Laptop stolen from Washington health department contractor found in pawn shop; Researchers develop telerobotic platform to treat bladder cancer;

News From Around the Web

> The Washington State Department of Social and Health Services announced this week that a laptop containing protected health information for 652 of its clients recently was stolen and then recovered. According to the announcement, there is no evidence that any files on the laptop--which was stolen from a privately contracted doctor Feb. 4, and found 10 days later in a pawn shop in Gig Harbor, Wash.--were accessed or used for identity theft. Announcement

> Engineers and doctors at Vanderbilt and Columbia Universities have created a prototype telerobotic platform geared toward treating bladder cancer. The platform, according to a Vanderbilt announcement, was designed to make it easier to view and remove tumors from the lining of the bladder, regardless of their location. Announcement

Provider News

> Intermountain Healthcare in Utah has agreed to pay $25.5 million to settle allegations that some of its leases and contracts with physicians violated the Stark law and False Claims Act, the U.S. Department of Justice announced today. In 2009, regular reviews uncovered issues with physician relationships, such as physicians receiving bonuses that improperly considered the value of patient referrals, according to the settlement. Intermountain notified government officials and fixed the lease and compensation arrangements. Article

> Two Pennsylvania hospitals filed suit against the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, claiming the agency's disproportionate share hospital (DSH) program shorted them by more than $1.8 million since 1995. Post

Health Insurance News

> The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services said it will allow some states to use federal funds provided under the reform law to privatize their Medicaid expansion programs. States have increasingly been considering paying private insurers to insure the expanded Medicaid population after Arkansas first proposed the idea and received conditional approval from HHS. HHS said Friday that states can use private insurers as long as they first obtain a waiver from the agency and that privatizing Medicaid doesn't cost the agency more than the traditional program. Article

And Finally... I'd like the Grand Slam breakfast and a side of marriage, please. Article


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