November 22nd Health Exec Briefing

Top Stories

Hospital Impact: How rural hospital closings weaken the nation’s health
The North Carolina Rural Health Research Program reported that 72 rural hospitals closed between Jan 2010 and April 2010, compared to 42 closures between 2005 and 2009. A study by the National Institutes of Health found that the closure of a rural hospital reduces per-capita income by an average of $703 and increases the local unemployment rate by 1.6 percent. 
(Fierce Healthcare, November 16)

ACA market enrollment hits 1M in midst of repeal threat
HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell stated that, “the American people are demonstrating how much they continue to want and need coverage the Marketplace offers, and we are encouraging all Americans to visit and check out their options.” Forbes noted that if the enrollment surge remains sustained, it could also have implications for participating marketplace insurers.
(Healthcare Dive, November 17)

What’s New in Healthcare

CMS actions help reduce improper payments for inpatient claims: 5 things to know
On Tuesday, the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services posted in a blog that its corrective actions helped cut the overall Medicare fee-for-service program improper payment rate, from 12.1 percent in 2015 to 11 percent in 2016. Read about the policy changes and knowledge of regulations that can contribute to the reduction of improper payments for inpatient hospital claims.
(Becker’s Hospital CFO, November 16)

WellCare bets on Medicare with $800 million buyout of Universal American
Experts believe the Medicare Advantage market will expand further under President-elect Donald Trump and the Republican-controlled Congress. Medicare Advantage represents about 27% of WellCare’s revenue, and adding a pure Medicare company like Universal American will immediately give the insurer a bigger footprint.
(Modern Healthcare, November 17)

Health IT Use, Data Exchange Top 2017 Challenges for HHS
The annual OIG report, which names the top management and performance issues the agency will face in 2017, states that the healthcare experts still have several challenges to overcome concerning health IT use. The Office of Inspector General wrote that, “Health IT, including EHRs, offer opportunities for improved patient care, more efficient practice management, and improved overall public health.”
(EHR Intelligence, November 18)

MACRA & More

Key Takeaways to Support a Successful MACRA Implementation
The Quality Payment Program as part of MACRA implementation contains several nuances that will be useful for eligible clinicians to understand for successful. Impact Advisors authors suggested to, “use the transition period to become familiar with the measures, different scoring methodologies, and reporting options; reach out to your enterprise vendors to understand what role their products can play in tracking progress.”
(EHR Intelligence, November 17)


CMS: New API Will Automate MACRA Quality Measure Data Sharing
The new MACRA tool to help automate the process of sharing electronic data on quality measures is the first of several efforts to streamline participation in the program and reduce reporting burdens on providers. Several industry groups have already applauded CMS for its efforts to make the new reporting system easier for providers to cope with the enhanced objectives of the program.
(Health IT Analytics, November 17)

Why Trump won’t change MACRA much
Not only did MACRA enjoy wide bipartisan support at its passage, but the concepts behind it were originated by the Republican members of Congress more than a decade ago. The Trump administration will ask if there is value in the MACRA reporting requirements, and if there isn’t sufficient evidence that there is, there might be changes.
(Healthcare IT News, November 18)

Healthcare Innovations

AnalyticsMD raises $13M to connect hospitals with AI software
Mountain View, California-based startup analyticsMD aims to increase patient safety and hospital efficiency by processing healthcare data in real-time to predict potential issues and outcomes and has secured $13 million in funding to expand its artificial intelligence platform.
(Becker’s Health IT & CIO Review, November 17)

Intel teams with Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard to analyze genomic data
The goal of the 5-year partnership between the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and Intel is to improve best practices in genome analytics. The project will combine Intel’s analytics and AI with Broad’s extensive genomic data, health research and analysis tools to create new resources for biomedical studies like precision medicine.
(Healthcare IT News, November 17)

Imaging feels cost pressure from value-based care incentives
Amy Vreeland, CEO of Imaging Strategies, stated, “When you think about the triple aim of value-based care, improving the patient experience through proper and timely transfer of images improves their experience and gets the patient’s information faster into their doctor’s hands.” Read about how hospitals are managing both imaging and value-based care with clinical and health IT expertise.
(Health Data Management, November 18)

Mobile Healthcare

VMI to Transform Mobile Health Infrastructure Technology
Developers of mobile device management and enterprise mobility management solutions have attempted to remedy much of the risk involved with enterprise mobile devices since the consumerization of IT pushed users to utilize mobile devices to improve work productivity. Read more about the innovations of enterprise mobility and how it assists in protecting health information.
(HIT Infrastructure, November 17)

82 percent of healthcare organizations have mobile strategy
The online survey of 200 IT decision makers from healthcare organizations around the globe showed 82 percent with a mobile strategy in place. 78 percent of the 82 percent showed positive return on investment from their mobile apps. Read about the benefits of implementing a mobile strategy for organizing health information.
(Health Data Management, November 18)

Partnership Expands Digital Health Coaching, Patient Engagement
According to a Society for Participatory Medicine survey, more than three-quarters of adults surveyed reported they would use a health tracking device that was clinically accurate and user friendly. “What this survey points out is that patients want to become engaged in their own health and collaborate with their healthcare professionals,” stated Daniel Z. Sands, MD, MPH.
(Health IT Outcomes, November 18)

Security & Analytics

Secure Exchange of Electronic Data Top HHS Challenge
The HHS is currently facing 10 management and performance challenges, including health IT and the meaningful and secure exchange and use of electronic information. The OIG wrote that, “these challenges cover critical HHS responsibilities that include delivering quality services and benefits, exercising sound fiscal management, safeguarding public health and safety, and enhancing cybersecurity.”
(Health IT Security, November 17)

Potential Horizen BCBS Data Breach for 170K from Printing Error
Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey announced earlier this month that one of its vendors potentially exposed the information of up to 170,000 members including member name, member ID number, claim number, date of service, limited description of services, service codes or provider/facility name. Read more about how stricter quality control and privacy standards can prevent data breaches.
(Health IT SecurityNovember 17)