EHRs may do more harm than good for seniors; CMS reminds hospitals of upcoming attestation deadline

News From Around the Web

> EHRs may prove to be more harmful than helpful to older adults.  EHRs tend to focus on specific diseases, rather than patterns and the "big picture." Other problems include physicians' overreliance on the data in the EHR, not getting the patient's history directly from the patient, and failure to personally evaluate the patient.  Blog post

> CMS has issued a reminder that hospitals must attest by Nov. 30 to receive an incentive payment for participating in the Medicare Meaningful Use program in 2013. Payment adjustments will be applied beginning the 2015 fiscal year (Oct. 1, 2014) to Medicare eligible hospitals that haven't successfully demonstrated Meaningful Use. Timeline

> The state of Maine is partnering with Maine's health information exchange (HIE) to improve care coordination for its veterans by connecting VA facilities with the HIE. The program is being financed by a $300,000 grant from the Health Research and Services Administration. Maine has the fifth highest per capita population of veterans in the country.  Announcement

Health Finance News

> As the Affordable Care Act begins its massive rollout in the coming months, there is a debate over what the final financial verdict will be for hospitals, reported USA Today. But providers are focused on patient volume above all.  And while hospital executives are aware of the fact they will receive more money for the quality of care, it's unclear how they will handle the millions of new insured patients who enroll through Medicaid and state insurance exchanges. Article

> Dignity Health, the not-for-profit hospital operator, has entered into an unusual deal with a subsidiary of insurance giant UnitedHealth to create a revenue cycle management firm.  Dignity Health is teaming with OptumInsight to form Optum360, according to InformationWeek. The company will have more than 3,000 employees from the two firms combined. Dignity will be a minority owner in the venture, the San Francisco Business Times reported. Article

Mobile Healthcare News

> Consumer studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of Voxiva's Text2quit personalized interactive smoking cessation program, with self-reported quit rates as high as 32 percent after six months, according to a company announcement. "Recent results from a Text2quit randomized control trial measuring quit success using saliva analysis to biochemically verify whether participants had stopped smoking indicate that users in the Text2quit group had double the quit rates at six months when compared to the control group," states the announcement. The Text2quit results jibe with a November 2012 review of evidence from five studies which found that mobile phone-based interventions are an effective method for helping smokers quit. Article

> Under a Small Business Innovation Research grant awarded to Delaware-based Asthma Management Systems from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, AMC Health has announced that its telemonitoring platform will be used in a feasibility study to improve asthma control "by monitoring when patients use their asthma medications and intervening as soon as a problem develops."

> According to New York, N.Y. based AMC Health, the company will provide SmartInhalers from Nexus6 for half of the patients in the study, which will enroll patients who have had multiple emergency room visits and hospitalizations due to uncontrolled asthma. The telemonitors clip onto the inhalers that dispense two types of medication that patients with severe asthma take--a controller that is taken every day and a rescue medication for short-term relief when breathing becomes difficult. Article

And Finally... Wrong number! Article