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Monday, December 21, 2009


Daily news & Analysis



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CBO: Revised Senate Reform Bill Will Cost $23B More Than Previous Plan

By: Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, December 21, 2009

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO), in its newest estimates on the Senate healthcare reform bill released on Saturday, said that gross cost would be roughly $23 billion higher ($871 billion) over the next 10 years with the new manager's amendments, compared to the $848 billion attached to the original bill presented last month.

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Some States Getting Preferential Treatment in Senate Reform Bill, Critics Charge

By: Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, December 21, 2009

Neither a record two-foot snowfall in Washington nor the gloom of night kept the Senate Democrats from voting 60-40 Monday after 1 a.m. on the first procedural vote to move ahead the Senate's healthcare reform bill. The vote puts the Senate in position to have a final vote on the bill by Christmas Eve. The issue that is likely to trigger major discussions this week is whether certain states are getting preferential treatment in the bill to ensure votes.

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Four Healthcare Stakeholders Voice Support, Concern for Senate Bill

By: Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, December 21, 2009

As the Senate heads for a potentially eventful week of debate and votes on health reform, a number of healthcare organizations are stepping forward with their support and opposition to the plan. Rich Umbdenstock, president and CEO of the American Hospital Association, said the AHA strongly supports the bill's "approach to increasing competition in the insurance market and providing more choices to patients," but has concerns about Medicare and Medicaid payment cuts.

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Autism Report Should Send Message to Pediatricians, Says Expert

By: Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, December 21, 2009

A new CDC report that about 1% of 8-year-olds have symptoms of autism spectrum disorder carries an important message for pediatricians, says Susan Hyman, MD, autism and developmental issues specialist for the American Academy of Pediatrics. "What this report is telling us is that ASD is not a rare disease. And that developmental surveillance and screening is an incredibly important part of well-child care," says Hyman.

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Potentially Preventable Hospitalizations Declining for Older Adults

By: Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, December 18, 2009

Rates of potentially preventable hospitalizations for diabetes, chronic respiratory conditions, chronic cardiac conditions, and acute conditions generally were higher for adults aged 65 or older than for younger adults in 2007, according to a new report. However, between 2003 and 2007, rates of potentially preventable hospitalizations declined faster among older adults than among younger adults.

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Nine States Get $72.6M HHS Bonus for Expanding Children's Coverage

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, December 18, 2009

Alabama will get a $39.1 million "performance bonus" for expanding enrollment and improving access to healthcare for children through Medicaid and CHIP, HHS announced. The Christmas bonus represents more than half of the $72.6 million in bonuses to nine states that was included in the Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization law, which also sets performance goals that states must meet to qualify for a bonus.

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NYC Home Health Agencies Pay $24M to Settle Medicaid Fraud Case

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, December 18, 2009

Three home health agencies in New York City will pay nearly $24 million to settle whistleblower allegations that they billed Medicaid for medical services provided by untrained aides. State and federal prosecutors say the three agencies used hundreds of home health aides who had received little or no required training to provide medical care for the city's elderly, frail, and indigent.

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Six Predictions for Healthcare Strategy in 2010

By: Philip Betbeze, for HealthLeaders Media, December 18, 2009

Here's a look into what my crystal ball is telling me for next year about healthcare business strategy.

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