Healthcare News August 8, 2012

  • CDC: Americans aren’t walking enough

    Fewer than half of U.S. adults get enough exercise to improve their health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday.

    Adults are, however, getting better about walking. Sixty-two percent of adults say they walk at least 10 minutes per day, up from 56 percent in 2005, the CDC said.

    The CDC recommends two and a half hours per week of “moderately intense aerobic physical activity,” such as walking.

    Even with the recent gains in walking, though, only 48 percent of U.S. adults get enough physical activity to improve their health, according to data from the CDC’s National Health Interview Survey.

    “It is encouraging to see these increases in the number of adults who are now walking,” said Joan M. Dorn, branch chief of the Physical Activity and Health Branch in CDC’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity. 

  • Norquist group hits tanning tax

    Americans for Tax Reform, the group led by anti-tax activist Grover Norquist, attacked President Obama on Tuesday over his healthcare law’s tax on tanning beds.

    The tax took effect two years ago, but ATR revived its criticism this week, saying the tax would disproportionately affect women. The majority of tanning salons are owned by women, according to industry estimates cited by ATR.

  • Study: Safety-net hospitals at risk

    Hospitals that primarily serve low-income patients and underserved areas are facing a major financial risk from the sluggish economy and President Obama’s healthcare law, a new study says.

    The research, conducted by the Commonwealth Fund, says safety-net hospitals need to adjust their business practices to avoid taking a big financial hit.

    “To overcome declining government subsidies, safety-net hospitals governed by elected politicians must focus on cost control, quality improvement, and services that attract insured patients,” the study says.

  • HHS: New rules will save up to $9 billion

    The Health and Human Services Department announced new rules Tuesday that it said will help save as much as $9 billion over the next decade.

    The new policy is designed to make it easier for doctors and hospitals to accept electronic payments. HHS adopted related standards earlier this year that made it easier for healthcare businesses to transfer money electronically.

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