Lack of EHR access exposes patients to hepatitis B; Providers increasingly integrating EHRs with smartpumps;

News From Around the Web

> New software has been developed to help providers manage workflow changes as they move from paper based medical records to electronic health records, eWeek reported. The new tool, developed by FrontRange, helps organizations determines what hardware and software is needed, and automates roll outs of the new EHR systems. Article

> The lack of EHR access by contract nurses at Boston Medical Center has caused several patients to be exposed to hepatitis B, according to a state health department investigation. The nurses had not been allowed access because they were not hospital employees, the Boston Globe reported. They claimed that had they known about the hepatitis, they would have used extra cleaning measures. The investigation determined that the contract nurses weren't even using routine cleaning procedures, increasing the risk of contamination. Article

> Healthcare organizations are slowly moving to integrate their EHRs with smart pumps, according to a new report from Orem, Utah-based research firm KLAS. Nine providers have gone live with their integrated systems, and other 54 are under contract to do so. Announcement

Health Finance News

> Medicare could save more than $38 million over two years by strengthening billing requirements for canceled elective surgeries, according to a new report from the Office of Inspector General. The OIG found most short-stay hospital inpatient claims for canceled elective surgeries were not reasonable and necessary and therefore did not meet Medicare requirements for Part A prospective payments, it noted in a report summary. Article

> About two-thirds of the nation's hospitals will receive financial penalties from the Medicare program for unnecessary readmission of patients. Starting Oct. 1, penalties will be levied against 2,225 of the nation's 5,700 hospitals, according to data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Although the payment penalties will total $227 million, the per-hospital penalties are relatively mild. Only 18 facilities will lose the maximum 2 percent of payments, while only 154 will lose more than 1 percent of their payments. Article

Provider News

> The presence of medical malpractice liability caps doesn't necessarily reduce physicians' practice of defensive medicine, according to a study published in the Aug. 5 Health Affairs. The research was the first to link physicians' self-reported perceptions of malpractice risk to their actual ordering behavior, Family Practice News reported. In most cases, physicians' higher levels of concerns with malpractice suits were associated with more advanced imaging tests and referrals to the emergency room. However, claims data showed that these services often went up in states with medical liability damage caps. Article

> With the Affordable Care Act making physician payments more outcomes-focused, some experts predict that telemedicine and Web-based visits will become a more integral part of how physician offices care for patients. To test this notion, the Mayo Clinic is currently piloting video visits and will decide later this year whether it's practical and beneficial to expand it, Bob Walters, chair, department of regional practices, Mayo Clinic Florida in Jacksonville, told the Republic. Article

And Finally... I don't care what excuse he had; I'd say bon voyage, hubby. Article