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ONC Unveils 10-Year Quality Improvement Vision for Health IT

Making Sense of Meaningful Use - Mon, 11/17/2014 - 14:29

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT has released a 10-year vision report for using health IT to achieve a fully interoperable quality improvement ecosystem. The report complements ONC’s roadmap for achieving interoperability. Health Data Management et al.

Categories: Making Sense of Meaningful Use

Despite Smoother Functionality, HealthCare.gov Faces Minor Glitches

Making Sense of Meaningful Use - Mon, 11/17/2014 - 14:27

Some HealthCare.gov users have reported minor technical issues with the federal insurance exchange website, such as trouble with logging into accounts and verifying their identity on the site. Meanwhile, some state-run exchanges reported several technological problems that occasionally stalled enrollment. New York Times et al.

Categories: Making Sense of Meaningful Use

NIST Releases Guide To Help Organizations Share Cyber Threat Data

Making Sense of Meaningful Use - Mon, 11/17/2014 - 14:23

The National Institute of Standards and Technology has released draft guidelines and recommendations about how organizations, including health care groups, can share information about cyber threats with one another. NIST is soliciting comments on the draft document until Nov. 28. FierceHealthIT et al.

Categories: Making Sense of Meaningful Use

Analysis: Drugmakers Using More Digital Ads To Target Physicians

Making Sense of Meaningful Use - Mon, 11/17/2014 - 13:33

A new analysis finds that drugmakers are increasingly using targeted digital advertisements in electronic health records, mobile health applications and social networks in an effort to encourage physicians to prescribe their drugs. Vox, Politico Pro.

Categories: Making Sense of Meaningful Use

Surgeon who contracted Ebola virus in Sierra Leone dies at NE hospital

Healthcare News - Mon, 11/17/2014 - 08:57

A surgeon who contracted the Ebola virus while working in Sierra Leone died at a Nebraska hospital where he was transported for treatment, the facility said Monday. A statement released Monday by Nebraska Medical Center said Dr. Martin Salia "has passed away as a result of the advanced symptoms of the disease." "Dr. Salia was extremely critical when he arrived here, and unfortunately, despite out best efforts, we weren't able to save him," said Dr. Phil Smith, medical director of the biocontainment unit. Salia, 44, was being treated in the medical center's biocontainment unit. He arrived Saturday by plane from West Africa, and was transported by ambulance for treatment at the hospital, where two other Ebola patients have been successfully treated

Categories: Healthcare News

CIOs, CMOs Share EHR, Telehealth Adoption Experiences

Healthcare News - Mon, 11/17/2014 - 08:10

At the first annual HealthLeaders Media Health IT & Quality Exchange, executives discuss the challenges of implementing electronic medical record systems and telehealth technologies.

Categories: Healthcare News

Hospitals and pharmacies grapple with rising drug prices

Healthcare News - Mon, 11/17/2014 - 07:47

Fed up with the rising price of drugs, Ascension Health last month did something unusual. It publicly banned a drug company's sales reps. The reason: The company had reclassified three cancer drugs, causing prices to spike. In a memo to employees, Dr. Roy Guharoy and Michael Gray, two top executives with the Edmundson-based hospital chain, explained: "Already scarce resources will need to be stretched with potential serious impact on the range and breadth of health services we currently provide to our patients and our communities." The move proved largely symbolic.

Categories: Healthcare News

Schumer to Obama: Reimburse NYC for $20M Ebola treatment

Healthcare News - Mon, 11/17/2014 - 07:44

Senator Charles Schumer wants President Obama to pick up New York City's more than $20 million tab for treating its first Ebola patient. Since the Big Apple and Bellevue Hospital treated and cured Dr. Craig Spencer of the "infectious disease that is a threat to the nation," the New York lawmaker believes the government should pony up and reimburse the city. "Last week, Dr. Spencer thankfully returned home healthy and free of Ebola," Schumer said Sunday. "But the world-class response mounted by New York City and Bellevue HHC was not free, and the bottom line is local communities and local taxpayers should not foot the whole bill for handling an infectious disease that is a threat to the nation."

Categories: Healthcare News

Few TX hospitals lose funding after 'immediate jeopardy'

Healthcare News - Mon, 11/17/2014 - 07:41

For kidney dialysis, two Houston hospitals used machines that had been recalled by the manufacturer. The kitchen of a hospital in southeast Texas was so unsanitary that administrators quickly agreed to close it and contract with local restaurants. A nursery assistant in El Paso continued to feed and bathe newborns for weeks after showing signs of active tuberculosis, potentially exposing hundreds of babies to the disease. These are among the serious problems found at Texas hospitals last year that prompted "immediate jeopardy" findings. Federal regulators say the term signals a crisis situation that risks the health and safety of patients. One health care consultant likens the finding to a near-death experience for the hospital.

