Dr. Mark Roche, the CMS' first chief health informatics officer, has resigned from the position four months after his appointment. Roche will also step down as the agency's federal representative to the Health Information Technology Advisory Committee.
Data-driven mobile health tools, machine learning and artificial intelligence all play a role in population health management; however, the health care sector still faces some hurdles related to its adoption, including lack of access to data and information exchange, said Cynthia Burghard, research director at IDC Health Insights. The first step is accessing the data, said Burghard, adding that "most consumers are OK with using remote devices and doing virtual visits with their doctors, and the industry is beginning to reimburse providers for those services," which could help boost the adoption of data-driven devices.
On June 19, the US House of Representatives passed HR 2740, the FY2020 Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services (HHS), and Education and Related Agencies Appropriations Act with an amendment striking language in the Labor-HHS appropriations bill that prohibits HHS from spending any federal dollars to promulgate or adopt a national patient identifier. The narrow interpretation of the struck language that has been included in Labor-HHS bills since 1999 has effectively halted any meaningful progress related to developing effective patient matching solutions.
The number of patients paying for low-value healthcare services, including vitamin D screening and unnecessary testing and lab work ahead of low-risk surgery, is declining slowly, according to a report from the Research Consortium for Health Care Value Assessment. Spending on high-value services including flu vaccines and HIV drugs is increasing and is a "positive indicator" analysts said.
Patient-centered care is discussed often and the focus should be on control, convenience, comfort and confidence, writes Joseph Smith, president and CEO of Reflexion Health. Patients are more motivated when they feel they are in control, Smith writes.
Changing healthcare business models and physician burnout have led more doctors and medical school graduates to pursue MBAs. The number of medical school students who also pursue MBAs is twice what it was a decade ago, according to Association of American Medical Colleges.
Medicaid payments sometimes don't amount to the total cost of a patient's care, so new payment methods are being introduced that practices can consider. One is a pay-for-performance system and the other is Medicaid-shared savings arrangements that can include bundled payments.
Healthcare providers who participate in the CMS' Bundled Payments for Care Improvement Advanced program will be eligible for the Medicare Shared Savings Program beginning Jan. 1, 2020. The CMS is committed to addressing overlaps in alternative payment models, and this move reflects that commitment, according to Gina Bruno, vice president for clinical strategy at naviHealth, a convener for hospitals that participate in BPCI.
A Healthcare Financial Management Association survey found about two-thirds of 170 hospital and health system executives said they planned to increase investments in health IT. The survey showed 72% of respondents said their organization was ready to take on increased levels of risk and plan to do so over the next few years.
A study in the American Journal of Managed Care found a reduction in the number of test orders for the liver enzyme gamma glutamyl transferase from an average of 36,000 per month to 1,000 per month when orders were placed through the EHR's search engine function than from lists on the system's main screen. Researchers from Tel Aviv University found an 18,000-per-month increase in the number of tests ordered after adding the GGT test option to one spot on the main screen of the EHR.