California looks to extend Hospital Quality Assurance fee; Docs likely to suffer quality reporting penalties;

News From Around the Web:

> Two Washington area firms working to engage patients in their healthcare decisions and treatment have secured financial backing from investors looking to find companies that will play a leading role in the future of medicine, The Washington Post reports. Article

> California Gov. Jerry Brown's proposed budget extends the Hospital Quality Assurance fee, which is due to expire at the end of 2013. The complicated fee structure was originally planned to gather about $2.8 billion from private hospitals over the 30-month life of the fee. The state estimates extending the fee would add $310 million to the state's general fund in fiscal year 2013, CaliforniaHealthLine reports. Article

> Fortune editor-at-large Geoff Colvin predicts 2013 will be the year of healthcare and how it gets paid for. Article

Provider News

> Over the course of two years, unintentional reuse of insulin pens may have exposed more than 700 patients at the Buffalo (N.Y.) Veterans Administration Medical Center to HIV, hepatitis B or hepatitis C, reported The Buffalo News. Article

> If you think the Great Recession took a toll on your practice, you're not alone. A recent study published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that patients indeed made fewer trips to the doctor from 2008 to 2009 than they did from 2005 to 2006. Article

> Most physicians who participate in Medicare will incur penalties in 2015 if they don't boost their performance with the program's Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) now, according to a new study published in the Journal of the American College of Radiology. Article

And Finally... We've just got to learn to be less dependent on technology. Article