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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Daily news & Analysis

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Hospital Leaders Give Strategies to Remove ED Bottlenecks

By: Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, February 24, 2010

Appointing emergency room "czars" to manage hospital beds, placing patients in recliners if they don't need an ED bed, and contracting with whole physician groups to take responsibility for ED calls are three strategies that can help hospitals remove bottlenecks that waste acute care resources. Likewise, explaining specific timeframes to patients and using volunteers to help answer patients' questions can improve the emergency room patient's experience. Creative thinkers in emergency medicine described these and many other ideas during the first HealthLeaders Media Rounds Tuesday at Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla, CA.

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Docs Worried as Payment Cut Deadline Nears

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, February 24, 2010

Despite a stepped-up lobbying effort over the past months, leading physicians' groups appear resigned and exasperated with the idea that Congress will not take permanent action to fix the sustainable growth rate formula before 21% reimbursement cuts for Medicare take effect March 1. While all but surrendering hope for a permanent solution to end the annual "doc fix" on Capitol Hill, physicians now wonder if an 11th hour temporary fix is doable.

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Obama's New Health Insurance Rate Authority Faces Resistance

By: Joe Cantlupe, for HealthLeaders Media, February 24, 2010

Creation of a nationwide authority to put a lid on insurance rate hikes is one of the newest elements of President Obama's healthcare reform plan, but the proposal already faces resistance from state insurance officials and the private insurance industry. Under the plan announced by the White House on Monday, a new Health Insurance Rate Authority would provide federal assistance and oversight for states to conduct reviews of "unreasonable rate increases and unfair practices" of insurance companies.

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Four Ways Obama Would Fund Health Reform Plan

By: Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, February 24, 2010

The healthcare reform proposal released by President Obama on Monday has some similarities—and some differences—to the Senate reform bill concerning how costs will be covered in the $950 billion bill. Obama's plan includes these four ways to fund the nearly $1 trillion plan.

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New Joint Commission Standard Defines Medical Interpreters

By: Heather Comak, for HealthLeaders Media, February 24, 2010

One of the most vital parts of providing adequate healthcare is the exchange of information between patient and caregiver. Without clear communication, it can be difficult, and even dangerous, to treat a patient. For patients who have limited English proficiency, as well as providers, the presence of a medical interpreter can allay fears about care. Most importantly, using a qualified medical interpreter to assist with communication keeps patients safe.

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Disease Education Program Leads to More Revenue for Hospital

By: Matt Phillion, for HealthLeaders Media, February 23, 2010

Hospitals look for ways to improve patient education all the time. Once in a while, this education pays dividends on multiple levels—such as the case of Parrish Medical Center in Boca Raton, FL. Parrish Medical Center found that a significant portion of the hospital's patient population had Peripheral Arterial Disease and an education program led to downstream revenue of nearly $500,000 through repeat visits for follow-up care and unrelated tests.

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Hospitals Shouldn't Get Stingy with Disinfectants, Says Study

By: Evan Sweeney, for HealthLeaders Media, February 23, 2010

A recent study found that certain organisms can actually become less susceptible to both disinfectants and antibiotics. Although it was an experiment conducted in a laboratory with just one disinfectant, one strain, and one antibiotic, one expert says the effects of this experiment are very real for healthcare facilities.

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EMR Adoption: Starting to Evolve or Still Stuck in the Past?

By: Gienna Shaw, for HealthLeaders Media, February 23, 2010

There have certainly been many developments in EHR implementation—but where do we stand on EHR resistance in 2010?

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Helping Older Nurses Stay in the Workforce

By: Rebecca Hendren, for HealthLeaders Media, February 23, 2010

Nursing leadership can help older nurses stay in the workforce as long as they want by making simple adjustments to the work environment.

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