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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Daily news & Analysis

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CBO Says Implementing Medicare Advisory Council Could Save Money, But Not as Much as Hoped

By: Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, July 28, 2009

The Congressional Budget Office said that the Obama administration's proposal to give an independent panel--which it called the Independent Medicare Advisory Council (IMAC)--the power to control Medicare costs would only save about $2 billion over 10 years. Overall, this is a tiny blip compared to the bill's cost of $1 trillion-plus price.

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Bariatric Surgery Cost, Quality Vary Widely

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, July 28, 2009

Bariatric surgery in California is three-and-a-half-times more expensive than in Maryland, according to a new HealthGrades study that also found wide variations in the quality of outcomes at hospitals that perform the elective weight-loss procedures.

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Overweight and Obese Health Providers Aren’t Taken Seriously

By: Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, July 28, 2009

In the health reform debate, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has been talking a lot lately about personal responsibility. So why are so many health providers not in sync with her message?

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Obesity Costs U.S. $147 billion Annually

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, July 28, 2009

The United States is spending as much as $147 billion each year for obesity-related healthcare–representing nearly 10% of all annual medical costs–and that figure is expanding along with the nation's waistline, according to a new study.

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Bassinet Warmer that Burned Baby Recalled by Company

By: Scott Wallask, for HealthLeaders Media, July 28, 2009

A medical equipment company has issued a voluntary recall of a line of infant bassinet warmers, stemming from a 2008 flash fire that burned a newborn.

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Midwestern Town the Anti-McAllen, TX, for Medicare Costs

By: Michelle Ponte, for HealthLeaders Media, July 27, 2009

Doctors in McAllen, TX, became part of the growing national furor over rising healthcare costs with a June New Yorker magazine article, pointing out that the area cost the government $15,000 per Medicare beneficiary in 2006. In Winona, MN, Medicare costs are about two-thirds less than those in McAllen, says Mike Allen, CFO of Winona Health. Allen says the HSA is "the anti-McAllen," citing strong coordinated care efforts as one of the primary reasons.

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Culture of Compliance Preempts Whistleblower Suits

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

Waste and fraud in healthcare are getting a lot of scrutiny because any number of studies and estimates in recent months have shown that fraud and waste are adding billions of dollars to the nation's healthcare tab.

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