Always Providing You With Ongoing Information

Posts tagged ‘healthcare’

Facebook Asked Top Hospitals For Patient Data

Snapshotle5_001

  • Facebook had asked top hospitals to share anonymized patient data, including information on illnesses and prescriptions, CNBC reported.
  • The social media giant planned to use the data to help “several major U.S. hospitals,” which were not named, identify patients who may need care.
  • The effort never passed the planning phase, a Facebook spokesperson told the network, adding the company didn’t receive or analyze such data. Patient consent was not discussed in the early talks, according to the report.
  •  While Facebook’s patient data program may be put on ice for now, the company has a lot of data on individuals and could reboot the effort.

Meanwhile, healthcare companies, and particularly insurers, are pushing to move patients to lower levels of acuity settings, including urgent care and primary care clinics. More emphasis is being given to so-called social determinants of health, primarily access to food, care services and housing, as these factors are known to impact a person’s health.

As preventative care moves upstream and away from hospitals, technology companies see an opening into the $3 trillion healthcare market. Companies from Lyft to Uber and Apple have all announced healthcare platforms this year. Amazon, J.P. Morgan and Berkshire Hathaway also announced they formed a healthcare company in an effort to take greater control over costs and their employees’ health.

“For the first time, (digital) diagnosis of disease was the most-funded value proposition among digital health companies,” Rock Health found in its Q1 digital health funding report.  Digital health startups continue to both tackle the clinical aspects of care (diagnosis of disease, monitoring of disease) and reducing friction between patients and the healthcare system (health benefits administration, on-demand healthcare services).

Other companies such as Omada Health, Virta Health and Vida Health all specialize in accumulating patient data for specific chronic conditions, highlighting a rising of digital therapeutics brands and products.

Whether its a startup or a mature technology company, new entrants have their sights set on healthcare and many are betting on data..

 

Advertisements

Uber Health

snapshothat7new_001

Uber Health allows health care professionals to arrange Uber rides for patients traveling to and from the facility for non-urgent visits. Rival ridesharing service Lyft launched a similar service at the end of 2017.

Uber Health’s dashboard offers “simple billing, reporting, and management,where organizations can easily keep track of what they’re spending on rides.

Features include flexible ride scheduling for patients, caregivers, and staff, allowing rides to be booked immediately, within a couple of hours, or even up to 30 days in advance, if necessary. This makes it easy to plan a follow-up appointment with the patient while they’re present at the facility, allowing both parties to agree on a mutually convenient time and date.

Riders won’t need to have the Uber app. Ride notifications will be sent via text message to a mobile phone. Although the company says it’s also planning to set up alternative options such as landline calls.

It’s not clear who will pay for the rides. More than 100 healthcare organizations — among them hospitals, clinics, rehab centers, senior care facilities, home care centers, and physical therapy centers — are already conducting trials with Uber Health, and the dashboard is available to all such facilities from this week.

 

 

Those Sinking Medicare Margins

gold7_001

Payment shifts and regulatory mandates are putting hospital Medicare margins on a downhill slope. Hospital executives say the chasm between the two has widened in recent years due to a number of factors: federal mandates to deploy expensive health information technology systems under the meaningful use program, a 2% across-the-board cut to provider Medicare payments under the Budget Control Act of 2011, reductions in Medicare disproportionate-share hospital payments and the move to alternative-payment models. Layoffs and reductions in services have been common coping mechanisms to avoid the income drop

While expanded coverage is a net positive, hospital leaders still complain that the government payment programs do not cover costs. For Medicare, hospitals received 88 cents for every dollar spent caring for beneficiaries in 2015 and 90 cents for Medicaid patients, according to the American Hospital Association. Combined underpayments from the government programs were $57.8 billion in 2015. This includes a shortfall of $41.6 billion for Medicare and $16.2 billion for Medicaid, the association reported.

Attempts to move Medicare from a fee-for-service system to a value-based model pose perhaps the most serious challenge to hospitals and health systems struggling with low Medicare margins.

In 2015, the Obama administration announced it wanted 30% of payments for traditional Medicare benefits to be tied to alternative-payment models such as accountable care organizations by the end of last year and 50% by the end of 2018.

The first goal was met, but since the Trump administration took over in January, CMS officials have been coy about their own goals for the shift beyond noting they want the move to be voluntary.

Overall, hospital leaders believe they are getting mixed messages from the Trump administration over whether it still supports the move away from fee-for service Medicare, given that it has canceled or scaled back several new pay models created under the Obama administration.

medicare margins take a dive

There are things Congress can do to stabilize and lessen the financial pressures hospitals now face. The Medicare recovery audit contractor program could be overhauled. Under the program, private companies audit the medical records of hospitals and doctors to find instances of improper billing or erroneous payment from the government.

