Providers at the Allegheny Health Network may now access the EHRs of veterans that are stored at any of the Department of Veterans Affairs' 1,233 centers across the US, including the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System, via the agency's Virtual Lifetime Electronic Record. More than 1,700 documents have been shared between the organizations since they began the partnership last fall.
A study in the online journal Value in Health showed that telemedicine visits could save one person $156 in direct travel costs, four hours of driving time and 278 miles over 20 years. Researchers evaluated inpatient and outpatient interactive video visits for 19,246 patients at the University of California Davis Health in Sacramento from 1996 to 2013 and found that telemedicine improved patient care, benefited primary care physicians who were able to interact with specialists more often and also provided environmental benefits.
Med Center Health in Bowling Green, Ky., announced that a former employee stole confidential patient billing information from an encrypted CD and USB drive in August 2014 and February 2015. The stolen information included the names, diagnosis and procedure codes, medical service charges, health insurance data and Social Security numbers of patients treated at several Med Center Health facilities.
Blockchain technology could boost data security and interoperability in EHR systems, as well as improve cost efficiency in health care processes, writes D'Arcy Guerin Gue, vice president of industry relations at Phoenix Health Systems. However, barriers such as lack of blockchain awareness among health care executives, inadequate technical standards and regulatory uncertainties should be addressed before the technology gains traction in the industry, she writes.
A survey from Premier found that health care C-suite leaders are focusing on five areas under the Trump administration, including: cost management, specifically in drug spending; using analytics to prioritize meaningful insights over meaningful use; promoting consumer engagement; moving toward population health; and continuing to focus on clinical quality. The survey included 63 health care executives, including CIOs, CMOs, CTIOs and others, contacted between Jan. 3 and Feb. 6.
Sixty-four percent of health care providers surveyed by Stoltenburg Consulting reported being either unprepared or very unprepared to implement the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act. The poll also found that 68% of respondents said clinical, financial and IT departments should cooperate in MACRA preparation and compliance.
Following a nationwide referendum on June 23, 2016, the United Kingdom is about to begin its formal withdrawal from the EU (known as Brexit) by triggering Article 50 of The Treaty on European Union. The final terms of the UK's new relationship with the EU following its withdrawal are yet to be decided. With uncertainty continuing, businesses operating in or trading with companies based in the UK and EU are keen to learn how they may be affected. Read more.
Sandia National Laboratories has developed a low-cost mobile device that uses a smartphone app to identify the presence of Zika, dengue and other mosquito-borne diseases in blood, saliva and urine samples. The device uses loop-mediated isothermal amplification that, with the aid of custom biochemical agents and DNA "primer" molecules, indicates traces of the virus when the sample is heated and molecules fluoresce.
CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing technology gives scientists new power to edit animals' DNA, helping them to live longer and avoid diseases, but it's also just the latest tool in a long history of human influence over animals and plants, mostly through low-tech means such as breeding. Gene editing adds a new level of safety and precision to these processes, but FDA restrictions may prevent some of the benefits of this technology from being realized, writes Neil Bhavsar.
The HHS has appointed former Louisiana Rep. John Fleming as deputy assistant secretary for health technology. Fleming said he plans to work on policies that encourage physician use of health technology by reducing paperwork and providing pay incentives, and would like to remove barriers preventing the transfer of information to digital filing systems.