Vermont abandons single-payer plan; state exchanges face funding questions;

News From Around the Web

> Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin (D) has shelved plans to make the state the first in the nation with a publicly funded healthcare system, the Associated Press reported. The tax increases necessary to fund the single-payer system would have been too much to bear, he said. Article

> All state health insurance exchanges must operate without federal money by Jan. 1, 2016. Most must be self-sustaining as of this New Year's Day. LifeHealthPro has outlined some financial sustainability options for state exchanges. Article

> Writing in Dallas/Fort Worth Healthcare Daily, Cigna's senior medical director for North Texas and Oklahoma pointed to out-of-network charges, especially for emergency room visits, as a "hidden" cost having a profound impact on rising healthcare expenses. Article

Healthcare Practice Management News

> Nearly 90 percent of states received a failing grade for transparency of information on physician quality, according to a new report from the Health Care Incentives Improvement Institute. Article

> Roughly 257,000 Medicare eligible professionals will be hit with a 1 percent penalty to their Medicare Physician Fee Schedule payments beginning Jan. 5, 2015, for failing to meet Meaningful Use by Oct. 1, 2014. Article

And finally … A dog with prosthetic legs. Also, it's dusty in here. Video