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Monday, January 25, 2010

Daily news & Analysis

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Obama Continues to Push for Health Reform

By: Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, January 25, 2010

When President Obama steps to the podium for his State of the Union address Wednesday, he will not have a signed healthcare reform bill to hold up. But, despite a turn of events this past week in Massachusetts and signs of discontent in some parts of Congress, he still anticipates that healthcare reform legislation will prevail. On Friday, at a town hall meeting in Elyria, OH, he put the focus on health insurance practices and affordable care.

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Does Mandating Nurse-Patient Ratios Improve Care?

By: Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, January 25, 2010

As more than a dozen states consider laws to establish hospital nurse-to-patient ratios, what has been the experience in California—the first state to establish such a rule—since the policy took full effect in 2005? Do patients get better care, experience fewer adverse events, and have shorter lengths of stay and lower mortality? Are nurses doing a better job, and by extension, are doctors and other hospital workers? And how much has the increased expense affected hospitals' bottom lines? Unfortunately, a solid answer remains elusive.

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Accountable Care Organizations Featured in Both Health Reform Bills

By: Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, January 25, 2010

Since early last year, accountable care organizations have caught the attention of policymakers on Capitol Hill as a different way to deliver and pay for healthcare at the local level under current reform legislation. Under the House bill approved in November, provisions are included that call for incentive payment for pilots encouraging ACOs in both Medicare and Medicaid beginning in 2012. The Senate health reform bill allows for providers organized as ACOs that voluntarily meet quality thresholds to share in the cost savings they achieve for the Medicare program.

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Hospital C-suite Favors Hospitalist Growth, Says Survey

By: Karen M. Cheung, January 22, 2010

Hospital leaders in the C-suite support hospitalist program growth, according to a recent study. As hospitalists take on more roles in the hospital, rotating between the inpatient, emergency, and surgery floors, hospital leaders also support additional training for these physicians.

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Meteorite Crashes into Virginia Doctors' Office

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, January 22, 2010

The staff at a Lorton, VA family physician practice thought they were dealing with a malfunctioning heating duct when they heard what sounded like a small explosion in a vacant examination room. The explosion was actually caused by a grapefruit-sized meteorite that punched through the shingled dormer roof, insulation, and ceiling tiles on the one-story building, and came to rest in three large pieces on the concrete floor.

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California Program Uses Telemedicine to Reach Medically Underserved

By: Joe Cantlupe, for HealthLeaders Media, January 25, 2010

Doctor-patient interaction is the key to a new telemedicine pilot program with community centers in California. Under the California Telemedicine Pilot Project, more than 15 sites will be equipped to deliver telemedicine primary and specialty services using the networking system known as Cisco HealthPresence. The "care-at-a-distance" plan will allow patients to visit a center with high-definition cameras and electronic scopes linked to physicians who may be a long distance away.

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Healthcare Reform's Not Over by a Long Shot

By: Philip Betbeze, for HealthLeaders Media, January 22, 2010

You'd think from hearing from all the talking heads on the news channels over the past few days that health reform is dead. In reality, healthcare reform has likely been delayed, not defeated.

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