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Thursday, February 25, 2010

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Daily news & Analysis


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Healthcare Summit: Road to Bipartisanship or Political Theater?

By: Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, February 25, 2010

For the past few weeks, the national conversation on healthcare reform has been getting louder and is expected to reach a crescendo today as select Democratic and GOP congressional members meet with President Obama for the healthcare summit at 10 a.m. EST at Blair House in Washington. Millions of viewers are expected to watch on the White House Web site and C-SPAN to see whether the summit can achieve a bipartisan agreement that moves a final bill through Congress.

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House Approves Removing Insurers' Antitrust Exemption

By: John Commins and Joe Cantlupe, February 24, 2010

The U.S. House of Representatives stripped health insurance companies of antitrust exemptions by a 406-19 vote. The Health Insurance Industry Fair Competition Act removes the health insurance industry's antitrust protections under the McCarran-Ferguson Act of 1945.

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Sebelius, Congress Turn up Heat on Health Insurers

By: Joe Cantlupe, for HealthLeaders Media, February 25, 2010

A Cabinet secretary and two congressional committees are increasing pressure on health plan leaders to justify premium rate hikes as the Obama administration steps up its fight for health reform proposals. HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has invited leaders of insurance companies she has criticized for proposed rate hikes to a meeting March 3 at HHS, saying she is "eager to hear the justifications for these increases."

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AMA Bashes Health Insurer Monopolies in Many Markets

By: Joe Cantlupe, February 24, 2010

A few insurance carriers dominate markets across the country, resulting in a "near total collapse" of competition, according to the American Medical Association. Two insurers controlled 70% of the markets in 24 states in 2007, and the lack of dynamic insurance markets resulted in rocketing insurance premiums, said AMA President J. James Rohack, MD.

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Involve Physicians in Your Hospital's Disaster Plans

By: Scott Wallask, for HealthLeaders Media, February 24, 2010

One thing is clear when it comes to Joint Commission surveyors reviewing your disaster plans: If people from various departments can speak to their roles in emergency management, you'll be in better graces. Surveyors often look to various department managers to participate in these discussions, rather than the lead emergency management planner, as a way to test how many people are familiar with the facility's disaster plan.

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Emergency Physicians Raise Alarm on ED Financial Stress, Closures

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, February 24, 2010

The American College of Emergency Physicians expressed concern over the recent closure of an emergency department in Cincinnati and reports that EDs could soon close in New York and Washington, DC. Angela Gardner, MD, president of ACEP, says the closures are especially troubling because healthcare reform has stalled and President Obama's new proposal does not address any of the critical problems facing emergency patients.

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New Survey Terminology Cropping up in Joint Commission Visits

By: Matt Phillion, for HealthLeaders Media, February 25, 2010

The term "observed but corrected on-site" has been cropping up in survey terminology in recent site visits, and has left some in the field confused. But what, exactly, is an "observed but corrected on-site" deficiency and how will it impact your survey?

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Michigan Blue Cross: Health Reform Villain or Health System Victim?

By: Joe Cantlupe, for HealthLeaders Media, February 24, 2010

Amid the controversy of insurance plans seeking large rate hikes, one company stands out, and that's Michigan Blue Cross Blue Shield.

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Hospitals Renew Battle to Hire Doctors in California

By: Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, February 24, 2010

In California, institutional hiring of doctors is limited to teaching and county hospitals and prisons. The hiring situation is causing concern for rural areas in the state, which are already in dire need of physicians.

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How Hive Marketing Can Save Social Media for Healthcare

By: Marianne Aiello, for HealthLeaders Media, February 24, 2010

A new marketing initiative is more likely to be successful if you have a solid plan in place than if you throw one together haphazardly. You need a steadfast approach to social media, and you should start with hive marketing.

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