Patients’ Access to Own Health Records Set to Become Easier

Patients’ Access to Own Health Records Set to Become Easier

Accessing your own health data free of cost will soon become a reality as Federal health regulators proposed major regulations coinciding with HIMSS 2019. Information related to insurance claims, hospital and doctor records will be available for patients on their smartphones once the policy comes into effect.

“Patients have really lost in the system,” said Seema Verma, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. “Today, instead of filing cabinets and paper silos, we now have electronic silos that make it difficult for patients to access their own health data.”

The rule, when it comes into effect, will be helpful for patients who want to electronically access information from the healthcare providers’s EHR (Electronic Helath Record) systems. This information can include details such as doctor notes, reports, and historical medical data. The patient will not be charged for these records.

“The rule really is, OK, let’s figure out how to get this information out technically and let’s force it out,” Don Rucker, the national coordinator for health information technology in the Department of Health and Human Services, told WSJ.

In recent times, hospitals have caught on the digital transformation train and started offering online patient portals. These portals however, redact critical information such as imaging scans and doctor notes. This new draft policy aims to make the process and information sharing more transparent.

“It’s very hard for individuals to get their health information today,” Deven McGraw, a former federal official told WSJ, despite existing laws that protects such access.

Companies like Apple have already started building tools which can store personal health information in real-time and this draft policy is expected to bring health data to our digital devices. Claims data, including the cost of services will also be opened for access by patients.

Since the regulations will make it mandatory for the hospitals to follow the guidelines to participate in the Medicare program, the healthcare providers might finally have to be fully transparent and make critical information available to the patients on-demand.

5 Dapasoft Recommended Sessions To Attend At HIMSS 2019

5 Dapasoft Recommended Sessions To Attend At HIMSS 2019

Digital transformation has caught up with the healthcare industry. Healthcare organizations are slowly realizing that their competitiveness is predicated on their adoption of technology and a failure to adapt to change could be catastrophic.

Organizations need to approach digital transformation carefully because technology will define the true worth of all product and services in the future, especially in the healthcare industry. HIMSS 2019, therefore, is the perfect place for a sneak peek into the future of healthcare. With just three more days to go here’s a curated list of exciting sessions at HIMSS 2019.

1. Session: Improving Provider Data Accuracy with Blockchain
(Health Information Exchange, Interoperability, Data Integration)
When: 13th Feb, 11:30 am – 12:30 pm
Where: Orlando – Orange County Convention Center – W230A
What to expect: This session will provide an overview of why Humana, MultiPlan, Optum, Quest Diagnostics and UnitedHealthcare have formed an alliance (named the Synaptic Health Alliance) to explore the use of blockchain technology in tackling the challenge of accurate and efficient provider data management and sharing.

2. Session: Creating the Next Generation of Digital Engagement
(Consumer, Patient Engagement & Digital Connected Health)
When: 14th Feb, 8:30 am – 9:30 am
Where: Orlando – Orange County Convention Center – W304E
What to expect: This presentation will share insights into the initiatives Novant Health has developed to maximize engagement at each point across a patient’s healthcare journey.

3. Session: Clinical Optimization: One Approach to Integration
(Improving Quality Outcomes Through Health Information & Technology)
When: 14th Feb, 8:30am – 9:30am
Where: Orlando – Orange County Convention Center – W206A
What to expect: This session dives into how to reduce care variation, improve clinical outcomes and lower overall costs by implementing a simple, yet effective, clinical optimization strategy.

4. Session: Digitally Transforming Patient and Caregiver Experiences
(Consumer, Patient Engagement & Digital Connected Health)
When: 15th Feb, 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Where: Orlando – Orange County Convention Center – W308A
What to expect: In this session, the speakers will discuss key digitalization initiatives at the Cleveland Clinic and the learnings from a multi-year digital transformation currently under way.

5. Session: FHIR Interoperability: Point-of Care Healthcare Apps in the Real World
(Health Information Exchange, Interoperability, Data Integration)
When: 15th Feb, 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Where: Orlando – Orange County Convention Center – W304A
What to expect: This session will describe Geisinger’s evolving approach to using FHIR resources to extend homegrown apps beyond our current EHR system, allowing us to share our innovation more broadly than ever before.

Top 4 TED Talks Every Health IT Leader Should Watch

Top 4 TED Talks Every Health IT Leader Should Watch

TED talks are all about ideas worth spreading. From self-help techniques to innovation in science and technology, TED talks are now considered a congregation for some of the greatest minds in the world. With one of the biggest healthcare conferences (HIMSS) just around the corner, here’s our selection of four of the best TED talks every Health IT leader should watch.

