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Morning Headlines 3/27/15

March 26, 2015 Headlines No Comments

Cost Estimate and Supplemental Analyses for H.R. 2, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015

The CBO estimates that the House-passed SGR repeal bill will increase the federal deficit by $141 billion over the next ten years. The bill is now with the Senate.

The CMS and ONC NPRMs

John Halamka, MD weighs in on the recently published MU3 rules, concluding “The sheer number of requirements may create a very high, expensive and complex set of barriers to product entry.  It may stifle innovation in our country and reduce the global competitiveness for the entire US Health IT industry.”

Rethinking Radiology Informatics

An article in the American Journal of Roentgenology suggests that the ongoing shift to centralize IT services in hospitals has left radiology departments, which were often early health IT adopters, with fewer clinical IT experts and less control over the direction of innovation in their specialty.

Introducing TeleMED Assist from Seniors Wireless

Seniors Wireless launches a $30 per month telehealth service that promises unlimited 24/7 access to physicians by telephone or video for anyone over the age of 55.

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March 26, 2015 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 3/26/15

March 25, 2015 Headlines No Comments

Health Care Payment Learning and Action Network

President Obama and HHS Secretary Silvia Burwell announce a new initiative  tasked with bringing private and public stakeholders together to broker agreements that will push the industry toward value-based reimbursement models faster. A large cohort has joined the initiative, including Anthem, Cigna, Dignity Health, Kaiser Permanente, Partners Healthcare, Rite Aid, Walgreens, and Walmart.

Roe Reintroduces Electronic Health Records Legislation to Help Veterans, Military

Representative Phil Roe, MD (R-TN) re-introduces a bill that would establish a $50 million innovation award for anyone that develops an integrated DoD/VA EHR. Oddly, the announcement makes no mention of  the DoD’s ongoing $11 billion EHR procurement.

NHS Mental Health Apps Library to increase access to psychological therapies and help to improve mental health outcomes

In England, the NHS launches a mobile app library of clinically-vetted mental health apps. The new site is the first in a larger effort to consolidate digital health apps for a broad range of conditions.

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March 25, 2015 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 3/25/15

March 24, 2015 Headlines 1 Comment

Fake patient data could have been uploaded through SAP medical app

SAP fixes an SQL injection vulnerability in its mobile EHR that allowed hackers to access and insert erroneous records into patient charts.

98.2 Percent of Participating Providers Using athenahealth’s EHR Have Successfully Attested for Meaningful Use Stage 2

Athenahealth reports that 98 percent of its customer base has attested for MU2. The company is also announcing that it will extend its ICD-10 and MU guarantees to also include PQRS and Shared Savings Program support.

This is why you shouldn’t believe that exciting new medical study

Vox analyzes medical research findings over the years, finding that only six percent of published medical studies are well-designed and relevant enough to influence patient care, but that despite this the number of published studies has increased 300 percent in the last 25 years.

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March 24, 2015 Headlines 1 Comment

Morning Headlines 3/24/15

March 23, 2015 Headlines No Comments

ZeOmega Acquires HealthUnity

Population health vendor ZeOmega acquires HealthUnity, an HIE, MPI, referral management, and patient consent solutions vendor.

Statement on Meaningful Use

Reactions to MU3 are beginning to trickle out, with AHA’s senior vice president of public policy issuing a statement today saying “The release of today’s rule demonstrates that the agency continues to create policies for the future without fixing the problems the program faces today.”

Michael Bloomberg Backs Health-Data Push

Former NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg partners with the Australian government to launch a $100 million, four-year project aimed at implementing birth and death registries in countries across Africa, Southeast Asia, and Latin America in order to begin to analyze causes of premature death.

Humana to sell Concentra for $1 billion

Health insurer Humana sells Concentra, a chain of 300 clinics and urgent care centers, to Select Medical Holdings Corp for $1.05 billion.

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March 23, 2015 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 3/23/15

March 22, 2015 Headlines 1 Comment

HHS announces proposed rules to support the path to nationwide interoperability

ONC publishes Meaningful Use Stage 3 proposed rules and 2015 Edition EHR certification criteria, with public comments open until May 29. The rules establish a single definition of “meaningful use” that all hospitals and providers will have to meet by 2018, attempts to streamline quality reporting burdens, and introduces a number of new patient engagement objectives.

