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  • Writer's pictureJulie Barnes

October 23, 2019

Updated: Oct 24, 2019

1. Maverick Health Policy is in Texas this week, attending the Liberation conference hosted by Medecision and Austin Health Care Council meeting with Gus Cardenas. Will report on what we learned, and look forward to hearing from our friends who attend HLTH in Las Vegas. We are sorry to be missing Health Innovation Alliance’s Congressional briefing on Patient Matching Solutions, but look forward to the Alliance for Health Policy’s November 6 event: Navigating Value and Innovation.

2. Many new developments to keep track of:

  • EPIC launched a data interoperability resource for third party app developers.

  • Microsoft announced its Azure API for FHIR -- first released in February 2019, which allows healthcare organizations to manage patient data in the cloud -- is available for all Azure customers. c. The FHIR-based Pharmacist eCare Plan -- an interoperable clinical / drug therapy care plan -- is now in 50 states.

  • Nuance and Microsoft launched a new partnership with ambient clinical intelligence to address physician burnout and automate medical record updates.

  • Partners HealthCare launched a new fund to support artificial intelligence and health digital tech investments.

  • Ochsner launched a digital population health program to focus on accelerating precision medicine.

  • UVA Health implemented a digital referral network to its E.H.R. system to address social determinants of health.

  • American Well and Cleveland Clinic are partnering on “The Clinic” -- a virtual care offering from Cleveland Clinic's experts through American Well's digital health technology platform.

3. You may want to read this case study by NYC Health & Hospitals and Harvard Business School if you want to know how one safety-net health system is trying to make clinical notes more available to its patients.

One Thoughtful Paragraph

Maverick Health Policy is asked -- quite frequently -- what the impact of the impeachment inquiry is having on the pace of legislative and regulatory initiatives in Washington, DC. So far, it has not slowed the pace of federal government activity. In fact, it may have created renewed urgency about promised objectives:

  • Republicans released “Part One” of their new framework for health reform this week. The Republican Study Committee (the largest conservative caucus in the House) proposal echoes its 2017 repeal and replace plan with insurance pools and block grants, and makes no mention of health IT or interoperability (maybe that’s in Part Two?).

  • Speaker Pelosi’s drug price package that would allow HHS to negotiate lower prices for drugs is expected to go the House floor for a vote soon.

  • Senators introduced a data portability bill “Augmenting Compatibility and Competition by Enabling Service Switching Act (ACCESS)” that requires social media companies to allow consumers to move their data to other platforms and mandates interoperability with more than 100M active users per month.

  • HHS published two proposed rules on anti-kickback and the Stark law which would create new safe harbors for cybersecurity technology and use the information blocking definition as the new fraud and abuse knowledge standard for preventing access or exchange of health information.

  • President Trump has issued eight Executive Orders since the impeachment inquiry was announced at the end of September, including this one that asks the HHS Secretary to promulgate regulations to empower Medicare beneficiaries, caregivers and providers with better quality care and cost data.

So… no, the impeachment inquiry has not slowed the pace of health-related government activity.

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