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Health Management Technology News
  June 26, 2014
In this issue:
 Study: Healthcare spending to increase in 2015 after 5-year slump

 CMIOs' pay increasing, but satisfaction decreasing

 Oracle documents: Politics sabotaged Oregon healthcare website

 South Florida hospitals will feel the pinch for patient safety problems

 Hacking healthcare with breakthrough technology

 Hospitals form network to better coordinate care for patients

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.

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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.

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Study: Healthcare spending to increase in 2015 after 5-year slump

Health care spending will rise 6.8 percent in 2015, effectively reversing the five-year contraction in costs in that category, according to a study from Pricewaterhouse Cooper’s Health Research Institute released Tuesday. This is up from the 6.5 percent growth the professional services network company expects for 2014.

The growth projection is primarily based on increasing costs for specialty drugs to treat infections like hepatitis C, which affects about 3.2 million Americans, as well as an improved economy and more confident consumers, who may choose not to delay care as much.

“We saw in 2007 for many years the health care economy contracted just as the rest of the economy was in a recession and sort of slowly pulled out of it,” Ceci Connolly, managing director of PwC’s Health Research Institute and a co-author of the report says. “Now that overall economy has improved and come back significantly, we see for 2015 that health spending is also loosening up.”

The health care industry comprises between one-fifth and one-sixth of the total U.S. economy, Connolly says, and its rate of price inflation outpaces overall inflation by about four percentage points. And, she says, there’s reason to believe that’s growth will track closer to overall economic growth but there’s still “ways to go.”

Read the full article from U.S. News and World Report here  

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CMIOs' pay increasing, but satisfaction decreasing

The average CMIO's salary has increased over the past year, but CMIO job satisfaction has taken a dive during that same time period, according to survey results presented at the Association of Medical Directors of Information Systems Physician-Computer Connection Symposium and reported in CMIO. Survey respondents indicated an average salary of $326,000, a 2.5 percent increase from the $318,000 reported in 2013.

However, reported job satisfaction declined. While more than 50 percent of respondents indicated being "very satisfied" in previous years, 43 percent indicated being "somewhat satisfied" in 2014.

Additionally, 50 percent of respondents indicating feeling "somewhat successful" in 2014. Vi Shaffer, research vice president of healthcare for Gartner, AMDIS' partner for conducting the survey, said this finding may be associated with CMIOs' transitory role in having to manage technology's impact on value and being accountable for business results.

Read the full article from Becker’s Hospital Report here  

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Oracle documents: Politics sabotaged Oregon healthcare website

Amid calls for a federal investigation of Oregon's health insurance exchange -- the most dysfunctional state project of its kind -- Oracle reportedly is fighting to avoid taking the blame for the failed exchange by arguing that its software worked but wasn't allowed to go live for political reasons.

In documents provided to the US House Energy and Commerce Committee, Oracle claimed the website could have gone live in February "but that the state of Oregon pulled the plug on it for political reasons," reported TV station KATU, based on a PowerPoint presentation and other correspondence it obtained that was provided to the committee. Information Week has requested from the committee, but not yet received, copies of the same documents. An Oracle spokeswoman declined to make the materials available or to comment on its dispute with the state of Oregon.

Read the full article from Information Week

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South Florida hospitals will feel the pinch for patient safety problems

South Florida hospitals will feel the latest pinch from the Affordable Care Act this fall when Medicare reduces their payments for the first time for excessive rates of infections and other preventable injuries to patients, including blood clots, bedsores and falls, according to federal data.

Among the 31 Florida hospitals at risk of having their payments reduced, seven are in South Florida, the data shows. Of those, two were among the 10 hospitals with the highest penalty scores in the state — Broward Health Coral Springs and Kendall Regional Medical Center.

Known as the Hospital-Acquired Condition Reduction Program, the crackdown on patient injuries will punish a quarter of the nation's hospitals with the worst rates by reducing every Medicare payment to those hospitals by 1 percent for a year, starting in October.

Total estimated sanctions: $330 million over a year.

Read the full article from The Miami Herald

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Hacking healthcare with breakthrough technology

“I carry a ‘faulty’ gene, BRCA1…I had an 87 percent risk of breast cancer and a 50 percent risk of ovarian cancer,” Angelina Jolie explained last year in her New York Times op-ed announcing her decision to undergo preventive double mastectomy. In a recent cover interview with Entertainment Weekly leading up to the opening of her film Maleficent, Jolie utilized the publicity to announce plans for continued preemptive surgery, casting a celebrity-revved spotlight on the role of genes in healthcare.

Yet for all the recent buzz over Jolie’s medical roller coaster, the topic of genetics is nothing new – 60 years have gone by since Watson and Crick made their breakthrough DNA discoveries, and we have reached new heights in the past decade by mapping the full human genome. And from what we have learned, we know that BRCA1 is just one of many possible genetic mutations of more than 32,000 genes comprising three billion base pairs.

Many scientific leaps and billions of data points later, how exactly are these advances in genomics improving healthcare? Today, sequencing a full human genome costs $1500 and takes 27 hours; while these figures are minuscule compared to the billions of dollars and years invested in the Human Genome Project, this process is far from being fully informative and accessible to all. Even affordable genetic data service 23andMe which once offered health-related genetic reports told my friend Josh that the conclusions drawn from his data may not actually apply to him. Josh is Chinese but most historical genomic data is based on people of European descent. Many years and countless technological innovations later, we’re still a long way from translating information into meaningful outcomes for the best possible healthcare – for all.

Read the full article from Forbes here  

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Hospitals form network to better coordinate care for patients

Lake Regional Health System has joined other healthcare providers from around the state to form a network in order to provide more healthcare options for patients.

Bothwell Regional Health Center in Sedalia, Capital Region Medical Center in Jefferson City, Hannibal Regional Healthcare System, Lake Regional Health System in Osage Beach and University of Missouri Health Care in Columbia have formed a collaborative network to improve access and better coordinate health care for patients in the communities they serve.

The five founding members of the Health Network of Missouri have more than 1,000 hospital beds, more than 9,300 employees and approximately 1,000 employed and affiliated physicians. They serve patients in adjacent counties throughout central and northeast Missouri.

“The nation’s health-care delivery system is changing rapidly,” said Harold A. Williamson Jr., M.D., executive vice chancellor of health affairs for the University of Missouri. “Hospitals and health systems must be innovative in developing ways to improve the health of populations, enhance the experience and outcomes of patients, and reduce per capita cost of care for the benefit of communities.”

The Health Network of Missouri is structured to allow members to work together as partners on common goals while enabling each hospital or health system to serve the health care needs of its own community and preserve its independence and unique identity. Each system will have equal representation in governance of the network.

Read the full article from Lake News Online

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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

CMS fraud prevention system identified or prevented $210 million in improper payments

Secretary Burwell announces steps to bolster management and accountability

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


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