To view this email in your browser, please click here.
HMT on Facebook HMT on Twitter   HMT on LinkedIn 
Health Management Technology News
May 30, 2014

In this issue:
 

 HMT exclusive: The rise of data governance and archiving in healthcare

 Large healthcare cost increases are built into Obamacare implementation

 Algorithmic MDs will ruin healthcare, nurses say

 GOP healthcare confusion

 Samsung's Simband hardware and healthcare platform aim to track your every move

 GE Healthcare is focusing on emerging markets, R&D and cost cuts to drive growth

 10 Statistics on Physician Practices and the PPACA


Seven Strategies to Improve Patient Satisfaction
Hospital reimbursements are now influenced, in part, by patient satisfaction scores. Read about seven areas to target in your hospital for happier, more satisfied patients.

Read the white paper.   Sponsor


HMT exclusive: The rise of data governance and archiving in healthcare

As healthcare organizations work feverishly to convert patient records, prescriptions and complex diagnostic information to electronic format, patients continue to generate more and more data daily. The problem is also retrospective, getting paper records online and current, storing new information into nascent systems. This is an enormous project. In the US healthcare system alone, the volume of electronic data roughly doubles every two years.

Healthcare data comes in many forms – electronic charts, audio files, word document reports, image files from diagnostics, emails and more. The rich media files now created by imaging diagnostics increase the data load. A large hospital system will maintain many different electronic systems. Patient records are stored in one system, hematology reports in another, diagnostic images somewhere else. No matter where the data resides, the sheer volume of data has driven up storage costs and healthcare organizations need to devise strategies that minimize storage, optimize access and ensure business continuity. This is where a good data governance strategy can help.

Read the full article from Health Management Technology here

Return to the table of contents
Large healthcare cost increases are built into Obamacare implementation

National healthcare spending increased to $2.8 trillion in 2012, representing expenditures of $8,915 for every person in the United States. Healthcare spending represents 17.2 percent of GDP, with the more significant effects of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) as yet to be felt.

Public policy, especially when it comes to expanding access to healthcare services, has equilibrium affect. That is, access eventually becomes so costly that services once deemed irreplaceable are cut. Alternatively, expenses for services once deemed inflationary are approved. This drama is being played out in our current Congress.

The expansion of the ACA has generated more than $1 trillion in excess spending with the concomitant result that cost cutting will be right around the next corner. For example, healthcare spending for the first three months of 2014 rose at the fastest rate in 34 years – since 1980. The ACA has prompted more Americans to visit their physicians and hospitals. According to the U.S. bureau of Economic Analysis, healthcare spending escalated by 9.9 percent over the first quarter of this year, mainly due to increased spending in hospitals. Despite helping to boost the overall economy, which increased by only 0.1 percent this past quarter, there will be a display of concern over such figures.

Read the full article from Forbes here

Return to the table of contents
Algorithmic MDs will ruin healthcare, nurses say

In a bid to make healthcare cheaper and faster, hospitals are turning to algorithmic systems for diagnosing patients. But the national nurses' union says that robots-meet-super-WebMD are no replacement for a real doctor.

Algorithms that can analyze symptoms and spit out a diagnosis favor efficiency over proper care, according to recent campaign by National Nurses United (NNU). The union claims that automated diagnosis systems lack the individualized care a nurse can provide and mainly allow private hospitals to boost their bottom line.

Healthcare professionals have worked for years to develop diagnostic algorithms—including early methods like Apache III and SAPS III, as well are more more advanced clinical decision support systems—which are used to help determine how patients are treated.

They compare patient symptoms to a base dataset—Apache III's was culled from over seventeen thousand ICU patients—to determine things like mortality probability and whether a patient should remain in intensive care or be moved. It may be a bit impersonal and morbid, but it’s efficient. Instead of improving the quality of healthcare, however, NNU sees these algorithms as eroding it.

