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What We’ve Been Reading – Week of August 18

by John Moore lll | August 21, 2014

This week we are introducing a new recurring segment on our blog – instead of solely supplying our dear readers with new content from our analysts, we thought it would be valuable to provide some insight into what we find ourselves reading every week. Below is our first installment, and as you will see, there was no shortage of illuminating content published this week in the world of health IT and policy. Over time, your engagement with these articles will help us figure out which of the many publications we read each week will provide you with the most value. Now if only engaging patients were as easy as engaging you, our loyal readers!

Medicare to Start Paying Doctors Who Coordinate Needs of Chronically Ill Patients
Robert Pear for the New York Times
“Long rumored and talked about, paying providers for care coordination is an overdue acknowledgement that the POC does not always mean face-to-face.” -Brian
CMS announced plans to pay for between-visit care coordination, including needs assessments, medication monitoring, transitions of care, and more. This is great for the adoption of mobile tools for third parties, but the EHR will still be the bottleneck for workflow-friendly adoption.-Naveen

Patient-centered medical home model not one-size-fits-all
Debra Beaulieu-Volk for FiercePracticeManagement
“Despite the increased adoption of PCMH by primary care physician practices and payment incentives from payers to adopt these practice models, the evidence still remains mixed on them and there is a large degree of uncertainty on how to best tailor these practices to best suit local conditions. ” –Matt

Aetna to Shut Down CarePass by the End of the Year
Jonah Comstock for MobiHealthNews
“It was evident that there wasn’t much traction with CarePass at HIMSS earlier this year. So this doesn’t come as a huge surprise even though it stings a little bit… While many will jump on this “failure” – let’s not forget that Aetna was and continues to be way ahead of the curve on the payer front when it comes to digital health. Perhaps smart of them to pull the plug on an effort that wasn’t working – fail, learn, and move forward. I’m sure there will be more news out of Aetna before too long.” –Naveen

Policy: Governance Subgroup – August 15, 2014 Meeting
“Tim Burdick from OCHIN overviews the nuts and bolts challenges for average HIEs and HIOs created by heterogeneous systems and loose standards in testimony from Governance Subgroup of the HIT Policy Committee Interoperability Group Meeting on August 15, 2014.” -Brian

When Patients Read What Their Doctors Write
Leana Wen on NPR’s Health Blog
“Using physician notes has been difficult in EHR and HIEs. Will patients dig in and become more engaged?” –Brian
“This is an area that I have been following for awhile now, and am very excited that someone has been legitimately studying the impact of doctors treating patients like humans capable of intelligence when interacting with them. As we all know, nothing changes without the clinical evidence!” -John III

Improving Clinicians’ Access to Cost Data
John Kenagy, Ban Shan and Dan Michelson for HFMA
“Nice article on how Legacy Health (OR) was able to bring together clinical and financial data and the role that BI plays.” –Matt

Telemedicine’s $6 Billion Savings Potential
Lisa Smith in Medical Economics
“Telemedicine adoption has been hyped since the ’80s, with little to show due to reimbursement challenges and a resistance to adoption from the status quo. It is starting to look like the private market may be the way to drive this forward, as evidenced by the recent PracticeFusion acquisition of RingaDoc, and DTC plans and growing Blue partnerships announced by Breakthrough and AmericanWell.” -Naveen

How Much Market Power do Hospitals Really Have?
Jeff Goldsmith on The Healthcare Blog
“Jeff Goldsmith blog on the reputed market power of hospitals lays out some of the economics of driving care to lower intensity venues.” –Brian

Bipartisan Policy Center report breaks down healthcare reform challenges
Katie Sullivan for FierceHealthcare
“A white paper (PDF) from the Bipartisan Policy Center that offered legislative and regulatory recommendations on all kind of payment reforms including an alteration to the Medicare SGR formula along with along payment types including ACOs and bundled payments.” -Matt

In Ambitious Bid, Walmart Seeks Foothold in Primary Care Services
Rachel Abrams in the New York Times
“Walmart’s primary care efforts remain an experiment in payment rather than a solution for care delivery. As primary care and the delivery system’s composition quickly evolve, one issue not raised in this article is data connectivity. The clinics run on certified software from Quadramed, but for these efforts to be successful long term – particularly in the rural settings in which these pilots are taking place – more advanced data exchange will play a key role.” -Naveen

HICCUP Announces Wellville Five and Greater Wellville
Press release from HICCUP
“Esther Dyson is one of the truly passionate investors trying to make health systems change a reality. Much of what she does is noteworthy, but especially this initiative which steps back and approaches change from a much broader scope than individual angel investments.” -John III

Why North Shore-L.I.J. and Cleveland Clinic are partnering
Dan Goldberg in Capital New York
“Still really small numbers overall but represents an important competitive threat especially to local community hospitals and smaller IDNs.  The providers will likely increasingly have to compete nationally for some of their most profitable patients (eg patients with commercial insurance who are utilizing specialty services including surgery) with the likes of Cleveland Clinic or Mayo at a rival cross-town hospital.” –Matt

Community Health says data stolen in cyber attack from China
Jim Finkle and Caroline Humer for Reuters
“Another massive hospital security breach hit the news this week, again raising skepticism about just how secure any personal information is on the internet. This attack may have ties to the Chinese government, although it is still unclear. It appears that 4.5 million patients treated in any of the 206 Community Health Systems, Inc hospitals could be affected, making it the largest breach since HHS started tracking in 2009.” –John III

Guess what? Doctors don’t care about your Fitbit data
Mark Sullivan for VentureBeat
“Let’s be honest – VentureBeat is not exactly the first source we would think of for health IT coverage. That said, the glibness of the title will hopefully wake some people up to the fact that vast majority of data being collected from wearables right now is not appropriate or useful for a physician’s patient record.” –John III
The digital health hype men enjoyed a busy summer, but those paying closer attention are seeing that the flood of wearables and consumer health platforms are not near ready to bring value to healthcare. Beyond the basic issues (do fitbits really matter? how will this data be collected and presented) are the real world questions: Do companies like Apple and Epic really care about industry-wide standards? Are those partnerships we heard so much about actually going anywhere?” –Naveen

A Unified Theory of Population Health and Retail Health
Steve Lefar for SG2
“An interesting read here, suggesting that PHM and retail care are complementary and reminding us that costs are the primary driver of healthcare’s evolution. While PHM’s cost-savings ethos are well documented in light of health reform, the revenue-generation potential of retail care (the “worried well,” consumer loyalty programs, DTC tools) are less talked about. While these two approaches may play a complementary role in theory, in practice HCO’s have yet to deploy unified strategies (clinical+marketing) to manage both of these approaches.” -Naveen

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