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  • Julie Barnes

December 31, 2020

Maverick's Update

Only What Matters in Health Information Policy


Happy New Year’s Eve! Last week, Maverick Health Policy said we would announce whether the year-end spending bill and economic stimulus package that passed the House and Senate actually became law. It did. Feel free to use that as an excuse to pop some bubbly.


There isn’t much fresh news to report this week -- but we did want to flag this Q4 list of digital investments -- some interesting health care innovation acquisitions happened at the end of this year. We are also preparing for another round of virtual conferences -- Fierce Healthcare has a nice list of 2021 events.


Thank you for reading and for the amazing support from colleagues and new acquaintances this year. We look forward to having more original thoughts in 2021. For now, Maverick is sharing some 2020 highlights.

One Thoughtful Paragraphs From 2020


BIDEN ADMINISTRATION

March: President-elect Biden believes exchanging health data is a matter of life and death

August: How Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris feels about big tech

November: Ron Klain named Chief of Staff (he authorized cell phone tracking during Ebola)


BIG TECH

January: Explosion of new consumer-facing tech for health care

March: Technology is rushing in to solve the COVID-19 crisis

October: House Judiciary Committee issues big tech antitrust report

October 29: Big tech executives are in health care positions of power


CONTACT TRACING

May 1, May 14, May 21 Contract tracing may be mandatory, may or may not use technology, and may be prone to cyberattacks


HEALTH DISPARITIES

June: COVID-19 brought attention to health disparities

October: NIH’s National COVID Cohort Collaborative Data Enclave


INTEROPERABILITY

March: Snapshot of CMS Interoperability Rule

April: New timeline and new information blocking rule penalties proposed


LAB TESTING

April: Public health experts suggest standard electronic form for lab test reporting

September: Data-related takeaways from Atul Gawande’s New Yorker article on lab testing

October: Rockefeller Foundation’s state and local COVID-19 Testing Solutions Group

November: First at-home lab test gets Emergency Use Authorization that requires a mobile app so individuals can report COVID-19 results to public health authorities


PRIVACY

February: Privacy rules struggle to keep pace with technology

March: Relaxing HIPAA for telehealth and privacy risks come with modern health care tools

June: Privacy of consumer data proposals in Congress are well-intentioned bad ideas

August: eHI and CDT offer their Consumer Privacy Framework for Health Data


FEDERAL AGENCY ACTIVITY


CDC

July: CDC Director Redfield asks Congress for funds to modernize public health data system

September: CDC makes progress on electronic case reporting


FCC

May: FCC funds allow non-profit health care providers to offer telehealth


FDA

July: Technology Modernization Action Plan public meeting

September: FDA Digital Health Center of Excellence announced


HHS

July and December: Hospital COVID-19 reporting to healthdata.gov


ONC

January: Several takeaways from the (pre-COVID-19) ONC Annual Meeting

April: Multiple health information technology projects focused on COVID-19 solutions

October: 3-year cooperative agreement with the American Board of Family Medicine to see if doctors are using / appreciating health IT

November: ONC’s 2020-2025 Federal Health IT Strategic Plan


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