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Large Healthcare Purchaser Takes Risky Leap Into ACOs
Janice Simmons, Senior Editor
Almost a year ago, the California Public Employees' Retirement System approved a pilot program—essentially an accountable care organization—for state retirees in the Sacramento area that planned to reduce costs while improving healthcare quality and service. The ACO, which began operations on Jan. 1 with more than 41,000 members, now has three months under its belt. And in that time it has provided insights and lessons on what challenges ACOs could face in the post-healthcare reform landscape. [Read More]
April 8, 2010
Editor's Picks

AHRQ Provides Guidance on Collecting Quality, Patient Safety Information
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has released Common Formats Version 1.1, including technical specifications, which will help hospitals further standardize the collection and reporting of data related to patient safety events. The technical specifications included in this release will help software developers assist hospitals in reporting this type of data electronically, according to the AHRQ. [Read More]

Surgery Center Group Challenges Study Showing Doctor/Owners Operate More Often
A trade group for outpatient surgery centers is challenging a new study that found that doctors invested in the centers perform about twice as many surgeries as doctors with no such financial stake. [Read More]

Six Ways Future Healthcare Will Emphasize Individualized Care
For the next phase of healthcare reform in the United States, leaders will place more emphasis on individualized care by helping people keep themselves healthier and out of hospitals, and finding ways to help themselves better manage their own health, according to a new PricewaterhouseCoopers' HealthCast survey report. [Read More]

California Docs Must Now Tell Patients Where to Complain About Their Care
Practicing California doctors now have until June 27 to post signs in their offices or—if they don't have an office—to otherwise notify their patients in writing the name of the licensing agency to call with quality of care complaints. The new regulation is designed to "inform consumers where to go for information or with a complaint about California medical doctors," according to the Medical Board of California, the disciplinary and licensing agency for the state's 125,000 doctors. [Read More]

Joint Commission Announces Field Review for Medication Reconciliation Goal
The Joint Commission has announced the field review of its revised medication reconciliation requirement, which it has designated as National Patient Safety Goal (NPSG) 03.07.01. The field review comes after The Joint Commission announced it would make the existing medication reconciliation goal (NPSG 8) one with which hospitals had to comply, but about which they would not be surveyed. [Read More]
This Week's Headlines
Monetary Incentives, Marketing, Accountability Drive Hand Hygiene
Evan Sweeney, for HealthLeaders Media – April 8, 2010

Doctors face board specialty expiration dates
AP/Yahoo News – April 6, 2010

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