MedClimate Health News Daily http://medclimate.com/feed en-us Copyright MedClimate, Inc2019 Senators urge health orgs to combat racial bias in AI algorithms http://medclimate.com/external/index.php?https://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/senators-urge-health-orgs-combat-racial-bias-ai-algorithms http://medclimate.com/external/index.php?https://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/senators-urge-health-orgs-combat-racial-bias-ai-algorithms Fri, 06 Dec 2019 14:52:33 CST mmiliard at Healthcare IT News - Government & Policy United States Senators Cory Booker, D-New Jersey, and Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, are urging the Trump administration and some of the nation's biggest health insurers – Humana and Blue Cross among them – to be aware of potential racial bias in healthcare data algorithms. The letters were sent to leaders at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Federal Trade Commission – as well as to the executive vice president of CVS Health Karen Lynch, who is also the president of the company's Aetna business unit, as well as to the president and CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield, Scott Serota, and David Cordani, president and CEO of Cigna, among others. "In healthcare, there is great promise in using algorithms to sort patients and target care to those most in need. However, these systems are not immune to the problem of bias," said Senators Booker and Wyden's in their  letter to Lynch stated. "As algorithms play an increasingly prevalent role in the health care system, we urge Aetna to consider the risk for algorithmic bias and its potential impact on health disparities outcomes." The letters point to a study published in the October 25 issue of Science magazine, which examined the racial bias in an algorithm used to manage the health of populations. For study found the creators of the algorithm did not take into account that other factors besides need contribute to the individual's overall healthcare costs. Factors like barriers to accessing care and low levels of trust in the healthcare system – which disproportionately affect black patients – mean those patients were less likely to receive additional services. "Less money is spent on Black patients who have the same level of need, and the algorithm thus falsely concludes that Black patients are healthier than equally sick White patients," the study concluded. "Reformulating the algorithm so that it no longer uses costs as a proxy for needs eliminates the racial bias in predicting who needs extra care." The two senators submitted a list of questions to the recipients of the letter, requesting details about the use, type, number and methodology behind the algorithms these organizations use. The questions also cover topics related to the use of machine learning and advanced analytics – technologies that are expected to play much larger roles in the future development of healthcare analytical tools and metrics. The letter requests responses to the six questions – some of which contain numerous follow-ups – no later than December 31, 2019. Nathan Eddy is a healthcare and technology freelancer based in Berlin. Email the writer: nathaneddy@gmail.com Twitter: @dropdeaded209

United States Senators Cory Booker, D-New Jersey, and Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, are urging the Trump administration and some of the nation's biggest health insurers – Humana and Blue Cross among them – to be aware of potential racial bias in healthcare data algorithms.

The letters were sent to leaders at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Federal Trade Commission – as well as to the executive vice president of CVS Health Karen Lynch, who is also the president of the company's Aetna business unit, as well as to the president and CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield, Scott Serota, and David Cordani, president and CEO of Cigna, among others.

"In healthcare, there is great promise in using algorithms to sort patients and target care to those most in need. However, these systems are not immune to the problem of bias," said Senators Booker and Wyden's in their  letter to Lynch stated. "As algorithms play an increasingly prevalent role in the health care system, we urge Aetna to consider the risk for algorithmic bias and its potential impact on health disparities outcomes."

The letters point to a study published in the October 25 issue of Science magazine, which examined the racial bias in an algorithm used to manage the health of populations.

For study found the creators of the algorithm did not take into account that other factors besides need contribute to the individual's overall healthcare costs.

Factors like barriers to accessing care and low levels of trust in the healthcare system – which disproportionately affect black patients – mean those patients were less likely to receive additional services.

"Less money is spent on Black patients who have the same level of need, and the algorithm thus falsely concludes that Black patients are healthier than equally sick White patients," the study concluded. "Reformulating the algorithm so that it no longer uses costs as a proxy for needs eliminates the racial bias in predicting who needs extra care."

The two senators submitted a list of questions to the recipients of the letter, requesting details about the use, type, number and methodology behind the algorithms these organizations use.

The questions also cover topics related to the use of machine learning and advanced analytics – technologies that are expected to play much larger roles in the future development of healthcare analytical tools and metrics.

The letter requests responses to the six questions – some of which contain numerous follow-ups – no later than December 31, 2019.

Nathan Eddy is a healthcare and technology freelancer based in Berlin.
Email the writer: nathaneddy@gmail.com
Twitter: @dropdeaded209

]]>
Technology optimization: elevating cloud performance http://medclimate.com/external/index.php?https://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/technology-optimization-elevating-cloud-performance http://medclimate.com/external/index.php?https://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/technology-optimization-elevating-cloud-performance Fri, 06 Dec 2019 12:07:39 CST at Most Popular News from healthcareitnews.com Four analysts from Black Book, Chilmark, KLAS and PwC offer their expert advice for healthcare CIOs and other IT leaders seeking to make cloud technology work for their organizations. VA establishes new National Artificial Intelligence Institute http://medclimate.com/external/index.php?https://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/va-establishes-new-national-artificial-intelligence-institute http://medclimate.com/external/index.php?https://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/va-establishes-new-national-artificial-intelligence-institute Fri, 06 Dec 2019 09:52:37 CST at Most Popular News from healthcareitnews.com NAII will work with veterans and partners across federal agencies, the private sector and academia to prioritize AI research and development for better health. VA establishes new National Artificial Intelligence Institute http://medclimate.com/external/index.php?https://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/va-establishes-new-national-artificial-intelligence-institute http://medclimate.com/external/index.php?https://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/va-establishes-new-national-artificial-intelligence-institute Fri, 06 Dec 2019 09:52:37 CST mmiliard at Healthcare IT News - Government & Policy The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has launched the National Artificial Intelligence Institute, with the aim of boosting the health and wellness of veterans through advanced AI and machine learning technologies. WHY IT MATTERS The institute will incorporate feedback from veterans and other partners across federal agencies, industry, nonprofits and academia, said VA officials. The goal is to "prioritize and realize" AI research and development that can help veterans and others. NAII is a joint initiative between VA’s Office of Research and Development and Secretary’s Center for Strategic Partnerships. Professionals there will design, execute and collaborate on strategies that build on the American AI Initiative and the National AI R&D Strategic Plan. THE LARGER TREND VA officials note that the agency offers an environment well-suited for advancing AI, given the extensive integration of the VA health system and projects such as the Million Veteran Program, the largest genomic knowledge base in the world Among its many current use cases, VA harnesses AI to help reduce veterans’ wait times, identify those at high risk for suicide, help doctors interpret the results of cancer lab tests and guide treatment decisions. ON THE RECORD “VA has a unique opportunity to be a leader in artificial intelligence,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “VA’s artificial intelligence institute will usher in new capabilities and opportunities that will improve health outcomes for our nation’s heroes.” Twitter: @MikeMiliardHITN Email the writer: mike.miliard@himssmedia.com Healthcare IT News is a publication of HIMSS Media.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has launched the National Artificial Intelligence Institute, with the aim of boosting the health and wellness of veterans through advanced AI and machine learning technologies.

WHY IT MATTERS
The institute will incorporate feedback from veterans and other partners across federal agencies, industry, nonprofits and academia, said VA officials. The goal is to "prioritize and realize" AI research and development that can help veterans and others.

NAII is a joint initiative between VA’s Office of Research and Development and Secretary’s Center for Strategic Partnerships. Professionals there will design, execute and collaborate on strategies that build on the American AI Initiative and the National AI R&D Strategic Plan.

THE LARGER TREND
VA officials note that the agency offers an environment well-suited for advancing AI, given the extensive integration of the VA health system and projects such as the Million Veteran Program, the largest genomic knowledge base in the world

Among its many current use cases, VA harnesses AI to help reduce veterans’ wait times, identify those at high risk for suicide, help doctors interpret the results of cancer lab tests and guide treatment decisions.

ON THE RECORD
“VA has a unique opportunity to be a leader in artificial intelligence,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “VA’s artificial intelligence institute will usher in new capabilities and opportunities that will improve health outcomes for our nation’s heroes.”

Twitter: @MikeMiliardHITN
Email the writer: mike.miliard@himssmedia.com

Healthcare IT News is a publication of HIMSS Media.

