Greenway to research population health; NORC report notes 'mixed progress' for Beacon communities on healthcare use, quality measures;

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> Greenway Health will receive funds from the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute to conduct research in population health, the Carrollton, Georgia electronic health record vendor announced this week. The studies to be conducted are intended to advance discoveries in areas such as pediatric obesity and adult osteoporosis. Announcement

> The Beacon communities saw "mixed progress" on healthcare use and quality measures, according to a final report from the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago. Among other things, the authors called interoperability a "formidable" challenge. Article

Health Finance News

> There was once little difference between what hospitals received to care for Medicare patients and those with private sector insurance. But times change--and so have those rates, according to a new study in the journal Health Affairs. The difference between the standardized payment rates for private payers and Medicare was about 10 percent between 1996 and 2001. But in the intervening years the gap has widened dramatically. Private insurers paid hospitals about 75 percent more than Medicare for the same services in 2012. Article

> Along with devastating the health of patients already recovering from some other medical malady, the hospital-acquired infection Clostridium difficile is also a financial hardship for hospitals. According to a new study by group purchasing giant Premier, Inc. and Cubist Pharmaceuticals, each case of C. diff raises an individual patient's cost of care by 40 percent, or $7,285 on average. Their length of stay also increases an average of 55 percent, or nearly five days on average. Article

Health Insurance News   

> Though it still represents just a small portion of the privately insured marketplace, Affordable Care Act exchange business was unprofitable for most health insurers in 2014, and will likely be in 2015, according to a new report from Standard & Poor's. Article   

> Health insurance companies are mining data to gather more personal information on their members--data they want to use to help keep people healthy, according to a STAT report. Insurers are gathering up information from what car model members drive to what magazines they read. Article

And Finally... Was there a surcharge for that new passenger? Article