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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Daily news & Analysis

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Senate Finance Committee Considers Reform Options in Closed Sessions

By: Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, April 30, 2009

One week after holding a hearing on reforming the healthcare delivery system, members of the Senate Finance Committee met behind closed doors on Wednesday in a "walk through" session to examine options on paying for and delivering healthcare.

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Sebelius Faces Public Health Challenges

By: Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, April 29, 2009

Kathleen Sebelius, who was confirmed by the Senate in a 65-31 vote as secretary of Health and Human Services yesterday, was sworn in at the White House earlier today by President Barack Obama on the 100th day of his administration. Obama said he we wanted to swear her in right away because of global concerns over swine flu.

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What We Don't Yet Know About Swine Flu That's Scary

By: Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, April 29, 2009

Public health officials are using terms like "fluid," "evolving," and "rapidly" to describe the pace and path of the H1N1 virus while at the same time trying to reassure health providers everywhere to stay calm, that things are under control. But there is considerable nervousness in their voices.

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Lawsuit Alleges RACs Break CMS’ Regulations

By: Andrea Kraynak, CPC-A, April 29, 2009

Palomar Medical Center in Escondido, CA, has filed a lawsuit against HHS claiming that RACs violate CMS' rules. CMS requires "good cause" for reopening and reviewing claims more than one year after payment, but RACs regularly reopened claims between one and four years old during the demonstration project without just cause, according to William Malm, ND, healthcare consultant at Craneware PLC.

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Hospitals' Program Lowers Potential Medication Errors

By: Heather Comak, April 29, 2009

Researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston have found that the use of a better-integrated computer system and process redesign could reduce the number of potential medication errors present in the medication reconciliation process. The study focused on using existing technology to compare patients' medication lists to prevent adverse events.

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Fraud Recovery Bill Has Healthcare Implications

By: Ben Amirault, April 29, 2009

The Senate on Tuesday approved the Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act of 2009, which would give additional resources to law enforcement for fighting fraud and abuse, and strengthens fraud laws and statutes. Although the bill's primary function it to prevent the growing number of mortgage fraud cases, it also broadens the scope of claims that fall under the False Claims Act, which can affect healthcare providers.

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Docs Prefer ePromotion, But Does Pharma Tactic Translate to Hospitals?

By: Gienna Shaw, for HealthLeaders Media, April 29, 2009

The value of hospitals conducting face-to-face visits with referring physicians in order to increase or maintain referrals can't be overstated.

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Consumerism Doesn't Simply Mean Shifting Costs to Members

By: Les Masterson, for HealthLeaders Media, April 29, 2009

It's up to health plans to prove the criticisms against consumer-directed health plans wrong.

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