Telemedicine is one of the fastest growing sectors of the healthcare industry. How fast? In 2015, about 1 million patients used a telemedicine service; over the next three years, that number grew to 7 million. And many industry experts expect 2019 to be the “tipping point” at which telemedicine truly scales up across all areas of healthcare.
The United States government passed the 21st Century Cures Act in December 2016 that paved the way for a more streamlined device and drug approval process. The objective of this act was to bring new treatments to the market faster. While the debate in mainstream media focused on the merits of approving drugs based on weaker evidence and bypassing randomized, controlled trials, there were other provisions in the law that were truly remarkable.
As Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) take on more risk under the new Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP), they must provide quality care while generating cost savings. This challenge is especially pronounced within the fast-growing senior population, the group most likely to experience a serious or advanced illness and who often need extensive healthcare services.
Contrary to popular belief, pharmaceutical companies are not solely responsible for the opioid crisis we’re now experiencing. Physicians are also to blame. Pharmas tell us that only 1 in 1,000 patients become addicted to opioids, so don’t fear them. Meanwhile, physicians are naturally and understandably patient-focused, so their primary concern has always been to do whatever they can to relieve a patient’s pain in the most effective manner possible. In general, we were led to believe that opioid addiction and withdrawal are associated with long-term use, not as the result of the treatment decisions made while a patient is in the hospital.
Hospitals and other healthcare organizations are in the midst of a digital revolution that’s forcing them to change their traditional ways of capturing, storing, and sharing information. To keep up with their needs for greater IT infrastructure agility, performance, security, and compliance, many savvy healthcare organizations are exploring the benefits of the public cloud.
The healthcare industry is transitioning to a more integrated care delivery and payment management model in which multiple providers in multiple facilities are required to work more closely together, share more information electronically, and accept bundled, value-based reimbursements for care cycles.
5 Key Steps Companies Can Take to Start or Accelerate Their Digital Health Strategy.
Blessing Hospital, located in Quincy, Illinois, serves a 15-county area that covers southeast Iowa, northeast Missouri, and western Illinois. A not-for-profit, not-tax-supported, independent hospital, Blessing has 300 beds, a medical staff of more than 240 physicians, and a team of more than 2,000 employees. A new $70 million patient care addition will be ready early in 2015.
Many industry leaders championed a free market approach to healthcare during the 12th Annual World Health Care Congress last week. Here are a few key reasons why I don’t think this model is “the fix” our industry so desperately needs.
Health Information Exchanges or HIEs are systems designed to facilitate the transfer of clinical information among disparate health care information systems. The importance of an HIE comes from the need to retain the integrity and meaning of the data being transferred, allowing different systems to share information seamlessly. This information sharing can improve quality and safety of patient care by giving healthcare professionals instant access to information about patients that may not have historically been available as quickly as needed. HIEs can also help educate consumers and patients and involve them in their own wellness by providing them with their healthcare information via the web.
Benefits of HIEs include reduction in manual labor required for printing, faxing, and scanning documents, reduction in mailing costs associated with transferring patient charts and records, reduction in time and effort required to verify physical receipt of information or recover missing information, and a reduction in duplicate work. These benefits from HIE can provide lower healthcare costs for consumers and lower operational costs for providers. In addition, HIEs have helped to facilitate the emergence of new technology and health care services.
In the United States, regulations regarding HIEs are still being defined. Meaningful Use and state-sponsored HIEs — along with fluctuating regulations among states — are causing rapid changes and advancements to occur in the HIE space.
Carequality and CommonWell Health Alliance join forces to further interoperability. By Christine Kern, contributing writer