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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Daily news & Analysis

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Report Questions Whether Nation is Prepared for H1N1 Emergency

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

The H1N1 flu outbreak has exposed serious gaps in the nation's ability to respond to public health emergencies and the economic crisis is straining an already fragile public health system, according to a report released Tuesday by the Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

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Senate Rejects Drug Imports from Canada

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

After waiting for almost a week for a vote, an amendment introduced by Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND) calling for the legalized importation of prescription medicine from Canada and other countries failed to win approval in a 51-48 vote (with 60 votes required for approval).

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MRSA Cases in California Skyrocket

By: Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, December 16, 2009

Cases of Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infections increased four-fold in California hospitals between 1999 and 2007 to 52,000 cases, according to a new state report, which also suggests the annual number of MRSA deaths are 3.2 times more than estimates for seasonal influenza.

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Study Internal, External Factors in Practice Merger Decisions

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

Declining a merger offer can mean physician practices are not able to access lucrative in-house ancillary services and leaves practices with less bargaining clout with hospitals, insurance companies, and other payers. If your group intends to stay small and independent, you must realize that you will be swimming against the strong current, but there are positives to staying small.

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Medicare Fraud Strike Force Expands Operations

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, December 16, 2009

With nearly 500 arrests in four cities, and more than $1 billion in fraudulent claims identified in less than two years, federal officials have announced that the highly successful Medicare Fraud Strike Force will expand to Brooklyn, Tampa, and Baton Rouge.

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Radiologists Rap Study Linking CT Scans with Cancer

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

The American College of Radiology today challenged the validity of two studies published this week in the Archives of Internal Medicine that link the overuse of CT scans with thousands of new cancer diagnoses and deaths. At the same time, ACR acknowledged that widespread CT scan use has resulted in increased radiation exposure for Americans, and called for greater oversight and vigilance to prevent needless overuse.

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Web Site Hopes to Activate Diabetes Patients in New York

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

The New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation launched a new Web site for its 58,000 diabetic patients with the hope of making them more active and informed participants in their own care. The HHC online Diabetes Wellness Center features advice from clinicians, patient success stories, healthy eating and exercise tips, access to free blood monitors, and a comprehensive list of support groups and diabetes wellness classes that are available in the health system's 11 acute-care public hospitals.

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Nurses Give Back to Help Those in Need

By: Sarah Kearns, December 15, 2009

Nurses often try to find ways to do more for the profession that they love. In many facilities, nurses make note of how they can help and lend a hand to those in need. Here are two examples.

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Facilities Use Cloud Computing to Share Radiology Images

By: Carrie Vaughan, for HealthLeaders Media, December 15, 2009

I've read a lot recently how other industries are using cloud-computing technology to improve business processes. But here is one of the few healthcare examples that I've heard about.

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Union: Healthy Environments, Better Orientation Can Solve Temp Nurse Issue

By: Rebecca Hendren, for HealthLeaders Media, December 15, 2009

The only way for hospitals to be staffed with competent RNs is to focus on ensuring a stable, long-term workforce that is committed to the organization.

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