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Monday, June 14, 2010

Daily news & Analysis

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Obama Calls for Permanently Fixing Physician Payment Formula

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

Physicians worried about the 21% cut in Medicare and TRICARE payments that started June 1 were the subject Saturday of President Obama's weekly address in which he called for "permanently reforming" the way physicians are paid. Citing the initial role of the sustained growth rate (SGR) a decade ago to slow Medicare costs, Obama said the cuts proposed by the SGR would not "only jeopardize our physicians' pay, but our seniors' healthcare."

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CMS Will Attempt Recovery of $1.7 Million Overpaid in Psychiatric Patient Miscoding

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

Hundreds of acute care hospitals with psychiatric inpatient units may face federal review to recover an estimated $1.7 million the facilities were overpaid because of incorrect coding, according to a new audit from the Office of Inspector General. Under Centers for Medicare and Medicaid rules, care for patients who are admitted to psychiatric units is reimbursed at a higher rate to account for emergency department costs even if the patient was not admitted through the emergency department. But there is no higher reimbursement if the patient was cared for as an inpatient in another part of the hospital, and then sent to the psych unit.

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In-Hospital Mortality Rates Higher for the Uninsured

By: Elyas Bakhtiari, for HealthLeaders Media, June 14, 2010

Patients who are uninsured or on Medicaid are more likely to die in the hospital when being treated for heart attack, stroke, or pneumonia, a new study finds. Researchers examined 154,381 discharges with one of those three diagnoses, and compared in-hospital mortality, length of stay, and cost-per-hospitalization for Medicaid and uninsured patients with the privately insured. The data revealed that, compared to privately-insured patients, uninsured patients had 52% higher odds of dying in the hospital after a heart attack and 47% higher odds of dying in the hospital after a stroke.

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Taking On the Cost Drivers

By: Karen Minich-Pourshadi, for HealthLeaders Magazine, June 9, 2010

While most expense categories are unavoidable, there are ways to reduce costs.

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HIPAA Experts: Mandatory Encryption Overdue

By: Dom Nicastro, for HealthLeaders Media, June 11, 2010

HIPAA compliance experts call the recommendation to mandate encryption on exchanges of electronic protected health information "overdue," "inevitable," and a necessary step toward ensuring a successful transition to electronic health records.

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Large Patient Information Breaches List Nears Century Mark

By: Dom Nicastro, for HealthLeaders Media, June 11, 2010

The Office for Civil Rights' list of entities reporting major patient information breaches began at 32 about four months ago. It is now near 100.

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Reimbursement: These Are the Good Old Days

By: Philip Betbeze, for HealthLeaders Media, June 11, 2010

As I was reviewing my notes from a recent conversation with MedAssets Chairman, President, and CEO John Bardis, I found myself humming a Carly Simon tune.

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Join the HealthLeaders Media Council

By: June 14, 2010

If you want even better insight into what your peers are doing as healthcare experiences seismic changes, this is an opportunity you can't afford to pass up. The HealthLeaders Media Council is comprised of the nation's leading healthcare executives who collectively provide the most unbiased industry intelligence available. As a HealthLeaders reader, we invite you to qualify to become a member by completing a brief survey.

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