Surescripts add EHR vendors to its network; athenahealth, CECity create data exchange gateway;

News From Around the Web

> Surescripts has added almost 20 new electronic health record vendors to its electronic prescribing network. Some of the newest members include SRSsoft, ChartLogic and HealthFusion. Electronic prescribing capability is a required component of the Meaningful Use incentive program. Announcement

> The Electronic Health Care Network Accreditation Commission, the nonprofit standards development organization and accreditation body, has issued its updated and final criteria for its 14 accreditation programs. Many of the changes incorporate enhancements to support the changes in the HITECH Act's omnibus rule, which was released in January 2013. Some of the Commission's accreditation programs include those for health information exchanges, electronic prescribing of controlled substances, and management services organizations. Announcement

> athenahealth and CECity have partnered to launch a health data exchange integration and reporting service. The gateway, the first of its kind, will be first used by the American College of Physicians. The first specialized registry to receive data from the gateway will be ACP Genesis Registry. Announcement

Health Finance News

> Doctors are warning that cutting food stamps could increase healthcare costs for the federal government, causing higher rates of diabetes and developmental problems for young children, among other problems, the Associated Press reported.  A study published in the journal Health Affairs found that hospital admissions for hypoglycemia among low-income patients with diabetes spiked at the end of the month, when food stamp recipients tend to run out of their monthly allotment. Article

> The number of people employed in healthcare dropped by 6,000 in December, the first time total healthcare employment declined since July 2003, CNN Money reported.  The healthcare sector shed 2,400 hospital jobs, 1,200 jobs in physician offices, 3,900 jobs in nursing homes and 3,700 in home healthcare, CNN said. The losses were partially offset by a 3,600-job increase in outpatient care centers, according to the article.  Healthcare employment numbers fell in December after averaging growth of 17,000 per month during the year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That was down from an average monthly gain of 27,000 in 2012, the BLS said, indicating a yearlong slide. Article

Health Insurance News

> Hospital emergency rooms have become the new front line of Affordable Care Act enrollment, reported Kaiser Health News reported in collaboration with National Public Radio. The article profiled O'Connor Hospital in San Jose, Calif., which used state exchange funds to create a health benefits resource center near its ER to help thousands of uninsured patients apply for coverage. Article

> Three prominent insurers lead the list of FlexJobs' top 100 companies for work-from-home opportunities in 2013, including UnitedHealth Group (ranked at No. 2), Aetna (No. 4) and Humana (No. 7), according to Employee Benefits Advisor. The health insurers cited attracting top talent and cost containment as key reasons for embracing flexible work arrangements.  Article

And Finally... I can't believe the cashier actually argued with him over the charge. Article

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