Industry experts say EHR platforms can be improved by focusing on clinical workflow and the user experience and requiring vendors to test them for usability and safety in collaboration with health care providers. "EHRs need to be developed with accuracy and speed in mind," said Gaurav Sharma, EMR manager at GoHealth Urgent Care, adding, "Click fatigue is a real thing and it opens providers up to incorrect data input."
Pauline Marcussen, board chair-elect of the National Commission on Correctional Health Care, pushed the Rhode Island Department of Corrections to switch from paper to electronic health records for more than a decade, and in 2009, the department became one of the first in the US to make the transition. RIDOC's EHR system is linked to the statewide health information exchange, which improves care coordination for formerly incarcerated people, and Marcussen helped develop NCCHC guidelines for correctional facilities to ensure formerly incarcerated individuals have access to their health information and continuity of care.
A recent report by the Center for Connected Health Policy outlines state telehealth laws and Medicaid coverage policies. Medicaid coverage of different telehealth modalities and services varies widely from state to state, according to the report.
COVID-19 vaccine boosters triggered a robust immune response in people vaccinated up to nine months prior with either Moderna's or Pfizer/BioNTech's vaccine, or in people who had experienced natural infection and had been vaccinated, researchers reported in a paper posted before peer review on medRxiv. Levels of antibodies that neutralize SARS-CoV-2 were 25 times greater in vaccinated people and 50 times higher than levels associated with natural infection.
Health care professionals should encourage their patients who have Medicare Advantage or Part D to shop for the best plan during open enrollment instead of blindly renewing or passively being switched to a new plan to replace an expiring plan, writes Jack Hoadley, a research professor emeritus in Georgetown University's Health Policy Institute. Medicare Advantage and Part D plan coverage and premiums may change from year to year, leaving subscribers with higher out-of-pocket costs that could have been reduced if they had shopped for a new plan on the Medicare Plan Finder, Hoadley writes.
Artificial intelligence and automation free entry-level IT workers from mundane, repetitive tasks and allow them to gain skills and concentrate on more meaningful work, optimizing human capital, experts say. CIOs "need to see the possibilities and think through what to automate, and how that affects the company's headcount strategy," says Resolve Systems CEO Vijay Kurkal, and venture advisor and investor Frank Fanzilli says, "CIOs should embrace new technologies such as digital platform conductors and then incentivize their entry-level IT workers to become pioneers in these new and very promising spaces."
Intermountain Healthcare's new Data Science and Artificial Intelligence Center of Excellence aims to create ethical standards for the use of AI and machine learning in health care. The goal is to develop guidelines that can help Intermountain's hospitals and clinics identify algorithmic bias, prevent care disparities and help ensure the responsible, ethical use of AI.
The Massachusetts Medicaid program, MassHealth, will reimburse Pear Therapeutics' prescription digital therapeutics, pending final state and federal approval, and Mass Health participant Tufts Health Plan is preparing a DTx coverage pilot program with Spectrum Health Systems. Commercial health plans and pharmacy benefit managers were the first to cover DTx through risk-based contracts, direct contracting and other models.
Neither high-speed internet nor cellphone service is universally available in the US, and while some health care professionals say temporary rules allowing audio-only telehealth have expanded access to care, others say audio-only is inadequate. Only about half the states extended pandemic-era telehealth flexibilities, and Medicare extended coverage of audio-only mental and behavioral telehealth through 2023, but some commercial insurers have stopped covering audio-only.
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