CMS clarifies documentation requirements for new hardship exception; Epic wins several 'Best in KLAS' awards;

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> The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has issued a new answer to a Frequently Asked Question regarding the new hardship exception for the 2015 reporting year. Providers applying for such an exception will not have to submit documentation with their application. CMS will review the application to record the category selected and use the identifying information to approve it. FAQ

> Epic won several of the awards in KLAS Research's "Best in KLAS" awards for 2015-2016. Among other things, Epic won in the software categories for large acute inpatient EHRs, large physician practices and patient portals. CureMD won for software for smaller physician practices, and athenahealth in the medium physician practice (11-75 physician) category. Announcement   

> CMS issued an update reminding eligible professionals that there is an alternative method of attestation in the Medicaid incentive program to avoid the payment adjustment, created in the rule softening the program requirements for 2015-2017. To attest to the EHR Incentive Program requirements, Medicare EPs are required to use the Registration and Attestation System while Medicaid EPs are typically required to visit their state Medicaid agency's website. Beginning in 2015, Medicaid EPs who have previously received an incentive payment under the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program, but will fail to meet the eligibility requirements for the program in subsequent years, will be allowed to attest using the EHR Incentive Program Registration and Attestation system for the purpose of avoiding the Medicare payment adjustment. Rule

Health Finance News

> Cancer is often a deadly disease, but its victims are far more likely to die if the cost of their care drives them into bankruptcy, according to a new study by the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. Cancer patients who filed for bankruptcy were 80 percent more likely to die than those who remained solvent, according to an examination of the medical and financial records of 3,800 cancer patients in Western Washington state diagnosed between 1995 and 2009. Article  

Health Insurance News   

> As many as six million Americans are eligible to get nearly free health coverage through Medicaid but don't sign up, according to the Wall Street Journal. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has put a great deal of effort into reaching the remaining uninsured, including children who are eligible for Medicaid through the Children's Health Insurance Program. Article   

> Google may just be the next big player in the payer realm, Biogen Vice President Adam Koppel tells MedCity News, as the tech giant aims to increase its influence in healthcare data analytics and may even aim to take the place of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Article

And Finally... I bet the ringtones were "I fought the law and the law won." Article