Posts in Category: health IT

The Best of HealthIT News: Week of 2/8/16  

Population health, Obamacare, and cost containment

Did you have a chance to check out the latest news from the healthIT community? Let us help keep you up to date on the stories you won't want to miss.

Companies Form New Alliance to Target Healthcare Costs

Hoping to hold down the cost of healthcare benefits, 20 large companies—including American Express, Macy’s  and Verizon—have come together to use their collective data and market power. Members of the new alliance will share data about employee healthcare spending and outcomes, possibly using the data to change how they contract for care. "Some members say they could even form a purchasing cooperative to negotiate for lower prices, or try to change their relationships with insurance administrators and drug-benefit managers," Yahoo news reports.

Federal Insurance Marketplace Signs Up Millions of New Obamacare Users

The Obama administration reports that approximately 12.7 million new patients signed up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, or automatically renewed their policies during Obamacare's third annual open enrollment season. Sylvia Mathews Burwell, the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, told the New York Times that the signups show that “marketplace coverage is a product people want and need.” Most of the plan selections were for people in the 38 states—more than 9.6 million—who used the federal website, HealthCare.gov, the Times reported. The other 3.1 million people were enrolled in states that run their own marketplaces.

Healthcare Economics: Court Allows Some Hospitals to Save Money by Classifying Themselves as Both Rural and Urban

While an earlier Health and Human Services (HHS) rule had barred both urban and rural classifications at once, a new federal appeals court ruling removed the barrier for dual hospital classification. The recent court decision applies only to hospitals within the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, but some hope that—combined with an earlier similar decision in a different circuit—the 2nd Circuit Court's ruling will inspire HHS to change the regulation across the country. "The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services allows hospitals to classify themselves as rural (which providers typically leverage for discounts on drug purchases) while also classifying themselves as urban, (an important factor to attract qualified clinicians)," according to Reuters. 

Population Health: Hospital-based Wellness Centers Are Changing the Healthcare Model

Wellness centers housed in hospitals are helping communities prioritize preventive care and management of chronic conditions. The centers are part of the population health management model that focuses on preventing illnesses rather than simply treating them when and if they occur. The idea is to get patients to seek treatment before their conditions worsen, thus easing the burden on emergency rooms and acute care centers—and saving money.

Cost Control: Surgical Safety Checklists Can Save Lives and Reduce Hospital Stays

Surgical safety checklists—if implemented correctly—can save time, lives, and money. After the checklists were implemented, one study found, the average length of a hospital stay dropped from 10.4 days to 9.6 days. In addition, the checklists led to a 27 percent drop in the risk of death following surgery. Proper and consistent implementation is critical, however, for the checklists to work.

The Best of Cardio and Healthcare News for the Week of 2/1/16 

Trending topics in HealthIT

Leave the researching to us! LUMEDX surveys the top healthcare and health IT stories of the week.

Healthcare economics: Basing healthcare decisions on Medicare data might not be best practice

A recent study found that the correlation between total spending per Medicare beneficiary and total spending per privately insured beneficiary was 0.14 in 2011, while the correlation for inpatient spending was 0.267. “What that suggests is that policy for Medicare doesn’t necessarily make better policy for the privately insured,” one researcher told Health Exec.

Reducing readmissions among minorities: 7 population health strategies

A new guide from Medicare gives hospitals methods for addressing ethnic and racial healthcare disparities in readmissions. The guide comes amid increasing concerns about racial and ethnic disparities in healthcare outcomes, and frustration about federal penalties that some say unfairly punish providers in high-risk communities. 

Sharing of medical-claim data would be allowed under proposed #CMS rule

"Some medical data miners may soon be allowed to share and sell Medicare and private-sector medical-claims data, as well as analyses of that data, under proposed regulations the CMS issued," Modern Healthcare reports. "Quality improvement organizations and other 'qualified entities' would be granted permission to perform data analytics work and share it with, or sell it, to others, under an 86-page proposed rule that carries out a provision of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015" (#MACRA). 

Federal gender pay equity rule: What will it mean for healthcare industry?

Nearly 80 percent of hospital employees are women. How might they be affected by President Obama's recent announcement that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission will begin requiring companies that employ 100 or more people to report wage information that includes gender, race, and ethnicity?