]]>
Gay, bisexual men increasingly agree: HIV “Undetectable Equals Untransmittable” http://medclimate.com/external/index.php?https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/gay-bisexual-men-increasingly-agree-hiv-undetectable-equals-untransmittable http://medclimate.com/external/index.php?https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/gay-bisexual-men-increasingly-agree-hiv-undetectable-equals-untransmittable Thu, 05 Dec 2019 19:00:00 CST NIH News Release Yet transmission-risk misunderstandings persist, finds large NIH-supported study. ]]> Taking cybersecurity up a notch: 4 steps to shut down threats http://medclimate.com/external/index.php?https://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/taking-cybersecurity-notch-4-steps-shut-down-threats http://medclimate.com/external/index.php?https://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/taking-cybersecurity-notch-4-steps-shut-down-threats Thu, 05 Dec 2019 16:12:36 CST Most Popular News from healthcareitnews.com Healthcare organizations have been fighting the good fight against cybercrime for many years. But they still need to up their game. As such, they need to take the following steps as they more proactively deal with cybersecurity threats. Northwell Health deploys chatbot to reduce colonoscopy no-shows http://medclimate.com/external/index.php?https://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/northwell-health-deploys-chatbot-reduce-colonoscopy-no-shows http://medclimate.com/external/index.php?https://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/northwell-health-deploys-chatbot-reduce-colonoscopy-no-shows Thu, 05 Dec 2019 15:21:41 CST at Most Popular News from healthcareitnews.com The conversational AI technology, based on Conversa Health’s automated platform, can help inform and calm apprehensions about the invasive procedure, and reduce appointment cancellations. Health system deploys cost calculator to offer patients price transparency http://medclimate.com/external/index.php?https://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/health-system-deploys-cost-calculator-offer-patients-price-transparency http://medclimate.com/external/index.php?https://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/health-system-deploys-cost-calculator-offer-patients-price-transparency Thu, 05 Dec 2019 11:27:27 CST at Most Popular News from healthcareitnews.com University Health Care System has replaced the manual process of creating price estimates with a digital tool that’s accurate within 5% – and patients’ upfront payments have been steadily increasing. USDA announces dozens of grants to support rural telehealth rollouts http://medclimate.com/external/index.php?https://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/usda-announces-dozens-grants-support-rural-telehealth-rollouts http://medclimate.com/external/index.php?https://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/usda-announces-dozens-grants-support-rural-telehealth-rollouts Thu, 05 Dec 2019 09:12:44 CST at Most Popular News from healthcareitnews.com Roughly half of the 133 grants announced by the department, totaling $42.5 million, will help bankroll the deployment of telemedicine programs.   Using the right hardware to support clinical collaboration http://medclimate.com/external/index.php?https://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/using-right-hardware-support-clinical-collaboration http://medclimate.com/external/index.php?https://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/using-right-hardware-support-clinical-collaboration Wed, 04 Dec 2019 15:38:07 CST Most Popular News from healthcareitnews.com The good news for healthcare organizations is that with telehealth solutions, it is much easier to bring professionals and patients together to collaborate, as they no longer need to be in the same physical location. Interoperability Institute's virtual testing environment can help with Cures Act compliance http://medclimate.com/external/index.php?https://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/interoperability-institutes-virtual-testing-environment-can-help-cures-act-compliance http://medclimate.com/external/index.php?https://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/interoperability-institutes-virtual-testing-environment-can-help-cures-act-compliance Wed, 04 Dec 2019 14:12:39 CST at Most Popular News from healthcareitnews.com Available on the AWS Marketplace, the new Interoperability Land offers a platform to develop and test different versions of DSTU3, STU3, R4 FHIR, SMART on FHIR and other standards. Interoperability Institute's virtual testing environment can help with Cures Act compliance http://medclimate.com/external/index.php?https://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/interoperability-institutes-virtual-testing-environment-can-help-cures-act-compliance http://medclimate.com/external/index.php?https://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/interoperability-institutes-virtual-testing-environment-can-help-cures-act-compliance Wed, 04 Dec 2019 14:12:39 CST mmiliard at Healthcare IT News - Government & Policy The Interoperability Institute has launched a simulated healthcare testing environment called Interoperability Land, which aims to help various players in the healthcare space move toward the adoption of the new rules for data sharing and modernization of patient data exchange. WHY IT MATTERS The environment gives organizations the ability to explore various ways to implement interoperability standards – and it is well-timed given the upcoming interoperability rules from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Office of National Coordinator for Health IT. The platform, which uses simulated data, is designed to help organizations understand how different applications will work with their product or solution. Interoperability Institute likens the testing ground to the virtual simulators used to train surgeons and pilots – helping healthcare organizations test their approaches without the risk of exposing protected health information. By using Interoperability Land, healthcare players can develop and test different versions of the standards such as DSTU3, STU3, R4 FHIR or SMART on FHIR applications through a variety of application programming interfaces and API sandboxes, said officials from Interoperability Institute, a subsidiary of the Michigan Health Information Network Shared Services. The available test environments and data packs contain synthetic patients and personas and encompass admission, discharge and transfer notifications, and continuity of care documents, as well as quality reporting document architecture, such as HL7 standards. Other capabilities include the ability to host collaborative events to promote learning and standards-based technology adoption, and the platform overall could help reduce the cost of creating and managing a developer API sandbox. THE LARGER TREND The release comes as health organizations await ONC's final rules for the Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement, or TEFCA, which will define the interoperability standards required by the 21st Century Cures Act. The hope is that TEFCA will help address the gaps in current exchange networks, frameworks and agreements, and harmonize agreed upon purposes for exchange and use of information. One of the beta users of Interoperability Land, the Technical Architecture Committee for Medicaid Information Technology Architecture, also provided feedback and worked to develop applications within the platform. "One of MITA's goals is to integrate systems to advance interoperability, common standards and processes for the Medicaid system," Rich Folsom, chief technology officer for MITA-TAC, said in a statement. "During the testing phase, we were able to provide input on the product, but even more exciting is we were able to quickly and easily develop applications and application frameworks within the environment and utilize the synthetic data to fully test out the applications we built within the product." ON THE RECORD "The Interoperability Institute is leveraging AWS Marketplace to help health plans, providers, technology vendors, health information exchanges, public health, and state Medicaid organizations move towards the adoption of the new rules for data sharing and modernization of patient data exchange," said Tim Pletcher, DHA, CEO of the Interoperability Institute. "AWS Marketplace has made it easy for organizations to purchase test environments and data packs that house synthetic patients and personas, containing continuity of care documents, admission, discharge and transfer notifications, quality reporting document architecture (HL7 standards) and more," he added. Nathan Eddy is a healthcare and technology freelancer based in Berlin. Email the writer: nathaneddy@gmail.com Twitter: @dropdeaded209 Healthcare IT News is a publication of HIMSS Media.

The Interoperability Institute has launched a simulated healthcare testing environment called Interoperability Land, which aims to help various players in the healthcare space move toward the adoption of the new rules for data sharing and modernization of patient data exchange.

WHY IT MATTERS
The environment gives organizations the ability to explore various ways to implement interoperability standards – and it is well-timed given the upcoming interoperability rules from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Office of National Coordinator for Health IT.

The platform, which uses simulated data, is designed to help organizations understand how different applications will work with their product or solution. Interoperability Institute likens the testing ground to the virtual simulators used to train surgeons and pilots – helping healthcare organizations test their approaches without the risk of exposing protected health information.

By using Interoperability Land, healthcare players can develop and test different versions of the standards such as DSTU3, STU3, R4 FHIR or SMART on FHIR applications through a variety of application programming interfaces and API sandboxes, said officials from Interoperability Institute, a subsidiary of the Michigan Health Information Network Shared Services.

The available test environments and data packs contain synthetic patients and personas and encompass admission, discharge and transfer notifications, and continuity of care documents, as well as quality reporting document architecture, such as HL7 standards.

Other capabilities include the ability to host collaborative events to promote learning and standards-based technology adoption, and the platform overall could help reduce the cost of creating and managing a developer API sandbox.

THE LARGER TREND
The release comes as health organizations await ONC's final rules for the Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement, or TEFCA, which will define the interoperability standards required by the 21st Century Cures Act.

The hope is that TEFCA will help address the gaps in current exchange networks, frameworks and agreements, and harmonize agreed upon purposes for exchange and use of information.

One of the beta users of Interoperability Land, the Technical Architecture Committee for Medicaid Information Technology Architecture, also provided feedback and worked to develop applications within the platform.

"One of MITA's goals is to integrate systems to advance interoperability, common standards and processes for the Medicaid system," Rich Folsom, chief technology officer for MITA-TAC, said in a statement. "During the testing phase, we were able to provide input on the product, but even more exciting is we were able to quickly and easily develop applications and application frameworks within the environment and utilize the synthetic data to fully test out the applications we built within the product."

ON THE RECORD
"The Interoperability Institute is leveraging AWS Marketplace to help health plans, providers, technology vendors, health information exchanges, public health, and state Medicaid organizations move towards the adoption of the new rules for data sharing and modernization of patient data exchange," said Tim Pletcher, DHA, CEO of the Interoperability Institute.

"AWS Marketplace has made it easy for organizations to purchase test environments and data packs that house synthetic patients and personas, containing continuity of care documents, admission, discharge and transfer notifications, quality reporting document architecture (HL7 standards) and more," he added.

Nathan Eddy is a healthcare and technology freelancer based in Berlin.
Email the writer: nathaneddy@gmail.com
Twitter: @dropdeaded209

Healthcare IT News is a publication of HIMSS Media.

]]>
Permanent hair dye and straighteners may increase breast cancer risk http://medclimate.com/external/index.php?https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/permanent-hair-dye-straighteners-may-increase-breast-cancer-risk http://medclimate.com/external/index.php?https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/permanent-hair-dye-straighteners-may-increase-breast-cancer-risk Wed, 04 Dec 2019 13:00:00 CST NIH News Release Researchers used data from 46,709 women in the Sister Study. ]]> 7 steps to pass, or better yet avoid, an OCR security audit http://medclimate.com/external/index.php?https://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/7-steps-pass-or-better-yet-avoid-ocr-security-audit http://medclimate.com/external/index.php?https://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/7-steps-pass-or-better-yet-avoid-ocr-security-audit Wed, 04 Dec 2019 12:57:14 CST at Most Popular News from healthcareitnews.com Troy Young, chief technology officer at AdvancedMD and a cybersecurity expert, offers IT and infosec professionals some useful advice to help manage the potential of HIPAA audits. John Halamka named president of Mayo Clinic Platform http://medclimate.com/external/index.php?https://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/john-halamka-named-president-mayo-clinic-platform http://medclimate.com/external/index.php?https://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/john-halamka-named-president-mayo-clinic-platform Wed, 04 Dec 2019 09:30:50 CST at Most Popular News from healthcareitnews.com The longtime CIO and health IT evangelist will leave Boston's Beth Israel Lahey Health to lead digital health strategy at the Rochester, Minnesota, academic medical center. RSNA: New imaging, informatics products from Change Healthcare, Google, IBM, others http://medclimate.com/external/index.php?https://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/rsna-new-imaging-informatics-products-change-healthcare-google-ibm-others http://medclimate.com/external/index.php?https://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/rsna-new-imaging-informatics-products-change-healthcare-google-ibm-others Mon, 02 Dec 2019 14:26:35 CST mmiliard at Healthcare IT News - Government & Policy RSNA's 105th Scientific Assembly and Annual Meeting, the biggest radiology conference in the world, takes place this week at McCormick Place in Chicago. Among the many exhibits of massive MRI machines and CT scanners, plenty of new IT products and vendor initiatives have been announced so far. This past week, we reported on GE Healthcare's new Edison Developer Program.  Here's a few other highlights so far from the show. Decision support help for compliance with new CMS rule Change Healthcare unveiled its new CareSelect Imaging Open Access project, which offers no-fee access to qualified clinical decision support to help healthcare providers comply with the forthcoming Protecting Access to Medicare Act. Under PAMA, effective January 1, 2020, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will require that physicians check with CMS-approved decision support mechanism before ordering advanced imaging exams for fee-for-service Medicare patients. Change Healthcare says CareSelect Imaging Open Access offers such a CDS mechanism. "Referring providers without decision support integrated into their EHR lack the tools needed to ensure compliance with the new layer of PAMA requirements that go into effect in January,” explained Michael Mardini, CEO of Change Healthcare's National Decision Support Company. "By providing no-fee access to our interactive, web-based, clinical decision support technology, we’re making it easy for providers to reference and consult against the largest collection of evidence-based, physician-authored imaging criteria currently available to achieve compliance.” Cloud-based enterprise imaging Change Healthcare also announced continued growth and momentum for another of its initiatives, its cloud-native Enterprise Imaging Network, which offers imaging archive and viewer and AI-powered analytics. Four health systems have signed on as development partners for the project, hosted by Change on the Google Cloud Platform: Bronson Healthcare, Community Health Systems Professional Services Corporation, Montefiore Nyack Hospital and University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health and UW Health, Madison Wisconsin are among the partners who will work with Change on the network – which aims to enhance and optimize medical imaging data and help providers boost clinical, financial and operational outcomes. Most cloud-based enterprise imaging technologies weren't developed specifically for the cloud but were instead drawn from legacy tech and re-platformed, Change Healthcare points out. "This means providers aren’t realizing the full benefits in improved care coordination, cost realization, and reduced infrastructure complexity that true cloud-native solutions can provide," explained Tomer Levy, general manager, cloud solutions at Change Healthcare. "From the time we first partnered with Google Cloud, we’ve focused on building a solution that doesn’t simply replicate traditional on-premise systems, but delivers everything providers expect in an enterprise imaging service––plus clinical and operational capabilities that are only available through a true cloud-native SaaS platform." New offerings from IBM, including AI Marketplace IBM Watson Health announced several new innovations for its imaging AI platform. As Anne Le Grand, general manager, imaging, life sciences and oncology at IBM Watson Health noted, these range from "helping clinicians to identify potential missed findings to seeing a summary view of patient records quickly, our innovative technologies are at the forefront of Watson Health’s mission to help enable clinicians to more effectively respond to the world’s most pressing health challenges.” In addition, the IBM Imaging AI Marketplace was showcased at RSNA: a single-source solution designed to help simplify the complex process of finding, purchasing and deploying various AI imaging applications. The marketplace, which contains only FDA-cleared tools alongside Watson Health's own AI apps, is meant to offer a single location for procurement, accessed through IBM's iConnect Enterprise Archive. IBM Watson also announced some new firsts. Hardin Memorial Health, for one, is the first provider to use its Imaging Patient Synopsis, which provides a summary view of patients through analytics and extracts insights from patient records to uncover underlying issues. The company has also launched Clinical Review 3.0 launched in the UK, a tool designed to analyze imaging studies and their associated reports to identify potential missed findings and facilitate more comprehensive reports. New imaging IT from Konica Minolta   Konica Minolta Healthcare Americas, meanwhile, is showcasing several new technologies at RSNA: analytics, data management and more. These include the KDR AU Advanced U-Arm, with Dynamic Digital Radiography. Billed as an "X-ray that Moves," the tool offers a loop of rapidly acquired, diagnostic-quality images depicting full views of articulatory mobility, helping clinicians better assess changes in relationship of bones, ligaments and other anatomical structures through full range of motion. The tech is first deployed at Emory Healthcare. Konica Minolta is also touting its new picture archiving and communication system for specialty practices, Rede PACS. Aimed at orthopedics, urgent care and family practice, and built on the Exa Platform, Rede PACS is a web-based, zero-footprint solution that provides the features and tools needed to optimize and streamline imaging workflow. The company is showcasing new analytics and productivity dashboards for the digital radiography, and new cybersecurity tools, such as a radio-frequency ID-based tool for secure user authentication with a unique identification that aids in HIPAA compliance.

