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  • Writer's pictureJulie Barnes

March 17, 2023

Maverick's Update

Only What Matters In Health Information Policy

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! The spring holiday falls during the Christian season of Lent, when strict rules that forbid meat-eating or alcohol consumption are waived to properly celebrate Saint Patrick -- the patron saint of Ireland. Between the crazy weather, Russian planes colliding with drones, and a scary run on major banks, we can all use a little green-colored revelry. In the One Thoughtful Paragraph, we look at how March Madness aptly describes what is happening in digital health.

Other health information policy news that isn't likely to lead to a big party:

  • President Biden released his presidential budget, including allocations for improving cybersecurity, public health resilience, and increasing funding for health data and experience improvements.

  • HHS requested $78M to fund its Office of Civil Rights in 2024, a $38M increase from last year, to manage the 28% increase in HIPAA privacy complaints.

  • Right after the comment period closed on the proposed rule that would mandate electronic prior authorization processes, the director of the HHS Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT said that provider electronic health record systems may be required to facilitate electronic prior authorization as part of their certification criteria that makes them qualified for use in the Medicare Promoting Interoperability Program.

One Thoughtful Paragraph

March Madness, the hyper-competitive college basketball tournament, is always full of surprises. Yesterday, Princeton beat Arizona, ruining President Biden’s chances of winning the White House office pool. March Madness upsets are coming on the heels of the surprise collapse of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB). For decades, SVB played an outsized role in funding digital health companies (more about that here). While the Federal Reserve, the Treasury Department and the FDIC made sure that health technology startups and other bank customers would have access to their money, we expect to hear much more about how this is going to impact the future of digital health investments. It is no secret that the modernization of our health care system is sorely needed to improve public health, cancer care, mental health, and primary care -- and to make our system much more efficient. Traditional health care stakeholders cannot do it alone -- so here’s hoping that the luck of the Irish will help the startups find a pot of gold again soon. And, in case you missed it, this is how Princeton beat Arizona.

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