Vt. Health Connect deadline

Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin acknowledges that despite nearly $125 million in spending, the state’s health insurance exchange may need to be shut down and replaced by Healthcare.gov.

How America’s Top Industries Have Changed, 1990-2013

The Wall Street Journal reports that in the last 25 years the healthcare industry has grown to the point that it now employs more workers than any other industry in 35 states.

El Camino says goodbye to paper medical records

A local paper covers El Camino Hospital’s (CA) $125 million Epic implementation. The hospital is finalizing its build and will move into system testing next month as works toward a targeted November 7 go-live.

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March 22, 2015 Headlines 1 Comment

Morning Headlines 3/20/15

March 19, 2015 Headlines 7 Comments

A bill to amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to repeal the Medicare sustainable growth rate

A new bill in Congress calls for the permanent repeal of the SRG, but also names health IT interoperability a national priority to be achieved by the end of 2018.

Graphical Display of Diagnostic Test Results in Electronic Health Records: A Comparison of 8 Systems

AHRQ publishes a study comparing the differences in how laboratory results are displayed across eight EHR systems. The study was based on 11 criteria for the proper display of lab data. None of the vendors met all 11 criteria, and some deficiencies were misleading enough to have a significant, negative impact on patient safety.

The inside story of how Apple’s new medical research platform was born

Apple reportedly began working on ResearchKit in 2013, having been inspired by a MedX presentation by Stephen Friend, MD on the future of medical research. During  his presentation he describes his ideal platform, “Here you have genetic information, and you have what drugs they took, how they did. Put that up in the cloud, and you have a place where people can go and query it, [where] they can make discoveries.” Apple VP of medical technologies Mike O”Reilly was in the audience.

Epic System’s auditorium, contractor win national award

Epic’s new 11,000 seat, space-themed underground auditorium has been named the best new building in America in the over $200 million category.

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March 19, 2015 Headlines 7 Comments

Morning Headlines 3/19/15

March 18, 2015 Headlines No Comments

DirectTrust Interoperability Report Suggests Best Practices, Improvements

DirectTrust reports that thus far 35,000 healthcare organizations are connected to the Direct Network, accounting for 23 million Direct exchanges last year.

Healthcare reform: Five trends to watch as the Affordable Care Act turns five

PwC reports on the impact the Affordable Care Act has had on the healthcare industry five years after its passage.

Health Insurance Coverage and The Affordable Care Act

In its own five-year analysis, HHS reports that 16.4 million uninsured adults have gained insurance coverage since the implementation of the ACA.

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March 18, 2015 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 3/18/15

March 17, 2015 Headlines 1 Comment

Premera Blue Cross Says Cyberattack Could Affect 11 Million Members

Premera Blue Cross discovers that 11 million of its patient records have been compromised by hackers, with bank account information and clinical data among the exposed information.

High Value Health IT: Policy Reforms for Better Care and Lower Costs

A Brookings Institute report recommends that the Meaningful Use program focus on supporting payment reform, and improving outcomes and interoperability.

Medical Information Technology, Inc. Form 10-K

Meditech reports 2014 annual results: revenue down 11 percent to $517 million. Sales revenue dropped 26 percent, but impact on total revenue was partially offset by a $10 million increase in service revenue.

Health Catalyst Raises $70 Million to Fuel Product Development

Data analytics vendor Health Catalyst raises a $70 million Series D investment round on a $500 million valuation, instantly becoming the next rumored health IT IPO.

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March 17, 2015 Headlines 1 Comment

Morning Headlines 3/17/15

March 16, 2015 Headlines No Comments

American Telemedicine Association receives 200 applications for accreditation program

The American Telemedicine Association has received 200 applications for its Accreditation for Online Patient Consultations certification, which certifies that an organization is delivering telehealth services to the ATA’s standard.

Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange Blue Button Initiative Survey Results

A WEDI survey finds that awareness of the Blue Button PHR interoperability initiative among industry stakeholders has decreased overall since 2013, while provider awareness remained flat, and significant increases were measured among government respondents.

Standard for improving emergency information interoperability: the HL7 data elements for emergency department systems

HL7 has completed its review of the updates that the Data Elements for Emergency Departments System (DEERS) with get with HL7 v3. DEERS is a standards-based specification for ED-related HL7 data exchange.