RSNA's 105th Scientific Assembly and Annual Meeting, the biggest radiology conference in the world, takes place this week at McCormick Place in Chicago. Among the many exhibits of massive MRI machines and CT scanners, plenty of new IT products and vendor initiatives have been announced so far. This past week, we reported on GE Healthcare's new Edison Developer Program.  Here's a few other highlights so far from the show.

Decision support help for compliance with new CMS rule

Change Healthcare unveiled its new CareSelect Imaging Open Access project, which offers no-fee access to qualified clinical decision support to help healthcare providers comply with the forthcoming Protecting Access to Medicare Act.

Under PAMA, effective January 1, 2020, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will require that physicians check with CMS-approved decision support mechanism before ordering advanced imaging exams for fee-for-service Medicare patients.

Change Healthcare says CareSelect Imaging Open Access offers such a CDS mechanism.

"Referring providers without decision support integrated into their EHR lack the tools needed to ensure compliance with the new layer of PAMA requirements that go into effect in January,” explained Michael Mardini, CEO of Change Healthcare's National Decision Support Company.

"By providing no-fee access to our interactive, web-based, clinical decision support technology, we’re making it easy for providers to reference and consult against the largest collection of evidence-based, physician-authored imaging criteria currently available to achieve compliance.”

Cloud-based enterprise imaging

Change Healthcare also announced continued growth and momentum for another of its initiatives, its cloud-native Enterprise Imaging Network, which offers imaging archive and viewer and AI-powered analytics.

Four health systems have signed on as development partners for the project, hosted by Change on the Google Cloud Platform: Bronson Healthcare, Community Health Systems Professional Services Corporation, Montefiore Nyack Hospital and University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health and UW Health, Madison Wisconsin are among the partners who will work with Change on the network – which aims to enhance and optimize medical imaging data and help providers boost clinical, financial and operational outcomes.

Most cloud-based enterprise imaging technologies weren't developed specifically for the cloud but were instead drawn from legacy tech and re-platformed, Change Healthcare points out.

"This means providers aren’t realizing the full benefits in improved care coordination, cost realization, and reduced infrastructure complexity that true cloud-native solutions can provide," explained Tomer Levy, general manager, cloud solutions at Change Healthcare.

"From the time we first partnered with Google Cloud, we’ve focused on building a solution that doesn’t simply replicate traditional on-premise systems, but delivers everything providers expect in an enterprise imaging service––plus clinical and operational capabilities that are only available through a true cloud-native SaaS platform."

New offerings from IBM, including AI Marketplace

IBM Watson Health announced several new innovations for its imaging AI platform. As Anne Le Grand, general manager, imaging, life sciences and oncology at IBM Watson Health noted, these range from "helping clinicians to identify potential missed findings to seeing a summary view of patient records quickly, our innovative technologies are at the forefront of Watson Health’s mission to help enable clinicians to more effectively respond to the world’s most pressing health challenges.”

In addition, the IBM Imaging AI Marketplace was showcased at RSNA: a single-source solution designed to help simplify the complex process of finding, purchasing and deploying various AI imaging applications. The marketplace, which contains only FDA-cleared tools alongside Watson Health's own AI apps, is meant to offer a single location for procurement, accessed through IBM's iConnect Enterprise Archive.

IBM Watson also announced some new firsts. Hardin Memorial Health, for one, is the first provider to use its Imaging Patient Synopsis, which provides a summary view of patients through analytics and extracts insights from patient records to uncover underlying issues. The company has also launched Clinical Review 3.0 launched in the UK, a tool designed to analyze imaging studies and their associated reports to identify potential missed findings and facilitate more comprehensive reports.

New imaging IT from Konica Minolta  

Konica Minolta Healthcare Americas, meanwhile, is showcasing several new technologies at RSNA: analytics, data management and more. These include the KDR AU Advanced U-Arm, with Dynamic Digital Radiography. Billed as an "X-ray that Moves," the tool offers a loop of rapidly acquired, diagnostic-quality images depicting full views of articulatory mobility, helping clinicians better assess changes in relationship of bones, ligaments and other anatomical structures through full range of motion. The tech is first deployed at Emory Healthcare.

Konica Minolta is also touting its new picture archiving and communication system for specialty practices, Rede PACS. Aimed at orthopedics, urgent care and family practice, and built on the Exa Platform, Rede PACS is a web-based, zero-footprint solution that provides the features and tools needed to optimize and streamline imaging workflow.

The company is showcasing new analytics and productivity dashboards for the digital radiography, and new cybersecurity tools, such as a radio-frequency ID-based tool for secure user authentication with a unique identification that aids in HIPAA compliance.

]]>
EU report: Digital tools show 'great potential' for disease prevention http://medclimate.com/external/index.php?https://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/europe/eu-report-digital-tools-show-great-potential-disease-prevention http://medclimate.com/external/index.php?https://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/europe/eu-report-digital-tools-show-great-potential-disease-prevention Mon, 02 Dec 2019 02:43:12 CST dyogendra at Healthcare IT News - Government & Policy Recent papers have indicated that the uptake of digital tools for healthcare varies across the EU, with the pace of transformation continuing to be seen as slow. New initiatives, however, point to signs of progress. Only at the beginning of November, Germany passed new legislation in what is perceived by many as a step forward to digitising healthcare in the country.   According to a new report from the European Commission, digital products hold “great” promise for disease prevention in the EU. However, their uneven introduction risks deepening health inequalities – with those most in need potentially lacking access to the tools being introduced or the skills needed to use them. “Employing digital solutions to strengthen health and well-being will require equal digital opportunities, widespread digital literacy, strong digital security and well-designed, effective tools, services and platforms,” the authors warn. Despite being identified as a key trend, according to the report, only around 3% of total health spending across the EU is dedicated to prevention. In countries like Malta, Greece and Slovakia, that number is below 2%. Meanwhile, preventable mortality rates are more than double compared to the EU average in Latvia, Lithuania and Hungary.  The analysis, carried out in collaboration with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies, was published at the end of November. Addressing the decline in vaccination uptake and confidence In addition to digital transformation and prevention, the authors put emphasis on the need to tackle the decline in vaccine confidence. In January, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said vaccine hesitancy was one of the major global health threats of 2019.  Although many reasons can be attributed to the decline in vaccination uptake, experts in countries like the UK, which lost its measles-free status with the WHO back in August, have asked social media giants to tackle the misinformation being shared on their platforms. Measles can be prevented through two doses of the MMR vaccine. But figures from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, released in May, showed that over 40,000 cases of measles were reported in the EU in the past three years. In a survey for the 2018 State of Vaccine Confidence in the EU, cited in the analysis, only 70% of people in France, 68% in Latvia and 66% in Bulgaria said they believed vaccines were safe. Furthermore, just over 70% of people in Poland, Bulgaria and Latvia said they thought vaccines were effective. “As the number of cases of vaccine-preventable diseases diminished greatly, the perception of risk also decreased and doubts have emerged about the need to vaccinate at all. It is imperative to understand the reasons for this drop in vaccine confidence, to target EU support effectively and with great urgency. “Recent evidence suggests that there is scope to improve health literacy and counter disinformation, and that the health workforce can better employ its trusted role as information provider,” the authors caution.  On the record Commenting on the report, Vytenis Andriukaitis, former commissioner for health and food safety, said in a statement: “Various surveys and debates across Europe prove us that health ranks among the top priorities of European citizens. I am particularly glad that health promotion and disease prevention are finally getting the attention they need. “I am therefore very proud to have initiated the State of Health in the EU cycle and delivered two cycles together with the OECD and the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies for 28 EU Member States, plus Norway and Iceland. I can clearly see that this robust country-specific and cross-EU knowledge feeds into both national policymaking and EU level cooperation. I hope my successor will continue this exercise and that more Member States will follow up the voluntary-basis discussions on its findings and share best practices.”

Recent papers have indicated that the uptake of digital tools for healthcare varies across the EU, with the pace of transformation continuing to be seen as slow. New initiatives, however, point to signs of progress. Only at the beginning of November, Germany passed new legislation in what is perceived by many as a step forward to digitising healthcare in the country.  

According to a new report from the European Commission, digital products hold “great” promise for disease prevention in the EU. However, their uneven introduction risks deepening health inequalities – with those most in need potentially lacking access to the tools being introduced or the skills needed to use them.

“Employing digital solutions to strengthen health and well-being will require equal digital opportunities, widespread digital literacy, strong digital security and well-designed, effective tools, services and platforms,” the authors warn.

