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November 2010 - Posts

The Politics of Health Care

NIH Recommends New Institute for Substance Use, Abuse and Addiction Research
November 30, 2010 10:42 AM by Frank Irving
Task force expected to produce a detailed reorganization plan in the summer of 2011. The Scientific Management Review Board of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommends creation of a new Institute focusing on substance use, abuse and addiction Read More...
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IT Investments Will Follow ARRA Incentive Awards, According to Study
November 29, 2010 11:04 AM by Frank Irving
Beacon Partners reports on preparedness for meaningful use incentive payments. A study released Nov. 19 by management consulting firm Beacon Partners examines health care organizations' preparations to obtain incentive funding from the American Recovery Read More...
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National Health Service Corps Gets $290 Million Boost from Affordable Care Act
November 26, 2010 5:47 PM by Frank Irving
Program helps primary care clinicians repay student loans in exchange for two years of service in underserved areas. The Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) announced on Nov. 22 the launch of a new application cycle for the National Health Read More...
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HRSA Grants $1.6 Million for Hepatitis C Treatment Initiative
November 24, 2010 7:35 AM by Frank Irving
Program designed to increase access to and completion of HCV treatment for HIV-positive patients. On. Nov. 19, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) announced that it has awarded $1.6 million in grants to support the Hepatitis C Treatment Read More...
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HHS Issues Medical Loss Ratio Regulations
November 23, 2010 8:24 AM by Frank Irving
Starting in 2011, insurance companies must spend 80 to 85 percent of premium dollars on medical care and quality improvement. New regulations issued Nov. 22 by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) require health insurers to spend 80 to 85 Read More...
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CMS Imposes Sanctions on Three Health and Drug Plan Sponsors
November 22, 2010 8:13 AM by Frank Irving
Health Net, Arcadian and Universal American cited for violations of Medicare's rules and regulations. On Nov. 19, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a notice to three Medicare health and drug plan sponsors imposing sanctions Read More...
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Consumer-driven and High-deductible Plan Holders See Negative Impact from PPACA
November 19, 2010 7:16 AM by Frank Irving
Although 47-57 of survey respondents have little to no knowledge about the health reform law. Less than 5 percent of individuals who have private insurance say they are extremely knowledgeable about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 Read More...
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CMS Establishes Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation
November 18, 2010 7:00 AM by Frank Irving
Health home is a central concept among new initiatives being tested. On Nov. 16, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) formally established the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (Innovation Center). Created by the Affordable Read More...
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Mercer Survey Says Employers Not Likely to Drop Health Plans After 2014
November 17, 2010 8:42 AM by Frank Irving
But rules that will increase the number of plan members could hit employers with generous plans the hardest. While employers are encouraged to offer coverage under the new health care reform rules, they can choose not to and (starting in 2014) pay a penalty Read More...
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Open Enrollment Underway for Medicare
November 16, 2010 7:55 AM by Frank Irving
Current or newly eligible beneficiaries should review their health and drug plan options before Dec. 31. Medicare's Open Enrollment Period began on Nov. 15 and runs through Dec. 31, 2010. During the Open Enrollment period, current or newly eligible Medicare Read More...
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MetLife to Stop Selling Long-Term Care Insurance Coverage
November 15, 2010 8:09 AM by Frank Irving
Company cites ‘financial challenges' in making decision; no impact on existing insureds' coverage. Insurance provider MetLife announced Nov. 11 that it will discontinue the sale of new long-term care insurance (LTCI) coverage. MetLife said it will continue Read More...
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FDA Investigates CT Scan Radiation Overdoses
November 12, 2010 9:21 AM by Frank Irving
Agency concludes that scanners did not malfunction; improper use the likely cause of excess radiation. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been investigating reports that patients undergoing computed tomography (CT) brain perfusion scans were Read More...
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Medical Equipment Suppliers Selected Under New Medicare Program
November 11, 2010 8:22 AM by Frank Irving
Contracts awarded through competitive bidding in nine U.S. communities in Round One. On Nov. 3, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a list of 356 suppliers that have contracts with Medicare to provide medical equipment and Read More...
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AHRQ Awards $34 Million to Fight HAIs
November 10, 2010 7:16 AM by Frank Irving
Funds will be used to prevent healthcare-associated infections, a top-10 cause of death in the U.S. On Nov. 4, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) announced the award of $34 million for projects focused on preventing one of the top 10 Read More...
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CMS Final Rule Eliminates Out-Of-Pocket Costs for Most Preventive Services in 2011
November 9, 2010 7:43 AM by Frank Irving
Beneficiaries won't have to satisfy Part B deductible before Medicare will pay; co-payment also waived. Medicare beneficiaries will see a decline in their out-of-pocket costs for services they receive in hospital outpatient departments (HOPDs) in calendar Read More...
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Analysis Shows Cost Savings for Medicare Beneficiaries
November 8, 2010 7:55 AM by Frank Irving
Seniors and people with disabilities who have high prescription drug costs will save the most. An analysis issued Nov. 4 by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) estimates that under the Affordable Care Act, average savings for those Read More...
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$1 Billion in Credits and Grants Awarded to Biotech Firms
November 5, 2010 7:47 AM by Frank Irving
Program created by Affordable Care Act rewards nearly 3,000 small companies from 47 states and D.C. On Nov. 4, the U.S. Departments of the Treasury and Health & Human Services (HHS) joined the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in announcing the Read More...
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Election Results: Republicans Gain 60 in House, 6 in Senate
November 4, 2010 7:53 AM by Frank Irving
Leadership will change in five House committees that have direct impact on health reform. The Deloitte Center for Health Solutions provided the following grid to summarize the outcome of the Nov. 2 elections across the country. Based on results gathered Read More...
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CMS Final Rule Improves Access to Preventive Services
November 3, 2010 1:54 PM by Frank Irving
New payment policies emphasize the role of primary care. On Nov. 3, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule that the agency said will implement key provisions in the Affordable Care Act that expand preventive services Read More...
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ICD-10-Compatible vs. ICD-10-Ready: There Is a Difference
November 2, 2010 10:00 AM by Frank Irving
Guest commentary from Ken Lacy, chief information officer, Precyse Solutions The ICD-10 compliance deadline is drawing closer; as of this month it's only three years away. As the health care industry scrambles to prepare for ICD-10, one thing is very Read More...
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New HHS Grants for Development of IT Systems for State Health Insurance Exchanges
November 1, 2010 10:55 PM by Frank Irving
Awards will go to IT models and best practices that will benefit all states. On Oct. 29, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) announced competitive funding opportunities for states to design and implement the information technology Read More...
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