October 15, 2021
AHIP Health IT SmartBrief
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Top Story
The pandemic has made the open enrollment process more complex, but employers and advisers can make the process smoother by focusing on clients' wants and needs before offering solutions, and leaning on technologies and tools that makes the process easier without losing the personal touch, experts said. Emphasizing voluntary benefits and helping workers understand how their decisions will affect both their finances and well-being can make the enrollment process easier.
Full Story: BenefitsPRO (free registration) (10/13) 
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Cybersecurity
The FDA Center for Devices and Radiological Health's best practices for communicating medical device cybersecurity vulnerabilities include notifying patients and caregivers as quickly as possible, particularly if the vulnerability poses a risk to patient safety. Cybersecurity guidance should be kept simple, straightforward and easy to understand, include a call to action and provide clear instructions for mitigating risks, help patients find reliable information online, and be disseminated through multiple channels.
Full Story: Health IT Security (10/8) 
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Technology Trends
Hospitals have been testing and implementing 5G technology to enhance aspects of care that use an Internet connection. Wider rollout of the technology likely will take several years, and expansion will rely on increased network coverage and the creation of novel products.
Full Story: Becker's Hospital Review (10/11) 
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Close to two-thirds of clinicians responding to a survey said they have used telehealth to ensure patients have access to care during the COVID-19 pandemic, and 35% have developed new roles related to telehealth, but 21% said they are using telehealth less since payments have been decreased, and 41% aren't sure they can continue offering telehealth. One-quarter of respondents expressed concern that telehealth is weakening primary care, and less than 30% said their practice is in good financial health.
Full Story: Healio (free registration) (10/13) 
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Featured Content
This episode is brought to you by Wellframe
Solving the maternal health crisisInfant and maternal health outcomes are in crisis, especially among people of color. Systemic racism, low income and housing insecurity are part of a constellation of drivers stakeholders must unravel. In this episode of Touchpoints, experts explain what moms and babies need and how health plans can help provide it. Listen now.

    Advancing Care with IT
    Anthem Blue Cross and Providence St. Joseph Health System have partnered with tech firm Vim to strengthen their value-based care program, allowing the partners to scale their tech solutions for improved payer-provider collaboration. Vim's EHR-integrated application suite, which includes referral guidance solutions, digital scheduling, care gaps identification and benefits navigation tools, enables better data and workflow connections to boost patient outcomes, and the platform will be rolled out across Providence hospitals in Southern California.
    Full Story: HIT Consultant (10/12),  Healthcare Finance (10/12) 
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    UPMC Health Plan used a data-driven whole-person care strategy to improve health outcomes and quality of life of subscribers eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid as well as people with physical limitations who need long-term services and supports. To ensure success of a data-driven holistic care program, health care organizations must invest in technology that improves staff efficiency, take steps to boost member engagement and educate members about available community-based services, write Brendan Harris, vice president of UPMC Community HealthChoices, and Sheela Datta, chief client officer at VirtualHealth.
    Full Story: HIT Consultant (10/11) 
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    Government and Regulatory
    The CMS announced that it won't enforce compliance of the payer-to-payer data exchange provision, which was supposed to take effect in January as part of the Interoperability and Patient Access final rule, until additional rulemaking is released. The agency said the move would reduce tension related to data exchange implementation and prevent the flow of discordant data.
    Full Story: MedCity News (10/13) 
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    The CMS released quality rankings for 2022 Medicare Advantage (MA) and Medicare Part D plans in advance of Medicare open enrollment, which starts Friday. About 68% of MA plans that include prescription drug coverage will have at least four stars, an increase from 49% this year, and the agency said about 90% of current enrollees in MA plans with prescription drug benefits are enrolled in coverage that earned four stars for the coming plan year.
    Full Story: Healthcare Dive (10/11) 
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    California will allow some adult children to include parents as dependents on their health insurance policies, in the hope that it will increase coverage for adult immigrants who don't have insurance. Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed the measure into law, and it will take effect in 2023.
    Full Story: The Associated Press (10/8) 
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    Health Insurance Exchanges
    The Kentucky health insurance marketplace, kynect, will reopen, and it is available to anyone in the state. Users can begin searching plans online Oct. 15, and enrollment opens Nov. 1.
    Full Story: WDKY-TV (Danville, Ky.) (10/13) 
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    AmeriHealth Caritas will enter the Affordable Care Act (ACA) exchanges in North Carolina by bringing its new product, called AmeriHealth Caritas Next, into 25 counties in the state. AmeriHealth will initially offer one gold plan, three silver plans and two bronze plans, which will be built on the insurer's Next Generation Model of Care, which focuses on a person's overall health including social determinants of health, and will give members access to wellness and care management programs.
    Full Story: FierceHealthcare (10/12) 
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    Solution Provider News
    AHIP News
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