ONC releases new interoperability training tools; Mitochon exits the EHR market;

News From Around the Web

> The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has issued guidance for critical access hospital physicians who assign their reimbursement and billing to the hospital under "method II" and want to participate in the Meaningful Use incentive program. These physicians can begin participating during the 2013 calendar year and are eligible to earn $39,000 during the course of the program. Fact sheet (.pdf)

> The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT has released new training tool modules on interoperability for providers. The tools address patient and family engagement and public health interoperability. ONC previously had issued tools on interoperability basics, lab exchange and transitions of care. Website

> Laguna Hills, Calif.-based Mitochon, which has been offering a free EHR to physicians, has announced that it is exiting the EHR market effective mid June 2013. The company cites "increasing liabilities" as one of the primary reasons for its decision. Announcement

Health Finance News

> Hospitals are raising objections to a proposed rule that would allow them to rebill the Medicare program for Part B claims that had been denied by auditors based on the setting where the care was rendered. According to a letter written by American Hospital Association Executive Vice President Rick Pollack, the current rule has several flaws. Article

> Cancer patients are 2.65 times more likely than other patients to file for bankruptcy due to medical bills, according to a new study in Health Affairs. The study of more than 231,000 individuals in Washington State diagnosed with cancer between 1995 and 2009 cited a variety of reasons that cancer treatment causes such a severe financial hardship. Among them are the fact non-elderly cancer patients shoulder a collective $1.3 billion a year of their treatment costs out of pocket, and up to 85 percent of them are forced to stop work during their treatment, often for months at a time. Article

Provider News

> More than one-third of physicians predict their practices will be less profitable (36 percent) in the coming year rather than more (22 percent), according to a new survey of 5,012 physicians from technology company CareCloud and physician-education platform QuantiaMD. The majority (65 percent) of respondents also reported declining reimbursements pose their greatest threat to profitability. Article

> Not only do physician-led ACOs slightly outnumber their hospital-based counterparts, but they also may be superior at saving money, according to presenters at an ACO summit hosted by America's Health Insurance Plans. Article

And Finally... Bet that aunt won't be sitting at the grownups table this Thanksgiving. Article

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