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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Daily news & Analysis

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Killingsworth Resigns from BCBS of MA

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

Cleve Killingsworth, who has led Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts since 2004, is leaving the insurer effective immediately. The insurer's board accepted Killingsworth's resignation, but the president and CEO "will remain available to the company as needed to ensure a smooth transition," according to BCBSMA.

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Health Reform Moves Closer to Vote This Week

By: Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, March 16, 2010

The wheels began turning this week toward completing a final healthcare reform measure. On Monday afternoon, one of those wheels was the House Budget Committee, which voted 21-16 to approve a draft bill that will be used to make changes to the Senate-approved healthcare reform bill.

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Physician Groups Urge Changes, Extensions for Meaningful Use Criteria

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

Leading provider groups used the last day of a public comment period to urge CMS to scale back the proposed rule establishing meaningful use criteria for electronic health records incentive programs.

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HHS Provides Another $162 Million for State Health IT Programs

By: Les Masterson and Janice Simmons, March 15, 2010

In its latest round of health IT funding, HHS announced $162 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding on Monday to help states "facilitate health information exchange and advance health information technology." The funding is part of a $2 billion initiative to "achieve widespread meaningful use of health IT and provide use of an electronic health record by every citizen by the year 2014," according to HHS.

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Feds: Business Associate HITECH Provisions Forthcoming

By: Dom Nicastro, for HealthLeaders Media, March 15, 2010

Office of Civil Rights confirmed it expects to release proposed rules regarding privacy and security provisions of HITECH, but still has not said when. For the past couple of weeks, industry insiders have talked about an enforcement delay in HITECH provisions effective February 17 until OCR formally publishes rules regarding the provisions.

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Don't Compromise on Resident Physician Termination Decisions

By: Julie McCoy, March 15, 2010

The process and decision to terminate a resident for academic reasons weighs heavily on most residency program directors' minds. Despite possible guilt, most program directors take their obligation to protect the public seriously.

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Well-Designed P4P Programs Can Improve Patient Relations, Says Physician Panel

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, March 16, 2010

An expert panel convened by the American College of Physicians says that properly designed pay-for-performance programs can strengthen physician-patient relations and improve care. The panel, which included experts in clinical medicine, law, management, and health policy, met six times to examine the relationship between medical professionalism and various P4P financial incentive programs.

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Physicians Believe Employers Should Coordinate with Docs to Help Chronic Care Patients

By: Joe Cantlupe, for HealthLeaders Media, March 16, 2010

Most physicians believe that employers should play a role in the health of their employees with chronic conditions, such as informing physicians about programs in the workplace that could help their patients manage heart disease, according to a poll conducted by the Midwest Business Group on Health. According to the poll results, 59% of physicians said that employers should let doctors know about workplace efforts to help a patient manage chronic disease.

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Detroit Medical Center Announces Healthcare Partnerships

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

Detroit Medical Center's Children's Hospital of Michigan has established new agreements with Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital and Hurley Medical Center in Flint to expand pediatric surgical expertise at these two hospitals.

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Pure Genius: TPA and Hospital Collaborate to Decrease Denials and Save

By: Karen Minich-Pourshadi, for HealthLeaders Media, March 15, 2010

Claims processing has been a slow and inefficient process on both sides, leading to large financial losses. After years of back and forth, someone is trying to fix it.

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Changing Bad Employee Habits Will Take Time, Patience

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

A recent survey found that employers are frustrated that employees aren't taking advantage of their work-based wellness programs to rid themselves of unhealthy habits such as smoking and excess weight.

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