HHS issues progress report on tobacco control plan   08/15/2012
The Department of Health and Human Services today reported on progress toward implementing its November 2010 plan to reduce tobacco use and exposure to second-hand smoke. Actions to date include federal grants to promote the adoption of tobacco-free policies for multiunit housing settings, college campuses, schools and outdoor spaces, and other tobacco prevention and cessation efforts; funding for state and federal "quitlines" that provide phone-based support to quit tobacco; national advertising campaigns; and federal research on effective prevention methods, emerging trends and the impact of regulatory efforts.
AHA webinars to spotlight successful diversity, equitable care practices   08/15/2012
The AHA's Institute for Diversity in Health Management and Health Research & Educational Trust on Aug. 29 will host the first in a series of free webinars on successful practices from their recent report on "Diversity and Disparities: A Benchmarking Study of U.S. Hospitals." The webinars will feature speakers from hospitals honored for diversity in leadership and governance; diversity management and strengthening the workforce; cultural competency and engaging communities; and addressing disparities and delivering quality care. For more on the Aug. 29 webinar or to register, click here.
Hospital prices climb 0.2% in July   08/15/2012
Overall hospital prices increased 0.2% in July, and were 2.1% higher than a year ago, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported yesterday. Prices for the subgroup of general medical and surgical hospitals increased 0.2%, and were 2.3% higher than in July 2011, according to the BLS' Producer Price Indices, which measure average changes in selling prices received by domestic producers for their output. For hospitals, this translates into actual or expected reimbursement for a sample of treatments or services. The PPI for hospitals measure changes in actual or expected reimbursement received for services across the full range of payer types. This includes the negotiated contract rate from the payer plus any portion expected to be paid by the patient.