Healthcare News Roundup: Q3 2019

Written by Lacey Jackson on August 29, 2019

Posted in Healthcare

As we wrap up summer 2019, it’s time to take a look at the biggest healthcare news stories, educational resources, and policy updates that surfaced in the last three months. Here’s the healthcare news you need to know from Q3 2019 from updated FCC policies to a new webinar series from HIMSS. 


NEWS UPDATES

NYC Health + Hospitals Reduce Patient Wait Times with Online Scheduling

In Q3, NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue announced the amazing progress they saw after implementing open access to scheduling. With these changes, they were able to cut patient wait times from 52 days to 14. 

We covered this news update on the blog! Check it out to learn more about how Formstack can help your organization reduce patient wait with online scheduling.

Trump Administration Denies Utah Waiver

In August 2019, the Trump Administration denied Utah’s request for federal Medicaid waivers to enact S.B. 96. Utah planned to obtain waivers to acquire federal funds for 90% of the costs instead of the current 70%.

CVS and Aetna Launch a Social Determinants Provider Network

CVS Health and Aetna Health are collaborating on a “social care coordination platform” called Unite Us. This platform will work to address social determinants of health in patients. The organization has already invested $40 million in affordable housing as a part of the program. 

HHS Urges Broad Reform for Indian Health Service Hospitals

Two recent reports from the Office of the Inspector General (OSG) uncovered major problems with processes in place at some Indian Health Services (IHS) hospitals. One study found that 20% of IHS hospitals were not in compliance with procedures for opioid prescribing and dispensing.


POLICY UPDATES

Changes to FCC Rural Health Care Program 

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is making changes to its Rural Health Care Program. These updates will ideally work to boost telehealth expansion across rural parts of the US. In their communication released August 1, 2019, they described the changes as a way to, “ensure limited program funds are disbursed efficiently and equitably, promote transparency and predictability in the program’s administration, and strengthen safeguards against waste, fraud, and abuse.”

Senate Unveils Prescription Drug Pricing Bill 

At the end of July, the Senate unveiled a bipartisan bill aimed at lowering prescription drug prices for seniors. This bill has been a long time coming and would potentially save the federal government billions of dollars in healthcare costs. The bill additionally include other provisions such as obligatory pharmacy benefit managers to disclose discount negotiations and increasing required HHS reporting around pricing changes for drug manufacturers.


WEBINARS 

Cyber-Threats in Healthcare: Understanding and Protecting Against the Risks

As a part of The Learning Center provided by HIMSS, several on-demand webinars were rolled out this quarter. This webinar hosted by Proofpoint outlines the types of cyber-attacks you should be aware of, shows how cyber criminals adapt and modernize to deceive diligent employees, and provides a guide for keeping your organization’s data safe.

HIMSS Interoperability Showcase – HIMSS 20

It’s never too early to start getting ready for HIMSS! HIMSS 2020 will be in Orlando in March, and they’re helping attendees prepare with a series of webinars on interoperability. This webinar is kicking off the HIMSS Interoperability Showcase and showing how you can get involved with the program. 

Related: Learn more about achieving healthcare interoperability in 2019.


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