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Information technology systems provide some assistance for hospitals’ data-collection initiatives but fall short of completely automating the processes.
That’s one finding from a Government Accountability Office report about hospitals’ efforts to collect data for a series of quality measures.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ annual payment update program requires hospitals to submit the information every quarter to avoid reductions in Medicare payments. Continue Reading GAO: IT systems falling short in data collection

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Since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, national security has become a focus of both business and government, but only one university in the United States has a homeland security doctoral program — The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.
The Center of Homeland Security, one of four that are part of the National Institute of Science, Space and Security Centers, developed the program in partnership with U.S. Northern Command and the Naval Postgraduate School. Continue Reading UCCS program leading way in homeland security

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Are special events worth the costs?

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Nearly every charity does flashy fundraising events. But the golf tournaments, galas, walk-a-thons, bike-a-thons and lunches often aren’t worth the time or effort expended for the money that they raise.
On average, charities spend $1.33 for every dollar raised at a special event, according to Charity Navigators. Continue Reading Are special events worth the costs?

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The Food and Drug Administration has indicated it will close its laboratory in Denver, according to the Sen. Ken Salazar’s office.
Salazar has joined with Pennsylvania Republican Sen. Arlen Specter to save the lab, which has 52 employees. Continue Reading FDA puts Denver FERN laboratory on closure list

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State topples from top 10

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Colorado’s overcrowded courts and rules governing non-economic damages have lowered the state’s ranking for tort reform.
According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s state liability systems ranking study, Colorado slipped from eighth to 21st — a drop that surprised Will Temby, president of the Greater Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce. Continue Reading State topples from top 10

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Affiliated Computer Services will continue to manage the state’s Medicaid records for the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing as part of a three-year, $67 million contract.
ACS has held the contract since 1996. The company processes more than 25 million claims annually. Continue Reading State Medicaid records contract awarded to ACS

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Pond scum promising alternative fuel source

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In the wake of rising oil prices and depleted oil fields, several companies in Colorado are focused on alternative energy solutions, and one Fort Collins company is using an unlikely source to create petroleum: algae.
The tiny plants can be difficult to work with — temperatures must be constant and invasive species can fill the tanks, but Solix Biofuels thinks it has a process to cost-effectively mass-produce oil derived from algae. Continue Reading Pond scum promising alternative fuel source

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The Health Maintenance Organization industry in Colorado saw massive profits in 2006, according to Colorado Managed Care, a newsletter published by James Hertel.
The HMO industry doubled its 2005 profits during 2006.
The combined before-tax profits grew to $213.78 million — up 111 percent. Continue Reading Health maintenance organization profits double

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Trial lawyers take aim at medical insurer

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A bill being considered by the Colorado General Assembly would either provide more transparency about medical malpractice insurance for consumers, or would drive doctors out of Colorado — depending on whom you ask.
Senate Bill 248 is known as the “disclosure bill” to the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association, which is supporting the bill. It would require insurance companies that serve more than 65 percent of the market to publicly announce rate changes of more than 5 percent. “Any qualified person” could request a public hearing at the Department of Insurance to challenge the rate adjustment. Continue Reading Trial lawyers take aim at medical insurer

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Health departments eye immunization awareness

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Bibs for babies and a Web conference for local doctors’ offices about vaccination updates top the list of a month-long push to increase immunization rates in El Paso and Pueblo counties.
The bibs will be handed out free to WIC, Nurse-Family Partnership, immunization clinics and birth certificate clients in both health departments and have an “immunize me” message. Continue Reading Health departments eye immunization awareness

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