Feds launch pain research database; Health data theft prompts county to mandate encryption of all department computers;

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> The federal government this week launched a new database dedicated to pain research and training activities, the National Institutes of Health announced. NIH collaborated on the database with five other agencies: the Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Department of Defense, the Food and Drug Administration and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Announcement

> In the wake of a break in in February in which eight computers were stolen from medical billing company Sutherland Healthcare Solutions, Los Angeles County supervisors on Tuesday voted in favor of mandating encryption for computer workstation hard drives at all county departments, the Los Angeles Times reported. The computers contained personal information for more than 342,000 patients. Article

Provider News

> Thanks to the healthcare environment's shift toward a value-based system with more emphasis on quality metrics and patient satisfaction than ever before, the role of the practice managers is evolving as well. For example, patient satisfaction goes far beyond how much patients like their physicians, so managers must ensure that operations support a good experience with items such as telephone service, sufficient office hours and minimal wait times for appointments. Article

> The Obama administration will allow veterans to seek care at private hospitals in order to alleviate the backlog of patients awaiting treatment through the Department of Veterans Affairs. The VA will also enhance capacity at facility clinics so veterans can get care sooner, Secretary of VA Affairs Eric Shinseki has said. Article

Health Finance News

> The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has proposed to create a prior authorization program for durable medical equipment, prosthetics and orthotics, claiming the program currently makes inappropriate approvals that cost the federal government billions of dollars a year. Article

And Finally... It's raining cats and dogs ... and deer. Article

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