New bill would exempt pathologists from Meaningful Use requirements; CMS issues new guidance regarding MU audits;

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> Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.), a licensed physician, has introduced a bill that would exempt pathologists and their labs from the Meaningful Use program. According to Health Data Management, the proposed legislation claims that the program shouldn't apply to pathologists because they don't interact enough with patients. The bill has been referred to the Commerce and Energy and Ways and Means Committees. Article

> The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has released new resources to help providers prepare for Meaningful Use pre- and post-payment audits. The resources include a fact sheet about what documentation is needed to support attestation, an overview of the audit process and sample audit letter requests. Website

> CMS has updated an answer to a frequently asked question about selecting menu objectives in the Meaningful Use Incentive Program. The update now helps provide guidance to eligible professionals for 2014 and Stage 2 of the program. Website  

Health Finance News

Sequestration-related cuts are posing a bottom-line threat to nonprofit hospitals, as indicated by a recent downbeat report from Moody's Investors Service. The sequester, which is reducing Medicare payments to hospitals by 2 percent across the board, will slash payments to inpatient facilities by $11 billion this year. Article

> The American Hospital Association has asked the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to delay, by at least six months, the imposition of a new rule for the 340B drug discount program. The rule would bar institutions from purchasing drugs for outpatients through a group purchasing organization. Article

Provider News

> Medication noncompliance poses a major barrier to physicians' ability to get their patients well, according to two unrelated studies about patient medication use and misuse. The reasons patients fail to take medications as directed vary, but drug costs are playing a significant role, according to a study released April 9 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Article

> Once a rarity, Chapter 11 bankruptcy filings by physician practices are on the rise, afflicting "top-notch" doctors of all specialties, attorneys recently told CNN Money. Physicians say the culprits include shrinking insurance reimbursements, changing regulations brought on by health reform and other laws, and increasingly pricey malpractice insurance, drugs and other overhead expenses--all clashing with patient financial woes that have caused some to cut back on healthcare. Article  

And Finally... Houston, we have a problem. Article