September 27th Health Exec Briefing

Top Stories

MACRA is coming: A quick once-over before the final rule
Payment programs established by MACRA, which was signed into law in April of this year, is set to go into effect in 2017. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has already stepped in and introduced two participation options due to heavy criticism towards the strict MACRA timelines. Read about how CMS is handling the situation of MACRA’s proposed rules.
(Healthcare Dive, September 21)

Zuckerberg to take on disease with $3B pledge
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan have set a goal to wipe out diseases worldwide by the end of the century with the help of a $3 billion pledge over the next decade to create technology tools that will speed up basic research on diseases. The generous donation will help fund 10-15 “virtual institutes” convening researches around the globe to tackle specific diseases and health goals.
(Healthcare Dive, September 23)

What’s New in Healthcare

Cigna disputes DOJ’s claim that Anthem deal will harm competition, innovation
The U.S. Department of Justice stated in its complaint that Cigna “increasingly competes head to head with Anthem by finding innovative ways to lower its customers’ medical costs – an effort that has “pressured Anthem to respond.” Cigna admitted to discussing the possibility of buying Humana last year, before Aetna sealed an agreement recently this year.
(Fierce Healthcare, September 21)

AMA: Insurance megamergers ‘threaten healthcare access, quality and affordability’
According to a new released analysis, the Anthem-Cigna and Aetna-Humana mergers would diminish competition in more than 170 metro areas across 29 states with an unprecedented lack of competition that already exists in many states. Read more on the effect megamergers have on the competitive healthcare marketplace.
(Healthcare Dive, September 23)

Patient-Centered mHealth Design Drives Stronger Engagement
Developers can create patient-centered mHealth more suitable for boosting patient engagement using iterative design assessments. A recent study looked at the development of a patient-facing tablet application that could improve patient-provider communication by having the patient use the tablet in the waiting room to report health issues to discuss during primary care appointments.
(Patient Engagement HIT, September 22)

EHR News

See what top EHR vendors contributed to 2016 presidential campaigns
Several electronic health record vendors such as Allscripts, Epic, and McKesson made notable contributions to the 2016 presidential candidates directly or via Super PACs. Read about each vendor’s donations and who they are supporting in this year’s presidential race.
(Healthcare IT News, September 23)

EHR Health Data Collection to Impact Health Industry Shift
According to a report from the PwC Research Health Institute, the healthcare industry is facing a “seismic shift” driven in part by the transition from volume to value, the growth of technology, and other factors. Healthcare professionals can prepare for swift data collection through EHR data standardization which allows for data to flow seamlessly across disparate systems and practices.
(EHR Intelligence, September 23)

Washington Overpaid $9.2M in Medicaid EHR Incentive Payments
Over a span of four years from 2011 to 2015, the Washington State Healthcare Authority made incorrect overpayments and underpayments with a net overpayment of $9,206,388. To reconcile these issues, the Office of Inspector General recommended the state agency reimburse the federal government the $9.2 million in overpayments and adjust the 19 hospitals’ subsequent incentive payments.
(EHR Intelligence, September 22)

Health IT Innovations

What will augmented and virtual reality technology do for healthcare?
“We believe AR/VR has the power to revolutionize how we deliver and approach healthcare and medicine,” said director of product and development at Viscira, Rodwin Pabello. Augmented reality overlays views of the physical world with fabricated images that engage users, while virtual reality uses software to simulate images, sounds and sensations to isolate them. Read more on the innovations of AR/VR that contribute to healthcare.
(Healthcare IT News, September 21)

5 forces that drive healthcare industry transformation
According to a report from PwC’s Health Research Institute, there is far more room for innovation and for new players to come in the healthcare scene since new developments are occurring rapidly. The report further states the introduction of a new “modular ecosystem” which is far more accessible to newer players and more responsive to consumers.
(Fierce Healthcare, September 22)

HIT Think: How digital systems can enhance patient outreach
In healthcare, hospitals and health systems must be able to form connections and interactions that will enable organizations to better understand the person behind the patient and keep them engaged and proactive in their own care. To personalize the engagement, healthcare organizations are turning to digital technologies used by marketers that have proven successful for years in industries like retail, hospitality or finance.
(Health Data Management, September 21)

Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, IoT May Change Healthcare in 2017
A new poll from the Silicon Valley Bank indicates a general belief that big data will continue to be a primary driver of innovation in the healthcare industry, but may run into adoption challenges and regulatory hurdles in the near future. Artificial Intelligence tools may cover a majority of the healthcare spectrum such as patient engagement and customer relations, chronic disease management, clinical decision support and analytics for diagnostics.
(Health IT Analytics, September 21)

Healthcare Security

CIOs say mobile devices are organizations’ weakest cybersecurity link
While securing mobile devise is challenging, adequate training and education can make companies more secure. Investing in systems to encrypt data, continually audit and retool networks and security policies, hiring a digital forensics specialist to security issues, and knowing where threats form can help inform cybersecurity protocols, according to a Harvard Business Review report.
(Becker’s Health IT & CIO Review, September 23)

Task force tackles healthcare cybersecurity challenges
Created by the Department of Health and Human Services in response to the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2015, the healthcare cybersecurity task force, which was mandated by Congress, is charged with examining healthcare’s challenges in securing data from hacker attacks and to see what best practices can be learned from other industries.
(Health Data Management, September 23)

The Role of HIM Professionals in HIPAA Compliance
Individuals in the health information management must ensure that those on the privacy and security sides are able to work together. HIPAA rules require that organizations have a privacy officer or security officer responsible for implementing programs like policy and procedures and making sure that laws and requirements are met as a whole, according to director of HIM Practice Excellence at AHIMA, Angela Rose.
(Health IT Security, September 22)