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The Great American Hypertension Epidemic of 2017
By MICHEL ACCAD, MD On November 15, 2017, an epidemic of hypertension broke out and could rapidly affect tens of millions of Americans.  The epicenter of the outbreak was traced back to the meeting of the American Heart Association in Anaheim, CA. The pathogen was released in a special 488-page document labeled “Hypertension Guidelines.”  The document’s suspicious content was apparently noted by meeting personnel, but initial attempts to contain it with an embargo failed and the virus was leaked to the press.  Within minutes, the entire healthcare ecosystem was contaminated. At this point, ...
Source: The Health Care Blog - November 16, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: John Irvine Tags: Uncategorized American Heart Association Hypertension MICHEL ACCAD Source Type: blogs

The Great American Hypertension Epidemic
By MICHEL ACCAD, MD On November 15, 2017, an epidemic of hypertension broke out and could rapidly affect tens of millions of Americans.  The epicenter of the outbreak was traced back to the meeting of the American Heart Association in Anaheim, CA. The pathogen was released in a special 488-page document labeled “Hypertension Guidelines.”  The document’s suspicious content was apparently noted by meeting personnel, but initial attempts to contain it with an embargo failed and the virus was leaked to the press.  Within minutes, the entire healthcare ecosystem was contaminated. At this point, ...
Source: The Health Care Blog - November 16, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: John Irvine Tags: Uncategorized American Heart Association Hypertension MICHEL ACCAD Source Type: blogs

What Baseball Can Teach Doctors
By MICHAEL MILLENSON Baseball, like medicine, is deeply imbued with a sense of tradition, and no team more so than the New York Yankees, disdainful of innovations like placing players’ names on the backs of their jerseys and resistant to eroding strict standards related to haircuts and beards. It’s why doctors and patients alike should pay special attention to why the Yankees parted ways with their old manager and what they now seek instead. In a word: “collaboration.” That’s the takeaway from a recent New York Times article examining why the Yankees declined to re-sign manager Joe Girardi de...
Source: The Health Care Blog - November 16, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: John Irvine Tags: Uncategorized Michael Millenson Source Type: blogs

The New Health Care Experience For Consumers
By HEALTH 2.o                                     SPONSORED CONTENT We are human and we need health care. These are universal truths. Here’s another one – we are consumers. Consumers who happen to be in a constant state of adapting to new health care protocols. The advent of value-based care over fee-for-service has also seen an emergence of empowered consumers who are not only informed but savvy in their health care decision making. Where do I pur...
Source: The Health Care Blog - November 16, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Matthew Holt Tags: Featured Health 2.0 Tech THCB THCBist Trending Source Type: blogs

Remembering Uwe
By JEFF GOLDSMITH The healthcare world learned with great sadness this week of the passing of our friend, Uwe Reinhardt. I met Uwe in 1982 at the Federation of American Hospitals meeting in Las Vegas. Uwe opened the meeting by apologizing, in his disarming German accent, for not being his usual sharp self. He had, he said, skipped breakfast because his wife May had instructed him not to pay for anything in Las Vegas that he could get for free at home. This was vintage Reinhardt, innocent and knowing at the same time. That meeting was the beginning of a long and warm friendship. Uwe would have been acutely uncomfortable wi...
Source: The Health Care Blog - November 15, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: John Irvine Tags: Uncategorized Source Type: blogs

Trump ’ s New Man at HHS
By STEVE FINDLAY President Trump’s nominee to be the next HHS Secretary—Alex Azar—has a sparkling resume and by most accounts is a practical, accomplished and solid choice to lead the agency and the federal government’s health programs for at least the next 3 years. He served as HHS Deputy Secretary under George W. Bush. But the choice is yet another by the Trump administration that puts industry leaders in charge of public policy and programs.   And in this case that could matter as much as the appointment of Scott Pruitt to head the EPA—although I do not equate the two personally s...
Source: The Health Care Blog - November 15, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: John Irvine Tags: Uncategorized Eli Lilly Source Type: blogs

