Saudi Arabia-based hospital attains HIMSS EMRAM Stage 7 status; Chronic care management program participation lagging;

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> King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre has achieved Stage 7 on HIMSS Analytics' Ambulatory Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model (EMRAM) the first health system outside of North America to do so. The health system is based in Saudi Arabia and is using a Cerner EHR system. Announcement

> A survey has found that only 17 percent of physicians are participating in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' new chronic care management program, which beginning in 2015, pays physicians for chronic care management but, among other things, requires use of an EHR to participate. Fully, 25 percent of non-participants stated that they were too busy dealing with other health IT issues to participate in the program at present. The survey found that physicians were also dealing with EHR workflow problems. Website

Health Finance News

> The growing number of Americans addicted to opioids and other drugs is not just a public health crisis, but one that creates a genuine strain on the bottom lines of hospitals. Large numbers of these patients wind up at hospital emergency rooms for treatment and their insurance may not be enough to cover the cost of their care, according to the publication. Article

> The United States continues to lead the developed world in per-capita healthcare expenditures while trailing other countries in results, according to a new study by the Commonwealth Fund. It determined that per capita spending in the U.S. reached $9,086 in 2013. That's nearly 50 percent higher than Switzerland, the second-ranked country in terms of spending. Article

Health Insurance News   

> In the upcoming open enrollment period, federal health officials have their sights set on enrolling the 10.5 million remaining uninsured Americans, yet another major challenge for the Affordable Care Act's marketplaces is to keep their current customers coming back. One driving factor may be marketplace enrollees' heightened cost concerns, causing some to drop coverage when they either lose their jobs, decide they can't fit the premiums into their budget, or are denied subsidies due to eligibility issues. Article

> In response to continuing security concerns, is offering federal health insurance exchange customers a new privacy management option. To address some of these concerns, Kevin Counihan, CEO of, announced that the marketplace is offering a new "Do Not Track" privacy management option, which allows users to opt out of any embedded third-party analytical trackers. Article  

And Finally... I hope they don't let him near a phone in prison. Article