Pennsylvania to implement Medicaid-alt. plan; glitches continue;

News From Around the Web

> The Obama administration on Thursday gave Pennsylvania the OK to allow private insurers to use federal funds to provide healthcare to many low-income, uninsured individuals, reports The Inquirer. The Medicaid-alternative plan could extend healthcare to some 600,000 uninsured Pennsylvanians. Article

> Houston, Texas-based CHI St. Luke's Health and Cigna (NYSE: CI) announced Thursday a new agreement that allows the insurer's Houston-based consumers to continue to receive care at CHI St. Luke's Health hospitals on an in-network basis. Announcement

>'s glitches inhibited hundreds of thousands of consumers from submitting their citizenship or immigration information, reports USA Today. Nearly 310,000 customers must submit their forms by Sept. 5 or else their plans will be canceled. Article

Health IT News

> The governance subgroup of the federal government's Health IT Policy Committee this week pinpointed problems in the health information exchange ecosystem based on several factors, including severity and commonness, the impact on private and secure exchange and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT's ability to solve such problems. Article 

> Immunization information systems (IIS) play a key role in helping patients and providers keep up to date on vaccinations and in prevention and effective response to disease outbreaks. Article

Healthcare Provider News

.Urgent care centers are drawing patients away from hospitals, especially in Texas, where patients are increasingly opting for the centers for allergy treatments, stitches or X-rays of broken bones as a cheaper, speedier alternative to emergency departments. Article

And Finally... Dammit, Jim--rocks don't just sail around a desert on their own! Article