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March 16, 2015 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 3/16/15

March 15, 2015 Headlines 1 Comment

Cuomo approves delay in electronic prescriptions

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signs into law a bill that will delay mandatory e-prescribing requirements for doctors in the state, calling the delay a win for patient safety and explaining, “The fact that many software companies are not ready for e-prescribing could have resulted in patients’ inability to fill their prescriptions.”

Missed Connections: A Nurses Survey on Interoperability and Improved Patient Care

West Health publishes a survey of nurses measuring the impact that integrated medical devices would have on patient safety, finding that 90 percent of hospitals report having six or more medical devices that could integrate with an EHR, but that only one-in-three hospitals actually have interfaces in place to exchange data.

HealthKit and Human Subject Research

Apple publishes its standards for developers connecting to its HealthKit API. Storing health data on iCloud and sharing data with third-parties are both banned. Apps are also required to maintain a privacy policy.

Is France’s envied health care system threatened?

In France, doctors are protesting as the country moves from a business model where patient’s pay doctors directly for care, to one that involves insurance companies paying doctors for health services.

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March 15, 2015 Headlines 1 Comment

Morning Headlines 3/13/15

March 12, 2015 Headlines No Comments

Thousands Have Already Signed Up for Apple’s ResearchKit

In just 24 hours, Stanford University enrolled 11,000 people in a cardiovascular study through Apple’s recently unveiled medical research API ResearchKit, a feat it says would have taken 50 medical centers a full year to accomplish.

Cerner To Integrate Patient-Generated Data Using Validic Digital Health Platform

Cerner partners with Raleigh, NC-based integration engine Validic to import patient-generated fitness, wellness, and nutritional data into its EHR.

New health identification number for every individual

Ireland announces that it will will move forward with a plan to create a national patient identification number for all citizens.

11 charged in Blue Cross ID theft, fraud

In Michigan, 11 people have been charged with ID theft and fraud after a Blue Cross and Blue Shield employee stole the personal information of 5,000 customers and then shared the information with a team of criminals that fraudulently purchase $742,000 worth of merchandise from Sam’s Club.

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March 12, 2015 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 3/12/15

March 11, 2015 Headlines No Comments

Next Generation ACO Model

CMS introduces a new ACO program that it is calling the Next Generation ACO Model, that will allow providers to assume a higher level of risk than either the Pioneer ACO or Shared Savings Program, and will generate a larger financial return for providers that successful manage those risks.

Medical Device ID Effort Hits Snag

FDA efforts to create a medical device ID numbering system have received political pushback from CMS administrator Marilyn Tavenner, who says that adding a medical device ID number on claims forms would require significant work from her department and would result in significant unanticipated costs.

Louisiana HIE launches patient portal

Louisiana’s state health information exchange will rollout a state-wide patient portal, providing patients with a centralized portal with medical information from all care settings.

Antelope Valley Hospital: ED did not shut down following EHR outage

Antelope Valley Hospital (CA) is challenging claims made by a local nurses union after the group claimed that unplanned EHR downtime forced the hospital to close its ED. The hospital acknowledged redirecting some patients to other hospitals during the downtime, but reports that it still treated 900 ED patients during the event.

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March 11, 2015 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 3/11/15

March 10, 2015 Headlines No Comments

Initial Assessment of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute

The GAO audits the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, concluding that the organization’s $271 million on PCORnet research network will struggle to support researchers because EHR vendors do not subscribe to an industry standard data model and therefore the organization will need to hire additional staff to support data migration and mapping.

Epic’s Faulkner funding major charitable foundation

Epic CEO Judy Faulkner tells Modern Healthcare that she will create a charitable foundation that will fund not-for-profit organizations working in and out of healthcare. “Nearly every share of stock that I own will be put in there,” she says.

EHR implementation terminated

Erasmus MC and UMC Groningen, two Netherlands academic medical centers, cancel their Siemens implementation citing concerns about the future of Soarian EMR after the Cerner acquisition.

