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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Daily news & Analysis

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Meaningful Use, EHR Standards Proposals Released by HHS

By: Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, December 31, 2009

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Improvement Technology on Wednesday released for public comment two anxiously awaited regulations providing both the details of "meaningful use" and the standards to improve the efficiency of health information technology used nationwide by hospitals and physicians. The proposed rule defining meaningful use for the Medicare electronic health record incentive programs proposes a definition that would apply to eligible professionals participating in the Medicare fee-for-service and the Medicare Advantage EHR incentive programs.

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OIG: Medicare Paid $112M for Improperly Documented Power Wheelchair Claims

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, December 31, 2009

Three out of five claims for power wheelchairs did not meet Medicare documentation requirements in the first six months of 2007 and accounted for $112 million in improper payments, according to a report issued this week by HHS' Office of Inspector General. OIG randomly selected 375 claims for standard and complex rehabilitation power wheelchairs from vendors supplying Medicare beneficiaries in the first half of 2007, and found that 60% of the claims did not meet one or more government documentation requirements. Two out of five claims had multiple errors.

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Virginia Hospital Celebrates Five Years With No VAP Events

By: Heather Comak, for HealthLeaders Media, December 30, 2009

Sentara Williamsburg (VA) Regional Medical Center marked five years without a case of ventilator-associated pneumonia in February 2009 and is hoping to report six years in February 2010. This milestone, which at one time many facilities believed to be unattainable, has been achieved through members of the care team adhering to protocols, understanding the importance of their jobs, and evaluating the need for placing patients on a ventilator.

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Targeting Trouble Areas With Six Sigma Tactics Shows Major Results

By: Matt Phillion, for HealthLeaders Media, December 30, 2009

Since introducing Six Sigma in its Southern California medical centers, Providence California has seen across-the-board improvements in clinical outcomes, care, customer relations, and finance.

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Twitter Can Play Key Role in Disaster Management

By: Scott Wallask, for HealthLeaders Media, December 30, 2009

While it might not qualify yet as a warm embrace, safety and facilities professionals in hospitals in 2009 at least shook hands with Twitter and found new ways to get their messages across using the social media site.

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Virtual Nurse Helps Patients Understand Discharge Information

By: Sarah Kearns, for HealthLeaders Media, December 30, 2009

A virtual nurse named "Elizabeth" is helping nurses and patients during the discharge process. Elizabeth is a computer-animated character created from combining the facial expressions and gestures of doctors and nurses that Timothy Bickmore, a computer scientist at Northeastern University in Boston, MA, taped.

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Remembering an Eventful Year in Healthcare

By: Les Masterson, for HealthLeaders Media, December 30, 2009

Usually we offer these predictions at the start of the year and never look back at them. But this year I decided to look back to see how right—and how wrong—I was about 2009.

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Hoops for Hope is a Slam Dunk for Rural Women's Health

By: Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, December 30, 2009

Two hospitals in rural Kansas teamed up to host a successful celebrity basketball game, an event that became a vehicle to energize health awareness in an area troubled by the economic recession and poor access to care.

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Healthcare Marketing in 2009: The Year in Review

By: Gienna Shaw, for HealthLeaders Media, December 30, 2009

Last year I made three predictions about what 2009 would bring for healthcare marketers. I always enjoy looking back and basking in my prescience or cringing at my ineptitude, as the case may be.

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