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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Daily news & Analysis

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Hospitals in Nine States Jeopardize Patient Safety With Lack of H1N1 Readiness

By: Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, August 27, 2009

Lack of sufficient safety gear, infection control training, and knowledge of post-exposure procedures are jeopardizing H1N1 readiness in hospitals in at least nine states, according to a new survey.

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Latest CBO Estimates Show Need to Tackle Rising Healthcare Costs

By: Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, August 26, 2009

Whether the deficits separately forecasted in mid-year reviews by the Congressional Budget Office and the White House on Tuesday spell a threat to healthcare reform initiatives on Capitol Hill probably will depend on an individual's political slant. Agreement, though, emerged that immediate action was needed now to stem costs related to escalating Medicare and Medicaid costs.

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Can Healthcare Reform Become Reality Without Sen. Kennedy?

By: Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, August 27, 2009

Since he was elected in 1962, Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA), who died Tuesday, has been a tireless fighter for healthcare reforms. But with his passing, will the reforms he had long sought become reality without his leadership?

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First Approved Issues for RAC Review in Region B Posted

By: Andrea Kraynak, for HealthLeaders Media, August 26, 2009

Region B, get ready. RACs may begin auditing at any time in several Region B states.

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Healthcare Costs Expected to Rise 10.5% in Next 12 Months

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, August 26, 2009

Employers' healthcare costs are expected to increase 10.5% on average in the next 12 months, which is slightly lower than last year, according to a survey of leading health insurance companies.

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Covenant Medical Center Pays $4.5M to Settle Stark Law Violations

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, August 27, 2009

Covenant Medical Center in Waterloo, IA, will pay $4.5 million in fines to resolve allegations that it allegedly violated the False Claims Act, according to the Department of Justice.

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Seniors' Healthcare Costs Soar, Even With Inflation Adjustment

By: Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, August 27, 2009

Even after adjusting for inflation, costs of healthcare for seniors increased by about $2,000 per person over age 65 between 1996 and 2006, and Medicare paid a higher portion of the bill.

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Universal Patient Floor Increases Flow, Decreases Handoffs

By: Heather Comak, for HealthLeaders Media, August 27, 2009

In 2007, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles rolled out a "universal floor" during an expansion project. In the time that has passed, Cedars-Sinai's innovation has lowered wait times for patients being admitted from the ED and elsewhere, reduced the number of patient safety events, and increased staff member satisfaction.

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Three Low Points in the Health Reform Debate

By: Les Masterson, for HealthLeaders Media, August 26, 2009

There have been plenty of low points over the past two months, but there are three that I think have especially turned a productive health reform debate into a political campaign full of fear-mongering.

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Two Rural Hospitals Say Award Doesn't Matter in Pay for Performance Success

By: Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, August 26, 2009

It isn't every day that rural hospital officials eagerly discuss their abysmal practice scores in crucial care areas like heart failure or hip and knee surgery.

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Lemonade, Anyone? The Upside of Marketing Healthcare in a Recession

By: Gienna Shaw, for HealthLeaders Media, August 26, 2009

Is it possible that there are some positives when it comes to marketing in a recession? That there is a silver lining to the mess we're in now?

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