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Many States Will Be Unprepared if Court Weakens Health Law

The New York Times
December 11, 2014

"A Supreme Court ruling this spring could upend health insurance markets in at least 34 states, eliminating the federal subsidies that make coverage affordable for millions of Americans. State governments, theoretically, have ways to forestall this outcome. But few have taken action. If they wait until the court rules, it may already be too late for a state to get started on an exchange so that it is ready for 2016."

What the Ebola Crisis Has Taught Us About Big Data

SmartData Collective
December 09, 2014

"Big data has become the hot topic and champion of the private sector. Organizations compile massive amounts of information from a variety of sources, then filter and analyze it to better understand trends. It’s the hope that these trends can predict future behavior. For example, banks can use big data to detect fraud, or entertainment companies can use to it create hit television shows.... However, there is tremendous potential for big data analytics in healthcare."

Health Care Law Is Not One-Size-Fits-All, and Here's Why

The New York Times
December 08, 2014

"One criticism of the Affordable Care Act is that it imposes a costly, one-size-fits-all standard, drastically increasing premiums by requiring everyone to buy health insurance that covers the same mandated benefits. This is not so."

CMS: Drop In Hospital-Acquired Conditions Saved 50,000 Lives

Healthcare Daily
December 05, 2014

"Preliminary federal findings report adverse hospital-acquired conditions (HACs) at American care facilities declined by 9 percent in 2013, saving as many as 50,000 lives in the past three years."

The Health-Cost Slowdown Isn't Just About the Economy

The New York Times
December 05, 2014

"It’s one of the most important economic questions today: Is the snail-like growth of health costs over the last several years a real trend, or is it merely a temporary part of the Great Recession’s aftermath?"

CMS: National Health Spending Continues to Grow at Slow Rate

ACA International
December 04, 2014

Healthcare spending in 2013 increased at the lowest annual rate since 1960. The decline in healthcare spending from 2012 to 2013, the Office of the Actuary at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) reports, "is due to slower growth in private health insurance, Medicare, and investment in medical structures and equipment spending... However, faster growth in Medicaid spending, due to Medicaid expansion, helped to partially offset the slowdown."

How Analytics Can Guide Patient Care and Health Policy

Harvard Business Review
December 04, 2014

"These few examples of the ways in which big data is augmenting and even reshaping the practice of medicine illustrate its far-reaching potential — and we are at the very earliest stages of this exploration. As the amount of information available in cloud-based networks expands, we will find new ways that it could be analyzed to understand emerging health care trends, to support quick and evidence-based understanding of health policy impacts, and to better document the efficacy of medical interventions. Medicine will be the better for it."

GBMC doctors join push to improve patient care, save money

The Baltimore Sun
December 03, 2014 

"The first thing patients probably notice when walking into the new doctors offices at Greater Baltimore Medical Center is there is no waiting room. Patients go directly to an exam room, where doctors, nurses and other staff are supposed to cycle in during a half-hour appointment... The design is patterned after one used by a Seattle medical system, which modeled it after Toyota's production system."

First CMS Chief Data Officer Lays Out Vision, Priorities 

Health Data Management
December 02, 2014 

The newly created Office of Enterprise Data and Analytics (OEDA) at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will focus on “'maximizing CMS data for both internal and external users,'” says Niall Brennan, CMS's first chief data officer and head of OEDA. “'We have increasingly embraced data whether it’s for fighting fraud in real time or producing real-time readmissions data, making data available to researchers, providers and the public.'”

More data, more problems?

Safety and Health Magazine
November 23, 2014 

"Hundreds of thousands of U.S. employers are required to keep and maintain injury records. This data, which could be used to identify emerging trends or help improve injury prevention efforts, is – for the most part – kept out of public view. OSHA is aiming to change that."

Data Shows Drug Prices Continue to Skyrocket

Health Data Management
November 21, 2014 

"New data from AARP shows prices for brand name prescription drugs continue to skyrocket, particularly for older Americans. Analysis of 227 such drugs shows an average cost increase of nearly 13 percent in 2013, compared with a general inflation rate of 1.5 percent during that year."

Hospitals See Significant Rise in Quality of Care Measures 

Health Data Management
November 17, 2014 

"Based on 2013 data, an annual report from the Joint Commission on hospitals’ performance to increase the safety and quality of care finds 1,224 hospitals were top performers in 2014. That is an 11 percent increase from last year."

CMS Releases Final Physician Fee Schedule Rule

JDSupra Business Advisor
November 17, 2014

Highlights of the final Medicare physician fee schedule (PFS) rule.

Microsoft Unveils Mobile Health Platform, App and Smart Band

Health Data Management
October 31, 2014 

"Targeting the exploding health and wellness market, Microsoft in one fell swoop has launched a new cloud-based platform, mobile app, and wearable fitness tracking wrist band."