CCHIT guide to help meet 2014 edition certification; South Carolina law caps price for digital EHR copies;

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> The Certification Commission for Health IT has launched a new guide to help health IT developers meet federal regulations. The guide consists of CCHIT's online, subscription-based ONC testing and certification preparation service and a menu of six programs covering basic orientation, clinical quality measures, interoperability and preparing for successful testing of criteria. The guide is designed to help vendors that are struggling to meet the 2014 edition of certified EHR technology and to increase the number of certified electronic health records available to providers. Announcement

> South Carolina has enacted a law barring providers from charging more than $150 for a copy of a patient's EHR in digital form. The provider may charge 65 cents for the first 30 pages of the EHR in electronic format, and 50 cents per page thereafter up to the limit, plus a clerical fee of up to $25 for finding and handling the records. A provider has to provide the records in electronic format if requested, but only if the records are stored in electronic format at the time of the request and the facility can provide the electronic version without incurring additional cost. Statute

Health Finance News

> Hospital costs in Ohio are more in check as a result of expanding Medicaid eligibility under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). And the greater financial stability may push other states to expand eligibility soon. Fewer uninsured patients showed up in the emergency rooms of Ohio hospitals in recent months since the state decided to expand eligibility to about 366,000 low-income residents. Article

> A legal entanglement involving the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and one of its recovery audit contractors (RACs) has delayed the awarding of new RAC contracts. The litigation was brought in the U.S. Court for Federal Claims earlier this year by CGI Federal, the RAC for CMS' region B, which includes Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Illinois, Kentucky, Ohio and Wisconsin. CGI Federal objects to the new payment methodology for the RACs. Article

Health Insurance News

> CMS has issued a proposal to update Medicare's home health prospective payment system (HH PPS) rates, which include national per-visit rates and the nonroutine medical supply conversion factor. The rule, to take effect Jan. 1, 2015, would simplify face-to-face encounter regulatory requirements, change the HH PPS case-mix weights and simplify therapy reassessment time frames, among other proposals. Article

> In the quest to lower costs and improve quality, health insurers increasingly are developing high-value provider networks. Many factors, including reimbursement structures and criteria for provider selection, contribute to successful high-value networks, according to a new Milliman report prepared for America's Health Insurance Plans. Article

And Finally... Why? Is the food better there? Article