Kaiser Health News - Health IT

Health IT Topic

This week's studies come from Health Affairs, The Annals of Internal Medicine, The Commonwealth Fund, Avalere Health and the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Posted: June 6, 2014, 1:13 pm
The Wall Street Journal reports that this step is part of the push to make it easier to use and share medical health records.
Posted: June 5, 2014, 1:31 pm
Speakers at Health Datapalooza, the annual convention for data geeks, doctors, researchers and patients, offered numerous examples of how people are trying to use data to make medical care safer, swifter and less expensive. But most of those projects are still works in progress.
Posted: June 4, 2014, 1:21 pm
A selection of editorials and opinions on health care from around the country.
Posted: June 3, 2014, 1:22 pm
A selection of health policy stories from New York, Kansas, Iowa, Massachusetts, Missouri, North Carolina and California.
Posted: June 2, 2014, 4:00 am
The New York Times examines a new marketing effort by hospitals to attract men. In the meantime, data sharing among medical professionals remains elusive.
Posted: May 29, 2014, 1:39 pm
This week's articles come from The New York Times, Health Affairs, The Atlantic, The New Republic, Medscape and The Health Care Blog.
Posted: May 29, 2014, 1:34 pm
A selection of health policy stories from Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Michigan, Montana, Ohio, and Wyoming.
Posted: May 28, 2014, 1:28 pm
This week's articles come from The New York Times, California Healthline, The Weekly Standard, Forbes Magazine, Reader's Digest and Pacific Standard.
Posted: May 23, 2014, 11:48 am
Take a look at KHN's lighter side, featuring today's cartoon and health policy haiku.
Posted: May 20, 2014, 1:06 pm
The Washington Post reports on this development.
Posted: May 19, 2014, 1:29 pm
Today's early morning highlights from the major news organizations, including a report about federal health care subsidies and an update on states small business health exchanges.
Posted: May 19, 2014, 11:05 am
The New York Times reports on how federal officials examined Medicare claims to pinpoint people who might have health needs, and shared these names with local public health authorities for outreach during disaster drills.
Posted: May 16, 2014, 1:59 pm
In addition, allegations are emerging about the Wentzville, Mo., processing center that handled paper applications for new health law insurance coverage.
Posted: May 15, 2014, 2:24 pm
A selection of editorials and opinions on health care from around the country.
Posted: May 15, 2014, 1:31 pm
Various groups see telemedicine as a potential boon for people with complex chronic diseases who have difficulty getting to the doctor. But there are hurdles from Medicare payment rules to state licensing restrictions.
Posted: May 13, 2014, 1:19 pm
Today's early morning highlights from the major news organizations, including reports about how the insurance marketplace is taking shape for 2015.
Posted: May 13, 2014, 11:18 am
And recommendations on digital privacy protections for electronic health records could come as early as June.
Posted: May 9, 2014, 1:33 pm

News from healthcareitnews.com

Interoperability, the Achilles heel of electronic health record progress has been in the limelight since the beginning of the stimulus package incentive funding for EHR adoption. And though EHR implementation rates have proven successful, interoperability leaves something to be desired.

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Author: Diana Manos
Posted: June 6, 2014, 2:18 pm

The U.S. Senate voted in Sylvia Matthews Burwell as the new Secretary of Health and Human Services on Thursday afternoon. 

Burwell, the former head of the Office of Management and Budget, was confirmed 78-17. Before and after the vote, Burwell both faced her share of fire and garnered high praise.

So now the pressure is on.

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Author: Tom Sullivan
Posted: June 6, 2014, 11:03 am

Delivering on its promise to offer tactical recommendations for steering the healthcare industry to ICD-10, the Workgroup for Data Interchange on Thursday circulated a roadmap.

It came within a letter addressed to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, wherein WEDI called for several actions, notably these half-a-dozen steps:

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Author: Tom Sullivan
Posted: June 5, 2014, 3:25 pm

Ralph Johnson figured once would be enough. Having passed one EHR Incentive Program audit, he assumed his small health system had proven its meaningful use merit to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Then he got another email.

[See also: What not to do in a meaningful use audit]

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Author: Mike Miliard
Posted: June 5, 2014, 3:05 pm
One organization has made a bold move toward healthcare transparency after announcing it was publishing patient satisfaction ratings together with outpatient procedure pricing for all of one state's hospitals. 
Author: Erin McCann
Posted: June 5, 2014, 2:57 pm

It seems everything that could go wrong with an EHR rollout did at the Ventura County Health Care Agency, a county-run healthcare system in Thousand Oaks. Calif. A grand jury investigation found the county neglected to plan, hire and adequately train for the transition.

