HHS wants list of certified EHRs; EHR use by Canadian family docs triples;

News From Around the Web

> The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT has approved the 2014 Edition Release 2 Test Procedures for use in ONC's certification program. Some of the test procedures, such as the optional computerized physician order entry for medications, are new; others, including safety enhanced design, are revised. A tool is also being piloted for two of the optional criteria. Webpage

> The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has issued a notice requesting an approval by the Office of Management and Budget on a reinstatement to a previously approved collection of information under ONC's EHR certification program. ONC wants the Authorized Certification Bodies to submit lists of EHRs and modules that have been certified. The information to be submitted includes the vendor name, if applicable, and the date of certification. Comments on the notice are due by Feb. 23. Notice

> The 2014 National Physician Survey of family physicians in Canada found that the number of family physicians using electronic health records tripled between 2007 to 2014, and now stands at 77 percent. Seventy percent of family physicians reported increases in quality of care since implementing an EHR, up from 63 percent in 2013. Survey

Health Finance News

> Members of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health are working on yet another attempt to reform the unpopular Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula. Healthcare industry groups have long called for the permanent repeal of the formula, which ties Medicare payment growth to the overall growth of the economy. Article

> HHS, on Monday, said it would fundamentally reform how it pays providers for treating Medicare patients in the coming years. The intent, according to HHS officials, is to cut down on the volume of unnecessary procedures while improving patient outcomes. Article

Health Insurance News

> More than 9.5 million Americans have purchased health insurance or been automatically re-enrolled in plans during the second enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act exchanges, according to data released Tuesday by HHS. This eclipses the goal of 9.1 million signups by Feb. 15, when the second year of open enrollment ends, though attrition will likely drive the number down. Article

> As insurers reap financial benefits from the Affordable Care Act, many appear to be raising rates for small employers to the point that they can no longer afford to provide benefits, former industry executive Wendell Potter wrote in a commentary for the Center for Public Integrity. Jeff Alter, chief executive of UnitedHealth's employer and individual business, said that as many as 65 percent of all small businesses offered insurance to their employees in the 1990s. Now, no more than 55 percent of small companies provide coverage. Article

And Finally... That's why the leg didn't fit! Article