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Thursday, March 11, 2010

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Daily news & Analysis


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Senate Approves Delaying Physician Pay Cut Until October 1

By: Joe Cantlupe, for HealthLeaders Media, March 10, 2010

The Senate voted to delay a 21.2% physician pay cut in Medicare reimbursement until October 1. The vote was 62 to 36.

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AMA Wants Permanent Fix on Physician Pay Issue

By: Joe Cantlupe, for HealthLeaders Media, March 11, 2010

The president of the American Medical Association criticized the Senate's vote on Wednesday to delay a 21.2 % physician pay cut in Medicare until October 1, saying it is "pushing the problem off into the near future."

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Hospitals Could Save Millions By Eliminating Five Hospital-Acquired Conditions

By: Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, March 11, 2010

An average 200-bed hospital could save approximately $2 million annually if it eliminates common but high-cost hospital-acquired conditions among inpatients, according to the Healthcare Management Council, Inc., a Needham, MA-based company focusing on hospital and healthcare performance improvement.

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Rush University Medical Center Settles $1.5M False Claims Suit

By: Les Masterson, for HealthLeaders Media, March 10, 2010

Chicago-based Rush University Medical Center has agreed to pay $1.5 million plus interest to resolve allegations that it violated the False Claims Act, according to the Justice Department. The Justice Department alleged that Rush entered into leasing arrangements for office space with two physicians and three physician practice groups, which violated the Stark Law.

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Report Questions Patient Safety Training, Recommends Improvements

By: Heather Comak, for HealthLeaders Media, March 11, 2010

Today's medical students are not learning enough about patient safety, the importance of teamwork and communication, and safety science, according to a new white paper released by the Lucian Leape Institute at the National Patient Safety Foundation on.

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Sebelius Asks Insurers for Transparency on Proposed Rate Hikes

By: Joe Cantlupe, for HealthLeaders Media, March 10, 2010

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told a America's Health Insurance Plans conference that she has not intended to "vilify hardworking employees of insurance companies" after the insurance lobby this week criticized her for singling out health plans in the healthcare reform debate.

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White House Announces Plan to Crack Down on Medicare Fraud

By: Joe Cantlupe, for HealthLeaders Media, March 10, 2010

President Obama announced a new effort to crack down on waste and fraud in Medicare and Medicaid and other programs through expanded use of payment recapture audits. The audits offer specialized private auditors financial incentives to root out improper payments.

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Federal Leaders Promote ACOs as Part of Health Reform

By: Joe Cantlupe, for HealthLeaders Media, March 11, 2010

Current and former top Medicare officials told an American's Health Insurance Plans conference on Wednesday that new directions for healthcare payment reform could include public and private collaborations, such as Accountable Care Organizations.

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More Children Hospitalized With Severe Clostridium Difficile, Says Study

By: Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, March 10, 2010

The strain of clostridium difficile causing severe disease in children has been increasing from 7.24 per 10,000 hospitalizations in 1997 to 12.8 in 2006, most of it during the latter six years, according to a new study. The study's author says the finding should prompt health providers to be even more careful with the use of antibiotics, which may pave the way for the dramatic increase.

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Comparative Effectiveness Research is Lacking, Says Study

By: Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, March 11, 2010

An analysis by researchers of comparative effectiveness studies found that only a few compared medication use with nonpharmacologic interventions, and that only a few examined safety or cost effectiveness, according to a study. Researchers looked at the characteristics and prevalence of CE research on medications published between June 2008 and September 2009 in six general medicine and internal medicine journals.

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Rival Systems Realize They Gain From Collaboration

By: Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, March 10, 2010

Lately, healthcare leaders at rival organizations seem increasingly likely to work together and find opportunities to improve care.

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The Nightmare of Health Insurance Bureaucracy

By: Joe Cantlupe, for HealthLeaders Media, March 10, 2010

Douglas Arnold, CEO of Medical Professional Services in Middletown, CT, recently spoke about the "daunting" and "administrative nightmare" of the health plan bureaucracy.

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Lessons in Patient Experience from 'The Office'

By: Marianne Aiello, for HealthLeaders Media, March 10, 2010

A good portion of a recent episode of "The Office" takes place in a hospital, and it gives some valid insights into how the general public views the hospital experience—and how we can improve it.

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