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Featuring hospital and health care headlines from the media and Web.

Iowa News

Manning hospital will connect with hospitals around the state
Manning Regional Health Center will be connecting with 82 hospitals in 84 locations around the state of Iowa through the Iowa Rural Healthcare Telecommunications Program.  The program under the direction of the Iowa Hospital Association uses the ICN Network to tie the hospitals together to benefit patients. (KCIM)

Iowa governor’s race: Early, costly attacks keep TVs crackling
Gov. Chet Culver and Republican challenger Terry Branstad have already spent more than $1.2 million on advertising in the early weeks of the general election campaign, most of it attacking each other. The pace and volume of advertising at this point are far ahead of those in any other Iowa campaign for governor and 10 times the levels of four years ago. (Des Moines Register)

U.S. News

States, hospitals still hope for Medicaid help
With states facing a recession double-whammy of less revenue and more demand for health care services, Congress included extra money to Medicaid programs in the February 2009 federal stimulus package. Before the stimulus, the federal government’s share of Medicaid costs was between 50 and 76 percent (depending on the per capita income of the state). The federal match increased to between 61 and 84 percent of all Medicaid spending. The higher matching rate was originally slated to expire at the end of 2010, but an early version of the jobs bill extended the funding another six months, at a cost of $24 billion. (Kaiser Health News)

Feds move to improve health insurance appeals
The Obama administration took the first step Thursday to guarantee that consumers can appeal to a neutral referee if their health insurance company denies a medical claim. However, because health insurance and President Barack Obama’s overhaul law are both complicated, the new federal safeguards will not immediately apply to most Americans with private coverage. (Associated Press)

Mediating malpractice: hospitals agree to court alternative
To cut medical-malpractice costs, five New York City hospitals have agreed to a pilot program to divulge medical mistakes early, offer settlements quickly and use special state “health courts,” where judges will help negotiate agreements before cases go to trial. The program, funded for three years with $3 million from the federal government, aims to cut the $1.4 billion spent annually in New York State on medical-malpractice premiums, hospital and state officials say. (Wall Street Journal)

Sullenberger urges hospitals to adopt aviation culture of safety
Hospital leaders attending the American Hospital Association’s Leadership Summit in San Diego Thursday got a stern lecture from Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, who told them adopt the mentality of the aviation industry. They must stop thinking of accidents “as inevitable and start thinking about them as unimaginable,” he said. “We in aviation have learned a lot, and we’re anxious to share it with you.” (HealthLeaders Media)

Computer Science Corp. opens online community on meaningful use
Computer Sciences Corp., a $16 billion provider of IT and managed services to businesses and the public sector headquartered in Falls Church, Virginia, said it has launched an interactive, online community whose main focus is to provide a forum for health care professionals to share information on meaningful use of electronic health record technology. (IT Channel Planet)

Company seeks to prevent hospital errors with simple sensor
The new tool, by Seattle-based Mirador Biomedical, could be incorporated into central venous procedures that are performed 6 million times a year in the U.S., and could have potential to prevent thousands of mistakes that can cause severe complications, or even death. (Xconomy)

GAO investigators say DNA tests give bogus results
A government investigator told members of Congress on Thursday that personalized DNA tests claiming to predict certain inheritable diseases are misleading and offer little or no useful information. An undercover investigation by the Government Accountability Office found that four genetic testing companies delivered contradictory predictions based on the same person’s DNA. (Associated Press)

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