Health IT Issues that Deserve a Second Read – January 2016

Top10-200One of the ways that HITECH Answers is different from other media sites is the sense of community. The thought leaders in our community are good about sharing their thought on the issues of today. We publish at least eleven guest posts a week now, on our three sites. In case you missed some, here are the top ten read and shared guest posts of the month. You can also read previous month’s Top Ten Lists. Thank you for contributing and reading.

Meaningful Use Ending? Yes and No
By William Hersh, MD, Professor and Chair, OHSU
Twitter: @williamhersh

The health information technology (HIT) world was shaken to its core by Andy Slavitt, Acting Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), who announced that the CMS Meaningful Use (MU) program was over. More precisely, he stated, “The Meaningful Use program as it has existed, will now be effectively over and replaced with something better.” He tweeted this as well, and it was retweeted by Dr. Karen DeSalvo, Director of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC). A transcript of his comments were posted in The CMS Blog. The health IT media was quick to pick up on his remarks. Continue reading on…

2016 Predictions for Health IT from John Halamka
By John Halamka, MD
Twitter: @jhalamka

As the year ends and we archive the accomplishments and challenges of 2015, it’s time to think about the year ahead. Will innovative products and services be social, mobile, analytics, and cloud (SMAC)? Will wearables take off? Will clinicians be replaced by Watson? Here are my predictions: Continue reading on…

Q&A: A Beginner’s Guide to FHIR
By George E. Cole, Jr., Principal Scientist, Community Solutions, Allscripts
Twitter: @Allscripts

Interest in FHIR (Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources) is growing as the standard for exchanging healthcare information takes shape. What is it and what will it mean for healthcare providers? Here are some frequently asked questions and answers: Continue reading on…

Fueled By Health Law, ‘Concierge Medicine’ Reaches New Markets
By Shefali Luthra, Kaiser Health News
Twitter: @Shefalil

A growing number of primary care doctors, spurred by the federal health law and frustrations with insurance requirements, are bringing a service that generally has been considered “health care for billionaires” to middle-income, Medicaid and Medicare populations. It’s called direct primary care, modeled after “concierge” practices that have gained prominence in the past two decades. Those feature doctors generally bypassing insurance companies to provide personalized health care while charging a flat fee on a monthly or yearly basis. Patients can shell out anywhere from thousands to tens of thousands of dollars annually, getting care with an air of exclusivity. Continue reading on…

EHR Incentive Programs: Where We Go Next
By Andy Slavitt and Karen DeSalvo
Twitter: @CMSgov / @ONC_HealthIT

As we mentioned in a speech previously, the Administration is working on an important transition for the Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program. We have been working side by side with physician organizations and have listened to the needs and concerns of many about how we can make improvements that will allow technology to best support clinicians and their patients. While we will be putting out additional details in the next few months, we wanted to provide an update now. Continue reading on…

2016: Technology Driving the Triple Aim
By Jane Sarasohn-Kahn, iHealthBeat

While the health care market environment for 2016 has many uncertainties, there is one certainty that will drive adoption and deeper use of IT: the need to do more with less money. Whether value-based, bundled or slashed reimbursement, health care providers and consumers will be faced with rising costs and the need to do more with less. Continue reading on…

A Hacker’s Thoughts on How to Build Stronger Network Security
By Steve Spearman, VP of HIPAA Compliance Services at Healthicity
Twitter: @HIPAASolutions

Aaron Hayden is one of CliftonLarsonAllen’s 40 penetration testers (often called “Pen Testers”), ethical hackers who try to gain access into your company’s computer network just like a malicious hacker would in order to test your company’s network security, identify your network’s most glaring weaknesses, and then report their findings to you so you can address the issues more effectively. In a recent article with Health Data Management, Hayden has also recently discussed some common weaknesses in network security, and offered some solutions. Here are some of the major take-aways from that article, along with some of our own thoughts on improving your company’s network security. Continue reading on…

A Primer on FHIR
By Paula Braun
Twitter: @HHSIDEALab

Not long ago, health records were paper files locked away in cabinets. Thanks to advancements in technology and national incentives, these records are largely digitized and their roles have evolved beyond a means of documenting care. Now, people look to data captured in electronic health records (EHRs) to create a deeper understanding of wellness and diseases, identify threats to public health, and determine what interventions work best for whom. The data are also used to guide health-related policy decisions and track cost-effectiveness outcomes in real-world settings. Continue reading on…

Is it a Metric or a Key Performance Indicator?
By Sarianne Gruber
Twitter: @subtleimpact

Identifying appropriate Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) in healthcare is not a trivial task. And when it relates to improving healthcare quality and operational performance, few tasks are as important. KPIs are often confused with general metrics just because you can measure them – although there is a very important distinction. I like to consider metrics as what information you use to manage a particular service or as a measure that represents the workings of your organization in relation to one or more components. Continue reading on…

Healthcare Technology Trends for 2016
By Mark Ott, Director of Product at RoundingWell
Twitter: @ottmark

Make no mistake, a lot can happen in a year – even in an industry as large as healthcare technology. Trends about where an industry is headed, especially one as complex as healthcare technology, should best be thought of as trajectories rather than binary “did/did not happen” events. Here are five trends you can expect to see unfold in 2016. Continue reading on…

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