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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Daily news & Analysis

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Virtual Colonoscopy Emerges As Turf Battle Between Radiologists, Gastroenterologists

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

Congress should pass proposed legislation requiring Medicare to pay for "virtual" CT colonography screening because it is just as accurate as colonoscopy, but has lower distension rates, extremely low chance of perforation, and is less expensive and faster, the American College of Radiology says. After all, if the procedure was good enough to be part of President Obama's physical in February, it should be good for people age 65 and older, the organization says.

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Medtronic Begins Disclosing Payments to Physicians

By: Elyas Bakhtiari, for HealthLeaders Media, June 1, 2010

Medical-device company Medtronic, Inc. has begun voluntarily posting annual physician payments exceeding $5,000 on its Web site, well ahead of the 2013 deadline for mandatory disclosure of such information that was included in the new healthcare reform law.

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Tenet Confirms Acquisition Talks with Australia's Healthscope Hospitals

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

Tenet Healthcare Corporation today confirmed it is in "preliminary discussions" with Healthscope about acquiring the second-largest private hospital company in Australia.

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DOJ Settlement Stops Idaho Orthopedists' Conspiracies to Raise Fees

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, June 2, 2010

The Idaho Orthopaedic Society, an orthopedic practice group, and five orthopedists have agreed to end a collusive scheme to drive up physicians' fees that relied on a boycott of care for injured workers, the Department of Justice announced. "The orthopedists who participated in these group boycotts denied medical care to Idaho workers and caused higher prices for orthopedic services," said Christine Varney, assistant attorney general in DOJ's Antitrust Division. "(This) action seeks to prevent the recurrence of these illegal acts and protects Idaho consumers by promoting competition in the healthcare industry."

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Saint Luke's Health System Announces New Physician-Hospital Heart Care Business

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, June 2, 2010

Saint Luke's Health System in Kansas City, MO, has formalized a partnership with Cardiovascular Consultants, PA. The new business is called Saint Luke's Cardiovascular Consultants and has 37 cardiologists who will provide services at Saint Luke's four metropolitan hospitals and outlying regional facilities. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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Hospital Nearly Doubles Medication Scanning Rates

By: Sarah Kearns, for HealthLeaders Media, June 1, 2010

Following the implementation of an organizationwide bar code scanning process in September 2008, Springfield, MA-based Baystate Medical Center improved its medication scanning rates to 87%-90%. The medication error rate also decreased to 0.3 errors per 1,000 patient days, a 75% reduction.

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Is A Double Whammy Ahead for Hospitals and Healthcare Reform?

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

Healthcare reform is designed to help millions of uninsured patients get proper healthcare coverage, yet the fallout from that coverage is likely to have some less-than-desired effects for hospitals and their bottom lines.

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