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Monday, May 24, 2010

Daily news & Analysis

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Reform Law Could Extend Insurance to 37 Million Young Adults

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

Young adults between the ages of 19 and 29 have represented one of the largest segments of the U.S. population without health insurance—accounting for up to 30% of the 46 million uninsured people under age 65. But this could be changing soon as many of the 13.7 million currently uninsured young adults gain coverage under the new healthcare reform law, according to a new study from The Commonwealth Fund.

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Lawsuit: Red Flags Rule Violates Doctor/Patient Relationship

By: Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, May 21, 2010

Medical and osteopathic associations today sued the Federal Trade Commission for covering them under the Red Flags Rule, which will require them to start verifying their patients' true identities before they agree to treat them, starting June 1.

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The Christ Hospital, Health Alliance Pay $108M to Settle Whistleblower Suit

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

The Health Alliance of Greater Cincinnati and The Christ Hospital will pay $108 million to settle a federal whistleblower suit alleging that the hospital ran a kickback scheme with physicians to funnel patients to its cardiac care center, the Department of Justice announced. Susan Croushore, president/CEO of The Christ Hospital, said the hospital and HAGC dispute the government's allegations, which also include violations of the False Claims Act, but signed the agreement "instead of risking a potential catastrophic judgment that could jeopardize our ability to provide service to this community."

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Doc Groups Respond Over Proposal to Extend SGR Delay Three More Years

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

Several major medical groups are expressing mixed reactions about a congressional proposal to delay a 21% cut in Medicare reimbursements when the latest exemption to the sustainable growth rate payment cut runs out June 1. Under the measure inserted in HR 4213, the "American Jobs and Closing Tax," the SGR cut in Medicare payment would be delayed until 2014. As proposed, the measure calls for a 1.3% increase for physicians beginning June 1, followed by a 1% payment update starting Jan. 1, 2011.

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House Also Considers COBRA Extension, Healthcare Fraud

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

While news about the proposed so-called "doc fix"—a proposed delay for three more years for any physician payment cuts using the Sustainable Growth Rate formula—has dominated discussions in the $190 billion jobs and tax bill (HR 4213) the House plans to vote on this week, numerous other healthcare-related provisions have been attached to the bill as well.

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Hospital Satisfaction Drops While Overall Consumer Satisfaction Rises

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

Americans' satisfaction with the hospital industry dropped 5% between the first quarters of 2009 and 2010, falling to its lowest level in five years, according to the American Consumer Satisfaction Index.

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Three Essential Steps To Deal With Disruptive Practitioners

By: Emily Berry, May 21, 2010

Unchecked bad behavior among practitioners can lead to anything from dings on accreditation surveys to costly legal battles with patients. Medical staffs looking to improve their disruptive behavior policies may use the following three tips as a starting point.

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Maryland Program Provides Road Map for Reducing Patient Falls

By: Heather Comak, for HealthLeaders Media, May 21, 2010

More than two dozen hospitals are participating in the Maryland Patient Safety Center's SAFE from FALLS initiative. The project has been providing facilities around the state with a road map for forming a comprehensive falls prevention program since July 2009.

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Patient Information Breaches: Leadership's Responsibility

By: Philip Betbeze, for HealthLeaders Media, May 21, 2010

Given the almost weekly news item about embarrassing and costly patient health information breaches in healthcare, I felt it was time to mention protecting this data is YOUR responsibility.

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