EHRs improve patient care quality, most British docs say; Cigna to cover telehealth doctor consults;

News From Around the Web

> Nearly two-thirds of British doctors believe that the introduction of electronic health records has improved patient care quality, according to a new survey published by Accenture this week. In addition, 86 percent of doctors surveyed said they think that EHRs, within the next two years, will play an integral role in delivery of effective patient care. Announcement

Health Insurance News

> Cigna will begin offering telehealth consultations to some of its members next year after reaching a deal with MDLive, a Florida-based telehealth company. Under the agreement, members of Cigna's self-insured employer groups will have access to 24/7 consultations, whether through online video, phone or email, with more than 2,000 internal medicine, family practice and pediatric doctors who work for MDLive. Article

> Healthcare costs will return to historic averages of about 7 percent by 2019 compared to the 3.9 percent from 2009 to 2011, which was the lowest growth rate since 1960, according to a new study from the Kaiser Family Foundation. That's because the decreased spending on healthcare the last few years was primarily due to the national recession. "As the economy recovers, health spending is likely to trend upwards, though growth rates are unlikely to return to the double-digit levels we have seen in the past," the authors wrote. Article

Provider News

> While doctors say the more than 180 people injured in the Boston Marathon blasts who arrived at a hospital alive are likely to survive, they face a long road of expensive medical and rehabilitative care. Unlike soldiers and Marines injured in Iraq and Afghanistan, the blast victims won't receive guaranteed coverage for all of their medical care, noted the Los Angeles TimesHowever, three Boston hospitals want to help ease the financial pain by withholding medical bills for Boston Marathon bombing patients, the Boston Globe reported. Article

> Medicare is dramatically upping the ante on Medicare fraud, increasing the reward for tips leading to the recovery of fraudulently obtained benefits to $9.9 million--up from just $1,000 today. The proposed rule expands the Medicare Incentive Reward program to pay tipsters 15 percent of the recovered overpayments up to the first $66 million recovered. It is modeled on an Internal Revenue Service program that has returned $2 billion to the Treasury since 2003, according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Article

And Finally… That doesn't make it edible. Article

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