HCIT News of the week: Desktops for docs; Healthcare options for 20-somethings; Why healthcare pays more for IT; New ACOs unveiled; Top HIEs by IDC
Each day at Schwartz MSL, the Healthcare IT Practice shares news items on topics of interest with our clients. Here are some recent highlights:
Desktops still dominate at physician offices
Emily Berry of American Medical News interviewed Pediatric hospitalist Rishi Agrawal, MD, MPH of La Rabida Children’s Hospital in Chicago who said, “Sometimes you have to do a lot of multitasking, so you need a lot of computing power and screen real estate.’ The mainstay of physician computing has a slew of newer, portable rivals — laptops, tablet computers and smartphones. But the desktop remains the go-to computing tool for many doctors.”
Healthcare options for young, healthy and broke
USA Today asked and answered questions on the minds of the 20--somethings. The healthcare law says almost all Americans should get insurance coverage by 2014. The annual fine for shrugging off the new federal insurance requirement, which is to begin in 2014, starts out at a relatively low $95, depending on income. That would be far cheaper than paying premiums. Millions of young, healthy and broke people will qualify for good deals on health care if they take time to sort through the complicated law (www.healthcare.gov). Many will get Medicaid coverage at virtually no cost. Others will qualify for private insurance at a fraction of the full premiums. And health plans offered under the law will limit individuals' out-of-pocket expenses to about $6,250 per year or less.
Why healthcare pays more than other industries for IT
A paper by Net(net), which bills itself as a consultancy specializing in IT optimization, found that healthcare organizations pay an average 17 percent more than that of the other 29 industries sampled -- 33 percent more than the industry with the lowest average costs (food service). And that reality spans the gamut of IT, including financial applications, Microsoft desktop productivity licenses, networking equipment, servers, storage – even vertical applications specifically for healthcare from vendors including Epic, McKesson and Cerner.
Aetna, Cigna, Blues unveil new ACOs
“Several health insurers made moves this week to launch accountable care organizations (ACOs), further demonstrating the industry's hope that ACOs can help defray rising costs,” wrote Dina Overlad of FierceHealthPayer.com. Aetna is collaborating with New Jersey's Hunterdon Medical Center and its 225 affiliated primary care physicians and specialists in an ACO to enhance care coordination and revamp payment models. Aetna is leveraging its health IT capabilities to help identify missed preventative-care opportunities and close gaps in care.
Top Health Information Exchange Vendors Ranked By IDC
IDC Health Insights has identified several top vendors offering technology tools and strategies for health information exchanges (HIEs) building statewide exchanges. Their evaluations, outlined in two recently released reports by Lynne Dunbrack,IDC Health Insights' program director for connected health IT strategies, highlight the shifting landscape of an evolving HIE market. Dunbrack noted that two years ago HIE executives were focused on connecting the ecosystem and making plans to transmit data between health organizations to qualify for Meaningful Use incentives. Today the focus has shifted to harnessing the data into ‘actionable information’ that supports accountable care organizations (ACOs) and coordinated care initiatives.
Posted by Davida Dinerman on July 23, 2012 at 11:13 AM