Arizona HIE to drop fees for some providers; Digital device owners more likely to use patient portals;

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> Arizona's statewide health information exchange, operated by Arizona Health-e Connection, has opted to eliminate fees for community providers effective Oct. 1. Community providers include federally qualified health centers, rural health clinics and primary care and specialty providers in private practice, public health, correctional facilities and first responders. Hospitals and health plans will now cover the portion of operating expenses for the community providers. Announcement (.pdf)

> Use of patient portals is increasing in the United States, but 50 percent of U.S. broadband households don't regularly use them, and 23 percent don't use them at all, according to a new study from Parks Associates. People with digital health devices were more likely to access a patient portal; 27 percent of them would, compared to only 5 percent of non-owners. Announcement

Health Finance News

> When it comes to the pending mega-mergers among health insurers, hospitals and other providers have begun to peel the gloves off. The American Hospital Association and the American Medical Association plan to testify before Congress later this month, urging lawmakers and federal regulators to closely scrutinize pending mergers between Aetna and Humana and Cigna and Anthem. Article  

Health Insurance News   

> Consumer and industry groups alike have expressed concerns about a "Cybersecurity Bill of Rights" proposed this summer by state insurance commissioners. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners created the bill of rights to guide insurers' response to data breaches as well as explain how consumers can seek help if they are affected by a breach. Article

And Finally ... Sounds like he still belongs in middle school. Article

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