athenahealth creates fee secure text messaging service; Great Lakes Health Connect surpasses milestone;

News From Around the Web

> Cloud electronic health record vendor athenahealth has launched a new free secure text messaging service for providers and care teams. The service, called athenaText, is intended to improve communication, create care networks, enhance care coordination and provide access to drug information mentioned in text messages. Announcement

> Great Lakes Health Connect, the leading health information exchange in Michigan, has surpassed its goal to have 1,000 physician practices using its closed-loop referrals application, and will soon link 1,000 practices to the state's immunization registry. The HIE has already surpassed one billion health information transactions per year. Announcement

Health Finance News

> Many finance-savvy patients are eschewing emergency rooms in favor of urgent care, expecting it will save them money. Yet they are still getting hit by surprise medical bills. Article  

> Hospitals and healthcare systems are turning to a new constituency when it comes to improving the care they provide: patients and their families. Health systems such as LifePoint Health have created a patient experience advisory board to receive input from the people they treat. Article

Health Insurance News   

> Although the Medicare Advantage program is widely popular among both insurers and consumers, several healthcare experts don't think Medicare officials should privatize the public insurance program any further. One reason is because they say Medicare is actually more efficient than Medicare Advantage, which costs enrollees 13 percent more, according to Robert Field, professor of law and health management and policy at Drexel University. Article  

> While a recent report indicated that newly eligible Medicaid enrollees may be more costly than anticipated to cover, a Health Affairs study points to one promising cost-reduction solution: Care coordination. Article

And Finally... Gee whiz, let them have their toilet paper. Article