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February 2011 - Posts

The Politics of Health Care

New Grant Funds Available to States to Review Health Premium Increases
February 28, 2011 9:00 AM by Frank Irving
$200 million allocated by HHS in baseline, workload and performance grants. On Feb. 24, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) announced that nearly $200 million in new grant funds are now available to help states develop programs that Read More...
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Report Examines Measures Needed to Support Payment Reforms
February 25, 2011 12:42 PM by Frank Irving
NQF commissioned RAND to review 90 different payment models across the country. A report from non-profit researcher RAND Corporation, commissioned by the National Quality Forum (NQF), provides direction for achieving payment reforms designed to improve Read More...
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$100 Million Incentive Program Encourages Healthy Habits Among Medicaid Enrollees
February 24, 2011 6:42 PM by Frank Irving
States may apply to CMS for grant funding of programs that change health risk and outcomes. A new, $100 million program will allow states to offer incentives to Medicaid enrollees who adopt healthy behaviors such as quitting smoking or losing weight. Read More...
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HHS Issues $4.3 Million HIPAA Penalty
February 23, 2011 9:58 AM by Frank Irving
First civil monetary penalty for Privacy Rule violations imposed on Cignet Health. The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services' (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced on Feb. 22 that it has issued a Notice of Final Determination finding Read More...
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HRSA Enhances Organ-Donation Web Site
February 22, 2011 1:02 PM by Frank Irving
Agency also announces milestone in hospitals' donor-conversion rate. The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), which provides federal oversight and support for the nation's organ donation and transplantation network, has launched a new Read More...
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Strike Force Files Charges in Schemes Involving More Than $225 Million in False Medicare Billing
February 21, 2011 9:45 AM by Frank Irving
Operation in nine cities charges 111 defendants, including doctors, nurses and health care company executives. On Feb. 17, the Medicare Fraud Strike Force charged 111 defendants in nine cities for their alleged participation in Medicare fraud schemes Read More...
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HHS Unveils New National Vaccine Plan
February 18, 2011 10:17 AM by Frank Irving
Strategic plan covers vaccine and immunization science and policy for the next decade. On Feb. 16, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) released a new National Vaccine Plan to enhance coordination of all aspects of federal vaccine Read More...
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FDA Requests 33 Percent Increase in FY 2012 Budget
February 17, 2011 8:58 AM by Frank Irving
Agency seeks to invest in foodborne illness prevention, medical product safety and countermeasures. On Feb. 14, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it is requesting a budget of $4.3 billion as part of President Obama's fiscal year Read More...
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Early Innovators Awarded Grants to Implement IT Infrastructure for Health Insurance Exchanges
February 16, 2011 10:15 AM by Frank Irving
HHS allocates $241 million to a diverse mix of six states and a multi-state consortium. On Feb. 16, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) announced the award of seven cooperative agreements to help a group of "Early Innovator" states Read More...
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Independent Budget Recommends $65.3 Billion for Veterans Health Care and Benefits
February 15, 2011 11:30 AM by Frank Irving
Annual budget and policy document says the administration's proposed $61.9 billion spending for fiscal 2012 is not enough. On Feb. 14, four of the nation's leading veterans service organizations released a statement urging the Obama administration and Read More...
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HHS Promotes Coverage for Americans with Pre-existing Conditions
February 14, 2011 7:05 AM by Frank Irving
Department offers new resources to increase awareness of the program for people who have been unable to obtain affordable insurance. On Feb. 10, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) made new resources available to the media, consumer Read More...
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FDA Proposes Initiative for Priority Review of Breakthrough Medical Devices
February 11, 2011 11:53 AM by Frank Irving
First submission under new program is a brain-controlled upper-extremity prosthetic. On Feb. 8, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) proposed the Innovation Pathway, a priority review program for new, breakthrough medical devices. The proposed Read More...
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HHS Announces Proposed Rule for College/University Student Insurance
February 10, 2011 10:29 AM by Frank Irving
Consumer protections created by Affordable Care Act would apply to coverage offered by higher-education institutions. On Feb. 9, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced a new proposed regulation that would ensure that students enrolled Read More...
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Poll Shows Organizations Moving Ahead to Implement Health Care Reform
February 9, 2011 9:17 AM by Frank Irving
About two-thirds of respondents to SHRM survey are not waiting to see if specific provisions of the law are repealed before making decisions about their plans. Results of a poll conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) indicate that Read More...
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OIG Offers Free Medicare/Medicaid Compliance Training
February 8, 2011 8:46 AM by Frank Irving
First session will be in Houston on Feb. 16; other sessions through May in Tampa, Kansas City, Baton Rouge, Denver, and Washington. The Office of Inspector General (OIG) will hold a series of free Medicare/Medicaid compliance training sessions in six Read More...
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Expanded Care Settings Impacted by New CMS Rule
February 7, 2011 9:52 AM by Frank Irving
Under current rules, only beneficiaries admitted to hospitals as inpatients must be notified about how to report quality-of-care issues. On Feb. 2, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a proposed rule that would require most Medicare-participating Read More...
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AMA Releases Brochure to Promote Preventive Services for Medicare Patients
February 4, 2011 10:24 AM by Frank Irving
Resource outlines preventive care recommendations and how they are covered by the new Medicare benefit. The nation's largest physician organization, the American Medical Association (AMA), has released a brochure designed to help doctors guide patients Read More...
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Direct Project Pilots Drive Toward Exchange of Electronic Health Information
February 3, 2011 10:43 AM by Frank Irving
Programs underway in Minnesota and Rhode Island; six other states will launch soon. On Feb. 2, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) announced that providers and public health agencies in Minnesota and Rhode Island have begun exchanging Read More...
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USDA Selects Grant Recipients Through Distance Learning and Telemedicine Program
February 2, 2011 10:06 AM by Frank Irving
Nearly $35 million in funding includes expansion of access to health care services in rural areas. On Jan. 24, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that 106 projects in 38 states and one territory have been selected to Read More...
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ONC Adds Funding for RECs, HIEs and Community Colleges
February 1, 2011 1:06 PM by Frank Irving
National coordinator outlines $80 million allocated to accelerate meaningful use of HIT. On Jan. 27, David Blumenthal, MD, MPP, who heads the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), issued a public letter announcing Read More...
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