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Author: Bernie Monegain
Posted: June 5, 2014, 2:16 pm

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius says the U.S. government will continue to offer open access to data as fuel for healthcare innovation.

Sebelius' remarks came at a keynote given June 3 at Health Datapalooza in Washington, D.C., as she fulfills the last days of her office under President Obama, having announced her departure in April.

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Author: Diana Manos
Posted: June 4, 2014, 3:08 pm
Event Call out
Mon, 06/16/2014 (All day)
Event Teaser: 
This Privacy & Security Forum delivers what CIOs, CISOs and other healthcare IT leaders told us they want from an industry conference: peer-to-peer learning, case studies and forums to brainstorm and share ideas.

Does your organization have a comprehensive data governance program? If not, you're not alone. But you're also not close to where you should be if you want to provide better care at lower cost, according to a new report.  

[See also: Mobile tech popular, but governance gaps remain, says HIMSS]

read more

Author: Mike Miliard
Posted: June 4, 2014, 2:37 pm
Event Call out
Mon, 06/16/2014 (All day)
Event Teaser: 
This Privacy & Security Forum delivers what CIOs, CISOs and other healthcare IT leaders told us they want from an industry conference: peer-to-peer learning, case studies and forums to brainstorm and share ideas.

Healthcare's all about the patients, right? Earning their trust so they return for annual checkups, delivering high-quality care while respecting their medical privacy at the highest level. But far too often, there's a disconnect – the idea that the care ends when the patient exits the building or a diagnosis is made, the idea that clinical deals with clinical and information technology deals with IT. But, that's not often the case in this digital age.

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Author: Erin McCann
Posted: June 4, 2014, 2:36 pm

As the Cleveland Clinic adds its prestigious name to the hospital groups that have embraced next-generation medical kiosks – groups that include Metro Health, Miami Children's Hospital, Kaiser Permanente, Central Ohio Primary Care and Nationwide Children's Hospital – healthcare IT executives are wrestling with the powerful pros and cons of such a move.

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Author: Evan Schuman
Posted: June 4, 2014, 2:29 pm

Health IT Buzz

The Latest on Health Information Technology from ONC

Today we are pleased to release Connecting Health and Care for the Nation: A 10-Year Vision to Achieve an Interoperable Health IT Infrastructure.  This paper describes ONC’s broad vision and framework for interoperability and is an invitation to health IT stakeholders – clinicians, consumers, hospitals, public health, technology developers, payers, researchers, policymakers and many others […]

The post A Call To Action for a Nationwide Interoperable Health IT Infrastructure appeared first on Health IT Buzz.

Author: Karen B. DeSalvo, MD, MPH, MSc
Posted: June 5, 2014, 2:39 pm

Want to make a difference? Applications for Health IT Policy Committee and Standards Committee Workgroups are now being accepted Are you interested in contributing to health IT strategy and policy, or to help identify which standards, implementation, and certification criteria are needed to help providers better use their health information technology? Apply to be considered […]

The post Applications for Health IT Policy Committee and Standards Committee Workgroups are now being accepted appeared first on Health IT Buzz.

Author: Michelle Consolazio
Posted: May 29, 2014, 4:09 pm

The Health IT Policy Committee’s (HITPC) Meaningful Use Workgroup is looking to learn about your meaningful use experiences. We are hosting two virtual listening sessions – on May 20, 2014 and May 27, 2014 – where we want to hear about your successes and challenges to achieving meaningful use to inform our recommendations for Stage […]

The post Seeking Your Meaningful Use Experiences appeared first on Health IT Buzz.

Author: Paul Tang
Posted: May 15, 2014, 5:05 pm

For Shannon Parker, a mom in Salem, Oregon, having access to a Personal Health Record (PHR) updated with her son’s latest health information allows her to put her son at the center of his care – no matter where he’s being treated. This means giving her an electronic tool she can use to coordinate her […]

The post PHR Ignite Demonstrates Exchange of Consumer Health Information appeared first on Health IT Buzz.

Author: Caroline Coy, MPH
Posted: May 15, 2014, 1:06 pm

The Health Information Technology Policy Committee (HITPC) has been asked by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) to explore the health information technology (health IT) needs of the long-term and post-acute care (LTPAC) and behavioral health (BH) settings.  In most cases, providers in these settings are not eligible to receive […]

The post Seeking Your Feedback: Voluntary EHR Certification for Behavioral Health and Long-Term and Post-Acute Care Settings appeared first on Health IT Buzz.

