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Thursday, July 2, 2009

Daily news & Analysis

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Primary Care Wins, Imaging Loses, Under New CMS Proposal

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, July 2, 2009

Primary care physicians are cheering—and radiologists are jeering—a new CMS proposed change to the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule that will cut reimbursements for imaging services by as much as 30% and use the savings to raise reimbursements for primary care by as much as 8%.

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Insurers: Added Regulations Through Health Reform Will Increase Plan Costs

By: Les Masterson, for HealthLeaders Media, July 1, 2009

For those who see private health insurance as a major problem in the healthcare system, reform is a chance to get insurers in line. But insurers and their supporters say added industry regulations will simply increase healthcare costs.

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Blue Cross Blue Shield of Mass. Rewards Docs for Efficient Quality of Care

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

Many primary care physicians practicing under contract with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts received a total of $27 million as a reward for meeting certain cost and quality goals in an annual incentive program that was among the first of its kind in the country when it began in 2000, the health plan said this week.

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Eliminating Workarounds Prevents Medication Errors

By: Matt Phillion, for HealthLeaders Media, July 1, 2009

In an effort to eliminate medication errors, Central Vermont Medical Center has reexamined its process of charting medication errors, identifying workarounds, and other potential areas where the process can be derailed.

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Physician Resistance Remains a Stumbling Block to EHRs

By: Lisa Eramo, for HealthLeaders Media, July 2, 2009

What can make or break an EHR implementation? Two words: physician buy-in, says Mike Davis, executive vice president of Healthcare Information Management and Systems Society (HIMSS) Analytics in Chicago. Hospitals either have it, or they don't. And if they don't, they need to find a way to achieve it if they want to take advantage of the $17.2 billion in incentives associated with the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009, he adds.

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Nearly Half of U.S. States' Adult Obesity Rates Increased This Year

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

If the U.S. requested a grade for how it was doing weight-wise among adults and children, it would probably be a failing grade, according to a new report, F as in Fat: How Obesity Policies Are Failing in America 2009. Overall, adult obesity rates increased in 23 states, but did not decrease in any state this past year.

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Forensic Nurses Provide Care, Help Solve Crime

By: Keri Mucci, July 1, 2009

Nurses all too often see the brutal aftermath of gun shootings, sexual assault, child abuse, and other violent acts when caring for patients, but since undergoing unique forensic training some can also see clues that trace back to the victimizers.

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