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Friday, March 19, 2010

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Daily news & Analysis


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10 Major Changes to Health Reform in House's Reconciliation Bill

By: Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, March 19, 2010

After nearly three months since the passage of the Senate bill, the House Rules Committee issued its 153-page reconciliation proposal on Thursday that makes "legislative fixes" to the Senate measure. Here’s a sample of some the major changes made to the Senate bill.

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CBO: Latest Health Reform Bill Would Cost $940 Billion

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

House Democrats got some good news Thursday with the eagerly awaited Congressional Budget Office results on the healthcare reform bill that the House could vote on as early as this weekend. CBO reported that over the next decade, the new bill, which makes changes or fixes to the Senate bill, would save $138 billion.

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Cardiology Group Fights Medicare Pay Cuts by Offering Concierge Services

By: Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, March 19, 2010

For President Richard Wright, MD, and eight other cardiologists with the Pacific Heart Institute in Santa Monica, CA, a Medicare cut on Jan. 1 was one too many. That’s why the group will start charging patients between $500 and $7,500 for special "extended" access services and same-day appointments. Some patients had been receiving these services for free.

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CEOs: Employee Retention Is Your Job

By: Philip Betbeze, for HealthLeaders Magazine, March 8, 2010

If costs, patient mortality, and patient satisfaction are important, then turnover should be at the top of your list.

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Primary Care is Unappealing to Many Medical Students

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, March 19, 2010

Huge salary disparities and onerous student loans appear to be dampening the enthusiasm of medical school students for primary care. The 2010 National Resident Matching Program shows that the number of U.S. medical students choosing internal medicine residencies grew slightly from 2009, but not enough to impact the shortage of primary care physicians.

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Strong Medicare Advantage Returns Help NY Health Plans, Says Report

By: Joe Cantlupe, for HealthLeaders Media, March 18, 2010

Most commercial health plans in New York maintained profits in 2008 despite the onset of the recession because they were buttressed by strong Medicare Advantage returns, according to a new United Health Fund report. Those strong returns could soon be threatened though.

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Hospitals' Sustainability Managers Look for Savings through Better Environmental Practices

By: Scott Wallask, for HealthLeaders Media, March 19, 2010

Many hospitals already have green teams of ecology-minded employees who strategize ways to reduce waste and energy consumption, but some medical centers have taken things a step further by creating a full-time position for the management of environmental initiatives, typically called a "sustainability officer" or "sustainability manager."

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Match Day a Reminder of Primary Care's Struggles

By: Elyas Bakhtiari, for HealthLeaders Media, March 18, 2010

Today is Match Day, when each year medical students find out which residency program they were matched with. Like previous years, it's likely that more primary care than specialty slots will go unfilled.

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Can 'Deadly Deliveries' Be a Wake-Up Call to Physicians, Hospitals?

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

While the U.S. may have one of the most advanced healthcare systems in the world, it also has major problems with maternal mortality and pregnancy-related complications when compared with other industrialized nations.

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Using Claims Transparency to Reduce Waste

By: March 17, 2010

Representatives from St. Joseph Health System and Blue Shield of California discuss the Partnership in Operational Excellence and Transparency. [Sponsored by Emdeon]

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