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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

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Daily news & Analysis


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Medicare Payment Changes Could Prompt Hospital Closings, Layoffs

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, May 26, 2009

New Jersey hospitals could lose $97 million in federal funds next year and more than $500 million over the next five years–prompting even more Garden State hospital closings and layoffs–under a new Medicare payment rules proposed to take effect in October, according to a new analysis.

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Congress Asks Obama to Withdraw Indirect Medical Education Funding Cuts

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, May 26, 2009

A bipartisan group of Congressmen wants President Barack Obama to withdraw the Oct. 1 phase out of indirect medical education reimbursement for teaching hospitals under the capital prospective payment system.

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Joint Commission Opens Goals Clarifications for Public Input

By: Matt Phillion, for HealthLeaders Media, May 26, 2009

The Joint Commission has crafted revised National Patient Safety Goals in the hopes of clarifying language and increasing relevancy to the settings where they are applied. Twenty-one pages of proposed revisions have been posted to The Joint Commission's Web site identifying standards and Elements of Performance proposed for revision or deletion.

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Obama Signs Law That Redefines False Claims Act Terms

By: Ben Amirault, for HealthLeaders Media, May 26, 2009

President Barack Obama last week signed the Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act of 2009, which gives additional resources to law enforcement for fighting fraud and abuse and strengthens fraud laws and statutes.

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Primary Care Needs New Innovations to Meet Growing Demands

By: Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, May 27, 2009

The impact of a shrinking pool of primary care providers, combined with an increased demand for primary care services, has created a crisis of sorts in healthcare delivery. Keeping this in mind, now may be the time to consider newer approaches in care delivery in order—especially with healthcare reforms on the horizon—to improve quality and outcomes, according to a new report, Remaking Primary Care: From Crisis to Opportunity by the New England Healthcare Institute.

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Tenet Employee, Accomplice, Charged with Patient Records Theft, Fraud

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, May 27, 2009

Federal prosecutors in Miami have charged an employee at Tenet Healthcare Corp.'s Palmetto General Hospital in Hialeah and an accomplice with theft of patient records and fraud. Jacquetta L. Brown, 29, a medical records employee at the 360-bed acute-care hospital, and accomplice Tear Renee Barbary, 25, face multiple felony counts of conspiracy to commit access device fraud, and criminal HIPAA violations. Brown also faces aggravated identity theft.

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CMS Told to Reevaluate Actual Costs of Home Dialysis Treatments

By: Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, May 27, 2009

Beginning in 2011, Medicare will begin paying for dialysis services for individuals with end-stage renal disease using an expanded bundled payment that is designed to encourage home dialysis. However, several factors could make those home services somewhat more expensive—and less desirable to providers—according to a new General Accounting Office report.

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Family Education Reduces Costly ED Trips for Children with Asthma

By: Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, May 27, 2009

Better efforts to teach children and their parents about controlling asthma can greatly reduce pediatric emergency room visits, according to an analysis published today of 38 asthma intervention studies involving 7,843 children around the world. Asthma is the leading cause of childhood admission to a hospital and is the most common chronic pediatric illness, affecting one in five children in the U.S., says the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. American children with asthma spend nearly 8 million days per year restricted to bed.

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Should Virtual Colonoscopies Be Covered by CMS?

By: Carrie Vaughan, for HealthLeaders Media, May 26, 2009

CMS recently announced that it would not cover virtual colonoscopy. Advocates of CT colonography blasted the decision, saying that wider use of screening could save 20,000 lives annually.

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