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Monday, February 8, 2010

Daily news & Analysis

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Nurse Anesthetists Say They Practice Safely Without Physician Supervision

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

Nurse anesthetists across the country are vehemently defending their ability to administer anesthesia to Medicare patients without physician supervision, saying there's never been a study showing the practice to be unsafe, as alleged by two large physician groups who filed a lawsuit last week. On the contrary, several representatives of the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists say studies have shown that certified registered nurse anesthetists perform the service with equal safety, or even more safely, than anesthesiologists.

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Obama Hopes to Recharge Health Reform with Public Meeting

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

President Obama announced Sunday that he will meet with congressional Republicans and Democrats on Feb. 25 to discuss ways to move forward with healthcare reform this year. Speaking with CBS anchor Katie Couric in a pre-Super Bowl interview, he said he wants to "put their ideas on the table" during a half-day meeting that will focus on the stalled healthcare legislation. The goal will be to "go through, systematically, all the best ideas that are out there and move it forward," Obama said.

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Can Nurses Drive Health Reform?

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

Upon release last month of a Gallup Survey of opinion leaders about nursing leadership, Risa Lavizzo Mourey, MD, president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, said the organization commissioned the survey because of the importance related to "expanding the leadership of nurses and tapping into all the wisdom and expertise that nurses have [which] is critical to healthcare reform and the healthcare system." Many nursing leaders think the tide may be turning in that area and that the roles of nurses—and the work that they do—will be steadily influencing the movement toward healthcare reform and emerging health policy and research issues.

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HIPAA Harm Threshold Works, Say Providers

By: Dom Nicastro, for HealthLeaders Media, February 8, 2010

HHS' "harm threshold" standard in its interim final rule on breach notification will prevent healthcare organizations from overwhelming patients with unnecessary breach notification responses, according to providers who work with privacy and security. At the 18th annual National HIPAA Summit, Judi Hofman, CAP, CHP, CHSS, privacy/information security officer for Cascade Healthcare Community at St. Charles Medical Center in Bend, OR, and Debbie Mikels, corporate manager, confidentiality for Partners Healthcare System in Boston, said the provision gives covered entities the power to prevent unnecessary notifications.

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Obama's Budget Would Hurt Healthcare Charitable Giving, Says Group

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

Budget proposals from the White House to reduce tax deductions for charitable donations and freeze discretionary spending will harm fundraising for nonprofit hospitals, said the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy. The move will stop wealthy donors from giving to nonprofits and dry up funds to help the poor and underinsured, according to the group.

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Expectant Moms, The White House is Calling

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

The White House officially moved into the mobile phone health application business when it unveiled a free texting service for use by expectant and new mothers. With the program, at least three text messages can be sent weekly to pregnant women via cell phones—giving them friendly reminders appropriate to their stages of pregnancy on how to keep themselves healthy.

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NIH Panel Concerned about Barriers to Colon Cancer Screenings

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

A National Institutes of Health State of the Science panel recommended that healthcare needs to identify better ways to stop colorectal cancer. The panel noted that while guidelines have supported the value of getting screened for colorectal cancer, the disease still remains the second leading cause of cancer related deaths in the United States.

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Long-Term Care Providers Preparing for RAI Implementation

By: MacKenzie Kimball, for HealthLeaders Media, February 5, 2010

The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services recently posted the remaining sections of the new Resident Assessment Instrument User's Manual on their Web site, allowing long-term care providers to view the manual for the new Minimum Data Set, Version 3.0, in its entirety.

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A QUEST to Improve Healthcare Cost and Quality

By: Philip Betbeze, for HealthLeaders Media, February 5, 2010

The QUEST program, a joint project with the IHI and the Premier Healthcare Alliance, provides a framework that helps hospitals do what they have trouble doing alone—cutting costs and improving quality.

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