ONC launches new EHR complaint tool; Clinovations GovHealth scores DoD subcontract;

News From Around the Web

> The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT has launched a new tool that enables people to file complaints about certified electronic health records directly to the agency. While providers and others should first address any problems with the vendor/developer, they can file a complaint with ONC, which will work to solve the problem or at least try to help, according to ONC Deputy National Coordinator Jon White. Some of the issues ONC expects people to file complaints about include safety concerns, interoperability problems, information blocking, usability issues, and certified capabilities that are not performing as expected. The website itself appears not to be working as of press time but hopefully will soon be operational. Webpage

> Clinovations GovHealth has been awarded a subcontract for the Defense Healthcare Management System Modernization work for the U.S. military. It will be part of the Leidos team delivering clinicians, nurses, clinical advisors and clinically trained technical personnel. The $4.3 billion indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract is a two year initial ordering period, with two three-year option periods and a two year additional term based on successful performance. Announcement

> The American Academy of Nursing has issued a policy brief endorsing the capturing of social and behavioral determinants in EHRs on the grounds that such determinants are an important part of "health." The academy also recommends that in doing so, the industry needs standardized clinical practice, documentation and data, as well as better EHR workflows and increased patient empowerment and trust. Policy brief

Health Finance News

> Overall healthcare spending in July was 5.6 percent higher than it was a year ago, according to new data from the Altarum Institute. That trend was slightly lower than compared to June, but considerably lower than the trend from earlier in the year. Spending was trending upward at a 5.6 percent rate in June. Article

> The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) has raised concerns regarding the proposed changes to the Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) and other components of Medicare Part B. MedPAC Chairman Francis Crosson, M.D., told Andy Slavitt, acting commissioner of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services in a Sept. 8 letter, that he was particularly worried about the continued reliance on evaluation & management codes. Article

Health Insurance News   

> The latest healthcare data breach, which involved a massive hack of Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield, has a U.S. senator calling for action on a cybersecurity bill that has been stalled in Congress. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) says it is time for Congress to act on the cybersecurity bill following the revelation last week of Excellus's attack, which was among the 10 largest healthcare data breaches ever reported. Article

> The Third U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has reversed a lower-court decision in a case about the rules governing when healthcare providers can sue health insurers for payment of benefits. In its ruling in North Jersey Brain & Spine Center v. Aetna, the appeals court found that a healthcare provider has standing to sue an insurer for payment of health benefits if a patient has assigned the provider the right to payment of these benefits. Article

And Finally... But who will pay the providers for the procedure? Article