Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services,CMS,Government Perspectives,Hospice PUF,Hospice Utilization and Payment Public Use File,Market Saturation and Utilization Data Tool

CMS releases new data to increase transparency on Medicare hospice payments and the Third Release of the Market Saturation and Utilization Data Tool

As part of our efforts to improve care delivery, payments to providers, and the sharing and utilization of information, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) today released a privacy-protected public data set, the Hospice Utilization and Payment Public Use File (Hospice PUF), which provides information on services provided to Medicare beneficiaries by hospice providers. CMS also released an update to the Market Saturation and Utilization Data Tool, formerly called the Moratoria Provider Services and Utilization Data Tool. For the first time, this tool will include information on hospice services.

“The Hospice data and Market Saturation and Utilization Data Tool made available today support our goals of increasing access to Medicare data and improving the flow of information,” said CMS Chief Data Officer Niall Brennan. “CMS believes that greater data transparency leads to a more effectively functioning health care system, which leads to better care and smarter spending.”

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ASPR,cyber attacks,cybersecurity,Department of Health and Human Services,Government Perspectives,HHS,Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response

HHS awards funding to help protect health sector against cyber threats

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has awarded cooperative agreements totaling $350,000 to strengthen the ability of health care and public health sector partners to respond to cybersecurity threats. The agreements will foster the development of a more vibrant cyber information sharing ecosystem within the health care and public health sector.

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Beacom School of Business,Government Perspectives,Health Factors,SDAHO,South Dakota Association of Healthcare Organizations,University of South Dakota,USD

USD partners with Minneapolis company on health technology

A unique collaboration between private business and the public sector is giving business and health care leaders in South Dakota insight into how connected health technology could positively influence health outcomes and reduce spending across the state.

The partnership between the University of South Dakota (USD) Beacom School of Business, the South Dakota Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) and Health Factors, a private company that develops and implements connected health programs and solutions that drive better health care outcomes and lower costs, focused on what the impact would be of using at-home monitoring for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), pneumonia and congestive heart failure (CHF) who are at risk for complications that could lead to hospitalization.

The cost of treating COPD in the United States in 2010 was estimated at approximately $50 billion, with $20 billion coming from indirect costs and $30 billion from direct health care expenses. Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control estimates that more than 11 million people are living with COPD in the United States, where it is the third-leading cause of death.

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Department of Health and Human Services,Government Perspectives,HHS,Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology,ONC

HHS awards $1.5 million to improve information flow for patients and providers

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) today announced seven recipients of two Cooperative Agreement programs to improve the flow of health information.

The awardees will share a total of $1.5 million to create standards-based solutions that facilitate the exchange of health information. The lessons learned from these efforts will help advance innovation in using electronic health information by testing new approaches to improve the way health care is provided and its impact on the provider and patient experience.

“We are excited to support these innovative projects that advance the use of common standards to improve care, particularly in the categories of comprehensive medication management, laboratory data exchange, and care coordination,” said B. Vindell Washington, M.D., M.H.C.M., national coordinator for health information technology. “These programs will serve as key building blocks for improving the patient and provider experience with the flow of health information.”

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Carestream,Clinical Collaboration Platform,Digital Imaging Network-Picture Archiving and Communication System,DIN-PACS IV,Government Perspectives,PACS,Vue Motion

Carestream awarded U.S. government DIN-PACS IV contract to provide medical imaging management systems and services

Carestream Health has been awarded a new DIN-PACS IV (Digital Imaging Network-Picture Archiving and Communication System) contract from the U.S. government with a potential value of up to $150 million in purchases of medical image management products and services for government facilities. Carestream has been providing products and services under a previous DIN-PACS contract for the past five years.

The new contract involves industry-leading healthcare IT products including Carestream’s Clinical Collaboration Platform (video link), Vue Motion universal viewer, MyVue patient portal and Vue Beyond management dashboard.

“Carestream continues to work closely with clinicians and medical staff at government healthcare facilities to equip them to deliver timely, personal care for patients and their families,” said Ludovic d’Aprea, Carestream’s General Manager for Healthcare Information Solutions. “We have a reputation for excellence in medical image management technologies, and our proven solutions are installed in commercial and government facilities in the United States and around the world.”

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CMS 2392-F,Cognosante,Medicaid,Medicaid enterprise systems,Medicaid Management Information Systems,Medicare,MES,MMIS

Investing in Medicaid IT

Megan Renfrew, Director of Health Policy and Regulatory Affairs and Policy Team Lead, Cognosante

As the nation’s largest public insurance program, Medicaid provides health insurance to 1 out of every 5 Americans. The program supports individuals from birth to end-of-life, paying for approximately 45 percent of births nationwide and more than 50 percent of long-term care services and support, including nursing home care and home and community based services.

Given its dominance of the payer market, Medicaid can and does serve as an important catalyst for large-scale healthcare delivery system reform. This includes greater use of managed care, support of accountable care and patient-centered medical home models, improved focus on care management, and, increasingly, focus on improving state-wide population health through multi-payer reform initiatives and linkages to social services.

