News Blog

Population health strategies hinge on data interoperability
Thursday, September 01, 2016

With data interoperability acting as a fulcrum for population health initiatives, hospitals must seek cooperation from other systems and the communities they serve.

In the healthcare industry today, there has been an increasing interest in population health strategies. As a result of new financial incentives and payment models, hospitals and other health organizations recognize this is an area that will improve patient outcomes and control spending. The interoperability of this data will play a role in population health's success.
Early adopters of population health initiatives face significant challenges when it comes to seeing a full picture of the population's data, some of which may reside outside of the hospital system. Lack of access to meaningful information could mean that some of these initiatives may not progress forward enough to make a difference.
When considering population health management, the idea is to offer a full-service delivery network so that patients receive access to treatments and programs that keep them involved in their health and improve care. Patients who are at a greater risk stand to benefit the most from population health.
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ACA enrollment projections missed mark for multiple reasons
Thursday, September 01, 2016

  • With three enrollment seasons under its belt, President Obama's healthcare law has brought just half the number of marketplace plan enrollments that were originally projected by this time, and there's more to why that is than what the government says, according to U.S. News & World Report.
  • The administration has repeatedly pointed toward one reason: Employers have continued to provide health coverage themselves rather than sending their employees to the exchanges, as analysts had predicted many would do.
  • While that is one factor, the math doesn't support it as the sole factor for why, after analysts projected three years ago that 24 million people would enroll in ACA plans by 2016, the current tally is just 11.1 million.

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Insurer ACA exits set to wallop rural states hardest
Thursday, September 01, 2016

  • The number of rural counties on that have only one insurer will nearly quadruple, going from 7.8% in 2016 to 30.7% in 2017, according to a new Vox analysis.
  • The 2017 ACA marketplaces are poised to see reduced competition across the board following announcements of pull-outs by several major insurers, but it's the rural areas that will be taking the brunt of the hit.
  • In comparison, while urban counties will also be seeing their lowest levels of marketplace competition since 2014 - just 19.6% of urban counties on will be served by one insurer, the analysis shows.

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Public option back on the block?: What it means for private payers
Thursday, September 01, 2016

President Barack Obama and presidential nominee Hillary Clinton have banded together to revive the possibility of a public option for health insurance. The idea of a public option had been proposed as a component of health reform before the Affordable Care Act (ACA) passed, but did not make it into the final legislation. Now that a public option is back on the block, is it likely and what would it mean for private payers?

New proposals for a public option

Insurance provided through a public option would likely be cheaper than plans provided by private payers because it would not need to turn a profit, have lower administrative costs, and could force providers to accept below-market reimbursements. As hikes in premiums on ACA plans loom and private payers exit ACA exchanges, proponents of a public option argue it would force private payers to offer more competitively-priced products.
In a recent commentary published in JAMA, President Barack Obama said a public option could enhance competition in the insurance marketplaces enacted by the Affordable Care Act.
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Delivering Value: Digital Health Care in the New Era of Technology
Thursday, September 01, 2016

The U.S. is undergoing a shift that has disrupted the traditional health care industry. These changes have introduced new challenges to just about every aspect of the health care system.
New technologies entering the health care space are critical to overcome challenges and advance value-based care. However, these technologies come with their own set of obstacles, which has caused slow but progressive adoption from providers, payers and patients alike.
This playbook examines three components in the shift to value-based care and discusses how significantly new technologies are accelerating the quality of care and outcomes to benefit all stakeholders.
Download the playbook to read more!
We discuss:

  • Engaging with Technology to Engage with Patients
  • The Slow Adoption of Technology
  • Strategic Implementation

Download this e-book:   ...

Advances in precision medicine technology spur new EHR functionality
Thursday, September 01, 2016

EHRs need to support substantial amounts of health data and interoperability in order for precision medicine to become more accessible to patients.
The first wave of changes in EHR products was the result of market supply and demand. Physicians looking to adopt certified EHR packages and meet the criteria set by the CMS incentive program had a lot to do with the increased demand, and vendors quickly recognized the urgency with which they needed to get their products certified. As the last stage of meaningful use approaches, as well as the new programs introduced as part of MACRA, a new chapter of EHR functionality is being called for. Precision medicine is becoming a widely discussed subject and is the new accelerant of changes that many of today's EHRs will adopt.
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For effective healthcare data protection try a 'layered' approach
Thursday, September 01, 2016

Healthcare organizations can protect patient data from breaches with a three-layered approach that combines traditional and advanced protection features.

With the proliferation of electronic health records, as well as an increasing number of data breaches, protecting patient information is of the utmost importance. A recent study by the Ponemon Institute revealed that, out of 91 surveyed HIPAA-covered entities and 84 business associates, 89% suffered from data breaches. About half of those breaches were caused by criminal cyberattacks.
In addition to traditional cyberattacks, such as theft and denial of service, there are also emerging threats, such as blackmail and extortion. In June 2016 alone, nearly 10 million patient records were posted for sale on a dark web market for prices ranging from 30 bitcoin ($19,000) to 375 bitcoin ($240,000).
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