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Monday, April 5, 2010

Daily news & Analysis

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10 Issues New CMS Administrator Will Face

By: Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, April 5, 2010

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is the agency many providers love to hate. CMS, which is an $800 billion bureaucracy with nearly 5,000 employees, is also the biggest payer of healthcare bills in the U.S. and arguably the most influential in health reform. President Obama is reportedly on the verge of officially naming Don Berwick, MD, a highly regarded idealist in quality and efficiency, to lead the agency. Here are 10 issues the new administrator will have to face.

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Many Health Professionals Buying iPad, But its Effect on Healthcare Still in Question

By: Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, April 5, 2010

By random and unscientific measure, about one in 10 people in line to buy an iPad at a San Diego Apple Store Saturday were health providers hoping to use it for patient care. A key is how the iPad handles EMR or EHR software applications available from Epic, Allscripts or other vendors, many of the physicians said.

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Stellaris Health, Empire BCBS Trade Barbs as Contract Expires

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

Saying it could "no longer subsidize the record profits of a health insurance conglomerate," Stellaris Health Network this week announced that its contract with Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield expired April 1 after six months of fruitless negotiations.

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Carle Clinic Association Purchase Seeks to Improve Continuum of Care

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

The Carle Foundation in Urbana, IL, has purchased the Carle Clinic Association and its assets, including Health Alliance Medical Plans, for $250 million, the foundation announced. This is the fourth time the two healthcare entities have considered integration.

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Robotic-Assisted Surgery Gets Boost from New Training Simulator

By: Emily Berry, April 2, 2010

Robotic-assisted surgeries can be good for patients and good for the hospital’s bottom line, but a hang up for medical staffs is that it’s not easy to train surgeons on these systems. That’s where the new Robotic Surgical Simulator comes in.

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Joint Commission Announces Field Review for Medication Reconciliation Goal

By: Heather Comak, for HealthLeaders Media, April 2, 2010

The Joint Commission has announced the field review of its revised medication reconciliation requirement. The field review comes after The Joint Commission announced it would make the existing medication reconciliation goal one with which hospitals had to comply, but about which they would not be surveyed.

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LifePoint Acquires Rural Medical Center, Will Build New Hospital

By: John Commins, April 2, 2010

LifePoint Hospitals, Inc., the private, rural hospital chain, has purchased nonprofit Clark Regional Medical Center in Winchester, KY, with a promise to build a new $60 million hospital.

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Detroit-Area Doc, Patient Recruiter Convicted in Medicare Fraud Scheme

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, April 5, 2010

After a week-long trial, West Bloomfield, MI, physician Alan Silber and an accomplice were convicted by a federal jury on Friday for their roles in a $1 million Medicare fraud scheme, the Department of Justice announced. A U.S. District Court jury convicted Silber of six counts of healthcare fraud, which each carry a maximum 10-year prison sentence and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is Aug. 6.

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A Model for Hospital Collaboration—No Government Action Required

By: Philip Betbeze, for HealthLeaders Media, April 2, 2010

St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital in Houston didn't need a massive healthcare overall to reform care.

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Strategies for Reducing Drug Spending

By: March 31, 2010

Find out how Virginia Commonwealth University Health System saved $2.5 million annually from its outpatient drug spending. [Sponsored by Emdeon]

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