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U.S. Senate Seeking Chronic Care Solutions

May 22, 2015

The U.S. Senate Finance Committee has established a bipartisan working group to explore ways to improve care for those with chronic conditions.

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DOH Provides Clarification Regarding Updating of Photos on ID Badges

May 22, 2015

The Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) has provided updated guidance regarding Act 110, which requires health care workers in all patient settings to wear a photo identification (ID) badge.

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U.S. House Energy & Commerce Committee Passes Cures Bill

May 21, 2015

In a unanimous 51–0 vote, the U.S. House Energy & Commerce Committee approved H.R. 6, the 21st Century Cures Act, aimed at accelerating the cycle of cures and advancing health care innovation.

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Observation Status Focus of U.S. Senate Hearing

May 21, 2015

During a hearing titled, “Challenging the Status Quo: Solutions to the Hospital Observation Stay Crisis,” the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging reviewed issues surrounding observation status, including the effect of the two-midnight policy and the role of Medicare auditors.

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Many Southeastern Pennsylvania Hospitals Struggling Financially—State Budget Cuts Won’t Help

May 21, 2015

According to the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council’s new report, about four in ten hospitals in the five-county region of southeastern Pennsylvania had negative operating and/or total margins during 2014.

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New PHC4 Report Shows Erosion in Already Thin PA Hospital Margins

May 21, 2015

News Release: During 2014, the average total margin for general acute care hospitals in Pennsylvania decreased from more than 6 percent to 5.70 percent, according to a new report and news release from the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council (PHC4). Operating margins saw similar declines.

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U.S. House Reviews Ban on Physician Self-Referral

May 20, 2015

In a U.S. House Ways & Means Health Subcommittee hearing, federal lawmakers considered competition in Medicare, and specifically, the impact of the ban on physician self-referral to physician-owned specialty hospitals.

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Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs Provides Guidance on Staffing Requirements for Treatment Facilities

May 19, 2015

The Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) posted information providing updated guidance on staffing requirements for drug and alcohol treatment facilities.

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Calls Available to Assist Hospitals and Health Systems With ICD-10 Transition

May 18, 2015

HAP has partnered with Pennsylvania’s four Blue plans and the Pennsylvania Medical Society to provide free access to monthly “What’s Up Wednesday” ICD-10 audioconferences to assist hospitals and health systems with the transition to ICD-10.

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DOH to Publish Approved and Denied Exception Requests—Increasing Transparency Helpful to Hospitals

May 15, 2015

The Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) announced that to improve transparency it now will publish in the Pennsylvania Bulletin both a list of approvals and denials for exceptions to regulations.

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DHS to Host Public Meeting on “The State of Mental Health”

May 15, 2015

The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) announced it will host a public discussion to provide an understanding of how coordinated care is being used to treat eating, mood, and substance-use disorders in the commonwealth.

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21st Century Cures Act Approved by Health Subcommittee

May 14, 2015

In a mark-up today, the U.S. House Energy & Commerce Health Subcommittee, chaired by Congressman Joe Pitts (R, PA-16), unanimously advanced the 21st Century Cures Act, intended to accelerate the discovery, development, and delivery of new cures and treatments.

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Governor Wolf-Appointed Officials Confirmed by Senate

May 14, 2015

The Senate confirmed Governor Tom Wolf’s appointments to head the Departments of Drug and Alcohol Programs, Labor and Industry, Health, and Aging.

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Pennsylvania Hospitals Share Innovative Community Health Success Stories with Lawmakers

May 13, 2015

The state House Majority Policy Committee hosted hospital and health system representatives for an educational hearing about hospital community health initiatives.

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Pennsylvania Insurance Department Seeking Comment on Essential Health Benefits

May 13, 2015

The Pennsylvania Acting Insurance Commissioner, Teresa Miller, is seeking public comment about “essential health benefits” for Pennsylvania.

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