The price of healthcare miscommunication: $1.7B and nearly 2,000 lives

New research shows that healthcare miscommunication has cost nearly 2,000 lives, and was a contributing  factor in 7,149 cases (30 percent) of 23,000 medical malpractice claims filed between 2009 and 2013. Communication failures were also to blame for 37 percent of all high-severity injury cases.

Physical fitness can decrease mortality risk following first heart attack

Being physically fit may not only help to reduce the risk of heart attacks, but may also decrease the risk of mortality following a first heart attack, according to a new study. The study used multivariable logistic regression models to assess how exercise affected the risk of mortality at 28, 90, and 365 days after a heart attack.

 

The Best of HealthIT News: Week of 1/25/16 

ERHs, ACOs, healthcare hackers, and more

Did you have a chance to check out the latest news from the healthIT community? Let us help keep you up to date on the stories you won't want to miss.

 

Healthcare execs advised to focus on consolidations, emergency preparedness, value-based care for 2016

Healthcare trends to watch this year include hospital consolidations and the continued shift away from fee-for-service payment models to value-based care, say hospital executives surveyed by FierceHealthcare. “'Providers will come together in a range of affiliations/partnerships as part of growth and cost reduction strategies, short of full-on mergers and acquisitions,’ according to Chris Van Gorder, CEO and president of Scripps Health in San Diego.”

Ambulatory EHRs should gain steam through 2020

There are many reasons to shift toward ambulatory inpatient electronic health records, according to a new report by Frost & Sullivan. The report predicts that low returns and on-premise EHR limitations will motivate healthcare providers to explore cloud-based, affordable products in their quest to achieve population health goals. The new records systems would benefit both patient-centered medical homes and Accountable Care Organizations as they negotiate the continuum of care for their patients. 

5 healthcare IT enemies to watch out for

A new report calls out five types of healthcare hackers and categorizes them based on their targets and other characteristics. Some are unsophisticated “script kiddies,” while others have the finesse of nation states, according to a Critical Infrastructure Technology report. They’re after everything from patient records to employee personnel files, and any records that can help them steal identities, the report says.

Out-of-network integration, interoperability among problems facing ACOs

Interoperability and integration problems plague Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) despite the fact that many systems have made health IT a major focus, according to a survey. Integrating data from out-of-network providers is the most daunting challenge they face, according to 80 percent of ACO representatives surveyed.

Give patients control of their data, researchers argue

Hospitals should make changing to a patient-controlled records system a priority, say researchers at Boston Children's Hospital in the New England Journal of Medicine. They argue that the benefits of patient-controlled records are far-reaching, and that the technology needed to make the shift is already in place. They admit, however, that the incentives to make the change are lacking. 

Building a Comprehensive, Customizable STS Congenital Heart Surgery Database Module 

A Case Study

Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta built a customizable STS Congenital Heart Surgery Database Module that improves the quality of patient care through the use of STS National Database benchmarks and evidence-based medicine. By adding additional fields to those defined by STS, Children’s has a more complete, patient-focused congenital database. Find out more.
 

Posted by Thursday, January 21, 2016 1:33:00 PM Categories: best practices case study data health information technology health IT hospitals pediatric cardiology

The Best of Cardio, Health IT News: Week of 12/21/15 

Did you have a chance to check out the latest news from the cardiology community? Let us help keep you up to date on the stories you won't want to miss.

Mount Sinai heart director predicts cardio care will focus more on prevention

In the future, healthcare providers will put more emphasis on prevention, and (it is hoped) less on treating disease, Valentin Fuster, M.D., Ph.D., said during a Dec. 17 panel discussion at the United Nations. Fuster, director of Mount Sinai Heart and physician-in-chief of The Mount Sinai Hospital, added that the transition “will require that cardiovascular specialists and healthcare workers are trained in ambulatory and home-based care.” 

Heart disease still top cause of deaths, but rate is decreasing in U.S.

Heart disease-related deaths are down, but still account for nearly one-third of all deaths in the United States, according to the American Heart Association's (AHA's) annual Heart Disease and Stroke Statistical Update. Cardiovascular disease caused 30.8 percent of all U.S. deaths in 2013 and is still the leading cause of death, with about 2,200 people dying of it daily in the United States. From 2003 to 2013, death rates attributed to cardiovascular disease declined 28.8 percent, the AHA reported.

