Change in default setting in EHR increased prescribing of generics; ONC releases agenda for annual meeting;

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> University of Pennsylvania Health System experienced a "significant" increase in the prescribing of generic medications when it changed the default settings in its electronic health record. It added an opt-out checkbox for "dispense as written;" if unchecked, the generic equivalent medication would be prescribed. The prescribing of generics increased from 75.3 percent to 98.4 percent. Abstract

> The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has published updated 2016 quality reporting data architecture (QRDA), as well as schematrons and sample files for the 2016 electronic clinical quality measures (eCQM) for the reporting year. The material applies to eligible professionals, and includes an interactive guidance and other eCQM related tools. QRDA is a standard document format for the exchange of eCQM data. Website   

> The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT has released the agenda for its annual meeting, which will be held May 31-June 2 in the District of Columbia. The meeting will include discussions on advances in interoperability, the use of technology in research and the future of patient engagement. Website

Health Finance News

> The healthcare sector continues to be one of the strongest job generators in the American economy, according new data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Altogether, the U.S. healthcare sector generated a seasonally adjusted 44,200 jobs last month compared to March of 2016. Article

> Are accountable care organizations (ACOs) really saving the healthcare system money? That's a question posed by cardiologist Anish Koka, M.D., in the Philadelphia Inquirer. Citing recent studies, he concluded that ACOs that are part of the Medicare Shared Savings Program that began in 2012 saved an average of $144 per beneficiary. For those formed in 2013, the savings have been $3 per beneficiary. Article   

Health Insurance News   

> The first quarter of 2016 brought both positive and negative tidings for the nation's five largest health insurers. In perhaps the most closely watched business segment, the individual market, two of the "big five" told investors that they would pull out of some marketplaces in 2017, while others indicated they'd stay the course. Article

> Although the number of fraud and abuse investigations initiated by Medicare benefit integrity contractors declined between 2012 and 2013, contractors leaned heavily on predictive analytics to identify fraudulent billing, according to a report released by the Office of Inspector General. Post   

And Finally... This one's even harder than herding cats. Article