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Thursday, October 8, 2009

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Daily news & Analysis


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Senate Finance Bill Will Cost $829 Billion Over Decade

By: Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, October 8, 2009

Congressional Budget Office preliminary estimates are in, and the bill approved by the Senate Finance Committee early last Friday morning comes in at $829 billion over 10 years—an amount roughly 8% below what was initially predicted by panel chairman, Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT). The cost mainly reflects credits and subsidies provided through state insurance exchanges, increased outlays for Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program, and tax credits for small employers.

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Scripps Health Brings Heart Patients Personalized Medicine With Genetic Test

By: Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, October 8, 2009

Scripps Health is claiming it is the first U.S. hospital network to bring its heart care into the world of genetic medicine by offering a test to determine which stent patients may benefit from anti-platelet drug therapy, and which ones won't. The Scripps announcement follows the publication of a study that found "compelling evidence" that people with a gene mutation, CYP2C19•2, have a poorer response to treatment with clopidogrel (Plavix) than people without the mutation.

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OIG Plans to Review Medicare, Medicaid Auditing Programs

By: Andrea Kraynak, for HealthLeaders Media, October 7, 2009

Healthcare providers are finding themselves and their reimbursement claims accountable to more and more auditors as CMS steps up its Medicare and Medicaid auditing activities. And CMS is unlikely to decrease auditing for incorrectly paid claims anytime soon; it too is being held accountable—by the Office of Inspector General.

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Elderly Fall Injuries Cost $20 Billion in 2006—and Price Is Rising

By: Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, October 8, 2009

Three in 10 elderly patients who sought care in an emergency room after a fall were admitted to the hospital for treatment of their injuries, which was a major share of the $20 billion cost for treating falls in people over age 65 in 2006. Since 2006, fall-related health costs are believed to have increased substantially because of a larger number of seniors suffering falls, and because of the higher costs of treating the fractures, open wounds, and head traumas they cause.

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First Round of Swine Flu Vaccinations Distributed in the U.S.

By: Sarah Kearns, for HealthLeaders Media, October 7, 2009

The first doses of the H1N1 vaccination have arrived in the United States, with a nurse being one of the first Americans to receive the vaccine.

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Nurse's Alleged Negligence Prompts Criminal Investigation

By: John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, October 7, 2009

Fort Lauderdale Police are trying to determine if a veteran nurse at Broward General Medical Center committed a crime by allegedly knowingly reusing saline bags and catheter tubing on more than one patient during cardiac chemical stress tests over the past five years.

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Eight Ways Baucus Bill Would Root Out Healthcare Fraud

By: Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, October 7, 2009

The current version of the Senate Finance Committee's America's Healthy Future Act seeks to put a stop to a very large amount of healthcare fraud and abuse.

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Bending the Cost Curve Could Also Reduce Physicians' Headaches

By: Les Masterson, for HealthLeaders Media, October 7, 2009

A pilot project could serve as a way to reduce health costs, improve physician/health plan relations, and remove some of the complexity in a healthcare system that so many Americans don't understand.

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The Care and Feeding of the (Sometimes Annoying) Millennials

By: Gienna Shaw, for HealthLeaders Media, October 7, 2009

Whatever you do, don't show this column to any of the millennials in your office.

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