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August 14, 2012 / Issue 38

In This Issue

Benchmarking: A strategic beacon for the Blues

Medicare to penalize 2,211 hospitals for excess readmissions

New research envisions electronic surgical gloves

Ambiguity in health law could make family coverage too costly for many

New medical devices get smart

Study: Junk food laws may help curb kids' obesity

Study: Can daily aspirin help ward off cancer?

Fat stats: 30 percent of adults in 12 states now obese

Pioneering health reform state enacts cost controls

What your eyes reveal about your health

Surviving sepsis: New device speeds ID of dangerous bacteria

Most popular last issue: Scalpel-throwing surgeons stun anger management pioneer

Hot Clips: ICD-10


Featured Article: Data Analytics

Benchmarking: A strategic beacon for the Blues

As Blues providers scramble to respond to emerging competitive pressures, benchmarking can play a key role in assessing existing operations and defining and implementing effective change strategies.

By David McCament, ISG

Read the HMT article >

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Medicare & Medicaid

Medicare to penalize 2,211 hospitals for excess readmissions

More than 2,000 hospitals – including some nationally recognized ones – will be penalized by the government starting in October because many of their patients are readmitted soon after discharge, new records show.

Read the KHN article. >

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Innovations

New research envisions electronic surgical gloves

Research engineers at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Northwestern University and Dalian University of Technology in China have been working on developing specialty electronics that can be embedded into surgical gloves to, literally, give extra tools at the fingertips.

Read the Medgadget article. >

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Health Law

Ambiguity in health law could make family coverage too costly for many

Rules proposed by the I.R.S. could leave millions of people in the lower middle class uninsured and frustrate the intent of Congress, which was to expand coverage.

Read the NYT article. >

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Innovations

New medical devices get smart

Adjustable prostheses and other high-tech devices may benefit patients who have a tendency to ignore or delay care, but they also raise concerns that they could give patients a false sense of security.

Read the WSJ article. >

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Kids' Health

Study: Junk food laws may help curb kids' obesity

Laws strictly curbing school sales of junk food and sweetened drinks may play a role in slowing childhood obesity, according to a study that seems to offer the first evidence such efforts could pay off.

Read the AP article. >

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Personal Health

Study: Can daily aspirin help ward off cancer?

Taking aspirin daily may help protect against cancer but the effect seems weaker than previously thought, according to a U.S. study that included a decade's worth of data from more than 100,000 people.

Read the Reuters article. >

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Personal Health

Fat stats: 30 percent of adults in 12 states now obese

Roughly one-third of adults in 12 states are obese, with Mississippi topping the list at 34.9 percent, according to a new analysis of U.S. figures.

Read the MSN article. >

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Health Reform

Pioneering health reform state enacts cost controls

A long-awaited bill to restrain health spending and implement new payment reforms in Massachusetts has obtained its final stamp of approval. But while they hailed the inclusion of provisions designed to reduce medical liability lawsuits, physicians and other healthcare professionals have lingering concerns about how the state will meet the legislation’s ambitious cost-containment goals.

Read the American Medical News article. >

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Personal Health

What your eyes reveal about your health

Thanks to the clues the eyes provide, an ophthalmologist regularly alerts patients to possible autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, monitors progression of their diabetes and once even suspected – correctly, as it turned out – that a patient had a brain tumor on the basis of the pattern of her vision changes.

Read the WSJ article. >

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Infectious Agents

Surviving sepsis: New device speeds ID of dangerous bacteria

Nearly two years after her teenage daughter lost all four limbs to a dangerous bloodstream infection, Patricia Kirven is stunned at how little most people know about sepsis. The infection – also known as septicemia or bacteremia – can be sudden, capricious and difficult to identify, masquerading as a minor injury or illness that erupts into full-blown, whole-body organ failure within hours or days.

Read the NBC article. >

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Most popular last issue: Doctors

Scalpel-throwing surgeons stun anger management pioneer

Anderson & Anderson has trained and certified at least 11,000 anger management specialists. Last year, for the first time, more than a third of the company’s income came from medical workers.

Read the Bloomberg article. >

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Hot Clips

Hot Clips: Decision Support

Click on the highlighted links below to read the top HMT archival properties concerning ICD-10, a topic that is at the forefront of healthcare discussions.

  1. ICD-10 FAQ
  2. Five steps to avoid ICD-10 stress
  3. What ICD-10 means for doctors
  4. How ICD-10 impacts revenue cycle management

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