Health IT Roundup—Azar appoints new CMMI head, Massachusetts insurer launches digital health portfolio

HHS names Landmark Health CEO to lead CMS Innovation Center

Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar has named Landmark Health CEO Adam Boehler to lead payment reform efforts at the agency.

Boehler was rumored for months as the agency’s top choice but had to sell off his company before joining the agency. He will take over the center months after CMS Administrator Seema Verma called for industry input on how to move in a new direction that would effectively test out innovative payment models. IT and provider groups have urged federal officials to integrate data and technology into new payment approaches. (FierceHealthcare)

BCBS of Massachusetts rolls out new digital portfolio

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts has launched a new digital portfolio that features two companies—Omada Health and Livongo—that focus on diabetes management.

The initiative is part of an effort by the insurer to focus on chronic disease prevention and comes at a time when digital health investment is reaching record highs. The new tools will be available to self-insured accounts with more than 1,000 employees. (FierceHealthPayer)

Jamie Dimon calls for a “bipartisan group of experts” to fix healthcare

In an annual letter to shareholders, JPMorgan Chase CEO outlined a rough vision of his company’s healthcare venture with Amazon and Berkshire Hathaway, calling for a “bipartisan group of experts” to solve some of healthcare’s most pressing problems.

That suggestion was widely mocked on social media, along with the CEO’s other focus areas, including cutting costs and aligning incentives across the industry. Dimon also warned that the group intends to “start small” but it may take years to make an impact. (FierceHealthcare)

Facebook ends medical data initiative amid Cambridge Analytica fallout

A secret initiative by Facebook to get hospitals to share anonymized data with the tech giant has been put on hold following the Cambridge Anlaytica data leak, according to CNBC.

Stanford Medical School and the American College of Cardiology were among the organizations Facebook was in contact with to collect medical information for a research project that matched patient info with user data. A Facebook spokesperson said the project never progressed out of the planning stages. (CNBC)

How AI could help improve patient safety

For the last two decades, hospital and clinicians have focused on reducing patient harm to zero. And while there have been pockets of success in reducing safety incidents, that goal has largely eluded the industry.

But a group of Stanford researchers argues that AI could step up as the industry approaches “the limits of what is achievable through improvements in clinical processes.” The authors write in the New England Journal of Medicine that Stanford’s engineering and medical schools are partnering with Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital and Intermountain to deploy “computer vision” technology in which AI algorithms focus on realtime clinician behaviors.

Beginning with hand hygiene compliance, the researchers hope they can use data sensors to improve clinician training. (NEJM)