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Friday, March 26, 2010

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Daily news & Analysis


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Hospital Deals are Part of Growing Consolidation Trend, Say Analysts

By: Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, March 26, 2010

It’s unclear whether the two deals in the past week in which for-profit entities purchased nonprofit hospitals are a direct reaction to health reform that was passed this week. But several analysts say they expect similar deals in coming months as hospitals try to position themselves better to negotiate for insurance contracts and attract physicians in a difficult economic climate.

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Reconciliation Bill Passes, But Health Reform Battle Not Over for GOP

By: Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, March 26, 2010

After more than a year of healthcare reform proposals, debates, and deliberations, the House brought the process to a close shortly after 9 p.m. Thursday with a 220-207 vote approving the healthcare reconciliation package that had been sent over from the Senate six hours earlier. The bill (HR 4872) now proceeds to President Obama for his signature.

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Health Reform Brings Changes, More Work for HIM

By: Andrea Kraynak, for HealthLeaders Media, March 25, 2010

After an eventful week on Capitol Hill, HIM directors are likely wondering how health reform will affect them. HIM departments will need to update their processes and increase their efficiency to keep up with patient volume increases.

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Texas Tech Program Hopes to Lure Med Students to Primary Care

By: Joe Cantlupe, for HealthLeaders Media, March 26, 2010

In what officials hope to be the beginning of a nationwide initiative to help attract medical students to primary care, Texas Tech University’s Health Sciences Center School of Medicine will launch a "first of its kind" three-year medical degree program to allow outstanding students emphasizing on primary care to complete a program at half the cost of a traditional medical school program.

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Good Catch Program Encourages Reporting Near-Miss Medical Errors

By: Sarah Kearns, for HealthLeaders Media, March 25, 2010

Though staff members are often trained to report a potential medical error, or near-miss event, these events sometimes are not reported. The University of Texas System, however, developed a system that allowed the anonymous reporting of close calls, near misses, and potential errors.

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Sisters of Mercy Cuts 226 Positions Across Four States

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

Sisters of Mercy Health System announced the elimination of 226 positions across the four-state region it serves as part of a system-wide restructuring. The layoffs affect 89 leadership positions and 137 "co-worker roles," which represent less than 1% of Mercy’s 36,000 employees.

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Study: Higher-Volume Hospitals Have Lower Mortality Rates in Three Conditions

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, March 26, 2010

Higher-volume hospitals saw lower mortality for acute myocardial infarction, heart failure, and pneumonia, according to a new study in the New England Journal of Medicine. The study, led by Joseph S. Ross, MD, with the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, analyzed data from Medicare claims for all fee-for-service patients, who were hospitalized between 2004 and 2006 in acute care hospitals for the three ailments.

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Long-Term Care Leaders Speak Out About Pain Medication Regulations

By: MacKenzie Kimball, for HealthLeaders Media, March 25, 2010

Long-term care leaders spoke about how a federal program impedes nursing home residents from getting necessary medications at a Senate Special Committee on Aging hearing on Wednesday.

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Why Healthcare Reform is a Big Deal

By: Elyas Bakhtiari, for HealthLeaders Media, March 25, 2010

I personally know one of those 32 million whose prospects for real medical care improved with the stroke of President Obama's pen this week, and so does every physician who provides uncompensated care or spends time in an ED.

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Last-Minute Heath Reform Change Gives New Life to Quality-Based Payments

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

For years, many healthcare providers in various rural areas complained about Medicare's payment system. But under provisions agreed to under the healthcare reconciliation bill, the argument may become moot.

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