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Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Daily news & Analysis

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Obama's Proposed Budget is a Mixed Bag for Rural Health

By: Cheryl Clark, February 2, 2010

Rural healthcare projects would lose $44 million in President Obama's proposed 2011 budget, but that number is deceiving because the reduction includes the end of two regional projects that are costing $45 million in the current fiscal year. Two rural health budget increases are in the areas of rural health outreach and healthcare programs for American Indians and Alaska Natives.

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Doctors Sue To Stop Unsupervised Nurse Anesthetists from Administering Anesthesia

By: Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, February 3, 2010

Surgical patients are being put at risk because a new California regulation allows nurse anesthetists to administer anesthesia without the supervision of a physician, claims a lawsuit filed against California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger by two large physician groups Tuesday. "It's a patient safety issue when you have absolutely no supervision from a physician; it's very risky," says Francisco Silva, general counsel for the California Medical Association, which filed the complaint jointly with the California Society of Anesthesiologists.

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Experts Concerned Employee Smoking Bans Will Lead to Intrusions

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

As companies struggle to provide workers with healthcare coverage, some believe there will be increased pressure to find ways to control costs through prevention and lifestyle changes. One expert says the next target will be obese and overweight applicants and employees.

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Medicare Advantage Benefits, Cost-Sharing Requirements Vary Greatly, Says Report

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

The benefits and cost-sharing requirements of the Medicare Advantage plans that serve 10 million Americans vary widely from plan-to-plan with little explanation for the variance, a new Kaiser Family Foundation study finds. The analysis—Medicare Advantage 2010 Data Spotlight: Benefits and Cost-Sharing—examines trends in benefits and cost-sharing for Medicare Advantage plans, including HMOs, PPOs, and private fee-for-service plans.

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New Issues Highlight Need for RAC Strategy

By: James Carroll, February 2, 2010

Last December, the first sets of complex RAC review issues were released. Since then, the list has grown, as each RAC has released its own DRG validation issues. The recent set of approved RAC issues illustrates the need for providers to incorporate a RAC strategy,

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Most Congresspeople in Districts with Highest Uninsurance Rates Support Reform

By: Joe Cantlupe, for HealthLeaders Media, February 2, 2010

All nine House Democrats whose districts represent areas in the 10 highest uninsured rates voted for health reform. One Republican in the top 10, however, voted against the House's reform plan.

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10 Steps to Reform Insurance While Covering Chronic Conditions

By: Joe Cantlupe, for HealthLeaders Media, February 3, 2010

The government should initiate "small scale reforms" to its healthcare insurance system to overcome potentially devastating obstacles in serving an aging and chronically ill baby-boomer population, says one of the leaders in the healthcare consumerism movement. "We're going to have just a huge problem," says John C. Goodman, president and CEO of the National Center for Policy Analysis, referring to 78 million baby boomers retiring early or losing jobs and potentially facing burdensome health issues.

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House Still Taking Aim at Insurers' Antitrust Exemption

By: Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, February 3, 2010

While healthcare reform legislation waits on the sidelines as policymakers decide the next steps to take, a sliver of movement was seen on the House side Tuesday as Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said that work would begin to repeal the health insurer antitrust regulations. The vote could come as early as next week.

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Little Known ARRA Provision Can Help Finance Health IT

By: Carrie Vaughan, for HealthLeaders Media, February 2, 2010

A little known provision in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act may help some nonprofit healthcare providers with the high costs of implementing IT.

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Involving Nurses in Shared Decision-Making

By: Rebecca Hendren, for HealthLeaders Media, February 2, 2010

Some organizations ensure nursing's voice is heard and that nurses are involved in all decisions through shared governance.

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Tips to Avoid Claims Denials

By: February 1, 2010

Judy Suska of IMA Consulting offers hospitals tips on working with health plans on claims denials. [Sponsored by Emdeon]

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