News Headlines

News Headlines
Health care news from around the state and nation

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CMS Releases Medicare Hospital Payment Data, New Online Tools
iHealthBeat

On Monday, CMS released Medicare hospital pricing data for 2012 in an effort to increase transparency, lower costs and improve the quality of care, The Hill reports (Al-Faruque, The Hill, 6/2).

The information, which was revealed at the annual Health Datapalooza conference in Washington, D.C., is the agency’s first annual update to Medicare hospital charge data, which compare the average amount a hospital charges for services provided with a similar inpatient stay or outpatient visit (HHS release, 6/2).

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Assembly bill would allow patients to opt out of mail-order prescriptions
Fresno Bee

Mark Helm of Sanger gives himself an injection every other day so his blood will clot.

He has hemophilia, and the medication keeps the blood disorder in control. He also takes drugs daily for HIV, which he acquired decades ago from blood transfusions that were needed during bleeding episodes.

Helm, 56, is careful not to skip his prescription medications. But because he gets his drugs by mail, on occasion they arrive late at his home, he said.

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Rehab Specialists Struggle to Navigate Health Reform, New State Certification Process
HealthyCal.org

It’s a brave new world for Ellen Ahn of K.C. Services, which provides addiction treatment in Fullerton.

Ahn’s agency is among the first rehab programs in Orange County to begin serving patients who enrolled in California’s low-income health program under the Affordable Care Act.

Ahn and other providers are trying to figure out how to offer addiction treatment under new state certification rules and the federal health law, which is designed to provide greater coverage for addiction services.

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Datapalooza: CMS Unveils More Hospital Pay Data
Health Leaders Media

With the release of 2012 Medicare hospital charge data Monday, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services jumpstarted the two-day annual Health Datapalooza conference in Washington, D.C.

CMS released its first annual update to the payment data comparing the average amount hospitals bill for services. Now data for 2012 and 2011 is public.

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4 in 10 Healthcare Execs Dissatisfied with EHRs
Health Leaders Media

Dissatisfaction with electronic records systems is ratcheting up among senior healthcare executives, says the group purchasing organization, Premiere, Inc. Survey results released Monday show that 41% of C-Suite respondents say they are either dissatisfied or indifferent toward their EHR systems. “What we are hearing increasingly from healthcare leaders is dissatisfaction with their existing EHR systems, often citing cost and difficulty of use,” said Michael J. Alkire, chief operating officer at Charlotte, NC-based Premiere.

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Pioneer ACO Program Awaits New Rules
Health Leaders Media

The Pioneer Accountable Care Organization Model program, one of the most ambitious federal value-based healthcare delivery initiatives, is at a crossroads.

Since launching in 2012 with 32 inaugural participants, the program has dwindled to 23 pioneers. The first year of gainsharing data shows more pain than gain for early Pioneer ACO participants.

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Should Health Consumers Be Paid For Performance Too?
The Health Care Blog

Meaningful Use and Pay for Performance – two of the most talked about programs in healthcare IT over the past several years. They are both based on the premise that if you want to drive behavior change among providers and improve quality of care, you need to offer financial rewards to get results. But what about the consumer? We have now entered a new era in healthcare where the consumer is rightfully front and center – AHIP is even calling 2014 the “Year of the Consumer.”

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Miller Children’s Hospital Long Beach changes its name
Long Beach Press-Telegram

Miller Children’s Hospital Long Beach announced Monday that the hospital will be changing its name to Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach effective immediately.

The decision to rename the hospital was made in an effort to “reflect the full level of care the hospital provides,” according to a statement from the hospital.

Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach offers a variety of programs for women, expectant mothers, children and young adults.

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Children’s Hospital Oakland pediatric trauma center verified at top level
Contra Costa Times

The trauma center at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland has been verified as Level 1 by the American College of Surgeons.

Children’s is the only Bay Area free-standing children’s hospital with a Level 1 trauma center and is one of four such pediatric trauma centers in California.

The voluntary verification involves reviews of all aspects of trauma care, including the emergency room, surgery, intensive care, rehabilitation, injury prevention and outreach education.

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Temecula Valley Hospital – At The Heart Of The Matter
The Valley Business Journal

Lifesaving open heart surgery, innovative transradial catheterization, advanced coronary computed tomography angiography (CTTA), these are just a few of the many firsts for Temecula Valley Hospital (TVH). The cardiac service line that the hospital has been promoting since its opening in October is in full swing. Physicians, staff and patients have been very pleased with the treatment and progress of the program.

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Lafayette General controls Crowley hospital
Modesto Bee

The former American Legion Hospital has unveiled its new sign, bearing the name Acadia General Hospital.

The hospital is now under the management of the Lafayette General Health System.

“It’s tremendous,” said A.J. Jones, who represented American Legion Post 15. “I think it’s going to be a godsend to the community and the whole Acadia Parish. It’s a blessing.”

Acadia Post 15 of the America Legion took over the hospital in 1929. The organization owned the hospital for more than eight decades.

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