KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

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Study: No Evidence Hospitals Use Digital Records To Bilk Medicare

Concerns that hospitals are harnessing electronic health records to generate bigger revenues may be unfounded, according to a study published Tuesday. Meanwhile, NPR looks at how entrepreneurs are using technology to help older people manage their health.

Kaiser Health News: Study: Hospitals Not Bilking Medicare Using Electronic Medical Records
A new study says there's no need to worry about hospitals using their new electronic medical records to generate bigger bills and boost their income. It's been a concern since at least 2012, when the Departments of Justice and Health and Human Services sent hospitals a strongly worded letter warning them against using electronic records inappropriately (Whitney, 7/8).

Politico Pro: EHRs Do Not Lead To Higher Billing, Research Shows 
Fears that doctors and hospitals have used the transition to electronic health records as a way to bill for more expensive services may be unfounded, according to a study published Tuesday. EHR researcher Julia Adler-Milstein compared Medicare claims data from hospitals that adopted EHRs with those that remained paper record-based and found “no empirical evidence to suggest that hospitals are systematically using EHRs to increase reimbursement.” Hospitals’ patient acuity and payment per discharge were essentially the same between EHR adopters and non-adopters, Milstein, a professor of informatics at the University of Michigan, wrote with Ashish Jha of the Harvard School of Public Health in this month’s Health Affairs (Pittman, 7/8).

NPR: Will This Tech Tool Help Manage Older People's Health? Ask Dad
Aging 2.0 may not sound like the hippest start-up in San Francisco, but it's part of an industry worth $2 billion and growing fast -- technology to help older adults. Katy Fike, 35, is the company's co-founder. She's devoted to making sure that older adults who are supposed to use the products are involved in their development. That's especially important, because the creators of tech startups tend to be much younger than the intended users of their products (Jaffe, 7/8).

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