September 20th Health Exec Briefing

Top Stories

Aetna CEO responds to US senators’ letter
After being accused by several U.S. Senators of potentially negatively impacting healthcare quality and harming competition, Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini responded by outlining the reason for the Aetna-Humana merger was in fact due to negative developments in the healthcare business. Read more on Bertolini’s response to the U.S. Senators regarding Aetna’s public healthcare exchanges.
(Becker’s Hospital Review, September 13)

HHS announces $87M in funding to further health center IT efforts
The first significant investment since 2009 to directly support centers’ IT purchases, this funding will help to accelerate the move to value-based care and improve data-sharing among providers. The Department of Health and Human Services requires that all purchases or upgrades of electronic health record systems be from certified vendors.
(Fierce Healthcare, September 16)

What’s New in Healthcare

How healthcare can play safe in the data lake
Since the introduction of new digital devices in hospitals to monitor patients and provide analysis, healthcare organizations have been facing increasing pressure to make accumulating crucial information actionable. Read more about the ways big data can help with healthcare’s data-gathering problem.
(Health Data Management, September 13)

Docs say telemedicine requires more safety research
Although there are many benefits to telemedicine use, its risks are still not fully understood, according to the Patient Safety Network. Telemedicine is expected to reflect the same standards as in-person care, but some researchers are calling for stricter standards by requiring safety testing in regulatory and industry organizations.
(Fierce Healthcare, September 13)


Harvard offers digital repository of medical evidence to providers
The Protecting Access to Medicare Act, signed to go into effect on January 1, 2018, requires healthcare providers to use approved clinical decision support systems to consult “appropriate use criteria” when ordering certain advanced medical imaging procedures. Harvard’s Library of Evidence will focus on medical imaging to help doctors choose the right imaging test for their patients to comply with the law.
(Health Data Management, September 19)

EHR News

ONC: Most hospitals offer patients access to their electronic records
Since 2012, the rate of U.S. acute care hospitals that enabled patients to view their health records increased from 24 percent to 95 percent. The Office of the National Coordinator continues to work with health IT developers, individuals, and clinicians to help increase and promote patient access to health information wherever and whenever it’s needed.
(Fierce Healthcare, September 13)

Vets Call for VA EHR Optimization, Interoperability Advances
Veterans groups and the Departments of Veteran Affairs agreed that EHR optimization and improved interoperability will help care quality for American veterans. Esquire of the Commission on Care Thomas E. Harvey suggested that, “Purchasing a commercial EHR may alleviate some of the VA’s issues in developing a robust health IT system.”
(EHR Intelligence, September 15)

Providers, payer must share data to succeed in value-based care
According to the Healthcare Financial Management Association, providers and healthy payers must share claims and clinical data if they want to be successful under the new business model from fee-for-service to value-based care. HFMA states that hospitals and physician groups must push their vendors to provide true data interoperability across EHR platforms.
(Health Data Management, September 15)

Interoperability & Analytics

Health IT Interoperability Needed to Drive Cancer Research
Members of the Cancer Moonshot’s Blue Ribbon Panel called for the creation of a national health IT infrastructure to support next-generation cancer research. The Panel identified several difficulties with patient access to health information and data aggregation as additional obstacles to advancing cancer research.
(Health IT Interoperability, September 14)

Q&A: Surescripts CEO Tom Skelton on the role of e-prescribing and interoperability
Formed in 2008 with the merger of two e-prescribing networks, Surescripts is a private health information exchange networks that handled nearly 10 billion electronic transactions in 2015 and has been in at the center of the push for health data-sharing. Read more on interoperability and clinical documentation discussed in Skelton’s interview.
(Modern Healthcare, September 17)

Chronic Disease Management Efficiency: Outcome Analytics is the Key
There is not much discussion on medical data analytics where caregivers define, measure, and analyze these outcomes in order to base their progress with clinical processes on real-world data. However, improving health outcomes for patients with chronic diseases has been the main focus for caregivers. Read more about the crucial milestones in value-based care.
(Health IT Outcomes, September 13)

CMS Public Health Data Repository Will Aid Quality Reporting
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is currently developing a centralized data repository for public health data and clinical data reporting to make it easier for providers participating in the EHR Incentive Programs to find and connect to entities that accept electronic public health data as required in the 2015 final rule for meaningful use.
(Health IT Analytics, September 19)

Healthcare Security

Coordinating Healthcare Data Center Security, Cloud Security
Healthcare administrators focus primarily on building robust, multi-tenant platforms but must also consider end-user performance, resource utilization, and data center security. Reports have shown that being prepared for a cybersecurity incident can lower the cost of breaches about 90 percent. Read more about integrating and managing healthcare security.
(Health IT Security, September 15)

Why cyberattacks aren’t harming hospital finances
Healthcare organizations work tirelessly to gain the trust of their patients and one major security attack could destroy years of good will. Fortunately, these cyberattacks are not affecting hospital revenues therefore health care businesses may not have to invest as much as necessary to prevent such threats.
(Becker’s Health IT & CIO Review, September 13)

Nearly half of cloud-based malware delivers ransomware
According to the September Netskope Cloud Report, a high percentage of malware found in enterprises cloud apps have delivered ransomware. The report further states that a main reason for ransomware vulnerability in these apps is due to a lack of key functionalities such as security, privacy, and financial viability.
(Health Data Management, September 13)