Jan. 27-28: It’ll be a busy couple of days for health IT policy wonks as the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT holds its annual meeting in Washington, D.C. The theme of this year’s meeting is “Connecting Policy and Technology: Bringing the EHR to the Patient.” The opening plenary session will delve into the controversial topic of creating unique patient IDs. A discussion of balancing patient privacy and data access is slated for Tuesday. Modern Healthcare’s Jessica Kim Cohen will report on the key takeaways.
Jan. 29: Industry officials have another opportunity to share their thoughts on the Trump administration’s transparency agenda. Comments are due at the end of the day on a proposed rule that would require insurers to disclose price and cost-sharing information to plan members. Comments on the proposed rule, issued in November by the CMS and the Labor and Treasury departments, were initially due Jan. 14, but industry groups pushed back, arguing they needed more time to work on meaningful responses. Still, in a joint letter filed Dec. 3, America’s Health Insurance Plans and the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association supported the notion that “every American” should get personalized information on cost and quality “before they seek care.” They argued, however, that the “far-reaching” proposal would force insurers to disclose a “staggering” volume of data. Our rules and regulations reporter, Michael Brady, will break down the comments in an analysis this week.
Jan. 29: More than 6,000 U.S. veterans committed suicide each year between 2008 and 2017, according to the most recent data from the Veterans Affairs Department. Veterans are 1.5 times more likely to commit suicide than nonveterans. The House Veterans’ Affairs Committee will home in on this crisis during a hearing titled, “Caring for Veterans in Crisis: Ensuring a Comprehensive Health System Approach.”