This week's highlights: Medicare Payment Advisory Commission recommends hospitals receive a 3.3% raise in 2021, the ONC releases an updated version of the HealthIT Playbook, and a confirmed case of a new virus.
• The ONC released a draft five-year health IT strategic plan with a focus on APIs and access to data through smartphone apps. The draft plan outlines federal health information technology goals and objectives to ensure that individuals have access to their electronic health information to help enable them to manage their health and shop for care, and was developed in collaboration with more than 25 federal organizations. It is open for public comment until March 18th.
• The looming release of data-sharing rules for health care have sparked an intense lobbying fight, with hospitals, digital health firms and patient access groups joining a battle that pits the promise of care coordination and streamlined research against nightmares over compliance and privacy.
• The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission on Thursday voted unanimously to recommend hospitals receive a 3.3% raise in 2021.
• HHS proposed reversing an Obama administration policy so faith-based health and social service providers receiving federal funds no longer would have to inform clients about services they don't provide for religious reasons and would not have to refer them to alternative providers.
• HelpAround, a digital platform that helps patients navigate health service options, announced that it scored $6 million in funding.
• Healthcare executives emphasized revenue diversification, rather than admissions, during the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference.
• A new site called CancerSurvivalRates.com launched this month with a mission is to make information about cancer prognoses more accessible to patients and families.
• WebMD adds a prescription savings tool for consumers to its website.
• Epic decides to stop pursuing integrations with Google Cloud based on a lack of customer interest, according to a CNBC report that adds that the EHR vendor will instead focus on AWS and Microsoft Azure. Cerner made a similar decision last year.
• This week, the ONC released an updated version of the Health IT Playbook, a tool developed in 2016 to help clinical practices make the most of their health IT investment and reduce the burden of EHRs.
• U.S. politicians expressed concerns about the accuracy and growing use of facial recognition software, at a hearing on Wednesday. The EU Commission is also considering a ban on use of facial recognition in public areas for up to five years.
• Apple dropped plans to let iPhone users fully encrypt backups of their devices in the company’s iCloud service after the FBI complained that the move would harm investigations.
• KLAS has released a report comparing the performance of eight services firms and software vendors which offer value-based care managed services.
• The United States has its first confirmed case of a new virus that appeared in Wuhan, China, last month, the CDC announced Tuesday.
• The Navin, Haffty & Associates January newsletter summarizes MEDITECH’s plans for HIMSS 2020 and reviews the upcoming requirements for 2019 PI Stage 3 and MIPS attestations.
• Researchers determine that wearables may have an important role to play in future efforts to predict and react to flu outbreaks.
• Researchers at UC San Francisco determine that physicians prescribe fewer opioids when default settings related to the preset number of opioids are adjusted downwards in the EHR.
• Becker’s Healthcare published a list of MEDITECH accomplishments during the past year.
• An article in the Journal of the American Medical Association looks at the potential role of social media in preventive health care.