Despite being identified as a key trend, according to the report, only around 3% of total health spending across the EU is dedicated to prevention. In countries like Malta, Greece and Slovakia, that number is below 2%. Meanwhile, preventable mortality rates are more than double compared to the EU average in Latvia, Lithuania and Hungary. 

The analysis, carried out in collaboration with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies, was published at the end of November.

Addressing the decline in vaccination uptake and confidence

In addition to digital transformation and prevention, the authors put emphasis on the need to tackle the decline in vaccine confidence. In January, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said vaccine hesitancy was one of the major global health threats of 2019. 

Although many reasons can be attributed to the decline in vaccination uptake, experts in countries like the UK, which lost its measles-free status with the WHO back in August, have asked social media giants to tackle the misinformation being shared on their platforms.

Measles can be prevented through two doses of the MMR vaccine. But figures from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, released in May, showed that over 40,000 cases of measles were reported in the EU in the past three years.

In a survey for the 2018 State of Vaccine Confidence in the EU, cited in the analysis, only 70% of people in France, 68% in Latvia and 66% in Bulgaria said they believed vaccines were safe. Furthermore, just over 70% of people in Poland, Bulgaria and Latvia said they thought vaccines were effective.

“As the number of cases of vaccine-preventable diseases diminished greatly, the perception of risk also decreased and doubts have emerged about the need to vaccinate at all. It is imperative to understand the reasons for this drop in vaccine confidence, to target EU support effectively and with great urgency.

“Recent evidence suggests that there is scope to improve health literacy and counter disinformation, and that the health workforce can better employ its trusted role as information provider,” the authors caution. 

On the record

Commenting on the report, Vytenis Andriukaitis, former commissioner for health and food safety, said in a statement: “Various surveys and debates across Europe prove us that health ranks among the top priorities of European citizens. I am particularly glad that health promotion and disease prevention are finally getting the attention they need.

“I am therefore very proud to have initiated the State of Health in the EU cycle and delivered two cycles together with the OECD and the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies for 28 EU Member States, plus Norway and Iceland. I can clearly see that this robust country-specific and cross-EU knowledge feeds into both national policymaking and EU level cooperation. I hope my successor will continue this exercise and that more Member States will follow up the voluntary-basis discussions on its findings and share best practices.”

]]>
Patient data: Access, privacy & ownership http://medclimate.com/external/index.php?https://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/asia-pacific/patient-data-access-privacy-ownership http://medclimate.com/external/index.php?https://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/asia-pacific/patient-data-access-privacy-ownership Thu, 28 Nov 2019 01:39:02 CST deankoh at Healthcare IT News - Government & Policy While patient data offers a trove of information that can be used for further research or population health studies from a government or policy perspective, a key concern still remains – do patients themselves know or approve of how of their health information is used?  At the HIMSS Australia Digital Health Summit on 21 November, a patient advocate from Australia and officials from the public health sector from Singapore and Australia sat down for an extended discussion on the complexities of the ownership, access and secondary use of patient data. Who owns the data? The reality is that providers, patients and HIT vendors all have some justifiable proprietorship over patient information/data to a certain extent but that reality can be quite complex. A/Prof Low Cheng Ooi, Chief Medical Informatics Officer (CMIO) of Ministry of Health (MOH), Singapore, explained that it is accurate that all the data belongs to the patient - things like vital signs, imaging and laboratory results all belong to the patient. However, the part about who owns the patient information that can be controversial is the assessment and the professional opinion of the clinician. This is because the clinician makes a point of the assessment from the original patient data and he is held liable for it in a sense, professionally. Technology vendors have the least say about who owns the data as they are primarily intermediaries who host the data, but they have no ownership rights. Rick Sondalini, Senior Policy Advisor, Australian Digital Health Agency, responded that beyond who owns the data, the more important question to ask would be the legal ownership of the data and the associated rights about access to the data. For the case of the My Health Record in Australia, there is legislation built into in the rules and IT system.  From a patient advocate’s perspective, Renza Scibilia, Manager of Type 1 Diabetes and Consumer Voice, Diabetes Australia, said that while the patients themselves own the data, it is far more complex than that. “In the diabetes world, there are so many platforms now that have bridged the gaps of what are doing. If I am using three or four different devices (to collect health data), I can’t in any way, aggregate anything but there are organizations and companies that are providing that information,” she said. “My numbers are absolutely everywhere, but I will fight to the death to say that I still own them.” Access and control of data – putting patients first  “The My Health Record was structured towards patient control, it is about patients being able to control and manage that access,” Sondalini said. A/Prof Low mentioned that in terms of clinical information sharing in the context of a centralized system that collects the health information in the future, the question that comes is, is it made known to the patient that his/her information is shared and for what propose? He added that Singapore is working towards a vision of one patient, one record and the National Electronic Health Record is very similar to Australia’s My Health Record in that it is a summary record of a patient’s clinical encounters. That critical summary is whatever that is required for the next doctor or care professional to take care of the person/patient.  “When we digitize and start to share information, we’re doing it to facilitate the patient experience so that they not have to repeat the tests or explain their medical history. It also helps the clinicians to have more information but it can open up another can of worms, for instance if the clinician does not read enough or check the medical history,” A/Prof Low elaborated. Scibilia suggested taking a step back to consider why some patients are not willing to share their health data/information. The main reason is because of the stigmatization of certain diseases and chronic conditions, as well as the fear of being judged. She emphasized that empowering people living with chronic conditions is really important, because they do not need to repeat the same conversation about their condition with every single doctor they need. Secondary use of data and related concerns John Daniels, Global Vice President, HIMSS Analytics cited the example of Ascension Health in the US entering into an agreement with Google to share the data from their EMR for specific purposes, which raised a lot of concerns. A question was raised about the secondary use of patients’ data and its implications.  “There’s actually a legislation being put in place (for the My Health Record) that is called secondary use and one of the principles is that there won’t be authorized use of information (for non-health or commercial purposes) from the My Health Record, even if it is de-identified,” Sondalini said. A/Prof Low commented that when health data is collected centrally in Singapore, the purpose is primarily for continuity of care and direct patient care, which is similar to the principle of the My Health Record in Australia. In Singapore, work is still in progress around proposing a law for the secondary use of health data.  “Once the (health) information is collected, it’s a ‘honey pot’ of information as one of my colleagues described, everybody wants to have access to it. So you need to have very tight central control and a very clear definition of what is authorized and what is not authorized. On a system or government level, when you decide on something, you need to be able to defend it publicly that it is for the greater good,” concluded A/Prof Low.

While patient data offers a trove of information that can be used for further research or population health studies from a government or policy perspective, a key concern still remains – do patients themselves know or approve of how of their health information is used? 

At the HIMSS Australia Digital Health Summit on 21 November, a patient advocate from Australia and officials from the public health sector from Singapore and Australia sat down for an extended discussion on the complexities of the ownership, access and secondary use of patient data.

Who owns the data?

The reality is that providers, patients and HIT vendors all have some justifiable proprietorship over patient information/data to a certain extent but that reality can be quite complex. A/Prof Low Cheng Ooi, Chief Medical Informatics Officer (CMIO) of Ministry of Health (MOH), Singapore, explained that it is accurate that all the data belongs to the patient - things like vital signs, imaging and laboratory results all belong to the patient.

However, the part about who owns the patient information that can be controversial is the assessment and the professional opinion of the clinician. This is because the clinician makes a point of the assessment from the original patient data and he is held liable for it in a sense, professionally. Technology vendors have the least say about who owns the data as they are primarily intermediaries who host the data, but they have no ownership rights.

Rick Sondalini, Senior Policy Advisor, Australian Digital Health Agency, responded that beyond who owns the data, the more important question to ask would be the legal ownership of the data and the associated rights about access to the data. For the case of the My Health Record in Australia, there is legislation built into in the rules and IT system. 

From a patient advocate’s perspective, Renza Scibilia, Manager of Type 1 Diabetes and Consumer Voice, Diabetes Australia, said that while the patients themselves own the data, it is far more complex than that. “In the diabetes world, there are so many platforms now that have bridged the gaps of what are doing. If I am using three or four different devices (to collect health data), I can’t in any way, aggregate anything but there are organizations and companies that are providing that information,” she said.

“My numbers are absolutely everywhere, but I will fight to the death to say that I still own them.”

Access and control of data – putting patients first 

“The My Health Record was structured towards patient control, it is about patients being able to control and manage that access,” Sondalini said. A/Prof Low mentioned that in terms of clinical information sharing in the context of a centralized system that collects the health information in the future, the question that comes is, is it made known to the patient that his/her information is shared and for what propose?

He added that Singapore is working towards a vision of one patient, one record and the National Electronic Health Record is very similar to Australia’s My Health Record in that it is a summary record of a patient’s clinical encounters. That critical summary is whatever that is required for the next doctor or care professional to take care of the person/patient. 

“When we digitize and start to share information, we’re doing it to facilitate the patient experience so that they not have to repeat the tests or explain their medical history. It also helps the clinicians to have more information but it can open up another can of worms, for instance if the clinician does not read enough or check the medical history,” A/Prof Low elaborated.

Scibilia suggested taking a step back to consider why some patients are not willing to share their health data/information. The main reason is because of the stigmatization of certain diseases and chronic conditions, as well as the fear of being judged. She emphasized that empowering people living with chronic conditions is really important, because they do not need to repeat the same conversation about their condition with every single doctor they need.

Secondary use of data and related concerns

John Daniels, Global Vice President, HIMSS Analytics cited the example of Ascension Health in the US entering into an agreement with Google to share the data from their EMR for specific purposes, which raised a lot of concerns. A question was raised about the secondary use of patients’ data and its implications. 

“There’s actually a legislation being put in place (for the My Health Record) that is called secondary use and one of the principles is that there won’t be authorized use of information (for non-health or commercial purposes) from the My Health Record, even if it is de-identified,” Sondalini said.

A/Prof Low commented that when health data is collected centrally in Singapore, the purpose is primarily for continuity of care and direct patient care, which is similar to the principle of the My Health Record in Australia. In Singapore, work is still in progress around proposing a law for the secondary use of health data. 

“Once the (health) information is collected, it’s a ‘honey pot’ of information as one of my colleagues described, everybody wants to have access to it. So you need to have very tight central control and a very clear definition of what is authorized and what is not authorized. On a system or government level, when you decide on something, you need to be able to defend it publicly that it is for the greater good,” concluded A/Prof Low.

