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Thursday, March 18, 2010

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Daily news & Analysis


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Ranking Physicians Based on Cost May Be Misleading, Says Study

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, March 18, 2010

Health insurance plans that push patients toward physicians who keep medical costs lower are based on unreliable estimates of physician performance and may not save money, according to a new study in the New England Journal of Medicine. The RAND Corp. study found that about one-fourth of the 13,788 Massachusetts physicians they reviewed would be misclassified under the system of cost ranking commonly used by insurance plans.

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CMS Delays Enforcement of Physician Supervision for Critical Access Hospitals

By: Michelle A. Leppert, March 18, 2010

Critical access hospitals have received a reprieve of sorts from CMS. CMS will not evaluate or enforce the "direct supervision" requirement for therapeutic services furnished in calendar year 2010 to outpatients in CAHs, according to an agency notice to Congress.

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Benchmarking for Beleaguered Budgets

By: Karen Minich-Pourshadi, for HealthLeaders Magazine, March 8, 2010

After the quick cuts, finance leaders looking for deeper savings have found success with benchmarking.

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New Idaho Law Would Allow AG to Sue Feds if Health Reform Passes

By: Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, March 18, 2010

Idaho has become the first state to implement a law that would require the state’s attorney general to sue the federal government if Congress passes the current health reform legislation.

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Physicians Generate $1.5M Annually for Their Hospitals, Says Survey

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, March 17, 2010

Physicians are key drivers of hospital revenues, and a single physician averages more than $1.5 million a year in net revenue for his or her affiliated hospital, a new national survey of hospital CFOs reported. Neurosurgeons topped the list. A single, full-time neurosurgeon generates an average of more than $2.8 million a year on behalf of the affiliated hospital.

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3 Lessons U.S. Healthcare Can Learn from France to Cut Infections

By: Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, March 18, 2010

French researchers evaluating their country’s national infection control program for healthcare facilities found significant decreases in the rates of healthcare associated infections since initiating mandatory reporting for the their national, regional, and local healthcare facilities in 2004. While France’s government-financed healthcare system is different from the American system, the researchers said that reducing HAIs through public reporting could be successfully applied to other healthcare systems.

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HCA Closing Houston Hospital's Inpatient Operations

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, March 17, 2010

Declining admissions has prompted HCA’s Spring Branch Medical Center in Houston to cease inpatient operations by May 1. However, outpatient services, including radiation oncology, imaging, and emergency care will continue, the hospital chain announced.

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State Suspends Medicare Advantage Salesman for Fraudulent Tactics

By: Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, March 18, 2010

A Southern California health plan sales agent used "deceptive, misleading, aggressive, and abusive sales tactics" to persuade elderly individuals into switching their Medicare Advantage plan by telling them falsely that the plan he was selling would let them see their physicians, California officials said.

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Hospital Monitors Infectious Diseases Using Real-Time Surveillance

By: Cynthia Johnson, March 17, 2010

The responsibilities of an infection preventionist have never been more daunting. With CMS refusing to pay for treatment of hospital-acquired infections, it has never been more important to identify them and prevent them from impacting a hospital's bottom line.

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Study: Almost One-Third of Direct-Care Jobs Will be Held by Older Women by 2018

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, March 17, 2010

Older women aged 55 and older will become 30% of the nation’s direct-care workforce by 2018—up from 22% in 2008, according to a new study by PHI, the long-term care workforce development consultants.

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Health Plan Helps Hospitals Achieve Better Grades

By: Joe Cantlupe, for HealthLeaders Media, March 17, 2010

Under a three-year pilot program in California, providers and payers are working together to improve healthcare quality and trim costs. That's the goal, at least.

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Six Reasons Proposed Hospital Advertising Ban Will Never Pass

By: Marianne Aiello, for HealthLeaders Media, March 17, 2010

Earlier this month, a couple of well-meaning Vermont lawmakers proposed a bill that would outlaw hospitals from marketing and advertising their services. But this is never going to happen.

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Retire And Go Fishing? Not For This Rural Florida Keys Doctor

By: Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, March 17, 2010

In 1979, Surgeon Steven J. Smith set up practice in the Upper Keys of Florida because he wanted to be near a place where he could go fishing and boating. But now, at age 61, he isn't even thinking of retiring.

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