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Monday, April 19, 2010

Daily news & Analysis

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Large Patient Information Breaches Skyrocket

By: Dom Nicastro, for HealthLeaders Media, April 16, 2010

The number of entities reporting breaches of unsecured PHI affecting 500 or more individuals has doubled since the agency that enforces the HIPAA privacy and security rules first posted them on its Web site two months ago.

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Obama Calls for Lifting Hospital Visitor Restrictions

By: Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, April 16, 2010

The White House is requesting that Health and Human Services Secretary Katherine Sebelius initiate rulemaking to lift restrictions on unrelated visitors to act as surrogate decision-makers and to visit hospitalized patients.

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OCR Will Post Names of Private Practices That Violate HIPAA

By: Dom Nicastro, for HealthLeaders Media, April 16, 2010

The Office of Civil Rights confirmed in an e-mail to HealthLeaders Media Friday afternoon that it will begin posting on its breach notification Web site the names of entities they consider "individuals" regardless of whether or not those entities give consent.

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Should Doctors Explain Their Board Certification to Patients?

By: Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, April 19, 2010

Jack Bruner, MD, former member of the California Medical Board and a board certified plastic surgeon in Sacramento, CA, insists doctors should inform their patients whether they are board certified, and by which board, "because there is massive consumer confusion as to the qualifications of practitioners, and patients are being hurt because of it." Some California lawmakers think he has a point and are considering legislation that would mandate the practice statewide for any physician, osteopath or podiatrist. If board certified, he or she would have to say so. If not, they might have to say that too.

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Avoid Lawsuits by Allowing Whistleblowers to Voice Concerns Internally

By: Emily Berry, April 19, 2010

No CEO wants to see his hospital's name splashed across newspaper headlines because of a high-profile court case. One of the ways to avoid court cases is to allow employees to voice their concerns, through a regulated, internal process designed to protect both the hospital and whistleblower. Strengthening internal whistleblower policies is a good way for hospitals to identify and correct mistakes, and to retain valuable employees who see areas for improvement in the current processes.

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Senate Panel: Insurers Spending Too Much on Overhead

By: Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, April 19, 2010

Health insurers' medical loss ratios (MLR) in many markets are still falling far below the minimum levels of what they will need to spend under health reform signed into law last month by President Obama. These new medical-loss ratio floors go into effect on Jan. 1, 2011, according to a new report released by Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee.

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NIH Director Raps American College of Pediatricians for Distorting Research on Homosexuality

By: John Commins, April 16, 2010

National Institute of Health Director Francis S. Collins, MD, has accused the conservative American College of Pediatricians of distorting his research on homosexuality. Collins was referring to a March 31 letter that the ACP President Thomas Benton, MD, sent to 14,800 school district superintendents in the United States concerning homosexuality and gender confusion in teenagers.

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Protecting Your Good Name

By: Philip Betbeze, for HealthLeaders Magazine, April 8, 2010

Guarding against brand damage is difficult but not impossible under joint venture arrangements.

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In-Store Clinics: If You Can't Beat Them, Should You Join Them?

By: Philip Betbeze, for HealthLeaders Media, April 16, 2010

Some hospitals and most physician offices are worried about the proliferation of in-store clinics, and have been for some time now. But they're not going away.

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