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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Daily news & Analysis

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The Great CBO Debate: Does Reform Bill Cut or Create Costs?

By: Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, December 1, 2009

The Congressional Budget Office on Monday released its latest analysis of the Senate healthcare reform bill, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and depending on what side of the aisle you listen to, it will either reduce—or increase—health insurance premiums in several years. The CBO was responding to a request from Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN) about how health reform proposals would impact premiums paid for health insurance in various markets.

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White House Trumpets Cost Controls in Legislation

By: Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, November 30, 2009

As the Senate begins the floor debate on the healthcare reform bill, one issue that will be threaded through the debate is how effective reform measures will be in containing healthcare costs. But are the cost-containing mechanisms there?

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AHA: Burden of Undercompensated Care Continues To Climb

By: Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, December 1, 2009

Medicare and Medicaid underpayments to the nation's hospitals relative to the cost of care rose more than eight-fold, from $3.8 billion in 2000 to $32.4 billion in 2008, the American Hospital Association reported in its latest release of annual reimbursement fact sheets. The difference is borne by payments from health plans and other government and private payers, says Caroline Steinberg, AHA vice president for trends analysis.

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Medical Trade Center Slated for Nashville

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, November 30, 2009

Nashville will be home to the world's first medical trade center, state and city officials announced today. The Nashville Medical Trade Center will be located on the site of the existing downtown Nashville Convention Center. Developers estimate the cost of the project to be in the neighborhood of $250 million and estimate it will create approximately 2,700 new jobs.

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Hospital Bans Flowers to Minimize Infections, Clutter

By: Marianne Aiello, for HealthLeaders Media, November 30, 2009

A new policy decision made by a Northern England hospital has struck a chord among a unique niche: florists. The 650-bed York Hospital announced it will ban flowers from all patient rooms beginning December 1 in an attempt to curb infections—and clutter.

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Stryker Pays $525M for Ascent Healthcare Solutions

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, November 30, 2009

Medical technology company Stryker Corp. said today it has acquired the privately held medical device remanufacturer Ascent Healthcare Solutions, Inc. in a $525 million cash transaction. The acquisition will become a division of Stryker operating under the MedSurg group of businesses and will continue to be known as Ascent Healthcare Solutions.

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Stericycle Agrees to Sell Some of its Businesses to Complete MedServe Acquisition

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, December 1, 2009

Stericycle Inc. says it has agreed to a Department of Justice demand to sell off some of its medical waste collection businesses in four states to settle an antitrust lawsuit and finalize its $182.5 million acquisition of MedServe Inc. DoJ's Antitrust Division said in a media release that the acquisition "as originally proposed, would substantially lessen competition in infectious waste collection and treatment services to hospitals and other critical healthcare facilities in Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Oklahoma, resulting in higher prices and reduced service."

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HMA Acquires Arkansas Hospital

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, December 1, 2009

Health Management Associates, Inc., has acquired the 492-bed Sparks Health System in Fort Smith, AR. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Naples, FL-based HMA owns and operates 55 hospitals, with approximately 8,400 licensed beds, in non-urban communities located throughout the United States.

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If the Dirt Flies, the Recession is Actually Over

By: Karen Minich-Pourshadi, for HealthLeaders Media, November 30, 2009

If the economy has really buried its woes, then the shovels will be out and the dirt will be flying.

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Highmark Joins On-Site Clinic Movement

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, November 30, 2009

Highmark Inc., following the lead of companies like Toyota and Disney, has opened on-site healthcare clinics and pharmacies for its 10,000 or so employees at its two main operations centers.

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