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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Daily news & Analysis

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Providers Must Cut Costs as Reimbursements Slide, Study Says

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, July 14, 2010

Hospitals would have to cut direct costs by an average of $1,082 per case—14%—to sustain operating margins if average inpatient reimbursements from commercial insurers were paid at today's Medicare rates, according to a new study by the healthcare information company, Sg2.

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FDA Criticized for Unsafe Medical Device Approval Process

By: Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, July 15, 2010

Eight serious loopholes and cracks in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's approval process allow potentially unsafe, ineffective yet high-risk machines and materials to be approved for use on patients, according to an article by the advocacy group Public Citizen.

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New Rules: New Health Plans to Provide Free Preventive Care

By: Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, July 15, 2010

Under new rules announced by the White House on Wednesday, new private health plans will be required to cover preventive services and eliminate most cost-sharing requirements for evidence based preventive services.

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U.S. Low on Hospital Beds, Physician Visits, High on Costs

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

Health services in the U.S. are less effectively deployed or come at a higher price comparable to its peer countries, and despite major investments in technology, the U.S. has failed to achieve improvements in life expectancy study says.

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Relief Obtained For Pain, Dry Mouth Linked With Head And Neck Cancer

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

Patients with head and neck cancer who reported poorer sleeping quality a year after their diagnoses had more symptoms of chronic pain and complaints of dry mouth related to radiation treatments.

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Marquette General Health, Bell Hospital Affiliation Now Official

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, July 15, 2010

Superior Health Partners trustees have finalized the formal affiliation agreement that went into effect on July 1 between Marquette General Hospital and Bell Hospital in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Elected board officers are outlining initial priorities for the accountable care organization, the health system announced today.

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Five Front-End Tips to Consider for Region C Providers

By: James Carroll, for HealthLeaders Media, July 12, 2010

Each regional recovery audit contractor differs in its approach when it comes to dealing with providers. Connolly Healthcare, the RAC for Region C, is fairly transparent when it comes to its interactions. Still, there are a number of things to keep in mind throughout the RAC process, according to Elizabeth Lamkin, president of Dalzell Consulting Group, Inc., in Hilton Head Island, SC.

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Hospital's Fast Action Stops Potentially Disastrous HAI

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

A "good news" paper presented at a meeting of infection control professionals got my attention this week. It tells how officials at a Dallas hospital immediately mobilized to put a halt to a cluster of an increasingly feared drug-resistant strain of bacteria, Acinetobacter baumanni.

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When Marketing Clinical Technology, It’s All or Nothing

By: Marianne Aiello, for HealthLeaders Media, July 14, 2010

A Wisconsin hospital's campaign to promote its intraoperative magnetic resonance imaging (iMRI) machine and a Smart Operating Suite used a rock video sensibility and a bold tagline to match. Now neuro services is at its max of cases.

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