eClinicalWorks enters U.S. acute care market; New ONC initiative enhances care coordination between public, private sectors;

News From Around the Web

> eClinicalWorks is entering the U.S. acute care electronic health record market. The vendor is known primarily for its EHRs in the ambulatory market and in the hospital market overseas, where it is being used by about 80 hospitals. Its first hospital client in the U.S. is Tidelands Health, a three-hospital system South Carolina. Announcement  

> The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has updated two answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding the Meaningful Use program. It provided new instructions in FAQ 2639 for eligible professionals who wish to contact the EHR Information Center to determine their hospital-based status. CMS also clarified, in FAQ 14117, that eligible hospitals need not explore every specialty society with which their specialists may be affiliated to meet the specialized registry objective.

> The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT has announced the launch of the new Governmental Trust Anchor Bundle. The bundle will allow for secure electronic messaging and attachments for care coordination between clinicians in government facilities and their counterparts in the private sector. The bundle is the first step in ONC's federal health IT strategic plan. Website

Health Finance News

> Emergency room patients who return at a later time for more care have significantly lower costs and mortality rates than those who are admitted as inpatients during the initial episode of care. That's the conclusion of researchers at the University of Washington, University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and University of California San Francisco. Article   

> Prices for common medical procedures vary widely and hospitals are not readily prepared to give price information, according to a new report by the Boston-based Pioneer Institute of six major cities in the United States. Article

Health Insurance News   

> A rushed, inadequate response to clear signs that was headed for trouble contributed to its ill-fated launch in 2013, according to a newly released, five-year study from the Office of Inspector General. Article

> The American Hospital Association wants the federal government to close a loophole in coverage requirements for employer-sponsored plans that it claims can harm consumers and hamper healthcare reform. In a Feb. 16 letter to Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Acting Administrator Andrew Slavitt and IRS and Treasury Deputy Commissioner for Services & Enforcement John Dalrymple, the AHA says it's concerned that some emerging employer-sponsored health plans do not cover outpatient surgeries. Article

And Finally... Impressive! Article