February 7th Health Exec Briefing

Top Stories

Rural Hospitals Remain Weak Spot in EHR Interoperability
Small, rural hospitals face challenges larger institutions hardly need to consider due to lack of financial and technological resources. The Office of the National Coordinator also found that smaller, rural, and critical access hospitals reported lower rates for sending, receiving, locating, and integrating data electronically.
(EHR Intelligence, January 30)

Healthcare IoT Data Management Needed for Analytics Growth
According to a Research and Markets Report, the convergence of cloud, data management, and IoT solutions calls for the evolution of data analytics. The report predicts that many IoT data management solutions will be customized in the coming years, and the market could potentially save organizations 40 percent in operational savings.
(HIT Infrastructure, February 2)

What’s New in Healthcare

EHR analysis shows childbirth complications can raise autism risks
A recent study demonstrated the power of using EHRs to provide data for medical research that could impact care delivery and lay the groundwork for additional analysis. 37 percent of 6,255 children diagnosed with autism experienced perinatal complications according to a study published in the American Journal of Perinatology.
(Health Data Management, February 2)

Anthem CEO: Participation in ACA exchanges after 2017 is conditional
Anthem is facing an antitrust lawsuit brought on by the Department of Justice last summer to block its pending $54 billion acquisition of Cigna. An Axios report stated that the company has lobbied for repealing the health insurance tax, for reduced restrictions on pre-ACA health plans and more stringent rules against patient steering.
(Healthcare Dive, February 2)

Cybersecurity Risk Management Focus in HITRUST Catalogue
“Risk analysis should be an ongoing process, in which a covered entity regularly reviews its records to track access to e-PHI and detect security incidents, periodically evaluates the effectiveness of security measures put in place, and regularly reevaluates potential risks to e-PHI,” the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services states on its website.
(Health IT Security, February 1)

Healthcare Reform

Considering HIPAA Privacy Rule with Mental Health Data
The Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act was signed into law as part of the 21st Century Cures Act in December 2016. Congressman Time Murphy stated that, “through congressional hearings and an in-depth investigation, we discovered the fatal disconnect between 112 federal agencies assigned to treat the mentally ill.”
(Health IT Security, January 31)

Panel discusses ACA repeal, future of health reform
Elizabeth Fowler, Ph.D., stressed that GOP leaders should hesitate to completely start over, though she noted there were several areas for improvement within the law. There are still concerns about the rate of inflation in healthcare costs in the post-ACA healthcare landscape. Read more about the future of ACA and the steps taken towards reform.
(Fierce Healthcare, January 31)

Price’s confirmation for HHS secretary advances without votes from Democrats
U.S. Representative Tom Price’s Nomination by Donald Trump has been mired by controversy over his many healthcare stock trades. Democrats sought to block Price’s nomination over reports that Price did not tell the truth to the Senate Finance Committee that he received a preferential discounted offer of stock from an Australian biotechnology company.
(Modern Healthcare, February 1)

Telehealth and mHealth News

Trinity Health launches home care initiative with Vivify Health technology
Livonia, MI-headquartered Trinity Health is providing a virtual care initiative that aims to keep patients well and out of the hospital, reduce readmissions and ER visits, and employ Vivify Health technologies. This new initiative monitors and reports on a patient’s current wellness status and make it possible to provide feedback immediately.
(Healthcare IT News, February 2)

Study Questions Safety of mHealth Messaging in High-Acuity Healthcare
Researchers from Dallas-based CHRISTUS Health say secure clinical texting can be affected by delays when local telephone network is busy. Wi-Fi networks within hospitals can experience related issues, such as transient wireless connectivity drops, which can result in similar reliability issues for text transmission and receipt.
(mHealth Intelligence, January 31)

Studies & Reports

Study: Medicare patient death rates shortly after ER discharge raise concerns about rural care quality
A recent study raised concerns about the resources available at rural hospitals and the impact of federal regulations that pressure hospitals of all kinds to reduce readmission rates on patient care quality. Many small and rural hospitals are already in dire financial straits caused by staffing and technological issues.
(Fierce Healthcare, February 1)

EHR Use Does Not Preclude Provider Data Communication Errors
“At our institution, despite well-established EHR use and structured interprofessional ICU rounds, we discovered that laboratory misrepresentation was a pervasive phenomenon,” stated a Critical Care Medicine article. While data collection is a necessary component of delivering high quality patient care, such a muddled flood of information can often hinder instead of help providers.
(EHR Intelligence, February 1)

Cybercriminals deploy malware for half of successful cyberattacks, IBM study finds
According to a report, 19 percent of successful healthcare cyber-attackers gain unauthorized access through the manipulation of system data structures where a hacker leverages vulnerabilities in data processing to alter the execution path of a process. Read about the research IBM has taken onto better understand the healthcare security challenge.
(Healthcare IT News, February 2)

Study: Scopes often remain contaminated after standard cleaning methods
Recent findings by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention could help in the fight against hospital acquired infections which are dangerous, too common, and often preventable. Hospitals have made progress, and they have reason to be even more motivated to address the issue by the prospect of the CMS applying financial penalties for poor safety performance.
(Healthcare Dive, February 1)