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Catch up on all things fraud and ethics around the healthcare industry with HealthExec’s weekly watchdog report.

HHS is pushing new interoperability rules to encourage better care coordination and empower patients to become stronger partners in their care through access to their digital health records––and the industry seems to be on board.

Emergency department (ED) visits for people with at least one of six prevalent chronic conditions contributed to approximately 50 percent of all annual visits at nearly 750 hospitals in 2017. 

CVS Health is testing out a new store format in three Houston locations that aim to be a health hub for residents in those communities, with more of the store designated for healthcare services. The concept combines digital health offerings and community spaces with in-store services.

HHS and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) introduced a new payment model for emergency ambulance services that would allow Medicare beneficiaries to receive care on-the-scene or at lower acuity sites, such as urgent care clinics.

A bigger bonus size for physicians is associated with higher-value medicine, according to a recent study published in JAMA Open Network.

Health insurers are taking steps to address social determinants of health that go beyond clinical care. Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC) and the Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) Institute have launched a food delivery service in Chicago and Dallas.

Veterans Affairs Medical Centers (VAMC) with higher levels of employee organizational satisfaction also tend to have higher safety scores and patient satisfaction ratings, according to new research published in the American Journal of Medicine.

The Trump administration’s recent proposal to eliminate rebates between drug manufacturers and pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) is not a big surprise to those who have been paying attention to the rhetoric of CMS and HHS officials, but the impact of swapping rebates for direct discounts is still a big question.

Surprise medical bills, where patients get a sky-high bill in the mail weeks after they received care, are a major issue for consumers. But one state that has tried to help alleviate the pain of the bills has been overwhelmed.

CMS’ newly proposed interoperability rules are a part of a broader effort to empower patients by ensuring they have access to their medical records, CMS Administrator Seema Verma said during the HIMSS conference in Orlando on Feb. 12.

Healthcare organizations were targeted in 96 email fraud attacks on average in Q4 2018—an increase of 473 percent, compared to the Q1 of 2017, according to a new report issued by cybersecurity company Proofpoint.