]]>
Investigational Drugs Reduce Risk of Death from Ebola Virus Disease http://medclimate.com/external/index.php?https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/investigational-drugs-reduce-risk-death-ebola-virus-disease http://medclimate.com/external/index.php?https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/investigational-drugs-reduce-risk-death-ebola-virus-disease Wed, 27 Nov 2019 22:00:00 CST NIH News Release Study Leaders Publish Results from NIH-DRC-WHO Clinical Trial of Four Experimental Therapies. ]]> Head-to-head comparison finds three anti-seizure drugs equally effective for severe form of epilepsy http://medclimate.com/external/index.php?https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/head-head-comparison-finds-three-anti-seizure-drugs-equally-effective-severe-form-epilepsy http://medclimate.com/external/index.php?https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/head-head-comparison-finds-three-anti-seizure-drugs-equally-effective-severe-form-epilepsy Wed, 27 Nov 2019 22:00:00 CST NIH News Release NIH-funded research shows no difference in efficacy or adverse effects of commonly used treatments. ]]> 2019: Healthcare IT gains new ground http://medclimate.com/external/index.php?https://www.healthcareitnews.com/projects/2019-healthcare-it-gains-new-ground http://medclimate.com/external/index.php?https://www.healthcareitnews.com/projects/2019-healthcare-it-gains-new-ground Wed, 27 Nov 2019 04:27:22 CST rickdagley at Healthcare IT News - Government & Policy 2019: Year in ReviewIt's been an eventful year for health IT. Of course, that's been the case every year over the past decade since the first meaningful use checks were mailed out, kickstarting the digital healthcare age as we know it. But at the tail end of the 'teens, we see a flowering of innovation that could only have been dreamed of in 2010. Whereas many health systems were preoccupied back then with the basic blocking and tackling of EHR implementation, this year they were investing in AI and machine learning, exploring advanced pop health analytics, deploying leading-edge cybersecurity tools, expanding telehealth programs of all shapes and sizes – and embracing cloud hosting to an extent that would have been unthinkable a decade ago. As we look back on 2019, it's worth remembering how far the industry has traveled to get here. -- Mike Miliard, Editor Sign up for our daily and weekly newsletters News Enhancing the patient experience with technology by Healthcare IT NewsNovember 22, 2019 This month, our coverage will continue a special focus on the patient experience. We'll talk to the thought leaders and first-movers reimagining the how and where of patient-friendly tech, and report on ways to activate, if not delight, the people they treat. Collection Technology Optimization Best Practices by November 18, 2019 This 18-part feature story series offers a deep dive into how CIOs and other healthcare leaders can best optimize technologies to produce results specific to a provider organization’s clinical and business needs. Experts from across the health IT field will share insights about everything from AI and cloud computing to telemedicine and population health. Collection Reducing the cost of care requires aligning incentives of providers, payers and patients by September 30, 2019 Congress, government agencies, presidential candidates, consumers and the industry itself talk about the need to lower healthcare costs, but what does this entail? Many want to target drug costs and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has mandated hospitals to post a list of their standard charges by diagnostic-related group, in an effort for consumers to have transparent cost options. And providers need to collect every penny owed them and combat revenue leakage. This month, Healthcare IT News, MobiHealthNews and Healthcare Finance News take a look at what all of this means and how technology, as always, is spurring innovative solutions. -- Susan Morse, senior editor, Healthcare Finance News Collection Social determinants of health: The next stage of value-based care by September 01, 2019 A decade ago, who would have thought that in addition to treating the sick, hospitals and physicians would become providers of housing, transportation, food and other needs? As the industry has shifted to value-based care, many providers have found that investing in programs that address the social determinants of health is a way to tackle some of the root causes of illness, behavioral health challenges, readmissions and emergency room overuse. In September, Healthcare Finance News, Healthcare IT News and MobiHealthNews will explore the many facets of SDOH, and how health systems, payers, vendors, policymakers and others are addressing them. – Susan Morse, Senior Editor, Healthcare Finance News Collection Securing the health environment: Evolving cyberthreats demand shifts in strategy by August 01, 2019 Barely a day goes by without news of a new malware variant, zero day threat or medical device vulnerability. Hospitals and health systems have come to understand in recent years – with many learning the hard way – that their mission-critical IT systems are facing a relentless and determined threat from innumerable cybersecurity bad actors. To survive in this fraught new era, healthcare organizations need agile, adaptable and forward-thinking strategies to safeguard their most important asset: data. In August, Healthcare IT News, along with our sister sites, MobiHealthNews and Healthcare Finance, will focus on the many ways the industry is succeeding – and the places it's falling short – when it comes to the all-important task of enterprise-wide security. Collection Health IT implementation best practices by March 21, 2019 This 18-part series examines in-depth what it takes to deploy today's most necessary technology and tools, with expert advice from IT pros who are leading the charge. We'll share insights about everything from AI and cloud computing to telemedicine and population health.   What you need to know News Here are 6 major issues facing healthcare in 2019, according to PwC by Bill SiwickiJanuary 17, 2019 Connected care, upskilled workers, tax reform, a Southwest Airlines approach, private equity and the Affordable Care Act all will impact healthcare organizations in 2019, a new PwC report says. News Epic CEO Judy Faulkner on Apple, docs who actually like their EHRs and Warren Buffett by Mike MiliardFebruary 13, 2019 The EHR vendor’s founder also discusses the state of interoperability, cloud computing and today’s sticking points in health IT. News Epic, Cerner and others reveal just how their EHRs are interoperable by Bill SiwickiApril 05, 2019 The companies also advise healthcare CIOs on some key interoperability questions to ask any EHR vendor when considering a purchase. News Eric Topol on how AI could fix healthcare by Mike MiliardMarch 12, 2019 The famed digital health pioneer talks about his new book, Deep Medicine: How Artificial Intelligence Can Make Healthcare Human Again. The potential is immense, he says, but the U.S. needs a plan. News New study outlines challenges, dangers for machine learning by Benjamin HarrisJanuary 16, 2019 As machine learning rapidly expands into healthcare, the ways it "learns" may be at odds with clinical outcomes unless carefully controlled for, a new study shows. News Mayo Clinic CIO: 'This artificial intelligence stuff is real' by Mike MiliardSeptember 18, 2019 "And it is coming quickly to a care setting near you," said Cris Ross at Health 2.0 on Tuesday, touting "small AI and big AI" tools that can help revamp IT systems to improve the experience of clinicians and patients alike. News OpenNotes notches another big milestone, with 40 million patients now seeing their EHRs by Mike MiliardJuly 05, 2019 As more than 200 health systems have signed on with the patient empowerment movement, population health, patient safety and quality improvement gains are apparent. News ONC chief Don Rucker on the current state and 'next frontier' of interoperability by Mike MiliardApril 03, 2019 The National Coordinator talks 21st Century Cures, information blocking, Apple, consumerism, FHIR, open APIs and new business models he sees emerging amid the "overarching theme of human choice and freedom and dignity." News How FHIR 4 will drive interoperability progress in healthcare by Bill SiwickiApril 25, 2019 Experts from across health IT, including members of the HL7 board and advisory council, say the new standard can do big things for data exchange, but it's not a cure-all. News ONC, CMS leaders tell Senate HELP Committee time is of the essence by Mike MiliardMay 08, 2019 Despite one senator's hope to move deliberately with rulemakings and not repeat some errors of meaningful use, National Coordinator Donald Rucker said delays only lengthen the time that consumers are "not in control of their care." News Information blocking rules: Health industry groups call for Congressional oversight by Mike MiliardSeptember 23, 2019 An alphabet soup of healthcare stakeholders, including AHIMA, CHIME, MGMA and others, want the Senate HELP Committee to ensure the proposed regs serve the "needs of patients and those who deliver their care." News Vanderbilt combines AI and Smart on FHIR in an EHR voice assistant by Bill SiwickiJanuary 21, 2019 "Voice user interfaces are an essential step to humanizing the EHR," says Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s Dr. Yaa Kumah-Crystal, who will be speaking at HIMSS19. News AWS: AI, data analytics and cloud converging to cut costs, boost care quality by Bill SiwickiJanuary 16, 2019 Health orgs are using AI to enhance decision making and drive greater value for patients and providers, AWS says. News Telehealth helps Mayo Clinic neonatologists better treat newborns in emergencies by Bill SiwickiNovember 06, 2019 The new technology connects on the first attempt 96% of the time, compared with 73% for the previous telemedicine carts; with enhanced monitoring and support, tele-neonatology availability is 99%. News Allscripts, Northwell Health to co-develop new AI-powered EHR by Mike MiliardOctober 03, 2019 The cloud-hosted, voice-enabled system will be designed and built with close input along the way from clinicians and IT staff, with an eye toward eventual deployment enterprise-wide. Topic: Artificial IntelligenceCloud ComputingConnected HealthElectronic Health Records (EHR, EMR)Government & PolicyInteroperabilityMeaningful UsePatient EngagementPopulation HealthPrivacy & SecurityTelehealthWorkforceShort Headline: 2019: Healthcare IT gains new groundFeatured Decision Content: Project Promo: It's been an eventful year for health IT, with many health systems investing in AI and machine learning, exploring advanced pop health analytics, deploying leading-edge cybersecurity tools, expanding telehealth programs of all shapes and sizes, and embracRegion Tag: Global Edition
2019: Year in Review

It's been an eventful year for health IT. Of course, that's been the case every year over the past decade since the first meaningful use checks were mailed out, kickstarting the digital healthcare age as we know it. But at the tail end of the 'teens, we see a flowering of innovation that could only have been dreamed of in 2010.

Whereas many health systems were preoccupied back then with the basic blocking and tackling of EHR implementation, this year they were investing in AI and machine learning, exploring advanced pop health analytics, deploying leading-edge cybersecurity tools, expanding telehealth programs of all shapes and sizes – and embracing cloud hosting to an extent that would have been unthinkable a decade ago. As we look back on 2019, it's worth remembering how far the industry has traveled to get here.

-- Mike Miliard, Editor

News

Enhancing the patient experience with technology

by Healthcare IT NewsNovember 22, 2019

This month, our coverage will continue a special focus on the patient experience. We'll talk to the thought leaders and first-movers reimagining the how and where of patient-friendly tech, and report on ways to activate, if not delight, the people they treat.

Collection

Technology Optimization Best Practices

by November 18, 2019

This 18-part feature story series offers a deep dive into how CIOs and other healthcare leaders can best optimize technologies to produce results specific to a provider organization’s clinical and business needs.

Experts from across the health IT field will share insights about everything from AI and cloud computing to telemedicine and population health.

Collection

Reducing the cost of care requires aligning incentives of providers, payers and patients

by September 30, 2019

Congress, government agencies, presidential candidates, consumers and the industry itself talk about the need to lower healthcare costs, but what does this entail? Many want to target drug costs and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has mandated hospitals to post a list of their standard charges by diagnostic-related group, in an effort for consumers to have transparent cost options. And providers need to collect every penny owed them and combat revenue leakage. This month, Healthcare IT News, MobiHealthNews and Healthcare Finance News take a look at what all of this means and how technology, as always, is spurring innovative solutions.

