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Most Health Care Organizations Do Not Use Telehealth, Study Finds

Making Sense of Meaningful Use - Thu, 08/14/2014 - 12:57

A new report finds that less than half of hospitals and physician practices use telehealth technologies for remote care services. Of the organizations that are using telehealth, two-way video technology was the most popular tool used, according to the report. Healthcare IT News et al.

Categories: Making Sense of Meaningful Use

Advanced EHRs Help Hospitals Reduce Mortality Rates, Study Finds

Making Sense of Meaningful Use - Thu, 08/14/2014 - 12:18

A new HIMSS Analytics report finds that advanced electronic health record systems can help hospitals better predict and reduce mortality rates. An expert says the study indicates that hospitals should focus on “optimizing” their EHR systems. Clinical Innovation & Technology et al.

Categories: Making Sense of Meaningful Use

Intel, Foundation Turn to Wearables for Parkinson’s Research

Making Sense of Meaningful Use - Thu, 08/14/2014 - 12:02

Intel and the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research have announced a partnership to equip individuals with Parkinson’s disease with smart watches to track and analyze their symptoms in an effort to improve research on the disease. Researchers will collect and analyze the data using a cloud-based big data analytics platform created by Intel. BBC News et al.

Categories: Making Sense of Meaningful Use

Physician News Roundup: Open Payments, IPAB, and an AL Whistleblower Suit

Healthcare News - Thu, 08/14/2014 - 11:58

Ebola is snagging the big headlines, but physicians have many other things to think about, not least of which is their ability to dispute the accuracy of data on payments made to them by device manufacturers and drug makers.

Categories: Healthcare News

Survey: ACOs Continue To Face Obstacles With Health IT Adoption

Making Sense of Meaningful Use - Thu, 08/14/2014 - 11:32

The preliminary findings of a new eHealth Initiative survey show that although 86% of ACOs reported using electronic health records, 100% of respondents said access to data from external organizations is a significant obstacle. Further, 90% of respondents said that interoperability and workflow integration were significant challenges. Health Data Management et al.

Categories: Making Sense of Meaningful Use

Reports: Medication, Workforce Management Markets To Grow

Making Sense of Meaningful Use - Thu, 08/14/2014 - 11:24

A new MarketsandMarkets report projects that the global market for medication management systems will grow from its current value of $845 million to more than $1.6 billion by 2019. Meanwhile, a separate report estimates that the global workforce management system market will increase from $761 million in 2014 to $1.4 billion by 2019. FierceHealthIT et al.

Categories: Making Sense of Meaningful Use

HIEs Adding Data Analytics Capabilities

Healthcare News - Thu, 08/14/2014 - 06:44

California and Mississippi are investing in health information technology projects that incorporate a broad range of longitudinal patient data and promise insight into population health.

Categories: Healthcare News

VA referrals to private doctors on rise

Healthcare News - Thu, 08/14/2014 - 06:28

The Department of Veterans Affairs is significantly increasing its referrals of veterans to private doctors following a scandal over lengthy patient waiting times at many VA hospitals and clinics and falsified appointment records, VA Secretary Robert McDonald said Wednesday. McDonald spoke to a few hundred people at the American Veterans national convention. He is scheduled to visit the city's VA hospital on Thursday. The VA has been shaken by reports that some veterans died while waiting for treatment. Some workers have been accused of covering up scheduling problems. The scandal led to the resignation of former VA Secretary Eric Shinseki and last month's appointment of McDonald.

Categories: Healthcare News

Nonprofit hospitals at a tipping point from mounting challenges

Healthcare News - Thu, 08/14/2014 - 06:27

Small and stand-alone nonprofit hospitals are facing mounting pressure from weak operating margins and lower patient volumes, with more signals of stress on the way, according a report released Wednesday from Standard & Poor's Rating Services. The rating agency warned the healthcare sector was at "a tipping point where negative forces have started to outweigh many providers' ability to implement sufficient countermeasures." Beginning in 2013 and continuing into this year, credit downgrades outpaced upgrades at an accelerating rate. In particular, stand-alone providers are under greater pressure from physician departures, rising bad debt, and higher employee benefit costs.

Categories: Healthcare News

Opinion: The best doctors money can buy?

Healthcare News - Thu, 08/14/2014 - 06:20

Here's a deal you might be interested in. You get $10 billion a year of taxpayers' money to do something you may well have done anyway. You don't need to say what you spend it on, or why. You can use it wisely or wastefully; the money keeps coming regardless. That's the nice arrangement the federal government grants U.S. hospitals when it comes to training doctors. The system for producing a physician works as follows: After four years of medical school, a new doctor gets a residency, almost always at a hospital. This lasts from three to seven years, depending on the specialty, and involves working with patients under the supervision and instruction of more senior doctors.

