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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

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Daily news & Analysis


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Healthcare Reform Provisions Kick in Over 10 Years

By: Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, March 23, 2010

Many of the provisions included in the healthcare reform legislation approved Sunday—and the bill that adds fixes to that measure that was sent to the Senate—would take place not immediately, but along a 10-year timeline through 2020. Here’s a glimpse of how that timeline rolls out.

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House Committee Adds Six More Major Changes to Reconciliation Bill

By: Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, March 23, 2010

Before the House approved the reconciliation bill on Sunday, the House Rules Committee added provisions that will affect insurers and payments. Here are six major changes.

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Will Latest Medicare Advantage Cuts Kill the Program?

By: Joe Cantlupe, for HealthLeaders Media, March 23, 2010

President Obama has described Medicare Advantage as a "waste," and Congress has agreed, proposing $132 billion worth of cuts to the program over 10 years in the health reform package. While some senior citizens are worried about the cuts, experts say that payment reductions to private insurers involved in the program may pave the way for seniors to move into traditional Medicare or commercial individual plans.

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Insurance Commissioners: Health Reform Will Not Limit State Oversight

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, March 23, 2010

Executives with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners say they’re pleased that the healthcare reform package President Obama is expected to sign into law today retains states’ oversight for their own insurance markets. "We believe state insurance regulators are best equipped to educate consumers, field complaints, and regulate insurers," NAIC President Jane L. Cline, who is West Virginia insurance commissioner, told reporters at a media availability Monday afternoon.

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Pessimism Reigns About Health Reform at ACHE Congress

By: Philip Betbeze, for HealthLeaders Media, March 23, 2010

It was indeed a momentous day to be in the company of thousands of senior healthcare (mostly hospital) executives at the American College of Healthcare Executives annual Congress, which kicked off the day after arguably the most sweeping healthcare legislation passage since Medicare was enacted more than 40 years ago. Not surprisingly, given a smorgasbord of educational sessions from which to choose, there was a healthy helping of health reform talk.

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House Decides Against Sending Billions in Medicare Payments to Low-Cost States

By: Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, March 23, 2010

In the 11th hour of health reform negotiations last week, one strategic plan would have redirected about $3 billion of Medicare funds budgeted for California’s hospital patients to states with historically lower Medicare reimbursement rates. The idea was that greater levels of reimbursement to those states might persuade any recalcitrant lawmakers to vote for the bill. But that approach is no longer in play.

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State Supreme Court Strikes Down Medical Malpractice Cap

By: Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, March 23, 2010

Georgia’s $350,000 cap for pain and suffering damage in medical malpractice claims, similar to a template proposed for the nation, was struck down Monday by the Georgia Supreme Court, which unanimously ruled the cap is unconstitutional. With a 7-0 vote, the court said the "non-economic damages" cap violates a citizen’s constitutional right to a trial by jury.

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Clearing the Confusion Around the Three-Day Rule

By: James Carroll, for HealthLeaders Media, March 22, 2010

The three-day payment window rule has remained unchanged since its implementation in 1998, yet much confusion still surrounds the issue. The three-day rule states that all diagnostic services provided three calendar days before the calendar day on which the patient is admitted are bundled and paid as part of the inpatient stay.

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Industry Insiders Question Not Revealing Violators of Health Information Breaches

By: Dom Nicastro, for HealthLeaders Media, March 22, 2010

The Office for Civil Rights cannot post the names of entities that report breaches of unsecured personal health information affecting 500 or more individuals unless the entity gives it written consent. This method has led industry insiders to question OCR.

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Hospital Layoffs Creep Back into the Headlines

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, March 22, 2010

It seems like hospital layoffs are creeping back into the news, but the fact is they never really went away.

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Predictive Modeling: Good for Budgets and Patients

By: Karen Minich-Pourshadi, for HealthLeaders Media, March 22, 2010

I'm not suggesting you find a local psychic to guide your hospitals financial decisions, but you may want to invest in predictive modeling.

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