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Health Management Technology News
  June 30, 2014
In this issue:
 Obama to nominate ex-Procter & Gamble chief to lead Veterans Affairs Department

 Google: 100,000 lives a year lost through fear of data-mining

 Salesforce and Philips partner in ambitious health data venture

 No criminal charges to be filed in Bay Park patient data breach case

 Healthcare system needs to prepare for global warming

 50 top-grossing for-profit hospitals in 2014

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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Do you really need a VNA?
Many CIOs and IT Managers don’t know when they need to implement a Vendor Neutral Archive into their enterprise, luckily we do.

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Obama to nominate ex-Procter & Gamble chief to lead Veterans Affairs Department

President Obama intends on Monday to nominate Bob McDonald, a former chief of Procter & Gamble, to be the next secretary of veterans affairs, administration officials said Sunday.

The president last month accepted the resignation of Eric Shinseki, the retired four-star general tapped in 2009 to lead the agency, whose health system has been rocked by allegations of mismanagement and cover-ups of long patient waiting times. By appointing Mr. McDonald, Mr. Obama is betting that a new leader can overcome deep bureaucratic problems and the mismanagement that stemmed, in part, from a surge in the number of veterans needing care.

A White House official said that the president would formally nominate Mr. McDonald on Monday. If he is confirmed by the Senate, Mr. McDonald would head an agency that runs the country’s largest integrated health care network, with more than 1,700 facilities that serve more than 8 million veterans a year. He would become the second person to lead the troubled agency for Mr. Obama.

Mr. McDonald will become the second person to lead the troubled agency for Mr. Obama.At Procter & Gamble, Mr. McDonald oversaw more than 120,000 employees as he directed a company that had operations across the globe. Officials noted Sunday that Mr. McDonald’s former company served more than 5 billion customers.

“Described by his business peers as a ‘master at complex operations.’ McDonald brings gravitas and well-honed management chops to the VA,” an administration official said.

Read the full article from The New York Times

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Google: 100,000 lives a year lost through fear of data-mining

Fear of data-mining of healthcare could be costing as many as 100,000 lives a year, according to Google's Larry Page.

Speaking out in response to fears over his company's vast haul of personal information, Page made the case that not only is Google not going too far with collecting and analyzing such information – it's not going far enough.

“For me, I’m so excited about the possibilities to improve things for people, my worry would be the opposite," he told the New York Times's Farhad Manjoo. "We get so worried about these things that we don’t get the benefits … Right now we don’t data-mine healthcare data. If we did we’d probably save 100,000 lives next year."

Page was speaking after Google's introductory keynote to its I/O developers conference, where the firm showed off a rehauled design for the 12th major release of Android, as well as its Android Wear operating system for smartwatches, and its third attempt to dominate the living room, Android TV.

The keynote closed with the introduction of Google Fit, the company's new fitness and health tracking platform. With sensors on mobile devices, including Android Wear smart watches, users will be able to share health Data with apps such as weight loss program Noom, which can monitor weight, eating habits and workout data to make suggestions that will improve your health. The platform is similar in scope to the HealthKit feature announced by Apple in early June.

"I think technology is changing people’s lives a lot, and we’re feeling it," Page told Manjoo. "In the early days of Street View, this was a huge issue, but it’s not really a huge issue now. People understand it now and it’s very useful . And it doesn’t really change your privacy that much. A lot of these things are like that."

Read the full article from The Guardian here  

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Salesforce and Philips partner in ambitious health data venture

Salesforce and Royal Philips NV have partnered in an ambitious venture to build a health platform that will connect healthcare providers, insurers, and healthcare consumers.

The two companies envision an open technology platform that will collect health data from a wide range of clinical machines and information systems, and also from wellness apps and devices outside the healthcare system.

A new wave of health platforms from large technology companies (like Google and Apple) has focused mainly on wellness and fitness data from wearable consumer devices. But many in the healthcare industry feel that aggregating that kind of data won’t directly help the healthcare system.

The Philips/Salesforce platform might be different. Judging by the webcast the companies held early Thursday to introduce the platform, the focus is more clinical than consumer. In fact, Philips CEO Frans van Houten said as much in his opening remarks.

Phillips is already deeply entrenched in healthcare systems worldwide. Its medical devices, health information platforms, home healthcare technology, and clinical monitoring systems are commonplace in hospitals. Phillips says that 190 million patients were monitored by its clinical systems last year.

Read the full article from VentureBeat here  

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No criminal charges to be filed in Bay Park patient data breach case

Oregon Police said Friday that they will not file charges against a ProMedica employee after a criminal investigation into a breach of patient data at Bay Park Hospital.

The security breach, which was announced by ProMedica in May, was suspected to have compromised personal health information for nearly 600 patients at the facility. At a Friday press conference, officials from the Oregon Police Department and ProMedica stated that an investigation showed no patient information such as social security numbers or financial information had been compromised.

However, officials did say that a HIPAA investigation will continue.

Read the full article from here  

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Healthcare system needs to prepare for global warming

Climate change is happening, and with that will come more deaths from heat-related illness and disease, according to a report released Tuesday. The report, spearheaded and funded by investor and philanthropist Thomas Steyer, former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, examines many of the effects of climate change for business and individuals.

"One of the most striking findings in our analysis is that increasing heat and humidity in some parts of the country could lead to outside conditions that are literally unbearable to humans, who must maintain a skin temperature below 95°F in order to effectively cool down and avoid fatal heat stroke," the report's authors wrote. They use a "Humid Heat Stroke Index" that combines heat and humidity levels to measure how close they come to the point where the body is unable to cool its core temperature. So far the nation has never reached that level, "but if we continue on our current climate path, this will change, with residents in the eastern half of the U.S. experiencing one such day a year on average by century's end and nearly thirteen such days per year into the next century."

Dr. Al Sommer, the dean emeritus of the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University, was on the committee that oversaw the development of the report. He says that often overlooked in the current debate about greenhouse gases and climate change is the effect of global warming on individuals and hospitals.

"There will be places that are heavily populated that will see four months in a row with 95-degree-and-over weather. You won't be able to let your kids play outside," he told KHN. "The average will be miserable. When your sweat can't evaporate, you have no way to moderate core body temperature, and some people will die. That's why you had 700 deaths in Chicago in a one week period in 1995. We're going to have a lot of those periods."

Read the full article from MedPage here  

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50 top-grossing for-profit hospitals in 2014

Here are the 50 top-grossing for-profit hospitals in the United States based on gross revenue, according to CMS cost report data analyzed by American Hospital Directory. Data are for short term acute-care hospitals, critical access hospitals and children's hospitals.

Methodist Hospital (San Antonio)— $5.69 billion

Baptist Medical Center (San Antonio)— $5.3 billion

CJW Medical Center-Chippenham Campus (Richmond, Va.) — $3.8 billion

Doctors Medical Center of Modesto (Calif.) — $3.49 billion

Oklahoma University Medical Center (Oklahoma City) — $3.46 billion

Sunrise Hospital & Medical Center (Las Vegas) — $3.33 billion

Medical City Hospital (Dallas) — $3.23 billion

Brookwood Medical Center (Birmingham, Ala.) — $3.21 billion

Hahnemann University Hospital (Philadelphia) — $3.11 billion

Las Palmas Medical Center (El Paso, Texas) — $2.96 billion

Read the full article from Becker’s Hospital Review here  

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July 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 announces auto-enrollment plans for current Marketplace consumers for 2015

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


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