Each day at Schwartz MSL, the Healthcare IT Practice shares news items on topics of interest with our clients. Here are some recent highlights:
What is really driving up healthcare costs
According to a report from the Health Care Cost Institute, a Washington, DC-based research group, spending on healthcare costs for commercially insured children under age 18 grew faster than spending for adults from 2007 to 2010. HCCI had access to three billion health insurance claims from Aetna, Humana, and UnitedHealthcare.
New FDA law paves way for mHealth regulations
The mobile health software industry breathed a sigh of relief after President Obama on July 9 signed new legislation that gave the FDA a green light to continue developing mHealth regulations,” said Joseph Smith, chief medical and science officer for the West Wireless Health Institute. In the House-Senate conference on the measure, it was decided that the FDA could go forward while HHS developed the report on a ‘regulatory framework for health information technology, including mobile medical applications, that promotes innovation, protects patient safety and avoids regular duplication.’
Healthcare M&A activity surges in Q2
Margaret Dick Tocknell at HealthLeaders discussed a report on M&A activity in the healthcare industry by Levin Associates, Inc. The firm found the dollar value of healthcare services mergers and acquisitions tripled during the second quarter of 2012 compared with M&A activity during the comparable quarter in 2011. They also expect to see an uptick in 2012 M&A activity now that the Supreme Court has upheld the individual mandate. The technology segment, which includes medical devices and pharmaceuticals, continues to dwarf the services segment in the value of its transactions.
3 steps to quality pay for physicians
Physicians, both employed and independent, need to take steps to ensure they are receiving the appropriate share of pay-for-performance or value-based purchasing bonuses, medical consultants say. Whether the quality pay program is from a health system, insurer, accountable care organization, patient-centered medical home or some other model, physicians need to understand what metrics they have to meet. A survey of 182 health care organizations by the international business consultancy Hay Group released Oct. 17, 2011, found that 66% incorporated quality measures into incentive programs for physicians.”
Folding health information exchange into relevant clinical practice
Physician Jonathan Gold, regional chief medical informatics officer (CMIO) for Catholic Health Initiatives, spoke at the iHT2 health IT summit in Denver on his vision for organizing information and developing physician workflow. He said that information exchange is not just about establishing a repository of static data that sits and waits for people to access it. One way to ensure health information exchanges (HIEs) become these types of vibrant networks is to utilize and leverage search engine power. By harnessing the intuitive nature of algorithms like those of Google, Bing and Watson, health IT leaders have the opportunity to transform how clinicians investigate patient conditions, and determine diagnosis and treatments. The use of electronic health records and mandates through the HITECH Act all support the increased sharing of patient information through HIEs.
Posted by Davida Dinerman on July 27, 2012 at 5:29 PM