ONC to launch awareness campaign about Blue Button; CMS updates QRDA for MU CQMs

News from Around the Web

> The Office of National Coordinator for Health IT is launching a consumer campaign to increase awareness of the Blue Button Initiative, the public/private partnership that seeks to give patients easy and secure access to their electronic health information. The campaign, which will run from Sept. 16 through Oct. 6, will use public service announcements on various websites and other strategies to alert people to their right to access their patient information and how to do so. Blog post

> Electronic health record giant Epic's physician practice product may dominate in many markets, but not in Nashville, where it does not fall into the top five vendors for EHRs, according to a recent study. Epic claims to have a 10.8 percent market share nationally, but eClinical Works and Practice Fusion are more popular among Nashville area physician groups, the Nashville Business Journal reports. The study suggests that Epic's lack of local presence stems from its "reputation for high costs." Article

> The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has updated versions of the quality reporting document architecture (QRDA) I and III packages for eligible professionals to use to report clinical quality measures this year. Reporting these measurements is a requirement of the Meaningful Use incentive program. The updates correct the sample files that were part of the packages, not changes to the technical specifications. Website

Health Finance News

> The cost of prostate cancer surgery varies widely across the U.S., and the variations in what a patient pays bears little on the quality of care they receive. That was the finding of a study recently published in the journal Urology. Costs ranged from $10,000 to $135,000, depending on the hospital where the procedure is being performed. Article

> Hospital finance leaders and staff must be willing to engage patients early and often if they want a good chance of collecting all of their outstanding balances after a medical procedure, according to the leader of the Healthcare Financial Management Association's (HFMA) patient-friendly billing project. "Every day that goes by, that dollar is less collectible," said Terry Rappuhn, who leads the HFMA initiative. She spoke at HFMA's annual national institute on Monday with Mark Rukavina, a principal of Community Health Advisors. Article

Health Insurance News

> The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' use of the Fraud Prevention System (FPS) led to $54.2 million in actual and projected savings for the Medicare fee-for-service program. However, the Office of Inspector General called for modifications to the FPS to increase savings over time, according to a report released Wednesday. Article

> New data reinforces the picture of insurance exchange enrollees as sicker and costlier than people sticking with previous coverage. Health technology firm Inovalon Inc. analyzed medical claims and found people enrolled in new healthcare reform plans have higher rates of serious health conditions than other insurance customers. Article

And Finally... They could have used an editor. Article