Greenway launches Interoperability University; Texas gets new data sharing law;

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> Greenway Health has launched Interoperability University, a training program that aims to expand the number of interoperability experts in the country. The program lasts six weeks and gives trainees on-the-job experience as well as classroom instruction and hands on exercises, assessments and mentoring. It uses HL-7 standards, common for interoperability but not typically taught in universities. Announcement

> Texas Gov. Greg Abbot (R) has signed HB 2641, which promotes improved and expanded health data interoperability for Texas public health. The law helps better define health information exchange and ensures that public health systems will be able to share data securely. It will take effect on Sept. 1, 2015. Announcement

> A coalition of providers, payers, employers, consumers and others have sent a letter to the House Energy and Commerce Committee in support of the interoperability provisions in the 21st Century Cures Act. The bill would change the law to address "known defects" with interoperability, such as the lack of common standards, and would exclude from programs "bad actors," including those who engage in information blocking. Letter

Health Finance News

> Hospitals that have made the most progress reducing hospital-acquired infections are also some of the most financially constrained, according to Medscape MultiSpecialty.  In the first year of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' Hospital-Acquired Conditions (HAC) Payment Policy, which penalizes hospitals for HACs, the hospitals with the least amount of resources improved their infection rates the most, according to research presented at the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology 2015 Annual Meeting in Nashville, Tennessee.  Article  

> A New Jersey judge has thrown out the property tax exemption for one of the state's not-for-profit hospitals. Morristown Medical Center lost its property tax exemption when Tax Court Judge Vito Bianco had ruled that the hospital had so intermingled its not-for-profit and for-profit business ventures until the two were unrecognizable, according to Bianco had also dinged the hospital for excessive compensation, noting that its chief executive officer had been paid more than $12 million over a three-year period. Article

Health Insurance News   

> The Supreme Court's decision to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide will likely cause a spike in access to health insurance among gay couples, reports Less than half of employer-sponsored health plans offer benefits to same-sex couples who aren't married but do offer coverage to spouses. However, now that individuals in same-sex relationships can get married, these previously uninsured individuals will likely gain coverage through a partner's employer. When New York legalized gay marriage in 2011, there was an uptick in same-sex couples covered through employer-sponsored plans. Article  

And Finally ... Don't hospitals already have enough to worry about? Article