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Monday, May 18, 2009

Daily news & Analysis

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HIT Panel Looks to Define Standards, Specifications Before Tackling Meaningful Use

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

Just one week after its members were appointed, the new Health Information Technology Standards Committee, which is advising the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, hit the ground running May 15 with its first meeting in Washington. Another panel, the Policy Committee, which is advising the national coordinator on implementation issues, met four days earlier.

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Advocates Flog CMS for Ending CT Colonography Coverage

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, May 15, 2009

The American Cancer Society and other patient care and medical advocacy groups are bashing CMS for its decision this week to end Medicare coverage for CT colongraphies.

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Kaiser Fined $250,000 for Disclosing Octo-Mom Medical Record

By: Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, May 15, 2009

Kaiser Permanente Bellflower Hospital in Los Angeles has been assessed a $250,000 fine because 23 employees at a number of Kaiser facilities unlawfully breached the privacy of a patient who gave birth to octuplets earlier this year.

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Is Healthcare Better Without Doctors?

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

In all the talk about creating a medical home for every American, it's important to realize that increasingly, consumers are getting their healthcare outside of the traditional physician-based healthcare system. And that may very well be a good thing. "Access to healthcare does not necessarily mean going to the doctor anymore," says health consultant Mary Kate Scott of Scott & Co. In her report for the California Health Foundation, Scott points to the rapid expansion of drugs and devices to test, monitor, and treat medical conditions without the physician office visit that defined access to healthcare a decade or two ago. In fact, a physician isn't required in the process at all.

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Bill Would Test Value-Based Insurance in Medicare

By: Les Masterson, for HealthLeaders Media, May 15, 2009

Legislation filed yesterday would create a demonstration project to test whether value-based insurance design can work in the Medicare population.

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State Prescription Monitoring System Protects Against Hackers

By: Dom Nicastro, for HealthLeaders Media, May 15, 2009

In light of the alleged hacking into a Virginia Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, one state is tweaking its Web site security.

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Proposed Rule Could Affect Nursing Facilities Negatively

By: MacKenzie Kimball , for HealthLeaders Media, May 18, 2009

A proposed Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services rule could have a negative impact on reimbursement for skilled nursing facilities. The proposed rule, released on May 1, calls to implement a new case-mix classification model, known as Resource Utilization Group, Version Four, for FY 2011. Some of the changes incorporated into RUG-IV significantly deviate from the currently used model, RUG-III.

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Medicare: Have We Tried Everything Yet?

By: Philip Betbeze, for HealthLeaders Media, May 15, 2009

Winston Churchill once said that you can depend on Americans to do the right thing—after they've tried everything else. With Medicare, we've tried just about everything else. So now what?

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