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Health Management Technology News
  June 19, 2014
In this issue:
 Can software solve our healthcare crisis?

 Automating laboratory-on-a-chip to cut healthcare costs

 Competition heats up on healthcare exchanges for 2015

 $1,000-a-pill Sovaldi jolts US healthcare system

 Peer-to-peer healthcare, e-patients, and self-tracking drive health's social revolution

 10 key findings from HHS' latest data breach report

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

Can software solve our healthcare crisis?

There is no issue more front and center in today’s news than the U.S. healthcare system. The consequences of this crisis hit home on a personal level, whether it be unnecessary or repeat testing when we visit the doctor’s office, a prolonged waiting period to receive results, or expensive healthcare bills that require a special decoder in order to comprehend.

The system is broken and has been for quite some time. Legislation won’t fix it. CRM can’t even fix it, but Healthcare Relationship Management (HRM) can…

Let me explain:

Solving our current healthcare crisis requires something that other industries have done successfully for decades: efficiently managing complex relationships. But diagnostic healthcare entities require more than what is offered by traditional CRM.

The easiest way to illustrate this point is by thinking of your own experiences in a healthcare setting. What is the first thing your primary care physician typically does when you pay them a visit? They almost always take a blood draw. This draw initiates the process of laboratory testing, which often occurs within a lab business that is external to your physician's office. Based on the results of that blood draw, additional tests may need to be ordered by a specialist, such as a cardiologist, endocrinologist, etc.

Read the full article from here  

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Automating laboratory-on-a-chip to cut healthcare costs

A research team at the University of California, Riverside has created a computer programming language that will automate "laboratory-on-a-chip" technologies used in DNA sequencing, drug discovery, virus detection and other biomedical applications.

A laboratory-on-a-chip is a device that integrates laboratory functions on a chip that is only millimeters or centimeters in size. The technology allows for the automation and miniaturization of biochemical reactions. It has the potential and to improve and reduce the cost of healthcare.

"If you think of the beginning of computers they were basically tools to automate mathematics," said Philip Brisk, an assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at UC Riverside's Bourns College of Engineering. "What are we are creating is devices that could automate chemistry in much the same way."

Read the full article from here  

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Competition heats up on healthcare exchanges for 2015

Insurance companies are gingerly moving onto health care exchanges in some competition-deprived states, and they are requesting rate increases that are largely in line with pre-Obamacare years, state filings show.

A few big and many smaller insurers avoided the 2014 state- and federal-run health care exchanges that sold individual insurance plans as required under the new law. Some blame these insurer absences for higher rates than many people expected under the Affordable Care Act, but that's likely to change for the 2015 plan year, experts say.

"There's a lot more competition now than there was prior to the advent of the ACA," says Ken Fasola, CEO of the independent insurance shopping website HealthMarkets. "There is going to be a lot of movement in the first couple years as insurers get comfortable with the markets."

At least a dozen states have released the names of the insurers — many of them new — that will sell plans on their exchanges in 2015. Aetna isn't leaning toward adding more exchanges this year, but the company is on 17, which is more than any other national insurer, spokeswoman Susan Millerick says. United Healthcare, which Fasola says is expected to expand to several more states, declined to comment.

Read the full article from USA Today here  

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$1,000-a-pill Sovaldi jolts US healthcare system

Your money or your life?

Sovaldi, a new pill for hepatitis C, cures the liver-wasting disease in 9 of 10 patients, but treatment can cost more than $90,000.

Leading medical societies recommend the drug as a first-line treatment, and patients are clamoring for it. But insurance companies and state Medicaid programs are gagging on the price. In Oregon, officials propose to limit how many low-income patients can get Sovaldi.

Yet if Sovaldi didn't exist, insurers would still be paying in the mid-to-high five figures to treat the most common kind of hepatitis C, a new pricing survey indicates. Some of the older alternatives involve more side effects, and are less likely to provide cures.

So what's a fair price?

Read the full article from Yahoo news here  

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Peer-to-peer healthcare, e-patients, and self-tracking drive health's social revolution

There are few sectors where technology is driving changes in society that hold as much promise as healthcare. As I wrote in my last column, my trip to the 2014 Health Datapalooza, an annual gathering in Washington, D.C., reminded me of how much is happening in the intersection of medicine, data analysis, and mobile devices, spurred on by innovation in the public and the private sector.

New Medicare data releases are enabling unprecedented accountability and transparency into the healthcare system. Personal data access opens new doors for patients. Open recall and adverse events data protects consumers.

Wearable computing

At this year's Health Datapalooza Rachel Kalmar, a data scientist at Misfit, showed me many of the wearable options already on the market. She reminded me that, just as the best camera is the one you have in your pocket, the best health data collection device may often be the one on your wrist or your belt.

Read the full article from

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10 key findings from HHS' latest data breach report

HHS has released its latest data breach report to Congress, summarizing breaches of unsecured protected health information for 2011 and 2012.

Here are 10 key findings from HHS' report.

1. Between 2011 and 2012, HHS received 458 reports of data breaches affecting 500 or more individuals. In total, approximately 14.69 million individuals were affected by breaches during those two years.

2. The number of data breaches affecting more than 500 people in 2011 and 2012 accounts for 64.5 percent of all data breaches affecting more than 500 people since the required reporting began in September 2009.

3. Theft was the most common cause of reported data breaches, accounting for 53 percent of all breaches, followed by unauthorized access or disclosure at 18 percent.

4. The largest number of individuals affected by data breaches was also connected with breaches due to theft, at 36 percent of all affected.

5. In 2012, 68 percent of breaches affecting 500 individuals or more occurred at healthcare providers. Twenty-five percent occurred at healthcare business associates and 7 percent occurred at health plans.

Read the full article from Becker’s Hospital Review here  

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Increase Patient Engagement

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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

AMA outlines ways to address physician shortages

AMA adopts telemedicine policy to improve access to care for patients

CMS: Opportunity to apply for Navigator grants

AMA adopts policy to define team-based medical healthcare

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


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