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Thursday, June 4, 2009

Daily news & Analysis

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Obama Shows Support for Insurance Mandate

By: Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, June 4, 2009

In a letter to Senate Democratic leaders, President Obama on Wednesday outlined what his vision for healthcare reform should look like—including addressing the idea of "moving towards a principle of shared responsibility—making every American responsible for having health insurance coverage and asking that employers share in the cost."

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Increasing Medicaid Cost Sharing For Children's Care Would Impose Burdens, HHS Economist Says

By: Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, June 4, 2009

Those who think Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program should increase families' out-of-pocket contributions for their children's care might see the idea backfiring because paying for that care could become unaffordable, according to a government health economist.

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2008 a down year for managed care, 2009 looks a little better

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, June 3, 2009

A new report released today confirms what a lot of people would have guessed: 2008 was not a good year for managed care companies. But the report also projected some improvements in 2009, despite a poor economy and uncertainty about the impact of federal healthcare reforms.

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Virginia Warns More Than 500,000 of Possible Records Breach

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, June 4, 2009

Virginia officials this week began mailing direct individual notifications to more than a half-million people whose Social Security numbers may have been contained in the Prescription Monitoring Program database that was hacked into in April by a criminal demanding a $10 million ransom.

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July 1 Scoring Changes Mainly Affect Joint Commission Safety Standards

By: Scott Wallask, for HealthLeaders Media, June 4, 2009

Effective July 1, The Joint Commission will roll out a series of scoring changes to 45 elements of performance within its accreditation standards. The majority of the amendments adjust the environment of care and life safety standards, which generally fall under the responsibilities of your safety officers and facility directors.

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Use Simulation Training to Boost Safety Culture

By: Tami Swartz, June 4, 2009

Many hospitals and medical schools offer some variation of simulation-based training in which medical and nursing students learn clinical techniques of suturing and administering medication by using lifelike mannequins. This strategy of helping clinicians develop skills on mannequins before treating actual patients is nothing new, but some hospitals are taking things to the next level by tying simulation to a newer concept: a culture of safety.

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Verbal Queries: Let Your Policy and Procedure Do the Talking

By: Lisa Eramo, for HealthLeaders Media, June 4, 2009

Clinical documentation improvement are three buzz words in today's healthcare lingo that have come to signify a means of achieving better data quality that leads to more accurate reimbursement and perhaps even better patient care. But having a CDI program doesn't negate the fact that physicians must continue to maintain their authority in providing a diagnosis. And therein lays the conundrum for many hospitals: How to obtain this much-needed information without leading docs in the process.

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Immediate Jeopardy: Words No Hospital Official Wants to Hear

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

Medical and administrative executives dread nothing more than to hear that their hospital's failure to comply with license requirements came close to causing—or actually did cause—injury or death to a patient.

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Private Insurers: Give Us the Medicaid Drug Rebate, Too

By: Les Masterson, for HealthLeaders Media, June 3, 2009

Private health insurance leaders are pushing Congress to allow insurers to benefit from the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program. There are two reasons behind the insurers' plea.

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Healthcare and Social Media: The Benefits Win Out

By: Gienna Shaw, for HealthLeaders Media, June 3, 2009

There's been a lot of buzz about hospitals that are using Twitter to describe surgeries in real time. There's also been a lot of debate over whether or not this is a good idea.

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