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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Daily news & Analysis

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Health Reform Covers More Children, But Who Will Care for Them?

By: Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, March 31, 2010

A major selling point for the week-old health reform legislation is that it promises to improve care and access for children, accomplished in myriad ways with provisions that take effect in six months or by 2014. But one nagging problem that isn’t resolved is the shortage of pediatric specialty physicians, says Jim Kaufman, vice president for public policy for the National Association of Children’s Hospitals, which represents 140 pediatric specialty centers in the U.S.

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Physicians' Group Sues to Overturn Health Reform

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, March 31, 2010

The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons has filed a lawsuit to overturn the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, claiming the health reform mandate to buy health insurance is unconstitutional under the Fifth and 10th amendments, the Commerce Clause, and the authority to tax. "If the PPACA goes unchallenged, then it spells the end of freedom in medicine as we know it," Jane Orient, MD, executive director of AAPS, said in a media release. "Courts should not allow this massive intrusion into the practice of medicine and the rights of patients."

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Patient Safety Incidents Showed Little Change in 2009, Says HealthGrades

By: Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, March 31, 2010

While the number of patient safety incidents that occurred among hospitalized Medicare patients dipped slightly below the one million mark in 2009, the number of injured did not vary greatly from the rates in previous years, according to the new annual study from HealthGrades, an independent healthcare ratings organization based in Golden, CO.

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State AGs Stepping Up HITECH Enforcement

By: Dom Nicastro, for HealthLeaders Media, March 30, 2010

Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal is investigating his second case involving HIPAA violations this year, using again a legal authority granted to state attorneys general under the HITECH Act signed into law February 2009. Jeff Drummond, health law partner in the Dallas office of Jackson Walker LLP, says the power granted to state AGs to pursue lawsuits is a major change for HIPAA enforcement.

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11 Strategies for Payment Reform in Primary Care

By: Joe Cantlupe, for HealthLeaders Media, March 31, 2010

Reforming payment structures for primary care "is absolutely essential to the implementation and sustained operation" of a medical home, according to the chairman of a payment reform task force for the Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative. Allan H. Goroll, MD, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and PCPCC task force chairman, says payment reform is essential to sustain operation of the patient-centered medical home, and a "blended strategy" may help minimize shortcomings of any single payment method.

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Feds Provide $27 Million to Fund, Test Chronic Disease Programs

By: Les Masterson, for HealthLeaders Media, March 30, 2010

In hopes of improving the nation’s physical fitness and reducing chronic disease, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced $27 million worth of grants Tuesday. Officials hope the programs can make a dent in Medicare’s chronic disease care costs. According to CMS, two-thirds of Medicare spending is for beneficiaries with five or more chronic conditions.

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Can Broadband Really Save Healthcare?

By: Gienna Shaw, for HealthLeaders Media, March 30, 2010

Technology is part of the solution for some of the healthcare industry's problems, such as physician and specialist shortages and disparities in access to care. But it comes with problems of its own.

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CMS Will Soon Track Your Failure to Rescue Data—Are You Ready?

By: Rebecca Hendren, for HealthLeaders Media, March 30, 2010

Are you tracking your hospital's failure to rescue rates? You'd better be, because CMS will—starting June 1.

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Giving Every Patient a Medical Home

By: March 24, 2010

Lisa Sasko, director of clinical transformation at Capital District Physicians' Health Plan, talks about CDPHP's medical home project. [Sponsored by Emdeon]

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