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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Daily news & Analysis

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Senate Bill Clears Second Hurdle; Christmas Eve Vote Expected

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

The Senate passed the second of three key procedural votes on the healthcare reform bill by a 60-39 vote along party lines on Tuesday morning. A third procedural vote is expected Wednesday afternoon to limit debate on the healthcare bill. A final vote is anticipated on Christmas Eve.

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Feds Investigating Prescription Drug Price Increases

By: Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, December 23, 2009

Health and Human Services Inspector General Daniel Levinson has agreed to a request from Sen. Bill Nelson to look into charges that 96% of wholesale prices of brand-name prescription drugs were sharply increased in anticipation of healthcare reform. The investigation will look at how high prices are impacting Medicare and Medicaid.

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The Five Best Things and Five Worst Things About Healthcare in 2009

By: Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, December 23, 2009

The year 2009 was an eventful, some would even say historic, year in healthcare. Washington spent most of the year cobbling together healthcare reform legislation, but those in the healthcare industry didn't sit by and wait for lawmakers to develop solutions to the healthcare system. Here's a list of the five best and five worst developments in healthcare in 2009.

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Ohio Hospital Program Increases Interaction Between Nurses, Patients

By: Sarah Kearns, for HealthLeaders Media, December 22, 2009

Sheryl Tripp, MSN, RN-BC, nurse manager for the gynecology/gynecology-oncology surgical unit at Riverside Methodist Hospital in Columbus, OH, led an effort to implement a new reporting process, Transferring Accountability at the Bedside, that includes an interaction between nurses ending and beginning shifts. The new process has improved the unit's Press Ganey scores dramatically, Tripp says.

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Hospital Leaders: How to Add Value to Healthcare

By: Jim Molpus, for HealthLeaders Media, December 17, 2009

The current relationship between hospitals and physicians has been built around rewarding for volume of services and not quality. That model is breaking down as reformers in Washington have hospital and physician inefficiency in their sights, with Medicare pushing toward value-based purchasing and experimenting with a payment system that rewards a system of coordinated care. In this HealthLeaders Media Breakthroughs report that you can download for free, four leading hospital systems—Gundersen Lutheran Health System, Sanford Health-MeritCare, SSM Health Care, and Virginia Mason Medical Center—share the lessons they have learned about adding quality to healthcare.

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Alleged Unlicensed Health Insurer, Affiliates Told to Stop Doing Business in FL

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, December 22, 2009

The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation has ordered a British Virgin Islands-based health insurer and its affiliates to stop doing business in the state, after an investigation determined that the company was reportedly operating without a license. The company, identified as American Assurance Underwriters Group, and affiliates Worldwide Expatriate Administrators LLC, and Worldwide Expatriate Advisors LLC, use offices in Florida and sell health insurance directly through a Web site.

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CMS Plans MDS 3.0 Training for Skilled Nursing Facilities

By: MacKenzie Kimball, for HealthLeaders Media, December 23, 2009

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services eased some skilled nursing facilities' concerns about preparing for the Minimum Data Set 3.0 by announcing a variety of training opportunities that will take place over the next year. According to CMS officials, the agency is still on schedule for the October 1, 2010 implementation of the new resident assessment tool.

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