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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Daily news & Analysis

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Sebelius Confirmed By Senate

By: Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, April 29, 2009

In a 65-31 vote falling mainly along party lines, Kathleen Sebelius was confirmed by the Senate as secretary of Health and Human Services yesterday evening. She had needed 60 votes to be approved.

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Report Advises Ethics Overhaul to Curb Conflicts of Interest

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

A widespread practice in which physicians and healthcare institutions receive money, services, drug samples, fees, and gifts from biotech, medical device, and drug industries is a practice that threatens patient care and research integrity and erodes the public trust, says an Institute of Medicine report issued today. The 353-page document gives numerous examples in which research findings may be compromised by a multitude of "disturbing" traditions.

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Health Plans Need to Prepare for Climate Change Threats

By: Les Masterson, for HealthLeaders Media, April 28, 2009

A new regulation will require health insurers to think about climate change and how it could affect their companies, investments, and members. Property insurance has tackled the issue of climate change, while health insurers have not. Climate change could affect health insurers in a number of ways.

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ICD-10 Maps May Prevent Coders From Being Lost in Translation

By: Lisa Eramo, CPC, April 29, 2009

For those well versed in ICD-9, learning ICD-10 may be akin to learning a second language. Many coders say their biggest fear about the new system that will take effect October 1, 2013 is that it requires a different coding logic (particularly ICD-10-PCS), but that it's also so much more specific than ICD-9. The good news is that CMS is working toward creating a general equivalence map between the two systems that will help coders and others understand how codes in ICD-9 will translate to ICD-10.

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Statewide Approach to MRSA Prevention

By: Matt Phillion, April 28, 2009

Infection prevention and control issues continue to weigh heavily on hospitals. A Kentucky collaborative has targeted methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) as a focus point for improvement.

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Virtual Patient Advocate Could Enhance Health Literacy

By: Keri Mucci, April 29, 2009

Researchers at Boston Medical Center are investigating whether a virtual patient advocate can improve real-life health literacy. Developed by Timothy Bickmore, PhD, the virtual patient advocate is on clinical trial at BMC to increase patient understanding of post-discharge self-care regimens.

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Making the Business Case for HIT

By: Carrie Vaughan, for HealthLeaders Media, April 28, 2009

The passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 may have just elevated the CIO position.

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Medical Tourism Can Improve Global Quality, Transparency

By: Ben Cole, for HealthLeaders Media, April 28, 2009

Industry insiders say the medical travel industry's growth can ultimately improve healthcare quality for Americans by encouraging U.S. providers to be more transparent with their outcomes.

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