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Thursday, June 3, 2010

Daily news & Analysis

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Hospitals Fined More than $1M For Failure to Report Adverse Events

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

One-fourth of California's 450 acute care hospitals have been fined a total of more than $1 million so far—one hospital received five fines totaling more than $130,000—for failing to promptly report adverse events. Since the state law requiring such fines took effect July 1, 2007, more than 100 acute care hospitals have been assessed at the rate of $100 for every day after five days that the adverse event went unreported.

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NAIC Misses Initial Deadline On Medical Loss Ration Definition

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

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), in a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, said it was unable to meet the revised deadline of June 1 set by HHS to translate what qualifies for health insurers for "medical loss ratio" in the new healthcare reform law. With the medical loss ratio, health insurers are to spend at least 80 cents out of every premium dollar on actual medical care in the individual and small group markets and at least 85 cents on that care in the large group market starting Jan. 1, 2011.

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Healthcare Online Job Ads Drop in May

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

Online job ads for healthcare practitioners, technicians, and support staff fell by 82,800 listings in May for a total of 540,400 listings, ending six months of steady growth, reports The Conference Board Help Wanted OnLine Data Series.

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GAO: Low-Cost Medicare Advantage Programs Have High-Cost Expenses

By: Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, June 2, 2010

A number of Medicare Advantage plans that attracted beneficiaries in "good health" with lower cost plans in 2008 had far higher levels of cost sharing and unexpected expenses than those plans attracting beneficiaries in "poor health," according to a Government Accountability Office report.

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Mandatory Flu Shots Gain Traction as the Future of Influenza Prevention

By: Evan Sweeney, for HealthLeaders Media, June 2, 2010

Two large hospital systems have taken on the challenge of implementing a mandatory flu shot policy within the past two years and have seen their compliance rates improve to as high as 98%. Although a mandatory policy eliminates the constant struggle to convince employees to get the shot, it's not without its own barriers.

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Study Shows Majority of Psych Patients at Community Hospitals Treated in Specialty Units

By: Heather Comak, for HealthLeaders Media, June 3, 2010

A new study finds that an overwhelming majority of psychiatric patients treated at community hospitals are cared for in specialty units, as opposed to in general medical/surgical beds. "Nevertheless, we must continue to be vigilant and ensure that access to needed specialized treatment is provided as health reform shapes new care systems," said Pamela S. Hyde, JD, SAMHSA Administrator, in a press release.

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What Lies Ahead for HSAs?

By: Elyas Bakhtiari, for HealthLeaders Media, June 2, 2010

What does the future hold for health savings accounts and similar health reimbursement arrangements?

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CLABSI: 'A Polio Campaign for the 21st Century'

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

It isn't every day that a federal agency can boast an 18% cut in dreaded CLABSI, or central line associated bloodstream infections, which occur an estimated 248,000 times each year in U.S. hospitals.

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