Summer is finally upon us, and that means it's time to close out the spring with a healthcare news roundup for the second quarter of 2019. There’s a lot to dig into, so let’s get started. Here’s the top news from Q2 2019.
How We’re Aiming to Stop Surprise Medical Bills
Joe Grogan, Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy, penned an article for the White House following the President’s comments on surprise medical bills. In the article, he shares specific examples of the problem they’re trying to solve and some possible changes to be made. You can read the full op-ed on the CNN website.
Alphabet (Google’s parent company) has invested in Verve Therapeutics, a company that plans to use gene editing to spread healthy genetic mutations as a way to provide lifelong protection against heart disease.
Some people have low cholesterol without even trying. Sometimes, this is caused by one of a few genetic mutations known to protect people from heart disease. Verve plans to pass these beneficial mutations onto other people by injection using CRISPR. There’s a lot of secrecy around this project, but we do know that Verve Therapeutics is working with Google’s sister company, Verily, on delivering CRISPR via injections of nanoparticles.
The White House will soon be launching their expansion program to provide private medical care for veterans. There’s been some controversy around the launch of this program, but VA officials insist they’re applying lessons learned from the rushed launch of the VA’s Choice program in 2014.
On a daily basis, you probably don’t think about whether you include your middle initial when you fill out a document or abbreviate street when you write your address. This July, hospitals serving Medicare patients will start to take these nuances a lot more seriously.
Next month, CMS will begin enforcing its exact match program, which requires the addresses hospitals use on their claims for services provided at off-campus, outpatient departments exactly match those entered for its Medicare enrollment of those locations.
A key part of healthcare interoperability is buy-in. Of course, your team works hard every day to support healthy patient populations, but internal resistance from staff makes implementing new technology and innovations difficult. The American Hospital Association will be collaborating with Innovation 90 to educate viewers on serving as strong leaders, creating enthusiastic support from stakeholders, and delivering measurable results in 90 days.
Boston Medical Center (BMC)—a private, not-for-profit, academic medical center affiliated with Boston University School of Medicine—recently unveiled a social needs screener as part of an electronic health record (EHR). BMC’s social determinants of health (SDOH) screener works to better identify and address patients' unmet social needs. The EHR model, THRIVE, “facilitates an automatic print out of referral information for resources based at the hospital and in the community when the patient asks for help with a need they have identified in the screener.”