Categories: Healthcare News

'Patients' who act sick valuable as teaching tool

Healthcare News - Thu, 08/14/2014 - 06:18

In recent years, standardized patients have played a larger role in the training of health professionals, expanding into fields such as dentistry, pharmacy and physical therapy. "At a minimum, it gives students more confidence" after working with standardized patients, said Karen Lewis, president of the Association of Standardized Patient Educators. "When they walk into an exam room for the first time with a (real) patient, they're not nervous or worried about what to say. They already know that." But the ability of doctors to communicate with patients and be able to elicit the information they need for a proper diagnosis can save lives. "All mistakes, when you really drill down to what caused them, it's a communications problem," Lewis said.

Categories: Healthcare News

Practicing on patients

Healthcare News - Thu, 08/14/2014 - 06:17

How to protect patients while doctors learn is a conundrum faced in all areas of medicine. For example, studies have shown that surgeons' outcomes improve up to four years after their first hospital appointment. Some have argued that neophyte surgeons during this period should take on only the most straightforward cases. Yet every doctor eventually has to perform a procedure for the first time. It isn't only doctors who face this quandary. Hospitals too have their own learning curves. Medical teams work better together with practice. The first few cases of a new procedure frequently have subpar results.

Categories: Healthcare News

How healthcare costs gobbled up wages

Healthcare News - Thu, 08/14/2014 - 06:16

Even though health-care spending has slowed substantially since the recession, it's still taking up an increasing slice of workers' paychecks and employers' expenses. For workers, dollars that go to medical care don't go to buying new cars or family vacations. For employers, the costs may limit hiring or investing in new equipment. The chart below shows health-care spending by employers and households, relative to wages, over the past quarter century. It includes contributions to insurance plans, Medicare taxes, and out-of-pocket costs. All the values are indexed to 100 to show how they've changed in relation to each other.

Categories: Healthcare News

Slideshow: Patient Experience Transformation—Engaged Patients, Measurable Standards

Healthcare News - Thu, 08/14/2014 - 06:14

This HealthLeaders Media intelligence report identifies the top areas where healthcare leaders are investing their patient experience dollars and offers examples of changes instituted by Mountain States Health Alliance and the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.

Categories: Healthcare News

Submit an abstract for PRACTICE MANAGEMENT 2015 and earn a chance to win prizes

ASA - News - Thu, 08/14/2014 - 00:00

Call for Abstracts

Submit an abstract for PRACTICE MANAGEMENT 2015 and you could win monetary prizes for the first, second and third place posters. Poster presentations should highlight the latest information in the following areas: Research in Perioperative Management, Quality Improvement, Leadership Development, Challenging Cases or Innovative Solutions in Practice Management. Submission deadline is October 31, 2014. Submit now.

Categories: Anesthesia News

What Are Marketplace Deductibles, Coinsurance, and Copayments?

Texas Medical Association - Hot Topics - Wed, 08/13/2014 - 13:15

Texas Medical Association’s (TMA’s) “Hey, Doc” education campaign explains deductibles, coinsurance, copayments, and more.

Categories: Healthcare News

Groups Weigh In on Boosting Health Data Access, Protecting Privacy

Making Sense of Meaningful Use - Wed, 08/13/2014 - 12:56

In separate letters to lawmakers, the American Hospital Association, the Behavioral Health Information Technology Coalition and the HIMSS Electronic Health Record Association detail recommendations on ways to increase access to health data, while ensuring patient privacy. Modern Healthcare et al.

Categories: Making Sense of Meaningful Use

Apple Looking To Partner With EHR Vendors, Hospitals on HealthKit

Making Sense of Meaningful Use - Wed, 08/13/2014 - 12:50

Apple reportedly is in talks with several hospitals and electronic health record provider Allscripts to test ways hospitals could use its recently released cloud-based health information platform called HealthKit. Apple previously announced partnerships with EHR provider Epic Systems and Mayo Clinic. Reuters.

Categories: Making Sense of Meaningful Use

Despite Federal Investments in Health IT, Data Exchange Lags

Making Sense of Meaningful Use - Wed, 08/13/2014 - 12:41

A new Health Affairs policy brief notes that although the federal government has spent more than $26 billion over the last five years to boost electronic health record adoption and improve interoperability, the health care industry continues to struggle with health information exchange. Health Data Management, Health Affairs policy brief.

Categories: Making Sense of Meaningful Use

Deloitte Report Predicts Boom in E-Visits Worldwide This Year

Making Sense of Meaningful Use - Wed, 08/13/2014 - 12:32

A recent Deloitte report predicts that about 100 million electronic provider visits will occur throughout the world in 2014. According to the report, the U.S. and Canada will have the greatest use of telehealth, with 75 million of this year’s 600 million physician visits involving remote services. Computerworld et al.

Categories: Making Sense of Meaningful Use