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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Daily news & Analysis

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Two Ways the Senate Bill Will Pay for Healthcare Reform

By: Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, December 2, 2009

While discussion in the Senate during the past few days has focused on how health insurance premiums will be impacted under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, another area expected to gets its fair share of attention on the Senate floor is how the $848 billion reform bill—through savings and taxes—will be paid for over the next decade.

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Nonprofit Hospitals Showing Financial Improvement, says Moody's

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, December 1, 2009

Despite challenging economic and credit conditions, bond ratings at 20 nonprofit hospitals and health systems have been upgraded since late 2008, Moody's Investors Service said in a new report that identifies common factors that have contributed to their success.

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Are Hospitals Illegally Charging the Uninsured Too Much?

By: Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, December 2, 2009

Many California hospitals may be skirting state laws that require them to disclose prices of procedures when requested by patients, according to a new study by Rand Health. "Our findings raise questions about the effectiveness of California laws that are designed to help uninsured patients shop for medical care and protect themselves from being charged excessive prices," wrote the author of the paper, Ateev Mehrotra, MD, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and a Rand policy analyst.

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CCHIT Certifies First EHR Programs Under Federal Standards

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, December 1, 2009

The Certification Commission for Health Information Technology today announced the first group of four electronic health records programs certified under its two programs—CCHIT Certified 2011 Comprehensive and Preliminary ARRA 2011.

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Senators Attempt to Add Amendments to Health Reform Bill

By: Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, December 1, 2009

The first of what will be days of lengthy debate on the Senate floor started with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) at the beginning of the five-hour session promising late nights and even Saturdays and Sundays throughout the month of December—or however long it takes to complete the reform bill, he said.

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Catholic Investors Want Health Companies to Disclose Executive Pay

By: Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, December 2, 2009

U.S. health, drug, insurance, and biotech companies should publicly disclose their executive pay packages, say 30 primarily Catholic investor groups in charge of about $100 billion in investment capital. The groups say those executives' pay is so high that it is raising the national cost of healthcare. Among the 21 publicly traded companies "are many leading opponents of Congressional action on healthcare reform," according to a statement from the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, which filed the resolution.

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Does Your Hospital Have the PACS It Will Need Five Years From Now?

By: Carrie Vaughan, for HealthLeaders Media, December 1, 2009

I spoke recently with John Rousseau, director of the radiology department at Alice Peck Day Memorial Hospital in Lebanon, NH, about his hospital's implemention of a Web-based PACS system.

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Nurse Gives Second Life to Discarded Medical Supplies

By: Rebecca Hendren, for HealthLeaders Media, December 1, 2009

Health systems in this country generate a vast amount of trash—a great deal of which looks like treasure to staff at needy medical centers and clinics in underdeveloped countries.

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