- The U.S. Government Accountability Office says inaccurate medical records and noncompliance are thwarting efforts to lower suicide rates among veterans. A review of records of 30 patients who were diagnosed with a major depressive disorder and were treated at six Veterans Affairs medical centers found that almost all had received care that deviated from the VA’s own clinical-practice guidelines. The GAO also found that the VA was not properly documenting the diagnosis of many patients because of a software mapping error. The VA said the suicide rate had stabilized but had not dropped after prevention efforts were implemented. It’s estimated that 22 veterans die by suicide each day.
- HealthSouth Corp., a Birmingham, Ala.-based operator of inpatient rehabilitation hospitals, plans to spend $730 million to buy Richardson, Texas-based Reliant Hospital Partners. A smaller peer, Reliant operates 11 inpatient rehabilitation hospitals in three states: Massachusetts, Ohio and Texas. HealthSouth will assume the leases on the 11 facilities. Reliant in 2014 generated $249 million in revenue and $82 million in adjusted earnings before taxes and other items. HealthSouth will spend cash and debt to fund the deal, which is expected to close later this year.
- Medical Informatics Engineering, a Fort Wayne, Ind.-based maker of Web-based health information-technology software was the victim of a sophisticated cyberattack. MIE’s clients include about 100 small- to medium-sized physician offices. The information hacked includes patient names, mailing and e-mail addresses, birthdates, and for some patients, Social Security numbers, laboratory results, dictated reports and medical conditions. Financial records were not compromised because the company does not collect or store that information. But experts told Modern Healthcare that clinical data can often be even more valuable to identity thieves.
GAO says poor medical records thwart anti-suicide efforts with veterans and other news
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