Highmark in early stages of launching IT arm; Sen. Elizabeth Warren calls for more NIH funding;

News From Around the Web

> A pilot demonstration, conducted in collaboration with the Data Segmentation for Privacy effort of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, has successfully demonstrated patient control over release of protected health information during the exchange of electronic health records, according to an announcement. Pilot participants include the Health Information Technology Program at The University of Texas at Austin, Jericho Systems Corporation, and Conemaugh Health System. Announcement

> One healthcare problem is too big for big data to solve, notes an article in CIO: Global access to medical records. "Even if we had all the data in one place, we'd still need to optimize it all with machine learning algorithms and real-time analytics. That's the piece we're still working on today to get it right," says Mike Miller, co-founder at chief scientist at Cloudant, a distributed database provider. Article

> Pittsburgh, Pa.-headquarted Highmark Inc. is launching a business services company that would house some of the Pittsburgh insurer's health information technology services as well as its various research and development teams, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Highmark's "business innovation team" is trying to develop and market direct-to-consumer technologies, such as tele-dermatology apps, an "aging-in-place" service and another that aims to help people sleep better, according to the article. Article

> In remarks to the Boston Chamber of Commerce yesterday, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) called on Congress to double funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and stressed the importance of supporting innovation and basic scientific research. "What drives the Massachusetts economy--and the American economy--is innovation," said Warren. "Innovation makes us soar. And government-supported research is a critical first step in generating that innovation." Article

> "Why isn't there a Healthcare.gov app?" That's the question posed on The Health Care Blog this week. One posited scenario: The vendors quoted an "astronomically high price tag that nobody was willing to go for. Then somebody else said something ominous about privacy and an awkward silence broke out at the table. [Then] the Healthcare.gov app was put in the 'nice to have,' 'we'll get around to it when we can,' 'bells and whistles' camp." Post

Provider News

> In the face of a drastically changing healthcare arena, hospitals and healthcare organizations are forced to roll with the punches and find new, better ways of tackling old issues. By bringing in fresh, new ideas and inspiration from places outside the healthcare bubble, hospitals can implement innovations that will yield results for both patients and the organization, said Mike Wagner in a post for the Harvard Business Review Blog Network. Article

EMR News

> In an apparent effort to increase transparency, improve the Meaningful Use program and engage more stakeholders, CMS has invited public comment on the new clinical quality measures for eligible professionals in Stage 3 of the program.  Article

> The inadequate use of the Memphis VA Medical Center's EHR led to the deaths of at least two patients in its emergency department, according to a new report by the Department of Veteran's Affairs' Office of Inspector General (OIG). Article

And Finally... There's a line out the door for the ACA. Article


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