A Brief History of Price Controls by Annoyed Republican Administrations
By UWE REINHARDT Although, unlike most other nations, the U.S. has only two parties worth the name, their professed doctrines compared with their actions strikes me as more confusing than the well-known S.sky Decomposition which, as everyone knows, can be derived simply from a straightforward application of Kramer’s rule to a matrix of second partial derivatives of a multivariable demand function. The leaders of the drug industry, for example, probably are now breaking out the champagne in the soothing belief that their aggressive pricing policies for even old drugs are safe for at least the next eight years from th...
Source: The Health Care Blog - November 15, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: John Irvine Tags: THCB Trending Source Type: blogs

On THCB
By THE EDITORS The Four Things Keeping Hospital CEOs Awake at Night This Year (Hint: Donald Trump Isn’t One of Them) BY PAUL KECKLEY Valuing Value-Based Payment By ANISH KOKA, MD Dear Humans, Diverse Social Networks Are The Answer  By MARTY SAMUELS, MD Why Smart Pill Bottles & Financial Rewards Don’t Improve Medication Adherence By HILARY HATCH EHR-Driven Medical Error: The Unknown and the Unknowable By ROSS KOPPEL and STEVE SOUMERAI Health Care Reform Can’t Wait for Quality Measures to Be Perfect By BINDER, MARCOTTE, FILDES & THOMPSON Better Metrics: Immunizations and Asking the Right...
Source: The Health Care Blog - November 15, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: John Irvine Tags: Uncategorized Source Type: blogs

Uwe Reinhardt 1937-2017
Uwe Reinhardt, Princeton economist and one of the best known and best loved personalities in the health policy world died today. I join the rest of the health policy community in mourning the passing of the master explainer and wit that Uwe was. But I also remember a small act of his kindness. The first time I met him I was a little late joining a crowd trying to get his attention after a keynote. He had talked to many, and had to go. But as he was being hustled off by his handlers, he realized he hadn’t talked to me, and he walked back to do an introduction and share a few words. He was already the biggest celebrity...
Source: The Health Care Blog - November 14, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Matthew Holt Tags: Matthew Holt THCB Uwe Reinhardt Source Type: blogs

What Would a Disrupted Health Care Field Look Like?
By ANDY ORAM Clayton Christensen, the famous economist who popularized ideas of innovation and disruption, showed up at the recent Connected Health conference in Boston. Although billed as a panelist, he turned up without warning as a guest in a keynote and posed the same question I asked in an article back in July: “The overarching question: whither technology?” Like my article, Christensen distinguished between incremental improvements that don’t challenge current power structures or sources of revenue, and disruptive change that offers new solutions to old, intractable problems. Disruptive change, as s...
Source: The Health Care Blog - November 14, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: John Irvine Tags: Uncategorized Source Type: blogs

The Next Tech Wave To Impact Personalized Health
The Technology For Precision Health Summit is just around the corner, and it’s the place to discover new digital platforms that will improve the patient experience, and access a deeper insight into the data behind key decisions for treatment and for maintaining health.   Join more than 300 healthcare providers and payers, advocates, developers, investors, entrepreneurs, policymakers, and advocates for the 1-day action-packed summit which includes: Keynote presentation on quality of patient experience; and initiatives to improve care providers to securely review, analyze and share medical information ...
Source: The Health Care Blog - November 14, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Matthew Holt Tags: Featured Health 2.0 Tech THCB THCBist Trending Source Type: blogs

Why Hospitals Are Losing Serious Money And What That Means For Your Future
This article examines the economic struggles of inpatient facilities, the even harsher realities in front of them, and why hospitals are likely to aggravate, not address, healthcare’s rising cost issues. According to the Harvard Business Review, several big-name hospitals reported significant declines and, in some cases, net losses to their FY 2016 operating margins. Among them, Partners HealthCare, New England’s largest hospital network, lost $108 million; the Cleveland Clinic witnessed a 71% decline in operating income; and MD Anderson, the nation’s largest cancer center, dropped $266 million. How did s...
Source: The Health Care Blog - November 12, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: John Irvine Tags: Uncategorized Source Type: blogs

Practicing Medicine While Black
By KIP SULLIVAN, JD The managed care movement thrives on misleading words and phrases. Perhaps the worst example is the incessant use of the word “quality” to characterize a problem that has multiple causes, only one of which might be inferior physician or hospital quality. [1] To illustrate with a non-medical analogy, no one would blame auto repair mechanics if 50 percent of their customers failed to bring their cars in for regular oil changes. We would attribute the underuse of mechanics’ services to forces far beyond the mechanic’s control and would not, therefore, refer to the problem as a &ldqu...
Source: The Health Care Blog - November 9, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: John Irvine Tags: Uncategorized Source Type: blogs

