From the category archives:

Health Care Politics

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Amazon, Google, Microsoft, IBM renew pledge to support health data interoperability

September 26, 2019

From FierceHealthcare: The six companies and competitors—Amazon, Google, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, and Salesforce—announced a renewed commitment to interoperability at the CMS Blue Button 2.0 Developer Conference. The companies also are throwing their sizable weight behind recent interoperability proposed rules from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services […]

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The U.S. can slash health-care costs 75% with 2 fundamental changes — and without ‘Medicare for All’

September 2, 2019

From MarketWatch: As the Democratic presidential candidates argue about “Medicare for All” versus a “public option,” two simple policy changes could slash U.S. health-care costs by 75% while increasing access and improving the quality of care. These policies have been proven to work by ingenious companies like Whole Foods and innovative governments like the state of […]

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Patient handoffs to post-acute care providers still largely a manual process, hindering effective care coordination

August 27, 2019

From FierceHealthcare: Medicine is stuck with a 1980’s “Sneakernet” There is a big push both from the private market and federal policymakers to improve interoperability and open up access to health data through smartphone apps and other digital tools. But on the front lines of healthcare, the way patient information is shared remains largely a manual process done through […]

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New Medicare initiative aims to fill holes in patient health records

August 12, 2019

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on Tuesday unveiled a new initiative that aims to connect the dots between a patient’s health records held by different providers. The Data at the Point of Care, or DPC, demonstration seeks to bridge the data gap by connecting Medicare’s Blue Button — a tool that allows Medicare […]

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House votes to lift ban on federal funding for unique patient identifier

July 15, 2019

From FierceHealthcare: Although HIPAA initially required the creation of a health identifier in 1998, Congress overruled the legislation, barring federal agencies from investigating or creating patient identifiers out of privacy concerns.The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) voiced its support for efforts in Congress to repeal an “archaic ban that has stifled innovation and industry progress for […]

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UChicago SUED for providing Google with sensitive patient data

July 8, 2019

From Campus Reform: A former University of Chicago medical patient filed a class-action lawsuit against the University of Chicago and Google, claiming that the University of Chicago Medical Center is giving private patient information to the tech giant without patients’ consent. About two years ago, the university medical center partnered with Google with the hope […]

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New bill to plug up HIPAA app gaps

July 2, 2019

From POLITICO: PRIVACY BILL PICKS UP WHAT HIPAA LEAVES OUT—Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) are collaborating on a bill that would direct HHS Secretary Alex Azar to come up with regulations for health technology, including for apps, wearables and direct-to-consumer genetic tests. The bill directs HHS to consult with the FTC and the […]

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ADA seeks participants for SNODENT review

June 21, 2019

The American Dental Association is seeking qualified individuals to join an ADA canvass committee to consider approval of the 2019 revision of the Systemized Nomenclature of Dentistry. ANSI/ADA Standard No. 2000.2 for SNODENT was approved by the American National Standards Institute as an American National Standard in 2018,and it is revised annually. SNODENT provides a […]

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Death by a Thousand Clicks: Where Electronic Health Records Went Wrong

March 21, 2019

From Fortune: Follow the link and read the whole thing. Electronic health records were supposed to do a lot: make medicine safer, bring higher-quality care, empower patients, and yes, even save money. Boosters heralded an age when researchers could harness the big data within to reveal the most effective treatments for disease and sharply reduce medical […]

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HIMSS19: Loud and clear message from feds on patient data: It belongs to patients

March 14, 2019

From FierceHealthcare: Officials put industry stakeholders on notice over efforts to block patients’ access to their data. The Department of Health and Human Services made public several proposed rules aimed at increasing consumer access to their health data, but whether these regulations lead to the long-held goal of industrywide interoperability will take years to determine. Source: HIMSS19: Loud […]

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ADA comments on agency’s request to modify HIPAA rules

February 21, 2019

From ADA News: Washington — The ADA is asking the Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights to incorporate flexibility and keep processes simple to help dental offices remain HIPAA compliant. Source: ADA comments on agency’s request to modify HIPAA rules Hmmm

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Hospitals Must Now Post Prices. But It May Take a Brain Surgeon to Decipher Them.

January 17, 2019

From The New York Times: On Jan. 1, hospitals began complying with a Trump administration order to post list prices for all their services, theoretically offering consumers transparency and choice and forcing health care providers into price competition.It’s turning into a fiasco. Source: Hospitals Must Now Post Prices. But It May Take a Brain Surgeon to […]

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The “healthcare crisis” is in fact not a crisis of care but a crisis of affordability

December 28, 2018

The “healthcare crisis” is in fact not a crisis of care but a crisis of affordability. So far attempts to fix the established system with central command and control have proven to be a ineffective. Technology has the potential to lower costs and improve care. Eventually the entrenched interest will be overwhelmed.

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Urgent Care Centers Take Off

December 20, 2018

From US News: Increasing demand is spurring a dramatic expansion in the number of urgent care centers in the U.S. There are about 8,250 urgent care clinics throughout the country, according to the most recent estimate by the Urgent Care Association. From 2014 to 2017, about 400 to 500 new urgent care clinics opened each year, […]

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Disruption is coming

December 6, 2018

Medicine (and by default dentistry) is an industry ripe for disruption. As usual the established players which in this case includes physicians, med schools, hospitals and insurance companies will resist the changes. However using history as a guide the disruption will start at the lower end of services and then grow. We are already seeing […]

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Considerations On Cost Disease

October 16, 2018

From Slate Star Codex: The cost of health care has about quintupled since 1970. It’s actually been rising since earlier than that, but I can’t find a good graph; it looks like it would have been about $1200 in today’s dollars in 1960, for an increase of about 800% in those fifty years. Source: Considerations On […]

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How Formerly Independent Doctors Were Pushed Out of Business

October 11, 2018

From Reason: “Is the independent doctor disappearing?” U.S. News & World Report asked earlier this summer. The answer is: yes—and to a significant extent, that’s a result of deliberate policy. Your doctors didn’t jump out of business; they were pushed. Source Reason According to the article only 33% of physicians own their own practice. That compares to 80% […]

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Amazon, Alphabet, Microsoft and others make health data pledge to Ease Patient, Provider Access to Health Data

September 18, 2018

From CNBC: There are many broken things about the U.S. health care system. But one of the biggest and most overlooked problems is that patients still find it too hard to share their medical information between doctors, especially those working in different hospitals. Source: Amazon, Alphabet, Microsoft and others make health data pledge This is […]

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CMS Head: We’re Working Toward Interoperability. Are You?

August 16, 2018

From Healthcare Analytics News: Healthcare is stuck in a 1990s time warp. That’s according to Seema Verma, M.P.H., who heads the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)… …But in spite of these steps forward, healthcare organizations still depend on faxes, CD-ROMs and paper notes. Interoperability remains elusive, and patients still don’t have access to, never […]

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Trump Administration Requires Hospitals To Post Standard Prices Online

August 14, 2018

From The Daily Caller: The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will require hospitals to update their online price list annually starting Jan. 1, reported The Hill. Before the new rule, CMS required that hospitals share prices with people who requested them.CMS said the rule was made to “encourage price transparency,” according to The Hill. […]

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