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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

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Daily news & Analysis


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HIPAA Compliance Questions to Ask as HITECH Date Nears

By: Dom Nicastro, for HealthLeaders Media, February 15, 2010

As a HIPAA covered entity, you should watch HITECH closely. The HITECH compliance date for business associates to comply with the security rule is this Wednesday, and the security rule requires covered entities and business associates to ask themselves critical questions.

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Imaging After the Recession

By: Elyas Bakhtiari, for HealthLeaders Magazine, February 4, 2010

After freezing capital spending during the recession, hospitals are investing in imaging again. But reimbursement cuts and reform have changed the focus of the service line.

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Providers Push Back on Plan to Extend Medicaid Managed Care

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, February 15, 2010

The call by Florida's private health insurance plans to expand Medicaid managed care while eliminating fee-for-service programs and the state's MediPass program is meeting resistance from healthcare providers. Bruce J. Rueben, president of the Florida Hospital Association, says HMOs don't work well in rural areas with sparse populations and few services.

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What Meaningful Use Means For You Now

By: Andrea Kraynak, for HealthLeaders Media, February 16, 2010

It has now been a month since the CMS and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology published the interim final rule for EHR certification standards and the proposed rule on the EHR Meaningful Use Incentive Program and meaningful use standards. Another rule proposing the EHR certification process and organizations designated to conduct EHR certification is also expected early this year. But with incentive payments set to begin in October for hospitals and in January 2011 for physicians, waiting for the release of final rules before worrying about meaningful use standards may not be wise—especially for those hoping to take advantage of the early incentives.

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Joint Commission Postpones Field Review of Revised Medication Reconciliation

By: Matt Phillion, for HealthLeaders Media, February 15, 2010

The Joint Commission will wait to release National Patient Safety Goal (NPSG) 08.01.01 to the field so its advisory and board committees can review the draft, according to an official statement on its Web site. NPSG.08.01.01, addresses medication reconciliation, which The Joint Commission had targeted as part of its effort to prevent medication errors.

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FDA Gives Hospitals More Time to Transition from Steris SS1

By: Scott Wallask, for HealthLeaders Media, February 16, 2010

After further consideration, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has extended the deadline to 18 months for hospitals to transition away from using the Steris System 1 processor. Previously, FDA officials said the transition could be made within three to six months. But after hearing from hospitals and others in the industry, the "FDA now understands that a three-to-six-month transition period may present significant difficulties for some healthcare facilities, which could, in turn, adversely affect patient care," the agency said.

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Lack of Paid Sick Days Let H1N1 Spread, Group Says

By: Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, February 16, 2010

Of the 26 million Americans age 18 or older who were infected by the H1N1 flu in 2009, more than a quarter of them may have contracted it from their coworkers, according to a new briefing paper from the Washington, DC-based Institute for Women's Policy Research. Looking at the period between September through November 2009, the researchers—using data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Bureau of Labor Statistics—estimated that more than 7 million workers may have infected their fellow employees.

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Neurosurgeons Predict Services Cuts if Medicare Reimbursements Are Cut

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, February 15, 2010

More than half of neurosurgeons in a national survey say they will cut services and time spent with Medicare patients if Congress doesn't act to permanently fix the sustainable growth rate formula, and prevent the 21.5% reimbursement cuts that are scheduled to go into effect on March 1.

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Five Healthcare Leaders Weigh-In on Rising Charity Care

By: Karen Minich-Pourshadi, for HealthLeaders Media, February 15, 2010

In part one of this two-part series, CEOs answer how they and their teams are addressing uncompensated care at their facility.

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Layoffs an Effective Strategy for Economic Crisis, But Beware the Downstream Costs

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, February 15, 2010

While job cuts may have an immediate effect on cost containment, other downstream costs should be considered.

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Offsetting Uncompensated Care

By: February 15, 2010

Nancy Schlichting, CEO for the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit, MI, discusses how their system is working to offset the financial losses of rising numbers of uncompensated care.

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