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Hospitals & Health Networks
(March 2, 2015)
Unnecessary care — usually associated with excess testing, surgical procedures or overprescribing — accounts for up to 25 percent of what's spent in health care according to the Institute of Medicine. That's more than $750 billion per year spent for services that do not improve outcomes. Some of this is done as a precaution: About $60 billion annually of unnecessary testing is spent to avoid liability. But what about the rest? Some would say no harm, no foul. After all, patients often request procedures and pills not knowing what might work best (this is called "preference-driven demand") and that drives costs up but, far and away, "supply-driven demand" is the major reason for spending for unnecessary services.
(March 2, 2015)
On Thursday, the Federal Communications Commission voted 3-2 to adopt rules that tighten oversight of mobile and fixed broadband providers to better protect net neutrality. Net neutrality is the idea that the Internet should be open and that all telecommunication companies should be required to treat all Internet traffic equally. Health care stakeholders appear split on whether the new rules will serve to help or harm the industry which is increasingly adopting health IT tools that rely on fast wireless connections.
(February 25, 2015)
On Wednesday, CMS announced that it has extended the deadline for eligible professionals to attest to the Medicare meaningful use 2014 reporting period. The new deadline for eligible professionals is March 20, pushed back from the original Feb. 28 deadline.
(February 23, 2015)
As they move to exchange patient information with hospitals and other health care partners, doctors are suffering sticker shock: The vendors of health care software, or electronic health records (EHR), want thousands of dollars to unlock the data so they can be shared. It may take an act of Congress to provide relief. The fees are thwarting the goals of the $30 billion federal push to get doctors and hospitals to digitize health records. The exorbitant prices to transmit and receive data, providers and IT specialists say, can amount to billions a year. And the EHR industry is increasingly reliant on this revenue.
For the Record
(February 18, 2015)
Before focusing on Big Data—systems that rely on mass amounts of accurate data to intuit connections and causality without significant human programming—health care organizations must get their small data right. Ensuring that EHRs are accurately capturing data, storing it efficiently, and transporting it directly is a necessary precursor to an effective Big Data program.