HMT: HealthCare.gov update, HIMSS & HHS Collaborate, GS1 Named an Accredited Issuing Agency, and more
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Health Management Technology News
December 18, 2013

In this issue:

Kurt DelBene, former Microsoft executive, will take over HealthCare.gov

HIMSS & HHS Collaborate on Patient Identification and Data Matching

GS1 Named an Accredited Issuing Agency for Unique Device Identifiers by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration

5 Key Ways to Minimize Hospital Transaction Antitrust Risks


Kurt DelBene, former Microsoft executive, will take over HealthCare.gov

The Obama administration tapped former Microsoft executive Kurt DelBene to take over managing HealthCare.gov on Tuesday, as President Obama sought the advice of high-tech executives on how to improve the federal government’s online health insurance enrollment system.

DelBene, who recently retired from Microsoft and is married to Rep. Suzan DelBene (D-Wash.), will serve as an unpaid senior adviser. He will succeed Jeffrey Zients, who is scheduled to head the National Economic Council beginning in February.

“Kurt has proven expertise in heading large, complex technology teams and in product development,” Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius wrote in an official blog post Tuesday. She said he will serve in the role at least until the end of June.

Several lawmakers, concerned about the Web site’s rocky rollout, had pressed the administration to install an outside expert to oversee its operations once Zients left. Zients, who was appointed in late October and oversaw major improvements in the system, had requested a month’s time to prepare for his next West Wing assignment.

Read the full Washington Post Article

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HIMSS & HHS Collaborate on Patient Identification and Data Matching

Through HHS’s existing “Innovator in Residence” (IIR) program, HIMSS and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services are collaborating to move forward on the creation of a nationwide patient data matching strategy.

HIMSS is currently recruiting an IIR to develop a vision, strategy, and implementation plan for the near-term deployment of consistent patient data matching in health that builds on the body of work from HHS’s Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) and healthcare community partners. The IIR will also assess the longer-term applicability of identity management methods, processes and technologies currently in use in healthcare and other sectors.

The person hired for this two-year opportunity will be a HIMSS employee who will work onsite in the office of the HHS Chief Technology Officer, to foster further collaboration with stakeholders across the healthcare community and in collaboration with ONC.

“HIMSS is honored to work with HHS on this initiative,” said Lisa Gallagher, HIMSS Vice President of Technology Solutions. “To improve the quality and safety of patient care, we must develop a nationwide strategy to match the right patient to the right record every time. The IIR will create a framework for innovative technology and policy solutions to help provide consistent matching of patient health records and patient identification. We look forward to collaborating with HHS to find the optimal candidate for this opportunity.”

“I encourage anyone who wants to have a substantial and transformative effect on healthcare to apply for this exciting opportunity,” said Bryan Sivak, HHS Chief Technology Officer. “The work of the IIR will lead to establishing metrics of patient matching technology approaches and create a pathway for evaluating solutions. When looking back, successes of the IIR will include engaging stakeholders to adopt approaches that will set in motion improvements in technology that improve consistent and reliable patient matching of records.”

Read the full HIMSS article here

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GS1 Named an Accredited Issuing Agency for Unique Device Identifiers by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration

GS1 Global Supply Chain Standards Support Patient Safety and Help Manufacturers Address New Regulation Requiring Unique Identification of Medical Devices

GS1, a leading global standards organization, was accredited today by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as an issuing agency for unique device identifiers (UDIs). Global GS1 Standards, administered in the U.S. by GS1 US, were recognized as able to ensure the uniqueness, consistency and broad compatibility of device identification, and authorized for use by manufacturers to address requirements of the new FDA UDI regulation. The UDI rule, published in September 2013 to support patient safety and supply chain security, requires all UDI numbers to be assigned by an FDA-accredited issuing agency.

“Global GS1 Standards support the FDA’s vision for a harmonized global supply chain, which is increasingly important as healthcare products are manufactured, shipped and sold across borders,” says Siobhan O’Bara, senior vice president, industry engagement, GS1 US. “Using GS1 Standards, healthcare organizations around the world are able to uniquely identify and locate medical devices through every step of the product lifecycle, improving supply chain visibility and patient safety.”

The GS1 System is an integrated suite of global standards that provides for accurate identification and communication of information regarding products, assets, services and locations. GS1 Standards, including the Global Trade Item Number® (GTIN®), are already in use by leading healthcare manufacturers, and are accepted across the U.S. healthcare industry as a unique identifier of medical/surgical products for every level of packaging. Healthcare manufacturers in the U.S. and around the world can create and maintain UDI numbers (i.e. GTINs) by following the requirements of the U.S. FDA UDI Rule and the GS1 General Specifications.

Read the full GS1 news article here

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5 Key Ways to Minimize Hospital Transaction Antitrust Risks

Hospital and health system consolidation has been on the rise lately. The industry's merger and acquisition activity increased by almost 20 percent in the third quarter of 2013 compared with the same quarter a year ago, with 267 deals announced in the past three months, according to Irving Levin Associates.

In line with this increased merger and acquisition activity, the Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice have expressed their intent to keep a close eye on hospital transactions and have actively pursued enforcement actions in the healthcare industry.

In the midst of this climate, it's important for hospitals and health systems to be aware of antitrust concerns and take steps to minimize them, according to Holly Carnell, JD, an associate at law firm McGuireWoods.

"It's really important that hospital leaders proceed with caution, especially with regards to sharing information with competitors during the transaction process," she said.

During a Dec. 11 webinar, Ms. Carnell and McGuireWoods partner Howard Feller, JD, discussed the antitrust implications of hospital mergers and joint ventures and tactics for reducing risk.

Read the full Becker’s Hospital Review article here

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> READ ALL NEWS AT HEALTHMGTTECH.COM


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