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Monday Morning Update 12/14/20

December 13, 2020 News 1 Comment

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CMS announces a rule that requires Medicaid managed care and insurers that sell products on the Exchanges to facilitate the exchange of patient data between payers.

The rule would require payers to create a FHIR-based API so that providers can determine the documentation that a particular insurer requires and also manage their prior authorization requests.

The PA requirement also requires insurers to respond more quickly, to provide specific reasons for any denial, and to publish metrics to show how many procedures they are authorizing and denying.  

Reader Comments

From Award Cleaver: “Re: Most Wired and HIMSS EMRAM. You haven’t been posting the winners, like us.” I’m skeptical of “awards” that lazily measure tools rather than results in hopes of milking sales of those tools to the benefit of the awarder. The ultimate award is improving quality and lowering cost, and if you can do that with index cards instead of AI, then good for you even if that won’t win you an IT cheerleader’s award. I hire a plumber because their reviews say they do good work at a fair price, not because they bought a cool IPad for creating estimates.

From Bias Boy: “Re: healthcare bias. Doesn’t that exist when solutions like contact tracing assume that people have cell phones?” Yes, and many other technology biases are inadvertently created by privileged developers who can’t conceive of people who don’t have cell phones, who use Android instead of Apple, who don’t have access to broadband, or who have physical or cognitive limitations that limit their technology use. However, the notion of “equity” in any form, including and perhaps especially health, is a goal that sometimes can’t be quickly met in trying to advance the majority.

HIStalk Announcements and Requests


Most poll respondents grade their preferred local hospital well in being patient-friendly, trustworthy, and effective.

New poll to your right or here: How important is your job in your overall life?


I was searching my Gmail account every day for an important email that I was expecting, worried it would go to spam and get missed, when I thought of a two-minute solution – I set up a Gmail forwarding address to my cell carrier’s text messaging service (which is in the form of phonenumber@txt.att.net for ATT or phonenumber@vtext.com for Verizon), created a Gmail filter to look for the particular word or sender I was expecting, then set the filter to forward a copy of those emails to the texting address. Result: those important emails will send an immediate text message to my phone.

Listening: Octavision, shockingly precise prog metal rock (even more note-for-note perfect than Rush) that features guitarist Hovak Alaverdyan and one of the world’s best bassists in Victor Wooten, a five-time Grammy winner and founding member of Bela Fleck and the Flecktones. Their new album sounds good if you like their sort of music as I do.


December 15 (Tuesday) 1 ET. “Highlights from the 2021 CPT Code Set Update.” Sponsor: Intelligent Medical Objects. Presenters: June Bronnert, MSHI, RHIA, senior director of global clinical services, IMO; Shelly Jude, RHIA, RHIT, mapping manager, IMO. Top coding professionals will highlight the most important changes to the Current Procedural Terminology code set that take effect on January 1, including crucial additions, deletions, and revisions; how to communicate Official Coding Guidelines changes to the healthcare team; and a description of the impact that the code set update could have on practice.

Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre to present your own.


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PerfectServe promotes Kelly Conklin, MSN to chief clinical officer / VP of account management and Mary Piepenbrink, RN, MBA to SVP/GM of Optimized Scheduling. 

Announcements and Implementations


DarwinAI and Red Hat work with Boston Children’s Hospital to develop a deep neural network chest X-ray AI tool for COVID-19 diagnosis, notable in that it (a) employs “explainable” algorithms instead of being deployed as an opaque and potentially unreliable black box, and (b) has been released as open source.

Thailand’s universal healthcare program will require Bangkok-area patients to present a smart ID cart to receive services, which will help prevent fraud in verifying that patients are covered and to allow their medical records to be shared among providers.


States reported a record 108,847 COVID-19 inpatients on Saturday and another 2,477 deaths, increasing the US death total to just under 300,000.


Shipments of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine began early Sunday following Friday’s FDA Emergency Use Authorization, moving the focus from science to the unprecedented logistical and marketing challenge of getting doses delivered and administered.


Major airlines will soon roll out apps to check the COVID-19 test and vaccination status of passengers, likely followed by employers, college campuses, sports venues, and cruise ships. CommonPass, developed by the non-profit Commons Project, was quickly developed to check the negative test result status of truckers in Africa and is being tested by airlines to guide passengers to testing locations and then verify the resulting confirmation code. 

In Sweden, 500 specialty nurses are quitting each month even as ICU beds fill, with hospitals in Stockholm asking for military help and moving pediatric nurses to cover ICUs. Nurse there cite low pay and a lack of time off as their reason for leaving.

Another group of scientists questions the “hygiene theater” of businesses that are spending big money to perform deep-cleaning even though zero COVID-19 cases have been documented from surface spread. They remind that shared air, not shared surfaces, is the problem.

Sponsor Updates

  • OpenText donates $1 million to food banks around the world.
  • OptimizeRx CEO William Febbo spoke at the Bank of America 4th Annual HCIT and Digital Health Symposium.
  • Nordic releases a new video featuring Scripps Health, “How to implement a successful Community Connect program.”
  • Premier names St. Luke’s University Health Network the winner of its 2020 Richard A. Norling Premier Alliance Excellence Award.
  • Redox releases a new podcast, “Reproduction & Pediatrics pt 1: Dr. Elina Berglund, CEO of Natural Cycles.”

Blog Posts


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Currently there is "1 comment" on this Article:

  1. Re: Major airlines will soon roll out apps to check the COVID-19 test and vaccination status of passengers, likely followed by employers, college campuses, sports venues, and cruise ships.

    So how do you ID the right person? This will work well in countries that have unique person IDs (like China) , but we can’t have that in US. So will they use SSN? Some made up number? and what if it gets hacked and the hacker sells your ID number to a person not vaccinated? Or maybe the government is going to send you a ‘all clear’ text that you can display on your smart phone? But what if you don’t have a smart phone?

    I am curious to hear how all this will be worked out w/o an unique ID.

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