HMT: Best in KLAS report, eHealth exchange survey, new Microsoft CEO, and more
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Health Management Technology
February 3, 2014

In this issue:

Patient matching must be an HIO priority

Thousands of providers rank healthcare software and services in annual Best in KLAS report

eHealth Exchange survey reveals dramatic increases in participation and online transactions

Health information for more than 40,000 Unity members missing

Nadella would be safe choice for Microsoft

Patient matching must be an HIO priority

When the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) released its draft report on patient matching challenges and best practices in December 2013, it provided health information organizations (HIOs) with a blueprint for resolving one of the most significant challenges they face: accurate patient matching.

The report, which assessed current industry capabilities and best practices, delivered eight recommendations that will help the healthcare industry support a zero tolerance policy for patient matching. These ranged from requiring standardized patient identifying attributes to including patient matching functionality in certification to creating an open source algorithm for vendors to use to build/test patient matching algorithms.

Most importantly, the report makes it clear that HIOs must place a far higher priority on accurate patient matching than they have in the past. With limited awareness of their responsibility to assure accurate patient matching, many HIOs have implemented policies with the very real potential to damage data integrity and jeopardize patient safety.

Read the full HMT online only feature here

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Thousands of providers rank healthcare software and services in annual Best in KLAS report

New leaders, new categories, new Best in KLAS segments and a cosmetic overhaul to improve digestibility are some of the highlights of the Best in KLAS 2013: Software and Services report.

The report, which ranks vendors and their solutions, saw some changes in the top-ranked spots from last year’s rankings. Additionally, based on feedback from providers, the report now includes the following categories: Computer-Assisted Coding, Revenue Cycle – Charge Capture, and Go-Live Support. Also, Health Information Exchange (HIE) and Patient Portals are now Best in KLAS segments.

To make the data as easy to consume as possible, KLAS overhauled the look and feel of the annual report.

Read the full Klas report here

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eHealth Exchange survey reveals dramatic increases in participation and online transactions

Healtheway, the non-profit, public-private collaboration that operationally supports the eHealth Exchange (formerly known as the Nationwide Health Information Network Exchange), announced the results of its annual participation survey. The survey results show significant increases in participation in the eHealth Exchange as well as a surge in the number of secure online transactions taking place among the eHealth Exchange community participants.

Current membership in the eHealth Exchange includes 41 participants that together represent 800 hospitals, 6,000 mid-to-large medical groups, 800 dialysis centers and 850 retail pharmacies dispersed throughout the nation. These participants reflect a broad range of health organization types and sizes.

In 2013, several hundred thousand transactions were securely exchanged among eHealth Exchange participants related to treatment, transitions of care and eligibility for federal benefits, including Social Security. In addition, eHealth Exchange participants pushed more than 26 million transactions to CMS related to quality data for the End Stage Renal Disease program.

In addition to the current increase in participation, the survey revealed a strong pipeline of new organizations that have applied to join the eHealth Exchange. More than 60 organizations have applied and are in various stages of testing in preparation for going live on the eHealth Exchange. In the next several months, participation in the eHealth Exchange is expected to more than double, bringing the full number of participants to over 100.

Dozens of other organizations have indicated that they will begin the application process in the coming months.

"The numbers tell a very compelling story," said Mariann Yeager, Healtheway's Executive Director. "In just a few months, the eHealth Exchange is expected to connect more than 1,600 hospitals, which is more than 30% of the hospitals in the United States, plus 10,000 medical groups. In total, eHealth Exchange participants are expected serve nearly 100 million patients -- almost a third of the country's population."

The eHealth Exchange maintains its growth trajectory because it solves many of the challenges health organizations face in setting up secure, online data exchange with other groups.

Read the full Market Wired article here

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Health information for more than 40,000 Unity members missing

A portable hard drive containing health information for up to 41,437 people with Unity health insurance has been missing for seven weeks, prompting the company to offer identity theft protection.

The hard drive did not contain the name, street address, Social Security number, credit card, banking or financial information of any Unity member, the company said in announcing the incident Thursday.

Information on the hard drive was limited to the Unity member number, date of birth, city of residence, name of drug, and date of service, if any, the company said.

Unity learned Dec. 12 that the hard drive was missing from the UW-Madison School of Pharmacy, which had it as part of a benefits program evaluation.

Read the full Wisconsin State Journal article here

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Nadella would be safe choice for Microsoft

Microsoft's presumptive new CEO is Satya Nadella, a conservative choice for a company that many believe needs serious shaking up. According to several news reports, Nadella will likely be named Microsoft's new CEO in the coming weeks.

CNN could not independently confirm that, and Microsoft (MSFT, Fortune 500) declined to comment on the speculation.

As Microsoft's cloud and enterprise group chief, Nadella oversees the company's server software and back-end technology for corporate customers. He also is in charge of several consumer cloud products, including Office 365, the Bing search engine, Xbox Live and Skype.

This is one of Microsoft's best-performing business units: Cloud services sales more than doubled last quarter and corporate software licenses outpaced the rest of the industry. As Microsoft Windows revenue dries up amid a PC sales swoon, Nadella's group has been instrumental in driving Microsoft's growth.

Nadella also oversees a division where Microsoft believes its bread will be buttered in the coming years. Corporate revenue already makes up two-thirds of Microsoft's overall sales.

Nadella isn't bringing fresh perspective or any outside influence. Instead, Nadella is a 22-year veteran of Microsoft who has been overseeing the less-sexy corporate software and services side of the company since 1992.

Before starting his current role, he also headed Microsoft's server and tools business, its corporate division and research and development for Microsoft's online services unit. Prior to joining Microsoft, Nadella worked at Sun Microsystems, which is now owned by Oracle (ORCL, Fortune 500).

Read the full CNN Money article here

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