ONC updates test procedures; Attestation deadline looms for EPs;

News From Around the Web

> The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT has released updates to the 2014 edition test procedures, test data and test tools. Some of the objectives affected include data portability, transition of care summaries, amendments and view/download/transmit to a third party. Website

> The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has issued a reminder that eligible professionals participating in the Medicare electronic health record incentive program must register and attest by March 31, 2014, in order to receive a 2013 incentive payment. CMS had extended the deadline to allow more time for providers to submit their data. Website

> The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Office of Health Care Quality's annual report on hospital patient safety found "numerous" reports of adverse events where EHRs unintentionally contributed to patient harm. Some of the events included fall risk assessments, inability to access tests or results and automatic changes to orders. "Clearly, staff should ensure that they are as accurate as possible when using the EMR, or any medical record format. However, they should not have to worry about being set up for a medical error by an electronic system that makes it harder to do the right thing. In all of these events, the EMRs functioned exactly as programmed, it just wasn't good enough," the report states. Report

Health Finance News

> Ninety percent of states do not provide sufficient healthcare pricing information to consumers, according to a report card from the nonprofits Health Care Incentives Improvement Institute and Catalyst for Payment Reform. The report card gave 45 states a failing grade and no states an "A" grade. Maine and Massachusetts both received a "B," the highest grade issued. Article

> The price of producing hospital inpatient care increased only incrementally from February 2013 to February 2014, while outpatient care prices experienced a more significant uptick.  Hospital inpatient prices increased 1.4 percent year-over-year, according to producer price data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Article

Health Insurance News

> Thirty-two million Americans under the age of 65 remained underinsured in 2012, a new state-by-state analysis from the Commonwealth Fund finds. These individuals had health coverage, but still spent 10 percent or more of their income on medical costs, or 5 percent or more for those with low incomes. The Affordable Care Act's Medicaid expansion targets Americans who are most likely unable to afford insurance. Article

> Insurers put certain pricey prescription drugs in specialty tiers that require members to pay more for them, causing some patient advocates to wonder whether they're trying to discourage consumers with pre-existing conditions from enrolling in their plans, a new analysis found. Avalere Health determined consumers who buy a health plan through health insurance exchanges are twice as likely to face utilization management controls, including step therapy and prior authorization, compared to consumers with employer-sponsored insurance plans, according to its analysis. Article

And Finally... I think he blew his chance at landing a date. Article