Sen. Grassley introduces critical access conversion legislation; Medicare all but ignores potential of telemedicine;

News From Around The Web

> Sen. Charles Grassley, an Iowa Republican, has introduced legislation that would permit hospitals with critical access and prospective payment designation and fewer than 50 beds to convert to Rural Emergency Hospitals, allowing them to receive higher payments, AHA News Now has reported. Article

> The potential convenience of telemedicine is apparently lost on the Medicare program, which has avoided paying for most virtual visits due to cost concerns, according to Kaiser Health News. Article

> Total pay has increased 10 percent for nurse practitioners across the United States, putting their average income into six figures, MedPage Today reports. Article

Provider News

> As online ratings play an increasing role in consumer healthcare decisions, many healthcare organizations are getting into the ratings game by posting real patient feedback on their web sites, according to CNBC. Many providers share patient satisfaction surveys with the general public instead of relying on popular rankings sites such as Healthgrades, Vitals, or rateMDs, Andy Ibbotson, vice president of National Research Corporation, told CNBC. Those online reviews are important, because 77 percent of consumers begin their search for a healthcare provider online, he said, with 1 in 3 patients choosing another physician after reading negative reviews on the web. Article

Healthcare IT News

> Four health providers will partner with CVS Health to allow communication between electronic health records and the pharmacy, according to a company announcement. Through the affiliation, CVS Health will feed prescription and MinuteClinic visit information into EHRs at Sutter Health in California, Millennium Physician Group in Florida, Bryan Health Connect in Nebraska and Mount Kisco Medical Group in New York. Article

And finally...Man mocked by doctor during colonoscopy is awarded $500,000. Article