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Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Daily news & Analysis



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10 Reasons Health Providers Give Thanks

By: Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, November 25, 2009

Imagine if health reform stakeholders attended a Thanksgiving feast, a Norman Rockwell-like scene of commotion might ensue. At first, hospitals and doctors might argue over which game to watch on TV. Or they might jockey for who gets to sit at the head of the table. Physician and hospital leaders all might express thanks, including these 10 reasons health providers should be thankful.

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CDC Warns Community-acquired MRSA Threat is Growing

By: Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, November 25, 2009

Hospital outpatient settings are grappling with a rate of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus that has doubled between 1999 and 2006, an increase caused almost entirely by community-acquired bacteria strains, according to a new CDC report. The rapid rate of infection spread threatens inpatient settings as well.

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Senate Reform Bill Would Expand RAC Program

By: Andrea Kraynak, for HealthLeaders Media, November 24, 2009

The Senate health reform bill would broaden the current RAC program to cover Medicare Part C and D as well as the Medicaid program—and all by December 31, 2010. Similar to the current Medicare RAC program, the Medicaid RACs would be paid by contingency fee to identify under- and overpayments, and would recoup those overpayments.

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Moody's Warns Healthcare Reform Could Harm Hospital Credit Ratings

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, November 24, 2009

Cuts in Medicare reimbursements that are likely to be part of any healthcare reform legislation could adversely impact credit ratings for hospitals and health systems across the country, particularly in urban areas, according to new analysis by Moody's Investor Service. The study noted the conflicting goals of healthcare reform—expanding access to care while simultaneously reducing costs—could have significant negative implications for many high-cost urban hospitals.

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GAO Finds Problems with CMS' Contract Controls

By: Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, November 25, 2009

"Pervasive deficiencies" are plaguing the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' internal controls over contracts, a situation which increases "the risk of improper payments or waste," according to a report made public Tuesday by the U.S. Government Accountability Office. The agency found that based on a random sample of 2008 CMS contract actions, "at least 84.3% of fiscal year 2008 contract actions contained at least one instance where a key control was not adequately implemented."

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HHS Will Spend $80M to Train HIT Support

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, November 24, 2009

Understanding that there is a lack of qualified technical workers, Health and Human Services said it will make $80 million in grants available to develop the nation's healthcare information technology workforce. Community colleges will get $70 million of the grant money to develop training programs, and the remaining $10 million will be used to develop educational materials to support those programs, HHS said.

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High-tech Mannequins Give Nurses Real-life Experience

By: Sarah Kearns, for HealthLeaders Media, November 24, 2009

Many facilities across the nation are investing in state-of-the art technology that allows students and staff members to gain real life experience without the fear of killing a patient. Even though many facilities have been forced to cut back on their programs and spending, the price of the high-priced mannequin has not deterred facilities from purchasing the state-of-the-art technology.

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