CMS issues RFI on clinical quality measures; ONC seeks volunteers for new work group;

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> The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has issued a request for information on the use of clinical quality measures by physicians. The agency is soliciting ways in which an eligible professional might use the data reported to nonfederal programs to report to the federal ones, such as the electronic health record incentive program and the Physician Quality Reporting System. The RFI is slated to be published today in the Federal Register; comments are due within 60 days of the publication date. Request for information

 > The American Hospital Association has submitted comments to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services' proposed safety plan for health IT. AHA agreed with many of HHS' proposals to increase patient safety and suggested, among other things, that the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT use a national approach to match patients with their records. Comment letter (.pdf)

> ONC is soliciting membership for a new work group of the HIT Policy Committee. The new group will focus on accountable care programs. Applications are due Feb. 15. Website

Mobile Health News

> A mere 17 percent of healthcare provider CIOs and senior IT executives believe mHealth will have a significant impact on the healthcare industry, according to an independent research study commissioned by Level 3 Communications. Article

> Smartphones can be effective platforms in helping women with chronic widespread pain, according to an article in the Journal of Medical Internet Research about a recent Norwegian study. "Web-based programs delivered via smartphones are increasingly used to support the self-management of various health disorders, but research on smartphone interventions for persons with chronic pain is limited," states the article, which aimed to research the effectiveness of smartphone interventions in its study. Article

Provider News

> More patients are dying at home than in the hospital, in accordance with their wishes, while the use of hospice and hospital palliative care services grows, according to a study in this month's Journal of the American Medical Association. But the news isn't all good: Researchers found increased intensive care unit use and a higher rate of healthcare transitions during the last month of life, suggesting highly aggressive end-of-life care. Article

> President Obama this week urged Congress to avoid automatic cuts set to take effect next month, including a 2 percent reduction in Medicare reimbursements. Obama announced a short-term budget plan aimed at delaying sequestration, although the president says he is still looking for a long-term solution to cut the national debt in the next 10 years, the Associated Press reported. Article

And Finally... This gives "house of horrors" a whole new meaning. Article

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