SGR repeal law to affect Meaningful Use; Cerner, Qualcomm team up for remote monitoring;

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> Cerner and Qualcomm Life Inc. have partnered to capture data from QualComm's medical devices and sensors in a patient's home and transmit and integrate the data to providers' EHRs through Cerner's CareAware device connectivity platform. Providers will be better able to remotely monitor chronically ill patients and the patients will be able to view the data via Cerner's patient engagement solution. Announcement

> EHRs and personal health records (PHRs) have not been designed with teens in mind, and require significant design changes to meet the confidentiality requirements of teenagers whose parents access the information contained in them. Providers have been resorting to workarounds, such as denying parents access to the data or suppressing the information. Abstract

> The Senate has passed the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act, which repeals the SGR formula and extends CHIP for two years. Less publicized is the fact that the law substantially changes the Meaningful Use program for physicians; those changes will now need to be reconciled with the current Meaningful Use program. The details have yet to be hashed out. Article

Health Finance News

> Many hospitals that serve poor communities seek a new solution to that problem--by moving to more prosperous parts of town, according to Kaiser Health News. Article    

> The financial pressures hospitals face will likely increase, which will in turn lead to lengthened revenue cycles. But there are many ways to ensure that those cycles end with satisfactory financial incomes, according to Becker's Hospital CFO.  Article

Health Insurance News   

> As more insurers offer plans with narrow networks, consumers are increasingly willing to give up a broader selection of providers to save money on their healthcare costs.  This year, almost 50 percent of all plans offered on health insurance exchanges have narrow networks, and almost 20 percent are considered "ultra-narrow networks," which give consumers even fewer doctor and hospital choices. Meanwhile, more employers are choosing narrow network plans, according to a report from the McKinsey Center for U.S. Health System Reform. Article

> Medicaid saw a big increase in prescription drug use last year, especially in states that expanded the program under the Affordable Care Act. Meanwhile, private insurers experienced a drop in prescription meds and their members also visited doctors less often, according to a new report from the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics. Article

And Finally ... Sounds like a great job to me! Article

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