Consortium News

  • 09 Nov 2015 3:23 PM | Denny Brennan (Administrator)

    Clinical Innovation + Technology | Beth Walsh | Nov 09, 2015

    BOSTON—With studies indicating that only 55 percent of patients receive the recommended care, “there are big opportunities for improvement," said David Bates, MD, MSc, chief innovation officer at Brigham & Women’s Medical Center in Boston, speaking at the Big Data & Healthcare Analytics Forum.

    Accountable care is being used for both quality and cost, “but many of us haven’t figured out what our populations are," added Bates. "We don’t have tools to sort that out. We’re still at the starting gate.” Accountable care pushes toward a paradigm shift to care coordination and a focus on the population. “It’s a hard transition to make. Health IT is key.”


  • 06 Nov 2015 3:40 PM | Denny Brennan (Administrator)

    Jessica Bartlett, Reporter - Boston Business Journal

    Boston Healthcare for the Homeless Program is making headlines as of late, with news that the organization is trying to open up a safe space for drug users to ride out their high.

    The idea may sound counter-intuitive to solving the city’s growing opioid epidemic, but the organization hasn’t lasted 30 years and catered to some of the neediest clients by doing the expected.


  • 30 Oct 2015 3:26 PM | Denny Brennan (Administrator)

    Oct 30, 2015 | Jessica Bartlett  | Boston Business Journal

    The transition to electronic medical records is happening, never mind the sky-high costs and short-term effects it’s having on care.


  • 28 Oct 2015 3:12 PM | Denny Brennan (Administrator)

    John Halamka, MD | Life as a Healthcare CIO | Wednesday, October 28, 2015

    Just as I summarized the CMS Meaningful Use Final Rule last week, this week I’ll summarize the 560 pages of the ONC 2015 Certification Final Rule.


  • 21 Oct 2015 11:35 AM | Denny Brennan (Administrator)

    Life as a Healthcare CIO | John Halamka, MD | Wednesday, October 21, 2015

    I’ve been asked to summarize the 752 page CMS Meaningful Use Final Rule.

    Although it is a final rule, it has a 60 day comment period, so there is still is an opportunity to modify some of the criteria. Between the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and the publication of the Final CMS Rule, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) passed to include sunsetting the Meaningful Use payment adjustment for professionals at the end of 2018. Also, MACRA requires the establishment of a Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) which would incorporate Meaningful Use. The comment period will be used in an attempt to align the Meaningful Use program and the MIPS program.


  • 20 Oct 2015 3:15 PM | Denny Brennan (Administrator)

    Oct 20, 2015 | Jessica Bartlett |Boston Business Journal

    Nearly a month after announcing rapid expansion and the opening of new office space, eClinicalWorks has announced a new electronic health record that executives say could change how health systems utilize technology.
    The technology, called eClinicalWorks 10e, is unique in that it can be run on any platform and any browser, and integrates analytics tools, virtual medicine platforms like Skype calls with patients, and even a patient’s wearables data, all on the same screen.

    The new electronic health record from eClinicalWorks could change how clinicians use …more

  • 15 Oct 2015 3:32 PM | Denny Brennan (Administrator)

    Clinical Innovation and Technology | Beth Walsh | Oct 15, 2015

    The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) has focused in on the problem of health IT interoperability this year, sending a report to Congress in April about vendors who engage in information blocking.
    The HIMSS Electronic Health Record Association (EHRA) now seeks clarity for ONC's definition of information blocking and says there is a risk of overreaction.

    “We believe that information blocking definitely needs to be addressed where it occurs if it’s intentional and unreasonable, based on the current ONC definition,” said Sarah Corley, MD, EHRA vice chair and chief medical officer for NextGen Healthcare. “Where we need clarity is more examples of what is information blocking, because the devil is in the details.”
    “Given the recent focus on information blocking and the fact that providers are actively implementing policies to avoid actions that could be construed as data blocking, EHR developers and their clients are anxious to receive guidance on this issue,” said Leigh Burchell, EHRA chair and vice president of government affairs at Allscripts.

    In a letter to National HIT Coordinator Karen DeSalvo, MD, MPH, MSc, the trade association said “there are a limited number of anecdotes of information blocking, but determining which are truly information blocking per the definition is not easy. A ny assessment of potential information blocking must be fact-based, given a specific situation, and include the perspectives of all stakeholders before declaring that information blocking has, in fact, occurred.”

    EHRA also said there is a perception that information blocking exists but “in many cases, there is no intent to interfere, but rather a series of events that result in less data exchange than desired by some parties. We run the risk of overreaction to what appear to be isolated incidents.

    ONC’s report to Congress concluded that some providers and vendors have created technical, legal and business barriers between their EHR systems and other systems to interfere with access to information but Corley called for better data on " exactly on much deliberate, intentional and unreasonable information blocking is going on right now."

    EHRA “definitely believes that if people are unreasonably and deliberately blocking information, then there needs to be penalties assessed” but that requires better definitions from ONC. “If they’re going to start enforcing it, you want to make sure that they’re adhering to some well-defined definitions of what it is exactly.

    Read the complete letter.

  • 15 Oct 2015 10:01 AM | Denny Brennan (Administrator)

    Boston Business Journal | Andy Metzger | Oct 14, 2015, 8:22pm EDT

    The state's health care market overseer is preparing for the first time to notify insurers and providers being flagged for excessive cost growth, a new feature of a law passed three years ago to limit health care cost increases.

    It's unclear how the new data will be used, though the Health Policy Commission has the power to demand performance improvement plans in certain cases.

    "How this plays out: TBD," Health Policy Commission Executive Director David Seltz told the board Wednesday, using an acronym for "to be determined."


  • 15 Oct 2015 9:21 AM | Denny Brennan (Administrator)

    The New York Times | By Quentin Hardy | October 14, 2015 7:23 pm

    Courtney Bowman is a member of the privacy and civil liberties group at Palantir Technologies. Palantir, a privately held tech company in Palo Alto, Calif., first became known through its work for many military, police and intelligence services in the United States and overseas.

    Today, more than half of Palantir’s business is with private sector companies, which use it for activities as diverse as improving the efficiency of oil exploration and figuring out where to put the gum at a checkout stand. It also works with disaster relief agencies.

    The software comes with an auditing capability, so it is possible to see who looked at what. It is not clear that this capability is always used, particularly by companies, but Palantir says that it is trying to figure out ways of preserving individual civil liberties in an age when computers are tracking everything.

    Mr. Bowman, who has degrees in physics and philosophy from Stanford, is one of the authors of a book on designing computer systems to ensure privacy, and he spoke recently with The New York Times. The conversation has been condensed and edited.


  • 14 Oct 2015 10:46 AM | Denny Brennan (Administrator)

    Harvard Business Review | Nikhil Sahni, Anuraag Chigurupati, Bob Kocher, MD, David M. Cutler | October 13, 2015

    During the presidential campaign, Americans will be bombarded with proposals to improve the U.S. health care system in ways big and small that would either build on or radically revamp the Affordable Care Act (ACA). All will claim to reduce costs and improve quality. In order to accomplish this, proposals will largely focus on what is termed “wasteful spending” in health care, spending not associated with improved quality that, by some estimates, accounts for over one-fourth of total health care spending.


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