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Doctors await decision on SGR, pay cuts
Health Leaders Media    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail
The nation's physician workforce anxiously awaits the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction recommendation to Congress on how to avoid the Sustainable Growth Rate formula, which is poised to take the largest chunk in history — nearly two of every three dollars — out of their Medicare fees. In the meantime, the epithets abound. American College of Physicians President Virginia Hood, M.D., predicts "devastating access problems for patients" if the cut is allowed to stand, according to a statement. More

SGR is curveball in budget debate
Healthcare Finance News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
It is believed that in its deliberations on how to reduce the federal deficit, the Joint Selection Committee on Deficit Reduction is considering permanently fixing the Medicare sustainable growth rate formula. Many within the medical community have vigorously urged the super committee and Congress to repeal the SGR, and the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission voted to recommend a repeal to Congress. More

Few Americans think health is improving in the US
Kaiser Health News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Public skepticism about health isn't confined to doubts about last year's healthcare law: Most Americans also think the overall health of the public isn't improving, according to a new poll commissioned by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The poll found that 45 percent of people thought the health of Americans had become worse during the past five years, and 40 percent thought it had stayed about the same. Only 13 percent thought it was better. More

Healthcare law unfair to seniors, lawsuit alleges
CBS News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Unfair. That's what a group of Medicare patients and their families think about the new healthcare law. They're suing the Obama administration alleging that elderly patients were deprived of Medicare coverage during long hospital stays. "We've decided we can wait no longer and have turned to the courts for fairness," Judith Stein, executive director of the Center for Medicare Advocacy, told Reuters. Her group and the National Senior Citizens Law Center filed suit on behalf of two 90-something Medicare beneficiaries and the families of five deceased patients. More

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Louisiana state health chief: Medicaid transition to private networks to begin Dec. 15
The Times-Picayune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Louisiana health department will begin Dec. 15 enrolling almost 900,000 current Medicaid and LaCHIP insurance holders in new coordinated care networks run by private insurers and healthcare providers, said state health Secretary Bruce Greenstein. Gov. Bobby Jindal's top healthcare initiative will launch first in southeast Louisiana on Feb. 1, with enrollments and launches to follow elsewhere across the state. More

Insurers seek to avoid 'worst of all worlds' in healthcare case
Bloomberg    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
For insurance companies nervously watching the legal fight over the constitutionality of the president's healthcare law, it would be the unthinkable: The U.S. Supreme Court strikes down the law's so-called individual mandate, which requires millions of young, healthy people to buy coverage — but leaves intact rules compelling insurers to cover sick people, who are likely to cost far more in benefits than they pay in premiums. Congress is then left to fix the problem. More

JAMIA: ED throughput can be slowed by EHR implementation
Cardiovascular Business    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Research from Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center published in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association asserted that its analysis of EHR implementation in a busy pediatric emergency department should help hospitals and ED groups recognize potential needs when planning their EHR implementation. "Implementing EHRs in healthcare settings incurs challenges, none more important than maintain efficiency and safety during rollout," wrote Stephanie Spellman Kennebeck, Ph.D., from the division of emergency medicine at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, and colleagues. More

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New Jersey hospital cuts ER wait times with '15/30' plan
The Times of Trenton    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Long waits can lead to customer dissatisfaction, and in extreme cases to aggravated illnesses or even deaths. Yet ERs have remained busy as their numbers have shrunk — 25 hospitals have closed statewide since 1992 — and as uninsured patients use them for primary care. The continuing demand for services has inevitably made the logistics of moving patients along swiftly a major focus. More

Add NPs to reduce emergency visits in half, coordinate care
Fierce Healthcare    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Hospitals trying to reduce emergency department crowding should look to new research from Loyola University Health System in Illinois, which found that adding a nurse practitioner to staff can cut unnecessary ED visits in half. After adding an NP to an inpatient surgical team who coordinated the discharge plan and communicated with patients after discharge, telephone conversations with patients jumped 64 percent and visiting nurse, physical therapy or occupational therapy services rose from 25 percent to 39 percent, according to the study. More

10 ways mobile medical computing puts the care back in healthcare
Forbes    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Innovations in medical record tracking, patient care records recording and mobile technology have helped to reduce clinicians' workload and simplify management tasks, which can equal more time for patient care. And that's always good — who enters the medical profession to spend more time on paperwork? More

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