-- Susan Morse, senior editor, Healthcare Finance News

Collection

Social determinants of health: The next stage of value-based care

by September 01, 2019
A decade ago, who would have thought that in addition to treating the sick, hospitals and physicians would become providers of housing, transportation, food and other needs? As the industry has shifted to value-based care, many providers have found that investing in programs that address the social determinants of health is a way to tackle some of the root causes of illness, behavioral health challenges, readmissions and emergency room overuse. In September, Healthcare Finance News, Healthcare IT News and MobiHealthNews will explore the many facets of SDOH, and how health systems, payers, vendors, policymakers and others are addressing them.
– Susan Morse, Senior Editor, Healthcare Finance News
Collection

Securing the health environment: Evolving cyberthreats demand shifts in strategy

by August 01, 2019

Barely a day goes by without news of a new malware variant, zero day threat or medical device vulnerability. Hospitals and health systems have come to understand in recent years – with many learning the hard way – that their mission-critical IT systems are facing a relentless and determined threat from innumerable cybersecurity bad actors.

To survive in this fraught new era, healthcare organizations need agile, adaptable and forward-thinking strategies to safeguard their most important asset: data. In August, Healthcare IT News, along with our sister sites, MobiHealthNews and Healthcare Finance, will focus on the many ways the industry is succeeding – and the places it's falling short – when it comes to the all-important task of enterprise-wide security.

Collection

Health IT implementation best practices

by March 21, 2019

This 18-part series examines in-depth what it takes to deploy today's most necessary technology and tools, with expert advice from IT pros who are leading the charge.

We'll share insights about everything from AI and cloud computing to telemedicine and population health.

 

What you need to know

News

Here are 6 major issues facing healthcare in 2019, according to PwC

by Bill SiwickiJanuary 17, 2019

Connected care, upskilled workers, tax reform, a Southwest Airlines approach, private equity and the Affordable Care Act all will impact healthcare organizations in 2019, a new PwC report says.

News

Epic CEO Judy Faulkner on Apple, docs who actually like their EHRs and Warren Buffett

by Mike MiliardFebruary 13, 2019

The EHR vendor’s founder also discusses the state of interoperability, cloud computing and today’s sticking points in health IT.

News

Epic, Cerner and others reveal just how their EHRs are interoperable

by Bill SiwickiApril 05, 2019

The companies also advise healthcare CIOs on some key interoperability questions to ask any EHR vendor when considering a purchase.

News

Eric Topol on how AI could fix healthcare

by Mike MiliardMarch 12, 2019

The famed digital health pioneer talks about his new book, Deep Medicine: How Artificial Intelligence Can Make Healthcare Human Again. The potential is immense, he says, but the U.S. needs a plan.

News

New study outlines challenges, dangers for machine learning

by Benjamin HarrisJanuary 16, 2019

As machine learning rapidly expands into healthcare, the ways it "learns" may be at odds with clinical outcomes unless carefully controlled for, a new study shows.

News

Mayo Clinic CIO: 'This artificial intelligence stuff is real'

by Mike MiliardSeptember 18, 2019

"And it is coming quickly to a care setting near you," said Cris Ross at Health 2.0 on Tuesday, touting "small AI and big AI" tools that can help revamp IT systems to improve the experience of clinicians and patients alike.

News

OpenNotes notches another big milestone, with 40 million patients now seeing their EHRs

by Mike MiliardJuly 05, 2019

As more than 200 health systems have signed on with the patient empowerment movement, population health, patient safety and quality improvement gains are apparent.

News

ONC chief Don Rucker on the current state and 'next frontier' of interoperability

by Mike MiliardApril 03, 2019

The National Coordinator talks 21st Century Cures, information blocking, Apple, consumerism, FHIR, open APIs and new business models he sees emerging amid the "overarching theme of human choice and freedom and dignity."

News

How FHIR 4 will drive interoperability progress in healthcare

by Bill SiwickiApril 25, 2019

Experts from across health IT, including members of the HL7 board and advisory council, say the new standard can do big things for data exchange, but it's not a cure-all.

News

ONC, CMS leaders tell Senate HELP Committee time is of the essence

by Mike MiliardMay 08, 2019

Despite one senator's hope to move deliberately with rulemakings and not repeat some errors of meaningful use, National Coordinator Donald Rucker said delays only lengthen the time that consumers are "not in control of their care."

News

Information blocking rules: Health industry groups call for Congressional oversight

by Mike MiliardSeptember 23, 2019

An alphabet soup of healthcare stakeholders, including AHIMA, CHIME, MGMA and others, want the Senate HELP Committee to ensure the proposed regs serve the "needs of patients and those who deliver their care."

News

Vanderbilt combines AI and Smart on FHIR in an EHR voice assistant

by Bill SiwickiJanuary 21, 2019

"Voice user interfaces are an essential step to humanizing the EHR," says Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s Dr. Yaa Kumah-Crystal, who will be speaking at HIMSS19.

News

AWS: AI, data analytics and cloud converging to cut costs, boost care quality

by Bill SiwickiJanuary 16, 2019

Health orgs are using AI to enhance decision making and drive greater value for patients and providers, AWS says.

News

Telehealth helps Mayo Clinic neonatologists better treat newborns in emergencies

by Bill SiwickiNovember 06, 2019

The new technology connects on the first attempt 96% of the time, compared with 73% for the previous telemedicine carts; with enhanced monitoring and support, tele-neonatology availability is 99%.

News

Allscripts, Northwell Health to co-develop new AI-powered EHR

by Mike MiliardOctober 03, 2019

The cloud-hosted, voice-enabled system will be designed and built with close input along the way from clinicians and IT staff, with an eye toward eventual deployment enterprise-wide.

Short Headline: 
2019: Healthcare IT gains new ground
Featured Decision Content: 
Project Promo: 
It's been an eventful year for health IT, with many health systems investing in AI and machine learning, exploring advanced pop health analytics, deploying leading-edge cybersecurity tools, expanding telehealth programs of all shapes and sizes, and embrac
Region Tag: 
Global Edition
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Cerebral organoid model provides clues about how to prevent virus-induced brain cell death http://medclimate.com/external/index.php?https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/cerebral-organoid-model-provides-clues-about-how-prevent-virus-induced-brain-cell-death http://medclimate.com/external/index.php?https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/cerebral-organoid-model-provides-clues-about-how-prevent-virus-induced-brain-cell-death Tue, 26 Nov 2019 18:45:00 CST NIH News Release Scientists have determined that La Crosse virus, which can cause inflammation of the brain in children, affects brain cells differently depending on their developmental stage. ]]> AMIA encourages NIH to fund FHIR for interoperability and clinical research http://medclimate.com/external/index.php?https://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/amia-encourages-nih-fund-fhir-interoperability-and-clinical-research http://medclimate.com/external/index.php?https://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/amia-encourages-nih-fund-fhir-interoperability-and-clinical-research Tue, 26 Nov 2019 14:51:18 CST mmiliard at Healthcare IT News - Government & Policy The National Institutes of Health issued a request for information earlier this fall, seeking to learn more about how HL7's Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources specification can be better used for clinical research. The American Medical Informatics Association has responded with some suggestions for how NIH can help develop and promote the FHIR standard. WHY IT MATTERS AMIA notes that the data exchange standard – as well as the larger issue of interoperability across the healthcare world – is in need of funding and research. And the informatics group has asked NIH to directly support FHIR research in three different ways: through investment, education and product support. "Given the direction of ONC and CMS rulemaking, and the standards development infrastructure established and maintained by HL7, it is likely that FHIR will become the standard for exchange of most common categories of clinical data over the next two to three years," said AMIA officials.  "However," they added, "we note that this vision for the use of FHIR is distant and in need of federal support." The fractured EHR landscape across the nation means many health organizations have data of varying degrees of consistency and compatibility. Under these circumstances, AMIA warns that  "data will need a high degree of additional, potentially manual, curation" in order to be used for research purposes. THE LARGER TREND While the FHIR standard is not a cure-all for interoperability challenges, the protocol has seen big momentum in recent years, and is seen as an important bridge between newer mobile devices and hospital networks. As a web-based spec that has seen a significant amount of buy-in, the standard could have a large impact on the ability of researchers to access better data. AMIA is proposing several kinds of government investment for FHIR: direct R&D grants to pay for advances in the standard, product requirements that will favor FHIR use and education of the healthcare research community about the standard. "Given the size and reach of the NIH, it could be a prominent stakeholder to educate the research community on the benefits and known limitations of FHIR," said AMIA President and CEO Dr. Douglas B. Fridsma, in the group's Nov. 21 letter to Dr. Susan Gregurick, director of the NIH Office of Data Science Strategy. ON THE RECORD "The development of FHIR has revolutionized how clinical data are accessed, used, and exchanged," Fridsma added in a separate statement. "NIH is uniquely positioned to further support the standard to advance biomedical research. We look forward to working with them as they develop their strategy." Benjamin Harris is a Maine-based freelance writer and former new media producer for HIMSS Media. Twitter: @BenzoHarris.   Healthcare IT News is a publication of HIMSS Media.

The National Institutes of Health issued a request for information earlier this fall, seeking to learn more about how HL7's Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources specification can be better used for clinical research. The American Medical Informatics Association has responded with some suggestions for how NIH can help develop and promote the FHIR standard.

WHY IT MATTERS
AMIA notes that the data exchange standard – as well as the larger issue of interoperability across the healthcare world – is in need of funding and research. And the informatics group has asked NIH to directly support FHIR research in three different ways: through investment, education and product support.

"Given the direction of ONC and CMS rulemaking, and the standards development infrastructure established and maintained by HL7, it is likely that FHIR will become the standard for exchange of most common categories of clinical data over the next two to three years," said AMIA officials. 

"However," they added, "we note that this vision for the use of FHIR is distant and in need of federal support."

The fractured EHR landscape across the nation means many health organizations have data of varying degrees of consistency and compatibility. Under these circumstances, AMIA warns that  "data will need a high degree of additional, potentially manual, curation" in order to be used for research purposes.

THE LARGER TREND
While the FHIR standard is not a cure-all for interoperability challenges, the protocol has seen big momentum in recent years, and is seen as an important bridge between newer mobile devices and hospital networks.

As a web-based spec that has seen a significant amount of buy-in, the standard could have a large impact on the ability of researchers to access better data.

AMIA is proposing several kinds of government investment for FHIR: direct R&D grants to pay for advances in the standard, product requirements that will favor FHIR use and education of the healthcare research community about the standard.

"Given the size and reach of the NIH, it could be a prominent stakeholder to educate the research community on the benefits and known limitations of FHIR," said AMIA President and CEO Dr. Douglas B. Fridsma, in the group's Nov. 21 letter to Dr. Susan Gregurick, director of the NIH Office of Data Science Strategy.

ON THE RECORD
"The development of FHIR has revolutionized how clinical data are accessed, used, and exchanged," Fridsma added in a separate statement.

