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Friday, November 13, 2009

Daily news & Analysis

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Providers Report First RAC Denials in Florida, South Carolina

By: Andrea Kraynak, for HealthLeaders Media, November 12, 2009

Healthcare providers in several states received their first RAC denials. Connolly Healthcare, the Region C RAC for Florida, South Carolina, and several other states, has been behind many of them.

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Secret Shopper Program Checks Hospitals' Hand Hygiene

By: Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, November 13, 2009

A Maryland health coalition has launched what has been nicknamed the "secret shopper" hospital project in which teams of unidentified employees will monitor colleagues' hand hygiene each time they exit a patient's room. Organizers say the Maryland Hospital Hand Hygiene Collaborative is the first in the nation to measure compliance with protocols across a state hospital system using consistent scientific methodology.

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AHA Report Questions Beliefs About Geographic Healthcare Spending

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

The American Hospital Association released a report that questioned studies that link geographic variation in healthcare spending to skyrocketing health costs.

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Joint Commission Changes Preliminary Denial of Accreditation Rules

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

The Joint Commission has announced two changes to its Preliminary Denial of Accreditation (PDA) decision—the elimination of one rule and revision of another.

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ACOs Could Complement Reform Initiatives, Suggests Report

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

While accountable care organizations officially don't exist, the concept has been attracting attention as a new way to help reform the healthcare delivery system. They could encourage providers to work together to bend the cost curve and improve quality, according to a new analysis.

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Nurses Use iTouch and iPhones to Communicate and Stay Connected

By: Sarah Kearns, for HealthLeaders Media, November 13, 2009

Sarasota (FL) Memorial Healthcare System plans to bring peace and quiet, along with improved healthcare, to its hospital by supplying Apple's iTouch to all its nurses. During the 60-day pilot program that started in June, Sarasota Memorial handed out 25 iPod Touches to nurses on one specific floor with the goal of reducing the amount of noise and inefficiency involved in paging nurses.

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Why the New Public Option is Better for Physicians

By: Elyas Bakhtiari, for HealthLeaders Media, November 12, 2009

Physicians may have dodged a bullet with the House of Representatives' passage of healthcare reform legislation on Saturday.

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Do Physicians Have the Time for Quality?

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

A study has found primary care physicians have been spending more time with their adult patients compared to a decade ago. However, the corresponding gains made in quality improvement remained sometimes modest, or even flat.

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