February 28th Health Exec Briefing

Top Stories

MACRA Quality Payment Program’s first performance period gets underway
The first performance period of MACRA’s new Quality Payment Program officially began on January 1st looking to revamp how clinicians are paid for services to Medicare beneficiaries, emphasizing quality of care services rather than a fee-for-service framework. “People are still getting up to speed and learning what the rules of the road are,” Kate Goodrich, MD, Director of the CMS Center for Clinical Standards and Quality, during the HIMSS17 Conference.
(Health Data Management, February 22)

EHR Data Viewing Tops List of Most Common Healthcare App Uses
Substitutable Medical Applications, Reusable Technology (SMART) Health IT Project has led to the development of an open, standards-based technology platform using SMART standard that third parties developers can use to create apps for EHR systems and data warehouses support this health IT standard. Read about the efforts made towards improving access to patient data through EHRs.
(EHR Intelligence, February 22)

What’s New in Healthcare

Wayne T. Smith says CHS exited 2016 a stronger company, despite ending year in the red
Franklin, TN-based Community Health Systems ended the year with a net loss of $1.7 billion, compared with the net income of $158 million in 2015. “As we look back on 2016, it was a challenging year for our company, during which we made a number of changes to our business with a focus on improving our performance and conditions,” CEO Wayne T. Smith stated during an earnings call.
(Becker’s Hospital CFO, February 22)

C-suite gender gap: Leadership training efforts falling short
Since the beginning of her career, Ruth Brinkley, president and CEO of KentuckyOne Health, said more women have joined the executive suite of healthcare companies. Women represent just 26% of hospital CEO positions despite holding 75% of healthcare jobs. This inequality at the C-suite level has gotten the attention of those healthcare organizations that are striving to improve the diversity of leadership.
(Modern Healthcare, February 25)

NATO Ready to Deploy Telemedicine Platform
The 28-nation North Atlantic Treaty Organization announced at a conference at its headquarters in Brussels that it has finished testing a multinational telemedicine platform for emergency scenes or combat zones and is ready to deploy the suitcase-sized kits where needed around the world. To develop the kit, NATO worked with Sioux Falls, SD-based Avera Health, with representatives visiting Avera’s telemedicine hub in 2015 to see examples of several different types of technology.(mHealth Intelligence, February 24)

Healthcare Innovations

IBM Watson Health to boost capabilities with SNOMED CT global standards
SNOMED CT is an international standard for clinical terminology and makes possible the global exchange and analysis of clinical information in electronic health records through a codified language that represents groups of clinical terms. More than 30 countries have adopted SNOMED CT, and it’s actively used through agreements with 5,000 affiliates, such as healthcare payers, medical libraries and biopharmaceutical companies.
(Healthcare IT News, February 23)

Cleveland Clinic increases reliance on EHR to reduce ‘technical debt’
Turning data into knowledge and actionable insights is the goal, according to Cleveland Clinic’s associate chief information officer, William Morris, MD. Doug Smith, the Cleveland Clinic’s interim chief information officer, says that a top priority for the organization is reducing its technical debt. According to Smith, the Cleveland Clinic is working to reduce those redundancies so that “85 percent of the core functionality” comes from an EHR.
(Health Data Management, February 23)

HIMSS17: Artificial intelligence focus asks the industry – too soon?
A Gartner report released late last year explains that clinical communication and collaboration (CC&C) systems have gained traction because of the increase in mobile device usage by healthcare professionals. Report authors predicted that by 2021, 60 percent of CC&C platforms will offer telemedicine and virtual care capabilities such as teleconsultations, video visits, and remote patient monitoring.
(Healthcare Dive, February 24)

Studies & Reports

Study: Physician-rating websites don’t provide meaningful information
A group of researchers, led by Tara Lagu, MD, took a random sample of 600 physicians in three cities and looked at reviews posted for them on 28 rating websites. The sites provided very little information – 26 used star ratings and few had written reviews with patient comments. This makes it difficult for patients to find reviews that would give them an accurate picture of the care the physician provides.
(Fierce Healthcare, February 22)

Texas hospital files for bankruptcy after $51.4M Aetna loss
In its bankruptcy petition, Humble Surgical Hospital certified it had liabilities of at least $50 million and assets of at least $10 million. Aetna sued Humble Surgical Hospital in 2012, alleging the hospital had charged 10-times market rates for out-of-network procedures. Read about the recent dispute between Humble Surgical and Aetna.
(Becker’s Hospital CFO, February 27)

EHRs could serve as more accurate tool to identify septic shock trends
Steve Simpson, MD, professor of medicine said that, “At least 30 percent of the time, the physicians who are writing their notes do not use the words sepsis, severe sepsis septic shock.” Traditionally, tracking sepsis is done using diagnosis billing codes. Despite the fact that sepsis is one of the most deadly and costly medical conditions for hospitals, doctors frequently fail to properly document this immune system response.
(Health Data Management, February 27)

Security & Analytics

65,000 providers lose Medicaid eligibility
Medicaid rates can discourage provider participation, paying as low as 60% of Medicare rates for certain services. According to 2013 data from the National Center for Health Statistics, only 68.9% of office-based physicians were accepting new Medicaid patients. While some providers lost eligibility due to the ACA rule, it seems some states are still evaluating revalidation notices and that some providers left the program voluntarily.
(Healthcare Dive, February 23)

Extreme Networks unveils Information Governance Engine for network security
At HIMSS17, Extreme Networks introduced its new Information Governance Engine, enabling CISOs and CIOs to establish and maintain a clinical baseline that demonstrates compliance with HIPAA and PCI standards for their mission-critical networks. The engine highlights the company’s focus on healthcare technology and security needs by the increasing use of mobile and IoT devices to improve patient care.
(Healthcare IT News, February 24)

Linguamatics, Varian Medical Systems join natural language processing and analytics
Clinical natural language processing vendor Linguamatics and Varian Medical Systems announced at HIMSS17 that Varian will use Linguamatics’ natural language processing technology as part of the data analytics within Varian’s 360 Oncology care management platform. Varian has a history of delivering innovative cancer-fighting technology and is dedicated to its goal of realizing a world without the fear of cancer.
(Healthcare IT News, February 27)

OCR Calls for Healthcare Cybersecurity Collaboration
Healthcare is part of the national infrastructure, and is becoming a more common target for cyberattacks. The Department of Homeland Security’s National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center is one organization that could be a critical asset for improving healthcare cybersecurity measures. Read more about the healthcare security collaboration working to ensure integrity and availability of ePHI.
(Health IT Security, February 27)