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Health IT in the News

by athenahealth Blogmaster,

  • On April 15th, athenahealth is teaming up with Manatt Health Solutions to host a webinar that will dive into accountable care organizations and what they mean for practices and hospitals. It’s free and will be well worth your time. You can register here.
  • Of course with the recent release of proposed rules from Washington, ACO news and analysis abounds. For one thing, how would ACOs synch up with Meaningful Use initiatives? This piece from Healthcare IT News digs into the issue. And this from The Wall Street Journal, voices skepticism, comparing ACOs to unicorns!
  • And on the topic of EHR and their meaningful use, MGMA pushed out some results this week that find a low percentage of practices able to meet core requirements.
  • Government HealthIT has assembled an easily scanned Top 10 list of issues for health plans in 2011. Numero uno? Compliance with the transitions to HIPAA ANSI 5010, ICD-10.
  • And while we’re at it with lists, Thomson Reuters has produced a collection of the top 100 hospitals. In the inquiry they found that, “If all Medicare inpatients received the same level of care as those treated in the award-winning facilities, researchers estimate that nearly 116,000 additional patients would survive each year…”
  • As you may know, Todd Park is the chief technology officer for the Department of Health and Human Services. Back in 1997, he and Jonathan Bush co-founded athenahealth as a birthing clinic in San Diego, that, due to the ordeal they suffered trying to get paid, evolved into the leading health IT services company it is today. Now at HHS, Todd runs this blog about ongoing innovation in health IT and the government, in addition to his other duties.
  • As we set this blog post on the launch pad, lawmakers in Washington were warning of imminent government shutdown. Seems that many of us just want to make sure our tax returns will not get snagged in all the stalled machinery. But what about the shadows being cast over Medicare and Medicaid with some of these budget proposals? The Wall Street Journal reports that the Republican “plan would essentially end Medicare, which now pays most of the health-care bills for 48 million elderly and disabled Americans, as a program that directly pays those bills…”
  • This piece from The New York Times about “desktop medicine” is a good read, as are the comments. A patient from Marina, Calif., wrote. “I understand the usefulness of computers in the examination room...but I must admit that at my last appointment I was taken aback by how little the doctor actually looked at me, compared with how much he looked at the computer. I felt a little...well, superfluous.” Ooof…
  • For a public perspective that’s a little less in the weeds than you find in the online HIT spaces, this Connecticut publication ran an article explaining how ordinary people may come in contact with EHR—and health information exchange—but also the many policy considerations now being ironed out.
  • Finally, enough about Capitol Hill and acronyms and all that – what about the doctors? While all the turmoil will surely affect how they practice medicine, The New York Times reports that many are understandably opting for more predictability in their work/life balance. As the reporter shares, “Younger doctors are deciding that the personal price of being at their patients’ beck and call is too high...”                                           Whether or not you’re a doctor, what do you think about changing expectations in the medical workplace?
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