Merck, Practice Fusion partner on vaccine CDS; Hospital pushes to add end-of-life directives into its EHR;

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> Pharmaceutical giant Merck and cloud electronic health record provider Practice Fusion have joined forces to provide clinical decision support to physicians to help them track the percentage of adult patients who need vaccines, such as flu shots. The program will use a dashboard format, Forbes reported. Merck also advertises its products on Practice Fusion's EHR systems. Article

> University of Massachusetts Memorial Health Care is partnering with Luminat to create a platform to integrate end-of-life directives into the hospital's EHR system," Healthcare IT News reported. The move is intended to avoid unwanted services by making patients' wishes known, and to make those wishes more accessible to clinicians. Article

> The job outlook for medical records and health information technicians will be strong for the next few years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The field is expected to grow 22 percent through 2022, "much faster than average." Demand is predicted to increase due the aging of the population. Post

Health Finance News

> The Medicare program continues to pay hospitals and individual physicians hugely divergent sums for medical procedures. While Medicare pays hospitals an average of $50,000 per hip surgery, there are few facilities that actually perform such procedures at that consistent price. Article

> Current and potential cost overruns on a replacement hospital in New York and ongoing VA hospital projects underscore the cost of building such facilities. The replacement facility for Long Island College Hospital could cost as much as $800 million to $1.1 billion in construction costs, and another 50 percent added to that in "soft costs," such as designing and equipping the facility, far higher than the current estimates. Article

Health Insurance News 

> Despite the last-minute push to enroll 8 million people in health insurance exchange plans, the Affordable Care Act's popularity remains exactly where it was last month, according to a poll released today by the Kaiser Family Foundation.  Of the almost 1,500 adults surveyed, 46 percent hold an unfavorable view of the healthcare reform law, while 38 percent support it. When asked why they still lack coverage, 36 percent claim they could not find an affordable plan--the main reason cited for remaining uninsured. Article

> Several states experienced a spike in tax fraud cases against medical professionals this year, leading to theories of a data breach at a national organization that provides certification or credentials for doctors. When physicians in 10 U.S. states attempted to submit their federal returns electronically, they found out someone already used their personal information, including Social Security Numbers, to file them. Article

And Finally... Is there an ICD-10 code to use if you're injured by the flying chunks? Article

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