May 16, 2014
The Health Cost Institute (HCCI) announced that it has partnered with three large insurance companies, United Healthcare, Aetna, and Humana to create a payment database that will be made available to the public. More health plans will likely join the effort and HCCI expects the database to be available in 2015. With the changes occurring in healthcare, the demand for cost transparency is only increasing. This will satisfy the needs of patients and government parties to achieve a clearer understanding of healthcare costs.
According to a recent survey performed by the Commonwealth Foundation, the use of electronic health records has increased 133 percent between 2009 and 2013. It appears that FQHCs have adopted health IT practices at a higher rate than office-based physicians, including large practices and large integrated health care systems.
“It’s encouraging to see how far community health centers have come in their health information technology use,” said Commonwealth Fund President David Blumenthal, M.D. “Their progress demonstrates that with concerted investment and support, substantial change is possible. It makes the case for continued investment to make sure these clinics can continue caring for some of our nation’s most vulnerable patients.”
The study also investigates concerns FQHCs express about staffing issues. There appear to be an increasing concern over physician and nursing availability and support. More details on the findings of the survey can be found here.
John Halamka, M.D. shared his opinions on policy issues affecting healthcare IT at the iHT2 Health IT Summit in Boston. He specifically addressed Meaningful Use / MIPS and ICD-10.