HealthLeaders Media Community and Rural Hospital Weekly - September 15, 2010 View as a Webpage | Subscribe for Free

Hospitals Caught Between a Rock and A Hard Place Over 'Observation'
Cheryl Clark, Editor, Community Hospitals
On one side, administrators and physicians feel compelled by Medicare's strict billing criteria to place certain patients in "observation" status rather than admit them as regular inpatients. On the other, admitting these borderline patients and billing Medicare accordingly, could trigger a recovery audit contractor investigation, headaches, and a huge loss of federal reimbursement dollars.[Read More]
September 15, 2010
Editor's Picks

Berwick Calls on Insurers to Work With CMS
Institute for Healthcare Improvement founder, now "federal Payer-in-Chief," starts to emerge with guidance in his new leadership role. He promises to eliminate "waste and needless hassles" and cautioned providers against maintaining systems in which physicians get paid more simply for doing more.[Read More]

Hospital Fined $250,000 For Late Reporting of Data Breach
When I mentioned California's aggressive fine against Lucile Packard Stanford Children's Hospital which reported a data breach too late to comply with state law, a colleague quipped, "they picked the wrong state to do that." California's breach notification and adverse event reporting laws are the strictest in the nation, although other states may be following suit.[Read More]

Fear of Malpractice Litigation
A recent flurry of journal articles on defensive medicine and tort reform suggests that many claims about how much money is actually spent may be exaggerated. My colleague, Senior Editor Joe Cantlupe discusses some of these issues.[Read More]

3 RAC Audit Survival Tips
HealthLeaders correspondent Jeff Elliott discusses three ways to stay off the "RAC," but once you find yourself there, what to do about it. He advises "Don't fear the RAC audit" because the appeals process overturns 70% of denials, and in some cases, underpayments are discovered.[Read More]

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Leaders Forum

It is Time to Act
With the signing of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, along with the Health Care and Education Affordability Reconciliation Act, major change will be coming to the way healthcare is organized, delivered, and managed in the United States. Healthcare leaders have been dealing with constant change for the past 30 years, but now the rate of change will need to accelerate in order to achieve success in a reformed healthcare environment. [Read More]
This Week's Headlines

New drug-resistant superbugs found in 3 states
AP– September 14, 2010
Some patients with severe heart disease receiving wrong treatment, study finds
The Los Angeles Times– September 14, 2010
Washington Hospital Center agrees to partner with United Medical Center
Washington Business Journal– September 10, 2010
Cesareans more likely for women at for-profit hospitals, study finds
Mercury News– September 13, 2010

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Webcasts/Audio Conferences

A Better Way Than Pay For Call Coverage (July 15)
Marketing to Physicians: Increase Sales Success Through Measurement and Tracking (July 22)
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