PQRS-incentive reporting pilot open; EHNAC adds five commissioners;

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> Eligible professionals now can now submit their 2013 quality data in the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS)-Medicare electronic health record Incentive pilot. The pilot allows EPs to meet the clinical quality measures reporting requirements for the incentive program through electronic submission while also reporting for the PQRS program. EPs participating in the pilot must submit 12 months of CQM data by Feb. 28. Website (.pdf)

> The Health IT Policy Committee's certification and adoption workgroup is working to increase adoption of certified EHRs by provider groups not included in the Meaningful Use incentive program. In its latest meeting, Jan. 21, the group addressed issues related to data sharing with long-term care providers, such as receiving lab results and using modules rather than complete EHR systems. Slides

> The Electronic Healthcare Network Accreditation Commission (EHNAC), the nonprofit standards development organization and accreditation body, has added five new commissioners, bringing its total to 18. Among the new commissioners are Kate Berry, CEO of the National eHealth Collaborative and Robert Tennant, Senior Policy Advisor in the Medical Group Medical Association's Government Affairs Department. Announcement

Health Finance News

> The price of production increased marginally for hospitals both last month and throughout 2013, according to new data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. According to the data, overall hospital prices increased 0.4 percent in December 2013 from November 2013, and were 1.5 percent higher than they were compared to December 2012. Article

> The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission on Friday adopted final payment recommendations that affect non-acute care providers in 2015 and beyond. MedPAC agreed to freeze payments to ambulatory surgical centers, long-term care hospitals, inpatient rehab facilities, dialysis, home health and hospice providers in 2015. Article

Health Insurance News

> Cheap health insurance plans providing minimal coverage are staying alive in the market thanks to an Affordable Care Act loophole that lets employers offer meager coverage as long as they offer one plan complying with ACA requirements. Driven by affordability concerns, employees with low incomes are flocking to these no-frills plans regardless of possible tax penalties. And employers offering cut-rate insurance alongside an ACA compliant plan reduce their healthcare costs while avoiding ACA penalties applicable to business employing 50 or more workers. Overall, this isn't the kind of double win healthcare reformers envisioned. Article

> Although more than 2 million people have enrolled in the health insurance exchanges, only 11 percent previously laced insurance, leaving some industry experts to question whether the exchanges will reduce the uninsured rate, according to a new report from consulting firm McKinsey & Company. With about 48 million uninsured Americans, the healthcare reform law was expected to cut down that number to roughly 25 million people. But the report, which was based on a survey of about 4,500 consumers, showed the uninsured haven't flocked to the exchanges yet. Article

And Finally... Is there a test involved? Article