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Health Management Technology News
  April 25, 2014
In this issue:

 Health Management Technology’s Resource Guide sign-up

 Medical coding leaves 87-year-old facing $32,000 bill

 WLSA's focus on attaining broader adoption of connected health

 Healthcare analytics program approved for Union Graduate College

 Number of Vermonters without healthcare unclear

 Stanford launches center to strengthen quality of scientific research worldwide

 Louisiana residents don't like healthcare reform, but not sure it needs to be repealed

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Medical coding leaves 87-year-old facing $32,000 bill

Eileen Schraan's doctor told her to call 911.

The 86-year-old woman had complained of shortness of breath and pain in her jaw, classic heart-attack symptoms. She was loaded into an ambulance and rushed to the emergency room.

Schraan was kept under observation for three days last year at Banner Baywood Medical Center in Mesa while doctors tried to determine if she'd had a heart attack. They ran labs to check for cardiac enzymes, preformed a CT scan of her chest, administered drugs for chest pain and conducted a cardiac stress test.

Results were negative. Doctors sent her home with a diagnosis of TMJ, a joint problem with her jaw. Banner coded Schraan's bills with the same TMJ diagnosis and charged her more than $32,000.

Read the full article from here  

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WLSA's focus on attaining broader adoption of connected health

The Wireless-Life Sciences Alliance said that its ninth annual Convergence Summit here next month will focus on achieving broader global adoption of technology-enabled health care at a time when the pace of innovation in connected health and personal health solutions is accelerating.

"The technology sector has 'discovered' the health care market, so tech is not the problem; we have an adoption issue," said WLSA President and CEO Robert B. McCray.  "We have the tools and knowledge to fix a broken healthcare model.  Now we need to overcome the barriers to the adoption of connected health so 'engaged health consumers' throughout the world will realize the benefits that technology is poised to deliver.  The emergence of the engaged health consumer movement and its impact on the health care system will be the key theme of this year's conference."

McCray said barriers to adoption are the result of a culture of patient dependency on an opaque health care system that is not sufficiently accountable for its costs, quality or health outcomes.  Key barriers include a transactional financial model that rewards volume not quality, anti-competitive laws that that favor clinicians over patients, and technology regulatory structures that cannot keep up with the pace of technological achievement.  Innovators are empowering consumers and patients with tools of "health democratization" such as:

  • Devices that enable a consumer to accurately diagnose many diseases at home;
  • Information about the quality and cost of hospitals and doctors to enable informed choices;
  • More convenient places for care, such as retail pharmacies; and,
  • Internet-based tools that empower individuals to play a meaningful role and sometimes discover the cause of their own disease before the health care system does.

WLSA's Convergence Summit May 14 – 16 at the Omni San Diego Hotel will convene several hundred subject-matter experts and companies that share a desire to see connected health applications adopted more broadly, thereby transforming the delivery and cost of delivering essential healthcare.  The May 14 session is for WLSA members, while the May 15-16 sessions are open to the public.

More than 30 CEOs will be included among the thought leaders speaking at this year's conference.  Among the speakers are:

Read the full press release here  

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Healthcare analytics program approved for Union Graduate College

Union Graduate College has the go-ahead from New York to begin an online master's program in healthcare analytics and will open the program in the fall.

The healthcare analytics program prepares graduates to mine, analyze and apply data to the health care industry. Half of the curriculum will focus on data analytics and the other half will focus on healthcare management, Union Graduate College president Laura Schweitzer says. Response from local healthcare organizations has been tremendous, she says.

Program graduates could be absorbed into the fast-growing healthcare analytics field, as healthcare organizations look to data to increase healthcare efficiency or provide more preventative services by using data to predict when patients are likely to end up in the hospital.

The college also is launching an online, two-year healthcare management MBA this fall. The private college in Schenectady, NY, currently offers an on campus-based healthcare management MBA.

Read the full article from here  

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Number of Vermonters without healthcare unclear

It won't be known for several months how many people who looked at buying health insurance through Vermont Health Connect determined it was too expensive and decided to go without, Vermont officials said Monday.

Vermont Health Connect spokeswoman Emily Yahr said the best answer to that question won't come until consumer surveys are out later this year.

When the Vermont Health Connect exchange, opened in compliance with the Affordable Care Act, began covering people in January, enrollees in two previous state-subsidized health insurance programs, the Vermont Health Access Plan and Catamount Health, moved over to Vermont Health Connect, with those who met income guidelines taking insurance under an expanded Medicaid program and others signing up for the offerings of private insurers.

Or at least the vast majority did, Yahr said.

Determining how many went from one of the two state programs to no insurance could not be simply determined by comparing enrollments in those programs and Vermont Health Connect, she said. That's because some left the state programs because a new job offered health insurance, or because they went on a spouse's plan, Yahr added.

Read the full article from the Burlington Free Press here  

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Stanford launches center to strengthen quality of scientific research worldwide

A new center at Stanford University aims to transform research practices to improve the reproducibility, efficiency and quality of scientific investigations.

Scholars at the Meta-Research Innovation Center, or METRICS, will focus on conducting research about research. Their mission: to promote excellence in research through collaborations around the world. The center’s launch has been made possible through a $6 million grant from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation.

The center will be co-directed by John Ioannidis, MD, DSc, professor of medicine and of health research and policy and director of the Stanford Prevention Research Center, and Steven Goodman, MD, MHS, PhD, professor of medicine and of health research and policy and associate dean for clinical and translational research at the School of Medicine.

“Scientists have made amazing discoveries to date, but we have an opportunity to accelerate advances,” said Ioannidis, who is also the C.F. Rehnborg Professor in Disease Prevention. “Our center is taking a methodical approach to identifying weaknesses in the research enterprise and evaluating ways to enhance its efficiency. We will be looking for ways to reduce biases in study design, data interpretation and outcomes reporting.”

Read the full article from the Stanford School of Medicine here  

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Louisiana residents don't like healthcare reform, but not sure it needs to be repealed

The people of Louisiana aren't fans of healthcare reform or the way in which President Barack Obama handled the issue, but that doesn't necessarily mean they want the law repealed, according to a New York Times Upshot/Kaiser Family Foundation poll.

In a story published Wednesday (April 23), those who conducted the poll suggest the disdain by voters in Louisiana could be enough to impact the outcome in the Senate race between incumbent Mary Landrieu and her top challenger, Rep. Bill Cassidy, R-Baton Rouge.

Of those polled in Louisiana, 52% were in favor of fixing Obamacare, while 44% said the law should be repealed and replaced with something else. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points in each of the states surveyed.

Read the full article from here  

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