A coalition of health care organizations and entities, including AHIP and the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, asserted that all Americans must have access to high-quality and affordable health care coverage. The group outlined six steps that the federal government can adopt to achieve universal health coverage, including implementing tax credits and cost-sharing reductions linked to health insurance, creating a federal funding mechanism that offers financial help for those with high-cost conditions, and raising federal funding for outreach and enrollment programs.
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The purveyors of email phishing attacks might also engage in pharming, a two-step process that tricks a user into giving information to a bogus website. Richard Singha outlines steps for preventing such attacks, starting with checking website URLs before clicking.
Microsoft is adding remote care capabilities, patient monitoring, and care coordination as well as support for eight more languages to its Cloud for Healthcare service. New Microsoft Dynamics 365 patient access features will enable patients to schedule both virtual and in-person appointments through a patient portal and integrated bots, and receive follow-up and wellness guidance from their care team, according to a blog post by Tom McGuinness, Microsoft's corporate vice president of worldwide health.
Withings is introducing a scale and a blood pressure monitor with a cellular modem as well as Bluetooth and internet capabilities. The devices encrypt data and may make it easier to monitor patient health remotely without relying on a broadband connection.
The health information network USQHIN is collaborating with stakeholders on a nationwide hub to support admission, discharge and transfer notification exchange between health care providers and federal agencies, health information exchanges and health insurers. USQHIN says a prototype of the National ADT Hub Network will be ready to demonstrate late this year.
The continued digital evolution of health care depends on bi-directional exchange of data among health insurance plans, care providers, EHR vendors, health information exchanges and third-party vendors that collect or produce health information, writes Anthem Chief Data and Analytics Officer Ashok Chennuru. Health insurers are the central cog in bi-directional data exchange that will streamline administrative processes, improve care coordination, and enhance the patient experience, Chennuru writes.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois, Epic and NorthShore University Health System won the Chicago Health Executives Forum's Innovations Award for their joint care platform, which connects the insurer and health system and streamlines administrative processes. "The future of our healthcare system depends on strengthening partnerships that harness data across systems and deliver insights in real time," said BCBS-IL Vice President of Provider Performance Krishna Ramachandran.
The CMS must modernize Medicare's coverage and payment approaches to digital technology as part of a larger design overhaul to improve financial stability and care quality, write Forest Hill Consulting President Robert Horne and Omada Health Chief Privacy and Regulatory Officer Lucia Savage. Coverage policies should prioritize value, and savings can be reinvested to ensure financial stability, they write.
An Urban Institute analysis found that expanding the Affordable Care Act's premium tax credits to those with incomes up to 600% of the federal poverty level would bring down the number of uninsured by 116,000 and cause 48,000 individuals with non-compliant ACA coverage to switch to ACA-compliant plans. The policy would cost the US government an additional $4 billion and lead to a 0.1% decline in employer-sponsored insurance.
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