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Top stories summarized by our editors
7/30/2021

Aetna's Better Health of Kansas Medicaid program is working with other Kansas Medicaid administrators and CKF Addiction Treatment on a virtual substance abuse screening platform for use in primary care settings. The platform includes videoconferencing, referrals and access to outpatient services facilitated by licensed counselors and certified peer mentors.

7/30/2021

Premiums for health insurance plans offered on Covered California, the state's Affordable Care Act exchange, will rise by an average of only 1.8% for the 2022 plan year, despite an average 6% increase in health care costs, says Covered California Executive Director Peter Lee. Total enrollment through the exchange is around 1.6 million, and the average monthly premium after tax credits is $100.

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The Associated Press
7/29/2021

A data visualization dashboard developed at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Texas in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic showed number of cases, number of hospital beds available and personal protective equipment inventory that kept staff informed and helped guide life-saving procurement and staffing decisions, says Scott Harrison, the hospital's chief data officer. "Analytics cannot be just a flashy dashboard that you buy," Harrison said. "It's an investment in developing a program, making it a priority, and allowing it to grow organically from within."

7/29/2021

Amazon's HealthLake converts structured and unstructured health data from disparate sources into FHIR format that can be analyzed using the company's SageMaker and QuickSight tools. Google's Cloud Healthcare Data Engine assembles an interoperable, longitudinal patient record that can be used in clinical decision-making, resource allocation, clinical trial optimization and population health improvement.

7/29/2021

The nonprofit Digital Health Measurement Collaborative Community -- a coalition of 35 technology companies, associations, drugmakers, government agencies and research institutions -- aims to promote equity in the digital health sector by ensuring that technology is developed with the input of a diverse group of users. The group is also developing standards and best practices for measuring inclusivity in health technology development and commercialization.

7/29/2021

Collecting, managing and sharing data on social determinants of health in a culturally respectful way supports holistic health care and starts with health information management professionals, writes AHIMA editor Matt Schlossberg. An AHIMA white paper explores strategies and best practices for SDOH data governance, including setting up stakeholder committees, distinguishing between individual- and community-level SDOH, evaluating the deployment of standards-based application programming interfaces to support community care and making SDOH data actionable with real-time alerts.

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SDOH
7/29/2021

DirectTrust is seeking approval from the American National Standards Institute on Trusted Instant Messaging Plus standards for secure, real-time communication within and between health care enterprises. DirectTrust's TIM+ Consensus Body is holding an information session Aug. 24 and is seeking stakeholder input and comments on the draft standard by Sept. 14.

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EHR Intelligence
7/29/2021

Eighty percent of respondents to a Harris Poll expressed concern about digital COVID-19 vaccination certificates, and though 68% said they would sign up for one, only 45% said they would be very likely to use one. Digital credentials may be less prone to fraud than paper vaccine cards, but standardization, consistent adoption and strict privacy rules are necessary, and researchers at the Brookings Institute are urging the federal government to promulgate regulations that ban companies from selling or mishandling personal health information.

7/29/2021

The HHS Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT opened concurrent comment periods for the Interoperability Standards Advisory, the Standards Version Advancement Process and the draft US Core Data for Interoperability Version 3. The ONC is accepting comments, including new submissions for data elements and data classes for USCDI Version 3, through Sept. 30.

7/29/2021

Human beings sometimes make health choices that seem baffling to health care professionals, including refusing to get a life-saving vaccine, but dig a little deeper and the choices become comprehensible even if we disagree, writes emergency physician Edwin Leap. Science is confusing, and condemning vaccine-hesitant people and treating them like simpletons only compounds the problem, but compassion and kindness may change hearts and minds, Leap writes.