Nova Scotia pauses EHR use in hospitals; HIE use reducing duplicative tests in Western New York;

News From Around the Web

> Accessing records via one's health information exchange (HIE) can "significantly" reduce duplicative tests and examinations, according to an op/ed article in The Buffalo News. The article, written by Daniel Porreca, executive director of Western New York's HIE HEALTHeLINK, reported that a study of three local hospital emergency departments showed that the HIE was working as intended to share data, and that the HIE also made the information available faster than other methods, such as faxing. He also noted that the technology is evolving but that the future looked "promising." HEALTHeLINK is one of nine HIEs in New York. Article

> Nova Scotia's Department of Health and Wellness has paused the use of its newly merged electronic health record system among hospitals in the province, according to CBC News. The concern is that there was no consistent hospital approach toward EHRs. Hospitals and specialists used at least three different systems before the April merger. The Province has offered $31.5 million in incentives to physicians to adopt EHRs; the directive to hold off use in hospitals may deter physicians from going forward with implementation. Article

> The eHealth Exchange now has 100 institutional participants, representing networks that connect more than 13,000 medical groups, 8,300 pharmacies, 3,400 dialysis centers, four federal agencies and 30 percent of hospitals. The percentage of hospitals is expected to hit 40 percent by the end of the year. The eHealth Exchange is an initiative of the Sequoia Project, formerly known as Healtheway. Announcement

Health Finance News

> Hospitals will receive a modest inpatient prospective payment system bump of 0.9 percent for 2016 under a final rule issued by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. However, the agency will not continue the partial delay in enforcing the two-midnight rule, which is now set to expire on Sept. 30. Article

> Providers' pay for specific medical procedures varies widely across the United States--and now a new study about angioplasties reconfirms the differentials. Differences in what Medicare pays hospitals to perform the procedure vary as much as 532 percent, even within the same market, such as the Los Angeles-Long Beach area of Southern California, according to a study performed by the Health of America Report, using data gathered by Blues plans across the United States. Article  

Health Insurance News   

> Many health insurers continue to dodge covering certain mental health-related costs, even after Congress passed the parity law seven years ago, which bans discrimination against treating mentally ill individuals. An analysis finds that most insurers have dropped annual limits on therapy visits that they will cover. Article

> The rise of public health insurance exchanges has ramped up Americans' engagement with their health plans, signaling an opportunity for insurers who are able to adapt to a more consumer-centric market, according to a new report from Deloitte. Compared to those covered through Medicaid, Medicare or through private employers, public health insurance exchange customers were the most likely to say cost and value were important factors in choosing their plan, the company's 2015 survey of U.S. healthcare consumers finds. Article

And Finally... What a way to knock out your competition! Article