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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Daily news & Analysis

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Cardiologists File Suit Over Medicare Payment Rates

By: Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, January 5, 2010

The American College of Cardiology has filed a complaint against Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida over "unlawfully adoption" of Medicare payment rates for cardiology services in 2010. The complaint says that Sebelius—in her capacity as the HHS secretary—has based payment rates for cardiology services on the 2010 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule that uses an "invalid" physician practice information survey in "a manner that challenges access to care for patients," ACC said.

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How to Prevent Top Three Health Information Breaches

By: Dom Nicastro, for HealthLeaders Media, January 4, 2010

Major breaches of patient information in 2009 break down into three types: snoopers, hackers, and those involving large quantities of data. Here are the top breaches from the past year; find out what your facility can do to prevent similar problems.

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Union and Hospital System Agree on Pandemic Pact

By: Scott Wallask, for HealthLeaders Media, January 5, 2010

In a development that might be attractive to other hospitals and bargaining units, the California Nurses Association has worked pandemic flu preparation into its new labor agreement with Catholic Healthcare West. While the agreement doesn't delve into vaccinations—mandatory or otherwise—it covers personal protective equipment and promotes communication between union rank-and-file members and hospital management via a joint task force charged with limiting the spread of seasonal and H1N1 swine flu.

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HTA Pays $20.5M for Medical Office Buildings in Two States

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, January 4, 2010

Healthcare Trust of America, Inc., paid $20.5 million for three medical office buildings in San Angelo, and Corsicana, TX, and Fort Wayne, IN, the company announced. The three buildings are currently leased by subsidiaries of Franklin, TN-based Community Health Systems, Inc., a general acute-care hospital chain that operates or leases 122 hospitals in 29 states.

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PacificSource Buys Clear One

By: Les Masterson, for HealthLeaders Media, January 4, 2010

PacificSource Health Plans announced it is acquiring insurer Clear One in a deal with a total equity value of about $46 million, according to Pacific Source. Officials from both companies said the deal will enhance the health plans' financial strength and create possible growth opportunities in the government and commercial health plan markets.

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Hospital Maintenance Man Charged in Peeping Tom Case

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, January 4, 2010

A maintenance man at Sanford Hospital in Rock Rapids, IA, was arrested after he allegedly was caught using "peepholes" to spy on female employees in a rest room. The suspect also allegedly discovered, stole, and unsuccessfully attempted to destroy a hidden surveillance camera that was used by authorities to identify the peeping Tom.

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Go Lean in 2010: Reducing Waste in Construction

By: Karen Minich-Pourshadi, for HealthLeaders Media, January 4, 2010

Seattle Children's Hospital has embraced the canon of Lean management and this July they will open a newly constructed outpatient facility built by applying those principles to the design and construction process.

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Eight Healthcare HR Trends for 2010

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, January 4, 2010

Here—in no particular order of importance—are a handful of issues, ideas, and trends affecting the healthcare HR arena that I think will be with us in the coming year.

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