HIT Policy Commitee gains new members; Defense Health Agency awards EHR bridge contract;

News from Around the Web

> The Government Accountability Office has appointed three new members to ONC's Health IT Policy Committee. The new members are Christoph Lehmann, M.D., from the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine; Neal Patterson, founder and CEO of Cerner; and Kim Schofield, a health educator and advocacy chair of the Georgia Chapter of the Lupus Foundation of America. Announcement

> The Defense Health Agency (DHA) has awarded Leidos (formerly SAIC) a sole source $70.7 million bridge contract to support the military's electronic health record system during the next 11 months, Nextgov reports. According to DHA, "only Leidos" has the ability to carry out this short term contract. DHA plans to award a long-term EHR contract later this year. Article

> Having access to additional data in an EHR can significantly impact the quality of CT interpretations ordered in a hospital's emergency department. The study found that having the additional data from the EHR affected the interpretation of head CT scans. In 9 percent of the cases, the interpretation would have "very likely "been adversely affected had the EHR data not been available. Announcement

Health Finance News

> The Obama administration will intensify its focus on cutting healthcare costs related to care after hospital discharge, Kaiser Health News reported. Medicare spending per capita on post-acute care services grew about 5 percent or more annually in 34 of the 50 largest hospital markets in the United States, according to an economic analysis. Article

Provider News

> Three-quarters of physicians believe their colleagues prescribe unnecessary tests or procedures on a weekly basis, according to a new survey from the Choosing Wisely campaign. Reasons for the unnecessary care range from malpractice concerns, an impulse toward cautiousness and a need to reinforce their own diagnosis. Article

Health Insurance News

> As hospitals accumulate more financial risk, the level of trust with their insurers is key. However, hospital executives have little faith in health insurance companies, according to a 2014 ReviveHealth National Payer Survey. The survey, which collected responses from 203 hospital and health systems between January 21 and March 5, used a series of questions designed by Catalyst Healthcare Research, known as the Payer Trust Index, to see if hospitals had agreeable relationships with their insurers. Low level of trust stem from many factors--the length of time it takes to get paid, narrow networks, changing provider contracts and tiering, the study found. Article

> Blue Cross Blue Shield North Dakota fired President and CEO Paul von Ebers a few days after the company announced it lost almost $73 million in 2013. "The board felt it was necessary to make a change at the CEO position in order to ensure confidence in the future financial direction of our organization," Ann McConn, president of the company's board of directors, said in a statement. Von Ebers led Blue Cross since 2009 after working for other Blues companies in Iowa and South Dakota for more than 20 years. Article

And Finally... Wait until he learns that parenting 13 will make him go quackers! Article