Montreal EHR project a failure; CommonWell adds new members;

News From Around the Web

> Montreal, Canada's electronic health record project to transition the city from paper records has not worked and there's no money left in the budget to correct the errors, according to an editorial in the Montreal Gazette. Problems leading to the project's failure include higher-than-expected costs, implementation delays, management problems and compatibility issues. In addition, physicians were allowed to choose form nine different EHRs, and hospitals from four; however, while the different systems work well internally, they can't exchange data with outside providers. Article

> The CommonWell Health Alliance, the EHR vendor trade group, has added Aprima, CareCloud and OBIX by Clinical Computer Systems as members. Several members, including Cerner, are now also offering free services agreements. The Alliance claims that more than 20,000 people are now connecting records through it. Announcement

Health Finance News

> The year 2014 is shaping up to be the most active in healthcare mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in decades. The worldwide value of healthcare-related deals will reach $438 billion, about 14 percent of the value of all business M&A. Article

> After years of relatively stable annual price increases, the costs of pharmaceuticals are expected to shoot up nearly 12 percent this year. One of the biggest drivers is the success of Sovaldi, the drug introduced by Gilead Sciences to treat hepatitis C. Article

Health Insurance News

> Although Medicare began paying for weight loss counseling three years ago, and about 30 percent of Medicare members were eligible for the services, less than 1 percent of members have actually used the benefit. Just 120,000 people out of Medicare's 50 million members have received weight loss counseling. Article

> House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) announced Friday that the House of Representatives filed a lawsuit against the Obama administration, claiming the White House violated the Constitution while implementing the healthcare reform law. Article

And Finally... I'll bet he'll be opting for the ham this Thanksgiving! Article