CMS updates more FAQs; Consumers exposed to EHRs view them more positively;

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> The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has updated three frequently asked questions (FAQs) pertaining to attestation of certain objectives and measures. The agency clarified which transitions of care count in the summary of care objective, the use of measures during or outside the reporting period, and attesting to immunization administration. CMS also removed several outdated FAQs. Website

> Consumers who were exposed to electronic health records via their physicians had more positive attitudes toward the systems than those without such exposure, according to a new study in the American Journal of Managed Care. They also had more confidence in the benefits of the systems, and fewer concerns about their privacy risks. However, the study was conducted from 2011 to 2013; the authors note that the increased number of data breaches and publicity about data security and privacy since then could affect consumers' perceptions EHRs and data security. Study (.pdf)

> Leidos and Virginia Tech University have joined forces to collaborate on student-conducted scientific research on big data and EHRs. The partnership will establish methods to improve the quality of patient care and reduce costs. It is also expected to prepare the students for professional careers in academia, industry and government. Announcement

Health Finance News

> Pay at hospitals and health systems--particularly those larger in size--are going up at a fairly brisk pace, according to the latest compensation survey from SullivanCotter & Associates. Median base salaries rose 3.1 percent this year for executives at hospitals and health systems. But the median total cash compensation--which includes bonuses and other pay outside of salary--climbed 6.9 percent. At health systems, it rose a median of 7.4 percent. Article   

Health Insurance News   

> A significant number of lesbian, gay and bisexual adults gained health insurance under the Affordable Care Act--thanks in part to Medicaid expansion and the opening of insurance marketplaces, according to a recent Health Affairs study. The Supreme Court ruling on marriage equality this summer also expanded access for LGB adults by enabling them to benefit from family health insurance coverage through employers, Medicaid, Medicare and the Department of Veterans Affairs, the study authors note. Article

> More and more workplace wellness programs are asking company employees to undergo so-called biometrics or blood tests that screen for a variety of risk factors from high cholesterol levels to high blood sugars. But some experts wonder if that practice is leading to over-testing and over-treating of patients, which is actually helping drive up the cost of healthcare. Article

And Finally... My grandmother taught me to stand up straight and eat my veggies! Article

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