Feds confirm dates for workshop on risk-based regulatory strategy for health IT; BlackBerry purchases minority stake in NantHealth;

News From Around the Web

> The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Communications Commission announced this week that a three-day public workshop focusing on the recently released risk-based regulatory strategy for health IT will take run from May 13-15. The agencies also posted a request for comments on the report in Federal Register. Announcement

> On Tuesday, BlackBerry Ltd. purchased a minority stake in health IT firm NantHealth, Reuters reported. According to BlackBerry CEO John Chen, the smartphone maker's capabilities "align closely" with those of the company, started by Los Angeles-based billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong. Article

Provider News

> The American Hospital Association asked the National Quality Forum (NQF) to implement recommendations to provide risk-adjusted quality measures to account for sociodemographic factors such as Medicaid status, income, education and homelessness in a recent letter. "Sociodemographic adjustment allows for all providers to be fairly and accurately assessed on the quality of care they provide and their contribution to patient outcomes while mitigating negative unintended consequences of measurement," Rick Pollack, AHA executive vice president, wrote. Article

> A new research review published in Plos One supports the idea that patient outcomes improve when their physicians receive training in communication techniques, such as motivational interviewing, shared decision-making, patient-centered care, empathic care or cultural competence. To gather objective data about how physician-patient relationships and communication affect health outcomes, the research team selected 13 clinical trials that measured objective healthcare outcomes, such as blood pressure, or validated subject measures, such as pain scores. Article

Health Insurance News

> Consumers used more healthcare services last year, particularly for specialists, hospitals and prescription drugs--representing the first increase in three years--concludes a new report from research firm IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics. The report found visits to specialists increased by almost 5 percent overall and 9.5 percent for older consumers, while hospital visits rose mainly among consumers with commercial insurance coverage. Article

And Finally... I see it, but I still don't believe it. Article

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