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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Daily news & Analysis

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AHA Seeks Antitrust Scrutiny for Health Plan Mergers

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

The American Hospital Association today has asked the federal government to review health insurance plan mergers to see if they violate antitrust laws.

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Multiple Healthcare Stakeholders Meet with Obama

By: Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, May 12, 2009

President Barack Obama met at the White House Monday with a coalition of healthcare providers and other healthcare organizations who pledged in a May 11 letter to reduce the annual healthcare spending growth rate by 1.5%—saving an anticipated $2 trillion over the next decade. The symbolism of the meeting was not lost on the president. "It's a meeting that might not have been held just a few years ago," the president said. "The groups who are here today represent different constituencies with different sets of interests. They've not always seen eye to eye with each other or with our government on what needs to be done to reform healthcare in this country."

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Sebelius Names Office of Health Reform

By: Les Masterson, for HealthLeaders Media, May 12, 2009

The HSS healthcare reform team is beginning to take shape with the announcement of Office of Health Reform personnel on Monday. The HHS office will ?spearhead the department?s efforts to pass urgently needed health reform this year and coordinate closely with the White House Office of Health Reform.? President Barack Obama created both offices by an Executive Order April 8 in hopes of passing comprehensive healthcare reform in 2009, which is one of Obama?s top priorities.

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Hospital Program Quiets NICU to Keep Infants Safe

By: Heather Comak, May 12, 2009

For babies born prematurely, even the noise generated from a normal conversation can be too loud for proper development. Mothers who give birth to premature babies at The Women's Hospital in Newburgh, IN, however, need not worry about the noise level in the hospital's neonatal intensive care unit. Women's Hospital installed both sound meters and visual feedback cues to ensure that babies receive the safest possible care.

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State Requirement Mandates Doctors Post Signs Telling Patients Who Licenses Them

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

California doctors will now have to post a sign or tell patients about the agency they can complain to if they're not happy with care after the Medical Board of California unanimously approved the mandate on Friday.

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Hospitals Used New Communication Tools During Swine Flu Scare

By: Scott Wallask, for HealthLeaders Media, May 12, 2009

From blogs to social networking sites like Twitter, hospitals and public health agencies across the country employed a variety of new technologies to spread the word about H1N1 (also known as swine flu). It's safe to say that the face of emergency management communications has changed drastically since the last national disaster response of the September 11 attacks. Back then, hospitals primarily used phones, television, and e-mails to talk to staff members or communities, with sporadic Web site updates. Less than eight years later, hospitals and the public can receive instant updates about new HlN1 cases from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Twitter page.

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Fawcett's Cancer Battle Highlights Need for Privacy

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

Farrah Fawcett said in an interview with the Los Angeles Times that her fight with cancer was made more difficult when her personal medical records were illegally accessed at UCLA Medical Center.

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Back to the Future With Consolidation

By: Michelle Ponte, for HealthLeaders Media, May 11, 2009

More hospitals and health systems are seeking to affiliate from just one year ago, according to a new industry survey. But this time around, a few things have changed.

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