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Thursday, May 21, 2009

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Daily news & Analysis


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Sebelius: New Fraud Prevention Team will Turn up Heat

By: Ben Amirault, May 21, 2009

Attorney General Eric Holder and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced this week the government's latest tool in the fight against healthcare fraud and abuse?The Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Action Team. With what appears to be an intended pun, Sebelius said, "Today, we are turning up the heat on perpetrators who steal from the taxpayers and threaten the future of Medicare and Medicaid."

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Study: Trimming Residents’ Hours Would Cost Teaching Hospitals $1.6 billion Annually

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, May 21, 2009

America's teaching hospitals would have to spend $1.6 billion each year to cover the costs of replacement workers if reduced work hours for medical residents are adopted, according to a new study by the RAND Corp. and the UCLA School of Medicine on Wednesday. While patients would probably benefit from an expected reduction in medical errors, limiting trainee workloads would also create a substantial new expense for academic medical centers, according to the study published in the May 21 edition of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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13 Hospitals Fined for Mishaps, Never Events

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

California has imposed another round of fines against hospitals for mishaps and so-called never events, including three cases in which objects were left inside surgical patients.

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Report: States Could Save Money by Expanding Medicaid Managed Care

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

Medicaid managed care is providing a safety net of care coordination to millions of at-risk Americans and is improving patient outcomes and quality of care, while reducing states' healthcare costs, according to a new report.

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New RAC FAQ Explores Communications, Review Topics

By: Andrea Kraynak, May 21, 2009

CMS released four new and updated Recovery Audit Contractor FAQ on Tuesday. The FAQ range from the broad ("Why is CMS using RACs?") to the specific ("Will the RACs review evaluation and management services on physician claims under Part B?"). A third question updates the contact information for each region's RAC. The fourth new FAQ informs readers where to go with questions concerning RAC communications.

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Errors All Too Common in Women's Cancer Care

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

As many as one in five women diagnosed with breast cancer had lesions that were visible but overlooked on most recent mammograms, and another 10% to 20% had lesions that were misinterpreted, according to a report summarizing recent research on cancer in women.

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HR Trade Group Opposes Mandatory Paid Sick Leave

By: John Commins, May 20, 2009

The Society for Human Resource Management has come out against a proposal that would require companies with 15 or more full-time employees to provide seven days of paid sick leave each year.

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Are HSAs Ready to Battle a Public Plan?

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

Consumer-driven plans have been largely pushed aside during healthcare reform talks in Washington. However, health savings accounts could be a way for private plans to compete against a public plan.

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Can Telepharmacy Reduce Rural Critical Access Drug Mistakes? Yes.

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

A shortage of pharmacists at critical access hospitals has spawned creative solutions using "telepharmacy" technology. But a deficit of regulations and guidance means only a few facilities have taken the leap.

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Nasty or Nice: How Do You Grow Market Share?

By: Gienna Shaw, for HealthLeaders Media, May 20, 2009

What's more important, a hospital's reputation and image? Or grabbing as much market share by any means necessary?

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