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Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Daily news & Analysis



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Senate Panel Meets for Vote Amid Controversy Over Costs

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

The Senate Finance Committee will meet today to vote on its 10-year $829 billion reform package—with a wall of controversy facing it. After working with the committee for months on reform provisions, America's Health Insurance Plans appeared to have reversed course Monday by criticizing the emerging plan in a report that said the legislation could ratchet up the cost of coverage.

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Mortality Rates Found Lower Among Top-Rated Hospitals

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

There is a much better chance of dying in a one star rated hospital compared to a five star rated hospital, according to the 12th annual HealthGrades study on Hospital Quality in America. "Year over year, we've continued to see that not only are our five-star star hospitals better, but they have improved at a much faster rate," said Kristin Reed, one of the study's co-authors from HealthGrades of Golden, CO.

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Can Senate Finance Bill Bend the Cost Curve?

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

In the past few months, the term "bending the curve" has taken on a new urgency in determining if healthcare reform legislation can be passed that slows—and readjusts downward—healthcare costs.

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Imaging Providers Plan Rally on Capitol Hill to Protect Reimbursements

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

After rebounding from severe cuts several years ago enforced under the Deficit Reduction Act, the radiology community and others who bill for CT, MRI, X-ray, ultrasound, and related services face further cuts under a variety of health reform proposals. But now they face a new threat. Last week, the Office of Inspector General unveiled plans to look into the payments and appropriateness of many scans performed in emergency rooms under Medicare Part B.

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From the MGMA Conference: Five Ways Reform Could Simplify Healthcare Administration

By: Elyas Bakhtiari, for HealthLeaders Media, October 13, 2009

The Medical Group management Association has made administrative simplification one of the key goals of its healthcare reform advocacy, and several provisions in the reform bills currently being considered by Congress could save billions being wasted on administration if approved.

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MGMA Survey Ranks Medicare as Top Payer

By: Elyas Bakhtiari, for HealthLeaders Media, October 13, 2009

Medical groups ranked Medicare Part B higher than any other payer in a satisfaction survey released by the Medical Group Management Association at its annual conference in Denver. Members were asked to rate their satisfaction with payers on issues related to responsiveness, transparency, prompt payment, credentialing, overall satisfaction with administrative functions, and other metrics.

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New Flu Prevention Web Site Launched Specifically for Healthcare Workers

By: Heather Comak, for HealthLeaders Media, October 12, 2009

The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists recently launched an initiative specifically aimed at pharmacists to improve immunization rates among healthcare workers for the seasonal flu.

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Doctor Faces Criminal Charges for Selling Herbal Cures To Cancer Patients

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

A Los Angeles area physician faces five counts of federal fraud after a seven-year investigation alleged she sold more than $1 million in herbal "cancer cure" concoctions to as many as 55 patients around the country. Christine Daniel, MD, of Mission Hills, CA, was arrested last week on charges that she used her position as a Pentecostal Minister and her appearances on a religious television show, "Praise the Lord," to make false claims about her product, which she called "C-Extract," according to the 71-page indictment.

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Reform Could Mean Lower Medicare Costs

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

Enacting national healthcare reform legislation to extend coverage to the uninsured could prove to be a boon to one federal program: Medicare.

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Healthcare Industry Can Learn From Other Sectors

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

The 2010 Towers Perrin annual Health Care Cost Survey of the nation's 300 largest businesses projects that the average per-employee healthcare cost in the coming year will increase by 7%.

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