12 Seconds of Placebo – An Outsider’s View of ORBITA
By, SAURABH JHA MD   The reactions of physicians to ORBITA, a blinded, randomized controlled trial (RCT) from Britain, with a sham arm, comparing percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) to placebo, in patients with stable angina, are as fascinating as the cardiac cycle. There were murmurs, kicks, and pulsating jugulars. Though many claimed to be surprised, and many unsurprised, by the null results of the trial, the responses were predictably predictable. Some basked in playful schadenfreude, and some became defensive and bisferious. No shame in sham The coverage of the trial in the NY Times was predictably jejune and...
Source: The Health Care Blog - November 7, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: at RogueRad Tags: Uncategorized Source Type: blogs

The DNA Tool That You Must See
Most people have no way of accessing DNA-powered insights about themselves, and no way to store and use their genome in ways that they control. Technology for Precision Health Summit demoer Helix solves that by providing the world’s first online store for DNA-powered products where people can explore diverse and uniquely personalized products developed by high-quality partners. After being sequenced once with true next-generation sequencing, the user can query their data on-demand at any time for a large variety of uses. The costs of DNA sequencing have dropped rapidly, and our underst...
Source: The Health Care Blog - November 7, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Matthew Holt Tags: Featured Health 2.0 Patients Tech THCB THCBist Trending Source Type: blogs

Right to Know: Why the FDA Should Not Be Cut Out of Expanded Access Requests
By CHAPMAN, KLEIN and McFADYEN Over the past three years, the libertarian Goldwater Institute–led right to try (RTT) movement has had wind in its sails, propelling the passage of RTT laws in 38 states and counting. The movement, which aims to cut the FDA out of the process by which patients with serious or immediately life-threatening diseases without available therapies access investigational drugs and biologics, hit some choppier waters at the hearing held October 3rd by the Health Subcommittee of the House Energy & Commerce Committee. The House is considering passage of a federal RTT bill, and two potential op...
Source: The Health Care Blog - November 6, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: John Irvine Tags: Uncategorized Source Type: blogs

A Tale of Two Doctors
By ROBERT MCNUTT, MD Data is not always the path to identifying good medicine. Quality and cost measures should not be perceived as “scores,” because the health care process is neither simplistic nor deterministic; it involves as much art and perception as science—and never is this more the case than in the first step of that process, making a diagnosis. I share the following story to illustrate this lesson: we should stop behaving as if good quality can be delineated by data alone. Instead, we should be using that data to ask questions. We need to know more about exactly what we are measuring, how we can...
Source: The Health Care Blog - November 3, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: John Irvine Tags: Uncategorized Data Decision-making echocardiogram Quality Utlilization Variations Source Type: blogs

The Dunning-Kruger Effect, Or the Real Reason Why the Guys Trying to “ Fix ” Health Care Are Driving You Crazy
By HANS DUVEFELT, MD “The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.” – Willam Shakespeare I learned about the Dunning-Kruger effect at a medical conference recently. It certainly seems to apply in medicine. So often, a novice thinks he or she has mastered a new skill or achieved full understanding of something complicated, but as time goes on, we all begin to see how little we actually know. Over time, we may regain some or most of our initial confidence, but never all of it. Experience brings at least a measure of humility. Just the other day I finished a manuscr...
Source: The Health Care Blog - November 3, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: John Irvine Tags: Uncategorized Dunning-Kruger Effect Medicine practice of medicine Source Type: blogs

Evaluating ACO Performance, 2016 Edition
By DAVID INTROCASO (A review of 2015 ACO results appeared on The Health Care Blog on October 1, 2016.) The Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP), or Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), continue to be CMS’ flagship pay for performance (P4P) model delivering care via 432 MSSP ACOs located in every state to over nine million, or 16%, of Medicare beneficiaries. This year the agency did not announce 2016 performance year results. Instead, CMS posted without notice in late October a Public Use File (PUF) or spread sheet summarizing 2016 performance. What analysis CMS did provide was by CMS’ vendor, the Research ...
Source: The Health Care Blog - November 2, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: John Irvine Tags: Uncategorized 2016 ACOs CMS Research Triangle Institute Source Type: blogs

