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Monday, February 22, 2010

Daily news & Analysis

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Obama Reform Plan Will Likely Target Insurer Rate Increases

By: Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, February 22, 2010

President Obama used his weekly radio address Saturday to encourage Democratic and Republican leaders to attend Thursday's meeting in Washington to discuss a healthcare reform package. But, at the same time, he signaled that he will be taking a hard line against health insurance companies that implement steep hikes in their premiums.

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Nurses Associations Look for New Protections, Federal Laws to Protect Nurse Whistleblowers

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, February 22, 2010

The quick acquittal earlier this month of Texas whistleblower Anne Mitchell, RN, has nursing organizations relieved, but also pressing ahead with remedies to prevent a similar case. Alice Bodley, general counsel for the American Nurses Association, says only 22 states have whistleblower protections "specifically geared toward healthcare workers."

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Hospitals Will Soon Have Access to More Non-Physician Information

By: Elizabeth Jones, February 19, 2010

On March 1, hospitals will have access to non-physician practitioner information after the Health Resources and Services Administration issued changes to Section 1921 of the Social Security Act that requires state licensing agencies to report non-physician and non-dentist practitioners to the National Practitioner Data Bank for any adverse licensure actions.

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Federal Committee Recommends Changes to EHR Meaningful Use Rule

By: Andrea Kraynak, for HealthLeaders Media, February 22, 2010

The conversation continues regarding the effectiveness, appropriateness, and reasonableness of the EHR meaningful use criteria proposed earlier this year. The Health Information Technology Policy Committee, a federal advisory committee, recommended many changes, some significant, to the EHR meaningful use proposed rule in a recent draft letter to National Coordinator for Health Information Technology David Blumenthal.

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CMS: Physician Quality Reporting Initiative is Getting Easier

By: Joe Cantlupe, for HealthLeaders Media, February 22, 2010

Facing criticism about Medicare's Physician Quality Reporting Initiative, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services officials acknowledged that the PQRI is "difficult and time consuming." Medicare officials say they are working to make the PQRI easier to use.

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SEIU Wants Grand Jury Probe of Miami's Jackson Health System

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

The union representing 5,000 nurses, doctors, and other healthcare workers at Jackson Health System in Miami has asked a state grand jury to investigate alleged mismanagement that union officials say has the public hospital on the brink of financial ruin.

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Massachusetts Hospital Will Pay $2.8M to Settle Rehab Case

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

Mercy Medical Center in Springfield, MA, agreed to pay almost $2.8 million to settle claims it failed to document, or failed to provide the minimum number of hours of rehabilitation therapy between 2005 and 2006, which are required under Medicare guidelines, the Justice Department said.

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Federal Leaders Can Learn From States' Health Reform, Say Governors

By: Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, February 22, 2010

The National Governors Association, meeting in Washington this past weekend, took an inward and instructive look at how healthcare reform actions worked—and sometimes failed to work—in their states. But one underlying idea threaded through their comments: Healthcare costs need to be controlled.

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In Defense of a Healthcare Slasher

By: Philip Betbeze, for HealthLeaders Media, February 19, 2010

The CEO of Atlanta's Grady Health System is a man on a mission, and that mission is keeping the city's safety net institution from falling irrevocably into ruin.

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CEOs Get the Cost Message Loud and Clear

By: February 19, 2010

Chris Jedrey, a partner with the law firm of McDermott Will & Emery, discusses the setback on healthcare reform legislation and whether that will also set back health organizations' focus on cost and quality issues.

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