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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Daily news & Analysis

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Medicare Tries to Reduce Fraud and Waste, But Causes Backlog in Payments

By: Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, April 28, 2010

Efforts to reduce Medicare fraud and waste embedded in the system used to pay $310 billion in provider claims annually has made some progress, but an accelerated push has delayed claims payments and caused backlogs, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus and Ranking Member Chuck Grassley said. They made their comments after the release of a 62-page performance audit from the General Accountability Office on Monday.

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With Pressure from HHS and Congress, Insurers Address Rescission Policies

By: Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, April 28, 2010

As Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was speaking Tuesday at the American Hospital Association's annual membership forum in Washington, DC, several insurers were being asked to clarify coverage policies—particularly in regard to rescissions—in advance of a federal deadline under the new healthcare reform act.

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HHS: HIPAA Regulations Will Come Next Month

By: Dom Nicastro, for HealthLeaders Media, April 27, 2010

The Department of Health & Human Services released its semi-annual regulatory agenda in the Federal Register Monday and wrote that modifications to the HIPAA privacy, security and enforcement rules will be coming in May.

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Auto Insurers Pledge Tighter Scrutiny of Hospitals' Cost-shifting

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

A new report by a casualty insurance industry think tank says hospitals are cost-shifting billions of dollars in overcharges to automobile insurance companies to offset low reimbursements from Medicare/Medicaid.

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Detroit Doc Gets Six Years for Medicare Fraud

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

Toe Myint, MD, was sentenced Monday in Detroit to six years in prison for his part in a Medicare fraud scheme at sham infusion clinics. An accomplice who recruited patients into the scam will serve more than three years behind bars, federal authorities said.

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Joint Commission Engineer: Test Your Utility Contingencies

By: Scott Wallask, for HealthLeaders Media, April 27, 2010

A Joint Commission official is warning hospitals to double-check contingency plans they have in place for utility system failures. George Mills, MBA, senior engineer at the accrediting organization, said he has seen some medical centers rely too heavily on memorandums of understanding with vendors without truly testing those agreements.

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AstraZeneca to Pay $520 Million for Off-label Drug Marketing

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, April 28, 2010

AstraZeneca LP and AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP will pay $520 million to resolve whistleblower allegations that AstraZeneca illegally marketed the anti-psychotic drug Seroquel for off-label uses, federal officials announced yesterday.

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Not Enough Time on My Hands for an Online PHR

By: Gienna Shaw, for HealthLeaders Media, April 27, 2010

Online health records have the potential to engage, empower, and educate patients in a number of ways. That's how it would be in an ideal world, anyway.

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Do We Still Need Nurses Week?

By: Rebecca Hendren, for HealthLeaders Media, April 27, 2010

National Nurses Week is almost upon us. Is it just me, or is anyone else uncomfortable about the tradition and hoopla?

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