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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Daily news & Analysis

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White House Announces Small Business Tax Credit Provision for Worker Healthcare

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

An estimated 4 million small businesses could be eligible for federal tax credits under the new healthcare reform law that would assist them in covering health insurance costs for their employees, administration officials announced Monday. The tax credit, which has an effective date of Jan. 1, 2010, can cover up to 35% of the premiums a small business pays to cover its workers; by 2014, that rate will increase to 50%, and small business owners will have the chance to access plans through health insurance exchanges. Firms can claim credit for up to six years--2010 through 2013 and for any two years after that.

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Nine Hospitals to Pay $9.4M to Resolve Kyphoplasty-related Medicare False Claims

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

Nine hospitals in seven states will pay the federal government more than $9.4 million to settle whistleblower allegations that they overcharged Medicare for spinal kyphoplasty procedures, the Justice Department announced. The Department of Justice said in a media release that the settlements resolve allegations that the hospitals overcharged Medicare between 2000 and 2008 when performing kyphoplasty, a minimally-invasive procedure used to treat certain spinal fractures that often are due to osteoporosis.

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CA Report Says Half of Medicare and Medicaid Bills Pay for Care to Readmitted Patients

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

The cost of caring for patients who need readmission to California's acute care hospitals represents half of the Medicare and Medicaid bills incurred in the state, or $31 billion and $10 billion respectively for one year. That's according to a new report that looks at repeat patient admissions by age, region of the state, payer, and race. The report is one of the few in the country to track readmissions for 365 days after initial hospital discharge.

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Universal Health Services acquires Psychiatric Solutions in $3.1B deal

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

Universal Health Services, Inc. will acquire Psychiatric Solutions, Inc. in a deal that includes $2 billion to purchase PSI at $33.75 a share, and $1.1 billion to assume its debts, the two companies announced. Franklin, TN-based PSI is the nation's largest standalone operator of owned or leased freestanding psychiatric inpatient facilities with 94 facilities in 32 states, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. UHS owns or operates 25 acute care hospitals and 102 behavioral healthcare facilities and schools in 32 states, Washington, DC, and Puerto Rico.

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HHS Seeks Patient Feedback About HIT

By: Elyas Bakhtiari, for HealthLeaders Media, May 17, 2010

The Department of Health and Human Services is preparing two surveys that aim to gather information about patients' preferences and satisfaction with electronic health records and personal health records in order to improve nationwide HIT adoption efforts.

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Dartmouth gets $35M to establish Center for Health Care Delivery Science

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

Dartmouth College has received a $35 million anonymous gift to establish a multidisciplinary Center for Health Care Delivery Science, President Jim Yong Kim announced today.

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OSHA Poker: I'll See Your ATD Standard and Raise You One

By: David LaHoda, May 17, 2010

When Cal/OSHSA raised the healthcare workplace safety stakes by enforcing its aerosol transmissible disease standard last year, many OSHA watchers expected the agency to follow suit with a similar standard. Now it seems the feds are raising the stakes by two transmission modes.

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Shame on Wall Street, But Shame on Healthcare Leaders Too

By: Karen Minich-Pourshadi, for HealthLeaders Media, May 17, 2010

I'm more than a little irked by what I've been reading the past couple of days about the latest possible finance scandal.

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Whistleblowers Say Money Is Not Their Motivation

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

It would be reasonable to assume that the primary motive for whistleblowers is money. Not so, according to a recent survey.

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