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Friday, June 18, 2010

Daily news & Analysis

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Senate Again Fails to Approve Fix to 21% Cut; Payment Reductions to Begin

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

Physicians hoping to see a postponement at last of a 21% cut in Medicare and TRICARE reimbursements faced disappointment on Thursday as the Senate failed to pass a new "doc fix" amendment to the jobs bill (HR 4213). The Senate is not likely to vote on the provision again until next week. Thursday was significant because it was the last day that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' contractors would hold claims so that the 21% reduction would not be removed from payments made to physicians for service claims provided on and after June 1.

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Study: Physicians Change Treatment Patterns to Offset Payment Cuts

By: Elyas Bakhtiari, for HealthLeaders Media, June 18, 2010

Cutting or changing physician reimbursement doesn't always produce the desired cost savings, as physicians are likely to increase services or switch to more profitable treatments after a cut, according to a new study. The study examined how oncologist treatment patterns for lung cancer changed after the Medicare Modernization Act reduced payments for certain chemotherapy drugs beginning in 2005.

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New Wing Opens at New York Hospital Queens

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, June 18, 2010

New York Hospital Queens on Thursday opened its seven-floor West Wing with a ceremonial ribbon cutting at the Flushing main campus. The 190,000-square-foot wing will add 80 beds to the hospital, and raises to 519 the hospital's certified bed capacity. The wing and a three-level parking garage took more than three years to complete at a cost of $210 million.

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FDA Again Fines American Red Cross for Blood Safety Lapses; This Time $16 Million

By: Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, June 18, 2010

The American Red Cross will have to pay $16.18 million in federal fines because of a failure to comply with safe practices dealing with collection and manufacturing of blood products, including red cells, plasma, and platelets, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced late yesterday.

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Washington Hospitals Implementing Statewide Credentialing Database

By: Emily Berry, June 17, 2010

It's not revolutionary for states to roll out a universal credentialing application. But the statewide credentialing database that Washington state is working on is new territory. And at some hospitals, the effects are already being felt.

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Emergency Rooms See Doubling Of Visits Related to Non-Medical Narcotic Use

By: Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, June 17, 2010

Hospital emergency rooms are grappling with an alarming increase in the number of patients whose illnesses involve non-medical use of opiod or narcotic pain relievers, according to two new federal reports.

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A Shameful Silence Over Physician Exams

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

Christine K. Cassel, MD, president and CEO of the American Board of Internal Medicine, is "sickened and dismayed" that 139 physicians solicited and shared examination questions over the past several years.

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Holding the Ground on Super Bugs

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

Antibiotic-resistant organisms—the so-called "super bugs"—may be gaining an upper hand if action is not taken very soon on the healthcare front.

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Join the HealthLeaders Media Council

By: June 14, 2010

If you want even better insight into what your peers are doing as healthcare experiences seismic changes, this is an opportunity you can't afford to pass up. The HealthLeaders Media Council is comprised of the nation's leading healthcare executives who collectively provide the most unbiased industry intelligence available. As a HealthLeaders reader, we invite you to qualify to become a member by completing a brief survey.

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