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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Daily news & Analysis

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Co-opting Public Plans

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, August 20, 2009

If the public plan option is dead—and many members of Congress and virtually every political observer say it is—President Obama may instead press for the creation of local health insurance co-operatives so he can declare victory in the healthcare reform war and go home. The problem is that a lot of people believe co-ops create as many problems as they hope to solve.

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18 Medication Management Measures Released by National Quality Forum

By: Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, August 20, 2009

The National Quality Forum has endorsed 18 measures for managing over-the-counter and prescription medications. The new measures, which are among the first to be endorsed for medication management, assess prescribing and use of appropriate medications and medication adherence, reconciliation, and monitoring for a variety clinical conditions.

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Many Hospitalized Patients Leave Facilities Against Medical Advice

By: Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, August 20, 2009

A report that 39% more patients left their hospital beds against medical advice in 2007 compared with 10 years earlier caught one of the nation's leading hospital quality experts off guard. "We had understood this is a growing problem, but these numbers and changes are significant and surprising," says James Conway, senior vice president for the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, adding that he understands "the circumstances that are allowing this to be the case."

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CMS Plans National Quality Indicator Survey implementation

By: MacKenzie Kimball , for HealthLeaders Media, August 19, 2009

Eleven states are currently at various points in the Quality Indicator Survey implementation process, and CMS has announced that the rollout will continue with each remaining state (and the District of Columbia, the Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico) required to initiate training and eventually employ the QIS in full.

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Docs Say Goodbye to Bureaucracy, Hello Health

By: Cynthia Johnson, August 19, 2009

With the debate over healthcare reform raging, some physicians are carving out their own path to reform that involves eliminating barriers to care and improving the doctor-patient relationship through the use of technology.

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Most Hospitals Smoke Free by the End of '09

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, August 20, 2009

The majority of the nation's hospitals will be smoke-free campuses by the end of 2009, according to a new report from The Joint Commission. The study—The Adoption of Smoke-Free Hospital Campuses in the United States—is the first to examine the national prevalence of smoke-free hospital campus policies.

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The Joint Commission Gets Two New Appointees Representing Hospitals

By: Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, August 20, 2009

The American Hospital Association appointed two new executives to fill positions on the 29-member Joint Commission Board of Commissioners. Their three-year terms begin in January.

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Health Reform Is Useless Without Behavior Change

By: Les Masterson, for HealthLeaders Media, August 19, 2009

All of this talk about reducing healthcare costs through reform is a waste of time unless the American population takes responsibility for their own health.

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What Is Really Scaring Americans About Advance Directives?

By: Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, August 19, 2009

Is anyone else having trouble understanding why so many people seem so angry or at least nervous about "advance directives" provisions in the Energy and Commerce Committee's health reform proposal?

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In Healthcare Reform Ad Wars, One Tactic Emerging as Winner

By: Gienna Shaw, for HealthLeaders Media, August 19, 2009

The healthcare reform ad wars continue to heat up, with the estimated total spending for the past six months hitting $57 million. Which ones do you think worked best?

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