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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Daily news & Analysis

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CMS Names 14 Communities for Hospital Readmissions Project

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, April 13, 2009

CMS today announced the 14 communities around the nation that have been picked for its three-year pilot project to eliminate unnecessary hospital readmissions that cost Medicare billions of dollars annually in preventable care. “Our data show that nearly one in five patients who leave the hospital today will be readmitted within the next month, and that more than three-quarters of these readmissions are potentially preventable,” CMS Acting Administrator Charlene Frizzera says.

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PBM Sale Highlights Dilemma for Health Plans

By: Les Masterson, for HealthLeaders Media, April 14, 2009

In a move that will rocket Express Scripts to the upper reaches of the pharmacy benefit management stratosphere, the company announced it will buy WellPoint's PBM for $4.68 billion.

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Taxing Health Benefits Debate Proves Resilient

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, April 13, 2009

As the ongoing debate flushes out the details about what healthcare reform will look like and how much it will cost, Congress and the Obama administration are expected to re-examine the idea of taxing employer-sponsored healthcare benefits.

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Rehospitalization Rate Provides Glimpse into Bigger Concerns

By: Heather Comak, April 14, 2009

A study recently published in The New England Journal of Medicine shows that 20% of Medicare patients are readmitted to the hospital from which they were recently discharged within a month. That percentage jumps to 34 when looking at a three month time period. The data, representing Medicare claims collected between 2003 and 2004, show that more and more discharge is becoming a time at which it is crucial to have a good communication plan in place among caregivers and patients.

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New Home Healthcare Measures Focus on Delivery Quality, Safety

By: Janice Simmons, April 14, 2009

Promoting smooth transitions from hospitals and nursing homes to outside care—including professional home healthcare—without triggering readmissions is garnering new attention from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Twenty new measures endorsed last week by the National Quality Forum may be able to further assist healthcare providers in determining if they are delivering quality care to patients in their homes.

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Surveyors Can Hold CEOs Accountable for Fire Protection Vendors' Poor Work

By: Scott Wallask, for HealthLeaders Media, April 13, 2009

As Joint Commission citations increase for Life Safety Code® (LSC) violations, many are becoming more aware of these problems. A further twist may put this concern in an even brighter spotlight.

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CA Doctors Miffed at Medical Board's Waiting Room Sign Proposal

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

California doctors may soon have to post the state Medical Board's name, Web site, and phone number in their waiting rooms, so their patients know where to complain if they're not happy with care.

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Nursing Homes Under Pressure to Improve Pain Management

By: Emily Beaver, April 13, 2009

The way nursing homes manage pain is about to come under intense scrutiny with the recent release of new pain management guidance and investigative protocols under the survey deficiency tag F309, Quality of Care.

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