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Thursday, January 21, 2010

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Daily news & Analysis


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Watchdogs Concerned About Pork in Senate Health Reform Bill

By: Joe Cantlupe, for HealthLeaders Media, January 21, 2010

The Nebraska senator who gave the Democrats what they wanted on health reform now doesn't want what they want to give him in return. After waves of protest about the potential illegality of the deal in which Nebraska was allegedly promised millions of dollars in Medicaid funds, Sen. Ben Nelson, D-NE, told Democratic leadership he "reiterates" that all states should be given "the same treatment." In other words, he told his colleagues "thanks, but no thanks." So far, there has been no response from party leaders.

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10 Health Reform Provisions That Affect Women

By: Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, January 21, 2010

Forget, just for a moment, the divisive topic of abortion in the context of health reform. Embedded in the 2,409 pages of the Senate's health reform template are many other provisions that would impact women's healthcare, including breast cancer screening, ob/gyn specialty access, special tobacco cessation programs for women, and a new Office of Women's Health.

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Healthcare Leadership, Policymakers Should Listen to Nurses, Says Gallup Survey

By: Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, January 21, 2010

A new Gallup Survey of opinion leaders from across the country found that most believe nurses should have greater influence in many healthcare areas—from reducing medical errors to improving efficiency and reducing costs—but that significant barriers continue to block them from fully achieving those goals. The survey, called "Nursing Leadership from Bedside to Boardroom: Opinion Leaders' Perceptions," was conducted on behalf of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and released at a briefing in Washington on Wednesday.

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Senate Bill Takes Aim at Small Employer Insurance Groups

By: Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, January 21, 2010

Congress is taking aim at MEWAs, or Multiple Employer Welfare Arrangements, which are cooperative-like entities in which health and other benefits are marketed to groups of small employers. And while many MEWAs are providing small employers legitimate health insurance options, other MEWAs are associated with scams, experts say. When these health plan purveyors are dishonest, or don't have the money to pay claims, the federal government wants the right to shut them down with a prompt cease and desist.

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New Joint Commission Survey Process Takes into Account Hospitals' Time Demands

By: Matt Phillion, for HealthLeaders Media, January 20, 2010

Relief will come to facilities waiting for their unannounced survey from The Joint Commission, as a new and more collaborative process will take place in 2010, the organization announced recently. The new process is designed to be more sensitive to the time demands on facilities and staff during the survey process.

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RAC Changes Could Leave Providers Susceptible

By: James Carroll, January 20, 2010

With Recovery Audit Contractor HealthDataInsights looking specifically at underpayments, providers should be aware of these underpayment issues—such as DRG validation-amputations and DRG validation-burns. Understanding these issues will put providers in a better situation going forward.

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Pilot Projects Can Show Promise, But Often Come up Short

By: Joe Cantlupe, for HealthLeaders Media, January 20, 2010

Although the health reform bills showcase the potential of pilot and demonstration projects as cost-cutters for the system, experts are cautious about implementing them. A key problem is the lack of a national data system.

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Coakley's Failed Senate Bid: Four Lessons for Healthcare Marketers

By: Gienna Shaw, for HealthLeaders Media, January 20, 2010

Democrat Martha Coakley's communications strategy helped her lose a seat that hasn't been held by a Republican in decades. Here's how you can avoid making the same mistakes in your marketing campaigns.

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Can Art—And Artie Shaw—Reduce Health Costs and Improve Patient Satisfaction?

By: Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, January 20, 2010

Doctors and hospitals are increasingly realizing that exposure to music and art isn't just a cosmetically pleasing, cute trinket in a healthcare setting, it can actually improve patient satisfaction and reduce costs.

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Blue Shield Reaches Patients Through Portal

By: January 20, 2010

Jim Orchison, director of network design and programs for Blue Shield of California, talks about the insurer's new Patient Ally portal. [Sponsored by Emdeon]

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