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Thursday, February 4, 2010

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Daily news & Analysis


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Many Small Practice Physicians Putting off Meaningful Use Guidelines

By: Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, February 4, 2010

For many physicians in small office practices, the thought of adopting electronic medical records to meet federal "meaningful use" guidelines and timelines is a daunting one at best. For starters, Paul Speckart, MD, a San Diego internist in a five-physician practice, says doctors aren't sure the systems they buy will be "interoperable" with their hospitals or will meet certification standards. And they're not sure the government will make good on its promise to provide stimulus reimbursement.

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The Christ Hospital Settles Whistleblower Suit with Feds

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, February 3, 2010

The Christ Hospital in Cincinnati has agreed to settle a federal whistleblower suit alleging that the hospital ran a kickback scheme with physicians to funnel patients to its cardiac care center. Officials with The Christ Hospital admitted no guilt in the settlement, which could cost in the range of $100 million.

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Five Stumbling Blocks Hinder HIPAA Compliance

By: Dom Nicastro, for HealthLeaders Media, February 3, 2010

Many organizations are focusing on the new privacy and security requirements created by the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act. However, they also must measure their overall compliance with HIPAA requirements already on the books. Facilities and organizations considering what to do next should concentrate on compliance in these five areas.

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Bankruptcy Judge OKs St. Mary's Hospital's Reorganization Plan

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, February 4, 2010

St. Mary's Hospital in Passaic, NJ, says its reorganization plan was confirmed this week by a federal bankruptcy judge. St. Mary's, a 292-bed nonprofit acute care hospital that is sponsored by the Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth, is the first hospital to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy in New Jersey. Since 2007, six New Jersey hospitals have filed for bankruptcy, five of which have either closed or sold their assets in bankruptcy.

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Business Associates Can Pay Directly for Breaches

By: Dom Nicastro, for HealthLeaders Media, February 4, 2010

Business associates can be directly liable for a breach of unsecure protected health information and could have to pay OCR directly, a top OCR official told HealthLeaders Media at the 18th Annual National HIPAA Summit Wednesday afternoon. HealthLeaders Media asked Sue McAndrew, deputy director for Health Information Privacy for OCR, if a business associate could end up paying out of its own pocket for a breach. The answer is yes.

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IBM Continues Expansion into Health IT

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, February 3, 2010

IBM has signed a definitive agreement to acquire privately held Initiate Systems, a Chicago-based provider of information-sharing software for healthcare organizations and government. It's the 30th acquisition IBM has made in the information and analytics arena, as the company positions itself for the release of about $20 billion in federal stimulus money for electronic medical records.

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Obama's Anti-Obesity Initiatives Mirror Health Plan Programs, Say Insurers

By: Joe Cantlupe, for HealthLeaders Media, February 4, 2010

Health plans are supporting the Obama Administration's 2011 proposed budget in areas of combating childhood obesity, initiating wellness programs, and creating smoking cessation programs. The largest allotment is $1 billion to improve children's access to healthy meals through reauthorization of the school meals program and other child nutrition programs.

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HealthNet Reports $49 Million Net Loss in 2009

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

HealthNet Inc., announced a net loss of $49 million for 2009, as well as fourth-quarter earnings losses, which the company attributed to the sale of its Northeast business and company strategies related to other transactions, according to the company.

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Tips to Improve Patient and Family Education

By: Matt Phillion, for HealthLeaders Media, February 3, 2010

Patient and family education is one of those problematic standards and requirements for improvement that boggles the mind of many hospital survey coordinators. In the course of patient care, every patient/family interaction is an opportunity to educate.

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White House May Push Health Plans to Create Wellness Programs

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

Most health plans have wellness, fitness, and disease management programs, but those offerings could become mandatory as the nation searches for ways to reduce health costs.

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A Captive Audience—and Providers—Benefit from Telemedicine

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

Where might be the perfect setting to launch a successful telemedicine project? If you guessed the state prison system, you'd be right on the money.

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If You Could Tell the CEO One Thing About Marketing, What Would it Be?

By: Gienna Shaw, for HealthLeaders Media, February 3, 2010

From marketing your hospital's quality rankings to competing against big brand-name organizations to investing time and money in social media, here's some of the advice I've gathered over the years.

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