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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Daily news & Analysis

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More Efforts Called for Defining Medical Loss Ratio by Locality

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

Some health insurers are "mounting an all-out effort to weaken" the new healthcare reform provision that establishes minimum medical loss ratios in the commercial health insurance market, according to Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee. Information obtained by the committee shows that medical loss ratios "significantly vary according to where consumers live and in which market segment they are shopping for health insurance," Rockefeller said in separate letters sent to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and National Association of Insurance Commissioners President Jane Cline.

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OCR's First HITECH Guidance: Risk Analysis

By: Dom Nicastro, for HealthLeaders Media, May 12, 2010

The Office for Civil Rights has issued its first in a series of HITECH-required guidance documents to educate covered entities and business associates (BA) on the best methods to secure electronic protected health information. The first guidance document focuses on risk analysis, a HIPAA Security Rule-required measure for covered entities and now BAs.

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Eleventh VRSA Case in U.S. Diagnosed; CDC Urges Diligence

By: Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, May 11, 2010

Healthcare providers are being advised to increase vigilance for cases of vancomycin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus after the 11th case in the U.S. was detected earlier this month.

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USP Calls for Standardizing Prescription Container Labeling

By: Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, May 11, 2010

To provide more consistent labeling that is easier to understand on dispensed prescription packages, the U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention has issued a new set of recommendations to standardize prescription labels through format, appearance, content, and language of prescription labels.

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Medication Vending Machines Offer Patient Convenience In Rural Areas

By: Elyas Bakhtiari, for HealthLeaders Media, May 11, 2010

Automated medication-dispensing machines are popping up in hospitals across the country to fill in for missing pharmacists or to simply make filling a prescription more convenient for hurried patients.

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Five Tips to Guide Your Hospital's Social Media Policy

By: Gienna Shaw, for HealthLeaders Media, May 11, 2010

Time to face facts: Employees post online comments from their computers at home and use their smart phones to update their Facebook status while at work. And yes, they're talking about your hospital online.

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Nurses Find Simple Ways to Improve Satisfaction

By: Rebecca Hendren, for HealthLeaders Media, May 11, 2010

Relatives tend to call to check on patients right when nurses are first beginning their shift. To make the process simpler, nurses at one hospital decided to designate a specific time for relatives to call.

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