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Monday, May 4, 2009


Daily news & Analysis



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CMS Proposes Historically Low Inpatient Payment Increases

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, May 1, 2009

CMS Proposes Historically Low Inpatient Payment Increases

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Report: Medicare Advantage 'Extra Payments' Will Reach $11.4 Billion This Year

By: Les Masterson, for HealthLeaders Media, May 4, 2009

The federal government will pay private insurers $11.4 billion more for Medicare Advantage plans this year than what the same beneficiaries would cost traditional Medicare, according to a new report from The Commonwealth Fund. The report adds more ammunition for critics, including the Obama administration and Democrats, who think the private Medicare program is too expensive.

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New Program Cracks Down on Medicare Fraud, Abuse

By: MacKenzie Kimball, May 1, 2009

Medicare fraud and abuse prevention and detection efforts are about the get tougher because of the new Zone Program Integrity Contractors, who began work in some regions on February 1.

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Don't Delay Because of Red Flags Rule Delay

By: Dom Nicastro, May 1, 2009

The Federal Trade Commission pushed back its compliance date on the "Red Flags Rule," but that does not mean healthcare entities should delay implementing a program–especially when you're dealing with the FTC, an organization known for harsh punishment and corrective measures.

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Lower Complications, Costs May Lead to More Bariatric Surgeries

By: Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, May 1, 2009

A new federal study pointing to a dramatic decline in post-surgical bariatric complications–as well as the cost of the procedures–may pave the way for healthcare providers to attempt the procedure in even larger groups of sicker, older patients.

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CMS Proposes $390 Million in Medicare Nursing Home Cuts

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

CMS has proposed cutting 2010 payment rates for Medicare skilled nursing facilities by $390 million, or 1.2%, to "better reflect" the cost of caring for the Medicare beneficiaries living there. CMS says the reduction is an effort to rebalance an earlier adjustment to the case-mix indexes. CMS says the proposed FY 2010 recalibration of the CMIs would result in a reduction in payments to nursing homes of more than $1 billion, or 3.3%.

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Watch Out For Swine Flu Stress

By: Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, May 1, 2009

Hospital systems should take precautions as the public's escalating worries over so-called swine flu cause hospital work overloads to tax staff patience.

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New Alliance Promotes Better Energy Efficiency in Hospitals

By: Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, May 1, 2009

A group of hospitals and healthcare systems took closer steps to becoming greener by joining this week with an alliance to boost the promotion of improved energy efficiency and renewable technologies in hospital design, construction, retrofit, operations, and maintenance.

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CDC: More Adults Reporting Disabilities

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, May 1, 2009

More than one in five American adults is reporting that they have a disability, a number that has increased by 3.4 million between 1999 and 2005 and which will most assuredly continue to grow over the next two decades, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

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CHS Acquires 10th PA Hospital

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

Community Health Systems, Inc. has expanded its presence in the Keystone State with the acquisition Friday of Wyoming Valley Health Care System in Wilkes-Barre, PA. The system includes Wilkes-Barre General Hospital, a 392-bed, acute-care hospital, First Hospital Wyoming Valley, a behavioral health facility in Kingston, PA, and other outpatient and ancillary services. Wilkes-Barre General Hospital becomes the tenth CHS-affiliated acute care hospital in Pennsylvania.

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When Cost and Culture Collide

By: Philip Betbeze, for HealthLeaders Media, May 1, 2009

We see hospital layoff news just about every day. Most are attributed to the economy, but cuts made recently at Grady Memorial Hospital were more about culture than anything else.

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