ANSI keeps ONC-AA contract; Connecticut HIE closes its doors;

News From Around the Web

> The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT once again has selected the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) as the ONC Approved Accreditor (ONC-AA) for the ONC health IT certification program. The ONC-AA accredits the certification bodies that seek to serve as ONC-authorized certified bodies. This will be ANSI's second three-year term as ONC-AA. Announcement

> Health IT needs to be "tangible" and "real" before individuals will embrace it, National Coordinator for Health IT Karen DeSalvo said as part of a panel discussion last week. DeSalvo noted that without a national acceptance of health IT and electronic health records, the U.S. will miss an opportunity to improve patient care and reduce disruptions in care due to disasters. Article

> The Health Information Technology Exchange of Connecticut, a quasi-public HIE created with federal funds, is shutting its doors now that funds have run out, according to The CT Mirror. Some of its functions, including updating the statewide HIT plan, will be transferred to the state's Department of Social Services. Article

Health Finance News

> Hospital mergers and acquisitions last year fell overall, but the number of beds involved increased dramatically. There were 84 acquisitions in 2013, down 21.5 percent from 2012, according to data from the Connecticut-based Irving Levin & Associates. However, the number of beds involved was the highest since 2008. Article

> Hospitals provided nearly 60 percent of the uncompensated care delivered to patients in the U.S. last year, at a cost of nearly $45 billion, according to a new study that appeared in Health Affairs. Publicly-supported providers delivered most of the remainder, with a smaller proportion delivered by physician offices. Article

Health Insurance News

> Of the 26 states that chose to not expand Medicaid, 17 experienced a surge in enrollment, thanks in part to the woodwork effect of increased public awareness and outreach, finds a new Avalere Health analysis.  During last-minute efforts and hype to boost enrollment, many Medicaid-eligible residents who weren't previously enrolled signed up for coverage--more than 550,000 people in the 17 states did so between October and March, notes the analysis. Article

> Private health insurance exchanges, which now cover more than 1.5 million people, hold the power to transform the health insurance industry because of their potential to boost competition and innovation among insurers. Exchanges operated by private companies could "set in motion a process that will firmly establish managed competition as the predominant way of buying and selling health insurance and open the market to innovative high-value systems," Alain Enthoven, a Stanford University professor, wrote in a Health Affairs blog post. Article

And Finally... Eggs are not worth jail time. Article