12 Things to Know about MACRA
September 09, 2016

Government and Healthcare.jpgIn January 2015, the Department of Health and Human Services announced new goals for value-based payments and APMs in Medicare.This law, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA), is part of a broader push towards value and quality. It is a law that will affect physicians in many different ways for many years to come. It covers such issues as new practice models, data reporting, physician evaluations, evolving standards, and involves millions of dollars in bonuses and penalties.

Intensions are to begin MACRA in January, but there are talks of delay. Currently, it is anticipated that measurements for the MACRA program will start on January 1st of 2017 and the first payment adjustments will happen in 2019. However, it is believed that MACRA will be postponed, since the time between issuing the final rules, which are expected in late October, is too close to the program start date to let clinicians prepare for implementation. Even though there is an assumed potential delay, it is prudent to become familiar with some key issues around MACRA.

Interconnect to Empower All Users
July 19, 2016

News_DHA.jpgHealthcare is being transformed by digital apps and devices by empowering consumers to take better care of themselves while also giving providers the ability to monitor patients remotely.

The separate healthcare technologies for clinicians and consumers have advanced parallel to one another, however there is little crossover. Clinicians utilize home-based telehealth devices to manage chronic diseases and monitor patient conditions, while mobile apps and wearables for consumers provide more basic information about activity and vital signs.

What if a consumer’s app functioned as an interactive, proactive and intelligent digital health advisor — that not only collected data and provided information, but also would interconnect medical, pharmaceutical and insurance networks and databases to empower all users?​

"Interoperability"
July 11, 2016

News_Big_Data.jpgInteroperability is the ability for devices and systems to exchange data, and interpret that shared data. In order for systems to be considered interoperable, they must be able to exchange data and then present that data in such a way it can be understood and digested by a user. 

Well, easier said than done. The ever elusive interoperability has been a hot topic of conversation in healthcare for the past decade. There are many pitfalls and hurtles to overcome before everyone in healthcare is communicating seamlessly. It’s difficult when “the demand curve does not mitigate towards integration”. Unfortunately, it seems as though true interoperability is still quite a ways off.

2016, So Far - Top 10 Healthcare IT News Stories
July 06, 2016

July2016.jpg2016 is already halfway over; it is time to reflect on the progress and changes IT has made in the healthcare world. Healthcare IT News reviews the top ten stories that have resonated most with those in the industry the past six months. Together, these news stories represent the many aspects of this quickly evolving industry: from security challenges and changes in policy, to frustrations with technology and ambitions for what it can help achieve.

Ransomware, Cyberattacks and Phishing - Oh My
March 24, 2016

​​News_Phishing_3.24.16.jpgHealthcare ransomware is on the rise and there’s no way to just click your heels and “no place like home” your way out of it.

Hospitals are under attack – hackers are encrypting data and holding it hostage, demanding a ransom for decryption. There have been at least five incidents reported in the past few weeks and experts suspect that this is only the beginning. Of the five recently hijacked hospitals, only one admitted to paying the ransom in order to unlock the data, while the others resolved the issue relying on backups.

There are specific steps organizations can take to help avoid becoming victims, like educating users and backing up data.

The industry’s view of security risk has changed quite a bit, as insider threats are no longer the main concern – we’re not in Kansas anymore.

Patient Decisionmaking Tool Missing from Watchman Medicare Coverage
February 18, 2016

Watchman-Boston-Scientific.jpgThere are about 2.7 million Americans who have a condition which causes rapid and irregular heart rates. Many of these patients are prescribed warfarin as a way to protect against stroke. However, some who take the blood thinner may experience severe bleeding, as a side effect. Boston Scientific’s Watchman seals off the left atrial appendage to keep blood from coagulating and escaping into the arteries. Cardiologists have touted the Watchman devise as a game changer.

The CMS final coverage rule on the Watchman does not include language that requires patients and physicians to consult on the risks and benefits of the device. This has disappointed advocates who wanted to empower patients.