"NIH is uniquely positioned to further support the standard to advance biomedical research. We look forward to working with them as they develop their strategy."

Benjamin Harris is a Maine-based freelance writer and former new media producer for HIMSS Media.
Twitter: @BenzoHarris.
 
Healthcare IT News is a publication of HIMSS Media.
]]>
China NHDRC partners with Amgen in 3-year program to study aging’s effects on its health system http://medclimate.com/external/index.php?https://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/asia-pacific/china-nhdrc-partners-amgen-3-year-program-study-aging-s-effects-its-health-system http://medclimate.com/external/index.php?https://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/asia-pacific/china-nhdrc-partners-amgen-3-year-program-study-aging-s-effects-its-health-system Tue, 26 Nov 2019 01:00:45 CST deankoh at Healthcare IT News - Government & Policy China National Health Development Research Center (NHDRC), a Chinese national research institution, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Amgen to launch the Program of Building of High-Quality and Efficient Health Service System and Empirical Study in the Context of Aging in Beijing on 25th November. WHAT’S IT ABOUT The 3-year program aims to develop a high-quality and efficient health service system through study of the key topics of China's health service system in the context of the country's aging population. Xiamen has been identified as the pilot city for this program. A baseline survey will be conducted to gather evidence with respect to policy support, service capabilities, information data, and incentives, where targeted interventions will be implemented. The results of these initiatives will then be monitored and evaluated. The outcomes of the project will provide a basis for the formulation of policies such as the “14th Five-Year-Plan on Health/Health Aging”. In addition, the research insights will help China address the challenges of an aging population, such as managing related healthcare costs and how to improve the overall health of its citizens.  WHY IT MATTERS It is no surprise that China's population is aging on an increasingly large scale. According to China’s National Bureau of Statistics, China had 249 million people over the age of 60, accounting for 17.9% of the total population in 2018. However, 75.8% of those aged 60 and over have developed at least one chronic disease, with 37.2% afflicted with dyslipidemia and 19.4% suffering from diabetes. Chronic diseases are the primary cause of disability among senior citizens – this not only affects their well-being, but places a large financial burden on families and the health system. THE LARGER TREND Aging populations and its related increased occurrence of chronic diseases pose a great financial strain in many Asian countries. Governments are exploring how to better manage chronic diseases, either through research and/or technologies. For instance, Singapore recently announced its national AI strategy and its intention to tap on AI technologies for chronic disease prediction and management.  ON THE RECORD “The Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the State Council have recently jointly released a medium and long-term plan for responding proactively to population aging, which clearly defines a number of strategic goals. One of its important tasks is to build a high-quality service and product offering system for the elderly,” said Wei Fu, Director General, China NHDRC in a statement.  It is now the ideal moment for us to begin the development and research of a high-quality and efficient medical and health service system, which adequately caters for aging requirements. We hope that through this project, we can effectively integrate resources, identify the problems, analyze and strategize the solutions and promote the establishment of a scientific health service system for aging in order to fully improve the quality of life and health level of China's aging population,” Wei Fu added. Penny Wan, Vice President and Regional General Manager, Amgen JAPAC, said: “As a global biotechnology leader, Amgen is more than happy to support the Chinese government's effort to promote healthy aging and deliver on our commitment to Chinese patients. We will continue to work with all stakeholders to accelerate the shift of healthcare from a 'break and fix' model to a 'Predict and Prevent' model, to create a healthcare ecosystem that is centered on the latter, and to help fulfill the 'Healthy China 2030' vision.”

China National Health Development Research Center (NHDRC), a Chinese national research institution, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Amgen to launch the Program of Building of High-Quality and Efficient Health Service System and Empirical Study in the Context of Aging in Beijing on 25th November.

WHAT’S IT ABOUT

The 3-year program aims to develop a high-quality and efficient health service system through study of the key topics of China's health service system in the context of the country's aging population. Xiamen has been identified as the pilot city for this program. A baseline survey will be conducted to gather evidence with respect to policy support, service capabilities, information data, and incentives, where targeted interventions will be implemented. The results of these initiatives will then be monitored and evaluated.

The outcomes of the project will provide a basis for the formulation of policies such as the “14th Five-Year-Plan on Health/Health Aging”. In addition, the research insights will help China address the challenges of an aging population, such as managing related healthcare costs and how to improve the overall health of its citizens. 

WHY IT MATTERS

It is no surprise that China's population is aging on an increasingly large scale. According to China’s National Bureau of Statistics, China had 249 million people over the age of 60, accounting for 17.9% of the total population in 2018. However, 75.8% of those aged 60 and over have developed at least one chronic disease, with 37.2% afflicted with dyslipidemia and 19.4% suffering from diabetes. Chronic diseases are the primary cause of disability among senior citizens – this not only affects their well-being, but places a large financial burden on families and the health system.

THE LARGER TREND

Aging populations and its related increased occurrence of chronic diseases pose a great financial strain in many Asian countries. Governments are exploring how to better manage chronic diseases, either through research and/or technologies. For instance, Singapore recently announced its national AI strategy and its intention to tap on AI technologies for chronic disease prediction and management. 

ON THE RECORD

“The Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the State Council have recently jointly released a medium and long-term plan for responding proactively to population aging, which clearly defines a number of strategic goals. One of its important tasks is to build a high-quality service and product offering system for the elderly,” said Wei Fu, Director General, China NHDRC in a statement. 

It is now the ideal moment for us to begin the development and research of a high-quality and efficient medical and health service system, which adequately caters for aging requirements. We hope that through this project, we can effectively integrate resources, identify the problems, analyze and strategize the solutions and promote the establishment of a scientific health service system for aging in order to fully improve the quality of life and health level of China's aging population,” Wei Fu added.

Penny Wan, Vice President and Regional General Manager, Amgen JAPAC, said: “As a global biotechnology leader, Amgen is more than happy to support the Chinese government's effort to promote healthy aging and deliver on our commitment to Chinese patients. We will continue to work with all stakeholders to accelerate the shift of healthcare from a 'break and fix' model to a 'Predict and Prevent' model, to create a healthcare ecosystem that is centered on the latter, and to help fulfill the 'Healthy China 2030' vision.”

]]>
NIH Statement on World AIDS Day 2019 http://medclimate.com/external/index.php?https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/nih-statement-world-aids-day-2019 http://medclimate.com/external/index.php?https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/nih-statement-world-aids-day-2019 Mon, 25 Nov 2019 17:15:00 CST NIH News Release NIH is playing a pivotal role in supporting the innovative science underpinning the effort to reduce the incidence of HIV domestically by 75% in 5 years, and by 90% by 2030. ]]> High amounts of screen time begin as early as infancy, NIH study suggests http://medclimate.com/external/index.php?https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/high-amounts-screen-time-begin-early-infancy-nih-study-suggests http://medclimate.com/external/index.php?https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/high-amounts-screen-time-begin-early-infancy-nih-study-suggests Mon, 25 Nov 2019 16:00:00 CST NIH News Release Children of first-time mothers, those in home-based childcare log most screen time. ]]> VA sees a surge in veterans' use of telehealth services http://medclimate.com/external/index.php?https://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/va-sees-surge-veterans-use-telehealth-services http://medclimate.com/external/index.php?https://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/va-sees-surge-veterans-use-telehealth-services Mon, 25 Nov 2019 11:53:01 CST mmiliard at Healthcare IT News - Government & Policy The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has announced a 17 percent jump in telehealth visits compared with the previous fiscal year, and says the VA delivered more than 2.6 million episodes of telehealth care in FY 2019. WHY IT MATTERS The VA report revealed more than 900,000 veterans used the agency's telehealth services in 2019, with their use of the VA Video Connect app, which connects Veterans to their care teams through a secure video session, jumping 235% in the same period. "More than 200,000 or approximately two-thirds of the 294,000 VA Video Connect appointments in FY 2019 were for tele-mental health visits," said VA officials. The agency noted that more than 99,000 Veterans used the app, which connects Vets with their health care team using encryption to ensure a secure and private session, at home, thereby saving a trip to a medical facility. The announcement comes as the VA completed the first full fiscal year of VA's Anywhere to Anywhere initiative, a program allowing VA health care teams to treat vets regardless of their location, including across state lines. The initiative, announced in May 2018, also expanded Veterans' access to critical care that can be provided virtually, including mental health care and suicide prevention, by allowing quicker and easier access to VA mental health providers through telehealth. Following the October launch of the Accessing Telehealth through Local Areas Stations , or ATLAS, program in Eureka, Montana, which provides timely care for veterans who live long distances from VA medical centers or have poor internet connectivity at home, the VA is planning an expansion of the program in the coming months. The expansion will see additional locations open as pilot sites in select American Legion posts, Veterans of Foreign Wars posts and Walmart stores across the country. THE LARGER TREND A JAMIA Open study published in August concluded that VA efforts to bring tablet-based telehealth to vets successfully reached them in rural areas and extended care to patients with mental health conditions; a separate study published by Psychiatric Services found the VA's efforts also led to improved clinical efficiency. In July, the VA and telecommunications giant Verizon announced a plan to offer new telehealth access for veterans through a platform that connects veterans with their healthcare team. Despite the advances in telehealth services, Veterans Health Administration medical facilities are facing an enormous challenge as they scan and enter medical documentation into patients' electronic health records. According to an audit from the Office of the Inspector General for the Department of Veterans Affairs, VHA medical facilities have a cumulative medical document backlog equivalent to more than five miles of stacked paper, with nearly 600,000 electronic files dating back to 2016. ON THE RECORD "We want every Veteran to have a choice to schedule an in-person, telephone or video visit with their providers depending on their preferences for health care delivery," said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie said in a statement. "VA is committed to offering Veterans the health care they deserve, whenever and wherever they need it." Nathan Eddy is a healthcare and technology freelancer based in Berlin. Email the writer: nathaneddy@gmail.com Twitter: @dropdeaded209

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has announced a 17 percent jump in telehealth visits compared with the previous fiscal year, and says the VA delivered more than 2.6 million episodes of telehealth care in FY 2019.

WHY IT MATTERS
The VA report revealed more than 900,000 veterans used the agency's telehealth services in 2019, with their use of the VA Video Connect app, which connects Veterans to their care teams through a secure video session, jumping 235% in the same period.

"More than 200,000 or approximately two-thirds of the 294,000 VA Video Connect appointments in FY 2019 were for tele-mental health visits," said VA officials.

The agency noted that more than 99,000 Veterans used the app, which connects Vets with their health care team using encryption to ensure a secure and private session, at home, thereby saving a trip to a medical facility.

The announcement comes as the VA completed the first full fiscal year of VA's Anywhere to Anywhere initiative, a program allowing VA health care teams to treat vets regardless of their location, including across state lines.

The initiative, announced in May 2018, also expanded Veterans' access to critical care that can be provided virtually, including mental health care and suicide prevention, by allowing quicker and easier access to VA mental health providers through telehealth.

