Empire offers three weeks of free coverage for consumers; Massachusetts hires Optum to fix exchange;

News From Around the Web

> Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield is offering three weeks of free coverage for thousands of New Yorker consumers who experienced problems when they tried to enroll in its plans through the state's health insurance exchange. The move is a result of an investigation by the state Department of Financial Services, which found that Empire didn't properly process exchange applications, NBC New York reported. Article

> Massachusetts has hired UnitedHealth's Optum unit to help repair the state's health insurance exchange. The state will pay Optum almost $10 million to catch up on backlog and make the marketplace more convenient, Gov. Deval Patrick said, according to the New York Times. Article

> Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield and Humana want claims records opened from the H.K. Porter Asbestos Trust so they can access plaintiffs who recovered money from the trust. The insurers want to receive reimbursement for the cost of medical expenses they provided to those consumers to cover asbestos-related illnesses, reported Forbes. Article

Health Provider News

> A Texas hospital chain administrator is accused of identity theft, false statements and defrauding the federal government of almost $800,000 in stimulus funds. Article

> Less than a third of surveyed primary care physicians currently stock all 11 recommended adult vaccines, according to a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Article

Health IT News

> Draft interoperability standards for medical devices could be published as soon as April, according to officials from the Office of the National Coordinator of Health IT and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Article

> Data analytics tools are helping hospitals cut costs by pinpointing which patients are using the most resources, also known as "hot spotting." Article

And Finally... Sleeping on the job could get you kidnapped. Article