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Friday, July 17, 2009


Daily news & Analysis



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CBO Head: Current Health Reform Proposals Won't Save Money

By: Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, July 17, 2009

Douglas Elmendorf, head of the Congressional Budget Office, provided a bleak assessment in his testimony on Thursday on whether he thought the healthcare cost curve—which has been steadily rising upward—would finally bend downward under newly introduced reform legislation. His response to Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND), chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, who asked the question: An unequivocal "no."

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AMA Endorses Health Reform Plan That Features Public Option

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

One month after the American Medical Association came out strongly against a public health insurance plan as part of national healthcare reform legislation, the nation's largest and most influential physicians organization today switched course dramatically by publicly endorsing legislation that includes the public plan.

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New Reports Take Drastically Different View of Public Plan

By: Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, July 17, 2009

A public plan as envisioned by the Obama administration would be a "death spiral" that could wipe out many California hospitals already struggling with federal reimbursements that are far too low. No wait. A public option, along with a national insurance exchange, is an excellent way to make the system much more efficient, saving between $156 billion and $315 billion per year between now and 2018. Private commercial insurance plans now spend that much to market and administer their products and process claims. Those are two views of health reform released yesterday in reports from groups with obviously different agendas.

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Hospital Slapped with Second Six-Figure Fine for Records Breach in Two Months

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

For the second time in two months, Kaiser Permanente Bellflower Hospital in Los Angeles County has been slapped with a six-figure fine for failing to secure electronic patient records from snooping employees.

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Medicaid Integrity Program Audits: Coming to a Hospital Near You

By: Andrea Kraynak, for HealthLeaders Media, July 16, 2009

Nearly 500 Medicaid audits are under way in 17 states, and the program will roll out to the entire country through the end of the year, according to CMS representatives.

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Eight Tips to Get Your Business Associates to Comply with HIPAA

By: Dom Nicastro, for HealthLeaders Media, July 16, 2009

Here are eight tips you can share with your BAs to get them ahead of the HIPAA compliance deadline next February.

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Insurance Reps Detail Fire Safety Risks

By: Scott Wallask, for HealthLeaders Media, July 16, 2009

Insurance company recommendations can actually carry equal weight to mandates from entities such as The Joint Commission or local fire departments.

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Health Reform Marks Beginning of Gen X Healthcare

By: Elyas Bakhtiari, for HealthLeaders Media, July 16, 2009

Few topics can get physicians worked up like generational differences in practice styles.

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All in the Numbers: Making Sense of Hospital Compare Readmission Data

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

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has released first-time data that reports if patients returned to an individual hospital within 30 days after being discharged for three conditions.

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