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Good to Know…Week of November 28, 2011


HEALTH CARE
Last Chance for Medicare, Medicaid Reform? Nope
The real lesson of the supercommittee’s collapse is that the political elements have to line up just right to put the brakes on Medicare and Medicaid spending. It can be done, budget and health care analysts say.

To read this article, go to: Politico.com

Transition to Electronic Medical Records Gradually Taking Hold
It’s hard to think of any major portion of President Obama’s health policy that hasn’t engendered intense argument. But one at least comes close: the provision of the 2009 federal stimulus law that pushes medical practices to update their record-keeping for the 21st century. The aim is to ensure that all of the nation’s medical records are computerized by 2014.

To read this article, go to: Stateline.org

Doctors Slow To Embrace Telemedicine, Cloud Computing
One out of four healthcare providers are now using tablets in their practice, with another 21% expecting to do so in the next 12 months, and more than half are using a smartphone at work.

To read this article, go to: InformationWeek.com

Physicians Using Tablets to Treat Patients
Within the next year, almost half of all doctors will be using tablets and other mobile devices to perform everyday tasks, such as accessing patient information in electronic medical records (EMRs), according to the survey by the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA), a nonprofit group.

To read this article, go to: ComputerWorld.com

POVERTY
Alternative Poverty Measure Re-Evaluates Cohabitating Couples
The Census Bureau’s new alternative measure of poverty assumes that cohabiting couples pool funds and share expenses just as married couples do. The result: A lower share of cohabiting couples is considered poor under the alternative metric than under the official measure.

To read this article, go to: PEWSocialTrends.org


HOUSING

$1B Homeowner Program Mainly Benefited 3 States
Almost half the homeowners aided by the Emergency Homeowners’ Loan Program are in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Connecticut, based on preliminary figures from the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

To read this article, go to: USATODAY.com

Occupy Wall Street and Homelessness: Millions Spent to Evict Camps, While Cutting Shelter Funds
As cities around the country have swept Occupy Wall Street camps from their plazas and parks in recent weeks, a number of mayors and city officials have argued that by providing shelter to the homeless, the camps are endangering the public and even the homeless themselves.

To read this article, go to: HuffingtonPost.com

TECHNOLOGY
Watchdog Outlines IT Best Practices
A government watchdog on Monday identified nine best practices that help information technology projects stay on budget and on time, including sufficient upfront funding, strong communication between the contractors building the system and the federal employees who will operate it, and genuine involvement from senior agency leaders.

To read this article, go to: NextGov.com

PUBLIC WORKFORCE
OPM Issues Guidance on Workforce Restructuring
The Office of Personnel Management has provided guidance to agencies’ human resources chiefs on available tools to restructure the federal workforce.

To read this article, go to: GovExec.com

Failure to Reach Deficit Deal Could Mean Extended Pay Freeze, Layoffs for Feds
Federal employees’ pay scale freeze could be extended and some feds could be laid off as a result of the congressional supercommittee’s failure to reach a deficit reduction deal, House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer said Monday.

To read this article, go to: FederalTimes.com

IMMIGRATION
Feds Sue Utah Over Illegal Immigration Enforcement Bill
The Utah attorney general said the state was careful to tailor HB497 to reflect recent federal court opinions on other states’ immigration enforcement efforts, but there are “one or two minor things they still have some heartburn over” that could be corrected by the Utah Legislature in its next session.

To read this article, go to: DeseretNews.com

DEATH PENALTY
Gov. John Kitzhaber: Oregon Death Penalty Fails ‘Basic Standards of Justice’
Twice, Gov. John Kitzhaber has found himself torn between his physician’s oath to do no harm and his governor’s oath to uphold the state constitution.

To read this article, go to: OregonLive.com

EDUCATION
Commercial Colleges Broke Rules in U.S. Inquiry
Most of the commercial colleges tested by undercover investigators posing as students allowed them to enroll with fake high school graduation credentials, according to a report released Tuesday by the Government Accountability Office, an auditing arm of Congress.

To read this article, go to: NYTimes.com

ENVIRONMENT
U.N. Reports Record Greenhouse Gas Levels
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) published data Monday showing that the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere hit a new record in 2010 and that the growth of the buildup is accelerating.

To read this article, go to: TheHill.com

Congress Kills Request for National Climate Service
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration wanted to reshuffle its offices to establish a National Climate Service akin to the agency’s National Weather Service. It asked for no new funding to do so.

To read this article, go to: WashingtonPost.com

TRANSPORTATION
Motorists Face an ‘Avalanche’ of Higher Tolls
Tolls along the Eastern seaboard are going up so much, says Darrin Roth, that in four years, a semitrailer making the four-hour trip from Baltimore to New York City could pay as much as $209.25. The price of tolls, in other words, will be more expensive than paying for the driver and fuel.

To read this article, go to: Stateline.org

INTERESTING…
Work in Your Overlap
The greatest achievements happen in the overlap of three things: Your genuine interests, skills, and opportunities. To find success, work within your overlap.

To view this podcast
, go to: FastCompany.com

Work Smart: Disrupt Your Inbox
If you’re looking for a quick way to improve productivity for yourself as well as those around you, look no further than your inbox. Most of us take email for granted now, which is why there is an opportunity there to improve and optimize how you communicate.

To view this podcast, go to: FastCompany.com

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