Reducing Opioid Abuse, A Quick Guide to Internet Resources
By DAVID HARLOW, MD The opioid crisis has been upon us for years now, and we are now seeing the problem become more pervasive, with more than 90 deaths per day in the U.S. due to this scourge. The president recently said he would be declaring a public health emergency (which would free up some funds) but has not done so as of this writing. The public health threat is so persistent that it calls for responses on many levels, and those responses are coming. Some have been in place for a while, some are more recent. These responses may be broken down into a number of different categories: Broader availability of naloxone (an...
Source: The Health Care Blog - November 1, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: John Irvine Tags: Uncategorized Charlie Baker Harlow Internet Massachussetts Opioid Opioid crisis Source Type: blogs

Why the Potential CVS Acquisition of Aetna is Brilliant, The Law of Unintended Consequences
By FRED GOLDSTEIN Many people have been surprised by the announcement that CVS is interested in purchasing Aetna.  Why would a PBM want to own a health plan?  There has been speculation that the move by Amazon to get into the pharmacy space may be a reason.  But there is another more rationale reason and its based upon a flaw in the Affordable Care Act. The flaw is known as the Medical Loss Ratio requirement and it reads like this from the CMS website The Affordable Care Act requires insurance companies to spend at least 80% or 85% of premium dollars on medical care, with the rate review provisions imposing ...
Source: The Health Care Blog - October 30, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: John Irvine Tags: Uncategorized Source Type: blogs

“Mouths full of gold.” Private practice in Britain’s National Health System
By SAURABH JHA, MD When Aneurin Bevan was asked how he convinced doctors to come on board the National Health Service (NHS) he allegedly replied, “I stuffed their mouths full of gold.” Bevan recognized that to conscript doctors to the largest socialist experiment in healthcare in the world he had to appeal not so much to their morals, but pockets. There is much piety about the NHS. It is the envy of the world, though oddly Saudi oil barons still favor Cleveland Clinic and Texas Heart Institute over quaint little hospitals in rural Scotland. The NHS featured in Britain’s 2012 Olympic parade along with Mr. ...
Source: The Health Care Blog - October 29, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: at RogueRad Tags: Uncategorized Source Type: blogs

To Achieve Its Goals, Population Health Needs More Specialists
By VIKRAM REDDY, MD I attended a Population Health conference this summer where a number of representatives from large health systems and physician organizations convened to discuss common challenges. Many of my healthcare colleagues assume that anything that carries the label “Population Health” must relate to health disparities and food deserts. While we do address these topics, the vast majority of sessions and conversations had one underlying theme: lowering the total cost of care. In rebuttal to any charges that our group is far too corporate to be considered a fair example of Population Health advocates, ...
Source: The Health Care Blog - October 28, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: John Irvine Tags: Uncategorized ACO Medicare Population Health Source Type: blogs

Population Health & the Missing Specialist
By VIKRAM REDDY, MD I attended a Population Health conference this summer where a number of representatives from large health systems and physician organizations convened to discuss common challenges. Many of my healthcare colleagues assume that anything that carries the label “Population Health” must relate to health disparities and food deserts. While we do address these topics, the vast majority of sessions and conversations had one underlying theme: lowering the total cost of care. In rebuttal to any charges that our group is far too corporate to be considered a fair example of Population Health advocates, ...
Source: The Health Care Blog - October 28, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: John Irvine Tags: Uncategorized ACO Medicare Population Health Source Type: blogs

Is Obamacare Dead?
By STEVE FINDLAY “It’s dead. It’s gone. There’s no such thing as Obamacare anymore. It’s no longer – you shouldn’t even mention.” — President Donald J. Trump  October 17, 2017 Not so fast, President Great-Again. First off, this is an obviously and flatly false statement. But also, don’t look now but Congress and the Trump administration itself are haltingly and chaotically moving to enact bipartisan legislation to stabilize the ACA exchange marketplaces for 2018 and 2019. Importantly, passage of such a measure would get the ACA through the 2018 mid-term elect...
Source: The Health Care Blog - October 27, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: John Irvine Tags: Uncategorized Source Type: blogs

