D'Arcy Gue

Promising Progress in Healthcare IT This Week

December 6, 2013

Healthcare Industry, HIPAA & Security, ICD-10 2 Minute Read

This week, we saw reports of promising levels of incentives being paid in addition to great results in a study exploring the performance of telemedicine. Read on for more news in the world of healthcare IT.

$17B paid out by the Medicare and Medicaid EHR incentive program.

As of the end of October, nearly $17 billion was paid out to qualifying hospitals and professionals. More than 430,000 hospitals and professionals have achieved Meaningful Use / MIPS. This is positive news in the midst of concerns over meeting Stage 2 requirements.

However, a recent Healthcare IT News article suggests that 30% of providers are not happy with their EHR vendors and will likely be looking for a change in the new year.

A recent study shows strong signs of success for telemedicine.

The results of the study were published by the CHEST Journal Online First and covered in Healthcare Informatics. The study looked at the impact of the program on 118,990 critical care patients, in 56 ICUs, 32 hospitals and 19 health systems.

The study was performed over a five-year period and revealed reductions in both mortality and length of stay. When patients receiving conventional ICU care were compared to patients using the telemedicine ICU program, the patients in the telemedicine group were found to be:

  • 26 percent more likely to survive the ICU;
  • Discharged from the ICU 20 percent faster;
  • 16 percent more likely to survive hospitization and be discharged; and
  • Discharged from the hospital 15 percent faster.

HIPAA has negative impacts on the uses of big data.

The bi-partisan policy center recently published a report that reveals HIPAA’s negative impact on efforts to use big data. Fierce Health IT published comments from the report’s authors this week. They state, “Seeking consent from patients to use their data for clinical trials or observational research can help mitigate concerns about privacy, but there is evidence that using ‘opt-in’ or ‘opt-out’ patient data results in bias.”

The study also found that while HIPAA works to protect patient privacy, it decreases the value of data on a larger scale because of the variety of methods used to anonymize patient data.

Checklist for ICD-10 testing.

The transition to ICD-10 will require updates  and upgrades that many hospitals may be delaying. For example, if your organization has not switched to ANSI 5010 by the October 1, 2014, you should plan for a significant disruption in cash flow. 

Thankfully, there are a number of resources to assist providers in their upgrades and testing processes. ICD-10 Watch published a checklist this week that walks through the steps of interface testing. Review the checklist and use it for outstanding software upgrades that will be required for ICD-10 implementation.

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