It’s officially HIMSS time, with the first set of party invitations hitting my inbox this week. I am sad to say that there is so much overlap I’m not going to be able to make half of what I’d like to attend – too many events on Tuesday evening, for sure. I’ve heard from several vendors who are also doing happy hours in the exhibit hall (one that even lets you start getting happy at 3 p.m.) so it’s going to be all about pacing yourself, along with having good shoes.
I’m also starting to get information about product launches or significant updates that vendors are featuring. If you want me to consider dropping by your booth, let me know what you’re showcasing at HIMSS and I’ll see if I can work you into one of my booth crawl schedules. So far, my list of must-see booths include HIStalk sponsors FormFast (#2121 )and perennial Dr. Jayne favorite First Databank (#1921). I’m also looking to attend a session about Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s efforts to include voice assistants within their EHR.
I’ve also got Medicomp (booth 3901) on my must-see list, especially with their new OpEHRation Game. They’re giving away $100 every half hour, so I’m sure there will be lots of others checking it out. I’m looking forward to seeing how they deployed their Quippe Clinical Documentation solution within CareCloud’s platform. They have a dedicated HIMSS page, which was great for better understanding what they hope to accomplish at HIMSS and what they’ll be showing. I’ve heard they’re also getting into the HCC coding space.
I’ll definitely be strolling the hall with phone in hand, capturing the moment and the craziest things I see. After HIMSS, I’ll go back to my curmudgeonly self, keeping my phone out of sight and out of mind bolstered by research that continues to show that trying to capture the moment for posterity actually interferes with the experiences themselves. Research by faculty at the Olin Business School of Washington University in St. Louis also looked at texting during experiences and concluded that “behaviors, such as texting, tweeting, and posting on social media that surreptitiously distract people from the moment” result in “diminished enjoyment.”
I’m always exhausted when I return from HIMSS, so I’m wishing that someone would sneak in while I’m away and install this innovative new sleep platform that has been shown to improve sleep and memory. Maybe the sleep would be more restful – research subjects fall asleep faster when rocking and spend more time in deep sleep.
From Smoke ‘em if You Got ‘Em: “Re: recent piece Thanks for your recent piece on medical marijuana. You’re not the only one doing homework on the topic. Cleveland Clinic has also decided to Just Say No.” The Cleveland Clinic shared their opinion earlier this month in an op-ed piece, stating, “We believe there are better alternatives. In the world of healthcare, a medication is a drug that has endured extensive clinical trials, public hearings, and approval by the US Food & Drug Administration. Medications are tested for safety and efficacy. They are closely regulated, from production to distribution. They are accurately dosed, down to the milligram. Medical marijuana is none of those things.” The piece calls on the US and Ohio governments to “support drug development programs that scientifically evaluate the active ingredients found in marijuana that can lead to important medical therapies.” I suspect the client I mentioned last week will likely decide along those same lines.
Planned Parenthood is entering the world of chatbots with its new offering Roo, which is designed to interact with teens 13 to 17 years old via text message. Topics include birth control and sexually transmitted diseases. The project was funded through a private grant with hopes that teens would embrace the anonymous nature of the chatbot to ask questions they may be afraid to ask elsewhere. When I was a medical student teaching sexual health in a school district where there was a high rate of teen pregnancy in their middle school, we used the low-tech “write your question down and throw it in the hat” to reduce barriers to asking questions. It was amazing what they didn’t know about their own bodies and how pregnancy and diseases can happen.
CMS has released the “What’s Covered” app to display what “Original” Medicare covers for patients. It distills some of the most-visited content from Medicare.gov into a format that can help beneficiaries and their caregivers see what is covered. I can tell you right now that most of my Medicare-eligible relatives have no idea whether they’re on Original Medicare or a Medicare Advantage plan, despite whatever any wording on their materials might say. CMS began its eMedicare initiative in 2018 to deliver information to its beneficiaries, noting that about two-thirds of them use the Internet on a daily or near-daily basis. Other tools are being designed to help patients sort through their coverage options and understand what their choices might do to their out-of-pocket costs. I hope that make those tools available to physicians, because half the time I can’t quickly find the information I need to best counsel patients and loved ones.
The institute for Medicaid Innovation is calling on EHR users to increase their use of ICD-10 codes to document social determinants of health. Z56 covers issues with employment and underemployment. I actually used Z56.5 (uncongenial work environment) last week to document a patient who was having issues with absenteeism due to a coworker harassing her. Z59 covers problems related to housing and economic circumstances including homelessness, poverty, lack of safe drinking water, and more. Both codes are non-billable, but help to quantify the number of patients facing serious challenges.
NCQA is redesigning its Patient-Centered Specialty Practice and Oncology Medical Home programs, with a launch scheduled for July 1, 2019. The redesign mirrors changes to the flagship Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) program, redesigned in 2017. A crosswalk matching the new PCSP program to the 2016 program is available along with a video summary of changes. Practices will engage in ongoing transformation with annual reporting instead of the current three-year recognition cycle. NCQA cites multiple reasons for the change, including increased flexibility for practices, simplified reporting, and better alignment with current public and private initiatives along with greater adaptability to future changes.
As we tick ever-closer to Valentine’s Day (which some of us will be celebrating at HIMSS) I’ll be mourning the loss of conversation hearts. Candy producer Necco folded last year and the new owner Spangler Candy Company decided not to make any this year because it couldn’t ensure it could meet consumer expectations since the acquisition didn’t occur until September. Hopefully they’ll be back for the 2020 Valentine’s season, but until then, I’ll be looking for other options. I’m betting more than one HIMSS exhibitor will be handing out candy.
If you’re exhibiting, will you be incorporating Valentine’s Day into your booth swag? Leave a comment or email me.
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