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Friday, January 22, 2010

Daily news & Analysis

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Grassley Takes Aim at Hospitals' Problems with Health IT Implementation

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

Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa has asked 31 of the nation's largest hospitals and health systems to detail their problems implementing the $19 billion federal HIT program that was launched last year. Grassley said that his 11-question survey is a response to complaints he's heard from providers about administrative complications, formatting and usability issues, errors, and interoperability roadblocks.

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Congress Faces Insurance Exchange Dilemma

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

One provision that most likely will be included in the healthcare reform bill is the insurance exchange—an entity that initially lets individuals and small businesses purchase health insurance at reasonable prices. But getting there may not be so simple since the House and Senate bills remain divided on what type of exchange—state or federal?

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Kaiser Permanente Charges FDA Drug Approval Process Excludes Healthcare Providers

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

When the U.S. Food and Drug Administration evaluates new drug products for possible approval, the review process includes a risk-safety analysis known as Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies. Kaiser Permanente, the nation's largest publicly integrated healthcare delivery system, says the FDA has improperly excluded health insurers and others out of the REMS process, which was designed to improve drug safety. The REMS process has had a "substantial" impact on the healthcare delivery system, notably contributing to higher costs, Kaiser Permanente says.

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AMA, Other Groups Push to Kill Proposed Physician Pay Cut

By: Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, January 22, 2010

The American Medical Association joined hands with the Military Officers Association and the AARP Thursday in urging seniors to demand Congress kill a 21% physician pay cut scheduled for March 1. "Every time Congress kicks this can down the road and fails to permanently repeal the payment formula, the price tag grows," said Nancy Nielsen, MD, AMA past president. "Had Congress fixed this problem permanently in 2005, the price tag would have been $49 billion. Now the price tag has skyrocketed to $210 billion."

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Incentive-based Fitness Programs Reduce Health Costs, Study Shows

By: Joe Cantlupe, for HealthLeaders Media, January 21, 2010

Incentive-based health promotion programs enhance physical wellness and reduce healthcare costs, according to a new study. Participants who were active in fitness activities also were less frequently admitted to a hospital and the length of stay was significantly less, the study showed.

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Thankful English Florist Names Rose After Billings Clinic

By: Marianne Aiello, for HealthLeaders Media, January 21, 2010

The new healing garden at Billings (MT) Clinic may soon boast a unique perennial—a namesake rose. The future Billings Clinic rose is a gift from John Greensitt, a Billings patient, who runs Nostell Priory Rose Gardens, one of the largest rose wholesalers in England. Greensitt was so moved by the heart care he recently received at the facility that he decided to name a rose after the clinic and donate a portion of the profits to the organization.

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How Wasteful is Your Care Delivery?

By: Elyas Bakhtiari, for HealthLeaders Media, January 21, 2010

The long debate about how to curb escalating healthcare costs has shed light on just how important physician decisions—and the clinical process from start to finish—are to overall cost control.

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Episode-Based Payments: Finding A New Way to Pay for Quality Care

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

While many questions still surround episode-based payments, they show promise in terms of promoting quality care.

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