Health IT Roundup—Health IT Now blasts info blocking delay; AHA launches innovation center

AHA has launched a new innovation center to help hospitals navigate a new chapter in healthcare. (Pixabay)

AHA launches innovation center

The American Hospital Association officially launched the Center for Health Innovation last week, a new initiative to help hospitals “proactively lead change.”

AHA will concentrate on helping hospitals enhance capabilities at scale and foster partnerships outside of the healthcare industry. Offerings will include market intelligence and cybersecurity services.

"This is a pivotal moment for the field, as hospitals and healthcare systems face unprecedented challenges and opportunities," AHA President and CEO Rick Pollack said in a statement. "Innovation isn't limited to Silicon Valley. Hospitals and health systems across the country have been incubators of innovation. The Center will help us disseminate what is working, as well as test new ideas to improve outcomes and increase value and affordability." (Release)

Health IT Now blasts administrative delays to info blocking

In a new op-ed published by Stat, Health IT Now Executive Director Joel White criticized the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT for failing to make any tangible headway on the information blocking rule in the 21st Century Cures Act.

Health IT Now has repeatedly called for ONC to move faster in creating a definition for information blocking which will be used by the Office of Inspector General to penalize companies up to $1 million per violation. But White writes that the National Coordinator has only offered “a vague timeline that shows little urgency for combating this pressing threat.”

“The Trump administration seems to understand the seriousness of the matter. It has reiterated that the proposed rule will be released in September while Rucker has said the regulation is ‘deep in the federal clearance process,’” he wrote. “For the sake of patients everywhere, it’s time to bring it to the surface.” (Stat op-ed)

Uber Health is searching for an experienced leader

Recently launched Uber Health is searching for a seasoned healthcare veteran to lead the business line.

A recent job posting indicates the company is hiring a head of Uber Health to “lead and scale teams across multiple functional areas.” The executive would define and implement Uber Health’s business strategy, build strategic partnerships with the healthcare industry and accelerate revenue growth. The company is looking for someone with 10 to 12 years of experience in the healthcare industry, including Medicare and Medicaid.

Uber Health officially launched in March with a new dashboard to assist with patient transportation.

“This is a unique opportunity to be a founding member of the Uber Health leadership team,” according to the job description. “We need an experienced general manager to build world class teams and strategies and who is passionate about developing a new kind of business unit at Uber.” (Job posting)

AMIA says health IT should support E/M reforms

In comments regarding changes to the 2019 physician fee schedule, the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) urged CMS to support technology advancements that can help with “behind the scenes” data collection to help with E/M guidelines reforms.

“The proposed E/M reforms must be supported through focused and well-resourced efforts to leverage these current functions and develop emerging functions, such as natural language processing, medical device data, voice recognition software, and the use of sensors to capture clinical activity,” the group wrote.

AMIA also backs the newly named Promoting Interoperability program, set to replace Meaningful Use. The group said the requirement to adopt 2015 Edition Certified EHRs is “foundational for improved interoperability, patient data access and better usability.” (AMIA letter, PDF)

VA CIO nominee advocates for speeding up EHR timeline

Department of Veterans Affairs CIO nominee James Gfrerer told the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs he would push to shorten the Cerner implementation timeline down from 10 years.

“If you don’t put some rigor and accountability on early in the process, it sends a message very early on that it’s just a matter of we can slip it until the next option year—and that’s going to have deleterious effect,” he told lawmakers during a confirmation hearing last week.

Gferer’s comments come as two senior leaders left the VA’s Office of EHR Modernization last month citing leadership concerns. (Health Data Management)