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Thursday, December 24, 2009

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Daily news & Analysis


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Senate Passes Health Reform Bill, 60-39

By: Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, December 24, 2009

Shortly after 7 a.m. this morning, the Senate passed its healthcare reform bill, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (HR 3590), along party lines. The 60-39 vote marks the first time in more than a century that the Senate has voted on a Christmas Eve.

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Joint Commission Releases Interim Staffing Effectiveness Standards

By: Matt Phillion, for HealthLeaders Media, December 23, 2009

The Joint Commission has released a series of interim requirements to the staffing effectiveness standards, which are set to go into effect July 1, 2010. These standards are intended to stay in effect as The Joint Commission examines and reassesses issues with the current staffing effectiveness standards.

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Remembering an Active Year in Hospital Medicine

By: Karen M. Cheung, December 24, 2009

The most notable year in hospital medicine used to be 1996, when the phrase "hospitalist" was first coined in the New England Journal of Medicine. That is the year typically associated with the official birthday of hospital medicine. Now, another landmark year has dawned. The year 2009 was a milestone for hospital medicine.

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Hospital Leaders: How to Add Value to Healthcare

By: Jim Molpus, for HealthLeaders Media, December 17, 2009

The current relationship between hospitals and physicians has been built around rewarding for volume of services and not quality. That model is breaking down as reformers in Washington have hospital and physician inefficiency in their sights, with Medicare pushing toward value-based purchasing and experimenting with a payment system that rewards a system of coordinated care. In this HealthLeaders Media Breakthroughs report that you can download for free, four leading hospital systems—Gundersen Lutheran Health System, Sanford Health-MeritCare, SSM Health Care, and Virginia Mason Medical Center—share the lessons they have learned about adding quality to healthcare.

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OK Health System Pays $13.2M to Settle Self-disclosed Kickback Violations

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, December 23, 2009

St. John Health System in Tulsa, OK, will pay the federal government more than $13.2 million to settle self-disclosed allegations that it reportedly billed Medicare and Medicaid for services that were tainted by the health system's incentive payments for referring physicians.

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SEIU-UHW Trumpets Pay Raises for Members, Despite Bad Economy

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, December 23, 2009

Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers-West is boasting that its rank-and-file hospital workers in California, who secured new contracts in 2009, received pay hikes that were nearly double the national average—despite a tanking state economy that is among the worst in the nation.

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