Almost 32 million EHRs breached since 2009; CMS issues news updates on summary of care objective;

News From Around the Web

> Almost 32 million electronic patient records have been breached since 2009, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' latest data. The top 13 cases account for 64 percent of the total EHRs compromised," the Orange County Register reported. The breaches are due to theft, hacking and loss of the records. Article

> A new report from the New York attorney general reveals that the healthcare industry's move to digital patient records makes it "uniquely susceptible" to data loss. The healthcare industry is also one of the top three to have multiple data breaches, after the retail and financial services industries. Overall the number of reported data breaches in New York have more than tripled in the past eight years. Report (.pdf)

> The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services issued a news update July 15 on the summary of care Meaningful Use requirements in Stage 2 of the program. Eligible providers have the option of reporting the summary of care menu objective in Stage 1, but will be required to meet the core objective in Stage 2 to count toward the objective. The transition or referral must take place between providers with different billing identities. Website

Health Finance News

> The American Hospital Association (AHA) and other hospitals and health systems suing the federal government over adjudicating disputed Medicare claims in a timely manner have become more assertive in their lawsuit. The AHA and the other plaintiffs filed a motion for summary judgment--essentially a request for an immediate victory in their lawsuit--saying that under federal law it is the only way to obtain relief in the matter. Article

> Healthcare prices are on the rise again, but so are the number of people employed in the sector. That's the conclusion of the most recent report by the Altarum Institute's Center for Sustainable Health Spending. Healthcare prices rose 1.8 percent during the month of May, significantly higher than the 12-month moving average of 1.3 percent, according to Altarum. Hospital prices grew 2.1 percent during the month, while pharmaceutical spending rose 3.6 percent. However, physician and home healthcare prices both grew less than 1 percent. Article

Health Insurance News

> The first five months of this year haven't brought more patients into doctors' offices, despite a large increase in sign-ups during the open enrollment for health insurance exchanges, according to a new report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and athenahealth.  In fact, there was a slight drop in percentage of total visits with new patients compared to the same period last year. Article

And Finally... Yet another reason why I don't change my own oil. Article