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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Daily news & Analysis

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Healthcare Groups' Cost Reduction Efforts Won't Save Much Money

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

Only a "subset" of the initiatives proposed by major healthcare groups?including the American Medical Association, the American Hospital Association, and America's Health Insurance Plans?could result in meaningful savings for Congressional Budget Office health reform cost estimates, CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf wrote yesterday in a letter. In the CBO letter, sent in response to a query by House Ways and Means Committee ranking member Dave Camp (R-MI), it was noted that the industry leaders' attention to the goals and "agreement that significant savings can be obtained are no doubt welcome."

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Meaningful Use First Draft Could Guide Final Definition

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, June 17, 2009

The Health Information Technology Policy Committee stressed on Tuesday that the meaningful use definitions recommended by a study committee this week are merely a non-binding "first step" in a complex winnowing process. The final product could change a great deal when CMS issues a proposed rule change for a 60-day public comment period at the end of 2009.

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From HFMA: Capital Constraints, Regulatory Challenges Common Theme at HFMA

By: Michelle Ponte, for HealthLeaders Media, June 17, 2009

The vendors had long faces and the ratio of candy and pens to the high-end swag was much higher than I've seen at conferences of past, but this year's HFMA sessions in Seattle nonetheless were packed and fewer attendees were nodding off. In fact, there were a lot of energetic and impatient hands raised when it came to hot topics such as RACs, charity care, and accelerating patient payments.

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From HFMA: Finance Help for Patients

By: June 17, 2009

Jerry Smith, vice president of revenue cycle at St. Vincent's Health System, discusses the successful implementation of a patient financial assistance program, live from HFMA.

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Public Supports Healthcare Reform, But Not Willing to Pay For It

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

A new poll finds that most Americans continue to support the idea of healthcare reform, even though they don't want to pay more for it, and they are easily swayed by arguments on all sides of the issue.

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Rohack Inaugurated as New AMA President

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, June 17, 2009

J. James Rohack, MD, dived into the scrum over healthcare reform on Tuesday when he was inaugurated as the 164th president of the American Medical Association. Rohack, a cardiologist from Bryan, TX, will lead the nation's largest and most powerful physicians' organization at a time of profound change, as the nation undergoes the most concerted push to adopt far-ranging changes to the healthcare delivery system since the Medicare program was adopted in the 1960s.

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Hospital Department Leaders Must Remain Flexible in Difficult Economy

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

In these tough economic times, your hospital staff members should be ready for different roles on any given day. No one is immune to change.

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Employer Insurance Mandate Will Increase Jobs And Save Money

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

Far from prompting employers across the country to cut jobs, a national "play or pay" policy for businesses would actually create many more employment opportunities and save the country money at the same time, according to two reports released Tuesday by three California health analysts. Their studies were bolstered by a petition signed by 330 economists, business leaders, academics, and health experts advocating universal coverage in a health reform package as a way to improve the economy.

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Transfer of Guantanamo Detainees Should Prompt Review of Prisoner Patient Policies

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

Announced plans to move military detainees from Guantanamo Bay to the United States to face trial could have lingering effects on hospital security departments.

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Meaningful Use: Defined by HIT Policy Committee

By: Carrie Vaughan, for HealthLeaders Media, June 16, 2009

The IT community is one step closer to a definition of "meaningful use" of electronic health records since HIT Policy Committee made its recommendations today to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology.

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Partnership Uses IT to Improve Clinical Quality

By: Ben Cole, for HealthLeaders Media, June 16, 2009

The Knowledge-Based Nursing Initiative will spread its vision to accelerate the use of evidence-based knowledge in nursing practice via technology during a visit to the United Kingdom this week.

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