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Home   Members Only   About Us   Advertise   Join   Certification Aug. 17, 2011

2011 Annual National Institute
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SAVE THE DATE! The 2011 ANI will be Oct. 5-7 at The Wynn in Las Vegas. Registration is now open; you can register online or download a printable version of the Registration Brochure at

It's never too early to book your rooms; you can call 866-770-7555 — and be sure to mention you are with AAHAM! The room rates are $169 for Monday-Thursday and $199 for Friday-Saturday. The room reservation deadline is Sept. 7!

AAHAM Webinar: Provider-based criteria and rural health clinic billing
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When: Sept. 14 1:30-3:30 p.m. EDT
Speaker: Charles A. James Jr., MBA, president & CEO of North American Healthcare Management Services
Program Focus: This intermediate/advanced level session will provide an overview of the criteria and process for designating a clinic as provider-based. The basic components of billing as a provider-based rural health clinic also will be presented.
Registration Info: Payment must be received on or before Sept. 2. You will receive your confirmation and handouts via email by Sept. 9. Full descriptions and registration info can be found at

Public health grants target safety, health IT
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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has awarded public health agencies a total of $49.2 million in grants for a number of initiatives to fight infectious diseases, including increasing capacity of agencies' health information systems. More

How debt ceiling shenanigans could damage health care
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Cheryl Clark writes, "You remember the Greek myth about Scylla and Charybdis, the sea monsters who wreak havoc on ships along the Strait of Messina, the treacherous path that separates Sicily from mainland Italy? These days, I'm hearing that cliche in discussions about the debt ceiling debacle, and its potentially horrific impact on health care. These monsters represent the threats health care executives are worrying about in their journey across the quality chasm." More

Appeals court rules individual mandate unconstitutional
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The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that Congress exceeded its authority by requiring all Americans to purchase health insurance as part of the health system reform law. In a 2-1 decision issued Aug. 12, the federal appeals court said the law's individual mandate cannot be sustained "as a valid exercise of Congress' power to regulate activities that substantially affect interstate commerce." The mandate requires individuals to obtain health coverage starting in 2014 or pay a penalty. More

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HHS awards $185M more for insurance exchanges
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Even as Oklahoma and Kansas recently said "no thanks" to federal money aimed at helping them with the health information technology platform needed to create health insurance exchanges, the Departments of Health and Human Services and Treasury last week awarded $185 million more to drive the creation of the exchanges across the country. The HHS award went to 13 states and the District of Columbia to help them build the exchanges. With Treasury, HHS also posted three proposed rules aimed at providing a simple, streamlined and affordable path for consumers to use the exchanges to purchase private health insurance. More

Nurse education key to scope-of-care debate
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Cheryl Clark writes, "The nursing profession is in an upheaval. On one hand, there is pressure to push registered nurses and their teaching colleges to begin or augment nurses' careers with higher levels of training and skill, so nurses will be better prepared for new tasks required as the industry changes. These nurses need to manage quality metrics and patient care continuum models, hospital chiefs and doctors say. Nurses need to be critical thinkers, and understand value-based purchasing and what that could mean to the hospital's bottom line." More

'Super committee:' What's to become of Medicare, Medicaid?
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Although President Barack Obama continues to make clear that, in his view, reforming these entitlement programs is necessary to find budget savings, one policy expert says such cuts might have very little impact on deficit spending. Meanwhile, news outlets report on how lobbyists are taking position in an effort to best advance their clients interests to the deficit panel. More

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HHS cutting red tape to speed clinical trials
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Wide-reaching changes announced by the Department of Health and Human Services would speed up the process of approving and monitoring federally funded clinical trials. The plans, which represent the first substantive revisions to the country's human research subjects regulations since they were adopted three decades ago, could help ease the regulatory burden faced by the estimated 30,000 U.S. physicians who act as clinical investigators. More

More best business lessons
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Dr. Elizabeth A. Pector writes, "Several business bestsellers, notably the 'e-myth' series, recommend that you analyze and promote what your business uniquely offers. What do you most enjoy? What sorts of patients are particularly attracted to your practice? What sets you apart from the other physicians in your specialty? What is your niche? When you define your 'focus factors,' consider writing a mission statement of one to three sentences that coalesces your key practice aims. This statement will help your support staff understand what you want to accomplish, and why. It also will help you target your marketing efforts to people who will be more receptive to your message." More

Drugmakers no longer able to block wall posts on Facebook
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Most pharmaceutical companies no longer will have the option to block public comments on their Facebook pages, marking a reversal by the social networking website, The Washington Post reports. The company will allow some drugmakers to block wall comments for specific prescription product pages, but pages that are focused on the companies themselves or that serve as disease- or patient-specific communities will be open to public comment. More

Should chronic patients be at financial risk?
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Gary Baldwin writes, "Cheryl Whitaker, M.D., is a big fan of government initiatives to automate the industry and promote data exchange. Whitaker, a former internist who now serves as chief medical officer at imaging vendor Merge HealthCare, says lack of data sharing among providers often creates a major obstacle in cost-effective treatment of chronic diseases. Incentive programs such as meaningful use-which rewards practices for adopting EHRs, and ultimately penalizes them if they don't-are a step in the right direction, she says." More

If you're interested in becoming a member of AAHAM, please contact Membership Director Moayad Zahralddin at 703-281-4043, ext. 202, or

Mostashari: Consumer eHealth requires 'targeted strategy'
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The National eHealth Collaborative convened its second meeting of the Consumer Consortium on eHealth earlier this week, bringing together a collaborative forum of nearly 200 organizations who are working in a national effort to engage consumers around the tools and resources available to them through advances in health IT. More

NAIC urges caution HIX regulations
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The National Association of Insurance Commissioners is urging the federal government to avoid creating regulatory loopholes for health insurance exchanges that could give multistate plans significant advantages over their smaller, in-state competitors. More

Reform, pay cuts likely to widen gap between rich and poor hospitals
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When it comes to hospitals and their financial health, they are either thriving or wheezing — with no in-between. "The gap between the haves and have-nots is getting bigger," said Samuel R. Maizel, who represents financially distressed hospitals as a partner at the Los Angeles-based law firm of Pachulski Stang Ziehl and Jones. There isn't one official set of numbers that bears out his claim, but analysts say anyone who has seen news reports about hospitals alternately adding jobs or subtracting them is right in thinking that hospitals are either growing or struggling. More

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