Healthcare 2015: The year in review

Rising drug prices—including huge increases in the prices of some older drugs— lead Modern Healthcare’s list of top medical stories for 2015. Also on the radar: cyberattacks on health insurers, and the congressional breakthrough on “the long-standing headache of Medicare physician pay.”

Population health the big issue in healthcare IT

In the healthcare IT community, population health was one of the hot topics of 2015. That’s according to healthcareitnews.com, which closes the year with its 10 most-read population heath stories of 2015. One of the featured stories covers possible population health gains that could come about as patients become more engaged. 

Self-service kiosk lets patients share data with providers

A new self-service kiosk will allow patients and providers to share medical exam reports, radiology reports and medical images. Although it’s not yet available for commercial sale, Carestream Health’s MyVue Center Self-Service kiosk debuted recently at the 2015 Radiological Society of North America conference. 

Posted by Monday, December 21, 2015 12:14:00 PM Categories: cardiology data electronic health records health information technology health IT heart failure HIT hospitals

The Best of Cardio, Health IT News: Week of 12/14/15 

Telehealth trend continues its upward climb

2015 sees digital health funding top $4.3 million

More than $4.3 million flowed into the digital health market this year, with consumer engagement tools, personal health tools, and tracking categories by themselves making up 23 percent of overall funding. Consumerization in healthcare is also driving mergers or funding deals, according to a report by Rock Health.

Doctor shortages, readmission fines drive up use of remote patient monitoring systems

A new report from Frost & Sullivan predicts that the remote patient monitoring market will grow by 13.2 percent during the next five years. The market growth is thought to be caused in part by fear of readmissions penalties, an anticipated doctor shortage, and an increase of chronic health conditions.

Kaiser betting telehealth is the wave of the future

Kaiser Permanente Ventures has invested $10 million in Vidyo, a visual communications company that integrates hi-def video communications into workflow and patients’ electronic health records. Forbes reports that Vidyo is already used by clinicians at Mercy, American Well, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, United Healthcare, and Philips, among others.

Adequate nursing staff increases survival rates for in-hospital cardiac arrest patients 

A new report finds that assigning fewer patients to each nurse and improving working conditions for those nurses can increase the number of in-hospital cardiac arrest patients who live to return home. Outcomes are better “when nurses have a more reasonable workload and work in good hospital work environments," the report’s authors said in an announcement.

STS issues new CABG guidelines

Physicians who perform coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) should use arteries from the chest and forearm instead of veins from the leg in certain patients, according to guidelines from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS). The STS members who created the guidelines “found that targeting the left internal thoracic artery during CABG procedures was associated with improved survival, graft patency and freedom from cardiac events compared with saphenous vein grafts,” according to cardiovascularbusiness.com.

 

Hospitals drowning in paperwork 

Did you know that in many hospitals, every two hours of patient care causes one hour of paperwork? It's even worse for emergency rooms, which have a 1-to-1 ratio of paperwork to patient care. Those are just two of the findings in "Patients or Paperwork? The Regulatory Burden Facing America’s Hospitals." The report, by PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC), was commissioned by the AHA. 

For more healthcare facts, click here

And for the full report, click here

Best of Health IT News: Week of 08/16/15  

Did you have a chance to check out the latest healthcare IT news stories around the Web? We’ve captured the top industry news stories from this week that you won’t want to miss:

Hospitals urged to review disaster planning in wake of Paris attacks

Saying that French hospitals' mass casualty response can be a guide for United States, U.S. federal agencies called on providers and hospitals to review their disaster plans and to exercise "enhanced vigilance" in the days ahead, fiercehealthcare.com reports. The Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Health and Human Services this week recommended that providers and hospitals review security plans and conduct drills, hold organizational safety briefings, and make sure emergency communications equipment is functioning properly.

More than 1,000 hospitals named Joint Commission 'top performers'

The Joint Commission recognized more than 1,000 hospitals for their scores on health care quality measures, according to The Joint Commission's 2015 annual report on quality and safety. The report considered how U.S. hospitals perform on evidence-based care. “Overall, hospitals scored a composite measure performance of 97.2 percent, an improvement of more than 15 percent over the first such report in 2002 and 1.6 percent better than the 2010 scores,” according to the fiercehealth.com.

