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Payers, Trade Groups Defend Silver-Loading in Comments to CMS

- Major health payers and representative trade groups are urging CMS not to eliminate the practice of silver-loading, which has been used to stabilize premiums in a volatile and unpredictable market. In response to a request for comments included in the proposed Payment Notice for the 2020 plan year, payers balked…
[https://healthpayerintelligence.com/news/payers-trade-groups-defend-silver-loading-in-comments-to-cms]

Senator Asks AMA, HIMSS How to Improve Healthcare Cybersecurity

- Sen. Mark Warner, D-Virginia, is calling on some of the healthcare sector’s biggest stakeholders to share what they are doing to prevent cyberattacks and how those efforts can be supported by the government. The letter was sent to HIMSS, the American Hospital Association, the American Medical Association, the National Rural…
[https://healthitsecurity.com/news/senator-asks-ama-himss-how-to-improve-healthcare-cybersecurity]

DoD Restructures Management of Medical Treatment Facilities

- The Department of Defense (DoD) is restructuring its medical treatment facilities (MTFs), including transferring MTF administration and management from the military departments to the Defense Health Agency (DHA), according to a new GAO report. The changes are required by section 702 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal…
[https://hitinfrastructure.com/news/dod-restructures-management-of-medical-treatment-facilities]

Telehealth Program to Drive Patient Care Access in Appalachia

- A new funding initiative will help address patient care access shortages by using telehealth to connect patients in Appalachia to specialty providers in more physician-dense areas. The $10,000 grant from the National Science Foundation will help train primary care providers who practice in Appalachia in using telehealth to consult with…
[https://patientengagementhit.com/news/telehealth-program-to-drive-patient-care-access-in-appalachia]

NC Health Information Exchange Upgrades Infrastructure, Usability

- North Carolina’s health information exchange (HIE) is working to upgrade its infrastructure by partnering with InterSystems and analytics company SAS to improve health IT usability and efficiency for users. NC HealthConnex is supported by the North Carolina Department of Information Technology and functions as the state’s designated HIE. The HIE…
[https://ehrintelligence.com/news/nc-health-information-exchange-upgrades-infrastructure-usability]

NYP Sees Telehealth Success After Adjusting to the Patient’s Preferences

- When NewYork-Presbyterian expanded its Express Care telehealth program last year to New York’s Washington Heights neighborhood, the online virtual care service didn’t catch on with residents. It was in danger of suffering the same fate as so many other fledgling connected care services: fading away due to a lack of…
[https://mhealthintelligence.com/news/nyp-sees-telehealth-success-after-adjusting-to-the-patients-preferences]

Hospitals Seek Another Delay for $4B Medicaid DSH Payment Cut

- America’s Essential Hospitals, American Hospital Association (AHA), Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), and five other national hospital groups are calling on policymakers to implement another delay for scheduled cuts to Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) allotments. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires policymakers to reduce Medicaid DSH payments. At…
[https://revcycleintelligence.com/news/hospitals-seek-another-delay-for-4b-medicaid-dsh-payment-cut]

Health-Related Google Searches Increase Just Before ED Visit

- The number of online searches for health-related information spikes right before a patient presents to the emergency department, indicating that Dr. Google remains a key player in patient health habits, according to a study published in BMJ Open. In the week prior to an ED visit, the overall number of…
[https://healthitanalytics.com/news/health-related-google-searches-increase-just-before-ed-visit]

Could Telehealth Give Struggling Rural Hospitals a Path to Stability?

- New research shows that rural hospitals are struggling to stay afloat – and telehealth and telemedicine could throw them a much-needed lifeline. An analysis of financial data by the Navigant Consulting firm finds that one of every five rural hospitals is at a high risk of closing unless its financial…
[https://mhealthintelligence.com/news/could-telehealth-give-struggling-rural-hospitals-a-path-to-stability]

Phishing Attack Breaches Data of 30,000 Memorial Hospital Patients

- An employee of Memorial Hospital at Gulfport, Mississippi fell victim to a phishing attack, which breached the data of 30,000 patients for more than a week in December. On December 17, officials discovered an unauthorized party gained access to an employee email account on December 6. The account was immediately…
[https://healthitsecurity.com/news/phishing-attack-breaches-data-of-30000-memorial-hospital-patients]

Shadow IT Plagues Organizations, Undermining Cloud Security

- Shadow IT continues to affect organizations, which is undermining their cloud security and exposing sensitive data to breaches, according to a survey of 450 IT and cybersecurity professionals from a range of industries including healthcare. Shadow IT is the use of unsanctioned personal devices and cloud services and apps by…
[https://hitinfrastructure.com/news/shadow-it-plagues-organizations-undermining-cloud-security]

Hospital Acquisitions of Physician Practices Rose 128% Since 2012

- Hospital acquisitions of physician practices continues to be a strong trend in the healthcare space, according to new data from Avalere Health and the Physicians Advocacy Institute (PAI). In an emailed press release, the organizations reported that hospitals acquired approximately 8,000 physician practices between July 2016 and July 2018. That…
[https://revcycleintelligence.com/news/hospital-acquisitions-of-physician-practices-rose-128-since-2012]

