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Thursday, September 3, 2009

Daily news & Analysis

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Healthcare Workers Still Face Intimidating and Disruptive Behavior

By: Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, September 3, 2009

Disruptive, offensive behavior on the part of providers is still such a significant and frequent problem in health settings, it jeopardizes patient safety, and can affect quality of care, despite Joint Commission guidance that took effect Jan. 1 to prevent such breakdowns. Of more than 1,500 providers responding to an e-mail questionnaire, three-fourths said they had been the target of unprofessional, intimidating or inappropriate behavior within the last 24 months.

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Healthcare Facilities Should Require Staff Vaccinations to Prepare for H1N1

By: Heather Comak, for HealthLeaders Media, September 3, 2009

The Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology urged healthcare organizations to mandate that staff members in direct contact with patients are vaccinated during the upcoming flu season. The group made its recommendation earlier this week as predictions continued to surface about the number of Americans who may be infected with the H1N1 virus during the upcoming flu season.

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CHI, Trinity Health to Combine Four Hospitals

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, September 2, 2009

Catholic Health Initiatives and Trinity Health will combine four Eastern Oregon-Western Idaho hospitals into a single local system. The agreement calls for transferring the three CHI facilities to Trinity Health, and creating a new regional healthcare system to be operated by Trinity Health, the two health systems said in a joint announcement Wednesday.

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Pfizer to Pay Record $2.3B Fine for Fraudulent Marketing

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, September 2, 2009

Pfizer Inc. and subsidiary Pharmacia & Upjohn Company Inc. will pay $2.3 billion—the largest healthcare fraud settlement in U.S. history—to resolve criminal and civil charges brought forward in several whistleblower law suits for illegally promoting the off-label use of its drugs, the Justice Department announced today.

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Eliminating Fees for Overlapping Services Could Save Millions for Medicare

By: Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, September 3, 2009

Medicare physician fee schedule payments may be "excessive" for a variety of medical services because efficiencies that occur when two or more services are furnished together are not reflected in the fee schedule, according to a new Government Accountability Office in a study examining Medicare physician payments and fees. GAO's review found that expanding Medicare's practice in this area could reduce payments by an estimated half billion dollars a year.

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IOM Panel Calls for More Precise Definitions on Ethnicity, Language

By: Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, September 2, 2009

Hospitals, health plans, and physician practices could use stronger data that emphasizes quality metrics broken down by race, Hispanic ethnicity, "fine-grained" ethnicity, and language proficiency to help address existing disparities in healthcare—while at the same time monitoring improvements, according to findings by an Institute of Medicine subcommittee.

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New ICU Technology Creates Eye in the Sky

By: Evan Sweeney, for HealthLeaders Media, September 3, 2009

Imagine hospital employees who could interact with multiple patients, diagnose and treat their illnesses, administer drugs, and even ensure medical staff is following infection control best practices 24 hours a day, seven days a week, all without getting out of their chair. This is the basic premise of the eICU, an electronic subdivision of the ICU at Alegent Health in Omaha, NE.

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CA Hospitals Fight for Right to Hire Docs on Constitutional Grounds

By: Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, September 2, 2009

Does the Medical Practice Act, which bars California hospitals from hiring doctors, violate the 14th Amendment, the one that guarantees equal protection under the law?

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Four Ways to Get More Young Adults Health Coverage

By: Les Masterson, for HealthLeaders Media, September 2, 2009

Health insurers know the importance of signing up so-called "young invincibles" to their health plans, but many of these sought-after individuals are not interested.

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Challenges to Marketing New Patient-Centered Technologies Ahead

By: Gienna Shaw, for HealthLeaders Media, September 2, 2009

Kaiser Permanente's latest "Thrive" campaign ads are just as visually stunning as the others in the series.

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