• Julie Barnes

March 4, 2020

Maverick’s Update

Only What Matters in Health Information Policy

  1. President Trump will address health care interoperability at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Conference on Monday, March 9. More than 40,000 health IT and policy professionals usually attend, but attendance may suffer due to coronavirus concerns. Corporate heavyweights have pulled out: Humana, Cisco, Salesforce, Amazon, Intel, Siemens, AT&T (and also HL7, the non-profit international data standards organization, according to Politico’s Morning eHealth).

  2. Another privacy rule to watch: the bipartisan senate proposal, Protecting Jessica Grubb’s Legacy Act, would modernize 42 CFR Part 2 privacy regulation to align it with HIPAA and improve the coordination of care for substance use disorder patients.

  3. Three U.S. Senators continue to seek information about the Ascension-Google Project Nightingale.

  4. Telemedicine may be useful in managing the coronavirus outbreak, maybe by keeping the healthy out of hospitals and clinics.

  5. The first 5G health innovation lab is here -- a collaboration of Emory Healthcare Innovation Hub (EHIH) and Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband service.

One Thoughtful Paragraph

What does the melodrama of the presidential election season mean for the future of health care information policy? If we predict that former Vice President Joe Biden is the Democratic nominee, either because he gets the necessary 1,991 delegates or wins a contested Democratic convention vote, and becomes President Biden, it seems likely that he would continue on the same interoperability trajectory as the Trump Administration. In 2016, at a Health Datapalooza event, Biden said that exchanging health data is “a matter of life and death.” This video helps explain why Biden wants to strengthen the existing health care system rather than attempting broad-sweeping reforms, which likely means more tweaking the ACA, drug prices, and prohibiting surprise billing. If President Trump is re-elected, it seems likely he will continue his bold moves on interoperability, price transparency, and other system reforms that do not necessarily require the cooperation of Congress. Of course, President Trump will need to conquer (or at least adequately address) concerns about the coronavirus, particularly its impact on the economy, to be successful in November. Maverick Health Policy will provide another update in August 2020, if there is something new to report post-Democratic and Republican conventions.

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