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Friday, August 20, 2010

Daily news & Analysis

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HHS Reports on Public Health Emergency Countermeasures

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

The Department of Health and Human Services' report reviews how to improve the federal government's system to produce and utilize medications, vaccines, equipment, and supplies in case of a public health emergency.

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NAIC Approves Medical Loss Ratio Template

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

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners' Executive Committee unanimously approved the "blanks" template this week at its annual meeting in Seattle. The template provides insight into what can be considered a medical expense under the minimum medical-loss ratio requirements.

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Healthcare Data Breaches Lag Other Industries

By: Dom Nicastro, for HealthLeaders Media, August 20, 2010

Healthcare accounted for the least amount of data breaches in a joint Verizon and US Secret Service report.  The industry represented just 3% of breaches, while financial services accounted for the most at 33%. The report also found that 96% of breaches were avoidable through simple or immediate controls.

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Palliative Care for Cancer Patients Prolongs Life, Study Finds

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

Researchers found that among patients with end-stage metastatic non-small-cell lung cancer, early palliative care also led to significant improvements in quality of life compared to patients who received standard care.

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CDC Data Demonstrates Need for Urgent Care, Group Says

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, August 20, 2010

The Urgent Care Association of America says its member clinics can treat the vast majority of issues that are not life or limb-threatening emergencies—at a lower cost and usually with shorter wait times than hospital emergency departments.

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Insurance Industry Sues to Halt Anti-Rescission Rules in CA

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

California's insurance commissioner is fighting a complaint by the state's insurance regulators who seek to invalidate new rules to prevent health policy rescissions.

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Diabetes Prescription Program Targets Nutrition

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

In a study released this month by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, a startling finding was reported: one in five hospitalizations involved patients with diabetes. As one way to tackle this ongoing epidemic, a new pilot was unveiled last week in Chicago that calls for adult diabetic patients to receive a different kind of prescription from their physicians—one for fresh, healthy foods sold through a local well-known retailer.

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Cardiology's Final Frontier: Confronting CTO

By: Joe Cantlupe, for HealthLeaders Media, August 19, 2010

Retrograde and antegrade angioplasty for the treatment of complex chronic total occlusion and has been dubbed by some academics the "last frontier" of cardiac intervention. A leading practioner of the procedure is Dimitri Karmpaliotis, MD of Atlanta's Piedmont Heart Institute.

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