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Monday, September 28, 2009

Daily news & Analysis

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Finance Committee Likely to Tackle Public Insurance Option This Week

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

Despite a less than lightning-speed start this past week, Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) said he was confident after four days of hearings that the committee was making some progress on the healthcare reform bill. "We have debated, we have questioned, we have prodded at times, and we have discussed—and discussed. Most important, we continue to move forward."

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Providers Not Ready for HITECH Compliance

By: Dom Nicastro, for HealthLeaders Media, September 25, 2009

HHS released its interim final rule on breach notification August 24 calling for greater—and more swift—notification requirements when there is a breach of unsecure PHI, and providers are still shell-shocked by the news, according to experts.

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Health System Restricts Young People from Facilities to Prevent H1N1

By: Les Masterson, for HealthLeaders Media, September 25, 2009

Preparing for a busy flu season, hospitals are looking for ways to prevent a larger outbreak and protect their vulnerable patients from coming down with a potentially fatal flu strain. One hospital system that is taking extraordinary steps is Moses Cone Health System, which is not allowing visiting young people under the age of 18 in the system's lobbies, waiting rooms, and patient rooms.

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NAIC Warns Health Insurers Against Scare Tactics

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

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners has joined CMS in warning insurance companies to end practices that alarm senior citizens about federal health reform efforts, and is calling on Congress for changes to end marketing and sales abuses. In a letter to Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) and Ranking Member Charles Grassley (R-IA), the NAIC cites indication from CMS of possible "misleading communications" to policyholders.

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MDS 3.0 Not as Time-Consuming as it Seems

By: MacKenzie Kimball, for HealthLeaders Media, September 28, 2009

As the October release of the Minimum Data Set 3.0 data specifications approaches, skilled nursing facilities across the nation become more and more concerned about the additional work this assessment tool seems to require. However, CMS officials and those involved with the development of the MDS 3.0 stand behind the claim that it will actually be easier and less time-consuming than the currently used MDS 2.0.

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Hospitals All Clear With Bill's Meager Charity Care Requirements

By: Philip Betbeze, for HealthLeaders Media, September 25, 2009

Unveiled last week, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus' bill seems the last best hope for the Democrats' version of healthcare reform.

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