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Thursday, April 8, 2010

Daily news & Analysis

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Will Retail Clinics Be a Key Player in Post-Health Reform World?

By: Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, April 8, 2010

Retail clinics in drug or grocery stores can be an essential part of the nation's healthcare delivery system in a post-health reform era, providing low-cost, high-quality care for millions of newly insured patients who otherwise would crowd emergency rooms or go untreated. But organized physician groups have a very different view.

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Struggling St. Vincent's Hospital is Closing

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, April 7, 2010

After 160 years of continuous operations, financially-troubled St. Vincent's Hospital in Manhattan will close inpatient services, including all acute and behavioral healthcare, the hospital announced. The vote Tuesday by the Saint Vincent Catholic Medical Center's board of directors came after a six-month effort to save the last Catholic-affiliated hospital in New York City.

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AHRQ Provides Guidance on Collecting Quality, Patient Safety Information

By: Heather Comak, for HealthLeaders Media, April 7, 2010

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has released Common Formats Version 1.1, including technical specifications, which will help hospitals further standardize the collection and reporting of data related to patient safety events.

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Medicare Advantage Payments Will Stay Level in 2011

By: Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, April 7, 2010

Medicare beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare Advantage and Medicare prescription drug plans are being given the opportunity to more easily compare plans in 2011 under a final regulation issued Tuesday by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

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More Employed Seniors Could Extend Medicare Solvency, Says RAND

By: Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, April 8, 2010

Last spring, the predictions by the Medicare trustees were dire: the Medicare Hospital Insurance Fund (Part A) would likely run out by 2017—two years earlier than previously predicted. However, a new analysis by RAND economists says delayed retirements by older individuals actually could move this date more than a decade into the future.

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Surgery Center Group Challenges Study Showing Doctor/Owners Operate More Often

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, April 8, 2010

A trade group for outpatient surgery centers is challenging a new study that found that doctors invested in the centers perform about twice as many surgeries as doctors with no such financial stake. The Ambulatory Surgery Center Advocacy Committee, which represents ASC operators, state associations, and the ASC Association, said the report in the April issue of Health Affairs made "incorrect assumptions" about the industry.

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Five More States Join Suit Against Health Reform Law

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, April 7, 2010

Five more states have joined the lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the federal health reform law. Indiana, North Dakota, Mississippi, Nevada, and Arizona announced this week that they will join 13 other states that filed suit just minutes after President Obama signed the law on March 23.

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Community Hospital War Pits University Against the Rest of Region's Healthcare System

By: Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, April 7, 2010

It's a rare day when you see a hospital CEO get angry in public. But that's what happened last week.

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Insurers Must Push Employers to Reward Value

By: Les Masterson, for HealthLeaders Media, April 7, 2010

While some employers keep dumping more premiums and copays onto the backs of their employees, other leaders are finding new ways to avoid a future of $10,000 deductibles.

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Gasps and Giggles: When It’s Okay to Break from Traditional Healthcare Advertising

By: Marianne Aiello, for HealthLeaders Media, April 7, 2010

There seems to be a universal formula for hospital ads. But when hospitals lighten up, the resulting advertisements are often more memorable and water cooler-worthy than their stuffy counterparts.

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The State of HSAs

By: April 7, 2010

Martin Trussell, senior VP of business development at First Horizon Msaver, talks about the state of HSAs and how health reform will affect them. [Sponsored by Emdeon]

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