A report presented at the Minnesota health insurance exchange's board meeting showed that 107,500 state residents who are eligible for premium assistance did not apply, and many are unaware that tax credits and subsidies are available only for plans bought through MNsure. Exchange officials are opening a new broker enrollment center and compiling a report that shows potentially uninsured residents in each county.
The ONC has released a new scorecard to help providers and developers identify and resolve interoperability issues concerning submitted Consolidated Clinical Document Architecture documents. HL7 developed the best practices and quantitative scoring criteria used for this tool, which is based on the meaningful use stage 2 era C-CDA Scorecard from Substitutable Medical Applications and Reusable Technologies.
The new special item number for health IT services has been released by the General Services Administration to make it easier for agencies to purchase health IT products on the government's IT Schedule 70 contracting vehicle. The HIT SIN covers health IT products and services, including those focused on EHR development, as well as e-prescribing, medical devices, sensors and telehealth.
Hospitals categorized as advanced EHR users saw a reduction in per-patient costs, with each patient costing $731, 9.66% less than the cost of patients treated at other hospitals, according to a study in the American Journal of Managed Care. Researchers analyzed the National Inpatient Sample and the HIMSS Annual Survey that involved 550 hospitals, 104 of which were advanced EHR users.
Proposed telemedicine regulations in Arkansas have been stalled in the state's House and Senate committees on public health, welfare and labor after Teladoc lobbyist Bradley Phillips testified that the changes made by the state's medical board in the language about store-and-forward technology should have required a new public comment period.
Health care CIOs and other IT leaders should begin preparing their physicians now for payment reforms under the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act, despite CMS Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt's announcement that the CMS may delay its Jan. 1 start date, experts said. "[The CMS is] already acknowledging that very few alternative payment models will be ready to go right away -- there's a high bar to participate in those, and you have to use certified technology -- so [the] CMS is assuming that most eligible physicians will be under [the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System] for the first few years," said Leslie Kriegstein, CHIME's vice president of congressional affairs.
The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations has reinstated its secure texting ban for physician orders amid the need for more guidance "to ensure a safe implementation involving the secure texting of orders for those organizations desiring to employ technology supporting this practice," officials said in a newsletter. The additional guidance will be co-developed with the CMS to comply with the Medicare Conditions of Participation and may be released by September.
A Rock Health report showed that big-data and analytics firms raised a combined $300 million in digital health venture funding in the first half of this year. EHR and clinical workflow, wearables and biosensing, digital medical devices, population health management, and personal health tools and tracking were also among the top deals this year, the report said.
Two former executives of Johnson & Johnson's medical device unit Acclarent were found guilty Wednesday of misdemeanor charges of violating the US Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. William Facteau, former CEO of the company, and Patrick Fabian, ex-vice president of sales, were convicted of marketing Acclarent's Relieva Stratus Microflow Spacer device for an unapproved use but were acquitted of felony wire fraud and conspiracy charges.
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