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HCA shows interest in Australia's Healthscope


HCA, the largest U.S. hospital chain by revenue, is considering a bid for Australian hospital company Healthscope, according to media reports.

The Nashville-based hospital operator has tapped Deutsche Bank as its financial adviser, the reports said, citing sources familiar with the situation.
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More patients chose specialists over primary-care docs in 2013

12:30 pm, Apr. 21 |

It was probably just a matter of time before it happened, but 2013 may have marked the first year that office visits to specialty physicians outnumbered office visits to primary-care doctors.
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Consumer-driven health plans draw healthier, wealthier enrollees


People enrolled in consumer-driven health plans are better educated, wealthier and healthier than those in other coverage options, according to a report by the Employee Benefit Research Institute.

And although these plans caught on first with small businesses, in 2013 their enrollees were more likely than those in traditional plans to work for employers with at least 500 workers.
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Offshore health record storage may pose privacy risks


State Medicaid agencies could be putting beneficiaries' personal information at risk by offshoring administrative functions, according to a report from HHS' Office of the Inspector General.

The report, sent to CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner and Leon Rodriguez, director of HHS' Office for Civil Rights on April 11, analyzed the practices of 56 Medicaid agencies, including 50 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and several U.S. territories.
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Salmonella cases down, but other foodborne bacteria still a problem


Little progress has been made toward reducing food poisoning in the U.S., according to new federal data.

Illnesses from salmonella, the most common cause of foodborne sickness, were down 9% in 2013 compared with the average from 2010-2012, according to the findings published Thursday in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
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1 in 5 healthcare workers share passwords, survey warns


More than 1 in 5 healthcare workers share their passwords with colleagues, a security no-no, but healthcare security pros can take some solace that such risky business is no worse in their industry than some others.

Workers in the legal trade, for example, share passwords about as often as in healthcare (22%), according to findings in a report based on a survey of 250 healthcare IT security professionals in the U.S. and another 250 in the U.K. Architecture, construction and human resources personnel do even more password sharing, about 30%, according to the opinions of IT professionals in the survey.
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Play examines tragic surgery from patient, doctor perspectives

2:30 pm, Apr. 16 |

“Lady from Limerick,” a play revolving around a tragic surgery and being performed in a 60-seat New York theater, is attracting an audience that includes doctors, lawyers, insurance company representatives and patient advocates.

Based on a 2005 true story, the play tells what happened to Kathleen Kelly Cregan, a woman from Limerick, Ireland, who went alone to New York where she died from post-plastic surgery complications.
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Review continues for troubled Johns Hopkins’ black lung program


Hamby
A review of Johns Hopkins University's black lung program is ongoing, the university said Tuesday, adding that it has no new information about the program, which was suspended last year after an investigative report by Chris Hamby of the Center for Public Integrity.

Hamby received a Pulitzer Prize on Monday for his work.
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DeSalvo foresees ONC evolution to interoperable future


DeSalvo
Dr. Karen DeSalvo is a woman in transition.

As the fifth head of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, just four months into the job, she will oversee the winding down of many programs started and run by her two predecessors.
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Nurse experience linked to shorter hospital patient stays


The more experience a nurse has and the longer his or her tenure in a hospital unit, the shorter the length of stay for the patients they care for, finds a new study looking at the effect of nursing team structure on the quality of care a patient receives.

When making staffing decisions, management should be aware that certain disruptions in skill set can lead to decreases in productivity and poorer outcomes for patients, researchers say.
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