Mount Sinai confirms 25,000 participants for BioMe program; EHR adoption changes job landscape for coders, billers;

News From Around the Web

> The U.S. Department of Defense has shifted control of its health IT budget away from the Military Health System and TRICARE in response to the continued troubles over the development of its integrated EHR. Responsibility for the budget now is in the hands of Frank Kendall, undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, Nextgov reports. Article

> New York City's Mount Sinai Medical Center announced that 25,000 people have agreed to participate in its bio bank program, BioMe. The program will consist of DNA sequencing and long-term studies related to data in each patient's EHR, and will help provide more targeted care. Article

> The adoption of EHRs has caused significant declines in the employment of medical billers, billing managers and medical records clerks, with drops of 25 percent, 23 percent and 37 percent, respectively, since 2011, according to a new survey by Physicians Practice. Job opportunities are increasing for care coordinators and nurse practitioners, however. Announcement

Health Finance News

> A new study by the American Hospital Association concludes that Medicare patients are receiving services in hospital emergency departments at greater rates and require more intensive care than only a few years ago, impacting the cost of providing treatment. The average number of ED visits per 1,000 fee-for-service Medicare beneficiaries rose almost 12 percent between 2006 and 2010, while severity of illness treated in EDs rose by 9 percent, according to the report analyzing Medicare claims data and compiled by The Moran Company. Article

> Millions of Americans who previously were uninsured are expected to obtain coverage as a result of the Affordable Care Act, but hospitals that treat a large number of patients without coverage will feel the pain of pending cuts to a federal program that provides compensatory payments. Cuts to the disproportionate share hospital (DSH) program go into effect on Oct. 1, the first day of the 2014 fiscal year, even though it could be months or years before many of the uninsured obtain coverage. Altogether, about $30 billion will be cut from DSH payments over the next decade. Article

Provider News

> Burnout doesn't solely afflict physicians. Other healthcare workers also are feeling a strain of heavy, unsatisfying workloads--so much so that more than one-third of them plan to look for a new job this year, according to a new survey from CareerBuilder.com. The percentage of healthcare workers looking to leave their jobs in 2013--34 percent--is up significantly from the 24 percent reporting the same last year, potentially due to a domino effect posed by remaining employees having to work harder to make up for staffing shortages, according to the survey. Article   

> As the cost of certain medical tests and procedures becomes more transparent, the theory goes, physicians and patients can make more informed and cost-effective decisions. According to experts, the best way to ensure the information is used appropriately is for physicians and patients to engage in discussions, case by case, about how costs should be factored into the overall decision-making process, according to an American Medical News article. Article

And Finally... And conveniently they could stock up on diapers while they're there. Article

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