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Monday, March 15, 2010

Daily news & Analysis

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Healthcare Reform Passage Could Come Down to Three Ifs

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

After a year of debate, a healthcare reform decision may actually happen in the next two weeks. To provide assurances that the bill would go through the House, President Obama has delayed his trip to Australia, Indonesia, and Guam by three days to next Sunday. But it may take responses to a number of "ifs" as to whether the reform provision will move ahead.

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Physicians Step Up Protests Against Medicare Cuts

By: Joe Cantlupe, for HealthLeaders Media, March 15, 2010

Despite the Senate pushing back a possible 21% physician Medicare reimbursement cut until October 1, physicians continue to look for ways to stop the fiscal bleeding. J. James Rohack, MD, president of the American Medical Association, says he has heard anecdotally from the AMA membership that physicians are taking steps to allot certain days to see Medicare patients, and not see them on others.

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Medical Breakthroughs

By: Gienna Shaw, for HealthLeaders Magazine, March 8, 2010

The devices, treatments, and procedures that will change the delivery—and the business—of healthcare.

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RAC Audits Now a Potential Risk for Physicians

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

Two of the four RACs added Medically Unlikely Edits to their list of CMS-approved issues earlier this year, which gives RACs a new set of issues to study, including physician services. While physician services have not been the target of RACs since early in the demonstration project, the approval of MUEs by Connolly and HDI puts them back on the RAC radar.

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AHA: Labor is Biggest Factor in Hospital Cost Growth

By: Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, March 12, 2010

While hospital care accounts for one-third of dollars spent in healthcare, overall spending for hospital care has shown the slowest growth among healthcare services, according to a new American Hospital Association report that examines spending growth on patient care. From 2007 to 2008, spending for hospital care rose by 4.5%. The single most important factor driving up costs was labor, accounting for about 35% of overall growth.

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Partnership's Aggressive Policies Prevent H1N1 Outbreak

By: Evan Sweeney, for HealthLeaders Media, March 12, 2010

Now that H1N1 fears have seemingly subsided, many infection control departments are evaluating their flu prevention programs, looking for deficiencies, while also noting effective policies and procedures. Two Seattle area facilities created an aggressive prevention program that resulted in no increase of H1N1 cases in the facility month-to-month, despite a 100-fold increase in H1N1 cases in the area.

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Baptist Health System Plans New Hospital

By: Les Masterson, for HealthLeaders Media, March 15, 2010

San Antonio-based Baptist Health System has purchased a 56-acre parcel of land in New Braunfels, TX, where it hopes to build a new hospital. The hospital would provide comprehensive acute care medical and emergency care, as well as cardiovascular services and neonatology, according to Baptist. Baptist is building the hospital because the population has exploded in the area.

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Seniors Often Get Inappropriate Drugs in ED, Says Study

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, March 12, 2010

It is common for patients 65 and older to get potentially inappropriate medications when treated in emergency departments, a new University of Michigan Health System study has found. Nearly 19.5 million older patients, or 16.8% of eligible emergency visits from 2000-2006, received one or more potentially inappropriate medications, said the study.

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Practice Board Meeting: What's on the Agenda? What's Not?

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, March 12, 2010

Depending upon how well they are organized, board meetings can provide vital monthly or quarterly face-to-face time among the decision-makers to keep your physician practice running smoothly. At Radiological Associates of Sacramento, the monthly practice board meeting is a model of efficiency.

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Four Steps to Better Leadership

By: Philip Betbeze, for HealthLeaders Media, March 12, 2010

Sometimes we all need a refresher course in what it takes to be a good leader—me included.

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California Rural Hospitals Want Right to Hire Doctors

By: March 10, 2010

Peggy Wheeler of the California Hospital Association explains why it should be legal for hospitals to employ physicians. [Sponsored by McKesson]

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