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March 28, 2019

Around the nation: 2 shuttered hospitals grant patients access to medical records for 90 days

Daily Briefing

    Patients of the hospitals have been unable to access their health records since the facilities closed in June 2018, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from Arizona, California, and New York.

    • Arizona: Shuttered hospitals Florence Hospital at Anthem and Gilbert Hospital have announced that patients will have 90 days—until June 23—to request their medical records before they are destroyed. The hospitals' EHR systems have been locked because they owed money to a number of companies, including Medhost, which maintained the EHRs. As a result, patients and doctors were not able to access the medical records. However, a Maricopa County judge in February ruled that the hospitals must use $92,000 in assets to reactivate the EHR systems for 90 days and allow patients to access the records (Rappleye, Becker's Hospital Review, 3/26).

    • California: Dignity Health in the next few months will expand a program that distributes medications for more than 20 complex diseases. The health system will expand the service, which was launched at the end of 2018, to six more service markets this year. Eventually the health system plans to expand the service to its CommonSpirit Health national network, which was formed when Dignity and Catholic Health Initiative merged earlier this year, according to Peggy Sanborn, VP of strategic growth, mergers and acquisitions, and partnership integrations at the system. "We're really looking at overall patient demand and opportunities to provide services that may be challenging to acquire in a particular geography and where really there's an unmet need that we are going to be able to come in and address," Sanborn said. (Ross Johnson, Modern Healthcare, 3/26).

    • New York: Rockland County, New York, on Wednesday declared a state of emergency after more than 150 residents were diagnosed with measles. Starting midnight on Wednesday, residents under 18 years old who are not vaccinated for measles, mumps, and rubella are prohibited from public spaces until they receive a vaccine or until the 30-day emergency declaration concludes (Budryk, The Hill, 3/26).

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