Jian Wu, Michael Lee (Hainan Tourism) Lin Kuang, Yini (CNTO) Kevin (David Vuong Travel), Barbara (ALL Tours and Travel) David (Golden Globe International), Lucky (FirstClass Travel) Priza winner Lisa, Samantha (STA) Rebecca (FCm Travel Solutions), Rachael, Tara (Flight Centre) Source = e-Travel Blackboard: M.H Jeff (dial-a-holiday), David (David Vuong Travel) The budding ‘love-affair’ between Australia and China took to the waters of Sydney Harbour this week, as tourism authorities from the two countries met on Sydney Showboat for the 2011 China Tourism Night. The event, organised by the China National Tourism Administration (CNTA) and attended by some 300 industry representatives, was a reflection of the close ties the countries have forged in recent years, with Australia now the 2nd largest source market of long-haul visitors to China, and China the largest source of visitors into Australia.Following on from the inaugural China – Australia Tourism Summit held a fortnight ago in Cairns, the event underlined the commitment the two nations have in continuing their close bilateral tourism ties.“China and Australia are inextricably linked through our strong economic ties,” tourism projects manager for the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism Grant Keys said.After welcoming guests in fluent Mandarin, Mr Keys went on to praise the remarkable diversity of a country he had spent four years in. Preceding the major prize draws, which included generous flight and accommodation packages to China, were brief presentations by Beijing and Hainan tourism, as well as performances by a traditional Chinese musical ensemble.Expect this affair to last. Grant Keys talks up China (in Mandarin)
A nurse practitioner in Connecticut pleaded guilty in June to taking $83,000 in kickbacks from a drug company in exchange for prescribing its high-priced drug to treat cancer pain. In some cases, she delivered promotional talks attended only by herself and a company sales representative. But when the federal government released data Tuesday on payments by drug and device companies to doctors and teaching hospitals, the payments to nurse practitioner Heather Alfonso, 42, were nowhere to be found. That’s because the federal Physician Payment Sunshine Act doesn’t require companies to publicly report payments to nurse practitioners or physician assistants, even though they are allowed to write prescriptions in most states. (Ornstein, 7/6) The Hill: White House Eases Up On New Medical Code CMS Softens On New Medical Billing Code, Offers Transition Period The new codes, known as ICD-10, are seen by some as overly bureaucratic, but are slated to begin Oct. 1. The Obama administration says it won’t deny most claims during a 12-month transition. Elsewhere, the lack of federal data on industry payments to nurses is scrutinized, while sick docs and telemedicine are also examined. Los Angeles Times: Why Do Doctors, Of All People, Show Up For Work Sick? The Obama administration announced on Monday that it will give doctors a 12-month transition period related to new medical codes that have drawn criticism from some Republican lawmakers as a needless expansion of bureaucracy. The deadline for doctors to adopt a new set of codes that identify medical conditions and procedures is Oct. 1. They are known as ICD-10, for the tenth version of the International Classification of Diseases. (Sullivan, 7/6) USA Today: The Digital Doctor Is In: Next Wave In Health Care NPR/ProPublica: Industry Payments To Nurses Go Unreported In Federal Database In today’s digitally focused world, there are some cases where a trip to the doctor can be easily replaced with the download of an app or the power of a text message. The health care industry is in the midst of a technological boom, a transition which physician Bob Wachter, author of The Digital Doctor, says is necessary – but no one has gotten it completely right yet. (Thadani, 7/6) Doctors and nurses understand that working while they’re sick can put their patients at risk. But most do so anyway, a new survey of workers at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia suggests — influenced by factors as varied as concerns over who will fill in for them, worries that their patients can’t get by without them and a widespread notion that healthcare workers who stay home to nurse a cold or stomach bug are somehow weak or unprofessional. (Brown, 7/6) This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.