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AARP, the Business Roundtable and the Service Employees Industry Union, which together represent more than 50 million people, are endorsing legislation that would transition the paper-based health care system to secure electronic medical records.
The “Wired for Health Care Quality Act,” introduced by Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chairman Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) and ranking minority member Michael B. Enzi (R-Wyo.), would spur adoption of a nationwide interoperable health information technology system. Continue Reading Groups supporting bill to reduce medical errors

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Two Colorado Springs health care and business professionals have been elected to serve on advisory task forces for the Blue Ribbon Commission on Health Care Reform, also known as the 208 Commission.
Steve Krell, vice president of Imaging Systems and a member of Colorado Consumer Insurance Council, and B.J. Scott, president and CEO of Peak Vista Community Health Center, will each serve on one of the commission’s four task forces. Continue Reading Springs snags two positions on 208 task forces

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In response to concerns about marketing practices in the insurance industry, seven health care sponsors have agreed to suspend marketing of private fee for service plans.
United Healthcare, Humana, Wellcare, Universal American Financial Corp., Coventry, Sterling and Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Tennessee signed the agreement with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Continue Reading Health plans will stop marketing private fee plans

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The Joint Commission has launched a national campaign to help Americans understand their rights when receiving medical care. “Know Your Rights” is part of the commission’s Speak Up program, which encourages people to take an active role in their health care.
“Know Your Rights” provides tips to help people become more involved in their treatment, thus improving the safety and quality of care received. Continue Reading J.C.’s Speak Up program focuses on patient rights

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America’s health care sector is shifting rapidly to a system where patients can get better information about the quality and cost of care, and there is competition to provide them with the best value.
That’s the word from Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt, from a roundtable of key business, union, government, community and health care leaders from across the United States. Continue Reading Health care industry becoming more transparent

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Starting June 9, the Visiting Nurse Association will provide public wellness clinics the second Saturday of each month at 5373 N. Union Blvd, suite 101.
Registered nurses from the VNA will answer questions and provide access to health services for reduced fees. Continue Reading Weekend clinics will focus on preventative care

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Survey results were released last week about the success of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, which Congress is debating whether to reauthorize.
The program works to reduce the number of uninsured, low-income children in the United States. Continue Reading Children’s health insurance plan gets rave reviews

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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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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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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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