Businesses in the health information technology field have announced several new initiatives or client wins in recent days:

* WCG, a public relations, marketing and communications firm, will start a health information technology division and has hired industry veteran Rob Cronin as practice leader for its Healthcare Technology & Transformation business line. Cronin joins the firm from SureScripts, where he spent many years leading corporate communications for the national electronic prescribing network vendor. He built two annual reports, the National Progress Report on e-Prescribing and the Safe-Rx Awards, which tracks progress at the state level.

* Meritas Health Corporation, a 72-physician group practice of North Kansas City Hospital, will implement electronic health records software from eClinicalWorks Inc. The vendor will integrate the software with the hospital’s inpatient Cerner system, laboratory systems from LabCorp and Quest Diagnostics, and a practice management system from GE Healthcare.

* Nashville-based Healthways, which designs health and wellness programs for targeted populations, has acquired Ascentia Health Care Solutions, which sells population health management software. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. Ascentia’s clients include Renaissance Medical Management Company, an independent physician association in the Philadelphia region that is one of 32 Pioneer Accountable Care Organizations under a new program of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

* The Electronic Healthcare Network Accreditation Commission, which certifies entities that process transactions or exchange health information for meeting best practices, now offers a less costly version of its lockbox accreditation program to attract mid-tier and community banks. Other EHNAC programs cover health information exchanges, electronic prescribing, financial networks, claims clearinghouses, value added networks, medical billing firms, payer-owned electronic health networks, third-party administrators, management service organizations and outsourced services such as remote hosting.

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