January 17th Health Exec Briefing

Top Stories

Senate passes budget that paves way for ACA repeal
Trump said Wednesday that his administration will submit a near-simultaneous repeal and replacement plan as soon as Tom Price, his pick for Department of HHS Secretary, is approved. Chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Lamar Alexander laid out a detailed place for how he believes Republicans should go about repealing and replacing the ACA.
(Fierce Healthcare, January 12)

What insurance market fixes can the GOP cram into an ACA repeal bill? 
Repealing the Affordable Care Act without immediately replacing it with a new system will risk the Republicans crashing the individual insurance markets and cause 30 million Americans to lose coverage. Executives say the congressional Republicans they are talking to share their interest in strengthening the market by making coverage cheaper and attracting more healthy customers.
(Modern Healthcare, January 13)


What’s New in Healthcare

Cleveland Clinic’s Cosgrove responds to doc’s anti-vaccine rant
On Wednesday, CEO of Cleveland Clinic Toby Cosgrove issued a warning to employees not to connect their personal views to the organization. The warning comes in the wake of the backlash from the medical community in response to a column by Daniel Neides, MD. The clinic said it may no longer sell some alternative medicine products sold by the wellness institute.
(Fierce Healthcare, January 12)

Jon White to serve as acting national coordinator for HIT
“I am very confident in both the work of ONC moving forward and the federal servants that will remain as we do our transition,” said Vindell Washington, MD, on passing the position of national coordinator for health IT to Deputy National Coordinator Jon White, MD. Read more about the new transition of health IT leadership before the Trump administration.
(Health Data Management, January 12)

Cal INDEX-Empire Health Information Exchange merger will boost big data
With the capability to see what’s happening with patients at all points of care, providers and insurers can improve safety, avoid duplication of services and unnecessary costs, and see how patients are moving through the continuum of care. California can be viewed as the site of a massive demonstration project.
(Healthcare Dive, January 11)


Healthcare Innovations

Cigna ditches coverage of Mylan’s EpiPen for generic version According to an emailed statement, Cigna spokesperson Karen Eldred said, “We have revised our covered drug list to encourage use of the generic version (of the EpiPen alternative).” Mylan said it expected the coverage drop for its brand name product because of its generic option launch. Read more about the drug formulation and device functionality of the EpiPen.
(Becker’s Hospital Review, January 12)

Purdue taps Paul Griffin to lead Regenstrief Center for Healthcare Engineering
“I believe we are uniquely positioned to improve healthcare delivery and inform health policy through an interdisciplinary approach based on systems engineering principles, data analytics, lean thinking and organizational behavioral management,” said Paul Griffin, new director of the Regenstrief Center for Healthcare Engineering.
(Healthcare IT News, January 12)


Telehealth & mHealth News

Healthcare Still Sees mHealth Value in Smartglasses
Led by digital health stalwarts like Augmedix and Pristine, the smartglasses market is finding its niche in healthcare with physicians who want hands-free access to information while they’re in front of the patient,” says Augmedix CEO Ian Shakel, whose San Francisco-based company recently closed a $23 million round of funding. Read about the upcoming smartglass prototypes on the healthcare market.
(mHealth Intelligence, January 12)

Making Patient-Generated Health Data Work for Providers
Federal policymakers are encouraged to support active patient participation in assessing the functionality and practicality of devices, particularly through direct feedback to device manufacturers. Most clinical workflows do not presently support patient generated health data, so clinicians are primarily left to use data collected during a patient visit. 
(Health IT Interoperability, January 16)

A Patient-Facing mHealth App Can Also Benefit Providers
Inspira Health, a New Jersey based health system, is launching a mobile health platform, developed by Florida-based Jellyfish Health, that is designed to reducing staffing bottlenecks and take the waiting out of waiting rooms. Dave Dyell, Jellyfish Health’s president and CEO, said that, “most people don’t have time to sit for long stretches in a provider’s waiting room without any idea of when they’ll be seen.”
(mHealth Intelligence, January 16)


EHR News

MACRA Incentives Likely to Increase Physician Health IT Use
Researchers found participation in electronic public reporting of data and pay-for-performance incentives increased health IT adoption and use over time. Additionally, the number of physicians reporting they did not have EHR technology and were still reliant on paper records declined from 66.8 percent to 32.3 percent.
(EHR Intelligence, January 12)

Collaboration Aims To Boost Data Exchange, Improve Interoperability
The new partnership between Carequality and CommonWell Health Alliance is boosting data exchange and improving interoperability among providers. With the promise of health data sharing across Carequality’s participating networks and CommonWell network, there is more connectivity between and among health data networks of all types.
(Health IT Outcomes, January 12)


Security & Analytics

ONC, OCR Fact Sheet Discusses HIPAA Health Data Exchange 
According to ONC Chief Privacy Officer Lucia Savage, entities at the federal, small, or local level may license healthcare professionals or health insurance companies, administer a state Medicaid program, or monitor healthcare programs’ compliance efficacy. The fact sheet reviews several examples of how data exchange can legally occur under HIPAA rules with health oversight agencies.
(Health IT Security, January 11)

Patients Harbor Little Concern for EHR Security Events
“Recent high-profile, EHR security breaches reported in the media make patients wary of this shift to the digital format,” reported a research team in the Journal of Medical Internet Research. However, when patients perceive their providers as delivering high-quality healthcare, they may be more trusting or believe that the likelihood of an EHR security even is lower.
(EHR Intelligence, January 16)