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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Daily news & Analysis

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White House Council: Senate Bill Will Lower Health Costs

By: Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, December 15, 2009

While the Senate's healthcare reform bill has come under scrutiny over the past week about whether it will contain costs, a report from the White House Council of Economic Advisers released Monday suggested that it actually will slow medical spending growth over the next decade. Taken together, the combination of Medicare- and Medicaid-related provisions in the Senate bill are estimated to "reduce the annual growth rate of federal spending on both programs" by 1% in the upcoming decade and "by an even greater amount in the subsequent decade," the report said.

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Reid Says Senate Reform Bill Is Nearly Complete

By: Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, December 15, 2009

Comparing the past two weeks of the Senate floor debate to a steeple chase race, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said the time is close to vote on the bill. "It's been a tough race, but it's been worth it," Reid said Monday in a briefing accompanied by several key Democratic senators who have participated in the floor debate. The question remains, though: What exactly is in the bill in terms of a public insurance option, Medicare buy-in plan, a not-for-profit private insurance option, or something new?

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HCA Gets OK for Jacksonville-area Hospital

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, December 15, 2009

The Florida Agency for Health Care Administration has approved HCA's certificate of need to build the 85-bed West Jacksonville Medical Center. Services at the 85-bed, three-story, acute-care hospital and an adjacent 200,000-square-foot medical office building will include an emergency department, cardiac cath lab, obstetrical unit, operating rooms, ICU, medical/surgical unit, and extensive diagnostics services, including MRI and CT scan.

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Patient Photos Help Reduce Hospital's Medication Errors

By: Sarah Kearns, for HealthLeaders Media, December 14, 2009

When a new patient enters a hospital, staff members generally follow the same routine. The admitting nurse asks the patient's name, date of birth, symptoms, and any allergies to medications. However, at JPS Health Network in Fort Worth, TX, there is one extra step for admitting nurses in the Department of Psychiatry: photographing new patients.

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Should Physician Practices Pursue Joint Commission Accreditation?

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, December 14, 2009

By just about any measure, Joint Commission accreditation is an affirmation that your physician practice has reached the pinnacle of professionalism, particularly in quality and patient safety issues. But if your practice is thinking about going for Joint Commission accreditation, you have to be willing to commit the staff, the energy, and the time to do it correctly.

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Morale-boosting Events That Won't Blow Your Budget

By: Marianne Aiello, for HealthLeaders Media, December 14, 2009

Although many healthcare organizations may be tempted to scale back or eliminate employee events during the shaky economic climate, many experts believe cutting morale-boosting occasions will be detrimental both in the long- and short-term. But that's not to say you shouldn't manage staff expectations when you have no option but to spend less on an annual event than you did the year before.

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Running the OR Like a Business

By: Elyas Bakhtiari, for HealthLeaders Magazine, December 8, 2009

Focusing on operational tactics and strategic goals can help improve efficiency, morale, and the bottom line.

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Eight Strategies for Stronger Fundraising at Hospitals

By: Karen Minich-Pourshadi, for HealthLeaders Media, December 14, 2009

There are strategies CFOs can employ at their facilities to see some changes in their fundraising divisions.

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Staffing Ratios the Mantra for Newly Formed NNU

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, December 14, 2009

It didn't take the newly formed National Nurses Union long to announce itself.

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