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Pace of digital health funding slows in Q3

About $700 million in venture funding flowed into the digital health sector during the third quarter, a report from prominent digital health accelerator Rock Health found. That represents a decline in the pace of growth in funding.
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Looking for work? Know about IG? You're all set

While the term information governance or IG, which refers to the maintenance, compliance and control of healthcare data within an organization, is fairly new, the job market is already recognizing the need for experts in the field, said Kayce Dover, president and CEO of HIM Connection, a Birmingham, Ala.-based recruiting firm for health information management professionals.

More than 100 American Health Information Management Association conventioneers attended a career-track educational session Tuesday to hear Dover talk about opportunities in field.
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HHS moving forward with risk corridor payments despite GAO's view

1:30 pm, Oct. 1 |
Congress must explicitly appropriate funds to pay for the risk corridors program that is designed to protect insurers from big losses in the state and federal exchanges, according to legal opinion issued by the Government Accountability Office.

“The making of an appropriation must be expressly stated in law,” the nonpartisan watchdog agency wrote. “It is not enough for a statute to simply require an agency to make a payment.”
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Systems serving low-income patients struggle under readmissions penalties

Hospitals with limited resources continue to struggle as they try to implement programs that drive down readmission rates, and federal penalties could potentially make matters worse, write the authors of a report published in the Joint Commission's Journal on Quality and Patient Safety.

Socio-economic factors such as homelessness and lack of transportation were commonly cited in interviews the researchers conducted with executives and frontline staff at eight U.S. safety net hospitals.
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Mentally ill shouldn't be treated in ERs: civil rights panel

Hospital emergency departments need to do more to identify and transfer mentally ill patients to appropriate facilities for care, a new government report says, but it falls short of recommending how healthcare providers can address a continuing shortage of available inpatient beds in mental health facilities.

The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights recently published findings from the fact-finding body's March meeting that examined enforcement of the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act, passed in 1986 to address the practice of patient dumping.
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Calls for repealing Obamacare will fade after this election cycle, pundits predict

2:30 pm, Sep. 30 |

This is the last election cycle in which Republicans will try to reap political advantage by promising to repeal Obamacare, agreed Dr. Avik Roy, a conservative healthcare policy expert, and Chris Jennings, who played a key role on healthcare issues in two Democratic administrations. The pair spoke Tuesday at a conference in Washington sponsored by America's Health Insurance Plans.

Roy pointed to recent stumbles by Republican Senate candidates in Kentucky and Arkansas in seeking to explain their stance on popular provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act as evidence of how politically tricky the issue has become.
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Abstract world of healthcare IT gains human dimension at AHIMA

A pair of emotionally charged presentations turned all the often-jargon-filled talk about IT, computing power and medical records into very human stories Monday during the opening session of the American Health Information Management Association's 86th annual convention and exhibition in San Diego.

AHIMA President and Chairwoman Angela Kennedy recalled a personal story of her efforts to compile an accurate medical record of her adopted daughter, who was diagnosed with a genetic medical condition, to illustrate the need for health data accuracy and governance of medical records.
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Call Intermountain a consultant on Cerner's big-bucks military EHR bid

When Cerner Corp., the Kansas City, Mo.-based electronic health-record developer, announced last week that Intermountain would be helping a consortium of IT firms, including Cerner, in its bid to win a 10-year, estimated $11 billion deal to replace the Military Health System's multiple EHRs, the most obvious question was what exactly would be Intermountain's role in the bid.

Consultant is “probably the single best word” to describe Intermountain's role with Cerner, Intermountain Chief Medical Information Officer Dr. Stanley Huff said in an interview after the announcement.
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Industry skittish about Open Payments database launch

With less than a week to go before the CMS unveils a new database describing payments made by industry to doctors and teaching hospitals, anxiety is high for the many people and organizations with their reputations on the line.

The Open Payments Program database is a requirement of the Physician Payments Sunshine Act, a provision in the Affordable Care Act. It's scheduled to become public for the first time Sept. 30.
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ACOs struggle with advanced IT, interoperability, survey shows

Many accountable care organizations are struggling with advanced IT functions and interoperability, a survey of 62 ACOs conducted in July and August 2014 by Premier and the eHealth Initiative shows.

“Most ACOs are still at the stage of basic care-coordination capabilities,” said Bryan Bowles, Premier's vice president of population health solution management, Wednesday on a call discussing the survey. “The challenges of blending disparate data have hindered uptake of more advanced functions.”
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