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Friday, May 14, 2010

Daily news & Analysis

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Federal Anti-Fraud Efforts Call for More Scrutiny of Providers

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

Obama administration officials, reporting Thursday that a record $2.5 billion was deposited into the Medicare Trust Fund in fiscal 2009 from anti-fraud efforts, said they will be increasing their efforts under healthcare reform. That means tighter oversight and increased enforcement to detect and stop Medicare and Medicaid fraud. "Under this new [reform] law, we're going to attack fraud at every stage of the process," said Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, at a Washington news conference.

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Federal Law Proposed To Regulate Health Plan Premium Hikes

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

U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) again called for passage of companion bills they've introduced to mandate federal oversight of health plan premiums, saying it's clear now that insurance companies are more concerned about profits than patients. Schakowsky singled out WellPoint in California, calling it "the poster child for unbridled greed," because of its attempt earlier this year to raise premiums 39% for the commercial market.

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Time to Put Patients First

By: Gienna Shaw, for HealthLeaders Magazine, May 12, 2010

How America's hospitals have lost touch with their top priority—and what healthcare leaders are doing to fix it.

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Should All Healthcare Providers Have Geriatrics Training?

By: Elyas Bakhtiari, for HealthLeaders Media, May 13, 2010

The Partnership for Health in Aging—a coalition of more than 20 organizations representing eldercare professionals—released today a set of 23 geriatrics core competencies that it says all healthcare providers should have to better care for elderly patients.

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Joint Commission Announces Plans to Expand Heart Failure Certification Program

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

The Joint Commission has announced it has plans to expand its Heart Failure Advanced Certification Program. The program, which the accrediting organization conducts together with the American Heart Association, looks at the continuum of care for patients who experience heart failure in various healthcare settings.

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Quality Safety Investigator Program Encourages Bedside Nurses to be Patient Safety Champions

By: Heather Comak, for HealthLeaders Media, May 13, 2010

Empowering nurses to become leaders in patient safety can have positive effects not only on the patient population's quality of care, but on staff satisfaction levels.

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Falls Could Signal Serious Health Issues that Patients, Providers Often Miss

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

Health providers should be more aggressive about telling seniors to come in for an exam if they've had a fall, not just because they may have unseen injuries, but because their accident may be a predictor of a more serious problem. That's the conclusion in a new report from the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research. "Falling down is hazardous to a senior citizen's health. Yet fewer than half of all seniors see a doctor after a fall," says the report. Those who don't are much less likely to engage in six recommended activities to prevent a more serious mishap.

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Where Have the Internists Gone?

By: Joe Cantlupe, for HealthLeaders Media, May 13, 2010

About 17% of general internists who were originally certified in the 1990s have left their practice in mid-career, not necessarily dissatisfied by their careers, but looking for other options.

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What Happens When Quality Payment Incentives Stop?

By: Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, May 13, 2010

You don't have to go very far to hear about new bonuses or incentives being planned or implemented for providers and hospital chiefs to promote quality care. But what happens when those incentives go away?

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