AHIP: Graham-Cassidy bill would hurt patients, destabilize markets | Reps ask for info from HHS, Merck on malware attack response | VA medical center in Spokane, Wash., says missing laptop may have contained PHI
September 22, 2017
AHIP Health IT SmartBrief
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AHIP: Graham-Cassidy bill would hurt patients, destabilize markets
AHIP: Graham-Cassidy bill would hurt patients, destabilize markets
(John Moore/Getty Images)
AHIP joined a number of health care organizations in announcing opposition to legislation that would replace the funding structure of the Affordable Care Act with block grants and allow states to design their own programs. AHIP President and CEO Marilyn Tavenner said the Graham-Cassidy bill would further destabilize the individual insurance market, undermine consumer protections, hurt those who rely on Medicaid and open the door to a single-payer model.
The New York Times (free-article access for SmartBrief readers) (9/20),  The Hill (9/20) 
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On the Road to Payer-Provider Convergence
Geneia CEO Mark Caron discusses the market and government forces driving payer-provider convergence and the current state of value-based care adoption. Read more.
Reps ask for info from HHS, Merck on malware attack response
Reps. Greg Walden, R-Ore., and Tim Murphy, R-Pa., sent letters to HHS Secretary Tom Price and Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier asking for information about their response to the recent NotPetya malware attack and asking Price about "policies, plans, and procedures for addressing potential drug shortages or other associated consequences caused by cyber infections such as the NotPetya malware strain." The lawmakers are concerned about a report Merck released in July stating that the cyberattack had disrupted operations and some of those disruptions were continuing.
The Hill (9/21) 
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VA medical center in Spokane, Wash., says missing laptop may have contained PHI
The Department of Veterans Affairs is notifying 3,275 patients in Spokane, Wash., that a computer missing from inventory may have contained their names, birth dates and Social Security numbers. The VA will offer free credit monitoring for one year.
The Spokesman-Review (Spokane, Wash.) (free content) (9/19) 
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Technology Trends
10 promising startups land spots in Cedars-Sinai Techstars accelerator
Ten new health care technology startups chosen for Cedars-Sinai's Techstars accelerator will receive $120,000 in seed money and mentoring from physicians, researchers and executives. The startups will apply technologies including artificial intelligence, voice recognition, microfluidics and natural language processing to patient engagement, clinical trials, personalized care plans, triage and blood collection, among others.
The Business Journals (tiered subscription model)/Los Angeles (9/19) 
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Allowing data transmission fees might improve interoperability
Allowing EHR system vendors to charge fees for data exchange under HITECH and HIPAA rules would improve interoperability by giving vendors an incentive to invest in data transmission capabilities, writes Brookings Institution Non-Resident Fellow Niam Yaraghi. "If it was legal to directly charge a data exchange fee, other innovators would compete to provide exchange services at a lower cost and higher quality," Yaraghi writes.
Health Affairs Blog (9/19),  Health IT Security (9/20) 
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Advancing Care with IT
Horizon BCBSNJ offering Pager's interface to subscribers
Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey is offering Pager's artificial intelligence-powered interface to subscribers who want to connect with health care providers via video consultations or scheduled appointments.
MedCity News (9/21) 
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HealthRhythms to move app into clinical testing with NIH grant
The NIH issued a $2.1 million grant to HealthRhythms for clinical testing of a smartphone-based behavioral health platform. The platform passively collects data on physical activity, sleep, social interactions and other daily patterns and applies a proprietary algorithm to suggest specific actions to combat depression or anxiety in users.
MobiHealthNews (9/21) 
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Government and Regulatory
ONC relaxes HIT certification oversight so vendors can focus on interoperability
The ONC wants to free health IT vendors to focus on interoperability by allowing them to declare that they meet at least 30 of 55 certification requirements rather than undergoing testing. The ONC will also relax health IT surveillance policies and will cease checking to ensure certification bodies are conducting random audits, according to an ONC blog post.
Modern Healthcare (tiered subscription model) (9/21) 
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Health Insurance Exchanges
Nev. ACA exchange more user-friendly this year
Nevada's Silver State Health Insurance Exchange will be up and running and the consumer-facing portal, Nevada Health Link, will be easier to use for this year's Affordable Care Act open enrollment period, exchange Executive Director Heather Korbulic said. Exchange officials said the Affordable Care Act marketplace is likely to remain intact for 2018 even if Congress passes a bill to repeal the law, but aggressive outreach is needed to get the state's remaining eligible but uninsured residents enrolled in a health plan.
Las Vegas Review-Journal (9/21) 
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Health Insurance Plan Company News
Solution Provider News
Innovation, results are reshaping quality health care
Leaders from government and industry deliver insights into innovations and improvements at AHIP's National Conferences on Medicare, Medicaid & Duals, Sept. 24 to Sept. 28 in Washington, D.C. Networking opportunities plus tactical guidance during five concurrent tracks are also on the agendas. There's still time to register! Register today.
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Get more eyes on job postings -- AHIP Career Center
AHIP's Career Center provides options to extend the reach of your job post. You can post in AHIP SmartBrief newsletters, as well as on the National Healthcare Career Network (NHCN) -- a collection of hundreds of health care associations/professional organizations. Extend your reach with AHIP Career Center.
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It is a thing of no great difficulty to raise objections against another man's oration -- nay, it is a very easy matter -- but to produce a better in its place is a work extremely troublesome.
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