“What this technology does is generate profits for healthcare corporations because they standardize based on this model of care that’s based on the factory floor. You treat everybody like a Model T Ford,” Deborah Burger, a registered nurse and co-president of NNU, told me over the phone.

By speeding up the provision of care with algorithms, private hospitals can serve more patients in a day—and charge them accordingly. Apache III collects patients’ information and sends it right to the hospital’s billing department. “It’s actually a billing mechanism more than it is a treatment protocol,” Burger said.

Read the full article from Motherboard here

Return to the table of contents
GOP healthcare confusion

If Kentuckians like their health care exchange, can they keep it — even if ObamaCare is repealed?

Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) campaign has been arguing just that this week after the Senate minority leader said last Friday that his push for the health care law’s repeal was “unconnected” to the existence of Kynect, the state’s own exchange.

Health care experts have widely panned McConnell’s claims, with one calling him “delusional.”

But McConnell’s tap dance highlights the difficulty facing Republicans as they grapple with their message of repeal in the face of benefits the law is now delivering.

Democrats have been slow to jump on the comments, a reflection of their reluctance to make ObamaCare an issue, particularly in red-leaning states like Kentucky where Obama remains deeply unpopular.

And if they can’t find a way in Kentucky, which boasts one of the nation’s most successful state-based exchanges, its hard to see how they’ll manage to do it elsewhere, as a veteran state political reporter and University of Kentucky professor Al Cross points out.

“If there’s a strongly anti-Obama state in which there is a good argument for ObamaCare, this is it,” he said. “There is an argument to be made for the law, and the fact that the Democrats haven’t quite figured out whether to do it, or how to do it, illustrates the depth of the problem.”

Read the full article from The Hill here

Return to the table of contents
Samsung's Simband hardware and healthcare platform aim to track your every move

Samsung plans to expand its focus on health tracking technologies, the company said today. At an event in San Francisco, the company said there needs to be better technology for keeping tabs on the body at all times. That includes a mix of sensors, data, and behavioral science that can give both consumers and healthcare providers a deeper and more complete view of human health. Samsung also introduced a new hardware reference design called Simband that tracks human vital metrics and connects it to a health data platform.

Its new SAMI platform, which was outlined today, mixes both hardware and a cloud backend for sensor data. Samsung says it will improve wearable devices and the health data they gather, be it what's out there now, or in the future. In a presentation, Young Sohn — the president and chief strategy officer of Samsung Electronics — said he hopes it will result in a similar shift to what happened in the original smartphone boom, and that the problem is the "single greatest opportunity of our generation."

Aiding that will be next-generation sensors, said Samsung's VP of digital health Ram Fish. That includes sensors that will more easily be able to test blood glucose, and even what's in the air around you. In the meantime, what Samsung referred to as an "investigational device" called the Simband, will be ground zero for tracking that information. The wrist-mounted band has a modular array of sensors on the bottom. Those sensors monitor various body activities like heart rate and oxygen levels, but could be expanded with extra hardware to track other things. In a live demo, the Simband hardware was able to show Fish's live heart rate and other vitals on a device that looked a lot like the existing Samsung Gear smartwatch.

Read the full article from The Verve here

Return to the table of contents
GE Healthcare is focusing on emerging markets, R&D and cost cuts to drive growth

Driven by growth from the emerging markets and gains from cost cutbacks, profits from GE 's  healthcare segment have risen strongly in the last few years. During 2011-2013, GE Healthcare's profits grew at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR ) of 4.3%, and the company anticipates this strong growth to continue in 2014. The company provides medical imaging systems, diagnostics, patient monitoring systems, drug discovery tools, medical equipment repair services and related IT solutions in the global healthcare space.

