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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

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Daily news & Analysis


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Five Projects that Could Contain Costs in Health Reform

By: Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, November 3, 2009

One of the biggest criticisms of any health reform package, particularly the latest one from the House, is the lack of concrete cost containment provisions. However, a read through the bill's 1,990 pages finds a number of novel proposals that seek to test new ways of measuring and monitoring care.

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GOP Offers Reform Alternative, Hoyer Says It Protects Status Quo

By: Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, November 4, 2009

House Republicans on Tuesday unveiled their alternative health reform plan to the current bill (HR 3962) making its way to the House floor by the end of the week. Not surprisingly, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) called the proposal an "effort to protect the status quo while attempting to disguise them as real healthcare reform."

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Surgical Masks Work As Well as N95 Respirators Against Influenza, Study Says

By: Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, November 4, 2009

Despite concerns about shortages, cost, and practicality of N95 respirators recommended by the CDC to protect healthcare workers against influenza, a new report says surgical masks, which are cheaper and easier to use, work just as well. "Infection occurred in 50 nurses (23.6%) in the surgical mask group and in 48 (22.9%) in the N95 respirator group," the authors wrote. They concluded that the incidence of laboratory-confirmed influenza was similar in nurses wearing the surgical masks and those wearing the N95 respirators.

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Doc-owned Hospitals: DOJ Settlement Shows Problems with Corporate Hospital Chains

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, November 3, 2009

Physician-owned hospitals today launched a media counteroffensive with news that the Department of Justice reached a $27.5 million settlement with for-profit Universal Health Services and its subsidiaries for violations of the anti-kickback and false claims laws at the corporation's hospitals in McAllen, TX.

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Healthcare Sector's Online Job Ads Falter

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, November 3, 2009

Adding weight to the belief that we are in a jobless recovery, a new report showed that online job listings decreased slightly across many employment sectors nationally, and that healthcare was one of the casualties.

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Nurses Union Calls Off Strike, Reaches Settlement on Containing H1N1

By: Sarah Kearns, for HealthLeaders Media, November 3, 2009

The California Nurses Union reached a settlement announcing a landmark agreement for establishing a national standard on containing the spread of pandemics such as H1N1, better known as the "swine flu."

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HHS, ED Docs Provide H1N1 Guidelines to Public

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, November 4, 2009

Guidelines to help the public determine whether or not their H1N1 symptoms warrant a trip to the emergency room were released today by the American College of Emergency Physicians. The guidelines are a joint effort by ACEP and the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response and the Emergency Care Coordination Center, which are divisions of HHS.

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CDC Lifts Ban on U.S. Visitors with HIV

By: Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, November 4, 2009

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said in a final rule issued Monday that it is amending its regulation to remove "human immunodeficiency virus infection" from the list of diseases barring immigrants from entering the U.S., effective Jan. 1, 2010. Prior to this final rule, individuals with HIV infections seeking to immigrate to or reside in the U.S. were considered to have a communicable disease of "public health significance" and thus were inadmissible to the country per the federal Immigration and Nationality Act.

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Partnership Tests Value of EMRs

By: Carrie Vaughan, for HealthLeaders Media, November 3, 2009

The CDC and GE Healthcare's announcement that they are partnering to monitor H1N1 and seasonal influenza activity may be just the opportunity needed to generate widespread support of EHRs from the public.

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New Clinical Nurse Leader Role Benefits Patient Care and Quality

By: Rebecca Hendren, for HealthLeaders Media, November 3, 2009

If your organization doesn't employ any clinical nurse leaders, perhaps it's time you did.

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