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Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Daily news & Analysis



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Seven Health, Political Leaders Respond to Berwick's Nomination to Lead CMS

By: Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, April 20, 2010

After several weeks of rumors and discussions, President Obama made it official on Monday and nominated Donald Berwick, MD, to be the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services administrator—a position that has been unfilled for nearly 4 years. Here's what other leaders throughout the healthcare and political communities are saying about Berwick's nomination.

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CMS Proposes Cutting Inpatient Payments by 0.1%

By: Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, April 20, 2010

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services issued on Monday a hospital inpatient and long term care prospective payment system proposed rule for fiscal 2011 that would cut average inpatient payments by 0.1%. The proposed rule includes an initial market basket update of 2.4% for those hospitals that submit data on quality measures; hospitals not submitting any data would receive a 0.4% update.

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Physicians Claim Doc Rating System is Misleading Patients

By: Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, April 20, 2010

A coalition of 35,000 California physicians Monday angrily withdrew its participation in Blue Shield's new "Blue Ribbon" rating system saying it will harm the reputations of good practitioners by giving patients misleading and faulty data about their care. In a statement, the California Medical Association said the system will provoke doctors "to order tests or procedures that have already been done," and will score doctors on data that often is not relevant because it is based only on billing claims.

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Better Nurse-Patient Ratios Could Save Thousands of Lives Annually, Says Study

By: Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, April 20, 2010

If California's mandatory nurse-patient ratios had been in effect in Pennsylvania and New Jersey hospitals in 2006, those states would have seen 10.6% and 13.9% fewer deaths among general surgical patients, according to a Pennsylvania researcher's analysis. That equated to 468 lives that might have been saved, says Linda Aiken, director of the Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing and the study's lead author.

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Leading CPOE: Whose Job Is It?

By: Carrie Vaughan, for HealthLeaders Magazine, April 8, 2010

The clock is ticking for organizations to implement CPOE. Having clearly defined roles for clinical and technology staff can smooth the transition.

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Joint Commission Reinstates Anti-Discrimination Requirements

By: Matt Phillion, for HealthLeaders Media, April 19, 2010

The Joint Commission has announced it will reinstate an anti-discrimination requirement that had been removed. As of July 1, 2010, this requirement—deleted originally in 2003 with the thought that it was covered under other, existing standards—will be reinstated because of research on who those requirements cover.

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Rightsizing Your Physician Practice's Staff

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, April 19, 2010

Adequate staffing is one of the more complicated and important issues in healthcare. It's a nettlesome problem that every practice manager will face at one or more points in his or her career. The issue gets cloudier when you factor in the dearth of qualified clinicians in most areas of the nation and try to determine the impact of healthcare reform and the adaptation of meaningful use for EMRs in your physician practice.

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EHRs Can Improve Patient Care Through Electronic Documentation

By: Andrea Kraynak, for HealthLeaders Media, April 19, 2010

Physicians need to take control of technology. EHR documentation can be dictated by billing rules and legal requirements, or by your need to describe your patients and provide quality care, according to the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Could You Save $3 Million By Putting Your Budget on a Diet?

By: Karen Minich-Pourshadi, for HealthLeaders Media, April 19, 2010

Budgeting is a lot like dieting—no one likes to do either, but most of us know there is value in taking action when we've gone astray.

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Random Thoughts, Prognostications on Andy Stern's Abrupt Departure from SEIU

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, April 19, 2010

Regardless of how you feel about Andy Stern, president of the SEIU, there is no denying that he is the most important labor leader of his generation. So, it came as a surprise when he announced last week that he would resign.

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