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  • Writer's pictureJulie Barnes

June 10, 2022

Maverick's Update

Only What Matters In Health Information Policy

This is the time of year when things end and others begin. Kids graduate, beginning a new adventure. People move, start new jobs, and go on vacation. One thing that just ended was the Ellen DeGeneres Show, and we were reminded of her stand-up routine in which she describes (see minute 14:25) how sorry she feels for news anchors who have to switch facial expressions and tone of voice to match the sudden change from a horrific news story to a silly one. In the One Thoughtful Paragraph below, we talk about how sometimes we feel like a tv-anchor-with-whiplash when reporting on digital health policy changes.

Other news this week:

  • The U.S. Senate Commerce Committee and the U.S. House Energy & Commerce Committee released a discussion draft of the bipartisan American Data Privacy and Protection Act (ADPPA), a comprehensive federal consumer data privacy bill that would help protect sensitive consumer data, including health data, by giving consumers federal rights about how their data is used and limiting the ability of companies to collect it.

  • CareBridge, a start-up that offers states and health plans digital solutions to help Medicaid beneficiaries stay at home and avoid unnecessary hospitalizations, raised $140M in its latest funding round.

  • In a lengthy blog post this week, CMS explained the National Quality Strategy it launched on April 12, 2022, and announced that it will hold listening sessions this summer to gather stakeholder input on how to operationalize its eight goals -- including policies that support digital data interoperability and digital quality measures.

One Thoughtful Paragraph

Another funny television series ended recently -- Netflix’s Grace & Frankie. It is a show about friendships and life’s roller coaster ride -- including how new relationships begin, how new business ventures start that solve important health problems, and how our stereotypes about aging need to change. Each episode causes belly laughs and tears, and you feel a little wiped out after all those ups and downs for 7 long, binge-worthy seasons. Being a close observer of all the digital health policy proposals gives us that same roller coaster feeling: like you are coming to the top of a really big dive on a roller coaster, with that terrifying tick, tick, tick as you near the top and then you seem to hold on at the top forever before you start the wild ride down, screaming as you go. Pick something -- the new consumer data privacy proposal (we mentioned it above and previewed it in Sept 2021) or the never-ending discussion about automating the prior authorization process (CMS said this about it 10 months ago and this in March 2022 at HIMSS; Congress has its own solution; and ONC repeatedly reminds us that they explained -- months ago -- how it could work operationally). And there is the on-again-off-again determination to study and develop new technology to help solve our biggest science and health care problems. It is enough to make you want to get off the roller coaster and chat with Dolly Parton at the gates of heaven, like Grace & Frankie did, before ultimately deciding the roller coast might be worth it.

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