preconceived notions and show the staff why this is beneficial to them and their patients.

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Is Hospital Job Growth in the Cards in 2010?

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, January 11, 2010

Even within the worst economic climate since the Great Depression, 2009 was not such a bad year for job growth in the healthcare sector when compared with the overall economy.

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