While National Health IT Week technically is over, it still feels like it’s going on in our offices (naturally). There’s not as much chatter on the web so far this week, but that has only made it easier to find some good information to share with the HL7standards and #HITsm community.
HIE and ACO Front
Probably the most thought-provoking article I’ve read in weeks, Kaiser Health News reports that the state of Pennsylvania has taken the incentive-to-participate model one step further by considering a plan to pay Medicaid patients as much as $200 for specific hospital visits. They hope to launch the program by early 2012. The motive is to save money by encouraging this group of patients to visit lower cost hospitals that provide higher quality care. The article oddly doesn’t contain one mention of ACO.
The Los Angeles Times published a blog post that illustrates how health reform will likely begin influencing med schools. The article discusses the need to introduce cost consciousness into the curriculum in medical schools. The post discusses a Steven Weinberger essay in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Weinberger suggests that residency is the perfect time to teach future physicians the importance of keeping costs in mind.
This doesn’t really fall into either the HIE or ACO category, but it definitely is an example of sharing health care information. Modernhealthcare.com reported yesterday a plan by four major health insurers to pool 5 billion health care claims into a single database so their researchers can identify trends in cost, utilization and intensity of care. Anyone else think physicians and patients should be just as concerned about insurance companies pooling data to find ways to cut costs as they are about the ACO model?
Also yesterday, Healthcare IT News published a list of five technologies every hospital should be using. I thought number five was especially cool: Location-based asset tracking and app functionality, which is a fancy way of saying you can’t log into the EMR system on your mobile device unless you’re physically on hospital grounds. I wonder what happens on a cloudy day?
From restricting access to allowing access, the Wall Street Journal reported yesterday on a U.S. plan that would give patients access to their lab results electronically. The HHS plan is designed to better engage patients in their care and may involve – what else – a mobile app. “HHS says labs would see higher costs, but they would be able to impose a ‘reasonable cost-based fee’ for providing access to results.” Makes sense, since reasonable fees are commonplace in the medical field…
Sticking with mobile devices, eMarketer published an interesting article about future opportunities for marketers to reach health care providers and patients on smart phones and tablets. While that in itself, isn’t anything new, the link does contain a chart of the demographics of mobile phone users who have used their devices for health-related activities. According to the graph, 17% have used their mobile device to look up medical information and 9% use an app to track/manage their health.
According to Mashable, The gloves are off in the battle between Facebook and Google+, which shifted to full-on battle when Google+ opened its network to everyone and when, just today, Facebook redesigned its news feed. While completely over the top in its battle analogy (think Manny Pacquiao vs Richard Simmons), it does include some interesting features about both platforms I have yet to explore. If you’re on Google+, add me to your circle.
I was happy to read an Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation report showing that countries worldwide are saving mother’s and children’s lives at a faster pace than ever before. The report states, “The trends indicate that efforts to educate more women, to prevent infectious diseases, and to implement other targeted health programs in developing countries are having an impact.”
#HITsm Chat Topics
Topic 1: What are the ramifications of Pennsylvania’s plan to pay Medicaid patients to attend specific hospitals?
Topic 2: Google+. Do you use it? How many contacts do you have? Do you think it has a chance of catching on?
Topic 3: Patient test results. Should physicians deliver lab results to patients so they can explain the results or should the information be available to patients immediately, without explanation?