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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Daily news & Analysis

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Three Alternatives to Achieve Tort Reform

By: Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, August 12, 2009

There might be palatable alternatives to achieve tort reform that do not include a national cap on medical malpractice awards.

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AHIP Criticizes 'Exorbitant' Out-of-Network Charges

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, August 12, 2009

The health insurance industry's trade group wants state and federal policymakers to examine what it claims are "exorbitant" out-of-network charges by physicians that are detailed in a new industry-sponsored survey.

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Is Joint Commission Standard a Step Forward or a Return to Older Methods?

By: Matt Phillion, for HealthLeaders Media, August 12, 2009

The standard formerly known as MS.1.20 is on the move again. The Joint Commission opened up the standard (MS.01.01.01 under the 2009 numbering rules) to field review this summer following the recommendations by the MS.1.20 Implementation Task Force.

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Office for Civil Rights to Hire HIPAA Privacy Enforcers

By: Dom Nicastro, for HealthLeaders Media, August 12, 2009

HHS announced it is expanding its privacy enforcement team with two HIPAA "privacy specialists" who will help the public better understand their rights under HIPAA and enforce compliance among covered entities and business associates.

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Four Ways Health Reform Can Improve Patient Medication Adherence

By: Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, August 13, 2009

Patients who do not take their medications as prescribed by their physicians are costing the American healthcare system as much as $290 billion annually in avoidable medical spending—or about 13% of total national healthcare expenditures, according to a new report from the nonprofit New England Healthcare Institute in Cambridge, MA.

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State Medicaid Fraud Control Units Recovered $1.3 billion in 2008

By: Ben Amirault, for HealthLeaders Media, August 13, 2009

The Office of Inspector General issued a report on Aug. 7 that said state Medicaid Fraud Control Units recovered $1.3 billion in court-ordered restitution, fines, civil settlements, and penalties for fiscal year 2008. The report went on to say the MCFUs also obtained 1,314 convictions; achieved 971 civil settlements and/or judgments, and excluded 755 providers from participation in the Medicare, Medicaid, and other Federal health care programs in FY 2008.

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Health Insurers, Employers Could Play Key Roles in Tackling Healthcare Disparities

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

Health insurers and employers hold enormous potential in reducing (or eliminating) racial and ethnic disparities in healthcare.

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Many In Rural Communities Aren't Insured and Live Far From Health Providers

By: Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, August 12, 2009

With all the week's ranting in town halls about what health reform will or won't do for Americans, I kept thinking about what the U.S. Census revealed last week about some parts of rural America.

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Pro-Healthcare Reform Ads Suffering an 'Identical Crisis'

By: Gienna Shaw, for HealthLeaders Media, August 12, 2009

Last week, I wrote about anti-healthcare reform ad campaigns. This week, I watched a bevy of pro-healthcare reform ads. And if the anti-reform ads are rocky road, the pro-reform ads are vanilla.

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