Visualizing the Medical Data Explosion

This talk covers how analyzing medical data has changed over the years due to medical data explosion. A single CT scan generates 25,000 images of the human body, which is equivalent to 20 GB data. All this data helps the healthcare teams to extract relevant information, given the right equipment. Anders Ynnerman also discusses sophisticated new tools like virtual autopsies, which enable physical autopsies and forensic evaluations. They also help to locate metal fragments embedded in a body. The speaker demonstrates touch devices which help with diagnoses, and an MRI which maps brain activity and how the neurons are working, when the person is engaged in certain activities.

Key Takeaway: Health IT has really helped in delivering scores of data related to patients and diseases but learning to analyze that data correctly is the next step in the evolution of new age healthcare models

Let’s Pool our Medical Data

From Avicenna in 980 AD to Carlos Finlay in the 1800s, man has tried to understand disease to treat it. Finlay pioneered the concept of “informed consent”, paving the way for performing clinical studies on human beings, to further our understanding of disease. Today, doctors aim to snuff out the disease itself, by studying genomes which carry the weight of a legacy, trailing over generations and even millennia. But data confidentiality is hampering the possibility of finding innovative new treatments, by hiding the connections between diseases. Privacy is important, but data needs to be shared, if we want to find a real cure to a disease. Can people voluntarily share their medical records and data through standardized legal tools and standardized technology? When Vanderbilt ran a study, which asked for bio-samples for a bio-bank, only 5% of people refused.

Key Takeaway: John Wilbanks founded the world’s first fully digital, fully self-contributed, global and ethically approved clinical research study where people can directly contribute data. This is done through express consent, and people can upload their personal medical history and join an effort to move forward in health as a society, creating a Wikipedia for medical research which contributes to the greater good.

It’s Time to Redesign Medical Data

This talk is about behavioral barriers which make most patients disobey a doctor’s advice. Can we provide information to people and educate them to make better choices and better decisions in life? It’s intriguing because dentists got people to brush and floss their teeth, but other disciplines haven’t seen similar success.. The TED talk focuses on how efficient people are more compliant and personalized information works better than fear-mongering. It’s important to specify individualized points of action, by building an emotional connect with options, choices, benefits and trade-offs. It’s also necessary to create a feedback loop, which connects the information with the action. For this to succeed, we need personalized data. We need to clearly tell people what the drug is for and who it is good for and then offer the statistics on its effectiveness and also its side effects. Same goes for lab test results too.

Key Takeaway: Redesigned medical data is a powerful catalyst for change and tackling behavioural barriers is a pre-requisite to bring about that change.

Soon, We’ll Cure Diseases with a Cell not Pill

This talk by Siddartha Mukherjee shows how antibiotics have made us believe that stopping a disease is all about popping a pill. But only 0.025 percent of all chemical reactions in our body can be targeted by this method.  We are now turning to immunotherapy from chemotherapy, bringing spectacular new medicines to treat cancer. Pills are no more the answer to depression,  and this TED talk examines why we need to re-look at kidney failure, diabetes, hypertension, and osteoarthritis too.

Key Takeaway: The time has come to treat diseases with a cell and not a pill. Encouraging the growth of some cells, or stopping some from growing  makes the treatment of disease individualized, immersive and genome-based.

Corolar FHIR Server for Microsoft Teams Enables Integration of HL7 compliant EHRs Within Care Coordination Workflows

TORONTO, Feb. 11, 2019 – Dapasoft Inc., a leading provider of healthcare interoperability, clinical integration, and cloud application development solutions, announced the private preview of Corolar FHIR Server for Microsoft Teams. This solution brings EHR data into Teams using FHIR API enabling clinicians to collaborate and communicate on patient care.

Studies show that acute care coordination focusing on communication between provider-handoffs is an important factor for successful patient outcome. As an extensible, compliant platform, Microsoft Teams provides a hub for collaboration that provides secure messaging, meetings, files sharing, and now the integration of electronic health records.

Corolar FHIR Server for Teams is an HL7-FHIR compliant FHIR API integration solution. This solution brings clinical EHR data, in HL7 format, into Teams in FHIR format for efficient care coordination.  Thus, our solution enables clinicians at adopting provider facilities to leverage the incredible collaborative capability of Teams while easily accessing clinical data from EHR systems like MEDITECH, Epic, Cerner, etc. using FHIR APIs. Our solution makes it easy for Health IT to support clinician requests for secure, private, and easy to use collaboration scenarios.

