Black Book to revamp EHR surveys to avoid bias; Public health measure deadline looms;

News From Around the Web

> The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has issued a news update reminding eligible professionals planning to meet one of the Stage 2 public health measures that the deadline for registering intent to initiate ongoing submission with a public health agency or other body is March 1. The public health measure can be satisfied in several different ways. CMS notes that if the 2015 reporting period is shortened from the current 365 days to 90 days, as the agency has proposed, then March 1 would be the first deadline of a 90-day reporting period and there will be additional deadlines for subsequent 90-day reporting periods. Website

> Acute care providers in the market to buy an electronic health record system are more undecided about what to purchase than they have been in the past, according to a new report from KLAS Research. Although the market has consolidated somewhat, the competition among the key players has become stiffer, especially between Epic and Cerner. Announcement

> Black Book Rankings is changing its survey standards to remove ballots cast by provider organizations that serve as resellers or have similar conflicts of interest. The company discovered 33 hospital resellers responding to its survey regarding customary loyalty and satisfaction on behalf of 740 physician practices to which they had sold EHRs. Black Book also found that 93 percent of physician practices and small hospitals that obtained EHRs from a flagship hospital felt obligated to select the EHR the flagship used from their reseller. The company will delay its report so that it can conduct re-surveys. Announcement

Health Finance News

> Hospitals are mysterious places that may keep information from patients, Marketplace has reported. Often those items directly impact healthcare finance and the cost of care. Among the pieces of information that hospital staff won't tell patients include the prices for procedures, whether the patient's insurance plan will cover the care, that their doctor won't come to the hospital to treat them because it's not cost efficient, and that they likely will be overcharged for medication. Article

> California Attorney General Kamala Harris has approved Prime Healthcare Services' plan to acquire the Daughters of Charity healthcare system, but it's unclear whether the organization will finalize the $843 million deal. The conditions Harris has attached to the deal, such as guaranteeing pensions and keeping facilities open, has given officials with the for-profit Prime enough pause that they are reviewing them in depth prior to finalizing any offer. Article

Health Insurance News

> Arkansas and Kentucky are sitting pretty when it comes to reducing their uninsured rates. From 2013 to 2014, Arkansas experienced an 11.1 percent drop, while Kentucky saw a 10.6 percent drop, according to a new Gallup poll. Oregon was third with a 7.7 percent drop, while Washington and West Virginia both had a 6.7 percent drop. Gallup found that 10 of the top 11 states who experienced the largest drop between 2013 and 2014 expanded Medicaid. Article

> CMS claim that its proposal to cut Medicare Advantage reimbursement rates by 0.95 percent in 2016 will not impact insurers' revenue, but industry experts say the changes will hit their bottom lines. Article

And Finally... How did the puzzles get there? Did Dakota Johnson hand deliver them? Article