The White House releases the final Data Security Policy Principles and Framework for President Obama’s Precision Medicine Initiative. The framework, which builds on the existing PMI Privacy and Trust Principles, establishes security expectations for PMI participants, and offers a risk-management approach to achieving those expectations. Over 40 private-sector organizations, including seven EHR vendors, have already committed to the initiative.
Announcements and Implementations
Medical Advantage Group adds Live Compliance’s HIPAA compliance and training program to its HIPAA consulting services.
CVS Health MinuteClinics roll out an online wait time and appointment reservation app at select stores. The new tool will be available at the company’s Target-based clinics later this year.
Change Healthcare (fka Emdeon) offers its Revenue Performance Advisor tool with SourceMed’s PM and Ease Eligibility technologies to outpatient providers.
Sharon Wolf (UMassMemorial Medical Center) joins FluidEdge Consulting as vice president of business intelligence and informatics.
The Vermont Information Technology Leaders Board of Directors elects Bruce Bullock, MD (Marble Valley Health Networks) chair, and welcomes new board members Michael Del Trecco (Vermont Association of Hospital and Health Systems), Rep. Avram Patt, Richard Elmore (Allscripts), and Jerry Ford (Marathon Health).
Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock
Consulting and practice management firm Nueterra Physical Therapy rebrands to PT Partners to better attract new business from clinics, ACOs, and hospitals.
Government and Politics
Principal Deputy National Coordinator Vindell Washington, MD blogs about the ways in which technology has supported his journey from a combat hospital in Haiti to an ER residency to physician practice in Louisiana. Though physicians have more to lean on the first-generation personal digital assistants, Washington notes that the promise of health IT has yet to be fully realized:
“To get there, useful and useable electronic health information needs to flow freely, from research institutions and quality improvement body databases, to EHRs and other transactional systems, to consumer-facing apps, and back again. This data ecosystem can and does enhance clinical care at the bedside—as I have seen in my own practice many times over. This is part of the true promise of health IT.”
CMS Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt sits down with the Massachusetts Medical Society to discuss MACRA, interoperability, registries, and the agency’s determination to listen to physician feedback, while stressing that the move to alternative payment models will happen in iterations. An excerpt:
“The point I was making about the iPhone is that we are in early generations of some of these payment models. The clinicians who participate should be aware that models are meant to reinforce the good practice of medicine, but the models are not going to be perfect. The models are going to have to get better over time based upon how they get used in the real world and improved upon. For instance, in our second generation models we have made changes, like adding telemedicine or adding patient incentives to make sure that the patient is aligned with their physician in staying healthy.
And where did the changes come from? They came from listening to physicians and patients. The physicians tell us this model would be better if it could do this, if it could do that. And that’s the thinking that has to continue. So, like any other good, user-driven program, we want an ongoing dialogue so that year over year the program improves for patients and clinicians.”
Perhaps healthcare needs to take a cue from Microsoft, which now allows administrators to ban too-easy-to-hack passwords like “123456” and the always popular “password.” The move is timely, given last week’s news that hackers were selling 117 million LinkedIn usernames and passwords, and survey results indicating that the average US consumer values improved security over Internet speed. (Millenials were the exception to the rule, with the majority of that age group only too happy to give up what shred of privacy they have left for faster connections.)