News Blog

Troubled hospital giant CHS looking to sell its business
Monday, September 19, 2016

Troubled Community Health Systems is considering selling its entire business, according to various reports Friday.

Quoting anonymous sources “with knowledge of the matter,” Bloomberg saidhospital giant CHS had enlisted advisers to consider options. Deliberations are in the early stages and there is no certainty of a deal, according to reports.

CHS's battered stock price surged on the rumors, closing up 16% Friday to $12.27 per share.

CHS spokeswoman Tomi Galen said CHS does not comment on rumors.

Earlier this month, Modern Healthcare reported that CHS plans to sell more than the 12 hospitals it has for sale, quoting CFO Larry Cash speaking at the Wells Fargo Securities Healthcare Conference in Boston.

Cash said they are getting interest in additional hospitals. And after examining its portfolio of 159 hospitals, it likely will see “other transactions” before the end of the year, he said.
Read More:http://www.modernhealthcare.com/article/20160916/NEWS/160919916?utm_source=modernhealthcare&utm_medium=email&utm_content=20160916-NEWS-160919916&utm_campaign=am   ...

The Ricichet Effect and Why the Worlds Most Underserved Markets Will Lead Us Forward
Friday, September 16, 2016

Ten years from now, telehealth will be an integral part of every American’s health experience. Remote monitors will seamlessly collect our health information from home, routine check-ups will be as easy as a Facetime call, and rural health centers will simply patch-in the world’s best specialists for meaningful consultations as-needed.

But it will be the world’s most underserved markets that will increasingly lead the telehealth revolution, driven by the necessity that fosters innovation and a unique set of conditions that are rapidly accelerating global adoption and encouraging progress

It used to be that newest health care solutions required heavy infrastructure and billions in investments to gain traction. But the near-ubiquity of mobile technology around the world has changed that equation. There are already billions of people using mobile phones and connected to the internet globally. And over the next decade, billions more will only experience a connected-life, a group the entrepreneur Peter Diamandis coined “the rising billions.” These people are increasingly becoming the future of our global economy. Sadly, these are also billions of people who have little or no access to quality health care.

A unique combination of extreme demand, mobile ubiquity, affordable tech, and less regulation will enable the world’s most underserved markets to propel the next wave of telehealth innovation. Efficient solutions, with new business models, perfected in the developing world will create a ricochet effect, ultimately paving the wave for increased adoption of telemedicine into every aspect of the U.S. health system.
Read More:http://www.telemedmag.com/features/2016/9/13/the-ricochet-effect-and-why-the-worlds-most-underserved-markets-will-lead-us-forward




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Kelly: When injury hospitalized him, Blue Cross of Nebraska CEO got up-close look at the state of health care
Friday, September 16, 2016

A year ago at home, one of Omaha’s foremost health care experts bumped his noggin.
It didn’t seem like much — he had stood up quickly and struck his head on an open cabinet door. He and his wife detected only a scalp abrasion and a little swelling.
As his symptoms became pronounced, though, he learned it was much more than that — a subdural hematoma, or bleeding on the brain.

It led to left-side seizures, intensive care in a hospital, weeks of rehabilitation, walking with a cane and a new perspective for this health care leader turned patient.
The patient was Steven S. Martin, longtime CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska, the state’s largest commercial health insurer.
In the weeks after his head bump, he traveled a lot and took aspirin for headaches. But on Oct. 10 in Chicago, he had an episode.

Read More:http://www.omaha.com/livewellnebraska/health/when-injury-hospitalized-him-blue-cross-of-nebraska-ceo-got/article_94c7f3cc-3690-5995-967d-28bb0686b95f.html   ...

Telemedicine and Patient Safety
Friday, September 16, 2016

A paradigm shift is ongoing in the health care sector. The traditional model of episodic and hospital-based care is being replaced by a patient-centric approach, in which patients are constantly connected to their health care providers. This shift is driven by the need to optimize the performance of the health care system and enabled by advances in technology.
Advanced communications and monitoring technologies facilitate the exchange of a patient's information between two or more sites. These technologies are now commonly applied in virtually every medical specialty to educate, monitor, offer self-management support for patients, and provide clinicians with clinical decision support for diagnosis and ongoing care. A variety of terms—telemedicine, telehealth, connected health, eHealth, mHealth—are used to describe this model of care delivery. The more general term, telemedicine, will be used in this article.
The evidence supporting the role of telemedicine is strong. Studies have shown that telemedicine promotes continuity of care, decreases the cost of care, and improves patient self-management and overall clinical outcomes. For example, a synthesis of evidence from 15 systematic reviews published between 2003 and 2013 demonstrated that heart failure telemonitoring reduced all-cause mortality by 15%–40% and heart failure–related hospitalizations by 14%–36%.(1) Another systematic review found that, compared with usual care, telemonitoring for patients with heart failure was associated with significant cost reductions, ranging from 1.6%–68.3%.(2) This body of evidence is driving the increased adoption of telemedicine services. For instance, the heart failure telemonitoring program (Connected Cardiac Care Program) at Partners Healthcare, which has consistently achieved significant reductions in 30-day readmissions, started as a small pilot project in 2007.(3) Since then, the program has been deployed as a population health management tool across Partners' network of hospitals.

Read More:https://psnet.ahrq.gov/perspectives/perspective/206   ...

How Hospitals Can Reach Patients Using a Rural Telehealth Strategy
Friday, September 16, 2016

The University of Mississippi Medical Center has connected patients to specialists across rural Mississippi thanks to their robust telehealth strategy.

