33 states sell de-identified hospital discharge data; Health researchers use modeling software to bring vaccines to children in West Africa;

News From Around the Web

> Modeling software developed by researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center and the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering is being used to determine how to bring vaccines to children in West Africa. Results from the model, according to research published this month in Vaccine, have helped the Republic of Benin to alter its vaccine delivery system, which could ultimately lead to broader changes nationwide. Abstract

> Thirty-three states sell or share de-identified hospital discharge data not covered under HIPAA, according to the Federal Trade Commission, Health Data Management reported. But such data, according to FTC Chief Technologist Latanya Sweeney, includes diagnosis and procedure codes, and could be used in conjunction with other public information to identify patients. Article

Health Insurance News

> Of the 26 states that chose to not expand Medicaid, 17 experienced a surge in enrollment, thanks in part to increased public awareness and outreach, finds a new Avalere Health analysis. During last-minute efforts and hype to boost enrollment, many Medicaid-eligible residents who weren't previously enrolled signed up for coverage--more than 550,000 people in the 17 states did so between October and March, notes the analysis. Article

> The Office of Inspector General proposed new regulations Monday to add to the list of wrongdoings punishable by civil monetary penalties. The new offenses include failure to grant OIG timely access to records; ordering healthcare services or prescribing while excluded from participation in federal healthcare programs; making false statements, omissions or misrepresentations in an enrollment application; failure to report and return an overpayment; and making or using a false record or statement that is material to a false or fraudulent claim. Article

Health Finance News

> Hospital mergers and acquisitions last year fell overall, but the number of beds involved increased dramatically. There were 84 acquisitions in 2013, down 21.5 percent from 2012, according to data from the Connecticut-based Irving Levin & Associates. However, the number of beds involved was the highest since 2008. Article

And Finally... He should have tried wearing a hat to really throw police off the trail. Article

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