Arizona health system incurs debt of nearly $30 million in EHR roll out; 14 small hospitals attain HIMSS Level 7 ranking;

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> Fourteen hospitals with 25 beds or less have reached Level 7 on the HIMSS Analytics electronic health record adoption scale, according to Becker's Hospital CIO. Currently only 171 hospitals overall have attained the distinction, which includes an all-electronic facility and advanced capabilities. The 14 hospitals are located mainly in the Midwest, Southwest and on the West Coast. Article

> The University of Arizona Health Network has incurred $28.5 million in debt, mainly due to the adoption of a new EHR system, the Arizona Daily Star reported. The problems included an overly aggressive implementation timeline in deploying the system, the need for additional training and support and a delay in implementation. Article

> Patients with implantable cardiac devices who had the device data sent directly to their personal health record were more engaged in their care than patients who did not, according to a recent study, Healthcare IT News reported. The patients had the opportunity to view the data, such as the device's battery life, whether the shocking leads were alright, and if they had suffered an arrhythmia. Article

Health Finance News

> Hospitals are pushing back against audits conducted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of the Inspector General, claiming they are redundant and burdensome versions of the lookbacks by recovery audit contractors (RACs) already underway. Article

> Patient advocate organizations--whether state-run, not-for-profits or for-profits--can shave millions of dollars a year from hospital and medical bills.  One organization, the Patient Advocate Foundation, used some 200 caseworkers to reduce patient medical debt by $48 million. Article

Health Insurance News

> The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced Tuesday that it will spend at least $60 million on navigators for the next enrollment period. CMS will require navigators to have a physical presence in their marketplaces to ensure more direct and personal communication. On top of submitting annual and quarterly reports, navigators will have to issue weekly and monthly progress reports to CMS that detail exactly how they're engaging with their communities. Article

> Many insurers are adding more doctors and hospitals for plans sold on health insurance exchanges. But they insist the provider expansion isn't a result of public outrage and pushback against narrow networks; instead it reflects providers' increased willingness to join the networks. Blue Shield of California, for example, has increased the number of hospitals in its exchange plans by 19 percent and doctors by 70 percent since it originally filed plan designs last year. Article

And Finally... Now that's lunacy! Article

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