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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Daily news & Analysis

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Revolving Door Of Readmissions and ED Visits More Extensive and Expensive

By: Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, May 27, 2010

A new database covering hospitals in 12 states shows the problem of readmissions and use of emergency room resources is more problematic than originally thought, according to a report from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. About four in 10 patients who sought acute care between 2006 and 2007 made multiple visits to the hospital either for an inpatient stay or an emergency visit or both.

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Doc Fix Delay Shortened in Amended House Bill

By: Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, May 27, 2010

The House appears close to voting today on the "American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act of 2010" (HR 4213) that contains a provision to delay a 21% cut in physician Medicare reimbursements—just before the latest deadline expires June 1. However, the actual period proposed for the delay has been whittled down to 19 months—or the end of 2011. Under the amendments approved late yesterday by the House Rules Committee, physicians would see an increase in payment rates of 2.2% for the remainder of 2010 and a 1% increase in 2011.

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States Will Pay Little for Reform's Medicaid Expansion

By: Elyas Bakhtiari, for HealthLeaders Media, May 27, 2010

Although most of the coverage expansion under the Patient Protection and Affordability Act will come from adding to the Medicaid rolls, state governments will not have to spend much more on the program thanks to funding from the federal government, according to analysis from the Urban Institute for the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured. Enrollment in Medicaid will increase nationwide by more than 27% between 2014 and 2019, the study predicts. However, state spending on the program will inch up only 1.4%, while the federal government increases spending 22% to cover the cost.

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Surveyed Employers Say They Expect Costs to Increase with Reform

By: Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, May 27, 2010

While U.S. employers may view controlling costs as a healthcare reform priority, only a few of those surveyed this month by Towers Watson, a professional services company, said they believed that reform would slow the tide of rising costs. However, despite these anticipated increases, nearly three fourths of large employers (74%) expect to continue to subsidize healthcare coverage for their active employees.

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Hospital Volumes Fall in April, Soft Q2 Forecasted

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, May 26, 2010

Patient volumes at the nation's acute care hospitals fell slightly in April, and are expected to be weak into the second quarter of 2010, according to the Deutsche Bank Hospital Volume Tracker.

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IPC The Hospitalist Company Acquires Michigan Geriatric Practice

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, May 27, 2010

IPC The Hospitalist Company, Inc., the North Hollywood, CA-based hospitalist group practice, has acquired Continuum Geriatric Services PLLC in Livonia, MI. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. CGS practices in more than 60 nursing and assisted living facilities in Michigan, where IPC has an established presence. CGS has an annualized volume of approximately 105,000 patient encounters.

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Quickie Quiz: What's Your Adverse Events Intelligence?

By: Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, May 26, 2010

California public health officials recently produced a database of adverse events. Since we should always learn from our mistakes, here are some of the more interesting findings in the form of a multiple choice quiz.

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If Massachusetts is a Bellwether, Insurers May Soon Cut Payments

By: Elyas Bakhtiari, for HealthLeaders Media, May 26, 2010

Once again, Massachusetts is providing a testing ground for national healthcare policy.

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Healthcare Organizations Stay Competitive with Branded Mobile Sites

By: Marianne Aiello, for HealthLeaders Media, May 26, 2010

With a growing number of consumers and physicians accessing the Internet through smartphones, healthcare organizations must create branded mobile-specific Web sites to be competitive.

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