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Thursday, May 14, 2009

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Daily news & Analysis


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Employers Show President How Better Health Improves Bottom Line

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

On the heels of meeting with major healthcare providers the day before, President Barack Obama met Tuesday with several employers at the White House to discuss ideas that are being adopted in the workplace to improve employee health and to hold the rising healthcare costs.

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AHIP: Health Savings Account Enrollment Reaches 8 Million

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, May 13, 2009

Eight million Americans are covered by health savings account-eligible insurance plans, an increase of nearly 2 million people since last year, according to the industry trade group America's Health Insurance Plans. 

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Virginia Officials Begin to ID, Notify Hacker's Victims

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, May 13, 2009

Virginia state officials have begun the arduous task of identifying people who may be affected by the theft of medical and personal data that was stolen from a state Web site by a computer hacker, who is now demanding a $10 million ransom.

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Lab Tech Shortage Causes ED Bottlenecks

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

It's the fear of any hospital administrator. The emergency room is backed up again because blood tests aren't being run quickly in the lab, creating a bottleneck throughout the system. Or, patients can't be diagnosed also because there's no radiology tech to operate the CT. That's a realistic future scenario in California and many other states now realizing that their so-called "invisible workforce" of allied health professionals, such as nurses, clinical lab scientists, respiratory therapists, and pharmacists, are closing in on retirement. And there are far fewer younger workers on their way in to replace them.

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Women More Likely to Skip Healthcare Because of Costs

By: Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, May 14, 2009

Women were found to be more likely than men to face difficulties getting necessary care because they cannot afford it. In fact, about half (52%) of working age women, compared with 39% of men, reported a variety of problems, such as not being able to fill prescriptions, visit physicians or specialists, or get medical tests, according to a new study from the Commonwealth Fund. In the study, "Women at Risk: Why Many Women Are Forgoing Needed Health Care," the researchers found that seven of 10 working age women have no health insurance coverage or inadequate coverage, medical bill or debt problems, or problems getting needed healthcare because of cost.

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Florida Duo Arrested for $22.8 million Medicare Advantage Fraud

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, May 13, 2009

South Florida bolstered its reputation as the Medicare fraud capital of the nation this week when two Miami-based operators of 19 sham medical clinics run out of empty store fronts and post office boxes in five states were arrested and charged with fraud, conspiracy, and money laundering.

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Insurers Will Do Just About Anything to Avoid Public Plan

By: Les Masterson, for HealthLeaders Media, May 13, 2009

Health insurers are so concerned that a public insurance option could destroy their business that they have made concessions over the past few months that would have seemed impossible only a year ago.

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Hospitals Increasing Focus on Patient Satisfaction, but Many Questions Remain

By: Gienna Shaw, for HealthLeaders Media, May 13, 2009

Patient satisfaction and patient experience are hot right now. Part of reason is the government's focus on patients' own perceptions of the care they receive, measured through HCAHPS.

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Physician-Patient E-Mail Can Save Both Time and Cost

By: Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, May 13, 2009

In rural areas or places where transportation is a challenge, e-mail between patients and physicians can save hours of time and even improve care.

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