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Health Care Law Will Let States Tailor Benefits
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In a major surprise on the politically charged new health care law, the Obama administration said that it would not define a single uniform set of "essential health benefits" that must be provided by insurers for tens of millions of Americans. Instead, it will allow each state to specify the benefits within broad categories. The move would allow significant variations in benefits from state to state, much like the current differences in state Medicaid programs and the Children's Health Insurance Program. More

Surgery Checklist Works, But Benefits May Vary
Reuters via Yahoo News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A surgical checklist, similar to what pilots use before every flight, can lower patient death rates, a study at one hospital confirms — though the drop was smaller than past research has found. About 100,000 hospitals worldwide now use the surgical safety checklist developed by the World Health Organization. The list has 19 items that the surgical team checks right before and after a patient's procedure. That includes making sure they have the right patient, that they're operating on the correct body site and are aware of the patient's allergies. More

Patients Want to Read, Share Their Medical Records
Reuters via The Baltimore Sun    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Patients want easy access to any notes their doctor has recorded about them, and they want the right to let others view their medical information, according to a pair of U.S. studies. Advocates of open-access medical records say they are not only a patient's right, but will help boost the quality of care as well. More

Hospitals Cut Doses Amid Drug Shortage
The Wall Street Journal (subscription required)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Hospitals are grappling with a shortage of nutrition drugs and disinfectant products that has led doctors to cut doses and ration supplies, prompting patients at a handful of facilities to get sick. The crunch is part of a broader drug shortage that has federal health officials rethinking how they monitor the nation's pharmaceutical supply. More
Related story: GAO Report Blames Drug Shortages on Manufacturing Problems (The Wall Street Journal)

Study: Dentists Could Fill Gap in Health Care
HealthDay News via    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Nearly 20 million Americans who see a dentist at least once a year don't see a doctor or other general health care provider, which suggests that dentists could screen these people for systemic health disorders, such as high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease, a new study says. Researchers said their findings suggest that dentists could play an important role in identifying health problems that might otherwise go undetected in a large segment of the population. More

As Doctors Use More Devices, Potential for Distraction Grows
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Hospitals and doctors' offices, hoping to curb medical error, have invested heavily to put computers, smartphones, and other devices into the hands of medical staff for instant access to patient data, drug information, and case studies. But like many cures, this solution has come with an unintended side effect: doctors and nurses can be focused on the screen and not the patient, even during moments of critical care. And they are not always doing work; examples include a neurosurgeon making personal calls during an operation, a nurse checking airfares during surgery, and a poll showing that half of technicians running bypass machines had admitted texting during a procedure. More

Analysis: Growing Number of Young Adults Gaining Coverage Through Health Overhaul
The Associated Press via The Washington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Young adults trying to get traction in a tough economy are getting a welcome assist: the new federal health care law has markedly improved their access to health insurance. The number of young Americans ages 19-25 lacking health insurance has shrunk by 2.5 million since President Barack Obama's health care overhaul took effect, the administration announced in a recent analysis. That drop is 2½ times as large as the decline indicated by previous government and private estimates, which showed about 1 million had gained coverage. More

Hospital Urinary Tract Infections Common
UPI    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
U.S. hospitals attempt to prevent hospital-acquired infections, but a survey shows few are aggressively combating catheter-associated urinary tract infections. The report indicates about 90 percent of U.S. hospitals surveyed increased use of methods to prevent central line-associated bloodstream infections and ventilator-associated pneumonia from 2005 to 2009. However, the study found prevention practices for urinary tract infections were regularly used by only a minority of hospitals. More

TIA Patients May Not Need to be Admitted
MedPage Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
For patients with a transient ischemic attack (TIA), hospitalization does not appear to be cost-effective compared with urgent, same-day evaluation in a specialized clinic, researchers found. A statistical model incorporating various assumptions showed that hospitalization resulted in a slight increase in quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) that was offset by the higher price tag, researchers reported. Hospitalization would be cost-effective over a 30-year time period only if the 48-hour stroke risk were greater than about 20 percent, an extreme circumstance. More

NAPH Highlights

NPHHI Awarded Partnership for Patients Hospital Engagement Contract
NAPH    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The National Public Health and Hospital Institute (NPHHI) — NAPH’s research affiliate — has been awarded a hospital engagement contract with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' Partnership for Patients (PfP). The PfP is an initiative of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to improve the quality, safety, and affordability of health care for all Americans. More

A Call to Action Against Junk Food
John Bluford, III    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Truman Medical Centers' president and chief executive officer considers the problem of urban food deserts in America. He outlines the connection between poor eating habits, chronic disease, and health care costs, and delivers a call to action for individuals, schools, employers, and hospitals. More

Find out What's New With NAPH Members
NAPH    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
NuHealth/Nassau University Medical Center has launched a state-of-the-art 320 slice coronary CT angiography. Memorial Cardiac and Vascular Institute at Memorial Regional Hospital has received a three-star rating from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons. And The University of Kansas Hospital has been named a co-winner of the National Research Corporation's Consumer Choice Award for 2011. More

Safety Net Insider
Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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Meghan Day, Content Editor, 469.420.2650   
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