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Lena Kauffman
Lena Kauffman is a contributing writer based in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
 - Fall_prevention

The American Nurses Association (ANA) is urging immediate increased investment in nursing training to ensure a sufficient nursing workforce to meet anticipated future demand from an aging U.S. population and the newly insured under the Affordable Care Act’s coverage expansions.

 - White House

One hospital’s program that puts peer counselors at the bedside of patients with addiction and substance abuse problems has earned it an invitation to the White House. Leaders from Christiana Care Health System in Wilmington, Delaware, were asked to present their early addiction intervention program, Project Engage, to officials from the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.

 - joint_venture

Beaumont Health System, Botsford Health Care and Oakwood Healthcare are now officially one organization — Beaumont Health. The new $3.8 billion not-for-profit health care organization is one of southeastern Michigan’s largest with eight hospitals with 3,337 beds, 153 outpatient sites, 5,000 physicians and more than 33,000 employees.

 - Ms. Desktop

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has announced that it will hold three separate testing weeks to allow trading partners (including physician practices, hospitals and other healthcare providers) the opportunity to try out submitting claims using International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision (ICD-10) codes.

 - financial_chart

In a report published in the policy journal Health Affairs, the actuaries examine a broad range of factors pushing healthcare spending down and up from now through 2023. They conclude that 2013 health spending growth should have remained slow at 3.6 percent. Starting in 2014, however, the pace of growth begins to pick up again as the economic recovery strengthens, more people acquire insurance under the Affordable Care Act’s coverage expansions and the baby boomer generation drives an overall aging of the population.

 - handwashing

Reducing hospital acquired infections significantly is possibly simply through better adherence to hand washing standards by clinical staff. However, making a hand-washing initiative stick is difficult because people naturally tend to become less adherent to standards over time without a culture that positively reinforces the standard, according to experts from Ohio’s MetroHealth Medical Center, University Hospitals and the Cleveland Clinic.

 - computer

In a final rule published Friday, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) updated its requirement that eligible providers must use 2014 Edition certified electronic health record (EHR) technology (CEHRT) to qualify for Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs payments this year. Instead, they can now use the 2011 Edition CEHRT or a combination of 2011 and 2014 Edition CEHRT for an EHR reporting period in 2014.

 - white_flag

The Pennsylvania Insurance Department has posted the final transition plan for consumers as the contract between rivals Highmark and UPMC comes to an end on Dec. 31, 2014.

 - U.S. Congress

The American Hospital Association (AHA) this week submitted comments to the U.S. House Committee on Ways and Means, Subcommittee on Health about the Protecting the Integrity of Medicare Act (PIMA), a bill that seeks to save the government money by making it harder to successfully defraud the system.

 - hospital_room

In a report issued this week, the PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP Health Research Institute concludes that the patchwork Medicaid expansion the courts allowed under the Affordable Care Act has created health system “haves and have nots.”