Author: Larry Wolf
Posted: May 14, 2014, 6:56 pm

As we approach 2014 National Hurricane Preparedness Week (May 25-31), it seems like an appropriate time to pause and reflect on two hurricanes that have impacted the lives of many Americans, Sandy and Katrina, and the role of health information technology (health IT).  ONC has long supported the use of health IT and health information […]

The post HIE Supports Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Services appeared first on Health IT Buzz.

Author: Lee Stevens
Posted: May 14, 2014, 3:35 pm

It is my sincere hope all of you have enjoyed National Nurses Week 2014. As the week draws to a close, I’d like to offer some reflections … Next year I celebrate my 30th anniversary as a Registered Nurse. If you had told me as a 20-year-old RN (a new grad walking the wards on […]

The post Reflections for our nation’s nurses appeared first on Health IT Buzz.

Author: Ellen Makar, MSN, RN-BC, CCM, CPHIMS, CENP
Posted: May 9, 2014, 1:15 pm

Imagine this: A third grade boy diagnosed with Sickle-cell disease wakes up during the night experiencing severe pain in his chest.  His father alerts the pediatrician that he and his son are on their way to the emergency department (ED) of a hospital near their home. The pediatrician phones the ED to say her patient […]

The post Health IT helps school nurses coordinate care for children appeared first on Health IT Buzz.

Author: Donna Mazyck
Posted: May 8, 2014, 1:56 pm

At the New York City Health Department’s Primary Care Information Project (PCIP), we work to promote health equity and address the health disparities that persist across our country, not just during Minority Health Month (which was April). We accomplish our mission of improving population health through the use of health IT by leveraging relationships with over […]

The post Addressing Health Disparities through the Lens of Public Health appeared first on Health IT Buzz.

Author: Brent Stackhouse
Posted: May 7, 2014, 6:13 pm

Federally funded health centers are making strides adopting and using electronic health records (EHRs) to treat some of the nation’s poorest and most at-risk patients since the enactment of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, according to a new first-of-its-kind study. We know that health IT can help improve care quality. […]

The post Rapid Advances in Health IT Adoption and Use in the Safety Net appeared first on Health IT Buzz.

Author: Michael A Wittie, MPH
Posted: May 6, 2014, 5:00 pm

HealthLeadersMedia.com - Tech News & Analysis

HealthLeaders Media is a leading multi-platform media company dedicated to meeting the business information needs of healthcare executives and professionals.

The Obama administration is revamping HealthCare.gov and scrapping significant parts of the federal health-insurance marketplace in an effort to avoid the problems that plagued the site's launch last fall, according to presentations to health insurers and interviews with government officials and contractors. But the makeover—and the tight timeline to accomplish it—are raising concerns that consumers could face another rocky rollout this fall when they return to the site to choose health plans. Some key back-end functions, including a system to automate payments to insurers, are running behind schedule, according to a presentation federal officials made to health insurers. [Subscription Required]

Posted: June 6, 2014, 11:37 am

Pregnant? Want to avoid a C-section if at all possible? The state Department of Health Services may be able to help. New data has just been uploaded onto an agency-run website to help would-be patients learn which hospitals have the highest rates of pregnancies ending with surgery. State Health Director Will Humble said that should give patients an idea of where procedures are more likely to short-circuit normal labor and delivery. But that's only the start of it. The site also helps compare, on a hospital-by-hospital basis, outcomes on all sorts of medical issues, like how often a surgery patient bleeds after a procedure to the chances of dying in the hospital after heart failure.
Posted: June 6, 2014, 11:19 am

As the purchaser representative on the federal Health IT Policy Committee, David Lansky, PhD., is the voice of employers, insurers, and other organizations responsible for healthcare compensation. It's a role he's handled for five years, one that complements his full-time position as CEO and president of Pacific Business Group on Health, a nonprofit business coalition that helps its 60 purchaser members provide coverage to more than 3 million employees by improving the quality and affordability of healthcare. In both positions, Lansky focuses on improving the nation's healthcare delivery system by curtailing unnecessary spending and enhancing visibility by measuring outcomes and value.

Posted: June 6, 2014, 11:16 am

About 2.2 million people, or more than one in every four Americans who signed up for private health coverage under President Barack Obama's healthcare reform law, have inconsistent data in their applications that could lead to them losing coverage in isolated cases, officials said on Wednesday. Republicans, who have made the law known as Obamacare a top issue for November's midterm congressional elections, pounced on the disclosure as fresh evidence that it poses an unworkable burden for Americans. But officials denied that the data issues rise to the level of problem enrollments, saying consumers in many cases included data on income, citizenship and immigration that is more up to date than federal records show.
Posted: June 5, 2014, 11:39 am

New models of collaboration (even among competitors) are producing shorter boarding times and fewer instances of aggressive behavior in the emergency department.

