Health IT & HIE News

Health Groups Emphasize Interoperability To Enhance Patient Care

iHealthBeat  (August 19, 2014)

Several health care organizations have sent letters to Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) highlighting the importance of health care data transparency and interoperability, EHR Intelligence reports. The letters came in response to a June request from Wyden and Grassley seeking ideas "to enhance the availability and utility of health care data" while protecting patient privacy from 200 health care industry individuals and groups. Aug. 12 was the deadline for responses to the senators' query.  MORE +

Small Primary Care Physician Practices Have Low Rates Of Preventable Hospital Admissions

Health Affairs  (August 14, 2014)

Nearly two-thirds of US office-based physicians work in practices of fewer than seven physicians. It is often assumed that larger practices provide better care, although there is little evidence for or against this assumption. What is the relationship between practice size—and other practice characteristics, such as ownership or use of medical home processes—and the quality of care? We conducted a national survey of 1,045 primary care–based practices with 19 or fewer physicians to determine practice characteristics. Compared to practices with 10–19 physicians, practices with 1–2 physicians had 33 percent fewer preventable admissions, and practices with 3–9 physicians had 27 percent fewer.   MORE +

Senate Panel Orders Scrutiny of Alleged EHR 'Information-Blocking'

FierceHealthIT  (July 28, 2014)

The Senate Appropriations Committee has directed the ONC's Health IT Policy Committee to submit a report on the technical, operational and financial barriers to information-sharing among electronic health records systems--what it calls the "information-blocking problem"-- and what should be done to combat it. "ONC should use its authority to certify only those products that...do not block health information exchange," the budget report states. "ONC should take steps to de-certify products that proactively block the sharing of information because those practices frustrate congressional intent, devalue taxpayer investments in [certified EHR technology], and make [the technology] less valuable and more burdensome for eligible hospitals and eligible providers to use."  MORE +

Is Capitol Hill Leaning Toward Relaxing Healthcare Privacy Regs?

Modern Healthcare - free registration may be required to view  (July 25, 2014)

Capitol Hill's recent focus on digital health has seen bands of witnesses testifying about what policies might enable more innovation in the sector. A significant number of those witnesses agree: Rethinking healthcare policy rules is one potential target. The House Energy & Commerce Committee has, of late, been running a series of hearings and roundtables called “21st century cures,” intended to promote innovative treatments. Of the witnesses that the committee has called, at least seven have mentioned the need to change privacy regulations.   MORE +

Live From the Denver iHT2 Summit: If the Healthcare Cloud Is One Thing, It’s Complicated

Healthcare Informatics  (July 22, 2014)

When it comes to shifting towards cloud-based computing in healthcare, the landscape remains highly complicated along a number of dimensions—core infrastructure and technology, data security and privacy, process, and above all, people. That much was clear, as the Health IT Summit in Denver kicked off on Tuesday, July 22nd.  MORE +