WEDI and EHNAC to partner with; Buffalo's HIE launches automatic immunization reporting service

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> Vanderbilt University Hospital has launched an initiative to document a patient's anticipated date of discharge in the electronic health record upon admission. The date will be updated daily, and the patient will be reminded of it daily. The intent of the initiative is to smooth transitions and to reduce patient stress. Article

> The Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange (WEDI) and Electronic Healthcare Network Accreditation Commission have collaborated with to spur health information exchange, EHR Intelligence reported. The alliance will help increase awareness of Direct and support its use. Article

> Buffalo's health information exchange, HEALTHeLINK, has launched an automated immunization reporting service for its participating providers. Providers no longer need to manually enter individual immunizations or upload a file to an application in order to report; the information is culled directly from the EHR. New York law requires immunizations to individuals 18 years old and younger to be reported. The new service also supports Meaningful Use's public health objectives.  Announcement

Health Finance News

> In the face of calls for transparency and quality from healthcare organizations, along with shifting reimbursement models and reforms, the dynamics in hospital leadership are shifting, with the chief financial officer playing a crucial role in hospital operations, Becker's Hospital Review reported. Hospital CFOs can improve their leadership skills by building relationships with mentors, working with an executive coach, empowering their departments through positive reinforcement, setting an example with clearly defined ethical behavior, understanding team members on a personal level and setting individual goals, and making a commitment to serve the patients, according to the article. Article

> The Medicare program wants to clamp down on costs associated with nursing homes, home healthcare and other services provided after an enrollee is discharged from the hospital, Kaiser Health News reported. Post-acute spending has grown at a 5 percent annual clip in 34 of the most populous markets for hospitals in the U.S., according to KHN. And regional cost disparities abound: Medicare patients in Louisiana cost the program $8,800 each for home healthcare services, compared to $3,800 in New Jersey. In fact, Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi and Oklahoma spend more than a quarter of their Medicare expenditures on post-acute care services, according to the article. Article

Health Insurance News

> More than one in four Americans would move to another state or even another county to get better or cheaper healthcare coverage, according to a survey from Bankrate. Of those, 9 percent consider it a major reason to relocate and 19 percent deemed it a minor reason. Bankrate, an online financial news service, surveyed about 1,000 adults in November, and found 42 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds and 27 percent of 50- to 64-year-olds cited better or cheaper health insurance as a reason to move. About 32 percent of low-income people would consider relocating for health insurance. Article

> The U.S. Supreme Court won't hear a challenge to the healthcare reform law's employer mandate, denying a case brought by Liberty University, CNN reported. The private, Christian university in Lynchburg, Va., claimed the law's mandate was unconstitutional and said employers shouldn't be forced into providing health insurance if they have legitimate moral and religious objections. However, the justices refused to hear the case without providing any comment. It's the second time in as many years the Supreme Court has turned down a review of the employer mandate's constitutionality. Although the high court declined Liberty's challenge, other lawsuits that also seek to overturn the employer mandate are making their way through lower courts. Article

And Finally... Being in hot water just got a whole new meaning. Article