Forty-four percent of health care executives reported that they haven't implemented telehealth in their organizations, and 86% of that group cited telemedicine deployment as a medium to high priority, according to a Sage Growth Partners poll. The survey also showed that 66% of those who adopted telehealth had budgets of $250,000 or less, while 75% expect a positive return on investment for telehealth initiatives during the next three years in the outpatient clinic.
CHIME and other health care organizations applauded the new spending bill signed by President Donald Trump, which includes provisions reducing meaningful use and Merit-Based Incentive Payment System burdens and expanding the use of telehealth services in Medicare Advantage plans. CHIME also praised the bill's $6 billion in funding for fighting the opioid epidemic.
The ONC appointed Robert Wah, global chief medical officer at DXC Technology, and Carolyn Petersen, senior editor of the Mayo Clinic's health information website, as the new co-chairs of its Health IT Advisory Committee. The committee will first address the Trusted Exchange Framework, which seeks to facilitate data sharing between health information exchange networks.
Timothy Noonan, who served as the HHS Office for Civil Rights' acting associate deputy director for regional operations and acting director for centralized case management operations at OCR's headquarters, was appointed the agency's acting deputy director for health information privacy. Noonan replaces Iliana Peters, who has joined the health care operations practice at a law firm.
A total of 24,000 patients at Decatur County General Hospital in Parsons, Tenn., were informed that an unauthorized individual hacked the hospital's EMR system at least as of Sept. 22, 2017 to install unauthorized software that generates digital currency. Hospital officials said although there was no evidence that patient information was accessed or acquired, the affected server contained patient names, clinical and insurance billing information, Social Security numbers and other personal information.
Researchers from the Department of Veterans Affairs used EHR data to develop 31 electronic quality measures to evaluate the care of patients who experienced a transient ischemic attack, or mini-stroke, and found that EHR data can accurately measure the quality of TIA care, compared with chart reviews. The findings, published in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, suggest health care systems can use electronic data "to complement and expand quality measurement programs currently focused on patients with stroke."
A Stericycle Expert Solutions report found that the top reason for medical device recalls in the US for the seventh straight quarter was software issues, followed by mislabeling issues, quality issues and manufacturing defects. Researchers evaluated data from the FDA, the Food Safety and Inspection Service of the Department of Agriculture, the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and found 152 medical device sector recalls during the fourth quarter of last year, marking the lowest recall quarter in six years.
States that partially or fully operate their own exchanges saw a 0.2% increase in Affordable Care Act plan enrollment over the previous year, while those states that relied entirely on the federal marketplace saw signups decline by 5.3%, according to data issued by the National Academy of State Health Policy. Overall, the number of Americans who enrolled for 2018 coverage dropped 3.7% to around 11.8 million as increases in state-based exchanges failed to offset losses on the federal marketplace, suggesting that the Trump administration's decision to slash ACA outreach and end cost-sharing reduction payments hurt enrollment.
A free decryption key for victims of Cryakl ransomware was added to Europol's No More Ransom portal, which now offers 52 free decryption keys effective for 84 forms of ransomware.
Clinical trials will increasingly involve cloud-based data analysis, remote participation and less disruption of participants' lives, Medidata President Glen De Vries said during a conference call. Medidata is working with the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute on a two-year clinical trial and recently acquired Mytrus and its portfolio of data collection and informed consent products.