Hospital executives argue that claims are often mistakenly flagged as being improper in some way. Of the claims that have completed the appeals process, 62% were overturned in favor of the provider, according to the AHA. The association found that 43% of all hospitals reported spending more than $10,000 managing the RAC process during the third quarter of 2016, 24% spent more than $25,000 and 4% spent over $100,000.

Despite those concerns, the program has scored big for the federal government. RACs have recouped $8 billion in improper payments since its inception in 2009, according to the CMS.

The other recurring request from hospitals is that Congress preserve the individual mandate in the Affordable Care Act. A proposal to repeal the mandate is included in the Senate version of tax reform legislation.

 

 

Hackensack Meridian Health Invests $25M in Tech Incubator

Snapshotpinkblouse4_001

New Jersey-based Hackensack Meridian Health has teamed up with the New Jersey Innovation Institute (NJIT) to open a health incubator with a design similar to the reality show ”Shark Tank,” in which companies pitch healthcare innovation ideas to a panel of experts. The incubator, Agile Strategies Lab, is the first of its kind for healthcare advances in New Jersey, according to officials. The lab, located on the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) campus in Newark, is designed to help create and launch the next wave of problem-solving in healthcare through better devices, improved technology and more efficient services to provide a higher quality of care, lower costs, and an enhanced patient experience, officials said in an announcement.

Hackensack Meridian Health has committed $25 million, a new revenue stream to help companies develop trailblazing products and services. This seed money will help launch ideas to the point where they can become viable and receive financing through venture capitalists. And the organization’s vast network—13 hospitals in seven counties, and more than 100 outpatient centers and 6,000 physicians—will look to serve as a vehicle to test some of the innovations once they are advanced enough as determined by a panel of experts from multiple disciplines.

The new Thing In Mental Healthcare

Snapshotcaramel9_001

 

Dr Jeffrey Lieberman from Columbia University says” the new technologic innovation that is emerging and which does seem likely to impact psychiatry and mental health care in a time that is commensurate with the other specialties of medicine, is the technology that informs how we use Internet-based smartphone mobile app devices. The rudimentary ways in which this has already begun to permeate medicine and mental health care include electronic health records and telemedicine, which is ideally suited to psychiatry in terms of being able to provide consultation at a distance.“The initial idea is to have smartphone-based applications that can perform several functions. One is a monitoring function: having apps that can passively monitor the activities or biologic signals of an individual—whether it is movement, heart rate, respiratory rate, or level of activity—and have an ongoing record that can be catalogued, observed, and interpreted by clinicians. A second function is as a means of communication. Doctors already have begun to employ FaceTime, Skype, and texting to maintain contact with patients remotely in a variety of situations. Another area would be to develop apps that could provide some kind of actual therapeutic assistance, including cognitive-behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing, and supportive types of techniques or protocols when needed. All of these have great potential and can expand the reach of healthcare providers, psychiatrists, and mental health care clinicians, and provide help to a larger proportion of people when they need it.”

LightStrike Germ-Zapping Robot Can Eliminated Hospital Germs

 

Hospitals around the world are constantly for new and innovative ways to battle deadly pathogens and kill multidrug resistant organisms that can cause hospital-acquired infections (HAI).

Saint Peter’s University Hospital has implemented a LightStrike Germ-Zapping Robot that emits waves of ultraviolet (UV) light to destroy hard-to-kill bugs in hard-to-clean places.

Their goal is to prevent infection & provide a clean, safe environment for their patients,  families and employees. The latest technology provides an added level of protection in combating HAI’s caused by pathogens such as Clostridium difficile and Staphylococcus aureus.

The Xenex robot is a new technology that uses pulsed xenon, a high-intensity UV light that penetrates the cell walls of microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses, mold, fungus and spores. Their DNA is fused, rendering them unable to reproduce or mutate, effectively killing them on surfaces without contact or chemicals.

The system is effective against even the most dangerous pathogens, including Clostridium difficile (C. diff), norovirus, influenza, Ebola and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, better known as MRSA. Over 400 hospitals, Veterans Affairs and Department of Defense facilities in the U.S., Canada, Africa, Japan and Europe are using Xenex robots, which are also in use in skilled nursing facilities, ambulatory surgery centers, and long-term acute-care facilities.

The Future Of Healthcare & What They’re Saying

cand18_001

 

By 2019, 3D printing is expected to be a crucial tool in up to 35 per cent of surgeries.

In 2021, artificial intelligence (AI) is due to assist doctors in treating patients.

AI ‘chatbots’ are expected to outperform humans at some surgical procedures in 2030.

And in 2035, our senses will be able to be upgraded with implants that detect X-rays.

In the future, patients will still need specialists with expert knowledge but the difference is that advanced AI systems will assist healthcare practitioners by providing clinical and medical solutions; sometimes eliminating the need to see a doctor at all.

 

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: