CMS clarifies exclusions, exceptions for those who lack Internet connectivity; New York proposes rule governing statewide HIN;

News From Around the Web

> The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has issued a news alert for eligible professionals (EPs) who face challenges in meeting Meaningful Use objectives related to broadband access and internet connectivity. CMS has clarified exclusions and finalized the hardship exceptions; it has also issued a new FAQ clarifying what to do if an EP's patients don't have broadband access. Website  FAQ

> The New York State Department of Health has published a proposed regulation related to its state health information network. The regulation describes the policy and funding framework for the network and related privacy and security policies and exchange services. Regulation (.pdf)

Health Finance News

> The longer patients stay in the hospital, the more likely they are to contract a pathogen that is resistant to multi-drug treatment, according to a new study from researchers at the Medical University of South Carolina. Each day of hospitalization increased the likelihood of developing pneumonia bloodstream, surgical site and infection by 1 percent. However, some new tests, such as Carba NP can provide results on dangerous infections from the CRE bacteria within hours and can potentially help hospitals gain an upper hand on infection control. Article

> An obscure federal measure of productivity and growth may have a growing consequence for healthcare delivery and the financial success of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The indicator, known as the Quarterly Services Survey, or QSS, measures the revenues generated by service provider businesses, including hospitals. The data, which is compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau, accounts for roughly one-fifth of the nation's gross domestic product. Article

Health Insurance News

> Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is willing to fork out $29.9 million to resolve a consolidated lawsuit that claims the insurer used "most favored nation" clauses in its provider contracts. Although the U.S. Department of Justice and the Michigan attorney general in 2013 dropped their lawsuit, which claimed that Blue Cross illegally used most-favored nation clauses in its provider contracts to ensure it received lower rates than other insurers, several related civil lawsuits moved forward against the insurer. Now Blue Cross wants to settle those civil cases, which were consolidated into one lawsuit. Article

And Finally... The lawn will never get mowed once the kids catch on! Article