Super Macranomics
By KIP SULLIVAN This is the second of a two-part series on MedPAC’s October 4 decision to recommend the repeal of the MIPS program. In Part One , I gave the MedPAC staff credit for urging the commission to support repeal of MIPS, and I criticized their irrational proposal to replace MIPS. I said MedPAC is stuck in a vicious cycle – they recommend “reforms” without evidence, and when the reforms don’t work, they recommend evidence-free tweaks that don’t work either. I referred to this vicious cycle as a “tar pit.” In this essay I attempt to explain how MedPAC created this inte...
Source: The Health Care Blog - October 26, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: John Irvine Tags: Uncategorized CMS MACRA Source Type: blogs

The Future Will Be Blogcast
By THCBist #The Four Things Keeping Hospital CEOs Awake at Night This Year (Hint: Donald Trump Isn’t One of Them) #Valuing Value-Based Payment # I Refuse to Tell You What to Eat # Price Transparency Tools Are Still Struggling. We Offer Advice # EHR-Driven Medical Error: The Unknown and the Unknowable # Sorry. Health Care Reform Can’t Wait for Quality Measures to Be Perfect # Building Better Metrics:  Immunizations and Asking the Right Question(s) (Source: The Health Care Blog)
Source: The Health Care Blog - October 26, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: John Irvine Tags: Uncategorized Source Type: blogs

My 14 Year Old Cancer Patient May Be Addicted to Opioids. What Do I Do?
By JULIE KIM, MD I’m a pediatric oncologist, but cancer is not always the most serious problem my young patients face. Currently one of them, a 14-year-old boy, his mother, or both may be opioid addicts. I may be enabling their addiction. Tragically, their situation is not unique. Adolescent patients are at risk for addiction from opioid pain medications just as adult patients are. But pediatric patients are overlooked in this war against opioid addiction. No policies protect them or those caring for them. Usually pain is short-term, and only limited opioids are needed. Most providers, including those caring for chil...
Source: The Health Care Blog - October 25, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: John Irvine Tags: Uncategorized Cancer Julie Kim Opioids Source Type: blogs

ACOs: An Act of Faith, Theory, Hope, or Evidence? What Do the Data Say?
By ROSS KOPPEL and STEVE SOUMERAI The recent Health Affairs Blog piece by Chernew and Barbey (October 17, 2017) provides a helpful theoretical summary of the various ways ACOs might achieve savings—even if modest or still latent. But their analysis of the empirical literature, including the CMS innovations, gives us little confidence that even these small savings are real or will emerge. It is astonishing there is little or no critique of ACO studies’ limitations that generally bias the findings toward the apparent (but miniscule) savings. Two Critical Methodological Flaws: ACOs generally volunteer to particip...
Source: The Health Care Blog - October 25, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: John Irvine Tags: Uncategorized Source Type: blogs

I Refuse to Tell You What to Eat
By MICHEL ACCAD, MD A recent tweet from JAMA, the journal of the American Medical Association, urged me andother doctors to “include nutrition counseling into the flow of [our] daily practice.” Along with the tweet came a link to an article that outlines “relatively small” dietary changes, based on the latest Dietary Guidelines for Americans, that can “significantly improve health.” My response to the tweet was swift and knee-jerk.  I will not do it.  I simply will not.  I refuse to follow dietary guidelines or recommend them to...
Source: The Health Care Blog - October 24, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: John Irvine Tags: Uncategorized Source Type: blogs

Price Transparency Tools Are Still Struggling. We Offer Advice
By PETER, BELL & FINDLAY The potential of price transparency tools to help consumers with high out-of-pocket medical expenses remains largely untapped, according to two recent studies published in Health Affairs and other recent research by Consumer Reports and Public Agenda. One study found that while more than half of the nearly 3,000 patients surveyed said they would use a website to shop for healthcare if they knew of one, only 13 percent actually looked for information on future healthcare spending and only 3 percent compared prices and costs across providers. In the second study, patients with access to a price t...
Source: The Health Care Blog - October 23, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: John Irvine Tags: Uncategorized Consumer Reports price transparency Steve Findlay Source Type: blogs

Kenzen ’ s ECHO Smart Patch Uses Data Improve Health For Users
Innovation in healthcare tech has seen a major influx in recent years given the continued growth in wearables and the potential for the use of data analytics to improve health. Kenzen is making a difference by creating a wearable smart device enabled to monitor a person’s health by utilizing non-invasive sweat analysis. Kenzen’s mission is to impact personal health technology with continuous monitoring of the body through key biomarkers. In Healthcare, Kenzen has developed the ECHO Smart Patch, a device aimed at “at risk” populations such as the elderly or employees who work in challenging environ...
Source: The Health Care Blog - October 23, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Matthew Holt Tags: Featured Health 2.0 Tech THCB THCBist Source Type: blogs

