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Morning Headlines 7/9/14

July 8, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Siemens Said to Explore Sale of Hospital IT Business

Bloomberg reports that Siemens is soliciting buyers for its health IT business unit, valued at $1.4 billion, so that it can focus on its energy and industrial units.

What Looks Like Overcharging By Your Hospital Might Not Be

A study finds that Medicare reimbursement rates at hospitals using EHRs are comparable to those still working on paper, contrary to earlier allegations suggesting that EHRs were driving up reimbursement by promoting copy and paste fraud. Critics point out that the study only analyzed inpatient records, and fails to address the original fraud allegations which were focused on ED reimbursements.

Critics worry health IT regulatory plan is already outdated

The public comments period closes on the FDASIA’s recently proposed health IT regulatory framework. The comments offered a mix of both criticism and support from various industry groups. The ONC’s policy advisory committee today moved immediately forward in a vote to endorse the framework.

Vials of Smallpox Virus Found in Unapproved Maryland Lab

Six vials of the smallpox virus, thought to be misplaced remnants from a 1950’s research lab, were found abandoned in an FDA lab in Maryland this week and are now undergoing testing to determine if they are still active. Smallpox samples are now considered so dangerous that only two labs in the world are authorized to store the pathogen, a CDC lab in Atlanta, and a VECTOR Institute lab in Russia.

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