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Wednesday, May 6, 2009

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Daily news & Analysis


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Hacker Holding Virginia Health Records for $10 million Ransom

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, May 5, 2009

A computer hacker wants $10 million for the return of more than 8 million patient records and 35.5 million prescriptions taken recently from a secure Web site for the Virginia Prescription Monitoring Program, reported the Web site Wikileaks.

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Medicaid Inspector General Provides Fraud Guidance

By: Ben Amirault, May 5, 2009

The New York State Office of Medicaid Inspector General last week released its 2009 work plan, which details the processes used by the agency to root out Medicaid fraud. In the work plan's introduction, Medicaid Inspector General James Sheehan describes the document as a "road map" for the agency "reflecting OMIG's mission, developing competencies and carefully reviewing New York Medicaid expenditures and vulnerabilities."

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Switching Accreditors: Will it Interrupt Medicare Reimbursement?

By: Matt Phillion, May 5, 2009

For the first time, there are three separate entities that hospitals can turn to for accreditation. With the option to move from one accreditation organization to another comes concerns of process and Medicare reimbursement.

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Training, Identifying Discrepancies Are Key in Red Flags Rule

By: Dom Nicastro, May 6, 2009

When it comes to the Red Flags Rule, the Federal Trade Commission's mandate that creditors establish an identity theft prevention program, an expert says facilities should not sound the sirens. "Our plan is to train staff to look for red flags and to bring it to the privacy officer's attention," Chris Simons, RHIA, director of UM & HIMS and the privacy officer of Spring Harbor Hospital in Westbrook, ME, tells Healthleaders Media. "We certainly don't want registration staff confronting patients or getting in the way of providing medical care when patients need it."

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Survey: Education Levels Related to Health Status

By: Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, May 6, 2009

People with more education in all 50 states appear overall to be healthier than people with less education, according to a new report released today by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Commissions to Build a Healthier America. The findings add to the "growing body of evidence that there's much more to health than healthcare," says Paula Braverman, co-author of the study, Reaching America's Health Potential: A State-by-State Look at Adult Health, and director of the University of California at San Francisco's Center on Social Disparities in Health.

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WHO Initiates Worldwide Campaign to Promote Hand Hygiene

By: Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, May 6, 2009

The World Health Organization's Alliance for Patient Safety Tuesday officially kicked off its "Save Lives: Clean Your Hands" initiative to encourage hospitals and healthcare facilities worldwide to raise awareness of hand hygiene to reduce often preventable healthcare-associated infections. With the kickoff, the alliance has released a set of tools for system change, training and education, evaluation and feedback, workplace reminders, and institutional safety climate.

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Jury Awards $1.2 Million in Botched Plastic Surgery Suit

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, May 5, 2009

A Cleveland jury has awarded $1.2 million to a woman who suffered second-degree burns to her face and neck during a botched plastic surgery.

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As Swine Flu Scare Abates, Lessons for the Future

By: Ben Cole, for HealthLeaders Media, May 5, 2009

After more than a weeklong swine flu scare, officials around the world are now trying to ease concerns after health officials determined the H1N1 virus is not as deadly as originally thought.

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Industry Weighs in on Definition of Meaningful Use

By: Carrie Vaughan, for HealthLeaders Media, May 5, 2009

While providers wait for the government's definition of "meaningful use" of EHR technology, they did receive some guidance as just about every association and industry group has released their own definition.

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