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With the date for complying with National Provider Identifier regulations looming May 23, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has developed a contingency plan for health care providers who will not meet the deadline.
Required as part of the 1996 Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, every health care provider is supposed to have applied for a unique identification number. But many providers have not obtained the required documentation, according to CMS acting administrator Leslie V. Norwalk. Continue Reading CMS allows more time for health care ID numbers

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Colorado’s economic loss during a severe flu pandemic could be nearly $12 billion.
According to a report by Trust for America’s Health, Colorado’s economy could face a 5.4 percent loss — or $11.7 billion — during a severe flu pandemic. The loss represents the 38th highest percentage loss of the 50 states. Continue Reading Pandemic could cause billion dollar losses in Colo.

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Breast cancer is the No. 1 killer of women between the ages of 40 and 49.
Thanks to a grant from the Colorado Women’s Cancer Control Initiative, Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains is able to screen low-income women for breast and cervical cancer. Continue Reading PPRM gets help detecting breast, cervical cancers

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Fewer employers are offering health insurance to parents with modest incomes — and the rate has fallen three times faster than offerings to parents who earn more money, according to a study by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Nationally, only 47 percent of parents earning less than $40,000 a year are offered health insurance through their employer, a 9 percent decline since 1997. Continue Reading Modest income workers losing health care benefits

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The costs of health care — and quality information about hospital performance — are difficult to obtain, and are often meaningless, according to a study from the National Center for Policy Analysis.
The study says the only area of health care marketplace where price and quality are easily available is where patients pay for the service themselves. Continue Reading It’s tough to determine the cost of health care

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Waste company seeks landfill design changes

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Waste Management has proposed changes to the approved design and operation plan at the Colorado Springs Landfill Expansion, a municipal solid waste landfill that would allow the facility to accept easily crumbled asbestos waste.
The changes include the design of the disposal area and modifications to waste-acceptance procedures, work practices and disposal procedures. Continue Reading Waste company seeks landfill design changes

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A federal study shows that the U.S. government will contribute almost 50 percent of the nation’s health-care costs within 10 years, 5 percent more than it is currently supplying, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The government’s expanding role stems from the expansion of Medicare to include prescription drugs, cutbacks in employer-sponsored health coverage and initiatives such as the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, the Journal reported. Continue Reading Fed’s role in health care contributions growing

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Advances in technology benefitting nursing care

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Technology helps nurses improve patient care and allows them more time at patients’ bedsides, according to a study conducted by Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society Analytics.
The study included interviews with nurses from throughout the United States and showed that they found point-of-care technology allowed them more access to information, decreased response time and an overall reduction in the time to process orders. Continue Reading Advances in technology benefitting nursing care

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Bush budget includes money for health care IT

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The proposed 2008 federal budget includes millions of dollars for the Department of Health and Human Services in the areas of bio-surveillance, electronic health records and chronic care management.
The suggested $118 million would go to the office of the national coordinator for health information technology within HHS. The level is the same as requested for 2007, but has not yet been acted on by Congress. Currently, the office is funded at the 2006 level of $61 million under a continuing resolution. Continue Reading Bush budget includes money for health care IT

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Colorado health plans among most expensive

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Colorado employers are reporting higher health plan costs than the rest the nation, according to a survey released by the Lockton Benefit Group.
The survey, while not scientific, is an “indication of the general employee benefit trends,” Lockton officials said. Continue Reading Colorado health plans among most expensive

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