Hospitals and health care providers can leverage digital revenue cycle and cost-estimator tools to improve price transparency and offer more accurate price estimates in compliance with the No Surprises Act, writes Ogi Kwon with R1 Revenue Cycle Management. Hospitals should establish a process for identifying all members of the patient's health care team to verify insurance network affiliation, and they should ensure their billing systems do not automatically assign patient balances in violation of the new law, Kwon writes.
A total of 60 health IT and health care provider groups signed a letter urging the Biden administration to make Medicare telehealth flexibility permanent, instead of through 2023 as the CMS has proposed. "Given the addition of a record number of eligible beneficiaries, telehealth may be the only way beneficiaries can gain access, especially those in rural or underserved communities," the groups wrote.
The US Federal Trade Commission has clarified its Health Breach Notification Rule, which requires companies to tell customers when personal data has been accessed, to specifically include apps. "Digital apps are routinely caught playing fast and loose with user data, leaving users' sensitive health information susceptible to hacks and breaches," says FTC Chair Lina Khan.
Too many enterprises make cybersecurity training "a very painful, unpleasant process" unlikely to get the message across, says Adam Anderson, co-founder of Hook Security. Anderson advocates a gentler approach to avoid "a fight-or-flight type of environment."
Health Choice Network in Florida is rolling out an integrated EHR system across its 44 federally qualified health centers, accountable care organizations and physician practices. Under the $400 million project, software and applications will be chosen to meet goals set by the health center CEOs to improve quality, productivity and reimbursements.
A provision of the federal information blocking rule that took effect in April requires physicians to electronically provide 16 different categories of medical records to their patients. Recent studies have highlighted the prevalence of mistakes in medical records, which could prompt requests from patients to correct them.
Patients with heart failure who used a digital app to track activity and medication adherence in addition to traditional care had higher quality of care scores than patients treated with traditional care alone, according to a study presented at the Heart Failure Society of America Annual Scientific Meeting. Users of the app did not exhibit a lower risk for hospitalization or death, however, according to researchers.
Providers have 60 days to respond to an error in a patient's medical record but can also ask for a 30-day extension or refuse in writing to change it. Errors in medical records could be harmful to patients and may lead to incorrect care, says Dr. Heather Gantzer, immediate past chair of the American College of Physicians' Board of Regents.
The Department of Veterans Affairs is accepting bids for a $1 billion upgrade to its telehealth system that includes hardware and software. The amount of the two-year contract would be larger than the current two contracts combined.
Houston Methodist is conducting a pilot program in conjunction with Amazon Web Services involving the use of voice assistants in the hospital's operating and exam rooms. The Amazon devices can add notes to a patient's EHR and suggest treatment options for doctors.