Health IT Roundup—New interoperability rule under review at OMB; Memorial Sloan Kettering’s AI dustup

Interoperability rule heads to OMB

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has another health IT rule to review, vaguely titled “Interoperability and Patient Access.”

The proposed rule identified as “economically significant” landed at the OMB on Friday. It unclear exactly what the rule will address, but CMS has issued requests for information to virtually every provider group to comment on the possibility of making interoperability a Medicare Condition of Participation.

OMB is already evaluating several other health IT rules, including a closely watched regulation around information blocking.  (Unified Agenda)

CHIME lays out wishlist for opioids legislation

The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) wants changes to privacy regulations, telehealth coverage and PDMP requirements to be included in the Congress’ opioids package.

In a letter to leaders in the House and Senate, CHIME threw its support behind a bill that would alter 42 CFR Part 2, which prevents providers from sharing substance abuse information with other medical professionals. According to Politico, that legislation is likely to be pulled from the final package.

The group also backed requiring Part D plans prescribe controlled substances electronically, scaling back certain Medicaid telehealth requirements to expand access to substance abuse treatment and testing incentive payments for behavioral health providers to adopt EHRs. (Letter – PDF)

Memorial Sloan Kettering under fire for relationship with AI startup

A deal with Paige.AI, a healthcare artificial intelligence startup backed by board members at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, has created turmoil among pathologists after the hospital gave the company access to 60 years' worth of patient tissue slides.

The ProPublica story comes after the news outlet reported that MSK’s chief medical officer Jose Baselga, M.D., failed to disclose financial ties in dozens of research articles. Some experts say the hospital may have violated federal and state laws and patients have said they are nervous their data is being commercialized. (ProPublica report)

Report: Device manufacturers aren’t focused on digital innovation

A new report from Ernst and Young finds medical device manufacturers are not focusing enough on digital innovation that will drive long-term growth.

The group points to portfolio optimization as the key growth driver form manufacturers in 2017 and 2018. But few are focused on innovations around data and analytics that can fuel double-digit revenue growth. The report notes that large technology companies that already have consumer buy-in are eyeing the healthcare industry as a “fertile area for new growth” and are moving well beyond fitness and wellness tracking.

“If medtech companies cannot – or choose not to – accelerate their digital agendas, it is likely that new market entrants will benefit from, and capitalize on, the data-driven transformations of the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” the report states. (Report)

Boston hospitals pay out nearly $1 million in HIPAA violation settlements 

The Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights reached settlements with three Boston-area hospitals—Boston Medical Center, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital—for HIPAA violations. 

The three hospitals collectively paid out $990,000 for violating the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. The three hospitals allowed an ABC crew to film a documentary called "Save my Life: Boston Trauma" in their facilities without first getting patient permission, OCR said. 

BMC paid $100,000, Brigham paid $384,000 and Mass General paid $515,000 in the settlement. OCR also settled a similar case involving and ABC crew with NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital in April 2016. (Announcement

Teladoc goes global

Months after its $352 million acquisition of Advance Medical, Teladoc has launched a global care offering to allow multinational organizations to provide expats with access to virtual care services anywhere in the world.

The company says its offering with help employees who travel globally but require healthcare oversees and save employers money in lost productivity and retention.

“Navigating an unfamiliar health system while traveling heightens uncertainty and stress for employees and can result in higher costs for plan sponsors,” Dan Trencher, senior vice president of product and corporate strategy, Teladoc Health said in a statement. (Release)