Posted: June 4, 2014, 11:51 am

The crowd in a hotel ballroom in Washington, D.C., was rocking on Monday, the 2,000 people shrieking with excitement over federal health-care databases. That could only happen at Health Datapalooza, the annual summit for data geeks, doctors, researchers and patients who want to use data to transform health care — or at least make a buck. Both of those goals are proving to demand a lot more than just coming up with a nifty API and getting the venture capitalists to buy in. Speakers at the Datapalooza gave plenty of examples of how people are trying to use data to make medical care safer, swifter and less expensive. But almost all of these projects are still works in progress.

Posted: June 4, 2014, 11:33 am

Insecurities lurk beneath the surface of the fast-growing world of mobile healthcare, putting data at risk. But organizations can protect patient data by implementing a mix of technologies and best practices. The practice of using mobile devices in healthcare is growing. More than half -- 51% -- of physicians use tablets for professional purposes and 74% use smartphones at work. The mobile monitoring and diagnostic medical devices market will reach $8.03 billion by 2019, compared with a mere $0.65 billion in 2013, according to Transparency Market Research. This year alone 90 million wearable health devices will ship, reported ABI Research.
Posted: June 4, 2014, 11:29 am

Ninety-three percent of adults would prefer to go to a doctor that offers email communication, according to a recent survey of 433 Americans aged 21 and over from Catalyst Healthcare Research. Of this 93 percent, 25 percent said they would still prefer a doctor that uses email communication even if there was a $25 fee per episode. The margin of error for the survey was 4.7 percent. Catalyst split the survey participants into four categories: Generation Y, aged 21 to 33; Generation X, aged 34 to 48; Baby Boomers, aged 49 to 67; and the Silent Generation aged 68 and over.
Posted: June 4, 2014, 11:23 am

IT leaders at healthcare providers are under siege. ROI, legacy systems, cloud software, and the EHR wars are a few of their current concerns.

Posted: June 3, 2014, 4:05 pm

Spending on electronic health records systems by hospitals and health systems continues to rise, as enthusiasm for them wanes among senior healthcare executives, survey results show.

Posted: June 3, 2014, 12:00 pm

Data made public by CMS includes information comparing the average hospital charges in 2012 for the 100 most common Medicare inpatient stays at more than 3,000 hospitals.

Posted: June 3, 2014, 11:45 am

The OpenNotes initiative, which seeks to enable easier access for patients to doctor's notes, might have helped. The idea is that if doctor's notes were more transparent, then a patient would become more involved in their own treatment. And the "playing field" between doctor and patient also is leveled somewhat. "We doctors hide from patients what we feel about them and what we think, and I think that it is a mistake," said Tom Delbanco, professor of general medicine and primary care at Harvard Medical School. "There is absolutely no reason patients should not know what we are thinking about them and doing."

Posted: June 3, 2014, 11:23 am

By using multiple electronic health records (EHRs) and other applications, hospitals take a best-of-breed approach that allows them to use the most appropriate solution for different departments or requirements. Yet a lack of standards can force workarounds, data duplication, and interoperability problems for IT and end-users. To address this, some healthcare providers standardize on one platform across their organization, even though it may not meet the specific needs of departments such as radiology or surgery. Others, looking to retain these separate EHRs or access to legacy systems, use integration tools to provide users with access to data housed in multiple applications.

Posted: June 3, 2014, 11:19 am

Long Island dermatologist Kavita Mariwalla knows well how to treat acne, burns and rashes. But when a patient came in with a potentially disfiguring case of bullous pemphigoid—a rare skin condition that causes large, watery blisters—she was stumped. The medication doctors usually prescribe for the autoimmune disorder wasn't available. So she logged in to Modernizing Medicine, a Web-based repository of medical information and insights, for help. Within seconds, she had the name of another drug that had worked in comparable cases. "It gives you access to data, and data is king," she said of Modernizing Medicine. "It's been very helpful especially in clinically challenging situations."

Posted: June 3, 2014, 11:17 am
The process is going forward despite the protestations of the American Medical Association, which has complained that CMS "has missed nearly every deadline laid out in the law and regulations to implement it."
Posted: June 2, 2014, 11:56 am

Hospital and health system leaders know the reimbursement transformation is coming—even if it hasn't reached them yet—and they are beginning to form alliances with regional providers to find strength in numbers.

