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The Joint Commission has announced it will not move forward in implementing any of its proposed changes to accreditation standards.

Don Rucker, MD, head of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) said his agency has been focused on improving usability and interoperability of electronic health records, adding that while blockchain technology may provide some interesting capabilities but it’s too soon to issue regulations on it.

A study published in JMIR mHealth and uHealth includes a list of five recommendations for improving mHealth utilization for adolescents with chronic conditions. The researched aimed at improving disease self-management in adolescents by utilizing mHealth technology for real-time care.

While clinicians may be confused or frustrated with the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA), professionals in health information management should see it as “nothing but positive” and embrace it, according to Bonnie Cassidy, MPA, principal of advisory services at nThrive and former president and chair of the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA).

Embracing artificial intelligence (AI) technology is “a necessity” for the health IT industry, according to Harold “Hal” Wolf III, the next president and CEO of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS).

 

Recent Headlines

FDA introduces 'action plan' to improve digital innovation in healthcare

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released its “Digital Health Innovation Action Plan” to provide guidance on medical devices and software in the 21st Century Cures Act. The Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH) was launched as a pilot precertification program for the development of digital health technology.

CMS proposes expanded telehealth reimbursement for 2018

The proposed Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) rule would provide a boost in reimbursement to telehealth services, paying for several new services and codes.

Senators introduce rural telehealth legislation

Sens. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., and Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, have introduced a bill to expand access to rural telehealth services. The “Reaching Underserved Rural Areas to Lead on Telehealth Act," or RURAL, would allow non-rural hospitals severing rural areas to qualify for support from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Healthcare Connect Fund (HCF).

FDA lists reusable medical devices requiring new validation

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released a list of reusable medical devices that will require validated use instructions and data regarding cleaning, disinfection and sterilization.

ONC budget cut by $22 million under Trump

Under President Donald Trump's proposed budget, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) will lose $22 million in funding. The 36 percent reduction cuts the $60 million for ONC to $38 million in 2018.

CCHP report analyzes state telehealth laws, reimbursement policies

The Center for Connected Health Policy (CCHP) has released, "State Telehealth Laws and Reimbursement Policies," its fifth annual report analyzing all 50 states and the District of Columbia’s Medicaid provider manuals, state laws and telehealth regulations. 

Six legislators introduce bipartisan bill to expand telehealth

Six U.S. Senators have introduced the Creating Opportunities Now for Necessary and Effective Care Technologies (CONNECT) for Health Act of 2017, a bipartisan bill that aims to extend telehealth services to Medicare patients to improve access and outcomes while reducing costs.

South Carolina hospitals check off 'reduce post-surgical deaths' with safety checklist

Having a checklist for chores or exercise goals help in lining up what needs to be completed and the same should go for safety in hospitals. A recent study, set to be published in August in the Annals of Surgery, found that having a safety checklist program implemented in hospitals in South Carolina reduced post-surgical deaths by 22 percent. 

FDA approves two hepatitis C drugs for pediatric patients

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Sovaldi (sofosbuvir) and Harvoni (ledipasvir and sofosbuvir) for the treatment of hepatitis C in pediatric patients, ages 12 to 17.

Former Siemens CMO Donald Rucker to lead ONC

According to a recent string of tweets, Donald Rucker, who served as CMO of Siemens Healthcare for 13 years, will head the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC).

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