Following the October launch of the Accessing Telehealth through Local Areas Stations , or ATLAS, program in Eureka, Montana, which provides timely care for veterans who live long distances from VA medical centers or have poor internet connectivity at home, the VA is planning an expansion of the program in the coming months.

The expansion will see additional locations open as pilot sites in select American Legion posts, Veterans of Foreign Wars posts and Walmart stores across the country.

THE LARGER TREND
A JAMIA Open study published in August concluded that VA efforts to bring tablet-based telehealth to vets successfully reached them in rural areas and extended care to patients with mental health conditions; a separate study published by Psychiatric Services found the VA's efforts also led to improved clinical efficiency.

In July, the VA and telecommunications giant Verizon announced a plan to offer new telehealth access for veterans through a platform that connects veterans with their healthcare team.

Despite the advances in telehealth services, Veterans Health Administration medical facilities are facing an enormous challenge as they scan and enter medical documentation into patients' electronic health records.

According to an audit from the Office of the Inspector General for the Department of Veterans Affairs, VHA medical facilities have a cumulative medical document backlog equivalent to more than five miles of stacked paper, with nearly 600,000 electronic files dating back to 2016.

ON THE RECORD
"We want every Veteran to have a choice to schedule an in-person, telephone or video visit with their providers depending on their preferences for health care delivery," said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie said in a statement. "VA is committed to offering Veterans the health care they deserve, whenever and wherever they need it."

Nathan Eddy is a healthcare and technology freelancer based in Berlin.
Email the writer: nathaneddy@gmail.com
Twitter: @dropdeaded209

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Accelerating Medicines Partnership launches data knowledge portal for Parkinson’s disease http://medclimate.com/external/index.php?https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/accelerating-medicines-partnership-launches-data-knowledge-portal-parkinsons-disease http://medclimate.com/external/index.php?https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/accelerating-medicines-partnership-launches-data-knowledge-portal-parkinsons-disease Fri, 22 Nov 2019 15:15:00 CST NIH News Release Shared platform to catalyze research collaboration toward biomarker discovery to advance the development disease therapies. ]]> Eastern equine encephalitis virus poses emergent threat, say NIH officials http://medclimate.com/external/index.php?https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/eastern-equine-encephalitis-virus-poses-emergent-threat-say-nih-officials http://medclimate.com/external/index.php?https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/eastern-equine-encephalitis-virus-poses-emergent-threat-say-nih-officials Wed, 20 Nov 2019 22:00:00 CST NIH News Release Although EEE has existed for centuries, 2019 has been a particularly deadly year for the disease in the United States. ]]> Scientists find promising drug combination against lethal childhood brain cancers http://medclimate.com/external/index.php?https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/scientists-find-promising-drug-combination-against-lethal-childhood-brain-cancers http://medclimate.com/external/index.php?https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/scientists-find-promising-drug-combination-against-lethal-childhood-brain-cancers Wed, 20 Nov 2019 18:00:00 CST NIH News Release Studies in cell and animal models reveal insights into cancer cells’ vulnerability that could lead to new strategies against brain cancers. ]]> Physicians should think twice about promoting medical credit cards to their patients http://medclimate.com/external/index.php?https://www.fiercehealthcare.com/practices/finance-experts-warn-medical-credit-cards?utm_source=internal&utm_medium=rss http://medclimate.com/external/index.php?https://www.fiercehealthcare.com/practices/finance-experts-warn-medical-credit-cards?utm_source=internal&utm_medium=rss Tue, 20 Feb 2018 10:15:20 CST Joanne Finnegan at FierceHealthcare: Healthcare Consumers use credit cards to pay for everything (including the kitchen sink), and the latest trend has people using medical credit cards to pay for healthcare services. But financial experts are warning practices about the pitfalls of promoting so-called medical credit cards to their patients, says the Healthcare Financial Management Association. Trump administration issues proposed rule to expand short-term insurance plans http://medclimate.com/external/index.php?https://www.fiercehealthcare.com/regulatory/trump-administration-short-term-insurance-rule?utm_source=internal&utm_medium=rss http://medclimate.com/external/index.php?https://www.fiercehealthcare.com/regulatory/trump-administration-short-term-insurance-rule?utm_source=internal&utm_medium=rss Tue, 20 Feb 2018 09:56:31 CST Evan Sweeney at FierceHealthcare: Healthcare A proposed rule issued by three federal agencies on Tuesday would expand limits for short-term health insurance plans from three months to 12 months. CMS's Seema Verma dismissed concerns that the policy shift would destabilize the individual market by siphoning off healthy individuals, arguing the change will have "virtually no impact" on ACA premiums. Under Trump, HHS rolls back policies aimed at protecting LGBT rights http://medclimate.com/external/index.php?https://www.fiercehealthcare.com/regulatory/trump-hhs-lgbt-rights-alex-azar?utm_source=internal&utm_medium=rss http://medclimate.com/external/index.php?https://www.fiercehealthcare.com/regulatory/trump-hhs-lgbt-rights-alex-azar?utm_source=internal&utm_medium=rss Tue, 20 Feb 2018 09:31:52 CST Leslie Small at FierceHealthcare: Healthcare Though President Donald Trump promised to support LGBT causes during the 2016 campaign, under his watch the Department of Health and Human Services had rolled back several initiatives aimed at protecting the rights of that population. New HHS Secretary Alex Azar could take the department in a different direction. Study: Community navigators can reduce the high cost of 'superusers' in hospital settings http://medclimate.com/external/index.php?https://www.fiercehealthcare.com/patient-engagement/community-navigators-superusers-hospital-visits-decrease?utm_source=internal&utm_medium=rss http://medclimate.com/external/index.php?https://www.fiercehealthcare.com/patient-engagement/community-navigators-superusers-hospital-visits-decrease?utm_source=internal&utm_medium=rss Tue, 20 Feb 2018 09:08:46 CST Paige Minemyer at FierceHealthcare: Healthcare "Superusers," those costly patients who utilize high levels of hospital care, are a significant burden on the healthcare system. But a new study suggests that pairing them with community navigators can reduce their use of hospital services. Researchers in Tennessee found that the intervention reduced their healthcare encounters by 39%. Patients lack information about imaging exams, study finds http://medclimate.com/external/index.php?https://www.fiercehealthcare.com/practices/patients-lack-information-imaging-exams-radiology-study-yale?utm_source=internal&utm_medium=rss http://medclimate.com/external/index.php?https://www.fiercehealthcare.com/practices/patients-lack-information-imaging-exams-radiology-study-yale?utm_source=internal&utm_medium=rss Sat, 17 Feb 2018 20:14:46 CST Joanne Finnegan at FierceHealthcare: Healthcare Doctors can do a better job providing patients with information before they go for an imaging exam, a new study found. One in five patients shows up for an imaging exam without any information about the test they are about to undergo, according to the study published in Radiology. Most for-profit hospitals will benefit from U.S. tax overhaul, but 2 big-name providers stand to gain the most http://medclimate.com/external/index.php?https://www.fiercehealthcare.com/finance/most-for-profit-hospitals-will-benefit-from-us-tax-overhaul-but-two-big-name-providers?utm_source=internal&utm_medium=rss http://medclimate.com/external/index.php?https://www.fiercehealthcare.com/finance/most-for-profit-hospitals-will-benefit-from-us-tax-overhaul-but-two-big-name-providers?utm_source=internal&utm_medium=rss Fri, 16 Feb 2018 15:23:18 CST Ilene MacDonald at FierceHealthcare: Healthcare Most for-profit hospitals stand to gain from the changes to the U.S. tax laws, according to a new Moody’s Investors Service report. But HCA Healthcare and Universal Health Service will be the biggest beneficiaries and could see their operating cash flows go up by 10% or more. North Carolina attorney general seeks more details on Atrium Health-UNC Health Care merger  http://medclimate.com/external/index.php?https://www.fiercehealthcare.com/finance/atrium-health-university-north-carolina-merger-ag-wants-details?utm_source=internal&utm_medium=rss http://medclimate.com/external/index.php?https://www.fiercehealthcare.com/finance/atrium-health-university-north-carolina-merger-ag-wants-details?utm_source=internal&utm_medium=rss Fri, 16 Feb 2018 15:12:13 CST Paige Minemyer at FierceHealthcare: Healthcare North Carolina's attorney general is asking Atrium Health and UNC Health Care to provide more information on their merger plans. AG Josh Stein said he intends to ensure that the planned merger doesn't increase patient costs. 5 medical conditions that cost more than $15K per hospital stay http://medclimate.com/external/index.php?https://www.fiercehealthcare.com/finance/5-medical-conditions-cost-more-than-15k-per-hospital-stay?utm_source=internal&utm_medium=rss http://medclimate.com/external/index.php?https://www.fiercehealthcare.com/finance/5-medical-conditions-cost-more-than-15k-per-hospital-stay?utm_source=internal&utm_medium=rss Fri, 16 Feb 2018 14:01:34 CST Ilene MacDonald at FierceHealthcare: Healthcare Heart valve disorders lead the list of the most expensive medical conditions with the highest average cost per inpatient stay, according to an analysis by Business Insider based on 2016 data from Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project. Heart valve disorders, on average, cost $41,878 per stay, the analysis found. Anthem alters controversial ER coverage policies http://medclimate.com/external/index.php?https://www.fiercehealthcare.com/payer/anthem-er-coverage-policy-changes?utm_source=internal&utm_medium=rss http://medclimate.com/external/index.php?https://www.fiercehealthcare.com/payer/anthem-er-coverage-policy-changes?utm_source=internal&utm_medium=rss Fri, 16 Feb 2018 11:50:13 CST Leslie Small at FierceHealthcare: Healthcare Seeking to address mounting concerns from providers and other stakeholders, Anthem has made changes to policies it previously rolled out that restrict coverage for emergency room visits. The insurer has implemented a series of “always pay” exceptions for certain circumstances, like when the patient received any kind of surgery or an MRI or CT scan. VA head Shulkin to reimburse disputed European travel expenses, but Dems call for hearing over controversy http://medclimate.com/external/index.php?https://www.fiercehealthcare.com/healthcare/va-head-s-european-trip-drama-continues-shulkin-will-reimburse-disputed-expenses-but-won?utm_source=internal&utm_medium=rss http://medclimate.com/external/index.php?https://www.fiercehealthcare.com/healthcare/va-head-s-european-trip-drama-continues-shulkin-will-reimburse-disputed-expenses-but-won?utm_source=internal&utm_medium=rss Fri, 16 Feb 2018 10:30:06 CST Ilene MacDonald at FierceHealthcare: Healthcare Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin, M.D., says he will reimburse travel expenses that were the subject of an internal investigation into a trip he took to Europe this summer, but that may not put an end to the controversy. One lawmaker has called for Shulkin’s resignation, and four Democrats have requested a hearing about the trip.