A session on rural telehealth attracted an eager, late morning crowd at this year's Society for Healthcare Strategy & Market Development Connections conference, which officially started on Sunday evening.
Michael Adcock, administrator, Center for Telehealth at the University of (Jackson) Mississippi Medical Center alongside Jeff Cowart, senior vice president of market development and public affairs, University Health System, Shreveport, La., walked us through why telehealth is not just a nice thing to do. "It is actually a very important business strategy,” Cowart says.
They also discussed how UMMC has been able to connect the most isolated patients in the state to specialists miles away and why other systems should follow suit.
“This is not just a rural issue. Telehealth can help solve issues to access that have nothing to do with distance from specialists. There are medical centers in urban areas that don’t have the specialty coverage they need,” says Adcock. “We do know this. It’s going to be big. It’s already big and it’s going to get bigger.”
For those that still weren’t convinced, Adcock presented some startling numbers. Since 2010, 48 rural hospitals have closed and in 2016, 283 rural hospitals are in danger of closing. And in Mississippi, 53 of its 82 counties are located more than a 40 minute drive away from specialty care. Providers had to get in their car and travel to patients, because physicians didn’t want patients to have to come to them.
Read More:http://www.hhnmag.com/articles/7624-how-hospitals-can-reach-patients-using-a-rural-telehealth-strategy   ...

Telemedicine Transforms In-School Care for Rural Tennessee
Friday, September 16, 2016

Chelmsford, MA, September 12, 2016––Telemedicine technology has transformed the way twenty-three (23) Sevier County public schools address student’s health and well-being. For the past eight (8) years, Cherokee Health Systems has been delivering healthcare services to Sevier County schools. Recently they surpassed a milestone of completing 11,000 patient encounters, of which AMD Global Telemedicine’s specialty medical devices played a prominent role.
The Sevier County Schools and Cherokee Health System were tasked with the challenge of providing high-quality in-school healthcare services to the largest rural district in Tennessee. Implementing the use of telemedicine technology to perform a remote patient exam allowed them to treat students immediately in place, for a number of conditions including potentially contagious diseases. A consulting medical provider from Cherokee Health Systems gives a diagnosis in real-time, as well as coordinates with a student and his/her family about on-going treatments.
Read More:http://www.telecomreseller.com/2016/09/15/telemedicine-transforms-in-school-care-for-rural-tennessee/   ...

Health information exchanges are coming of age and proving their worth
Friday, September 16, 2016

The wobbly credibility of third-party health information exchange organizations got a boost after Texas Health Resources signed up to share patient data in a highly competitive healthcare market.

The 14-hospital system will join 32 other providers that are sending data to Healthcare Access San Antonio, an exchange whose territory stretches from the Oklahoma border in the north to Corpus Christi south on the Gulf Coast, the organizations said this week in a news release. HASA handles nearly 2.2 million patient records and supports about 2,400 HIE users.

HASA is one of nine health information exchange organizations in Texas and about 150 nationwide.

For decades now, exchanges have gone by various names and have had varying degrees of success. They range from the mass extinction of community health information networks (CHINS) in the 1990s, to the ill-fated regional health information organizations (RHIOs) of the early 2000s, to today's more robust HIEs (also known as Health Information Organizations, or HIOs). These HIEs, which often span states and include thousands of providers, received $564 million under the 2009 federal stimulus law.

Both private and government-sponsored health information exchange organizations have tested their ability to use patient information to improve health care, lower costs and bolster medical research. But the increased emphasis on achieving those goals in order to get paid by Medicare and Medicaid now adds pressure on providers to share valuable data.
Read More:http://www.modernhealthcare.com/article/20160915/NEWS/160919974?utm_source=modernhealthcare&utm_medium=email&utm_content=20160915-NEWS-160919974&utm_campaign=am   ...

Study: 25% of Americans sent photos to their provider – but does that mean health apps are ready for clinical primetime?
Friday, September 16, 2016

  • Around one in four patients have texted or emailed a picture of a medical issue to their doctor, according to a surveyconducted by communications firm Ketchum.
  • More than one-half of patients have used their smartphone to communicate information to their provider.
  • Nearly one-half use a mobile app to that track health, fitness or medicine, according to the survey.

Read More:http://www.healthcaredive.com/news/study-25-of-americans-sent-photos-to-their-provider-but-does-that-mean/426454/   ...

Why HHS is doling out $87M for health centers to invest in health IT
Friday, September 16, 2016

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The $54 million hospital without any beds
Friday, September 16, 2016

Mercy Hospital wants to provide better care for its patients -- by making sure they don't come to the hospital.


Instead, 330 staffers at Mercy's Virtual Care Center, located just outside of St. Louis, place video calls to patients using highly sensitive two-way cameras -- and monitor their vital signs in real time through tools like pulse oximeters that plug into an iPad.

The goal: Avoid expense and hassle on both sides by providing care when and where the patient needs it, preventing some of the hospital re-admissions that add $41.3 billion to hospital costs annually, according to a government study.
Under new federal guidelines, hospitals are partly responsible for keeping costs down. So they're turning to video chats, email and other online communications to keep patients out of the ER whenever possible.
"The sickest 5% of patients are typically responsible for about half of the health care spent and many end up, unnecessarily, back in the hospital," Gavin Helton, the medical director of Mercy Virtual Care, told CNNMoney. "We need an answer for those patients."
Mercy says the Virtual Care Center, launched in October 2015, is the first of its kind: a $54 million, four-story "hospital without beds" that houses zero patients. It's home to a variety of "telemedicine" programs that allow Mercy to care for patients remotely round-the-clock.

Read More:http://money.cnn.com/2016/09/12/technology/mercy-hospital-virtual-care/index.html   ...


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