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EHR design flaws causing doctors to revert to paper
American Medical News
Improved efficiency was one promise that proponents of electronic health record systems often touted to physicians to persuade them to adopt the systems. But many doctors have found the only way they can accomplish certain tasks in a reasonable amount of time is to do them on paper.
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9 burning trends in healthcare finance, outsourcing and transactions
Becker's Hospital Review
Many forces influence a hospital or health system's bottom line. When it comes to shoring up a healthcare organization's finances, executives usually come back to two principles: cut costs or expand revenue. Outsourcing and transactions fit into both of those categories, and both financial strategies have been front and center in the hospital sector this year.
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Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Price transparency in healthcare — the latest buzzwords (By Dr. Jonathan Kaplan)
Is it time to upgrade your EHR? (Hospitals & Health Networks)
Employee benefits: How the final HIPAA regulations impact group health plans (Lexology)
HIPAA compliance: 5 key considerations for hospitals and other large providers (Becker's Hospital Review)
New model predicts hospital readmission risk (Brigham and Women's Hospital via ScienceDaily)

Don't be left behind. Click here to see what else you missed.

What's your strategy for big data deployment?
Big data optimism is at a fever pitch in the healthcare industry, and with good reason. According to a recent analysis by consulting firm McKinsey & company, use of such tools and processes could help to save U.S. citizens as much as $450 billion in healthcare costs; as in, close to half a trillion dollars. What's more, some big-name healthcare organizations are buying in.
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Accountable care organizations gain popularity with physicians in wake of added incentives, revised federal rules
The Hospitalist
Throughout much of 2011, ambivalence plagued efforts by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to expand the federal government's reach into integrated care delivery to help improve patient outcomes while lowering costs. Critics panned the initial draft of regulations for a large accountable-care demonstration project called the Shared Savings Program, and prominent medical groups announced their intention to sit on the sidelines. At the start of 2013, the atmosphere couldn't be more different. Medical groups around the country are readily jumping on the ACO bandwagon, with its emphasis on shared responsibility among provider groups for a defined pool of patients.
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Looking for similar articles? Search here, keyword: Accountable care organizations .

5 reasons you might actually like ICD-10
EHR Intelligence
With all the fears, complaints, warnings and dire predictions surrounding ICD-10, it's easy to lose sight of the benefits that the new code set will bring to medicine starting on October 1, 2014. The following are a few good things to remind yourself that ICD-10 is a step forward, no matter how difficult the implementation might seem right now.

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Hospitals question Medicare rules on readmissions
The New York Times
It is no longer enough for hospitals to make patients healthy enough to leave. Now, as part of the Obama administration's healthcare overhaul, they are spending millions of dollars to keep those patients from coming back, often acting like personal assistants to help them manage their post-hospital lives.

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Price transparency in healthcare — the latest buzzwords
By Dr. Jonathan Kaplan
Unless you're totally oblivious to all forms of media from TV, print or Internet, you've probably heard about the Affordable Care Act, or ObamaCare. One of the main goals of the legislation is to bring down healthcare costs by several means — cutting reimbursements, decreasing the amount insurance companies spend on salaries, etc.

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The financial realities of taking cost out of healthcare
By Mike Wokasch
What's the first thing businesses do when they have to reduce costs? They manage headcount down and look for ways to reduce wages and benefits. From the auto and airline industries to big pharmaceutical companies, if you want to take out cost, you have to look at payroll expenses. This is especially true in any service intensive industry like healthcare where people are at the core of your success but are also a major factor in the cost of operations. This is the elephant in the room when people discuss reducing healthcare costs and finding ways to "bend the cost curve."
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Industry Pulse: Which will save the most money in our healthcare system?

Previous Industry Pulse: Will healthcare exchanges lower healthcare costs?

Study: Patients like online health records access
When patients at the VA Medical Center in Portland, Ore., were given access to key parts of their electronic health records such as visit notes, lab results and discharge summaries, they believed that the ability to view their records helped them in many ways. They said they gained knowledge about their health, did a better job of taking care of themselves, had an easier time talking to their doctors and participated more fully in office visits, according to a new study in the Journal of Medical Internet Research. On the other hand, some veterans were disturbed when they saw inconsistencies, previously undisclosed information, or derogatory language, said researchers.
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Trends in EHR vendor strength in 6 charts
Government Health IT
On April 2, the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services made available their updated data table for EHR Incentive Program attestations, with specification as to which EHR products were used. The initial file showed the first year of experience of Meaningful Use, and allowed the relative comparison of vendors in the EHR arena. The updated data shows all the Meaningful Use attestation to date, and can show both first-year attesters for 2011 and also 2012, as well as second-year attesters in 2012 who started their first-year attestation in 2011. So what kinds of observations can be made from a preliminary analysis of this data?
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Congress moves forward on SGR replacement
MedPage Today
Physicians' Medicare payments in the future would be based in part on quality metrics relative to their peers, their own performance from previous years, and clinical improvement activities, according to an updated proposal from House Republicans. GOP lawmakers recently released a more fleshed-out proposal of their plan to repeal Medicare's sustainable growth rate formula which determines physician payments and replace it with a plan to reward value and efficiency.
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Consume with care: Could retail clinics help reduce hospital readmissions?
Scientific American
The U.S. has one of the highest hospital readmission rates in the world. About 20 percent of Medicare patients wind up being readmitted within 30 days after discharge, according to government data. Hospitals have tried a variety of strategies including patient counseling and home visits to lower readmissions, with mixed results. Experts have argued that hospitals could go a long way toward reducing readmissions just by ensuring that patients receive proper follow-up care after discharge. To this end, some hospitals are partnering with retail clinics, such as Walgreen's TakeCare and CVS's MinuteClinic.
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The 3 biggest self-pay mistakes hospitals make
Healthcare Finance News
Implementing a self-pay revenue cycle strategy is probably one of the biggest challenges facing hospital financial executives. As healthcare providers are more focused than ever before on increasing revenue, this issue has become that much more important to a successful overall revenue cycle strategy. Yet, many senior hospital executives are trying to meet this challenge with obsolete tools and the wrong mindset.
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Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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