“We are excited to bring enhanced capabilities to clinicians for improving acute care coordination with Microsoft Teams,” said Michael Lonsway, Dapasoft’s President. “We have already seen a lot of interest among health IT leaders and clinicians across many Canadian provider sites. We are excited to roll out this integrated care coordination solution including seamless interoperability with the Teams platform.”

Mike Ammerlaan, director, Microsoft Office 365 Ecosystem, Microsoft Corp. said, “The ability to integrate electronic health data into Microsoft Teams greatly streamlines care coordination workflows for healthcare providers. With its deep healthcare integration capabilities, Dapasoft is helping modernize healthcare. The Corolar FHIR Server for Teams will allow health IT professionals to quickly enable Teams for care collaboration scenarios and ultimately make acute care coordination easier.” 

Key Facts:

  • Corolar is a robust Microsoft Azure-based HL7/FHIR Server for Teams health team collaboration.
  • Facilitates interoperability between HL7 compliant EHRs and FHIR compliant systems, like Teams.
  • Supports the functionality of the Teams Patient App for health team collaboration
  • Corolar FHIR Server is available in private preview in the US and Canada
  • US and Canadian providers are invited into the private preview of Corolar HL7- FHIR Server.

About Dapasoft Inc. 

Dapasoft is pioneering the future of healthcare apps and data interoperability. Dapasoft’s healthcare iPaaS on Azure enables legacy health IT systems and independent SaaS apps to work together seamlessly for improving quality and cost of care. Our iPaaS has pre-built and highly customizable adapters ideal for easily building and quickly deploying custom healthcare integrations. Headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, Dapasoft is trusted by numerous healthcare providers, payors, and app developers to power their businesses everyday, integrating a wide variety of clinical, EHR, CRM, and health analytics systems.

Our approach sets us apart: We blend over 12 years of healthcare integration expertise on HL7, C-CDA, FHIR, and others with our highly flexible iPaaS and data exchange technology on Azure. We bolster your business quickly and cost effectively; in the cloud, on-premises, or a hybrid environment

For further information:
Jijesh Devan, +1 416-847-4080 ext. 1070

How Providers Gamed the System by Offering Chargemaster Prices Without Insight

How Providers Gamed the System by Offering Chargemaster Prices Without Insight

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) required hospitals to post their standard charges for every item they use (also known as chargemaster prices) online from the 1st of January. Their expectation was that this price transparency would translate to patient empowerment, as it would enable patients and their caregivers to make informed choices between healthcare providers, based on the cost of the treatment required.

In full compliance of the regulatory requirements, hospitals around the US have made their chargemaster price information publicly accessible. The providers, however, have failed to give meaningful access to the costs related to patients and their treatment. Let’s delve deeper and understand why unloading data related to cost of treatment without any insight is not helpful:

  • Hospitals dumped all the costs in huge lists online without throwing light on the cost of specific services. So, if someone wanted to compare the costs involved in a tonsillectomy, not only would they need to know the names of each consumable, each test, and each service but also the doctor/specialist charges that would be incurred during such a surgery.
  • Some providers have posted a link to an excel sheet online, which displays massive columnized lists showing prices of more than 20,000-35000 items, making it difficult if not impossible, to verify the costs prior to availing any medical service.
  • Many of these lists posted online use abbreviated names, codes, and mixed-up terminology, making it nearly impossible to understand anything from them.
  • Thousands of services have been listed with minor variations and described using abbreviations and codes to reflect price variations. This makes the process even more cryptic.
  • Some providers have displayed the costs using complex software which is only machine readable and defeats the purpose of a transparent policy.

chargemaster prices

The raw data that’s been dumped online is useless to the public and could even be misleading. But of course, there are always exceptions to any rule and some consumer-friendly hospitals like El Camino Hospital in Mountain View, Calif., Baylor Scott & White, Tx., among others. They have invested the time and effort needed to provide transparent online tools which enable patients to make a reliable estimate of the out-of-pocket expenses they would incur for their services. These tools factor in an individual consumer’s health plan benefits and deductible status before providing the estimate.

Currently there are no checks in place to ascertain the integrity of the data posted by providers online and no penalties for non-compliance. Therefore, it is necessary for the CMS guideline to include some checks and balances to attain true price transparency. Till then, the patients and their families will have to contend with complex documents to analyze cost differences across different care options.


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