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Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Daily news & Analysis

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Obama's Proposed Budget: More Money for Health IT, Medicare, Medicaid, NIH

By: Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, February 1, 2010

The Department of Health and Human Services would see almost a 10% increase from the current fiscal year under President Barack Obama's proposed federal budget for fiscal 2011. Included in the budget are numerous areas promoting healthcare reform, including additional funding for health information technology and comparative effectiveness research.

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Obama Supports Parts of GOP Congressman's Health Reform Plan

By: Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, February 2, 2010

While the move for healthcare reform legislation continues to be under quiet discussion in the House and Senate, one Republican congressman has moved forward with a revamped bill that calls for Congress to think somewhat outside the box when it comes to healthcare reform. Rep. Tim Ryan (R-WI), a ranking member of the House Banking Committee, has reintroduced his bill, which he calls "A Roadmap to America's Future, Version 2.0."

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Hospitals Treating Haitian Earthquake Survivors Will Receive Higher Payments Than Medicare

By: Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, February 2, 2010

U.S. hospitals providing care to people with life-threatening injuries caused by the earthquake in Haiti can receive federal reimbursements for their costs, the agency coordinating the U.S. government's response to the devastation said Monday. The USAID said the activation will allow the National Disaster Medical System to send flights with critically injured survivors to the United States. The first flight could leave today, the agency said. Hospitals that treat qualified patients may receive federal payments at 110% of Medicare rates, the agency said.

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Healthcare Sector Leads Online Job Ads Bump in January

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, February 1, 2010

Online job listings were up sharply in January in many employment sectors across the nation, with continued strong demand for nurses and healthcare technicians, a new report shows. The Conference Board's Help Wanted Online Data Series report found that advertised vacancies for highly skilled healthcare practitioners and technical occupations increased by 24,500 listings in January, for a total of 567,800.

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Meaningful Use Calls for Meaningful Risk Analysis

By: Dom Nicastro, for HealthLeaders Media, February 1, 2010

Healthcare organizations moving toward adapting certified EHR technology that meets CMS' "meaningful use" definition and qualifies for government incentives must conduct a risk analysis. Here are three tips to get your organization's risk assessment going.

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Top Hospitals are Improving Faster, Says HealthGrades Study

By: Heather Comak, for HealthLeaders Media, February 2, 2010

HealthGrades recently released its eight annual HealthGrades Annual Hospital Quality and Clinical Excellence study and the results show that the top 5% of U.S. hospitals are improving faster than the rest of the field. The same top hospitals have a 29% lower risk-adjusted mortality rate, as well as a 9% lower risk-adjusted complication rate than other U.S. hospitals.

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Katrina Settlement Leaves Questions About Disaster Prep for Hospitals

By: Scott Wallask, for HealthLeaders Media, February 1, 2010

The settlement of a lawsuit stemming from a patient's death in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina has left more questions than answers for now, particularly given that similar cases are on the horizon. The settlement between the family of deceased patient Althea LaCoste and Pendleton Methodist Hospital, LLC, in New Orleans came last week in the midst of a jury trial.

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CA Health Unions Have Forgotten Solidarity Forever

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, February 1, 2010

The fight that pits the giant Service Employees International Union against the upstart National Union of Healthcare Workers has been most remarkable for its very public vitriol.

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Your HVAC Could Save You Millions

By: Karen Minich-Pourshadi, for HealthLeaders Media, February 1, 2010

Healthcare organizations spend more than $6.5 billion on energy each year. So, as CFOs look for innovative ways to trim expenses from the budget, they should look no further than the HVAC and lighting systems.

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How to Save Energy (and Money)

By: February 1, 2010

Jennifer Stout, healthcare market manager for BetterBricks, the commercial building initiative of the nonprofit Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance, discusses how to help hospitals save not only energy, but also money.

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