MedPAC Sinks Deeper Into the MACRA Tar Pit
By KIP SULLIVAN, JD The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) has done it again. At their October 4, 2017 meeting they agreed to repeal the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), an insanely complex and evidence-free pay-for-performance scheme within the larger program known as MACRA. Instead of examining how they made such a serious mistake in the first place (MedPAC has long supported turning fee-for-service Medicare into a giant pay-for-performance scheme), they repeated their original mistake –- they adopted yet another vague, complex, evidence-free proposal to replace MIPS. MedPAC’s history g...
Source: The Health Care Blog - October 20, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: John Irvine Tags: Uncategorized Source Type: blogs

Do Doctors Deserve Mercy?
By NIRAN AL-AGBA, MD This past week a video went viral when a woman complained about the lengthy wait time at a clinic.  On video, we see the physician asks if the patient still wants to be seen.  The patient declines to be seen, yet complains patients should be informed they will not be seen in a timely manner.  The frustrated physician replies, “Then fine…Get the hell out. Get your money and get the hell out.”  While we do not witness events leading up to the argument between doctor and patient, we do know staff at the front desk called the police due to threats made by the patient...
Source: The Health Care Blog - October 19, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: John Irvine Tags: Uncategorized Gallogly Niran Al-Agba Source Type: blogs

Could OpenNotes Transform the Analytics Marketplace?
By MICHAEL MILLENSON Could OpenNotes help push predictive analytics from paternalism to partnership? As new payment incentives make it profitable to prevent illness as well as treat it, new technology is offering the tantalizing prospect of accurately targeting pre-emptive interventions. At the recent Health 2.0 Annual Fall Conference, for example, companies like Cardinal Analytx Solutions and Base Health spoke of using machine learning to find those individuals among a client’s population who haven’t yet been expensively sick, but are likely to be so soon. Companies seeking to make tha...
Source: The Health Care Blog - October 18, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: John Irvine Tags: Uncategorized Source Type: blogs

5 Drivers of Healthcare ’s Decentralized Future
By Indu Subaiya & Matthew Holt The contrast between the recent hurricanes in Texas and Florida is illustrative of the progress made in health IT in the past decade or so. In 2005, there were huge losses of patient data after Hurricane Katrina, because the information was available only on paper. However, because of advocacy from the health IT community and partly in reaction to that disaster, the 2009 HITECH Act provided more than $32bn in funding that drove electronic medical record (EMR) adoption. Today, virtually every hospital and most practices are using them. There have been plenty of initiatives to create intero...
Source: The Health Care Blog - October 18, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Matthew Holt Tags: Featured Health 2.0 Matthew Holt Tech THCB THCBist Source Type: blogs

EHR-Driven Medical Error: The Unknown and the Unknowable
This report, while most welcome, does not reflect the tip of the iceberg. More, it’s a scratch on the tip of the iceberg. NOTE: parts of this text are taken from some of my previous publications.   Ross Koppel, Ph.D. FACMI, UNIV. OF PENNSYLVANIA Senior Fellow, Wharton’s Leonard Davis Institute of Healthcare Economics; Senior Fellow, Center for Public Health Initiatives, Perelman Sch of Medicine; Adjunct Professor (full) Sociology Department; Principal Investigator and Affil Prof of Medicine, Perelman School of Medicine; Senior Investigator, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences Also:  Chair, Cli...
Source: The Health Care Blog - October 17, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: John Irvine Tags: Uncategorized Source Type: blogs

Valuing Value-Based Payment
By ANISH KOKA, MD The idea that payment should be linked to the value lies at the heart of most of the transactions we participate in on a daily basis. Yet, value based payment in healthcare has seemingly run into very rocky waters as of late.  It is at this precarious time that stakeholders representing large employers and other purchasers of health care’ took to the Harvard Business Review to write in defense of value based payment reform.  The authors pepper their article with cherry picked ‘successes’ of the value movement and urge the country to forge ahead on the current path.  The pi...
Source: The Health Care Blog - October 16, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: anish_koka Tags: Uncategorized Value-Based Payment Source Type: blogs

