Massachusetts launches Phase 2 of statewide HIE; UPMC to study effectiveness of patient-centered mental health treatment;

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> Massachusetts' statewide health information exchange, dubbed the MassHIway, completed the second stage of its rollout yesterday in which search and retrieve functionality was automated, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center CIO John Halamka wrote in a post to his Life as a Healthcare CIO blog yesterday. Phase 1 of the project, which was rolled out in October 2012, focused on "the Meaningful Use Stage 2 Direct protocol, enabling transition of care summaries, public health reporting transactions and labs to flow over a state operated secure infrastructure," according to Halamka. Post

> The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute this week approved funding for the UPMC Center for High-Value Health Care to conduct research on the effectiveness of a model of patient-centered mental health treatment. The study, according to a UPMC Health Plan announcement, will compare two evidence-based, technology-supported strategies to determine which is the most effective in varying circumstances. Announcement

> In a survey of 316 general practitioners in the U.K., 61 percent said they did not think telehealth has the potential to improve care they provide to patients, reported. Twenty-two percent of respondents said they thought that such tools could be effective. Article

Provider News

> It's common knowledge that there are racial disparities in healthcare quality, but researchers have struggled to understand the specific reasons for them. However, a new study published in JAMA Surgery explains that for coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) procedures, the disparity is due in large part to unequal access to high-quality hospitals. Article

> Accountable care organizations (ACOs) already are having major effects on hospital inpatient use, according to a new study published in Health Affairs. The researchers, led by Kaufman Hall Senior Vice President Robert York, sought to analyze the effects of disruptive new healthcare business models, like value-based reimbursements, on healthcare provision between 2010 and 2012. They analyzed 71 hospitals in Illinois and the greater Chicago area, covering seven counties and 8.5 million people. Article

Health Insurance News

> Some small businesses are considering shifting their sickest, most expensive-to-insure employees to health insurance exchanges. But that strategy could threaten the viability of the online marketplaces by inflating the amount of sick and costly consumers shopping for health plans. Article

And Finally... I wonder if Michael Bay will buy the rights to this explosive thriller. Article