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Thursday, March 25, 2010

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Daily news & Analysis


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Health Reform Does Not Control Premiums, States Look to Fill Void

By: Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, March 25, 2010

A closely-watched bill has passed another hurdle on its way to accomplish in California what federal health reform legislation has not: Require health insurance plans to get prior approval before they can raise premiums. This issue was highlighted earlier this year when Anthem Blue Cross announced it planned to increase some individual insurance rates by 39%.

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Primary Care Docs Concerned About How to Care for 32 Million Newly Insured

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, March 25, 2010

It’s already hard enough to find a primary care physician, and the new health reforms that provide 32 million Americans with health insurance aren’t going to make it easier. Leaders of two primary care physicians’ organizations say new practice techniques, technologies, efficiencies, and an emphasis on wellness and prevention will help mitigate many access issues in the coming years.

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Emergency Rooms and Docs Brace Themselves For Newly Insured

By: Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, March 25, 2010

Though new health reform laws won’t take effect for at least three months and most provisions won’t come into play until six months to four years, hospital emergency rooms and physicians are bracing for an onslaught almost immediately. "People will start coming because they think they have health coverage" when they don’t or reform provisions that apply to them don’t kick in for quite some time, says Angela F. Gardner MD, president of the American College of Emergency Physicians.

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Reconciliation Bill May Need Another House Vote

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

Marathon days are here again as the Senate met 17 hours—from mid-morning Wednesday to 2:30 a.m. Thursday—on its second day to review and vote on more amendments to the House healthcare reconciliation bill (HR 4872). While no amendments were added to the bill on Wednesday, the reconciliation bill may still need to return to the House for another vote. Problems have risen in the bill over the formula for determining the maximum Pell grant award under an expanded program.

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Sebelius Pushes for Medicare to Pay Based on Quality, Value

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

In 11th hour negotiations last weekend with representatives from the White House and several House members who belong to the Quality Care Coalition, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius presented a letter indicating that Medicare may be soon moving away from a fee-for-service system to a more quality- and value-based system.

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Hospitals Should Verify Safety Inspections Now

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

The upcoming end of the first quarter may be a time to reflect on your financial performance, but from a building safety perspective, that timeframe also triggers several recurring inspection and testing activities that The Joint Commission mandates.

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FL Physicians to Pay $12M to Settle False Claims Suit

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

Radiation oncologist Todd J. Scarbrough, MD, and Melbourne (FL) Internal Medicine Associates P.A. will pay the federal government $12 million to settle whistleblower allegations that they submitted false claims to Medicare and TRICARE, the Justice Department said.

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Kennedy's Dream Came True, But Healthcare Cost Troubles Remain

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

Massachusetts is grappling with high insurance rate hikes, and that's what is going to happen in the rest of the country despite the healthcare legislative victories for the Obama Administration over the weekend.

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Don't Take Critical Access Hospitals for Granted

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

In all the drama and uncertainty about how healthcare reform will impact the nation, let me share a surprising gem that helps keep perspective about medicine for rural America.

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Entice Docs with Digital Communication Tactics

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

With all of the physician sales methods out there it’s easy to forget about using digital communication. But these techniques are a must-have for today’s successful healthcare marketer.

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How Engaged Employees Can Benefit Patient Experience

By: March 24, 2010

Kris Baird explains how having engaged employees can benefit the patient experience and the bottom line. [Sponsored by Toshiba]

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