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March 10, 2015 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 3/10/15

March 9, 2015 Headlines No Comments

Apple ResearchKit Turns iPhones Into Medical Diagnostic Devices

Apple unveils Research Kit, an open source API designed to connect medical researchers with research study participants to improve communication and streamline data capture. Five projects are already live on the framework, including a breast cancer research project from Dana Farber, a diabetes project from Massachusetts General Hospital, and a Parkinson’s disease diagnostic tool from the University of Rochester.

2015 Healthcare Tech Purchasing

A Peer60 report finds that 60 percent of hospitals plan to invest in health IT-related projects in 2015, with most hospitals focusing on ICD-10, population health, and patient engagement tools.

Oregon’s exchange closing after a history of tech woes

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown signs a law formally disbanding the state’s failed health insurance exchange platform, Cover Oregon.

CHIME and AMDIS Sign Management Services Agreement, Appoint New Executive Vice President Of Medical Informatics and Patient Safety For CHIME

CHIME and AMDIS announce a new partnership under which CHIME will provide operational, administrative, and staff support to AMIDS and AMDIS will act as the primary physician informatics advisor to CHIME. A similar arrangement was announced between the organizations in June.

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March 9, 2015 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 3/9/15

March 8, 2015 Headlines No Comments

St. Mary’s: Patient information compromised in Email hack

St. Mary’s Medical Center (IN) is informing 4,400 patients that their personal information was compromised when hackers gained access employee email accounts in January. The exposed information included names, date of birth, gender, date of service, insurance information, health information, and Social Security numbers.

Clayton County’s Southern Regional Medical Center Lays Out Long-Term Plans For Hospital’s Financial Success

Southern Regional Medical Center (GA) lays off 80 employees after implementing a productivity benchmarking system that shows how other hospitals around the nation of a comparable size and case mix are staffing their own departments.

On the Case at Mount Sinai, It’s Dr. Data

The New York Times profiles Jeffrey Hammerbacher, a 32-year old Harvard trained data analytics expert that started out in finance before moving to Facebook to build their data analytics team, and is now a professor at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai working with computational biologists to apply data analytics in medicine.

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March 8, 2015 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 3/6/15

March 5, 2015 Headlines 1 Comment

Where Is HITECH’s $35 Billion Dollar Investment Going?

Five Republican senators co-author a Health Affairs piece questioning what value EHRs and the governments $35 billion HITECH investment have returned to taxpayers.

Anthem Refuses Full IT Security Audit

Anthem has been refusing to let the Office of Personnel Management’s inspector general perform "standard vulnerability scans and configuration compliance tests" since 2013, before the recent cyber attack on its network that compromised 80 million medical records. The insurer still won’t allow the IG’s office to conduct its tests, citing a corporate policy that bars outside agencies from accessing its network.

FDA launches drug shortages mobile app

The FDA has launched a mobile app, its first, that identifies current drug shortages, resolved shortages, and recent discontinuations. It is available for both iOS and Android devices.

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March 5, 2015 Headlines 1 Comment

Morning Headlines 3/5/15

March 4, 2015 Headlines 1 Comment

The Next Marketing Frontier: Your Medical Records

The Wall Street Journal covers freeware-EHR vendor Practice Fusion and its decision to embed big pharma-funded vaccine reminders into its EHR. Practice Fusion CEO Ryan Howard explains “For every project we do that drives forth public health or gives data away, we need to make sure it’s balanced out by a monetizable exercise.”

100 medical societies warn about possible ICD-10 problems

The American Medical Association and 99 other professional associations are calling on CMS to improve its ICD-10 transition plan following recent end-to-end tests that resulted in 19 percent of submitted claims being kicked back, almost all due to errors made by the submitting organization.

Supreme Court justices split in key challenge to Obamacare subsidies

The Supreme Court hears arguments on King v Burwell, a case that could undermine the Affordable Care Act by stripping subsidies from any consumer that purchased health insurance through Healthcare.gov. Defendants of the ACA argue that withholding subsidies from states that did not launch an insurance exchange would be tantamount to the federal government applying illegal ”coercive pressure” on states.

Despite The Spread Of Health Information Exchange, There Is Little Evidence Of Its Impact On Cost, Use, And Quality Of Care

Health Affairs publishes a literature review of 27 studies finds little evidence that health information exchanges reduce costs or improve outcomes.

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March 4, 2015 Headlines 1 Comment

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