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Health Management Technology News
  March 27, 2014
In this issue:
 

► Congress to vote on ICD-10 delay

► Obama administration will allow more time to enroll in health care on federal marketplace

► Hackonomics: A first-of-its-kind economic analysis of the cyber black markets

► Eight out of 10 businesses believe Macs are more reliable than Windows machines

► In search of a few good apps


Congress to vote on ICD-10 delay

A new bill has been quietly introduced into the US House and Senate that features a section calling for the delay ICD-10-CM/PCS implementation until 2015.

The bill, which would adjust the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) and amend the Social Security Act to extend Medicare payments to physicians and change other provisions of the Medicare and Medicaid programs, also includes a seven line section that would delay ICD-10 to October 1, 2015.

This bill was negotiated at the leadership level in the House and Senate, and it is expected that there will be no debate before calling the bill to vote. The bill states: “The Secretary of Health and Human Services may not, prior to October 1, 2015, adopt ICD–10 code sets as the standard for code sets under section 1173(c) of the 13 Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1320d–2(c)) and section 14 162.1002 of title 45, Code of Federal Regulations.”

This bill is expected to go to the House floor on Thursday, March 27 for a vote.

Read the full Journal of AHIMA article here ► 

Return to the table of contents ► 


Obama administration will allow more time to enroll in health care on federal marketplace

The Obama administration has decided to give extra time to Americans who say that they are unable to enroll in health plans through the federal insurance marketplace by the March 31 deadline.

Federal officials confirmed Tuesday evening that all consumers who have begun to apply for coverage on HealthCare.gov, but who do not finish by Monday, will have until about mid-April to ask for an extension.

Under the new rules, people will be able to qualify for an extension by checking a blue box on HealthCare.gov to indicate that they tried to enroll before the deadline. This method will rely on an honor system; the government will not try to determine whether the person is telling the truth.

The rules, which will apply to the federal exchanges operating in three dozen states, will essentially create a large loophole even as White House officials have repeatedly said that the March 31 deadline was firm. The extra time will not technically alter the deadline but will create a broad new category of people eligible for what’s known as a special enrollment period.

The change, which the administration is scheduled to announce Wednesday, is supported by consumer advocates who want as many people as possible to gain insurance under the 2010 Affordable Care Act. But it’s likely to be criticized by Republicans who oppose the law and have denounced the way the administration is implementing it.

Read the full The Washington Post article here ► 

Return to the table of contents ► 


Hackonomics: A first-of-its-kind economic analysis of the cyber black markets

The world of cybercrime is deep, complex, and, according to a new report released from the RAND Corporation, has become a fully developed market economy.

While previous studies have attempted to quantify the impact of the hacker black markets in dollar amounts, the Juniper Networks -sponsored report, “Markets for Cybercrime Tools and Stolen Data: Hackers’ Bazaar,” provides a never-before-seen look at the hacker black market. Included is an analysis of the economic structure and maturity, and the implications thereof to business and government organizations worldwide.

Some of the key findings include:

Economic Maturity: The hacker black market mirrors that of other free markets in both evolution and growth. RAND found five key indicators of economic maturity, including sophistication, specialization, accessibility, reliability and resilience.

More Profitable than Drug Trade: RAND’s report suggests the cyber black markets are a maturing, multi-billion-dollar economy, with robust infrastructure and social organization. In fact, RAND found the black market can be more profitable than the illegal drug trade. The links to end-users on the black market are more direct and worldwide distribution, being electronic, is trivial.

Read the full Juniper Network article here ► 

Return to the table of contents ► 


Eight out of 10 businesses believe Macs are more reliable than Windows machines

A new survey carried out by Parallels – the company behind tools such as Parallels Desktop for Mac – suggests that businesses are warming up to Apple's OS X platform, and that many are willing to consider broader corporate adoption.

The survey, which polled more than 200 IT decision makers about their attitudes toward Macs in the enterprise, found that 45 percent of businesses currently offer their employees Macs, and that 95 percent of the businesses that don’t currently provide Macs would be more likely to offer them if they had a single central management system for both Windows PCs and Macs.

The results of the survey throw up some interesting data points that IT pros – especially those adhered to Windows only – should take note of:

  • 77 percent of IT pros said that Macs are more reliable overall than Windows machines.
  • 65 percent said that Macs are easier to support.
  • 65 percent said that offering Macs would likely help attract employees (a very important factor given the competition for talent).

The survey also shed light on some of the roadblocks to Mac adoption:

  • 70 percent cited the main reason they don’t allow Macs onto their network is because they lack the expertise to manage them.
  • 68 percent said Macs aren't allowed because they are unable to run Windows apps.
  • 53 percent cited the lack of proper management tools.

Read the full ZDNet article here ► 

Return to the table of contents ► 


In search of a few good apps

While the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released guidelines for the regulation of mobile health (mHealth) apps that act as medical devices or as accessories to medical devices, the vast majority of mHealth apps remain unregulated and unevaluated. In a Viewpoint article, "In Search of a Few Good Apps", published in JAMA on March 24, 214, co-authors, David Bates, MD and Adam Landman, MD of Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) and Adam Powell, PhD, president of Payer+Provider Syndicate, call for the creation of mHealth (mobile health) app review and certification organizations to evaluate apps that are not regulated by the government.

"This article gives health care providers, patients, policymakers and mHealth app developers a perspective on how the issue of determining which apps are most useful might be addressed," said Bates, who is Chief Quality Officer at BWH and chaired the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act (FDASIA) Workgroup that made recommendations to the government about regulation of HIT and mobile apps. "Establishing an unbiased review and certification process is a key step in helping mHealth apps achieve their potential."

The concept for this Viewpoint article was conceived by Landman and Powell after discussing their mutual concern about the lack of oversight over the accuracy, quality, and security of mHealth apps at the BWH Hackathon, an event sponsored by BWH's Innovation Hub.

"Dr. Powell and I examined numerous mHealth apps and it was difficult to assess app credibility," said Landman, Chief Medical Information Officer for Health Information Innovation and Integration and an emergency medicine physician at BWH. "The currently available reviews of mHealth apps have largely focused on personal impressions, rather than evidence-based, unbiased assessments of clinical performance and data security. With more rigorous certification criteria and unbiased accrediting bodies, both clinicians and consumers could be more confident in their selection and use of mHealth apps."

Read the full Brigham and Women’s Hospital press release here ► 

Return to the table of contents ► 


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