Docs debate health reform, drive ACO growth; Medicaid expansion in states' hands; Choosing an HIE; Cloud computing growth and more!
Each day at Schwartz MSL, the Healthcare IT Practice shares news items on topics of interest with our clients. Even with a short work week, the news did not stop flowing. The conversation continues about the Supreme Court’s decision on health reform. Here are a few stories about that and other headlines.
Medicaid Expansion Now in States' Hands
Margaret Tocknell of Health Leaders Media writes about a critical aspect of the health reform bill: “Hospitals are facing a showdown with state officials over the U.S. Supreme Court's decision on the expansion of Medicaid under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Last week the court ruled that states couldn't be coerced into agreeing to the expansion, which would have added an estimated 17 million to the Medicaid rolls. Instead, states may simply decide not to participate in the expansion, which is 100% financed with federal funds for the first three years and then 90% covered for the next seven.”
Why Hospitals Love the Medicaid Expansion
The Washington Post wrote a story talking about the AHA’s favorable opinion of the Medicaid expansion. “If one industry can claim to have the most riding on states participating in the health law's Medicaid expansion, it's near-certainly hospitals. They have nearly $40 billion riding on whether states sign up or not. Hospitals regularly get stuck with bills that the uninsured cannot afford to pay. Every year, the American Hospital Association adds all those bills up to calculate the total amount of uncompensated care that its members provide. Every year, the number gets bigger and bigger, hitting $39.3 billion in 2010.
Doctors Debate Supreme Court Ruling
Also in Health Leaders Media, Joe Cantlupe talks about the debate among physicians on the Supreme Court ruling. “Physicians opposed to healthcare reform may feel like they're caught in a "Back to The Future" scenario. All that hope and hype over lawsuits against healthcare reform for the past two years has gotten physicians squarely back to 2010, when it all started. Many physicians who deride healthcare reform call it ‘Obamacare,’ just as disapproving non-healthcare professionals do. Should they now call it ‘Supreme Court care,’ too? In its 195-page decision, the court mentioned the word "physicians" only twice and ‘doctors’ not at all.”
Physicians Driving ACO Growth
American Medical News’ Victoria Stagg Elliott wrote about a report issued on June 13 by Leavitt Partners, a consultancy based in Salt Lake City, which found that 221 accountable care organizations operated in 45 states as of the end of May. This represented a 35% increase from the 164 in 41 states identified in September 2011 in a report released Nov. 29, 2011, by the organization. She also reported that physicians are driving this growth as they feel this is where the industry is going.
How to Choose a Health Information Exchange
Pamela Lewis Dolan, also of American Medical News, wrote that “a year ago, most physicians hoping to connect with a health information exchange probably weren’t faced with decisions such as statewide versus communitywide, or public versus private. There was an estimated 40% growth in the HIE market last year, most of it from private organizations, according to health information technology market research firm Chilmark Research. As a result, depending on the size of their community, physicians may have two or three choices in HIEs, which allow them to exchange health information with other physicians and hospitals electronically.” Some issues to consider are: efficiencies the practice hopes to gain; geographic footprint of patient population; and business model/sustainability.
Healthcare Cloud Computing (Clinical, EMR, SaaS, Private, Public, Hybrid) Market - Global Trends, Challenges, Opportunities & Forecasts (2012 - 2017)
“Technologies in the healthcare IT industry are converging with time and are far outpacing the legacy systems used by hospitals and healthcare providers,” reported the Sacramento Bee. Recently, cloud technology has started replacing these legacy systems and offers easier and faster access to this data as defined by the way it is stored i.e. public, private or hybrid. All the above factors bring the market for cloud computing to grow at a CAGR of 20.5% from 2010 to 2017 in healthcare. Although cloud computing offers significant advantages to HCOs and other stakeholders, it has set of restraints. Security of patient information, interoperability and compliance with government regulations are some of the factors which are slowing down this market.”
eHealth Initiative calls for flexible health information exchange regulations
Dan Bowman of FierceHealthIT wrote about the warning letter from the Washington, D.C.-based eHealth Initiative to the US Department of Health & Human Services which states that ..regulations proposed by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT for governing health information exchange could "stifle innovation" and "hinder growth." The eHI called for laws that support a "more flexible framework" to allow for continuous innovation. ‘The focus for ONC should be on interoperability, as there are unmet needs in this area,’ the letter said.”
Posted by Davida Dinerman on July 9, 2012 at 6:41 AM