Trump Thinks He Just Blew Up Obamacare With a Stroke of the Pen. Did He?
By STEVE FINDLAY If you had illusions, or hopes, that the “Kill Obamacare” reality show starring Donald Trump would settle down to a dull roar, events of the last few days should blow those illusions out of the water. You’ve heard the news by now and I won’t repeat it here.   In addition to your favorite media outlets, see this analysis by ACA legal expert Tim Jost. Trump has been true to his word and his warnings of the last few months—that if Congress didn’t repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act he’d resort to regulatory and executive branch action. The words of th...
Source: The Health Care Blog - October 14, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: John Irvine Tags: Uncategorized Source Type: blogs

Trump Thinks He Just Blew Up Obamacare With the Stroke of the Pen. Did He?
By STEVE FINDLAY If you had illusions, or hopes, that the “Kill Obamacare” reality show starring Donald Trump would settle down to a dull roar, events of the last few days should blow those illusions out of the water. You’ve heard the news by now and I won’t repeat it here.   In addition to your favorite media outlets, see this analysis by ACA legal expert Tim Jost. Trump has been true to his word and his warnings of the last few months—that if Congress didn’t repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act he’d resort to regulatory and executive branch action. The words of th...
Source: The Health Care Blog - October 14, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: John Irvine Tags: Uncategorized Source Type: blogs

Six Assertions on Knowing the Unknowable Future of Healthcare
BY JOE FLOWER Some things never change. Joe Flower is one of those things. Pay attention. Joe was the keynote speaker at Health 2.0 Silicon Valley earlier this month. We’re excited to feature the text of his remarks as a post on the blog today.  If you have questions for Joe, you can leave them the comment section. You’ll find a link to a complimentary copy of his report Healthcare 2027: at the end of this post. You should absolutely download and read it. And take notes. The future. The Future of healthcare. 
Here are the seven words at the core. If you take nothing else away from this, take these: Ever...
Source: The Health Care Blog - October 13, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: John Irvine Tags: Uncategorized Futurism Joe Flower Source Type: blogs

Moving the Needle to Diversify Health Tech
By SABAH PERVEZ AND ALYX STERNLICHT There is a dire need for the health tech workforce to keep pace with the changing racial makeup of the nation.  According to  the Pew Research Center study,  from 1960 to 2010, the percentages of Americans identifying themselves as Black, Hispanic, Asian, or “other” increased from just 15 percent of the population to 36 percent of the population:       Black: Increased from 10 to 12 percent       Hispanic: Increased from 4 to 15 percent       Asian: increased from 1 to...
Source: The Health Care Blog - October 12, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Matthew Holt Tags: Catalyst @ Health 2.0 Source Type: blogs

The Four Things Keeping Hospital CEOs Awake at Night This Year (Hint: Donald Trump Isn ’ t One of Them)
By PAUL KECKLEY The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation released a Request for Information (RFI) last week– “New Direction for the CMS Innovation Center.” It’s the latest chapter in the unfolding policy framework that will govern the health system for at least the next 3 years. The RFI, which doubles down on value-based alternative payment models and consumer directed care, coupled with a proposed rule to cancel mandatory bundles by former HHS Secretary Price, the administration’s actions last week to weaken contraceptive coverage requirements in employer-sponsored health plans and Con...
Source: The Health Care Blog - October 9, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: John Irvine Tags: Uncategorized CMS Innovation Center Paul Keckley Source Type: blogs

The Three Things Keeping Hospital CEOs Up Late at Night (Hint: Donald Trump Isn ’ t One of Them)
By PAUL KECKLEY The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation released a Request for Information (RFI) last week– “New Direction for the CMS Innovation Center.” It’s the latest chapter in the unfolding policy framework that will govern the health system for at least the next 3 years. The RFI, which doubles down on value-based alternative payment models and consumer directed care, coupled with a proposed rule to cancel mandatory bundles by former HHS Secretary Price, the administration’s actions last week to weaken contraceptive coverage requirements in employer-sponsored health plans and Con...
Source: The Health Care Blog - October 9, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: John Irvine Tags: Uncategorized CMS Innovation Center Paul Keckley Source Type: blogs

