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A reward for early EMR adopters (Morning Read)

Current medical news from today, including HHS pushes back date for early EMR adopters to meet stage 2 meaningful use criteria, a health crisis in the UK, and which biotech stocks not to bet on.

Current medical news and unique business news for anyone who cares about healthcare.

A reward for early electronic medical record adopters. In what’s being called a gesture of goodwill, the Department of Health and Human services has bumped back the deadline for early EMR adopters to comply with the next stage of meaningful use criteria. Providers who currently meet stage 1 criteria will be able to earn bonus incentives for an extra year and will not need to upgrade their systems to comply with stage 2 meaningful use criteria until 2014, rather than 2013 as originally planned.

A health crisis in the UK. The National Health Service in Britain is being forced to trim $31 billion (20 billion pounds) from its budget, putting the squeeze on hospitals, which are now delaying non-lifesaving surgeries and raising the threshold for who qualifies for treatment. Plus, the government in January passed a bill that may bring even more cuts.

Big money’s not putting their big money on these stocks. To find out which biotech stocks institutional investors believe will underperform, Seeking Alpha ran an analysis to identify stocks with the most significant net institutional selling this quarter. The big winners — or losers, in this case — were Nabi Biopharmaceuticals, which cells vaccines for nicotine addiction; Pacific Biosciences of California, the maker of a platform for genetic analysis; and Dendreon Corp., maker of Provenge and other cancer therapeutics.

Discovering Autism. In a four-part series on autism, the Los Angeles Times explores the surge in the number of children diagnosed with the disease, which is 20 times higher than it was in the 1980s.

Samsung and Biogen make a big deal. Samsung and Biogen Idec will partner to form a $300 million joint venture to develop and market biosimilars. Samsung will contribute $255 million in an effort to diversify itself away from its consumer electronics products.

More dealflow… Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Biotech has made a $150 million deal with Pharmacyclics to jointly develop PCI-32765, a drug compound for lymphoma.

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