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Monday, June 22, 2009

Daily news & Analysis

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House's Health Reform Draft Features Public Option

By: Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, June 19, 2009

Representatives of the three House committees with oversight of healthcare reform released an 852-page discussion draft today, which is light on details on how it will be paid for, but includes a public insurance option.

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Drug Industry Agrees to Fund Portion of Medicare Doughnut Hole

By: Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, June 22, 2009

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, following negotiations with lawmakers, said in an agreement announced this weekend that they would spend $80 billion over the next decade to assist Medicare beneficiaries and defray drug costs. Under the deal, drug companies would pay as much as half of the cost of brand name drugs for lower and middle income seniors in the so called Medicare doughnut hole, which is a gap in prescription coverage in which the beneficiary pays the full price for medication without help from Medicare.

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Feds Provide $6 billion for CHIP Expansion

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, June 19, 2009

The Department of Health and Human Services today released $6 billion in new Children's Health Insurance Program funds that is expected to expand coverage to an additional 4 million children this year.

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Tracer Methodology Improves Patient Care Process

By: Matt Phillion, for HealthLeaders Media, June 19, 2009

Tracer methodology, used by The Joint Commission since 2004, has increased the focus on the patient care process at the point of care.

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Educated Guesswork, Pressure on Vendors Help Determine Pandemic Supply Levels

By: Scott Wallask, for HealthLeaders Media, June 19, 2009

Medical center purchasing departments, perhaps worried about the prospects of a long-term H1N1 outbreak, recently tried to stock up on supplies, which occasionally led to competition among hospitals and even within hospitals to get the orders in first.

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Is FDA Providing Enough Oversight of Pacemakers?

By: Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, June 22, 2009

The failure of the Food and Drug Administration to take stronger action in both premarket and postmarket oversight of Class III medical devices—which includes pacemakers and replacement heart valves—is raising serious concerns about the organization's regulation of those devices, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office.

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Consumer and Employee Satisfaction Improves in U.S. Nursing Homes

By: MacKenzie Kimball , for HealthLeaders Media, June 22, 2009

Despite the toll the recession has taken on many of our nation's nursing homes, customer and employee satisfaction increased last year, according to the 2008 National Survey of Consumer and Workforce Satisfaction in Nursing Homes by My InnerView. The recent report details the results of satisfaction surveys completed by employees, residents, and family members in 5,075 U.S. nursing homes in 2008.

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Obama's Speech a Good Start

By: Philip Betbeze, for HealthLeaders Media, June 19, 2009

I give the president high marks for trying to tackle some of the seemingly intractable systemic problems that affect healthcare today.

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