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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Daily news & Analysis

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Medical Practice Leaders Frustrated About Medicare's PQRI Data Requirements

By: Joe Cantlupe, for HealthLeaders Media, February 18, 2010

A national organization representing medical practice leaders say they are increasingly frustrated by what it terms the "unnecessarily arduous process" for reporting data to Medicare's Physician Quality Reporting Initiative. Once the reports are filed, there is an "unreasonable lag time" for results, the group states. The Medical Group Management Association on Wednesday released a sharply critical research survey about PQRI at a time Congress is considering how to continue the program.

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Nurse-on-Nurse Hostility Remains an Issue

By: Sarah Kearns, for HealthLeaders Media, February 17, 2010

To those outside the nursing profession, it may be a bit frightening to hear the phrase, "nurses eat their young," but to any nurse, this is just a standard expression meaning the bullying or harassment of a fellow colleague. "Nurses eating their young has been around since I started in nursing 25 years ago as a nurse's aide," says Frances Hodgkins, RN, PMHN-BC, from Michael E. Debakey Department of Veterans Affairs in Houston.

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Rural Areas Are Less Healthy Than Suburbs, Says Report

By: Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, February 18, 2010

The first set of reports ever produced to provide comparative health data for all 3,000-plus counties in all 50 states was released Wednesday by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and University of Wisconsin's Population Health Institute. The 50-state reports are designed to help public health and community leaders, policymakers, consumers, and others to understand the health of their counties—compared with others within their state—and find ways to improve the overall health of their population.

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CMS Announces Re-alignment to Focus on Three Key Areas

By: Les Masterson, for HealthLeaders Media, February 18, 2010

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced it is realigning, consolidating, and integrating functions to "allow the agency to better focus on three key areas: beneficiary services, program integrity, and strategic planning," CMS acting Administrator and Chief Operating Officer Charlene M. Frizzera announced to staff Wednesday. In announcing the re-alignment, Frizzera said she will also continue in her interim role as acting administrator and COO.

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Moody's: Nonprofit Healthcare Downgrades Continue to Outpace Upgrades

By: Les Masterson, for HealthLeaders Media, February 17, 2010

As yet another indication that 2009 was a horrible year for nearly all aspects of the economy, Moody's Investors Service reported that the year featured "high downgrade activity" in the not-for-profit healthcare sector. In fact, Moody's reported 54 downgrades compared to 21 upgrades in 2009.

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Physicians Play Key Role in New Joint Venture Hospital

By: Ben Cole, for HealthLeaders Media, February 18, 2010

Methodist McKinney (TX) Hospital, a joint venture between area physicians, Methodist Health System, and Nueterra Healthcare, has officially opened to serve residents in the growing Collin County region of north Texas. The guiding principle during the hospital's development was to establish a community-based hospital in McKinney that would be a "destination medical center" for residents in the region, says Kevin D. Jones, president of Methodist McKinney Hospital.

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Ohio Bill Would Stiffen Penalties for Violence Against Nurses

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

The Ohio House of Representatives is considering a bill that would mandate prison time for people convicted of felony assault against on-duty nurses. The proposed law would apply when the victim is an on-duty registered nurse or a licensed practical nurse, who the attacker knows is working as a licensed medical professional.

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BayCare Opens New Hospital in Tampa Area

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

BayCare Health System this week opened a new $225 million hospital in suburban Lutz, just north of Tampa. St. Joseph's North is the first full-service hospital built in the Tampa Bay area in more than 30 years.

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St. David's HealthCare to Acquire Heart Hospital of Austin

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

Austin, TX-based St. David's HealthCare announced that it will acquire the 58-bed Heart Hospital of Austin from MedCath Corp. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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Rural CEOs Concerned about Doc Recruitment, Controlling Costs Not So Much

By: Les Masterson, for HealthLeaders Media, February 17, 2010

For our 2010 survey, we found that there was surprisingly little disagreement between CEOs at non-rural hospitals compared with CEOs at rural and community hospitals about most issues. However, there were some disconnects.

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Health Plans Have Wait-And-See Approach to Individual Market

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

There has been controversy about investments in individual markets overinquiries into insurer Anthem Blue Cross's proposed 39% rate hikes. The controversy is inadvertently wrapped around HealthLeaders Media Industry Survey.

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CEOs' View of Marketing: Cloudy with a Chance of Opportunity

By: Marianne Aiello, for HealthLeaders Media, February 17, 2010

The results of the 2010 HealthLeaders Media Industry Survey show a disconnect between marketing initiatives hospital leaders plan to take on in coming years and their esteem for the marketing department.

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