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Republicans await Dems’ options for funding SGR fix
Modern Healthcare

Republicans expect to receive on Thursday a list of Democratic options to pay for a large tax-cut extension measure that includes a freeze in scheduled cuts to Medicare physician pay rates. However, at least one Republican expects negotiations on the legislation to make little progress before a law freezing current policy in place expires at the end of the month. Democrats this week publicly rejected the House-passed measures Republicans offered to fund an extension of current Medicare physician pay rates for two years.

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Out-of-network costs up as insurers tie payment to Medicare
USA Today

When Sharon Smith chose an out-of-network specialist to perform a complicated jaw surgery on her teenage son last May, she knew it would cost her more. But she was not expecting $15,000. Consumers have long complained about the cost of going outside their health plan’s network, but Smith encountered a new twist: A growing number of insurers have changed the way they calculate reimbursements to shift more of the expense to patients.

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Nurses ratify new contract with Santa Rosa’s Sutter Medical Center
Santa Rosa Press Democrat

California Nurses Association members at Sutter Medical Center in Santa Rosa Tuesday overwhelmingly ratified a new union agreement affecting 350 registered nurses. Union officials said 96 percent of the nurses who cast ballots Tuesday voted in favor of the contract. The union would not reveal how many nurses voted.

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HHS aims to curb pre-term births
Modern Healthcare

The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation will award about $40 million in grants to test approaches that can help reduce the rising number of pre-term births in the U.S.

HHS reports that more than half a million infants are born prematurely each year, and that pre-term births often require early intervention services and special education for these children. Meanwhile, pre-term infants may also have conditions that could affect their productivity as adults.

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Web site to aid California businesses with health care issues
Sacramento Bee

A group of California business organizations today announced the launch of a website to help the state’s business operators understand the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

The Health Law Guide for Business site – www.healthlawguideforbusiness.org – is designed to help business owners navigate the 2,409 pages of the health care law.

The act was signed into law by President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010.

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New Fontana Kaiser hospital nears completion
Contra Costa Times

The hospital will feature new technologies and environmentally friendly features to trim operating expenses. The “green” features include: A white roof, which absorbs less heat and reduces the need for air conditioning. Dual-glazed windows for insulation. Energy-efficient electrical, air and plumbing systems.

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Sutter Medical Center certified to do full atrial fibrillation
Sacramento Bee

Sutter Medical Center in Sacramento said it has become the second cardiac care center in the nation and the first in California to receive full atrial fibrillation certification status from the Society of Chest Pain Centers.

The Dublin, Ohio-based SCPC is an international nonprofit that provides accreditations and certifications for clinics and other facilities.

Atrial fibrillation is the most common cardiac arrhythmia. Nearly 3 million patients in the United States have atrial fibrillation.

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Study: Doctors only advise 1 in 3 people to exercise
USA Today

Only one in three people in the USA say their doctor advised them to start exercising or continue doing so during an office visit over the course of a year, a new government study shows. The trips to the doctors were for a wide variety of reasons, from annual exams to a cold or flu. The doctors were more likely to mention exercise to people who were overweight or had heart disease, cancer or diabetes. Women were more likely than men to get the advice to move more.

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New treatment deep freezes ovarian tumors
USA Today

A promising approach for treating advanced ovarian cancer offers new hope for extending survival rates and for preventing tumors from recurring, according to a study presented at last month’s International Symposium on Endovascular Therapy in Miami. Researchers at Wayne State University, working with Detroit’s Karmanos Cancer Institute, treated ovarian cancer patients with cryoablation, a method that “freeze destroys” tumors throughout the body.

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Study finds MDs not always honest with patients
San Francisco Chronicle

Trust your doctor? A survey finds that some doctors aren’t always completely honest with their patients. More than half admitted describing someone’s prognosis in a way they knew was too rosy. Nearly 20 percent said they hadn’t fully disclosed a medical mistake for fear of being sued. And 1 in 10 of those surveyed said they’d told a patient something that wasn’t true in the past year. The survey, by Massachusetts researchers and published in this month’s Health Affairs, doesn’t explain why, or what wasn’t true.

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Officials Recommend the HPV Vaccine for All Boys
New York Times

Federal health officials recommended on Thursday that all boys be routinely vaccinated against infection with human papillomavirus, or HPV. Since 2006, the vaccine has been recommended for girls and young women, largely because HPV infection can cause cervical cancer. But the vaccine also protects against genital warts in men and women, and lowers the risk of developing head, neck and anal cancers.

  

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