Florida passes EHR incentive payment audit; CMS issues new CQM reporting guide;

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> The state of Florida has correctly issued Medicaid incentive program payments in accordance with federal and state requirements, according to a new Office of Inspector General report. OIG reviewed payments made between Jan. 1, 2011, and April 30, 2012, and found that the state took steps such as checking provider eligibility for payment and calculating payments correctly. The state, one of the first to make payments in the program, paid about $178 million to providers in that time period. Report (.pdf)

> Allscripts has announced that it is partnering with Overland, Kansas-based Netsmart, a provider of behavioral health EHRs, to integrate the two systems, Healthcare Informatics reports. The importance of coordinating behavioral health information with other patient records has become a front-burner issue in recent months. Article

> The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has released a new clinical quality measure (CQM) electronic reporting guide for eligible professionals for 2014. The guide lists the measures, outlines the changes to them in 2014 and provides information on how to submit data for the 2014 reporting year. Guide (.pdf)

Health Finance News

> In light of the millions of low-income Americans who now qualify for free or heavily subsidized health insurance coverage as a result of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), some hospital operators reconsider their charity care policies for those who refuse to obtain coverage. Some hospitals rescinded their charity care policies when a patient who qualifies for subsidized coverage or Medicaid refuses to obtain coverage. Article

> Small, standalone not-for-profit hospitals and even some larger systems, have their backs against the wall due to mounting financial pressures, according to Standard & Poor's Rating Services. Standalones battle financial issues on several fronts, including rising bad debt, the departure of physicians for greener pastures and higher costs for employee benefits. Article

Health Insurance News

> Pittsburgh-based Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center are calling it quits after decades of working together. Competition among healthcare insurers and providers, spurred by the Affordable Care Act, have sparked this separation, as more and more insurers are making moves to become healthcare providers. Article

> More young adults have been receiving treatment for mental health conditions since the ACA allowed them to remain on their parents' plans until they turn 26 years old. According to a study published in the September issue of Health Affairs, uninsured visits to mental health providers decreased by 12.4 percent, while the number of visits paid by private insurers rose by 12.9 percent. Article

And Finally... Sounds like these two were made for each other. Article