VA hospital not linking lab values to correct EHRs; CMS 2016 payment strategy relies heavily on EHRs, HIE;

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> The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' updated quality strategy for 2016 relies heavily on electronic health records and health information exchange to meet its goals of moving more Medicare payments to quality and value based care. The strategy plans to use EHRs, registries and HIE to identify people at risk and improve safety, reduce gaps and duplication of care, and support clinical preventive services. Strategy report (.pdf)

> The Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has found problems related to EHRs and the point-of-care laboratory testing program at Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center. The test results are electronically transferred from the point-of-care testing device directly to the patients' EHR. However, in addition to training and other issues, some patent point-of-care lab values could not be linked to the correct EHRs because operators had entered incorrect patient identifiers. Report   

Health Finance News

> A new report issued by Moody's Investors Service concludes that it must take potential cyber security breaches more seriously as it assesses the credit-worthiness of healthcare and other business entities. Article

Health Insurance News   

> Paying some Medicare Advantage plans double bonuses under a pay-for-performance program did not result in higher quality ratings, according to a new study. The double bonuses, part of a pay-for-performance demonstration launched in 2012 by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, increased payments by $3.43 billion over the first three years of the project, according to the study, which was published in the December issue of Health Services Research. Article

> A new report by the Department of Health and Human Services compared the second lowest cost Affordable Care Act marketplace silver plan in the largest rating area in each state to the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) plans in that state, and determined that that the average out-of-pocket spending in the silver plan was higher than out-of-pocket spending in CHIP for CHIP-eligible children in all states reviewed. The review also revealed that CHIP benefit packages are more comprehensive for "child-specific" services and for children with certain specific healthcare needs. Article

And Finally... Did he really think no one would notice the odd bulges? Article