• Julie Barnes

August 5, 2021

Maverick's Update

Only What Matters in Health Information Policy

Are you going to President Obama’s birthday bash this weekend? Neither is anyone else. Read more here, and if you’re in a snarky mood, here. President Obama shares a birthday (same day, different year) with Louis Armstrong, the legendary jazz trumpeter and vocalist. It is Armstrong’s version of What A Wonderful World that keeps us going after reading too many snarky news articles.

This news is only a little bit snarky:

  1. Health tech solutions solve problems and sometimes create new ones. The American Medical Group Association is asking ONC to modify the information blocking rule to allow providers more time to release test results to patients (the rule requires immediate availability of electronic health information). Apparently, people are getting upset or confused by test results before their doctors have a chance to explain.

  2. If you’re going to HIMSS in Las Vegas (the big health tech conference) next week, this is what you need to know, according to Fierce Healthcare. But the L.A. Times reported that two places you don’t want to go mid-COVID-surge are Las Vegas and Florida, the only two places HIMSS is ever held.

  3. How many apps do we need? A new report by IQVIA counted more than 350,000 digital health apps that are now available to consumers.

One Thoughtful Paragraph

Perfection is generally an unattainable goal, but 14-year-old Chinese diver Quan Hongchan managed it twice with two impossible-looking dives at the Olympics that earned the top score of “10” from all seven judges. Sadly, her family’s health care story isn’t perfect -- apparently this young girl got into diving competitively to help support her sick mother. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ Innovation Center (“CMMI”) isn’t perfect either, but it is trying to figure out a way to make sure that 14-year-olds aren’t paying for the healthcare of their sick mothers. CMMI is the federal agency that tests new healthcare payment models. On August 4, 2021, it released its report to Congress on its latest economic experiments, explaining how it not only “leveraged technology and data” but that “model testing in a performance-based payment environment depends on technology and data” to reduce burden, improve outcomes, and evaluate performance. CMMI reported, for instance, that for its Comprehensive Primary Care Plus Model, it collected data on 3,000 practices to help figure out how they may succeed in value-based care arrangements. In the future, CMMI intends to give model test participants better access to meaningful data and analytics. Maybe CMMI is taking a cue from China -- which is using its data analytics and technology superpowers to win the most gold medals at the Olympics. Maybe this will spur Congress to revisit its proposals to invest in tech and science resources? But more than gold medals, we need emerging technologies and better data analytics for so many reasons, as the American Institute of Physics reports here.

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