MU Stage 3 may require more queries, portability; Global EHR market expected to grow more than 7% per year;

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> The Health IT Policy Committee is setting the bar for electronic health record capability even higher. In a Nov. 14 letter to acting National Coordinator for Health IT Jacob Reider, the committee recommended that Stage 3 of the Meaningful Use program require, among other things, that EHRs have enhanced abilities to search for patient information, query external provider directories, enable "seamless" portability of records for patients and provide easier provider migration from one EHR to another, Health Data Management reported. Article

> Greensboro, N.C.- based Moses Cone Memorial Hospital's bond rating has been downgraded by Standard and Poor's from stable to negative in part due to the hospital's $90 million implementation of a new Epic EHR system. The rating agency noted that this was a "transitional year" for the hospital and that it's possible it will be upgraded back to stable in the near future, the News & Record reported. Article

> The global market for hospital-based EHRs is expected to grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 7.46 percent through 2016, according to new research from Technavio. Announcement

Health Finance News

> Most large hospital systems are compensating their executives based on long-term incentive (LTI) plans, according to a new healthcare compensation study. Use of LTI plans among integrated health systems are at its highest since the Hay Group began tracking such data in 2006, according to the consulting firm's study results. And as previous salary reports released this year suggest, the survey shows CEO pay continues to rise. The findings indicate that 39 percent of facilities within integrated health systems had an LTI plan this year compared to 17 percent in 2012. Only 14 percent had a plan in 2006. Article

> Tenet Healthcare's CEO says the market is ripe for hospital acquisitions and smaller health systems will likely close or cut services due to the current environment, Bloomberg News reported. Dallas-based Tenet owns 77 hospitals throughout the country, making it the nation's third-largest hospital operator. Hospital chain CEO Trevor Fetter, in an interview with Bloomberg, indicated that the tough operating environment all but beckons consolidation. "This business has gotten tougher and tougher," Fetter said. "We can do that across this vast portfolio. I can't imagine if you're trying to run a mid-sized, independent hospital how you figure this out." Article

Health Insurance News

> Surveys of insurers, patients, providers and employers show bundled payments have generated increasing momentum across the healthcare industry as a way to reduce costs and boost transparency. "There is mounting evidence that bundles will be a critical part of any solution for the U.S. healthcare system--a means to deliver a higher-quality patient experience, achieve better results and reduce costs," Gary Ahlquist, senior partner with Booz & Company, wrote in the company's Strategy + Business magazine. Article

> A trio of California insurers--Anthem Blue Cross, Health Net and Blue Shield--received orders Monday to cease and desist from denying benefit payment for speech and/or occupational therapy services, according to an announcement by the state's Department of Managed Health Care. Further, DMHC fined HealthNet $300,000 for "repeatedly and unlawfully mischaracterizing requests for services as coverage issues rather than medical necessity issues." The plans denied payment based on contractual exclusion rather than medical review. Article

And Finally... Well, at least the seller wasn't currently married. Article