CMS issues new FAQs on switching EHRs; ComChart drops out of vendor business;

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> The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has announced a request for information asking for suggestions regarding the implementation of section 101 of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act. Section 101 is the provision that rolls the Meaningful Use program and other initiatives into a new merit-based incentive payment system. There will be a 30-day opportunity for responses. Request for Information

> CMS has released two new Frequently Asked Questions, both pertaining to issues when switching electronic health record systems. One FAQ addresses whether and when a provider that is moving from one EHR product to another can apply for a hardship exemption. The other involves attestation and hardship exemption questions when an EHR product is decertified. FAQ 1 and FAQ 2

> ComChart has decided to drop out of the EHR business and will no longer sell its product to the public. According to company president Heyward Zwerling, M.D.'s announcement, the underlying technology, which ComChart did not fully control, was too complicated for smaller physician offices, and the "upgrade" process too slow for larger ones. He recommends that practices that will no longer be using ComChart obtain a "read only" license so that they can continue to access their patient records. Announcement

Health Finance News

> A federal judge has thrown out a facet of the CMS' proposed two-midnight rule, which may delay implementation of a planned payment cut. CMS had estimated that implementing the two-midnight rule would shift about 40,000 patient encounters from the outpatient to the inpatient setting, leading to an additional $220 million in payments to providers. Article  

> Pioneer accountable care organizations reported a modest drop in the use of so-called "low-value" healthcare services, such as unnecessary cancer screenings, imaging services or cardiac tests, according to a new study published by JAMA Internal Medicine. Altogether, Pioneer ACOs reduced low-value service volume 1.9 percent during their first year of operation, leading to a 4.5 percent drop in spending on those services. Article

Health Insurance News   

> State regulation of network adequacy is anything but stable. While some states have guidelines in place to assure consumers see certain providers, others may have specific quantitative measurements. In an effort to better regulate narrow networks, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners is working to hash out a new model network adequacy law. Article

And Finally... The lesson they're teaching these students may not be what these educators intended. Article