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Friday, December 18, 2009

Daily news & Analysis

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Don't Use Texas as Model for Tort Reform, Advocacy Group Warns

By: Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, December 18, 2009

Congress shouldn't look at Texas tort reform as a model to control national healthcare costs because "Texas has one of the worst healthcare systems in the United States," warns Public Citizen, a national consumer group. In its report, the patient advocacy group said Texas reforms, which place a $250,000 per defendant cap on pain and suffering awards similar to that in California, have not held down costs, as some in Congress have touted. However, Texas health officials say the reform has improved the state's healthcare.

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Census: Revenue Gap Between Ambulatory Services, Hospitals is Widening

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

For the third straight year, ambulatory healthcare services generated more revenues than did hospitals, and that revenue gap in 2008 more than quadrupled when compared with 2007, new U.S. Census Bureau data show. Ambulatory healthcare services generated $730.3 billion in revenues in 2008, while hospitals generated $721 billion, a difference of $9.3 billion.

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Top 10 Issues Facing Healthcare in 2010

By: Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, December 18, 2009

Some might say that there's no juice left to squeeze from the cost of providing care, but a new report from PricewaterhouseCoopers' Health Research Institute says health leaders are going to have to try. The report lists 10 issues of concern for health providers, including insurers, hospitals, physicians, pharmaceutical and life-sciences companies, and even community groups and municipalities.

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Former, Current GOP Governors Bash Medicaid Expansion Plan

By: Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, December 18, 2009

While the Senate focused attention Thursday on the defense spending bill until the wee hours of the morning, Senate Republicans began to put pressure on another area to stop the healthcare reform bill. A current GOP governor and four GOP senators, who were once governors, said they oppose the "unfunded mandate" of Medicaid expansion included in the bill.

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Facility Improves Patients' Pain Management

By: Sarah Kearns, for HealthLeaders Media, December 17, 2009

There are various ways pain can be measured by hospital staff members, depending on the organization. At Altru Health System in Grand Forks, ND, the patient receives a comprehensive initial pain assessment upon admission. To ensure that pain assessment and reassessment were happening in patient documents, AHS also conducted monthly chart audits.

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American Anesthesiology Acquires NC Group Practice

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, December 18, 2009

American Anesthesiology, Inc., has acquired Wilmington Anesthesiologists, a physician group practice in southeastern North Carolina with more than 39,000 cases annually. Wilmington Anesthesiologists has 24 physicians who practice at New Hanover (NC) Regional Medical Center, a 514-bed acute-care hospital that is a regional referral and trauma center, and at Cape Fear (NC) Hospital, a 133-bed community hospital that specializes in orthopedic services.

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The Top Five Physician Stories of 2009 (Other Than Reform)

By: Elyas Bakhtiari, for HealthLeaders Media, December 17, 2009

Before the Senate votes and healthcare reform returns to center stage, here are some of the top non-reform stories of 2009 that were of interest to physicians.

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Recognizing Patient Spirituality Could Improve Quality of Care

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

Two new studies find that acknowledging a patient's spirituality may be an important part of providing quality care.

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