GE has employed multiple strategies to achieve this solid growth in its healthcare business. Primary among these is its expanding footprint in the emerging markets that has allowed the company to benefit from the rising healthcare spending from these regions, particularly in Asia-Pacific and Latin America. A strong focus on research and innovation has also enabled this growth by allowing the company to retain its competitive advantage. At the same time, driven by benefits from cost reduction activities like headcount reduction and exit from low-margin products, GE has improved its healthcare segment margins to 16.7%. The company anticipates its margins to continue to expand in 2014. We figure the simplification initiatives that GE has employed across its industrial businesses have also contributed to expand its healthcare margins. For instance, under this initiative the de-layering of management structure in Europe and reduction of the number of zones in the U.S. has contributed to margin expansion. In our view, in the coming years alongside oil & gas and aviation, healthcare segment will likely also play a key role in driving growth at GE. This segment constituted nearly 20% of GE's $16.2 billion industrial profits last year.

Read the full article from NASDAQ here

Return to the table of contents
10 Statistics on Physician Practices and the PPACA

The expansion of health insurance coverage under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act presents opportunities and challenges for healthcare providers, including physician practices. In April, to assess the impact the PPACA exchanges have had on physicians, the Medical Group Management Association surveyed more than 700 medical groups in which more than 40,000 physicians practice nationwide. Here are 10 key statistics from their findings.

1. Almost 80 percent of survey respondents said their practice is participating with new health insurance products offered through the exchanges.

2. More than 90 percentof those surveyed said their practice has seen patients with exchange plan coverage.

3. Of those contracting with PPACA exchange plans, nearly 58 percent said they were doing so to remain competitive in their local markets.

4. Fifty-six percent of respondents said there was no change in their practice's patient population size through April, despite the implementation of the exchanges.

5. However, about 44 percent of physicians polled expect the exchanges will cause their patient population size to increase slightly by the end of this year.

Read the full article from Becker’s Hospital Review here

Return to the table of contents

  READ ALL NEWS AT HEALTHMGTTECH.COM


Imaging Solutions
Discover Advanced Interoperability
Merge is a leading provider of innovative enterprise imaging, interoperability and clinical solutions that seek to advance healthcare. Merge’s enterprise and cloud-based technologies for image intensive specialties provide access to any image, anywhere, any time. Merge also provides clinical trials software and intelligent analytics solutions.
For more information, visit merge.com and follow us @MergeHealthcare.   Sponsor

White Paper
Five Step Approach to Engage Stakeholders in the Era of Integrated Care

Understand drivers and economic benefits of a simple 5-step approach to manage population health and improve outcomes, from Agfa HealthCare and Orion Health.

Read more.   Sponsor

June 2014  HMT digital book

White Paper


Seven Strategies to Improve Patient Satisfaction

Read more




Industry News
5.30.14
AMA reminds physicians to begin Sunshine registration process
Keeping with its continued commitment to fully inform physicians about the implementation of the Physician Payment Sunshine Act...
Read more  
5.23.14
CMS: Prior Authorization to Ensure Beneficiary Access and Help Reduce Improper Payments
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced plans to expand a successful demonstration for prior authorization for...
Read more  
5.23.14
AMA statement on proposed rule regarding Meaningful Use
"The American Medical Association (AMA) appreciates the changes proposed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)...
Read more  
5.23.14
HHS: New funding gives states and innovators tools and flexibility to implement delivery system reform
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced new delivery system reform efforts made possible by the...
Read more  
5.23.14
AMA to host virtual discussion at the Innovation Health Jam, June 17-19, 2014
The American Medical Association (AMA) announced details of a virtual brainstorming discussion on potential transformative goals...
Read more  

Resources
Subscribe to the
HMT newsletter
HMT Online Only Features
Archives Subscribe to HMT
Resource Guide Media Kit
Products Career Builder
White Papers Advertising Inquiries
Editorial Inquiries Events

Subscribe to Health Management Technology | Contact the Publisher | Advertise With Us  |   Privacy Statement

Copyright 2014       NP Communications LLC, 2477 Stickney Point Rd, Suite 221B, Sarasota, FL 34231