Coast Guard obtains interoperability platform; Ireland to provide unique patient identifiers;

News From Around the Web

> The U.S. Coast Guard is using the InterSystem HealthShare health informatics platform for sharing health data in its Integrated Health Information System. The platform allows for interoperability among the CG's disparate systems as well as Coast Guard care and civilian providers. The Coast Guard is in the process of transitioning from legacy systems to a commercial electronic health record solution. Announcement

> Ireland has opted to assign each person in the country a unique patient identifier, which will last his or her life time. The identifiers have been developed so that patient data can be safely shared, and it's expected that the identifiers will also reduce duplication of services and improve patient safety. The country will also use unique provider numbers. The United States mandated unique provider numbers and unique patient identifiers as part of the original Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act in 1996. Congress barred the use of unique patient identifiers several years later. Article

> Marlin Equity Partners will acquire cloud EHR vendor AdvancedMD. The vendor currently provides EHR, billing and related services to more than 17,500 practitioners. The deal is expected to close later this year. Announcement

Health Finance News

> Hospitals, which just a few years ago balked at the idea of adding new employees, have become a job-generating machine for the U.S. economy, according to the latest labor data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Hospitals added 15,700 new jobs last month when compared to June. Over the past year, hospitals have added a total of 122,800 new jobs. They now employ a total of 4.9 million people, out of 15.1 million in the healthcare sector as a whole. Article

> St. Luke's Health System's jealously kept its patients within its hospitals in Idaho, the Idaho Statesman has reported, a business model that ultimately played into the unraveling of its acquisition of Idaho's largest medical group. According to previously sealed documents obtained by the newspaper, St. Luke's resorted to marketing tactics such as brochures that strongly suggested that patients may not receive the same level of care if they sought emergency treatment at a non-St. Luke's hospital. Article

Health Insurance News

> Medicare will soon start paying for a new and pricey cancer medication, Blincyto, which costs about $178,000 for a standard course of treatment. The latest news from President Barack Obama's administration suggests new willingness by Medicare to cover costly treatments for chronic conditions. Article  

And Finally... Shouldn't the judge have sought the lucky bride's consent first? Article

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