Meaningful Use attestation deadline looms; ONC releases new health IT data web app;

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> The deadline for attesting to Meaningful Use in the Medicare incentive program for 2015 is March 11, at 11:59 p.m. Eligible professionals can select an electronic health record reporting period of any continuous 90 days from Jan. 1, 2015, through Dec. 31, 2015. Eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals may select an EHR reporting period of any continuous 90 days from Oct. 1, 2014, through Dec. 31, 2015. Providers participating in the Medicaid Meaningful Use incentive program should refer to their respective states for attestation information and deadlines.   Website

> The Office of the National Coordinator's health IT dashboard has a new web app that provides information on the latest national and state health IT data, such as electronic prescribing, EHR adoption, health information exchanges and vendor market share. The app allows users to create customer summaries and general reports. Website

> An article in Clinical Neurology News written by two physicians warns that public health crises such as Ebola and Zika highlight that EHRs provide inadequate clinical decision support (CDS) and that vendors must more quickly update their systems accordingly to handle such situations. CDS also must be updated more quickly to address changes in guidelines, such as how often women should obtain mammograms, they say. Article

Health Finance News

> The hospital job generator keeps on humming along. Hospitals employed a seasonally adjusted total of 5.03 million people during the month of February, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That's 10,600 more jobs than January of this year, and 181,200 more jobs compared to February 2015. Article

> More than half of physician organizations surveyed about marketplace opportunities to improve quality and efficiency use incentives to shift care to lower-cost settings. But only one-third of hospitals and about one-fourth of health system respondents said they were doing so. Article   

Health Insurance News   

> A recently released list of financial penalties imposed on Medicare Part C and Part D plan sponsors shows that the government is increasingly coming down hard on health plans that violate federal regulations. In a letter announcing the release of civil monetary penalties tied to its 2015 audit program, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services says the violations "adversely affected, or had the substantial likelihood to adversely affect, enrollees" in Medicare Advantage plans and Medicare prescription drug plans. Article

> The Supreme Court's recent ruling in the Gobeille v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Co. case goes beyond the rules surrounding states' authority to require self-funded plans to submit claims information, as it has major implications for the future of healthcare transparency. Article     

And Finally... Scarily, sometimes low tech trumps high tech. Article

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