Contracting News April 2011

CDC to link EHR with immunization info systems
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention plans to link state and local health departments’ electronic health record (EHR) systems with immunization information systems. The agency also wants to integrate local immunization systems with its Vaccine Tracking System, or VTrckS. Consolidating information into a single source will make it easier to track immunization records. The CDC plans to award a 12-month contract on March 31, 2011 for technical assistance – including project management, operations and assessment.

Almost half of hospitals ready to meet Stage 1 meaningful use requirements
Healthcare Information Management Systems Society released new survey data that found nearly half of hospitals are ready to meet Stage 1 meaningful use requirements, a qualifier for the financial incentives tied to the successful implementation of electronic health records. Of the hospitals that responded to the survey, 44 percent said they are “most likely” or “likely” to meet Stage 1 meaningful use measures and objectives. Of those 44 percent, 58 percent said they expect to achieve all of the meaningful use core measurements by May 2012.

Loyola University Health System to merge with Trinity Health
Maywood, Ill.-based Loyola University Health System signed a letter of intent to merge with Trinity Health (Novi, Mich.). The proposed deal would keep Loyola under Catholic management. Loyola University Health System, which includes Loyola University Medical Center (Maywood, Ill.); Gottlieb Memorial Hospital (Melrose Park, Ill.); 28 primary and specialty care facilities in Cook, Will and DuPage counties; Loyola University of Chicago Stritch School of Medicine (Maywood, Ill.) and the Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing, has more than $1 billion in annual revenue. The merger still requires regulatory approvals and approval from the boards of Loyola and Trinity Health. A potential closing date was not disclosed.

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