AT&T names Eric Topol Chief Medical Officer; Meaningful Use incentive payments top $19 billion;

News From Around the Web

> AT&T has named Eric Topol, a cardiologist and chief academic officer at Scripps, as its new chief medical officer, the company announced this week. Topol will continue his duties at Scripps, and according to the announcement, "will offer strategic guidance in key areas such as emerging devices and mHealth products and services." Announcement

> The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has paid out more than $19 billion in incentives through December 2013 via the Meaningful Use program, agency officials announced this week. According to CMS' update, 440,998 registered providers actively participated in the program just prior to 2014. Update (.pdf)

Health Insurance News

> Humana has received more than 200,000 membership applications through federal and state health insurance exchanges, many of which are from young consumers, CEO Bruce Broussard told investors while announcing the insurer's fourth-quarter earnings report. In fact, 21-40 year olds represented 37 percent of Humana's new enrollees at the close of January, which is lower than the percentage of young adults in the general population. Article

Health Finance News

> The economy could be the reason many North Americans and Europeans--most notably Americans--are more reluctant to get routine medical care, according to Social Science Quarterly. For the study, researchers examined how the economy affected 18- to 65-year-old individuals' routine medical care use and access post-2007 by anaylzing the TNS Global Economic Crisis Survey in the United States, Great Britain, Canada, France and Germany. Article

Provider News

> The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services clarified some details on the controversial "two-midnight rule," shortly after its decision to delay implementation of the rule until October--the third such hold-up. Under the rule, a patient must stay in a hospital for two consecutive midnights before Medicare reimburses the hospital at inpatient rates. In its clarification, made during a Tuesday conference call, CMS officials specified that hospitals must include the admitting physician's signature before discharge in their documentation of patients admitted under the rule. Article

And Finally... Maybe there's a little reason to cry in this case. Article

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