Indeed, as a joint Federal-State program, Medicaid enables each state to innovate and experiment to meet the needs of its own unique beneficiary and provider populations.

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and Understanding the Fine Print,Department of Health and Human Services,EHR Contracts Untangled: Selecting Wisely,Government Perspectives,Health IT Playbook,HHS,Negotiating Terms,Patient Engagement Playbook

EHR contract guide and Health IT Playbook help clinicians and hospitals get the most out of health information technology

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) today released two practical, easy-to-understand tools to help health care providers get the most out of their health information technology (health IT), such as electronic health records (EHRs): an EHR contract guide – PDF and a newly expanded Health IT Playbook.

The new contract guide, EHR Contracts Untangled: Selecting Wisely, Negotiating Terms, and Understanding the Fine Print, explains important concepts in EHR contracts and includes example contract language to help providers and health administrators in planning to acquire an EHR system and negotiating contract terms with vendors. The Health IT Playbook is a dynamic, web-based tool intended to make it easy for providers and their practices to find practical information and guidance on specific topics as they research, buy, use, or switch EHRs.

“I know from my experiences practicing emergency medicine and managing information technology for a health system how helpful practical tools can be for clinicians and health care administrators as they navigate the purchase and use of health IT,” said B. Vindell Washington, M.D., M.H.C.M., national coordinator for health information technology. “The EHR contract guide and the Health IT Playbook incorporate feedback we have heard from the provider community about the need for clear, reliable information about EHR contracts and user-friendly, specific tools for how to get the most out of health IT to better manage patient health and care.”

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business associate agreement,Care New England Health System,Department of Health and Human Services,Government Perspectives,HHS,HIPAA,Woman & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island

HIPAA settlement illustrates the importance of reviewing and updating, as necessary, business associate agreements

Care New England Health System (CNE), on behalf of each of the covered entities under its common ownership or control, has agreed to settle potential violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) Privacy and Security Rules.  The settlement includes a monetary payment of $400,000 and a comprehensive corrective action plan. CNE provides centralized corporate support for its subsidiary affiliated covered entities, which include a number of hospitals and health care providers in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.  These functions include, but are not limited to, finance, human resources, information services and technical support, insurance, compliance and administrative functions. 

On November 5, 2012, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) received notification from Woman & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island (WIH), a covered entity member of CNE, of the loss of unencrypted backup tapes containing the ultrasound studies of approximately 14,000 individuals, including patient name, data of birth, date of exam, physician names, and, in some instances Social Security Numbers.  As WIH’s business associate, CNE provides centralized corporate support including technical support and information security for WIH’s information systems.  WIH provided OCR with a business associate agreement with Care New England Health System effective March 15, 2005, that was not updated until August 28, 2015, as a result of OCR’s investigation, and therefore, did not incorporate revisions required under the HIPAA Omnibus Final Rule.

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Annual Notice of Change,ANOC,Centers for Medicare & Medicaid,CMS,EOC,Evidence of Coverage,MAO,Medicare Advantage,Medicare Advantage Organization,Medicare marketing materials,Prinova,SaaS,software-as-a-service

Automating the preparation of CMS-compliant Medicare marketing materials

nick-romano_high-resolution

Nick Romano, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Prinova

The Medicare Advantage program has proven to be a very popular choice for qualified Medicare participants over the past decade and this trend is very likely to continue. More than 17 million, or 31 percent, of the rapidly growing group of Medicare recipients have chosen to enroll in Medicare Advantage plans offered by private payers. Competition is increasing among payers as they position to expand into new markets to capture a larger share of this growing population and the associated program funding. As a result, an individual participant has more plans to choose from than in previous years, which has transformed open enrollment into a highly competitive feeding frenzy among payers. 

Entering new markets and attracting new participants requires the Medicare Advantage Organization (MAO) to issue accurate and compliant marketing materials to participants in the service areas where they sell their plans.  Doing so in a timely manner presents challenges for those who are reliant on highly manual material preparation processes. The pressure to prepare updated materials between bid submission, desk review, benchmarks, and print production is exacerbated by manual preparation techniques. As a result, ensuring compliance with the federally mandated requirements for plan communications such as the Annual Notice of Change (ANOC) and Evidence of Coverage (EOC) can be an arduous, time-consuming and costly process without the necessary content automation technology.

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AirStrip,AirStrip One,ECG signals,FDA,Government Perspectives,tele-CV,tele-ICU,U.S. Food and Drug Administration,visual calipers

AirStrip ONE web client receives U.S. regulatory clearance

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued 510(K) Class II clearance to a web client for the AirStrip ONE mobile interoperability platform and application that can be run on desktops and laptops using Internet Explorer and Google Chrome.

“This is the first step toward enabling web-based support of key AirStrip ONE functions to support a seamless user experience on all form factors, including laptops and desktops,” AirStrip Chief Development Officer JF Lancelot said. “The AirStrip ONE web client is capable of displaying patient waveforms in near real time as well as alarms generated by bedside monitors.”

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