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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Daily news & Analysis

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Senators: Congress, President Should Get Health Insurance Through Public Option

By: Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, December 8, 2009

If proposed healthcare reforms, including a public insurance option, are good enough for the country, Senators Tom Coburn (R-OK), Charles Grassley (R-IA), Richard Burr (R-NC), and David Vitter (R-LA) said they should be good enough for the White House and Congress. They proposed just that in an amendment to the Senate healthcare reform bill.

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RAC Begins Complex DRG Validation Audits

By: Andrea Kraynak, for HealthLeaders Media, December 7, 2009

Connolly Healthcare has announced the first issues approved for complex RAC review, so providers in several RAC Region C states could begin seeing medical record documentation requests at any time. Connolly is not yet reviewing for medical necessity. According to the Connolly Web site, there are 24 approved DRG validation issues.

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Eight Ways to Prepare Staff, Educate Patients About Mammography Recommendations

By: Dom Nicastro, for HealthLeaders Media, December 7, 2009

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force's controversial mammography recommendations that were issued last month have already affected some Florida facilities. After concerned women asked to cancel their appointments, receptionists successfully convinced some of the women to keep their appointments—though some still cancelled their screenings. So what can your organization do to better educate women about the recommendations?

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FDA, Manufacturer at Odds Over Common Sterilizer

By: Scott Wallask, for HealthLeaders Media, December 8, 2009

Steris Corp. has reacted strongly to a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommendation that hospitals consider alternatives to a popular Steris sterilizing product. In a safety notice published last week, the FDA said Steris modified its Steris System 1 (SS1) processor and that the agency hasn't approved the modifications yet. The SS1 is used in surgical and endoscopy suites for sterilizing or disinfecting medical devices.

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Report Finds Significant Geographic Quality Differences in Medicare Advantage Plans

By: Les Masterson, for HealthLeaders Media, December 7, 2009

Though nearly one-quarter of Medicare Advantage enrollees are in health plans with four or more stars, beneficiaries in many states don't have that luxury. Kaiser Family Foundation reported Monday that less than 2% of beneficiaries in 25 states are in highly-rated plans, while more than half of Medicare Advantage enrollees in other states—Massachusetts, Oregon, and Hawaii—are in highly rated plans.

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Three Nurses Groups Ratify Super Union

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, December 8, 2009

After months of negotiations, representatives from the nation's three largest nurses unions voted Monday to merge and create a 150,000-member, coast-to-coast "super union" that will be called National Nurses United. NNU will represent registered nurses that until this week had been served by the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee, United American Nurses, and the Massachusetts Nurses Association.

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Is the Other Economic Shoe Going to Drop in Healthcare?

By: Karen Minich-Pourshadi, for HealthLeaders Media, December 7, 2009

There are many who wonder if the other economic shoe is going to drop in healthcare—and a "W" or double-dip recession will smack us over the heads.

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Tampa General Dishwasher Embodies the Spirit of Christmas

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

For 20 years, Delwyn Collins has been the heart and soul of Tampa General Hospital in the annual Hillsborough County Foster Angel Program, which provides Christmas gifts for many of the county's foster children.

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