With January barely behind us and new occupants in the White House, perhaps it’s a good time to set aside what might change for a moment and focus on what must. Interoperability is a more urgent concern in 2017 due to goals established last year by the Office of the National Coordinator (ONCHIT) and the passage of the 21st Century Cures Act, which legally requires healthcare IT interoperability by the end of the current calendar year.
When people in healthcare use the phrase ‘patient engagement,’ they mean involving patients more in their own care, perhaps urging them to be more responsible for their own health.
It’s worth remembering that 2016 was dubbed the “year of data security” after 90 percent of healthcare providers suffered data breaches in the previous two years. In particular, the Anthem breach of late 2014/early 2015 got everyone’s attention for the sheer magnitude (around 80 million records) of the hack.
As 2017 begins, around 81 percent of Americans live in urban areas, up from 79 percent in 2000. At the same time, urban and suburban areas where vacant land exists (so, not you, San Francisco) have been expanding, redefining what used to be rural. With this demographic shift comes a transition of resources and tax bases that leave rural areas and rural services, including healthcare, struggling to survive.
Comorbidity is not a word heard every day—not even in healthcare, where it applies. But researchers and physicians, assisted by IT-derived diagnostic data, have come to understand that comorbidity is essential to understanding and managing population health, especially among vulnerable populations challenged by mental illness and addiction.
On Tuesday, President Obama signed the 21st Century Cures Act, codifying a broad and far-reaching effort to achieve medical breakthroughs in Alzheimer’s and other debilitating afflictions through improved, streamlined, well-funded research.
The April 2015 signing by President Obama of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) effectively changed the healthcare game for individual clinicians working in physician practices. The MACRA legislation repeals the existing Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) reimbursement formula and replaces it with a new Quality Payment Program (QPP) with two tracks: The Advanced Alternative Payment Models (APMs) and the default Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS). A new Medsphere resource takes a closer look at MIPS, which will subsume existing EHR incentive programs.
Healthcare industry market analysts, technology gurus and IT reporters sometimes like to envision a powerfully capable future in which software architectures are open, small application developers are thriving, and healthcare IT solutions from numerous sources create a confluence of patient data that will advance healthcare quality.
A survey organized by the California Health Care Foundation and Health 2.0 suggests we may be far from that ideal.