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Monday, June 8, 2009

Daily news & Analysis

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Obama's Vision of Public Plan Takes Shape

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

What a difference a week makes. At the beginning of last week, it was clear that three committees in the House and two in the Senate were busy putting together health reform legislation. What was less clear was what President Barack Obama wanted—particularly in the area of a public health insurance plan option and other reform areas. But by midweek, the health reform winds seemed to change.

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Could Empowering MedPAC Hold Medicare Costs?

By: Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, June 5, 2009

Among one of the more unexpected areas of support in President Obama's health reform letter this week to Senators Baucus and Kennedy was for a proposal to give the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission new power as an executive-level agency to determine Medicare reimbursement of providers.

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AHA and AMA Ask Health Plans: Can't We All Just Get Along?

By: Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, June 5, 2009

Top officials for the American Medical Association and the American Hospital Association agreed yesterday that they should set aside their long adversarial history with health plans and work together, not for their own bottom lines, but to improve the health of their patients with by adhering to comparative effectiveness research.

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Hospital Payroll Growth Stalls

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, June 5, 2009

Hospital payroll growth continued to sputter in May, with only 300 payroll additions reported in the entire nation, Bureau of Labor Statistics data released today show.

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Hospital Gets Financially Smart in a Tight Economy

By: Dom Nicastro, for HealthLeaders Media, June 8, 2009

Hospitals can't escape layoffs these days, and they're not exactly adding jobs anytime soon. Bureau of Labor Statistics data released Friday say hospitals added only 300 payroll jobs across the entire nation, compared to 16,800 jobs in May 2008, and 8,700 jobs in May 2007. So what are hospitals doing about it, especially on the front end where accurate registrations and upfront collections can mean the difference between a denial and a full return on a patient bill?

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17 Million Children Live More Than an Hour Away From Trauma Care

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

Access to pediatric trauma centers is often variable—and sometimes even inadequate—in many parts of the United States, according to a new study by researchers at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania. Overall, more than 17 million American children (about 30% of the population ages 1 -14) live more than an hour away by ground or air transportation from a pediatric trauma center.

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Focusing on the Most Cited Standards

By: Matt Phillion, for HealthLeaders Media, June 8, 2009

It is better to sweat more during peace and bleed less during war, according to an old Chinese proverb. The saying was invoked recently by Lisa Eddy, RN, CPHQ, CSHA, senior consultant for The Greeley Company, during her presentation at the 2009 Association of Healthcare Accreditation Professionals conference in Las Vegas. Her presentation, "Continuous Survey Readiness," ran through the most-cited Joint Commission standards and methods for avoiding Requirements for Improvement in these areas.

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Magellan Pays $110M for Coventry's PBA

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, June 5, 2009

Magellan Health Services, Inc. will pay $110 million in cash to buy First Health Services Corp., a Coventry Health Care, Inc. subsidiary that provides pharmacy benefits administration for Medicaid programs, Magellan announced today.

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CDC: Elderly Not Hit As Hard By Swine Flu

By: MacKenzie Kimball , for HealthLeaders Media, June 5, 2009

A recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed some elderly people may have a preexisting antibody that protects them from the H1N1 virus, also known as swine flu.

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Meet the Working Poor: Possibly Yourself

By: Philip Betbeze, for HealthLeaders Media, June 5, 2009

All right, I'll admit to hyperbole in the headline, but hear me out.

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