Healthcare IT Trends to Watch: No waiting for SCOTUS; Barriers to meeting Meaningful Use; Collaboration for care coordination; Value of mobile health and Technology's role in healthcare
Each day at Schwartz MSL, the Healthcare IT Practice shares news items on topics of interest to our clients. Following is a glimpse at some of the stories from the past week:
No Time to Wait
Nina Bernstein wrote a piece in the New York Times titled, “Hospitals Aren’t Waiting for Verdict on Healthcare Law.” She reports that administrators are saying that win, lose or draw in court, the policies driving the federal health care law are already embedded in big cuts and new payment formulas that hospitals ignore at their peril. And even if the law is repealed after the next election, the economic pressure to care differently for more people at lower cost is irreversible. Read more about what some hospitals in NYC are doing due to the population of patients they must see.
Electronic Quality Reporting Poses Major Challenges
Ken Terry of iHealthBeat explains that one of the biggest barriers to meeting the Stage 1 meaningful use criteria for government electronic health record incentives has been the collection of data for clinical quality measures. In its comments on the proposed rule for meaningful use Stage 2, the American Hospital Association told CMS that hospitals had encountered "significant difficulty" in using EHRs to do quality reporting in Stage 1. Citing "inaccurate e-specifications" for the electronic measures and "unworkable, but certified, vendor products," AHA asked CMS not to add any additional measures in Stage 2, but to help providers and vendors "get it right" on quality reporting.
Collaboration for Better Care Coordination
According to the 2012 HealthLeaders Media Economics of Better Care Survey, initiating collaborative relationships is the key to improved quality, most healthcare leaders say. Many also agree that major increases in HIT spending are necessary, but others are more cautious about spending for technology improvements. And more than two-thirds see transparency as improving quality of care, while a sizeable minority has reservations about it. At the same time, healthcare leaders are reluctant to engage in shared savings programs as a risk-sharing, cost-reduction tactic: 63% say they have no plans for such programs, which are a foundation of the evolving accountable care organization models.
Doctors and Patients Disagree on the Value of Mobile Health
A recent PwC survey titled “Emerging mHealth: Paths for Growth” found that about half of consumers believe mobile health technology will improve healthcare. But the report also says that, although the public is enthusiastic about mobile health tech, most doctors aren't as enamored with patients' use of it. In a video posted on the PwC website, Christopher Wasden, PwC global healthcare innovation leader, offers his perspective: “With mobile technology, consumers are now empowered with information on price, services, wait times, and quality. ... So they start making decisions like they would in any other marketplace.”
Technology is Healthcare’s Middle Name
The Institute of Medicine recently released a discussion paper in which 11 executive leaders from leading hospital and healthcare systems (Cleveland Clinic, Partners HealthCare, Kaiser Permanente, among others) shared their top 10 strategies for transforming the industry. The use of technology was a common theme on the list.
Posted by Davida Dinerman on June 18, 2012 at 9:29 AM