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Federal officials take health IT victory lap



Dr. Karen DeSalvo, HHS' top health information technology official, and acting CMS Administrator Andy Slavitt closed the HIMSS conference by cataloging the achievements of the Obama administration but also delivering sober assessments of IT challenges that lie ahead.

Telehealth dropped from 21st Century Cures bill, sources say



More Medicare pay for telehealth services will not be a part of the 21st Century Cures bill, according to industry sources informed of the decision by the House committee drafting the legislation.

One Pentagon bidder talks up its cybersecurity skills



The ability to protect the Pentagon's electronic health records from cybersecurity attacks will play a big role in determining who wins the multi-billion-dollar contract. Leidos, which is part of the Cerner and Accenture team, isn't bashful about touting its own capabilities.

Medicare doc fix bill would expand access to Medicare claims data



Transparency advocates are hailing a little-noticed provision in the pending Medicare physician-payment bill that would widen the availability of Medicare claims data to insurers and providers for purposes such as designing provider networks and improving quality of care.

When the Champagne is finished, take a closer look at the new Medicare physician pay system



Nearly everyone in healthcare is toasting what looks like the imminent repeal and replacement of the hated SGR formula for Medicare payment. But as Sarah Kliff points out this week in Vox, major questions loom about how exactly the new system will work, and whether it will accurately peg higher...

Montana renews faith for Medicaid expansion supporters



Just when supporters of Medicaid expansion were feeling disheartened, the Republican-led legislature in the rugged individualist state of Montana revived their spirits.

More evidence of reform's healthcare divide



People living in Florida and Texas are more likely to have problems paying their medical bills and skip unaffordable doctor visits than those living in California and New York. The reasons are rooted in history, politics and policy,.

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Smaller Enroll America could spell trouble for ACA sign-ups



The dramatic downsizing of Enroll America, the not-for-profit group tasked by the White House to educate Americans about the Affordable Care Act, could depress enrollment in states where local lawmakers oppose the law.

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White House warms to healthcare industry's call to action on climate change



President Barack Obama declared this week that climate change is one of the nation's largest public health threats. The healthcare industry is often criticized for being behind the times, but it has been ahead of the curve on highlighting the environment's impact on health.

Private insurance exchange membership doubles for 2015



Roughly 6 million people chose their employer-sponsored health benefits through a private insurance exchange for 2015, according to consulting firm Accenture.

Fla. Gov. Scott's about-face on Medicaid dims expansion hopes



Florida's Republican Gov. Rick Scott said he no longer supports expanding Medicaid to low-income adults under the Affordable Care Act because he does not believe the federal government will keep its promise to provide funding for the new group of beneficiaries. That could scuttle Medicaid expansion...

The invisible governor in the nation's hottest Medicaid expansion fight



Where's Rick? As fellow Republicans in the Florida Legislature battle over Medicaid expansion newly re-elected Gov. Rick Scott has hardly been heard from on the most important healthcare issue facing his state.

SGR bill unlikely to affect medical malpractice liability



A few small lines about medical malpractice suits in the new SGR bill touch on a larger debate over how to determine if doctors acted appropriately in such cases, some say.

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Epic Systems takes to the clouds with April Fools' Day spoof



Epic Systems Corp. used an April Fools' Day remake of its home page to take some jabs at its competitors Wednesday.

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Hospitals should 'friend' Facebook; quality ratings could benefit



Hospitals may want to devote more attention to the power of social media, according to a recent study looking at the correlation between hospitals' Facebook ratings and how well they performed on 30-day readmission rates.

Reducing health disparities: It takes more than access to care



A new study shows that U.S. counties with the highest income inequality have worse health outcomes. But it will take more than giving people access to healthcare to reduce the differences in outcomes between the social classes.

Medicaid 'gun to the head' test depends on which Supreme Court case you consider



When is a gun to the head OK and when is it not? The Supreme Court is making that difficult to know.

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Retiring Harry Reid vows to keep fighting to preserve his landmark healthcare law



Working closely with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi five years ago, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid achieved a treasured goal that had eluded Democratic leaders since Franklin Delano Roosevelt—enactment of a national health insurance program expanding coverage to most Americans.

States never considered subsidy issue in exchange decisions, report finds



Strong new evidence has emerged undercutting one of the key arguments Obamacare foes are using in their U.S. Supreme Court case to disallow premium subsidies in states using the federal insurance exchange.

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Obama wishes ACA a happy 5th; Congress tries to kill it, again



President Barack Obama on Wednesday remained upbeat and defiant against Affordable Care Act naysayers during a White House event to celebrate the controversial law's fifth birthday.

EHR vendors study whether they can deliver on Stage 3 demands



EHR developers are hoping the draft regulations issued Friday prove more flexible and focused than earlier editions that led to delays in software certification and tripped up providers trying to meet the requirements for using the technology.

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Did Justice Kennedy offer a clue to the King v. Burwell decision?



Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy told lawmakers Monday that the justices shouldn't take congressional gridlock into account when making decisions, a statement some think might mean he will side with the challengers in King v. Burwell.

Why it's safer for Republicans to target Medicaid than Medicare



It's not surprising that Senate Republicans have chosen to distance themselves from the House Republican plan to convert Medicare into a defined-benefit voucher program. It's also not surprising they decided to join their House colleagues in pressing to convert Medicaid into some type of capped...

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Republicans eye budget maneuver to pass GOP subsidies fix



House Ways and Means Chair Paul Ryan says Republicans need to have a plan in place by June 20 to respond if the Supreme Court strikes down subsidies in up to 37 states.

Why Senate Democrats have been cool to Medicare SGR deal



The two top Democrats in Congress apparently are tussling behind the scenes over the deal to repeal and replace the Medicare physician-payment formula, and it could be because one feels left on the sidelines.

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UnitedHealthcare spotlights odd injuries in new ad campaign



Health insurer UnitedHealthcare is highlighting ICD-9 medical codes and quirky injuries in its first national consumer-facing ad campaign.

'Did the surgery work?' California registry asks patients



A California-based orthopedic surgery registry posted new data this week that takes a different approach to showing how well patients fared within one year of undergoing common, often expensive, musculoskeletal procedures.

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