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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

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Daily news & Analysis


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Senate Delays Doc Pay Cut for 30 Days

By: Joe Cantlupe, for HealthLeaders Media, March 3, 2010

The Senate overwhelmingly voted Tuesday night to delay for 30 days a 21.2% pay cut in Medicare reimbursement for physicians. The tally came after Sen. Jim Bunning, R-KY, agreed to a vote after blocking the measure since last week. By agreeing to the physician pay cut delay, the Senate finally joined the House, which approved its 30-day delay legislation last week. By a 78-19 vote, the Senate approved the measure.

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Obama Incorporates GOP Ideas into Health Reform Plan

By: Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, March 3, 2010

Less than a week after the congressional bipartisan healthcare summit, President Obama will likely indicate in a White House speech this afternoon that he wants Congress to move quickly to pass healthcare reform legislation as early as late March before the Easter recess. The legislation will now include several new provisions proposed by the GOP.

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HHS Releases Proposed Rule for EHR Certification

By: Andrea Kraynak, for HealthLeaders Media, March 2, 2010

HHS has announced the release of the proposed rule for establishing certification programs for health information technology. The proposed rule describes the creation of a certification program for EHRs, as mandated by the HITECH Act.

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Nonprofit Providers' Financial Status Improving, Says S&P

By: Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, March 3, 2010

Nonprofit healthcare organizations are demonstrating more financial stability in 2010 than they did in 2009, said Martin Arrick, managing director for U.S. not-for-profit healthcare for Standard & Poors Rating Services. "Right now, there's a little bit of an island of calm," he said. "We're beginning to see a lot of providers come in with numbers that are definitely better than last year and [they] show real foresight in trying to manage their cash flow."

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Four Precautions to Prevent ED Violence

By: Scott Wallask, for HealthLeaders Media, March 2, 2010

When it comes to workplace violence in hospitals, emergency departments act as a potential powder keg. Annual reviews of security plans and incidents offer hospitals an opportunity to improve the safety of ED workers. Here are four suggestions to prevent ED violence.

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Consider Human Factors Engineering When Designing Patient Safety Projects

By: Heather Comak, for HealthLeaders Media, March 3, 2010

When Barbara Wilson, PhD, RNC, begins any new patient safety project, she first examines the principles of human factors engineering. Wilson, assistant professor at Arizona State University's College of Nursing and Health Innovation, Center for Improving Health Outcomes in Children, Teens, & Families, says that to ensure her staff members' success, it's imperative to examine how current processes may fail.

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Review RAC Demo Project Issues to Understand, Avoid Fraud

By: James Carroll, March 2, 2010

While RACs are not responsible for reviewing claims for potential fraud, they are responsible for referring to CMS any potentially fraudulent instances found during those reviews. At the time of the demonstration project, CMS provided RACs with a number of conferences, but no formal training was provided. This shows that anticipation of potential problem areas is essential for providers.

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Proposed HITECH Rule for Business Associates Will Come Soon, Says OCR Lawyer

By: Dom Nicastro, for HealthLeaders Media, March 2, 2010

An OCR lawyer tells HealthLeaders Media the HIPAA privacy and security enforcer will release a proposed rule regarding business associate provisions in HITECH "shortly." Adam H. Greene, Office of the General Counsel for OCR, said OCR's rulemaking will elaborate on the expected date of compliance surrounding the rule.

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Access-Privacy Balance Could Prove Elusive for Hospitals

By: Gienna Shaw, for HealthLeaders Media, March 2, 2010

Will privacy concerns stand in the way of electronic health record systems that can talk to each other across hospitals and other healthcare organizations?

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Nurses Value Progress More Than Recognition

By: Rebecca Hendren, for HealthLeaders Media, March 2, 2010

A new study suggests we focus too intently on the warm-and-fuzzy of recognition and reward instead of a bigger nurse value: progress.

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Live from HIMSS: The Evolution of Information

By: March 2, 2010

At the annual HIMSS conference in Atlanta, Brian A. Yeaman, MD, chief medical informatics officer at Norman (OK) Regional Health System, discusses combining evidence-based medicine and decision support in EMRs.

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