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  • Writer's pictureJulie Barnes

October 30, 2019

Maverick’s Update

Only What Matters on Health Information Policy

  1. The ONC information blocking proposed rule joins the CMS interoperability proposed rule at OMB for review. This means that we are that much closer to health plans being required to share electronic claims data (at least) with third party apps when plan members so request.

  2. Maverick Health Policy was in Texas last week attending the Austin Health Care Council meeting, and heard from Ravi Sachdev of CD&R, an investment firm. Mr. Sachdev made a compelling case that investments in technology-enabled platforms and services in the Medicare Advantage market will not only be valuable, but are driving change in the overall healthcare marketplace.

  3. On Halloween, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce will treat participants to a Health Care Summit called “The Business of Health: Transforming with Transparency.” The half-day event will feature interoperability keynote CMS Deputy Chief Health Informatics Officer Alexandra Mugge, and founder of MedSavvy Sean Karbowicz, who will facilitate a panel on medication price and value (read: will that drug really work for you?) transparency.

One Thoughtful Paragraph

Maverick Health Policy is fascinated by big tech’s interest in the health care business.

  • FACEBOOK: Two days before it agreed to pay a $643,000 fine to the privacy regulator in Great Britain, Facebook swore privacy would be an important part of its newly launched “Preventive Health” tool in United States.

  • GOOGLE: Google Health, a division run by former Geisinger CEO David Feinberg, MD, announced that former ONC HIT Coordinator Karen DeSalvo will be its Chief Health Officer. This move was followed by Google’s parent company, Alphabet, announcing its bid to acquire Fitbit.

  • AMAZON: “Amazon Care” -- a virtual clinic for Amazon’s employees -- now includes Amazon’s newest purchase: “Health Navigator” (a start-up that connects employees and their family members to a physician or nurse practitioner through live chat or video). It is the latest in a number of major moves in the health care space by Amazon (remember PillPak and Haven).

  • APPLE: Devoted Health, a Medicare Advantage plan, is the first health plan (of reportedly many) to offer the Apple Watch as a benefit to enrollees.

One wonders how this activity will play out, with top Democratic presidential contenders threatening to break up big tech companies, the FTC launching antitrust investigations and several other related actions that are hostile to big tech. Will the health care side of these businesses be a dividing line?

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