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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Daily news & Analysis

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Looming Medicare Pay Cuts May Be Unavoidable, Says AAFP

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, April 13, 2010

A leading primary care physicians association is warning its members that Congress, bogged down by partisan squabbling, may not be able to delay the 21.2% cuts to Medicare reimbursements that go into effect Thursday.

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7 Hospitals Fined for Immediate Jeopardy Mistakes

By: Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, April 14, 2010

California health officials Tuesday imposed "Immediate Jeopardy" fines totaling $475,000—including a $100,000 fine that is the highest so far—on seven California hospitals they said harmed patients or placed them at risk of harm because of avoidable mistakes in delivery of care.

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Split Decisions

By: April 8, 2010

While reforms aim to encourage coordination, linking the care continuum will happen at the service line level. But first providers will have to change their relationships, and how they think about care delivery.

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Free EMRs: Too Good to be True?

By: Carrie Vaughan, for HealthLeaders Media, April 13, 2010

When Allison Blazek, MD, left M. D. Anderson Cancer Center to open her private practice in June 2008, she figured EMRs, rather than paper, made the most sense. After talking with vendors and pricing EMRs, however, Blazek began thinking paper records might be the wiser option after all. Then, Blazek heard about a free Web-based EMR system.

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Wide Gaps Remain in Quality of Care, Says AHRQ

By: Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, April 14, 2010

Despite much more attention to the issue of patient safety, rates of postoperative sepsis— or bloodstream infections—increased in the U.S. by 8% between 2009 and 2008, according to one of two new lengthy reports issued by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

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Leapfrog: Hospital Quality Still Lagging

By: Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, April 14, 2010

While hospital quality in selected categories showed some improvement from the previous year, it still is not where it should be—with waste also remaining a major problem, according to the results of the latest 2009 hospital survey released on Tuesday by the Leapfrog Group, a nonprofit organization representing major private and public purchasers of healthcare benefits.

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New CMS Anesthesia Guidelines Completely Rewrite Former Standards

By: Matt Phillion, for HealthLeaders Media, April 13, 2010

A recent round of edits to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' interpretive guidelines has caught the attention of experts in the field for its focus on anesthesia guidelines. Any hospital that accepts Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement must follow these interpretive guidelines.

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EHR Certification: Who, What, When, and How Much Will it Cost?

By: Gienna Shaw, for HealthLeaders Media, April 13, 2010

The comment window for a temporary measure that would appoint organizations to test and certify EHR systems has closed, but debate on the final certification program is ongoing.

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Nurse Executives Upbeat at Annual Meeting

By: Rebecca Hendren, for HealthLeaders Media, April 13, 2010

I spent the last few days at the American Organization of Nurse Executive's annual meeting, and was pleasantly surprised to discover a group that is optimistic about the future.

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