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Health Management Technology News
  June 9, 2014
In this issue:
 
 How to pay for only the healthcare you want

 How mobile became mighty in healthcare

 Demand for healthcare spikes with Veteran Affairs fall

 Hospital accused of posting woman's STD results on Facebook

 The case for healthcare stocks

 Las Vegas tries new tactic to improve city's notorious healthcare

What you need to know about ICD-10
Download this white paper on switching from using ICD-9 to ICD-10 codes for all medical services. The deadline for completing the switch is October 1, 2015, which will be here sooner than you think. Healthcare facilities need to start planning their communication strategy now to be fully prepared to meet the upcoming transition.

Read the white paper.   Sponsor


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


How to pay for only the healthcare you want

One reason health insurance is expensive is that most plans cover just about every medical technology — not just the ones that work, or the ones that are worth the price. This not only drives up costs, but also forces many Americans into purchasing coverage for therapies they may not value. But there’s no reason things couldn’t be different, and better for consumers.

Consider the latest technology for treating prostate cancer: the proton beam. It’s delivered with a football field-size machine costing well over $100 million. Per treatment, this therapy costs at least twice as much as alternative approaches, but is no more effective. Many health plans cover it and other therapies of low or uncertain value because they pay for anything that physicians deem medically necessary even when evidence suggests otherwise. And, without even knowing it, Americans pay for it in higher premiums.

It doesn’t have to be this way. If plans could compete on the basis of the therapies they cover, consumers could decide what they wish to pay for. This sounds complicated, but it need not be.

Read the full article from The New York Times
here
 

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How mobile became mighty in healthcare

Without a doubt, 2014 will be declared the year mobile became mighty in healthcare. No matter where in the world you live, whether you are talking about patients, consumers, or healthcare providers, mobile is revolutionizing the future of healthcare – so much so, that it's worth taking a closer look at 10 powerful trends emerging throughout the mobile health space. We'll also be showcasing our findings on mobile health user experience at the Mighty Mobile seminar at the inaugural Cannes Lions Health festival.

Increased mobile usage

Every day there are more mobile phones sold than babies born. In fact, mobile (vs TV, desktop computers, print, and radio) is the only medium that is currently growing. Google receives more search queries from mobile devices than ever before. A recent Millward Brown study reports that across 30 countries, people spend an average of 147 minutes a day using a smartphone. And 91% of adults have their mobile device within arm's reach 24/7. It should come as little surprise, then, that the collecting and sharing of health information through mobile phones is projected to grow exponentially.

Mobile health has become an indispensable part of this hyper-connected world, where physicians and patients alike are prolific mobile adopters. The stats for obtaining health information via mobile are impressive, to say the least, but the key takeaway here is the enormous opportunity to benefit a global population with an endless variety of healthcare needs.

Read the full article from The Guardian here  

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Demand for healthcare spikes with Veteran Affairs fall

Despite all the recent complaints about difficulty in getting medical appointments at the Department of Veterans Affairs, the facts show a soaring number of vets are taking advantage of its health care: While the total number of U.S. veterans has shrunk by 17% between 2001 and 2014, the number of vets enrolled in the VA health care system has jumped an amazing 78% over the same period.

The percentage of veterans enrolled in the system has more than doubled, from 20% to 42%, over the 13-year span. That plays a major part in the tripling of the VA’s annual budget, to $150 billion, since 2001.

The numbers, published in a Congressional Research Service fact sheet last week, illustrate two truths: Once you get past the challenges associated with getting into the system, it’s pretty good, and the escalating demand for the VA’s health care services no doubt has played a major role in the scandal that led VA Secretary Eric Shinseki to resign May 30.

Read the full article from Time here  

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Hospital accused of posting woman's STD results on Facebook

Officials at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center took "swift" action to fire an employee as soon they were alerted that a patient's private medical information had been posted to Facebook, said the hospital's top executive, Lee Ann Liska.

The medical center is being sued by a Winton Hills woman who was being treated for a sexually transmitted disease and says her medical bill was posted to Facebook by a hospital employee.

According to the lawsuit, filed in Hamilton Common Pleas Court this week, a screen shot of the woman's medical record showing her name and her diagnosis of syphilis was posted to the closed member Facebook group "Team No Hoes" in September 2013.

An email that included the same screen shot was also sent to members of the group.

Read the full article from cincinnati.com here  

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The case for healthcare stocks

Health-care stocks are outperforming the broader market, at least in part because investors see the Affordable Care Act spurring more business for medical-device, pharmaceutical and other companies in the group.

The health-care law is just one of the tailwinds that financial advisers and other professional investors expect to propel some health-care companies' stocks upward in coming years. Aging baby boomers and growing affluence in some emerging-market economies also are seen helping lift the shares.

In the 12 months ended May 31, health-care stocks in the S&P 500 gained 24%, beating the large-cap index's 18% return. Such stocks made up 13% of the S&P 500's market capitalization.

More than $6.91 billion flowed into U.S. health-care mutual funds and $6.97 billion into U.S. health-care ETFs in the 12 months ended April 30, according to Chicago-based research firm Morningstar.

"Love it or hate it, the Affordable Care Act…has created coverage for a lot more folks, and therefore created a lot more customers for a number of companies in the health-care business," says Joe Heider, a principal and partner at Rehmann Financial, a Cleveland firm managing $2.2 billion.

Read the full article from The Wall Street Journal
here
 

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Las Vegas tries new tactic to improve city's notorious healthcare

Teresa Garcia, weak and in pain, had all but given up on doctors when she came to a small clinic next to a former wedding chapel on the Strip.

"I never thought I would get better," the 55-year-old housekeeper said, recalling years of perfunctory physician visits that generated countless prescriptions but did little to slow the dangerous advance of her diabetes.

Today, under intense care from a team of social workers, nurses and a doctor who, like her, emigrated from Mexico, Garcia has learned to change her diet and closely monitor her disease. She has regular checkups. She has cut her blood sugar in half. She no longer needs to inject herself with insulin.

The model of medical care that is helping Garcia is built on a highly personal approach to patients and a high-tech system to track quality — something that is new for this city. A grim joke here long held that the best place to go for good healthcare was the airport.

Now, Las Vegas is emerging as a test of how much a community can improve chronically poor health by expanding insurance coverage and using models of medical care pioneered in healthier places.

"We are a prime example of what people see as problematic about the American healthcare system," said Larry Matheis, the former longtime head of the Nevada State Medical Assn. "That makes a lot of the ideas in health reform very attractive. … The challenge is going to be figuring out how to make it all work."

Read the full article from The Los Angeles Times
here
 

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June 2014  HMT digital book

White Papers

What you need to know about ICD-10

Seven Strategies to Improve Patient Satisfaction

Click here to read the white papers



Industry News

HHS: $300 Million in Affordable Care Act funds to expand services

HHS releases new data and tools to increase transparency on hospital utilization

AHIMA survey: Two-thirds of healthcare lack information governance strategy

AMA reminds physicians to begin Sunshine registration process

CMS: Prior Authorization to Ensure Beneficiary Access and Help Reduce Improper Payments


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