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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Daily news & Analysis

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DeParle: Healthcare Reform Moving Steadily Forward

By: Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, April 16, 2009

On the calendar, Congress is still officially in the middle of its two-week spring recess, but behind the scenes on Capitol Hill, work on healthcare reform has been quietly continuing, according to Nancy Ann DeParle, director of the White House's newly created Office of Health Reform. DeParle, who has been in her new position for just a month, has been spending 60% to 75% of her time there talking with congressional members and staff who appear far more receptive to a reform package than they did more than 15 years ago.

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Lawsuit Demands Geographic Parity in Medicare Physician Pay

By: Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, April 15, 2009

Medicare is underpaying physicians between 10% and 25% in 175 higher-cost counties across the nation, creating a "public health crisis" in which too few doctors accept the federal program, resulting in jeopardized patient care. That's the claim in the latest volley of a California class action lawsuit against the Department of Health and Human Services.

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Dueling Reports Show Benefits, Problems with Public Insurance Option

By: Les Masterson, for HealthLeaders Media, April 15, 2009

A leading proponent of creating a public insurance option recently released a 27-page report that serves as a blueprint for how the public plan could compete on a "level playing field" with private insurers. But another recent study suggested a public option could have a disastrous impact on private health insurers and cause physician payments to plummet.

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Beyond Patients, the Public Will Flock to Hospitals During Disasters

By: Scott Wallask, for HealthLeaders Media, April 15, 2009

The next time you meet with your hospital's emergency planning coordinators, ask them whether the facility is ready to stand in as the corner drug store or local diner during a community-wide catastrophe. During a community disaster, the public may look to a hospital for refuge, so CEOs and hospital emergency management coordinators would be wise to include public services in their planning.

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TriState Clears Antitrust Hurdle

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

TriState Health Partners, Inc.'s clinical integration program cleared a major hurdle this week when the FTC issued an advisory opinion that the innovative program does not pose an antitrust threat.

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CMS Moves Permanent RAC Process Forward

By: Andrea Kraynak, April 15, 2009

CMS continued its efforts this week to educate healthcare providers on the permanent Recovery Audit Contractor program with an Open Door Forum call for Medicare Part B providers on April 14. A similar call for Part A providers was held on April 8.

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