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Health Management Technology News
  May 12, 2014
In this issue:
 

 Health Management Technology’s Resource Guide sign-up

 Care likely influenced by access to electronic health records

 Democrats struggle to win over skeptical Americans on Obamacare

 Changes are coming to the embattled Veterans Affairs healthcare system

 Dell seeking start-ups innovating in healthcare

 Report: PPACA enrollment success depends on more than exchange structure

 College targeting healthcare industry receives $2M grant


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Care likely influenced by access to electronic health records

Unlike medical records kept in paper charts, electronic health records (EHR) provide numerous access points to clinicians to review a patient's medical history. A new study has found access to electronic health records in acute care situations may influence the care given to that patient, and in some cases, failure to review the EHR could have adversely affected the medical management. The findings are reported in the May 2014 edition of Health Affairs.

In the study, three neuroradiologists at Froedtert & the Medical College Froedtert Hospital analyzed 2,000 head CT scans that had been ordered by emergency department physicians. For each exam, the neuroradiologists compared the medical information generated by the emergency department physicians to the additional information retrieved by interpreting radiologists who had access to EHR patient data.

The interpreting radiologists found that in many of the cases, the additional data in the EHR would have a significant impact on the interpretations of the head CT scans.

Read the full article from MedicalNewsToday.com
here
 

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Democrats struggle to win over skeptical Americans on Obamacare

Barack Obama and his Democratic allies in the Congress have grown more confident in recent months about their ability to use the president's signature healthcare law as a draw rather than a liability in this November's midterm elections.

Three races in New Hampshire illustrate the challenge, offering a test of whether Democrats can overcome voter skepticism about the 2010 Affordable Care Act. The law, aiming to expand health insurance coverage to millions more Americans, has come under sustained attack from Republicans.

The president has urged Democrats campaigning in the November 4 congressional elections not to run away from "Obamacare," but instead to "forcefully defend" it. Obama has said that a surge in enrollment shows the system is running smoothly now, after its disastrous debut last October.

New Hampshire, which is closely divided between Democrats and Republicans, is one of about 10 states where Republicans hope to make gains in order to pick up six seats they need to put the Democratic-led Senate under their control.

Senators Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, Kay Hagan of North Carolina and Mary Landrieu of Louisiana have been among the Democratic targets of anti-Obamacare ads by conservative groups such as Americans for Prosperity.

Republicans are counting on voter antipathy toward Obamacare to try to take charge of the Senate and expand their majority in the House of Representatives. But while Obamacare may now be working better, national polls clearly show more people disapprove than approve of the law.

Read the full article from Reuters here  

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Changes are coming to the embattled Veterans Affairs healthcare system

An interim director will take over the embattled Phoenix VA Health Care System on Monday, the Department of Veterans Affairs announced.

Steve Young will oversee delivery of health care to an estimated 85,000 veterans and an operating budget of about $500 million.

The move comes as the Phoenix VA tries to restore its reputation while it is under investigation for possible patient deaths. In recent weeks, critics of the VA system have alleged that administrators in Phoenix kept an off-the-books list to conceal long wait times as 40 veterans died waiting to get an appointment.

Director Sharon Helman and two other employees were placed on administrative leave May 1.

Young has been the director of the Salt Lake City VA Health Care System since June 2009. He also served as the interim medical director at the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center in Chicago from February 2011 to June 2011. Before taking that position, Young was the deputy network director for the VA Sunshine Healthcare Network in Florida.

The claims are the latest to emerge as VA hospitals around the country struggle to handle the huge volume of patients who need medical attention, including aging vets and a newer influx from wars over the last decade.

In the past year, VA facilities in South Carolina, Florida, Georgia and Washington state have been linked to delays in patient care or poor oversight. Government investigators reported this month that employees at a veterans medical clinic in Fort Collins, Colorado, were instructed to falsify records to make it appear as though patients were getting appointments close to the day requested.

Read the full article from The Huffington Post
here
 

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Dell seeking start-ups innovating in healthcare

Dell Inc. partnered with Intel to host a contest seeking start-up businesses with the innovation to change the way healthcare is delivered.

On Thursday, April 10, Dell and Intel hosted the Tech Innovation Day Series: Healthcare Pitch Days to provide businesses the opportunity to present their technologies to a panel of the industries’ judges.

Dr. Andy Litt, chief medical officer at Dell Healthcare & Life Sciences, said Dell not only has an interest in promoting innovation and development for its commercial and corporate aspects, but for healthcare as well.

“Dell is looking for young entrepreneurs with great ideas who are looking to develop them in the information-technology world,” Litt said.

Read the full article from Austin American Statesman here  

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Report: PPACA enrollment success depends on more than exchange structure

Although the state-based health insurance exchanges have had higher enrollment rates on average, the federal marketplace gained considerable ground during the last few weeks of the 2014 open enrollment period, according to a report released by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania's Leonard Davis Institute in Philadelphia analyzed Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act exchange enrollment data from HHS. There was significant variation among the states and within the different types of exchanges. The researchers found enrollment rates of potentially eligible people within the federally facilitated marketplaces ranged from 11 percent in South Dakota to 39 percent in Florida. In the state-based exchanges, rates ranged from 12 percent in Massachusetts to 85 percent in Vermont.

However, on average, the 16 state-based exchanges enrolled 32.5 percent of potentially eligible enrollees, compared with 26.3 percent for the 27 states that relied on the federal exchange and 26 percent for the seven state-federal partnership exchanges. Overall, more than 8 million people signed up for health plans through the PPACA exchanges. "Given their traditional role in regulating insurance, it is not surprising that state-based marketplaces had the greatest initial success," the researchers wrote.

However, during the final four to six weeks of open enrollment for 2014, the federally facilitated state marketplaces saw enrollment rise by 111 percent, while the state-based and partnership exchanges saw enrollment increase by 60 percent and 89 percent, respectively, according to the report. Study co-author Janet Weiner, associate director for health policy at the Davis Institute, says the increase in enrollment in the federally run marketplaces was likely the result of advocacy efforts by groups such as Enroll America.

Read the full article from Becker’s Hospital Review here  

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College targeting healthcare industry receives $2M grant

A local college targeting the healthcare industry has received its largest financial gift ever.

The Mayes College at the University of the Sciences in University City has received a $2 million gift from an alumnus.

The Dean, Dr. Andrew Peterson says the money will be put to good use.

“The gift is going toward the growth of the faculty and the students in collaborative research, but the students and opportunities for the faculty to grow and develop in their areas of healthcare business policy and communications and I think this is going to help develop the school in the long run.”

Read the full article from CBS Philly 3 here  

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