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Thursday, May 7, 2009

Daily news & Analysis

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Sebelius: Same Rules for Public and Private Health Plans

By: Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, May 7, 2009

Department of Health and Human Service Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, during her first full week on the job, paid a visit to Capitol Hill Wednesday morning for her first formal opportunity—aside from the confirmation process—to discuss healthcare reform. Chief question on the minds of House Ways and Means Committee members during her conversation in front of the panel: what is President Obama's vision for a public health plan?

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Senate Panel Gets An Earful on Expanding Coverage

By: Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, May 6, 2009

At the Senate Finance Committee roundtable hearing on expanding healthcare coverage on Tuesday, Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) summed up the tempo of the day when he said "there are no easy issues when it comes to coverage."

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ER Docs say HHS Chief 'Uninformed'

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, May 7, 2009

The nation's largest emergency physicians' group called newly appointed HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius "uninformed" and accused her of "perpetuating myths" about their role in delivering healthcare after she said this week that emergency room care presents the "least effective, most expensive" option. American College of Emergency Physicians President Nicolas J. Jouriles, MD, called on Sebelius and the Obama administration to "engage" emergency physicians and provide them with a speaking role in the ongoing healthcare reform discussion.

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AHRQ Reports Find Issues with Patient Safety, Racial Disparities

By: Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, May 6, 2009

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality released two reports today that shows that most patients are not getting recommended medical treatments and quality of care for non-whites and poor people is not improving.

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Boston Leads Nation in Physician Wait Times

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, May 6, 2009

Boston, the home of leading medical schools and hospitals, a high physician population, and universal healthcare coverage, also leads the nation's 15 largest cities with the longest waiting times to schedule a doctor's appointment, according to a new survey.

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M.D. Anderson Partners With Banner Health For New Phoenix-Area Cancer Hospital

By: Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, May 7, 2009

The number of cancer mortality and diagnoses in Arizona may have leveled in recent years, but that isn't stopping Banner Health from partnering with Houston's M.D. Anderson to build a $90 million cancer center 30 miles southeast of Phoenix. When finished in 2011, the M.D. Anderson Banner Cancer Center will include a new 120,000 square foot cancer outpatient facility on the campus of Banner's two year old Gateway Medical Center in Gilbert, which also will house 76 inpatient beds dedicated for cancer care.

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Collaborative Program Looks to Prevent Errors Through Data Sharing

By: Heather Comak, May 6, 2009

Four years after the Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act of 2005 authorized the creation of Patient Safety Organizations, hospitals can now join a PSO of their choice. Ultimately, what this provides hospitals around the country is a chance to receive stronger data analysis and solutions surrounding quality- and patient safety-related errors, enabling them to create better systems for patient care.

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Healthcare Providers Might be Unaware of This RAC Fact

By: Andrea Kraynak, for HealthLeaders Media, May 6, 2009

CMS recently released a new FAQ on the Recovery Audit Contractor program with important news that may have previously flown under the radar of many healthcare providers.

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College's Plan to Phase Out Nursing Program Raises Concern

By: Keri Mucci, for HealthLeaders Media, May 6, 2009

The State University of New York New Paltz will say goodbye to 167 graduating nursing students over the next couple of years, and then, goodbye to its nursing program.

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Health in the Heartland: Where Will The Doctors Come From?

By: Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, May 6, 2009

The task of persuading physicians to set up a practice is a daunting one for rural areas across the country.

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A Dozen Low- or No-cost Ways to Engage Employees, Community

By: Gienna Shaw, for HealthLeaders Media, May 6, 2009

It's always nice to come home from a conference with a few ideas that you can implement quickly and inexpensively, especially in this economy.

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Legislating MLR Leads to Unintended Consequences

By: Les Masterson, for HealthLeaders Media, May 6, 2009

On the surface, limiting health insurers' profits and administration costs sounds like a sensible idea. Well, it's not that simple.

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