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Monday, July 20, 2009

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Daily news & Analysis


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CBO Re-Estimates Health Reform Bill and Finds It's Budget Neutral

By: Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, July 20, 2009

Late on Friday, hours after two House committees—Ways and Means and Education and Labor—approved reform legislation, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) had bad news: HR 3200 would result in a net increase in deficit spending of $239 billion during the next 10 years, according to its analysis. But House leadership immediately challenged the findings—and CBO changed its tune hours later.

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Obama Pushes for New Health Oversight Group

By: Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, July 20, 2009

President Obama has returned to his idea—expressed in a letter last month to Senate leaders—of creating an independent board of physicians and medical experts at the federal level with oversight of healthcare delivery system reform. "Every year, there's a new report that details how much waste and inefficiency there is in Medicare, how best practices are not always used, and how many billions of dollars could be saved," Obama said in a speech at the White House on Friday afternoon. "We need an independent group that is empowered to make these changes."

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Who Supports What? A Healthcare Stakeholder Scorecard

By: Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, July 20, 2009

The American College of Physicians, which represents 129,000 internists across the country, said the Democrats' so-called "Tri-Committee" health reform proposal, H.R. 3200, "is closely aligned" with its policies. However, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers Association, which represents drug and biotech companies, is opposed.

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AHIP Launches Health Reform Ad Campaign

By: Les Masterson, for HealthLeaders Media, July 20, 2009

Health insurers are pushing their health reform agenda in a new national television advertising campaign that is being launched today. Through its "Campaign for an American Solution," America's Health Insurance Plans, the group that helped squelch the Clinton health reform plan with its "Harry and Louise" ads, is launching its first health reform ad this year called "Illness." AHIP said "Illness" addresses issues that were raised during the group's nationwide listening tour last year.

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Dakota Health Systems' Merger Would Create One of Nation's Largest Integrated Systems

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, July 17, 2009

After four months of negotiations, South Dakota-based Sanford Health and North Dakota-based MeritCare Health System have signed a letter of intent to merge as equals and create one of the nation's largest integrated healthcare systems.

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New HIPAA Jobs: Enforcers or Policy-makers?

By: Dom Nicastro, for HealthLeaders Media, July 17, 2009

Does HHS' posting of two "Health Information Privacy Specialist" positions mean stepped up enforcement of HIPAA? Probably not.

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Proposed OPPS Changes May Bring Greater Flexibility in Physician Supervision

By: Lisa Eramo, for HealthLeaders Media, July 17, 2009

Despite several industry groups' efforts to advocate for a moratorium on physician supervision requirements outlined in the 2009 OPPS final rule, CMS has stated that it will enforce its regulations for the remainder of the calendar year. The agency announced the news in its 2010 OPPS proposed rule released this month.

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KP Bellfower Unsure if it Will Appeal Second Fine Connected to Octomom

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, July 17, 2009

An official at Kaiser Permanente Bellflower Hospital says it's "too soon" to determine if the suburban Los Angeles hospital will appeal its second six-figure fine in two months for failing to secure the personal electronic medical records of Nadya Suleman and her octuplets from snooping employees.

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Healthcare Reform Bill Proposes Critical Long-term Care Changes

By: MacKenzie Kimball , for HealthLeaders Media, July 20, 2009

America's Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009 addresses multiple long-term care issues. Of most concern to long-term care providers and industry leaders are the proposed cuts in Medicare payments to skilled nursing facilities, which would add up to approximately $44 billion over the next 10 years.

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Daydreaming on Healthcare Reform, and More

By: Philip Betbeze, for HealthLeaders Media, July 17, 2009

If you could ask your peers anything, what would it be?

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