HMT: AHIMA governance 101, generic sourcing, meaningful use, and more.
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Health Management Technology News
December 11, 2013

In this issue:

AHIMA Introduces Information Governance 101 Series

CVS Caremark and Cardinal Health announce creation of largest generic sourcing entity in U.S.

More than 110,000 sign up for coverage through Healthcare.gov in November

Will meaningful use electronic medical records reduce hospital costs?


AHIMA Introduces Information Governance 101 Series

Articles offer guidance and view of new roles for HIM professionals

The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) is offering a new series on Information Governance through its Journal of AHIMA.

The series aims to provide an understanding of why information is an asset and how it can be properly handled. As healthcare becomes a data-driven industry, organizations that implement Information Governance programs will see the most benefit.

The series also will discuss how Information Governance goes beyond the electronic health record, and how the role of enterprise management (staffing, financial, supply chain) is pushing HIM professionals outside traditional roles. Information needs to be managed at every level and HIM professionals can help immensely in this process.

Read the full article

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CVS Caremark and Cardinal Health announce creation of largest generic sourcing entity in U.S.

CVS Caremark (NYSE: CVS) and Cardinal Health (NYSE: CAH) today announced the signing of an agreement to form the largest generic sourcing entity in the U.S., which is the world’s largest generic drug market. Both companies are contributing their sourcing and supply chain expertise to this 50/50 joint venture and are committing to source generic drugs through it. The companies separately announced a three-year extension through June 2019 of Cardinal Health’s existing pharmaceutical distribution agreements with CVS Caremark.

The U.S.-based joint venture is expected to be operational as soon as July 1, 2014, and will have an initial term of 10 years. Under this arrangement, the joint venture will source and negotiate generic supply contracts for both Cardinal Health and CVS Caremark. In order to reflect an equitable 50/50 joint venture, the agreement includes a quarterly payment of $25 million over the life of the agreement from Cardinal Health to CVS Caremark. The payments have an estimated after-tax present value of $435 million. No physical assets (e.g., property, plant or equipment) are being contributed by either company to the joint venture, and minimal funding is being provided to capitalize the entity. The venture is subject to the completion of final documentation and customary closing conditions.

Read the full press release

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More than 110,000 sign up for coverage through Healthcare.gov in November

Mary Hualde, a navigator in Utah helping people sign up for coverage under the Affordable Care Act, says healthcare.gov is finally working smoothly enough for her clients to enroll.

“It’s like a new world,” Hualde said this week about the Web portal that became the butt of jokes and an embarrassment to President Barack Obama after its troubled October launch frustrated millions.

While the website serving people in 36 states is still not perfect – insurers are concerned about getting incomplete or inaccurate consumer information -- navigators and insurance brokers say that since major repairs were done over Thanksgiving weekend, the system is working most of the time.

Enrollment figures released Tuesday night show that more than 110,000 people signed up for plans in November, more than four times the number in October. Among states relying on healthcare.gov, Florida has the highest number of people choosing a plan over the two month-period (17,908), followed by Texas (14,038) and Pennsylvania (11,788).

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Will meaningful use electronic medical records reduce hospital costs?

To encourage the adoption of electronic medical records (EMRs), in 2011 the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) implemented an incentive system that rewards hospitals for implementation of the meaningful use regulations. This program was established by the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act of 2009. HITECH provides about $27 billion in incentives over a 10-year period for hospitals and physicians to adopt the meaningful use of EMRs. Prior to HITECH, meaningful use adoption was relatively low. Only 1.6% of hospitals in 2009 had EMRs that satisfy the HITECH rules for meaningful use. As of June 2013, more than 60% (n = 3481) of hospitals had received a HITECH incentive payment, for a total of $5.5 billion paid out to hospitals.

However, many doubts about the cost benefits of EMRs are now emerging. In a recent Wall Street Journal editorial, Soumerai and Koppel surmised that the United States will spend $1 trillion on health information technology (HIT) without much in cost savings. Much of this skepticism was exacerbated by a recent Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) evidence report, Enabling Medication Management Through Health Information Technology, which examined almost 36,000 HIT medication studies and found 76 studies that focused on clinical outcomes. About 34% of those studies found a significant beneficial impact of HIT on outcomes. However, only 31 articles studied cost outcomes, and only 5 of those provided full economic analyses. As a result, the report concluded that “given the uncertainty that surrounds the costs and outcomes data, and limited study designs, it is difficult to reach any definitive conclusion as to whether the additional costs and benefits represent value for money.”

Read the full article

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December 2013 HMT digital book


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