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Monday, June 21, 2010

Daily news & Analysis

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'Doc Fix' Vote Contains Unwelcome News for Hospitals

By: Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, June 21, 2010

After weeks of debate, the Senate finally agreed in a unanimous voice vote Friday to postpone a 21% decrease in Medicare and TRICARE physician reimbursements through a six-month period ending Nov. 30. But the vote comes with an unpleasant tradeoff for hospitals. The Senate approval to extend a $6.4 billion temporary "doc fix" deadline goes onto the House this week for reconciliation. The House had passed its bill with an amendment calling for a 19-month postponement through 2011 of the sustainable growth rate (SGR) before the Memorial Day recess.

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Senate Gives Doc Fix Six Month Reprieve, But 21% Cuts Go Into Effect Today

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, June 18, 2010

The U.S. Senate reached an 11th hour deal today and unanimously agreed to extend a $6.4 billion temporary "doc fix" deadline for 21% cuts in Medicare by another six months. However, the cuts still go into effect today because the U.S. House won't act on the measure until at least Monday.

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HHS Releases Final Rule for Temporary EHR Certification Program

By: Andrea Kraynak, for HealthLeaders Media, June 18, 2010

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology today released the EHR certification final rule, which outlines the program that certifies hospitals are meeting EHR "meaningful use" requirements in order to obtain incentive dollars.

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One of Every Nine Workers Has A Job Because of Hospitals

By: Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, June 21, 2010

Hospitals are not just places for sick people. In many communities, they represent economic stability, a major source of community employment, and an important staple for many other businesses and jobs. That's according to a new report from the American Hospital Association, which says that one in every nine jobs in the U.S. is due to the existence of hospitals.

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FIU College of Medicine Signs Affiliation Agreement with Broward Health

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, June 21, 2010

Broward Health and Florida International University's Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine today signed an affiliation agreement that will provide clinical training for students from the new Miami-based medical college. Broward Health is among the 10 largest public healthcare systems in the country, with five hospitals, an outpatient healthcare complex, and more than 30 facilities of the Community Health Services and Broward Health Physician Group.

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White House Announces Another $250 Million, This Time for Public Health Infrastructure and Prevention Efforts

By: Cheryl Clark, June 21, 2010

Just a few days after announcing it will fund $250 million to bolster the nation's workforce of primary care providers, the Obama administration on Friday announced another $250 million will augment efforts to expand prevention and public health infrastructure. "With these investments, we are tackling the underlying causes of chronic diseases as well as strengthening our ability to meet the public health challenges of the 21st century," said U.S. Surgeon General Regina M. Benjamin.

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New Jersey to Tackle Heart Failure Readmissions

By: Elyas Bakhtiari, for HealthLeaders Media, June 18, 2010

Healthcare organizations in New Jersey announced this week a new statewide initiative aimed at reducing hospital readmissions related to heart failure through better care and closer provider collaboration.

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Del Mar Medical Clinic joins Scripps Coastal Medical Center

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, June 18, 2010

Scripps Coastal Medical Center is expanding its primary care presence in San Diego County (CA) again with the acquisition of Del Mar Medical Clinic in a deal that will be finalized by Sept. 1, Scripps announced today.

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Could Nonprofit Hospitals Become an Endangered Species?

By: Philip Betbeze, for HealthLeaders Media, June 18, 2010

If hospitals are no longer having to spend huge amounts covering charity care and bad debt write-offs, will they be seen as a potentially big source of revenue not only for the feds but for state governments as well?

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