Yale Establishing Health Informatics Division to Improve EHR Use

- A new health informatics division at the Yale School of Public Health (SPH) is slated to open in August to encourage students to use artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to improve EHR use, according to Yale News. Students in the new division will have the opportunity to pursue a…
[https://ehrintelligence.com/news/yale-establishing-health-informatics-division-to-improve-ehr-use]

Health Data of 974,000 UW Medicine Patients Exposed for 3 Weeks

- The University of Washington Medicine is notifying about 974,000 individuals that some of their patient data was left exposed on the internet for three weeks due to a misconfigured server. The breach was discovered on December 26, when a patient conducted a Google search of their name and found a…
[https://healthitsecurity.com/news/health-data-of-974000-uw-medicine-patients-exposed-for-3-weeks]

Kaiser’s Population Health Medical School Will Start Off Free

- Kaiser Permanente’s new medical school will offer free tuition for the first five classes that enter the institution, the health system announced this week. The school, which will focus heavily on integrating population health management strategies into traditional physician education, has received preliminary accreditation from the Liaison Committee on Medical…
[https://healthitanalytics.com/news/kaisers-population-health-medical-school-will-start-off-free]

70% of Employers Offer Packaged Health, Dental, Pharmacy Benefits

- Seventy-one percent of employers with 100 or more employees are either actively integrating or considering integrating their medical, dental, vision, and pharmacy benefits under their health and wellness programs in the next five years, according to a study commissioned by Anthem and conducted by TRC Insights. Employee benefits are often…
[https://healthpayerintelligence.com/news/70-of-employers-offer-packaged-health-dental-pharmacy-benefits]

FDA OKs Ascom Digistat Medical Device Integration Software for US

- The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the use of Ascom’s Digistat medical device integration software in the U.S. market, Swiss-based Ascom announced Feb. 20. The Digistat medical device integration software suite includes Digistat Connect, Digistat Smart Central, and Digistat Smart Central Mobile. The Digistat Connect software collects clinical…
[https://hitinfrastructure.com/news/fda-oks-ascom-digistat-medical-device-integration-software-for-us]

Payer Accountability Key for Surprise Medical Bill Legislation

- Draft legislation addressing surprise medical bills must include provisions to hold healthcare payers accountable for narrow networks and limited transparency, according to a group of industry organizations led by the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP). In a February 7 letter to Congress, the group, which consisted of over 100…
[https://patientengagementhit.com/news/payer-accountability-key-for-surprise-medical-bill-legislation]

AZ Student Struggling to Access Health Records in Medhost EHR System

- Physicians treating Arizona college student Cailtin Secrist are unable to perform potentially life-saving surgery due to ongoing problems gaining access to her complete health information, which is locked in a repossessed Medhost EHR system. Secrist told AZCentral the files have been inaccessible since Arizona-based Florence Hospital and Gilbert Hospital shut…
[https://ehrintelligence.com/news/az-student-struggling-to-access-health-records-in-medhost-ehr-system]

Marshfield Clinic to Use Remote Monitoring Platform for CHF Patients

- Wisconsin’s Marshfield Clinic Health System will be using a remote patient monitoring platform to improve care management at home for patients with congestive heart failure. The Wisconsin-based health system will be equipping selected patients in its Heart Failure Improvement Clinic (HFIC) with a telehealth platform and mHealth devices so that…
[https://mhealthintelligence.com/news/marshfield-clinic-to-use-remote-monitoring-platform-for-chf-patients]

Partners Explores “Transformative” Realities of AI in Healthcare

- Partners HealthCare in Massachusetts is one of the nation’s epicenters of healthcare research, quality care delivery, and innovative health IT design. From MGH and Harvard Medical School to Brigham and Women’s and the Spaulding Rehabilitation Network, the vast resources at the command of researchers and clinicians make the health system…
[https://healthitanalytics.com/news/partners-explores-transformative-realities-of-ai-in-healthcare]

Healthcare Spending Slated to Increase 5.5% Annually Until 2027

- National healthcare spending increased by approximately 4.4 percent in 2018, and the rate of growth is slated to significantly rise over the next decade, according to a new report from the Office of the Actuary at CMS. The report, published in Health Affairs, reveals that national healthcare spending is projected…
[https://revcycleintelligence.com/news/healthcare-spending-slated-to-increase-5.5-annually-until-2027]

New York Launches Telehealth Initiative to Improve Perinatal Care

- New York state officials are launching a “comprehensive telehealth initiative” aimed at improving access to perinatal care, particularly in rural parts of the state. The four-part program was unveiled this week by Gov. Andrew Cuomo as part of his 2019 Women’s Justice Agenda. It calls for: As much as $5…
[https://mhealthintelligence.com/news/new-york-launches-telehealth-initiative-to-improve-perinatal-care]

Facebook Accused of Exposing User Health Data in Complaint to FTC

- A group of health privacy experts recently filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, accusing Facebook of misleading users about its privacy policies of its “closed” health groups. Filed in December with the FTC and made public this week, the complaint was written by a group led by health…
[https://healthitsecurity.com/news/facebook-accused-of-exposing-user-health-data-in-ftc-complaint]

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