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Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Daily news & Analysis



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No Longer Waiting for Feds, States Jumpstart Health Reform

By: Joe Cantlupe, for HealthLeaders Media, February 17, 2010

More than two dozen states have launched healthcare reform initiatives, but most are strapped financially and are unlikely to undertake major reform while federal legislation is stalled on Capitol Hill, says a top health official for the National Conference of State Legislatures.

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Reform Would Increase Healthcare Spending, But Millions More Would Have Insurance, Says RAND

By: Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, February 17, 2010

In just over a week, congressional leaders will meet on Feb. 25 with President Obama in a televised healthcare reform summit. As a way of anticipating questions about the two reform bills passed last year by the House and the Senate, RAND researchers have been examining the impact of the bills, with a focus on access, quality, and cost. Their analysis was done using "micro simulation" methods, which provide a "way of quantifying how well a policy option will achieve its goal," said Elizabeth McGlynn, associate director of RAND Health and co-leader of the RAND Compare initiative.

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Top HIPAA Lessons for Hospital Leaders

By: Dom Nicastro, February 16, 2010

Don't leave all this HITECH and HIPAA stuff to the "tech folks." Hospital leaders should know by now the threat of a public relations nightmare because of a breach of unsecure personal health information. It's a good time for the C-Suite to be involved in HIPAA compliance.

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Does Guaranteed Payment Guarantee Benefit?

By: Karen Minich-Pourshadi, for HealthLeaders Magazine, February 4, 2010

A new payment model could mean lower costs and higher quality.

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Scripps CEO Witnesses Devastation in Haiti While Gaining Valuable Disaster Training

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, February 17, 2010

The Jan. 12 earthquake that flattened much of Port au Prince, Haiti, and killed at least 230,000 people is providing valuable lessons for disaster preparedness and response on an almost unimaginable scale, says Scripps Health CEO/President Chris Van Gorder. "There were two reasons why we went down there," says Van Gorder, who recently returned from his second trip to the stricken nation since the earthquake. "The first was humanitarian. The second was the learning. I am passionate about disaster planning and I don't believe the time to learn how to function in a disaster is when the disaster occurs."

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Are Hospitalist Physician Assistants the Answer to Shortages?

By: Karen M. Cheung, February 16, 2010

It's no secret that hospitals across the country struggle with many challenges. Among them is a pressing shortage of hospital physicians and restrictions on resident duty hours that can sometimes leave a vacuum of care providers. That's where the hospitalist physician assistant can help fill the void.

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Not Just RACs: Providers Must Prepare for MICs Too

By: James Carroll, February 16, 2010

Providers nationwide are certainly familiar with Recovery Audit Contractors, or RACs. But perhaps less familiar are Medicaid Integrity Contractors, or MICs. These MICs have yet to hit every state, but the program will be rolled out to the entire country during this year and audits are now under way or coming soon.

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NC Hospital's ED Locked Down After Shooting

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, February 17, 2010

An early morning fight at a roadhouse on Presidents Day spilled into the emergency department at Scotland Memorial Hospital in Laurinburg, NC, and ended in a shooting that left a patient in critical condition, his alleged assailant in jail, and the hospital in lockdown. Scotland Memorial officials issued a statement detailing the 3 a.m. shooting on Monday morning, which remains under investigation by Laurinburg police.

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Study Shows Need for Improved Hospital Selection for Minorities

By: Joe Cantlupe, for HealthLeaders Media, February 17, 2010

Minority patients in New York were less likely than whites to have surgeries at hospitals with a large number of procedures, according to a study published in the Archives of Surgery. The study focused on 134,000 people who had 20 different types of surgery between 2001 and 2004 in hospitals in New York City, as well as nearby Nassau and Westchester counties. The study involved mostly whites, and fewer numbers of blacks, Asians, and Hispanics.

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Health IT's Three Big Issues: Money, Money, and Money

By: Gienna Shaw, for HealthLeaders Media, February 16, 2010

This year's HealthLeaders Media Industry Survey presents a snapshot of the healthcare industry at a time of excitement, uncertainty, and tumult. And healthcare IT is at the center of many of the big changes.

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Nurse Leaders' Role in Promoting Autonomy and Accountability

By: Rebecca Hendren, for HealthLeaders Media, February 16, 2010

Nursing issues have been in the news in the last week and not all of them have been good. But a thread runs through these stories: the lack of autonomy in nursing.

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Layoffs: Save Now But Pay More Later?

By: February 15, 2010

Bernie Becker, vice president/CHRO at Stormont-Vail HealthCare in Topeka, KS, argues that layoffs cost more money in the long run, especially when it's time to start hiring again.

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