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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Daily news & Analysis

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Which Option Will House Democrats Use to Pass Health Reform Bill?

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

The new phrase being heard in the House this week is "deem and pass"—a process that would let the Senate healthcare reform bill go through the House—without members actually voting on the measure itself. The "deem and pass" process instead would let the House vote on a package of changes to the Senate bill, which would approve the provisions in the bill without officially passing the bill.

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Hospitals as Software Service Providers

By: March 8, 2010

Health systems are stepping into a new role, offering software as a service to realize value from EMRs.

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Massachusetts Investigating Wide Disparities in Hospital, Provider Reimbursements

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

Health insurers told a Massachusetts agency examining rising healthcare costs that a state trend toward "providing care in more expensive settings" is the primary driver of increasing health costs. Eric H. Schultz, president and CEO of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, submitted testimony before the Massachusetts Division of Health Care Finance and Policy hearing on Tuesday that stated some physicians and hospitals are paid upward of 300% to 400% higher for some services compared to others.

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Hospitals Make Employee Flu Vaccinations a Patient Safety Issue

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

The emergence of the H1N1 flu put a spotlight in early 2009 on a question: Should healthcare organizations do more in terms of policies and approaches to increase flu vaccinations among hospital personnel? In one presentation this week at the 5th Decennial International Conference on Healthcare Associated Infections 2010 in Atlanta, the Hospital Corporation of America discussed the topic.

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Colorado Hospital Evaluates Missed Opportunities in Rapid Response Teams

By: Sarah Kearns, for HealthLeaders Media, March 16, 2010

Over the past five years, rapid response teams have been brought to the forefront of American hospitals. Initiatives sparked interest in RRTs among hospitals, especially at St. Anthony Central Hospital in Denver, which developed its own RRT in conjunction with the IHI initiative.

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AHA Recommends Changes to EHR Standards, Implementation

By: Andrea Kraynak, for HealthLeaders Media, March 16, 2010

Adding its voice to the EHR standards debate, the American Hospital Association asked for changes to proposed EHR standards, implementation, and certification. The AHA sent its recommendations and comments regarding the interim final rule to the National Coordinator for Health IT.

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Informed Administrators Are Key to a Successful Billing Staff

By: Marianne Aiello, for HealthLeaders Media, March 16, 2010

One of the biggest mistakes billing staff can make is to "rebill" a claim without taking the time to call the insurance company to find out why the claim was denied. Rebilling once or twice is bad enough, but some employees take it even farther.

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New AMA Online Database Looks to Help Docs Contract with Insurers

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

The American Medical Association launched the National Managed Care Contract, an online database that the physicians' association said will help its members negotiate better contracts with managed care organizations. NMCC will provide model contract language that complies with the managed care laws of all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

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Alpharma to Pay $42.5M to Resolve Kickback, False Claims Act Allegations

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

Alpharma Inc. will pay $42.5 million to resolve whistleblower kickback and False Claims Act allegations for its marketing of the painkiller Kadian, the Justice Department said. Federal prosecutors alleged that between 2000-2008 Alpharma paid healthcare providers to promote or prescribe Kadian, and made misrepresentations about the safety and efficacy of the morphine-based drug.

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The Right Way to Connect with Members Online

By: March 10, 2010

John Bahl, head of member and consumer online strategy and operations at Aetna, discusses the health insurer's redesigned Web site. [Sponsored by Emdeon]

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Computer-Controlled Pancreas Could Close the Diabetes Loop

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

Aaron Kowalski, the VP for glucose control research at the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, is working to create a computer-controlled "bionic pancreas" that will help humans better manage their diabetes.

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Ten Ways to Increase Nurses' Time at the Bedside

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

How can healthcare organizations help their nurses spend more time in patient care? Here are 10 successful strategies.

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