Posted: June 2, 2014, 11:50 am

If it's Monday, your smartphone might remind you, you should probably be thinking about quitting smoking. Your odds of being diagnosed with the MERS virus are 1 in 150 based on other cases in your city. Oh, and don't worry — your blood pressure has stayed steady with your latest prescription. No need to see the doctor. These are only a handful of the insights that e-health, or the use of remote technology to provide medical care, could someday tell us and our doctors about how we live. The idea that a computer screen, a cellphone, or even a wearable wristband could revolutionize medicine isn't exactly far-fetched.

Posted: June 2, 2014, 11:14 am

Medical device maker Medtronic Inc. will pay the U.S. Department of Justice $9.9 million to settle a lawsuit that accused the company of giving doctors gifts in return for using its defibrillators and pacemakers. Medtronic has not admitted any wrongdoing as a result of the settlement. The lawsuit unsealed this week accused Medtronic of funneling "millions of dollars in unrestricted grant money to physicians" to get them to encourage the use of Medtronic defibrillators and pacemakers. "Improper financial incentives have the potential to compromise physician medical judgment," said Assistant Attorney General Stuart F. Delery of the Justice Department's Civil Division. "This case demonstrates the Department of Justice's commitment to pursue medical device manufacturers that use improper financial relationships to influence physician decision-making."
Posted: May 30, 2014, 11:25 am

Many healthcare providers now participate in value-based payment models, which most see as the wave of the future, but few of them are happy about it. "Value-based" is a catch-all label for Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) and other ways of restructuring healthcare around payment for value delivered, as measured by metrics of healthcare quality or the aggregate health of a population rather than by the volume of visits, procedures, or hospital stays a healthcare organization records. In other words, it's a highly data-driven vision of healthcare reform, intended to improve quality and efficiency while reducing costs.
Posted: May 30, 2014, 11:24 am

Forty-four senators have asked the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to expand coverage for an early lung-cancer screening test under Medicare. The effort is being led by Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.). "[W]hen cancer is caught early patients have the best chance of survival," said the lawmakers in a letter dated Wednesday to CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner. They called on the CMS to speed up approval for low-dose CT scans to be covered by Medicare. "Fortunately, low-dose CT scans have been found to be an effective tool in catching lung cancer early," said the letter.
Posted: May 30, 2014, 11:20 am

CNET News - Health Tech

The latest in medical technology

Kids receiving cancer treatments in Brazil get IV fluids inside superhero covers and read comic books showing Batman going through the same experience.

Originally posted at Crave

Author: Amanda Kooser
Posted: June 4, 2013, 8:00 pm
Need a pulse check? iSpO2 -- an iPhone and iPad accessory -- gives you an immediate reading on your vitals.

Originally posted at

Author: Jennifer Van Grove
Posted: January 7, 2013, 12:50 am
Thanks to electrodes in her brain, quadriplegic Jan Scheuermann can manipulate objects for the first time in years.

Originally posted at Crave

Author: Tim Hornyak
Posted: December 18, 2012, 12:55 am
The ITClamp could reduce traumatic bleeding deaths in combat zones and following civilian accidents by helping minimize blood loss before surgery.
Author: Elizabeth Armstrong Moore
Posted: April 6, 2012, 4:41 pm
Closed-loop implantable devices can control seizures via small amounts of current, and new software could further fine-tune early detection, research shows.
Author: Elizabeth Armstrong Moore
Posted: April 4, 2012, 6:30 pm
Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health estimate that for every 2,500 women invited to screening, only one life will be saved.
Author: Elizabeth Armstrong Moore
Posted: April 3, 2012, 10:11 pm
Researchers miniaturize a more expensive diagnostic test into a single-use microfluidic chip roughly the size of a miscroscope slide.
Author: Elizabeth Armstrong Moore
Posted: March 29, 2012, 10:03 pm
The silicon polymer device, lined by living, human cells, mimics the 3D structures, behaviors, and environment of the human intestine.
Author: Elizabeth Armstrong Moore
Posted: March 28, 2012, 7:23 pm
Is it hot in here, or is it just me? You can find the answer to that question with the iPhone ThermoDock.

Originally posted at Crave

Author: Amanda Kooser
Posted: March 27, 2012, 9:36 pm
An alarm-and-loudspeaker system at a Scottish hospital is designed to shame seditious smokers and stem the smattering of cigarette butts.
Author: Elizabeth Armstrong Moore
Posted: March 27, 2012, 9:09 pm