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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Daily news & Analysis

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Former Senate Leaders' Health Reform Proposal Includes State Exchanges

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

While their Capitol Hill days are now a memory, three former Senate majority leaders have become the latest voices to weigh in on what directions federal healthcare reform could take. Two GOP senators—Howard Baker and Robert Dole—along with Democrat Thomas Daschle (with an earlier assist from George Mitchell) released their bipartisan proposal Wednesday that addresses delivery, cost, quality, coverage, and financing issues facing the healthcare system.

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From HFMA: Preparing for a RAC Audit

By: Michelle Ponte, for HealthLeaders Media, June 18, 2009

With the RAC demonstration ended, one of the best ways to prepare for a RAC audit comes in learning from survivors. Elizabeth Lamkin, CEO of Hilton Head Regional Hospital in South Carolina, offered key guidance to HFMA conference attendees in how to ready their organizations for a RAC attack. As you can imagine, the discussion was lively and overtaken by questions from the audience, who were eagerly ingesting as much information as possible.

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AHA: Proposed Hospital Pay Cuts Are Not Justified

By: Lisa Eramo, for HealthLeaders Media, June 17, 2009

The American Hospital Association disagrees with the methodology CMS used to draw the conclusion that there was a decline in real case mix between fiscal years 2007 and 2008, stating the agency's findings were "incorrect and overstated."

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Cost Concerns Slow Health Reform on Capitol Hill

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

It appears that all systems may be slow this week—and maybe this month—in pushing healthcare legislation through congressional committees. Initially, a draft bill was expected from the Senate Finance Committee by yesterday. However, shadowed by questions over costs raised this week by the Congressional Budget Office and the finer points of the legislation, the Finance Committee has postponed marking up legislation until after the July 4 recess.

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Avoidable Childbirth Injuries Remain an Issue at Hospitals

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

Medical teams in hospitals caused nearly 158,000 avoidable injuries to new moms and their babies during childbirth in 2006, according to a new federal report that should be an eye opener for any health provider. Not only do these tragic mishaps cause disability and anguish for patients, they add costly legal bills and extra days of expensive care that will never be fully reimbursed.

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Clear Organizational Goals and Effective Data Use Help Leaders Comply with Leadership Standards

By: Heather Comak, for HealthLeaders Media, June 17, 2009

Compliance with The Joint Commission's 2009 leadership standards requires an understanding of how intertwined the concepts are with a hospital's everyday activities.

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Recession May Temporarily Resolve Nursing Shortage

By: Keri Mucci, June 17, 2009

The slumping economy has led to surging nurse employment rates that could soon end the nation's 11-year shortage, according to a new study.

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Public Plan Won't Happen in '09, But It's Inevitable

By: Les Masterson, for HealthLeaders Media, June 17, 2009

President Barack Obama and leading Democrats want a public plan, but even if it doesn't happen this year, the public option is a powerful negotiating tool.

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Advanced Imaging as a Marketing Tool: Do You Really Need All Those Extra Slices?

By: Gienna Shaw, for HealthLeaders Media, June 17, 2009

There are important questions to ask when you're considering an equipment upgrade: Whether or not physicians and patients care that you have the latest and greatest piece of imaging equipment.

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How Does A Gust of Wind Incapacitate Indian Hospital?

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

Hickory Starr has been working for the Indian Health Service for 28 years, and he's used to dealing with very big problems. But when his Indian Hospital was incapacitated recently, he wanted to scream.

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