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Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Daily news & Analysis

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Stakeholders' Health Reform Letter to Obama Offers Few Specifics

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

After meeting at the White House three weeks ago, members of the six healthcare organizations that promised to find ways to save $2 trillion over the next decade—by decreasing by 1.5% the annual healthcare spending growth rate—yesterday sent their game plan "to bend the cost curve" in the form of a 28-page letter to the White House.

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Workers' Share of Health Cost Soars in Employer Plans

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

Health consumers who think they're digging deeper into their pockets to subsidize employer-sponsored health plan costs are absolutely right, according to a report released in the journal, Health Affairs. "If you are sick and earn a modest income, then you are probably underinsured, even if you have employer-based health coverage," the authors wrote.

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UnitedHealth's Ingenix Buys Medical Bills Auditor

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

Ingenix Inc., UnitedHealth Group's beleaguered IT consulting arm, today purchased Franklin, TN-based medical bills auditor AIM Healthcare Services Inc., and its Netwerkes and Ingram & Associates affiliate.

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Hospital Learns Lessons During its Transition to ISO 9001 Certification

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

When the concept of introducing ISO 9001 to the hospital setting first arose, concerns popped up that the quality management system would be a tough sell for the healthcare industry. As more hospitals look into using ISO 9001, however, it has become clear that hospital leadership—who often come from non-healthcare backgrounds—have frequently encountered the concept, with positive results.

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CVS Works on Patient Privacy Improvements Following Fine

By: Dom Nicastro, for HealthLeaders Media, June 1, 2009

CVS Caremark Corp., parent company of the national's largest pharmacy chain, has implemented a chain-wide shredding program in light of the $2.25 million fine handed down in February by the Department of Health and Human Services and the Federal Trade Commission for potential breaches of millions of patient records.

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Weigh Your Risks When Protecting Electronic Records From Fire

By: Scott Wallask, for HealthLeaders Media, June 2, 2009

Hospitals protect paper medical records from fire by installing sprinkler systems and building features that enclose storage rooms. But with electronic recordkeeping growing more prominent, the strategies for safeguarding patient data are shifting to systems that protect electronic equipment.

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Is Your Billing and Collections 'Small-Town' Enough?

By: Michelle Ponte, for HealthLeaders Media, June 1, 2009

Healthcare providers have come a long way in enhancing the patient care experience in certain parts of the healthcare continuum. However, there is still a lot of drag when it comes time to collect payment.

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Recession Provides 'Teachable Moment' for Wellness

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

If we are going to alleviate some of the staggering healthcare costs associated with a large and aging workforce, we have to correct many of the poor lifestyle choices we've made over the last few decades.

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