Eligible hospitals attesting to MU Stage 2 rises to 78; Impact Advisors joins forces with Epic, IBM for DoD Contract bid;

News From Around the Web

> Seventy-eight eligible hospitals and 1,898 eligible professionals have attested to Meaningful Use Stage 2 as of Aug. 1, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid's latest data. Overall 322 hospitals and 5,365 professionals have attested for the 2014 reporting year. Statistics (.pdf)

> IBM and Epic have added consulting firm Impact Advisors to their team to vie for the coveted Department of Defense EHR contract, expected to be worth $11 billion. Announcement

> The Northeast Georgia-based Habersham Hospital Authority, which governs Habersham Medical Center, voted to return $1.5 million in Meaningful Use incentive payments it received last year, the Gainesville Times reported. It was unclear if the medical center discovered that it had not met the Meaningful Use requirements or if the repayment was the result of an external audit. Article

Health Finance News

> Spending on healthcare services in the United States grew at a 4.8 percent annual pace in June, about the same as May, but significantly higher than at the same periods in 2013 and 2012. However, hospital spending was far lower than that brisk pace, according to data from the Altarum Institute's Center for Sustainable Health Spending. Article

> Many not-for-profit clinics now reassess their business strategies as a result of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the expansion of Medicaid.  As a result, these clinics, which unlike federally qualified health centers do not receive federal funding, usually treat and bill patients merely on their ability to pay (or not), and often rely on private donations. Article

Health Insurance News

> The overall satisfaction rate among consumer-driven health plan (CDHP) enrollees is on the rise, but on the way down among those in traditional managed care plans, according to the latest research from the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) in the District of Columbia. However, the data from the 2013 EBRI/Greenwald & Associates Consumer Engagement in Health Care Survey also shows that more people who have traditional plans are satisfied with their health coverage than those in the newer types, which include high-deductible health plans (HDHP) that have deductibles of $1,000 or more. Article

> The less competitive a health insurance market is, the higher the premium rates are, according to a report funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The report authors analyzed the market competition and premium prices in 10 states. Alabama, Arkansas, Rhode Island and West Virginia had the least competitive markets. Article

And Finally... What about the doctor who signed off on the papers? Article