Parkland employee uses EHR info to solicit patients for home health business; Investigation underway after former Cleveland hospital employee accesses close to 700 patient records;

News From Around the Web

> A former employee of Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas has pleaded guilty of inappropriately accessing the hospital's electronic health record system for unlawful personal gain, Healthcare Informatics reports. Viju Mathew of Garland Texas, a registration specialist, took patient information from the EHR to solicit patients for his home health business. He would then call the patients for services they did not need and bill Medicare for those services. Article

> An employee of Cleveland's University Hospitals has been dismissed after it was discovered that the employee had improperly accessed the electronic records of 692 patients over a three-year period, according to The Plain Dealer. It is still unknown whether the breach of the hospitals' EHR was mere snooping or whether the employee has appropriated the financial and health information of the patients. An investigation is in process. Article

Health Finance News

> The Government Accountability Office (GAO) urged the U.S. Health and Human Services Administration in a new report to assess hospitals' reporting of revenue that they can receive from group purchasing organizations (GPOs) to ensure it does not affect Medicare payments. Under the GPO model, organizations negotiate contracts for services and products in return for fees from vendors. Article

> The rising prevalence of diabetes in the United States is one of the major factors increasing the costs of healthcare services. Altogether, diagnosed cases of diabetes drives the spending of 10 percent of all healthcare dollars, representing about $245 billion a year in 2012, according to a new study in the journal Diabetes Care. Article

Health Insurance News

> The federal government is letting states choose a different essential health benefits (EHB) benchmark plan for 2017, and this news may re-ignite public debate about what types of services health insurance should cover in plans sold pursuant to the Affordable Care Act. Article

> One of the nation's largest insurers is getting a name change. Wellpoint announced this week it will now be referred to as Anthem Inc. and will use the ticker symbol ANTM when trading on the New York Stock Exchange. Article

And Finally... If I were in this situation, I'd be doing it voluntarily. Article