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Reducing Early Elective Births Could Save $1B Annually
Health Leaders Media

Of the 757 hospitals that volunteer to report data on obstetric care quality, too many have obstetricians who still schedule dangerous elective Cesareans and inductions too early rather than encouraging spontaneous deliveries, according to the Leapfrog Group’s second survey of the practice, the only one of its kind.

The rate, however, has improved a little in the last year. Of those voluntarily reporting hospitals, 39% reported a rate of 5% or fewer elective newborn deliveries, compared with 30% from the previous year, said Leapfrog CEO Leah Binder.

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House GOP aims to have reform-replacement legislation ready after high court rules
Modern Healthcare

A year ago, House Republicans vowed to “repeal and replace” the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act soon after they took control of the lower chamber. On Wednesday, the chairman of a House health subcommittee said a replacement package will come later this year after the U.S. Supreme Court reaches its decision on the 2010 law. Rep.

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Pioneers Memorial Hospital is open to dialogue, official says
Imperial Valley Press Online

Pioneers Memorial Hospital is open to discuss the idea to collaborate with El Centro Regional Medical Center, a Pioneers official said.

This comes two days after El Centro City Council and board members from El Centro Regional Medical Center heard a presentation from health care consultant Howard Salmon.

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Study: Optimal heart health starts early
USA Today

People who reach midlife without developing high blood pressure, diabetes or other risk factors for cardiovascular disease are much less likely to have a heart attack or stroke by age 80 than their less healthy peers, a new study suggests. “If you make it to middle age with an optimal profile, it’s really like the fountain of youth for your heart,” said lead researcher Dr. Donald Lloyd-Jones, chair of preventive medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago.

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CDC study can’t explain mysterious crawling-skin disease
USA Today

A half-million-dollar study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found no obvious medical explanation for a mysterious and controversial skin disease whose sufferers report a crawling sensation on or under their skin and fibers emerging from it. Although the findings may not mollify those who say they have Morgellons, as the condition has been dubbed by some, CDC’s Mark Eberhard says the findings are useful in that they tell both patients and doctors that the condition is rare and neither contagious nor environmentally based.

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Medical-loss ratio as medical gain?
Chico News and Review

Health-care reform continues to chug along on pace, amid legal challenges and political wrangling. By now many Americans have become familiar with the acronyms EHR and EMR—electronic health records and electronic medical records, aka computerized charts. Bubbling to the forefront nowadays is another abbreviation: MLR. MLR stands for medical loss ratio. It’s a provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) that limits the portion of insurance premiums that insurers can spend on costs not directly related to the delivery of medical treatment.

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Stanford Hospital and Clinics gets new COO
The Stanford Daily

Stanford Hospital & Clinics has hired a new chief operating officer (COO), effective Feb. 13. Margaret Vosburgh, who previously served as COO for Tufts Medical Center in Boston, will replace Daniel Ginsburg, who is moving back to the East Coast to explore other options. “Margaret brings a world of talent and energy, along with an impressive track record in academic medical centers and health systems,” said CEO Amir Dan Rubin in a press release.

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Studies: Avastin may fight early breast cancers
USA Today

Surprising results from two new studies may reopen debate about the value of Avastin for breast cancer. The drug helped make tumors disappear in certain women with early-stage disease, researchers found. Avastin recently lost approval for treating advanced breast cancer, but the new studies suggest it might help women whose disease has not spread so widely. These were the first big tests of the drug for early breast cancer, and doctors were cautiously excited that it showed potential to help.

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Oral HPV infections more common than expected
USA Today

Oral infections with HPV, a family of cancer-causing viruses, are more common than doctors expected, according to the first national study of its kind. And while the viruses can be found in saliva, HPV appears to be mostly spread through sex, rather than more casual contact such as kissing, according to the study in today’s Journal of the American Medical Association.

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House Republicans renew requests for reform-related correspondence
Modern Healthcare

An upcoming magazine feature has led House Republicans to renew demands for copies of administration correspondence leading up to passage of the 2010 federal healthcare overhaul. The leaders of the House Energy and Commerce Committee wrote the Obama administration on Tuesday to demand copies of communications between the White House Office of Health Reform and various provider advocates before passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Citing an upcoming feature article in the New Yorker that liberally quotes from such memos, the Republicans—led by Rep.

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New Rules for School Meals Aim at Reducing Obesity
New York Times

Hoping to combat the growing problem of childhood obesity, the Obama administration on Wednesday announced its long-awaited changes to government-subsidized school meals, a final round of rules that adds more fruits and green vegetables to breakfasts and lunches and reduces the amount of salt and fat. The announcement came months after the food industry won a vote in Congress to block the administration from carrying out an earlier proposal that would have reduced starchy foods like potatoes and prohibited schools from counting a small amount of tomato paste on a slice of pizza as a

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Put health screenings on this year’s schedule
USA Today

As your 2012 calendar starts to fill, think about making appointments for health screenings you know family members need this year. “People get busy, and if they feel well, they go about their business thinking they are healthy,” says Glen Stream, president of the American Academy of Family Physicians. “As a country, we have too much focus on illness treatment rather than on wellness and prevention, which leads to people having problems that could be avoided.”

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