A weekly digest of the latest news in the healthcare industry
EHRs Really do Pay- More than $635 million has already been distributed by the federal government to healthcare providers. The data, compiled from CMS, offers details of how the money was distributed to the organizations that met Meaningful Use. The Medicaid incentive program provided the largest share at $389 million and the Medicare incentive program distributed $264 million. Additional data provided by CMS takes a look at the number of hospitals receiving Medicare and Medicaid incentives, the number of physicians, and more.
NCQA Names Top 20 Health Plans for 2011- The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) once again selected Harvard Pilgrim Health Care (HMO/POS) America’s best health plan for the eighth straight year. Executives at Harvard Pilgrim point to efficient healthcare IT as a leading factor in achieving this ranking. HPHC’s high-touch customer service model takes a proactive approach to informing members of health benefits and offers information that encourages them to make better healthcare choices. The full list of top health plans can be found here.
Large Numbers Shown Seeking Healthcare Information Online- According to a Harris Interactive poll, the percentage of US adults seeking healthcare-related information online reached 39 percent in 2011. This is a 7 percent increase from 2010, and is a 17 percent increase from 2009. Search engines are the leading platform for pulling healthcare information with 69 percent of respondents indicating they have used Google, Yahoo, or others in their search. As more people search online for crucial information on their health, it is important to ensure accuracy of information – 90 percent of people surveyed believe information found is reliable.
Data Breaches Alarming Healthcare IT Executives- A report issued by PricewaterhouseCoopers shows that the healthcare industry is not adequately prepared to handle data breaches. The company conducted 600 interviews during 2011 with healthcare executives across the country, and it was clear that embracing new technology was at the top of their agenda. However, 50 percent of organizations surveyed have failed to address mobility issues, less than 25 percent have addressed issues related to social media, and only 47 percent have addressed issues relating to privacy and security. Executives must take a strategic approach to dealing with these potential breaches, and innovation in IT security is needed to produce a cost-effective solution.
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