Categories: Healthcare News

CA adopts tough Ebola-protection rules for health workers

Healthcare News - Mon, 11/17/2014 - 07:38

California has adopted some of the nation's strongest regulations to protect doctors, nurses and other health workers treating patients with Ebola. The regulations, announced Friday by the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration, require the state's 300 or so acute-care hospitals to provide hazardous material suits, respirators, isolation rooms and extensive training to those working with patients suspected of having the Ebola virus. The new regulations clarify and expand upon general guidelines issued in October. Nurses hailed the regulations as a model for the rest of the country. "The governor and OSHA have really inspired nurses with their dedication to this," said Chuck Idelson, a spokesman for National Nurses United. "They've shown an absolute commitment to protecting patients and nurses."

Categories: Healthcare News

Invasion of medical records, hospital privacy on rise

Healthcare News - Mon, 11/17/2014 - 07:35

She had jabbed pencils into her eyes to try to kill herself. When the woman was brought to a Los Angeles County emergency room in 2012 alive and in pain, a hospital employee snapped a photograph, breaking a federal patient privacy law. Two years later, when that photograph appeared on a website that features gory images, the patient's medical information had been shared publicly, violating a state regulation. The woman's story is extreme, but her experience is an example of how her privacy was violated and her medical data breached. Both crimes, which are on the rise, can lead to identity theft or to misuse of information by health insurance companies, said Pam Dixon, executive director of the San Diego-based World Privacy Forum.

Categories: Healthcare News

ICD-10 Transition Costs Lower Than Previously Estimated, Study Says

Making Sense of Meaningful Use - Fri, 11/14/2014 - 14:45

A new study finds that the cost for small physician practices to transition to ICD-10 code sets could be significantly lower than previously estimated. The authors cite improvements in lower-cost training materials and the exclusion of non-relevant costs, such as electronic health record adoption, to the reduction. Health Data Management et al.

Categories: Making Sense of Meaningful Use

eHealth Initiative’s 2020 Roadmap Identifies Three Priorities

Making Sense of Meaningful Use - Fri, 11/14/2014 - 14:19

Yesterday, the eHealth Initiative released an initial set of priorities for its 2020 Roadmap for transforming care delivery through data exchange and health IT. The roadmap focuses on interoperability, business and clinical motivators and data access and use. Health Data Management et al.

Categories: Making Sense of Meaningful Use

Study: Wikipedia Views Can Accurately Predict Disease Outbreaks

Making Sense of Meaningful Use - Fri, 11/14/2014 - 14:15

A study published Thursday in PLOS Computational Biology finds that Wikipedia can be used to predict the spread of infectious diseases. For example, researchers were able to use Wikipedia page views to predict the spread of influenza in some areas 28 days in advance. BBC News et al.

Categories: Making Sense of Meaningful Use

FTC Seeks Info From Apple on Protection of Consumers’ Health Data

Making Sense of Meaningful Use - Fri, 11/14/2014 - 12:53

Apple representatives have met with Federal Trade Commission officials several times over the past few months to discuss the company’s privacy plans for health data collected by its Apple Watch and mobile health applications, according to two sources familiar with the situation. Reuters.

Categories: Making Sense of Meaningful Use

Health IT Business News Roundup for the Week of November 14, 2014

Making Sense of Meaningful Use - Fri, 11/14/2014 - 12:05

The Clinical Data Interchange Standards Consortium and Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society have partnered to develop standards for adopting interoperable health IT. Truven Health Analytics will acquire Heartbeat Experts, a provider of stakeholder management tools for the life sciences industry, for an undisclosed sum.

Categories: Making Sense of Meaningful Use

Advisory Opinion 12-09

Advisory Opinions - Thu, 07/10/2014 - 09:58

This file is a .PDF

Categories: OIG Advisory Opinions

Advisory Opinion 12-08

Advisory Opinions - Thu, 07/10/2014 - 09:58

This file is a .PDF

Categories: OIG Advisory Opinions

Advisory Opinion 12-07

Advisory Opinions - Thu, 07/10/2014 - 09:58

This file is a .PDF

Categories: OIG Advisory Opinions

Advisory Opinion 12-06

Advisory Opinions - Thu, 07/10/2014 - 09:58

This file is a .PDF

Categories: OIG Advisory Opinions