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Friday, August 14, 2009

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Daily news & Analysis


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House Reform Bill Would Give Dollar Rewards To States That Pass Tort Reforms

By: Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, August 14, 2009

A little-noticed provision in the House Committee on Energy and Commerce's package on health reform would pave several ways for medical malpractice reform, as long as they do not limit attorney fees or impose caps on damages. If the provision, contained in four pages of an amendment, ends up in the final version that becomes law, each state would be eligible for a federal incentive payment if it produces an alternative medical liability law that meets the secretary of Health and Human Services' approval.

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Obama Missteps on Foot Amputation Pay to Surgeons

By: Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, August 14, 2009

At least three large physicians' groups, and many physician bloggers yesterday blasted President Obama for saying that a surgeon makes $30,000 to $50,000 to amputate the foot of a diabetic, while receiving a pittance to prevent the diabetes that necessitated the procedure in the first place. That is wrong, said members of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, the American College of Surgeons, and the California Medical Association. Numerous bloggers and pundits promptly pounced on his statements, some calling him "idiot-in-chief."

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Policymakers Can Learn From California's Failed Insurance Exchange

By: Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, August 14, 2009

Policy wonks idealizing the idea of health reform through the creation of a national insurance exchange should see a cautionary tale in California, where just such an ambitious effort in that state crashed and burned in 2006. Launched in 1993, the Health Insurance Plan of California offered small employers several standardized insurance products sold by a variety of plans.

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New RAC Web Site Tells Hospitals What to Expect for Audits

By: Andrea Kraynak, for HealthLeaders Media, August 13, 2009

HealthDataInsights, Inc., launched its new RAC Web site, and posted the first set of issues eligible for RAC review throughout all 20 RAC Region D states and territories yesterday.

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BCBS Study Shows Low Health Plan Administrative Costs

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, August 14, 2009

Private health plans' administrative costs averaged 9% of premiums across all policies sold and are well below "vastly overstated" estimates offered by proponents of a government-run public plan, according to a new study paid for by the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. A consumers' rights group disputes the findings.

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Blue Cross and Blue Shield Puts Bank Up for Sale

By: August 14, 2009

Blue Cross and Blue Shield's attempt at a healthcare bank appears to be coming to an end with the company's announcement that it is looking to sell Blue Healthcare Bank. The bank, which offers healthcare banking through health savings accounts, organized in 2006 and received a Federal Savings Bank charter in 2007. The bank offers HSAs to Blue Cross and/or Blue Shield members that are in qualifying health plans.

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Knowing Your HIM Department Could Help with EHR Implementation

By: Lisa Eramo, for HealthLeaders Media, August 13, 2009

The hospitals that achieve a successful EHR implementation are the ones in which the C-suite and HIM director work collaboratively to achieve the goal.

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Insurers Try to Deflect Blame toward Doctors

By: Elyas Bakhtiari, for HealthLeaders Media, August 13, 2009

Knowing they can't successfully fight back aggressively against the president, insurance companies are now instead trying to divert the blame and anger to someone else: Physicians.

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How to Avoid Fumbled Handoffs When Discharging Patients

By: Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, August 13, 2009

"Be prepared" is an important motto that hospitals and healthcare organizations are finding that they need to consider when communicating with discharged patients.

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