OIG: Industry, feds must address EHR fraud vulnerabilities; Romanian extradited for hacking electronic patient records;

News From Around the Web

> Athenahealth has reported that 98.2 percent of providers participating in the Meaningful Use program using its systems have successfully attested to Stage 2 in 2014. In 2013, 95.4 percent attested to Stage 1, a percentage greater than the national average. Announcement

> Some progress has been made in the fight against hacking of patient electronic health information. The Department of Justice has extradited and charged a Romanian national for orchestrating the illegal hacking of American businesses, including at least one healthcare provider, and stealing electronic records for personal gain. He has been charged with wire fraud, unauthorized computer access and aggravated identity theft, HealthcareInfoSecurity reports. Article

Health Finance News

> The expansion of Medicaid program eligibility under the Affordable Care Act reduced the cost of caring for the uninsured by $7.4 billion last year, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced. Altogether, the level of uncompensated care was 21 percent lower than if the Medicaid expansion had not been put in place, according to the agency. Article

> Compassionate healthcare delivery might not only be morally correct, it also could help hospitals and health systems' bottom lines. That's the conclusion of a new study by the Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare. The study concluded that inpatient providers that embrace the tenets of compassionate care experience lower staff turnover due to greater job satisfaction, greater patient loyalty, lower rates of readmissions, better patient outcomes, fewer medical errors and fewer expensive procedures. Article   

Health Insurance News

> The U.S. Department of Health and Human Service's Office of Inspector General has flagged the need to address fraud vulnerabilities in electronic health records as one of its top 25 recommendations that have not been implemented. OIG, which also identified this potential problem two years ago, recommends that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT work together to develop a plan to strengthen efforts to address it, and for CMS to issue guidance regarding the use of the copy-and-paste function. Article

> Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana has introduced a program that intends to improve care for individuals with chronic conditions, save those members money and transform the way doctors care for these patients. Article

> Better member engagement helps payers cut healthcare costs, but knowing how to engage with members can be tricky. The wrong terminology turns people off; few consumers can define accountable care organization or narrow network, for example. In other cases, good intentions fall flat; carefully curated quality metrics may mean less when choosing a primary care physician than, say, weekend office hours or a receptionist who speaks fluent Spanish. Article  

And Finally... At least the "most interesting man" wasn't driving. Article