14,000 clinical labs to be surveyed; Portable, artificial hearts help heart transplant patients survive;

News From Around the Web:

> The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services' Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT is surveying a random sample of 14,000 clinical laboratories, including 2,729 hospital-based labs, to better understand their capacity to electronically exchange lab information. Topics include the volume of test results sent electronically, adoption of standards, current systems, and barriers and facilitators for exchange, AHA News reports. Article

MedPage Today reports that patients waiting for a heart transplant who used a portable artificial heart almost always successfully made it to transplantation (12 in 13). "The Total Artificial Heart has proven itself as an effective means of bridging-to-transplantation high-risk patients," the article states. The new design of TAH has given it more mobile power and made it more effective. Article

Health Finance News

> Efforts to crackdown on Medicaid fraud have led to positive results in New York and Missouri, where the states collected hundreds of millions of dollars in settlements and obtained a variety of criminal convictions. New York, for instance, recouped more than $335 million last year from Medicaid fraud and abuse, the highest recovery in seven years, Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman announced. Article

Hospitals need to keep an eye on their discharged not final billed (DNFB) rates, lest they erode their bottom lines, reported HealthLeaders MediaDNFB can be linked to a number of causes, including poor or slow coding of a final bill, bills delayed due to pre-auditing review, or poor interdepartment review systems, according to the article. Article

Recovery auditor (RAC) activity is continuing to grow into a formidable force for recouping Medicare overpayments, according to new data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Medicare RACs recovered $744.8 million in overpayments during the first quarter of fiscal year 2013, which ended on Dec, 31. That puts the program at more than $3 billion in recoupments since October 2009. Article

Health Insurance News

> Engaging patients and staff has a multitude of benefits beyond improving patient satisfaction scores--it can also reduce costs and improve care quality. In a new report, the American Hospital Association Committee on Research outlines the benefits of engaging healthcare users--communities, healthcare organizations, healthcare staff and individual patients. Article

> With employee wellness linked to increased engagement and cost savings, more hospitals are committed to keeping their workers healthy. But wellness programs, although well-intentioned, may undermine the Affordable Care Act's efforts to expand access to healthcare, The Hill's Healthwatch reported. Article

And Finally... These students popped an old habit for a good cause. Article

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