A little help from friends can reduce cardiovascular risk factors

A peer-group intervention program helped adults with cardiovascular disease risk factors lose weight, quit smoking, and exercise better, according to a randomized, multicenter study in Spain. “Wider adoption of such a program may have a meaningful impact on cardiovascular health promotion,” study chairman Valentin Fuster, MD, PhD, told participants at the American Heart Association (AHA) Scientific Sessions on Nov. 9.

New technology supports CT as prime cardiac imaging modality

The past 20 years have seen rapid growth in computed tomography over all segments of medicine, with advances in cardiac CT including FFR-CT, perfusion ,and spectral imaging. Recent advances may further expand use of cardiac computed tomography angiography (CCTA). Advocates for cardiac CT, speaking at the 2015 meetings of the American College of Cardiology (ACC), Society of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography (SCCT), and Transcatheter Cardiovascular  Therapeutics (TCT),  reviewed data that may make CT “a first-line, one-stop-shop cardiac imaging modality in the near future,” dicardiology.com reports.

Best of Health IT News: Week of 08/16/15 

Did you have a chance to check out the latest healthcare IT news stories around the Web? We’ve captured the top industry news stories from this week that you won’t want to miss:

Hospitals urged to review disaster planning in wake of Paris attacks

Saying that French hospitals' mass casualty response can be a guide for United States, U.S. federal agencies called on providers and hospitals to review their disaster plans and to exercise "enhanced vigilance" in the days ahead, fiercehealthcare.com reports. The Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Health and Human Services this week recommended that providers and hospitals review security plans and conduct drills, hold organizational safety briefings, and make sure emergency communications equipment is functioning properly.

New technology supports CT as prime cardiac imaging modality

The past 20 years have seen rapid growth in computed tomography over all segments of medicine, with advances in cardiac CT including FFR-CT, perfusion ,and spectral imaging. Recent advances may further expand use of cardiac computed tomography angiography (CCTA). Advocates for cardiac CT, speaking at the 2015 meetings of the American College of Cardiology (ACC), Society of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography (SCCT), and Transcatheter Cardiovascular  Therapeutics (TCT),  reviewed data that may make CT “a first-line, one-stop-shop cardiac imaging modality in the near future,” dicardiology.com reports.

More than 1,000 hospitals named Joint Commission 'top performers'

The Joint Commission recognized more than 1,000 hospitals for their scores on health care quality measures, according to The Joint Commission's 2015 annual report on quality and safety. The report considered how U.S. hospitals perform on evidence-based care. “Overall, hospitals scored a composite measure performance of 97.2 percent, an improvement of more than 15 percent over the first such report in 2002 and 1.6 percent better than the 2010 scores,” according to the fiercehealth.com.

A little help from friends can reduce cardiovascular risk factors

A peer-group intervention program helped adults with cardiovascular disease risk factors lose weight, quit smoking, and exercise better, according to a randomized, multicenter study in Spain. “Wider adoption of such a program may have a meaningful impact on cardiovascular health promotion,” study chairman Valentin Fuster, MD, PhD, told participants at the American Heart Association (AHA) Scientific Sessions on Nov. 9.

Best of Health IT News: Week of 08/06/15  

Did you have a chance to check out the latest healthcare IT news stories around the Web? We’ve captured the top industry news stories from this week that you won’t want to miss.

Future of Cardiology Includes Your Heart in 3D

Dassault Systemes, a French company that specializes in 3D software, has released The Living Heart Project - a 3D simulation of the human heart. With the technology, doctors can use 3D glasses to tour a patient's heart and see its muscle movements, electrical impulses, and more. 

What Are the 3 Critical Keys to Healthcare Big Data Analytics? 

A recent industry poll by Stoltenberg Consulting reveals that half of healthcare providers are confused by big data, and 6% are too intimidated to even consider implementing a healthcare big data analytics program. Health IT Analytics discusses three critical steps that hospitals need to take when developing an analytics program. 

FDA to Develop Open-Source Precision Medicine Software Platform 

According to iHealthBeat, the FDA has announced plans to develop an open source software platform that would share genomic information. The software would be a part of President Obama's precision medicine initiative. 

Telehealth Underused in Coordinating Care for Children with Special Needs

FierceHealthIT reports on a new report from the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children's Health. According to the report, telehealth should be more frequently used in order to bring services to children with special healthcare needs - especially when providers are scarce or poorly distributed. 

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