Optum to acquire MedSynergies; North Shore-LIJ business unit to offer med coding services to other hospitals;

News From Around the Web

> Optum, an analytics and consulting arm of UnitedHealth Group, will acquire physician practice management consulting firm MedSynergies, according to an announcement Tuesday. Announcement

> North Shore-LIJ Health System will create a new business unit that will offer medical coding services to other healthcare organizations nationwide, the Great Neck, New York-system announced this week. The business unit will be known as HealthForce, and currently has a staff of more than 100 coders. Announcement

> Scientists at Virginia Tech's Carilion Research Institute plan to use social media to develop a new approach to addiction recovery, the school announced this week. The effort is being financially backed by a three-year, $1.7 million grant from the National Institutes of Health. Announcement

Provider News

> The Veterans Affairs (VA) Department announced Monday it settled the complaints of three employees who faced retaliation after filing whistleblower complaints about the Phoenix VA hospital--revelations that led to a nationwide scandal that involved secret waitlists to cover up treatment delays and possible patient deaths. Although the financial terms of the settlement are confidential, the U.S. Office of Special Counsel said in a separate announcement that the three employees received "fair and full relief." Article

Health Insurance News

> Insurers already worried about the second enrollment period for health insurance exchanges have been dealt a piece of bad news--just 29 percent of consumers said they will be shopping for new coverage on health insurance exchanges, according to a recent poll from Morning Consult. The survey, which involved almost 1,700 consumers, also found that 43 percent of respondents will likely keep the same plan they're currently enrolled in. Another 25 percent of consumers don't know what they will do. Article

And Finally... My paper airplanes barely go 10 feet. Article