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WWBR Week of October 6, 2014

by John Moore lll | October 10, 2014

Dallas hospital blames ‘flaw’ in ‘workflow’ for release of Ebola patient as a more complete picture of his travels emerges
Lindsey Bever for The Washington Post
“The Ebola patient in the Dallas hospital seems to have been missed because workflow integration doesn’t mean much when workflows are separately integrated. An intake nurse documented the patient’s travel to Africa in the patient’s chart. That data appeared nowhere in the physician’s workflow. The hospital has hurriedly changed physician workflow to include travel history. Pity the poor IT departments that have to foresee all possible contingencies and build these into clinician workflows. Pity the poor clinicians who have to wade through documentation that has no current relevance. Is it realistic to expect every hospital, clinic, and office in the U.S. to have been ready to raise the alarm for the first patient to present with Ebola symptoms?” – Brian

Mass. Becomes First State To Require Price Tags For Health Care
Martha Bebinger for WBUR’s CommonHealth
“In another revolutionary move, MA became the first state to require that health plans divulge the prices of their information on public websites. As this piece points out, there are still wrinkles to iron out, including consistency of prices, common definitions of what’s included, and more. Yet this is a bold step we hope to see mirrored across the nation. Interestingly, health plans contracted with Castlight, Vitals, and others in order to get these lists up and running.” – Naveen

Walmart and the End of Employer-Based Health Care
David A. Graham for The Atlantic
“Wal-Mart announced that they are going to stop offering insurance coverage to ~30,000 part-time workers (workers who work 30 hours or less a week) and follow suit with other large employers including Target, Trader Joe’s, and Home Depot. Whether or not these part-time workers will be better off will largely depend on what state they live but it certainly marks a milestone in the inevitable decline in employer-sponsored health care in the U.S.” – Matt

A Need for Stage 3?
Greg Gillespie for Health Data Management
“As fallout from Stage 2 continues, HDM offers up a handful of questions to some leading CIOs around provider motivation, vendor readiness and the future of the program.” – Naveen

Few ACOs Pursue Innovative Models That Integrate Care For Mental Illness And Substance Abuse With Primary Care
Valerie A. Lewis, et al., in Health Affairs
“Survey results from a national survey of ACOs and followup detailed interviews with a select number of ACOs that looked at the issue of behavioral health and ACOs. While most ACOs are responsible for assuming behavioral health costs, there still remains a lot of work to improve the traditional siloed and fragmented approach of primary care and behavioral health. Some ACOs are practicing innovative care models to better integrate the two but only a small handful had fully integrated behavioral health programs in primary care services delivered by the ACO.” – Matt

Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation Act of 2014 (PDF link)
US Senate
“Everyone know that Congress does nothing, right? Amazingly, two weeks ago the Senate passed something called “Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation Act of 2014”. This bill aims to standardize reporting for the major categories of post-acute care providers – home health, inpatient rehab, skilled nursing, and long-term care. It would standardize reporting for patient assessments, quality, and utilization across these disparate care disciplines. It is probably about time that more data be used to help determine the comparative effectiveness of these care venues and for which patients. The bill now goes to the President for his signature.” – Brian

Can Patrick Soon-Shiong, The World’s Richest Doctor, Fix Health Care?
Matthew Herper for Forbes
“An interesting deep-dive on LA billionaire-doctor Patrick Soon-Shiong. The author doesn’t include a whole lot of detail on Soon-Shiongs’s efforts at NantHealth, but it’s not for a lack of trying – as described by John Halamka in the article: ‘The marketing is three years ahead of the engineering.'” – Naveen

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