ONC updates Bonnie testing tool; VA doc overuses EHR copy-and-paste function;

News From Around the Web

> Eighty-one percent of behavioral health providers are interested in electronic health records, according to a new report from Software Advice. They're also interested in electronic prescribing, in large part because it is required by the Meaningful Use program, as well as patient scheduling software and mobile integration. Ninety-two percent of respondents said they prefer cloud-based systems. Report

> A pulmonologist at the Montgomery campus of Central Alabama Veterans Health Care System was found to have used the electronic health record system's copy-and-paste feature to excess, copying and pasting notes and other information input by other doctors more than 1,200 times from 2011 to 2013, according to the Montgomery Advertiser. The pulmonologist has attributed the activity to "technical incompetence" and "stupidity." Article

> The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT has updated the Bonnie Clinical Quality Measure Testing tool to support new measure formats and logic constructs. Bonnie is designed to support streamlined and efficient pre-testing of electronic clinical quality measures for the Meaningful Use program. Website

Health Finance News

> As millions of Americans are added to the rolls of insured under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the for-profit, publicly-traded hospital chains that care for them have gone on a roll of their own. The ACA recently fattened the bottom lines of two big hospital chains: Universal Health Services, Inc. and LifePoint Hospitals Inc. Universal's revenue is up 10 percent in the second quarter of 2014 compared to the second quarter of 2014, while LifePoint's profit was up 44 percent compared to the same quarter last year. Article

> When hospitals purchase specialty physician practices, they tend to raise the prices for care rendered--a move that has caught the eye of federal regulators. In one instance, Pennsylvania-based health insurer Highmark saw its oncology costs for treating enrollees rise steadily. That was due in part to the 24 percent increase in hospital-owned oncology practices between 2011 and 2012. Article

Health Insurance News

> Republicans on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, in a new report, have accused White House officials of colluding with insurers that threatened to raise premiums under the Affordable Care Act. The report alleged that only a month after the threats, the Obama administration issued rules allowing for a taxpayer-funded insurer bailout via the risk corridor program, which transfers money from successful insurers to those that aren't as profitable. Article

> Cost challenges under healthcare reform have caused major U.S. health insurers to jump onto the medical tourism trend. Some uninsured or underinsured Americans already travel overseas for bargain priced elective procedures and treatments. Now UnitedHealth Group, WellPoint and Humana are looking to curb expenses by encouraging their members to receive medical tourism procedures abroad through cross-border plans. Article

And Finally... Not lethal, but definitely corny. Article

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