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Friday, April 30, 2010

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Daily news & Analysis


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WellPoint Anthem Retreats From Its 39% Premium Hike Demand After Audit Reveals Bad Math

By: Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, April 30, 2010

WellPoint Inc., the parent company of Anthem Blue Cross, yesterday backed down from its 39% hike of health plan premiums for 800,000 Californians after state officials unveiled an audit showing "numerous and substantial errors" in a filing Anthem said justified the increase. The audit showed that Anthem double counted "aging" as a projection of total lifetime loss ratio, and "overstated the initial medical trend used to project claims for September 2009 for known risk factors," said state Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner.

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Catholic Healthcare West To Provide Medical Directors for CVS Clinics in Phoenix

By: Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, April 30, 2010

The Arizona division of Catholic Healthcare West yesterday announced collaboration with CVS Caremark to provide physician medical directors for 10 Phoenix walk-in CVS clinics staffed by nurse practitioners. The arrangement will allow non-profit CHW to expand its development of electronic medical records in this kind of ambulatory setting for family illnesses, as well as integrate patients into a medical home.

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The Impact of Personalized Medicine Today

By: HealthLeaders Media, April 30, 2010

Download the latest HealthLeaders Media Breakthroughs report "The Impact of Personalized Medicine Today," for a look at how progressive health systems, medical researchers, and physicians are working together to bring the practical benefits of personalized medicine to the frontlines of healthcare delivery. Personalized medicine is where genetic testing, health IT, and patient-centered care intersect—and where high-value healthcare will live in the foreseeable future. Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, The Ohio State University Medical Center, Partners HealthCare, and Vanderbilt University Medical Center share insights and the lessons learned that will help you explore the current and near-term impact of personalized medicine, determine whether your healthcare information technology foundation is ready for the opportunity, and see where lab research and clinical practice are overlapping.

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Recent Change in CMS Manual Aims to Improve the RAC Program

By: James Carroll, for HealthLeaders Media, April 30, 2010

A recent transmittal released by CMS implemented a number of changes to the Medicare Financial Management Manual that will ultimately enhance the structure of the Recovery Audit Contractor national program. The transmittal, Change Request 6871, is dated April 23, 2010 with an effective date of May 24, 2010. Changes include Chapter 4 Sections 100.5 and 100.9.2.

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J&J Subsidiaries, Schwarz Pharma, Settle Separate Whistleblower Suits

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, April 29, 2010

Johnson & Johnson subsidiaries Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical LLC, and Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc. will pay more than $81 million to resolve criminal and civil whistleblower allegations that they promoted the off-label use of the epilepsy drug Topamax, the Justice Department announced.

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Hospital Management, Nurses Do Not Agree on Value of Recognition

By: Sarah Kearns, for HealthLeaders Media, April 29, 2010

A recent report contradicts the idea that employees value recognition of their efforts higher than anything else. The top motivator of performance is actually progress.

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Develop a Handoff Training Program

By: Julie McCoy, April 29, 2010

With more research showing that handoffs are essential to patient safety, the pressure is on for hospitals to teach physicians handoff techniques. Developing a toolbox of educational activities and assessments will give your residents the training and skills they need to conduct handoffs and preserve patient safety.

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'Pay to Delay' Generic Drug Case Needs Further Review, Court Says

By: Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, April 30, 2010

A federal appeals court on Thursday upheld the legality of Bayer AG to pay a potential generic competitor, Barr Pharmaceuticals, to delay introduction of Cipro, a popular antibiotic. But, in an unusual move, the court said that the issue—better known as "pay to delay"—needs additional court review because of the "exceptional importance" of antitrust implications in the case.

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Are Concierge Medical Services on the Upswing?

By: Joe Cantlupe, for HealthLeaders Media, April 29, 2010

These are certainly interesting times for concierge medicine, though whether it is the wave of the future remains to be seen.

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Can EMRs Lead to a Failure to Communicate?

By: Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, April 29, 2010

The application of EMRs for inpatient and outpatient use holds a lot of promise. But could surrounding oneself with this data build a barrier toward effective real-time, face-to-face communications?

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