By David Pittman | 10/11/2017 10:00 AM EDT
HIMSS 'CALL TO ACTION' ON INTEROPERABLITY: The giant health IT trade group's board approved late last week a six-point "call to action" to serve as guiding principles for policymakers and the broader EHR community as it races to achieve interoperability nirvana. Morning eHealth has the first look at the key elements:
1) Integrate different interoperability approaches and exchange frameworks - While players working on different approaches are collaborating and leveraging each other's skills, they still too often work in silos.
2) Educate the community on the appropriate use of standards - "Understanding of the adoption and use of these standards is limited at best, and inconsistency in the implementation of these standards has created challenges in producing interoperable exchange."
3) Ensure participation from by all providers, including patients and caregivers - Too often, interoperability efforts focus on doctors and hospitals, creating gaps in long-term care, post-acute providers and behavioral health. "These gaps must be addressed."
4) Identify the "minimum necessary" business rules for exchange - There needs to be a baseline set of practices to simplify working with more outlets to exchange patient data. "There is no existing one-size-fits-all interoperability solution."
5) Standardize patient matching approaches - As disparate exchange solutions emerge, health IT needs ways to ensure patients are accurately linked to their records.
6) Improve data usability - Information that's more easily digested is more likely to be folded into decision-making and research.
Pros get the full document here.
Q&A WITH HIMSS LEADERS: Carla Smith, HIMSS's executive vice president, told reporters while in town last week that HIMSS's updated list of priorities for Congress is "a reflection of the realities that we're living in today that overwhelmingly provider organizations have adopted technologies." None of the three priorities - which includes the creation of a chief information security officer at HHS, telehealth legislation and expanded broadband funding - deal directly with EHRs. "It's now harnessing the power of those technologies, turning it into actionable, relevant information."
-The groups' vice president of government relations, Tom Leary, answered several other questions about HIMSS's work in Washington, including how they've dealt with the hyper-focus on Obamacare, the priorities of new HHS leadership and advancing cybersecurity. The full Q&A here.
eHealth tweet of the day: Kathryn Wickenhauser @KAWickenhauser: #EHRs are glorified cash registers with patient information tacked on. We can do better. We should do better. - @ZDoggMD #MGMA17
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WHAT ABOUT THE PATIENTS?: The health IT world needs to focus more on how patients spend their time outside of discrete 15-minute doctors' visits, a blog post published by UCSF's Center for Digital Health Innovation argues. It's signed by the notable Bob Wachter of UCSF and a trio from the school's digital health center, including policy head Mark Savage and executive director Michael Blum. The school views it as an alternative to dueling New England Journal of Medicine opinion pieces (here and here) last month on health IT life post-HITECH Act.
In their own words: "Harnessing the full potential of health IT will require new focus on people and their data collected outside the walls of the hospital and doctor's office, and on uses and interventions that help patients as they are living their lives.
"The emphasis on the experience of doctors in using their EHRs may lead us to ignore the equal importance of winning the hearts and minds of patients who seek the digital access and tools needed for shared care and care planning with their doctors.
"We see great opportunity and synergy in creating digital tools that allow individuals and providers to engage with each other and with a comprehensive set of health-related data in their shared pursuit of improving the health of the individual."
SO THAT'S A NO?: FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb told Reuters in an interview Tuesday. he's "most effective" in his current role but didn't say if he'd been approached about possibly succeeding departed HHS Secretary Tom Price. "I feel like I want to continue to follow through on the policies we've put out and it's where I think I can be most effective," Gottlieb told the wire service.
COMMON RULE'S OUTLOOK COMES INTO FOCUS: Changes contained in HHS's revised rule outlining safeguards for people participating in medical research have been on hold since the Trump administration took over. A revised "Common Rule" was published literally on the last day of ex-President Barack Obama's tenure, which the new White House immediately froze. The research community has been waiting with bated breath on what will happen. We may now have an answer as OMB is now reviewing a rule that - according to its title - would delay changes by a year and enact three "burden-reducing provisions during the delay year." The changes were to have taken effect in 2018.
-Among the changes in the January final rule were an updated consent form, making it easier to understand, and a requirement to use a single institutional review board.
Final rules currently under White House review: It's a lot of bear with us.
-Rules of the road for MACRA in 2018.
-The combined rule for the 2018 physician fee schedule, Medicare ACOs and Diabetes Prevention Program.
-2018 hospital payment rules.
Not to be forgotten, but still in the proposed-rule stage, expedited Coverage of Innovative Technology.
POLITICO's Agenda: The Data Issue: Data has emerged as a powerful tool for business and governance, and nobody collects more data than Washington. This issue of POLITICO Agenda goes deep on data and looks at the public challenges and opportunities that emerge as "big data" expands the possibilities for society and for government. From financial data ownership, to thwarting digital thieves and hackers, be sure to read the full edition here.
WALDEN TO DEMS: LET'S WORK TOGETHER ON CHIP: House Energy and Commerce Chair Greg Walden said his panel will delay floor action on a bill to extend funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program to work with Democrats on paying for the bill. Walden, in a statement , said nothing of reworking the policies, which don't touch expanding Medicare payments for telemedicine. "If we are unable to reach a deal by the end of this week, I would expect the House to take up the committee marked bill immediately following the district work period," Walden said.
A NEW MAN IN HEALTH-CYBER LAND: A new body that hopes to serve as a liaison between the private sector and government to improve cybersecurity in health care has its first leader. Greg Garcia will serve as the executive director of the Healthcare and Public Health Sector Coordinating Council, which is the HHS-designated body to help coordinate against cyber threats. Garcia was the first assistant secretary for cybersecurity at the Department of Homeland Security in 2006, served as executive director of the Financial Services Sector Coordinating Council and was co-founder of the Information Technology Sector Coordinating Council. The announcement.
The House Energy and Commerce Committee, which held a hearing in April on improving cybersecurity in health care, praised the appointment saying it "looks forward to learning more about the council's efforts."
ELSEWHERE ON POLITICO PRO: Twitter reversed its initial decision and will instead allow Rep. Marsha Blackburn to promote her work investigating Planned Parenthood. The social media company at first deemed the ads "inflammatory"...Former chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence, Josh Pitcock, has landed a new job at the tech giant Oracle...New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez sought whomever had the "best juice at CMS" to help a campaign donor under Medicare fraud investigation.
WHAT WE'RE CLICKING:
-ONC announces security challenge using FHIR API.
-AMIA's Jeff Smith pens a Medium post on the state of information sharing in health care.
-Late Cerner CEO Neal Patterson honored at the company's users conference this week.
-JAMA Viewpoint highlights the importance of cybersecurity in health care.
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