Government releases FAQs on clinical quality measurement specifications; Docs doubtful that EHRs will reduce healthcare costs;

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> The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has issued three FAQs on updates to the Meaningful Use program's clinical quality measurement specifications. Simultaneously the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality have issued an extensive list of FAQs about patient safety organizations (PSOs) to assist providers and others with engagement. The latter FAQs are part of ONC's resources offered in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services' new health IT patient safety plan. PSO FAQ website CQM FAQ website  

> New Hampshire has the second highest Meaningful Use Attestation rate among the 62 regional extension centers, according to an announcement from the Regional Extension Center of New Hampshire (RECNH). Almost two-thirds (65 percent) of the state's primary care providers have attested under the Meaningful Use program, as have 85 percent of its critical access hospitals. Announcement

> Only one-third of recently surveyed physicians said that expanding the use of electronic health records would help reduce healthcare costs. Many of the respondents also said that trial attorneys and patients had a greater ability and responsibility to reduce such costs than did physicians. Abstract

Health Finance News

> Medical noncompliance is projected to contribute $100 billion a year to the cost of U.S. healthcare. That number could rise even higher given new research in Psychological Science showing that when patients are faced with a choice that requires them to make a proactive decision, they often chose to do nothing. To prevent patient inaction from leading to costly medical noncompliance, the researchers noted "nudging patients in the right direction" can help them make productive health choices. Article

> Although the bulk of the Affordable Care Act is being implemented starting early next year, the amount of money states will use to trumpet its arrival is far from equal. Some states are receiving--and spending--tens of millions of dollars to advertise health insurance exchanges and other options its residents have under the ACA. Others are spending far less. Policy experts believe the amount being spent will have a direct effect in terms of how many people purchase insurance and therefore will not burden hospitals with unpaid bills. Article

Provider News

> After waiting years for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to issue final regulations on the Physician Payment Sunshine Act (PPSA), beginning August 1 pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers must track and report all payments or other "transfers of value" to physicians and teaching hospitals. Under the rule, neither physicians nor practices are required to report any information to CMS. However, experts warn that failure to do so could lead practices to miss inaccurate postings from industry members that could harm their reputations. Article

And Finally... You'd think their favorite books would be "Escape from Alcatraz" and "Prison Breakouts for Dummies." Article