Sorry. Health Care Reform Can ’t Wait for Quality Measures to Be Perfect
By BINDER, MARCOTTE, FILDES and THOMPSON There’s a debate in the United States about whether the current measures of health care quality are adequate to support the movement away from fee-for-service toward value-based payment. Some providers advocate slowing or even halting payment reform efforts because they don’t believe that quality can be adequately measured to determine fair payment. Employers and other purchasers, however, strongly support the currently available quality measures used in payment reform efforts to reward higher-performing providers. So far, the Trump administration has not weighed in...
Source: The Health Care Blog - October 6, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: John Irvine Tags: Uncategorized AHRQ CMS PSI Quality measure value-based care Source Type: blogs

Building Better Metrics:   Immunizations and Asking the Right Question(s)
By NIRAN AL-AGBA, MD As policy experts cling to pay-for-performance (P4P) as an indicator of healthcare quality and shy away from fee-for-service, childhood immunization rates are being utilized as a benchmark.  At first glance, vaccinating children on time seems like a reasonable method to gauge how well a primary care physician does their job.  Unfortunately, the parental vaccine hesitancy trend is gaining in popularity.  Studies have shown when pediatricians are specifically trained to counsel parents on the value of immunizations, hesitancy does not change statistically.  Washington State Law allows...
Source: The Health Care Blog - October 5, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: John Irvine Tags: Uncategorized Immunizations Metrics primary care Vaccination Source Type: blogs

Building Better Metrics:   Immunizations and Asking the Right Question(s).
By NIRAN AL-AGBA, MD As policy experts cling to pay-for-performance (P4P) as an indicator of healthcare quality and shy away from fee-for-service, childhood immunization rates are being utilized as a benchmark.  At first glance, vaccinating children on time seems like a reasonable method to gauge how well a primary care physician does their job.  Unfortunately, the parental vaccine hesitancy trend is gaining in popularity.  Studies have shown when pediatricians are specifically trained to counsel parents on the value of immunizations, hesitancy does not change statistically.  Washington State Law allows...
Source: The Health Care Blog - October 5, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: John Irvine Tags: Uncategorized Immunizations Metrics primary care Vaccination Source Type: blogs

I ’ m 35 Years Old And I ’ m Realizing My Life May Be About to End. And I ’ m Panicking, Just a Little.
By SCOTT RIDDLE It’s been a while since I put a piece of writing in the public domain, but suddenly I have a lot to get off my chest, well my colon actually. Just three weeks ago life was good. Correction. It was awesome. The newest edition to our family had arrived on Christmas Eve, joining his two sisters aged 5 and 3. A month later we were on a plane home to Sydney, having spent four great years working for Google in California. My beautiful wife had been working at a startup on NASA’s Moffett campus and was worried about finding something equally interesting in Australia, but she managed to land a very sim...
Source: The Health Care Blog - October 4, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: John Irvine Tags: Uncategorized Cancer Colon Cancer Scott Riddle Source Type: blogs

AARP Caregiver Quality of Life Challenge Winners Announced!
By CHELSEA POLANIECKI Roughly one out of every three people in the United States serves as a caregiver for a chronically ill, disabled, or aging loved one at some point in their life*. Not only do most caregivers dedicate a significant amount of time to these duties, but they often also work full or part-time jobs to make ends meet. These stresses result in 40-70% of caregivers exhibiting clinically significant signs of depression*. Fortunately, there is an increasing focus on caregiver well being, and now, more than ever, innovation in caregiving has the opportunity to make real change and improve tens of thousands of liv...
Source: The Health Care Blog - October 4, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Matthew Holt Tags: Catalyst @ Health 2.0 Source Type: blogs

CMS Should Play the Role of Virtual Group Matchmaker
By MANU UPPAL and DAVID INTROCASO In the 2018 proposed Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act’s (MACRA’s) rule, published earlier this year, HHS has again proposed to exclude two-thirds of physicians, or 900,000, from participation in the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS).  MIPS was created under 2015 MACRA legislation to incent financially Medicare physicians and other Medicare Part B clinicians to improve care quality and reduce Medicare spending growth.  HHS is choosing to exclude smaller-sized physician practices because, it is believed, MIPS reporting requirements place too h...
Source: The Health Care Blog - October 3, 2017 Category: Consumer Health News Authors: John Irvine Tags: Uncategorized CMS MACRA MIPS Virtual Groups Source Type: blogs