Here's What You May or May Not Have Missed This Week:
• The Obama administration issued new guidelines that will make it easier for patients to access their own medical records. Under the guidelines, doctors and hospitals cannot require patients to state a reason for requesting their records, and cannot deny access out of a general concern that patients might be upset by the information. A health care provider cannot require patients to pick up their records in person nor deny a request for access to health information because a patient has failed to pay medical bills. A doctor or a hospital may charge a fee to cover the cost of copying, but cannot charge for the cost of searching for data and retrieving it. Source
• Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) reported that the lack of interoperability between many of their health information technology systems and those of providers outside their ACO is the number 1 challenge they face. ACOs need to manage entire patient populations also requires that they integrate data from many of these disparate systems. CMS set a target for 2016 that Medicare should use ACOs or other new payment methods for 30 percent of its spending outside of managed care. Source
• The American Academy of Family Physicians published the results of a telemedicine usage survey, finding that only 15 percent of family physicians actually reported using telehealth services in the past 12 months. While 78 percent of respondents reported that telehealth improves access to care, the study shows the disconnect between support for telehealth and actual use of telehealth technologies. Source
On The Front Lines:
Apple fell ever so slightly this week by 0.02 percent in the mobile device wars among pMD's physicians users. Information surfaced recently about Google's $1 billion payment to Apple in 2014 to remain the default search engine on iOS. When a user opens the mobile Safari app on iOS and enters a search into the address bar, the search field by default is linked to Google’s search engine.
Each Friday, Signor Goat reports the latest from the week in health care alongside the front lines of the iOS-Android wars among pMD's physician charge capture users. Check back next Friday for your dose of our little medical corner of health care news.