ONC updates 2014 test methods; 4 organizations authorized to certify EHRs for Stage 2 of MU;

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> Meaningful Use incentive dollars are one of the bright spots in an otherwise lackluster forecast for not-for-profit healthcare organizations, according to the latest report from Standard & Poor's. Providers will also continue to invest heavily in health IT. Report

> The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT has authorized four organizations--the Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology, the Drummond Group, ICSA Labs and InfoGard Laboratories--to serve as certifiers of electronic health record systems for Stage 2 of the Meaningful Use program. Article

> ONC has begun posting updates to the 2014 Edition test procedures, data and tools. It formally approved the 2014 test method on Dec. 14, 2012. Website

Medical Imaging News

> The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released new Meaningful Use guidance that includes information about the significant hardship exception that some radiologists may be eligible for--which can help them temporarily avoid penalties for failing to adopt electronic health records. Article

Health Provider News

Adding to healthcare consolidation worries, mergers and acquisitions among hospitals, health systems and physician practices are producing a spike in inflation, according to a new article from consulting firm Alvarez & Marsal. That's because with healthcare consolidation comes strong pricing power and higher reimbursements. Article

And Finally... Baby showers sure have changed since I was pregnant. Article

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