ICYMI: Trending Healthcare Topics for February 2016
An overview of the changes, trends, and newsmakers from the past month
The election this year is already generating waves of change, and there’s sure to be plenty more on the horizon. From cyber attacks to patient engagement, here are the news stories from February that piqued our interest—how about you?
THE HEALTHCARE INDUSTRY:
- Playing the long game for value-based care: Proven strategies show providers will have to take short-term financial hits in order to realize long-term payoffs. Case studies from Intermountain Medical Group and Minnesota’s Mayo Clinic show why it’s important to make this cultural change now.
- The cost to vaccinate—who pays? Though the costs for pediatric vaccination products are covered by the federal government through the Vaccines for Children (VFC) program, VFC providers still lose approximately $5-15 per vaccine administered. The good news is that, according to a recent study from the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins, every dollar spent on vaccines generates up to $44 in savings.
- LA hospital pays ransom after cyber attack: Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center in Los Angeles paid hackers 40 bitcoin (about $17,000) to unfreeze its computers, after malicious software locked its systems. Was it the right move? Hackers are increasingly targeting organizations like hospitals that can afford to pay up.
- Health IT legislation approved by Senate committee: The Improving Health Information Technology Act aims to improve quality of care for patients and to make it easier for healthcare IT professionals to share feedback, select, and use healthcare technology.
- Common-sense solutions for healthcare reform: Industry leaders are advocating for six bipartisan policy reforms to make the United States healthcare system more effective and patient-centric.
- All-payer claims databases in the spotlight: APCDs promise to improve how providers and payers manage patient populations; 43 states that have already passed or are working on state-sponsored APCD legislation. Check out Freedman Healthcare’s presentation at HIMSS16 for more.
ENGAGEMENT IN A DIGITAL WORLD:
- Getting healthcare outside the office: A study by the Society for Participatory Medicine finds 84 percent of patients believe using a mobile device to track vital signs and other data between doctors’ visits will improve their health management.
- Transforming patient education for the YouTube generation: Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis identified a lack of patient engagement with traditional post-diagnosis “education notebooks.” Switching to a video format proved a much more effective way to deliver this information.
- HIMSS16 social media ambassador shares insights for 2016: Marketing executive Colin Hung says one of the most untapped uses for social media in healthcare is soliciting ideas and feedback in real time—are you asking your followers what they think of your new product or idea?
PROGRESS AND INNOVATIONS:
- Harnessing data to fight the Zika virus: Statistical models will need multiple, disparate data sources—from clinical trials, surveillance activities, and provider networks—in order to accurately predict outbreaks of the disease.
- Veteran’s Affairs suicide hotline sent calls to voicemail: The VA’s office of the inspector general reported that callers did not always receive immediate assistance, despite that about one-fifth of all suicides in the US are committed by veterans. The VA is now working to update the crisis line to better serve its callers.
- Advances made in treating chronic conditions may dramatically impact the value of prevention: New research under a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has found that preventing tobacco use and obesity at age 20 generated similar projected cost savings for the federal government in the long-term.