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Viewics
is a health care data analytics company that uses a cloud-based SaaS model to provide health care organization with solutions to improve their operational, financial and clinical outcomes. Viewics raised $8M in additional funding today, in a round led by Canvas Venture Fund. This is the second funding round for the company this year. Earlier this February, it raised an undisclosed amount from a group of savvy Silicon Valley investors, including Morado Ventures’ Farzad Nazem, who also is the former Yahoo CTO, and AME Cloud Ventures, a venture capital group led by Yahoo’s founder and former CEO, Jerry Yang.

Viewics’ flagship product, Viewics Health Insighter (VHI), allows health care organizations to have a standardized suite of analytics tools to aggregate, extract and share insights from the vast amounts of data in their information systems. It eliminates the hassle of developing an internal business intelligence infrastructure. Viewics has over 100 hospitals and laboratories as its customers, and processes data for 20 million patients across multiple departments and visits. The VHI data aggregation platform enables clinical analysis on a database representing 650 million tests. Continue reading “Viewics: Changing the World of Health Care Data”

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Lygeia RiccardiMaking Sense of Blue Button, Meaningful Use, and What’s Going on in Washington  …

At the recent Health 2.0 Conference in Santa Clara, co-chair Matt Holt expressed frustration about the difficulty of getting copies of his young daughter’s medical records. His experience catalyzed a heated discussion about individuals’ electronic access to their own health information. Many people are confused about or unaware of their legal rights, the policies that support those rights, and the potential implications of digital access to health data by individuals. The Health 2.0 conference crowd included 2000 entrepreneurs, consumer technology companies, patient advocates, and other potentially “disruptive” forces in healthcare, in addition to more traditional health system players.

Why is this topic so important? Until now, most people haven’t accessed their own health records, whether electronically or in paper, and I believe that making it easier to do so will help tip the scales toward more meaningful consumer/patient engagement in healthcare and in health. Access by individuals and their families to their own health records can empower them to coordinate care among multiple healthcare providers, find and address dangerous factual errors, and take advantage of a growing ecosystem of apps and tools for improving health-related behaviors, saving money on health services, and getting more convenient, personalized care.

A shorthand phrase for this kind of personal empowerment through access to digital health data is “Blue Button,” which is also the name of a public-private initiative in which hundreds of leading healthcare organizations across the US participate. The Blue Button Initiative is bolstered by the electronic access to health information requirements for patients in the “Meaningful Use” EHR Incentive Program, which is administered by CMS (the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services) with companion standards and certification requirements set by ONC (the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology). Continue reading “Getting Your Own Health Records Online: The Good and the Not So Good”

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Screen Shot 2014-10-14 at 5.15.57 PMIf it takes a village to raise a child, what would it take to improve health and health care across a huge and diverse metropolitan area?

The answer: a multi-stakeholder effort, such as the Atlanta Regional Collaborative for Health Improvement, or ARCHI.   Launched in 2011, the collaborative has brought together local government officials, philanthropies, health care systems, public health authorities and others to chart a strategy that could lead to lasting improvements in the community’s health.

ARCHI has big plans: to improve the quality and efficiency of the local health care system; lower the rate of growth of overall health care spending; and redirect the savings to other purposes that could lead to a growing economy, and, in turn, better health of the population. Although a long road lies ahead, ARCHI nonetheless offers a template for other communities that want to take collective action to improve health.

Continue reading “It Takes More Than A Village To Improve Community Health”

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ucm_439944

Big data is a big deal for healthcare providers and research scientists in 2014. At this  year’s Scientific Sessions, our Global Congress is focused on how Big Data is changing  the cardiology landscape.

From understanding the importance of data collection and analysis to discussing the  challenges cardiology professionals face when it comes to big data science, we’ll  explore the impact of big data on disease mechanisms and prevention.

The American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions is the leading cardiovascular conference for basic, translational, clinical and population science in the United States, attracting more than 17,000 attendees from more than 100 countries. It’s five days of unmatched education designed to improve patient care by communicating the most timely and significant advances in basic, clinical, translational and population health

Learn more and register at scientificsessions.org.

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Jonathan Bush Sq

Many observers have lamented the lack of a true market in health care, and tomes have been written about the rampant distortions in the system. Large provider networks battle large insurers in a game of chicken to set prices. Patients don’t have enough information to make good choices. Costs are hidden from patients by a cascade of employer, insurer, and provider policies. And the US government ultimately provides most of the money.

One of the most prominent advocates for a health care market is Jonathan Bush, a regular speaker at health conferences and author of the recent book Where Does It Hurt? To achieve the potent mix he envisions of innovative entrepreneurship, rich data sets, and long-term care for chronic conditions, he calls for a light regulatory hand and for smashing the current oligopoly in health care.

Continue reading “The Free Market, the Unrestrained Consumer, and Jonathan Bush’s Solution to Healthcare costs”

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flying cadeuciiIf another case of Ebola emanates from the unfortunate Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, the Root Cause Analysts might mount their horses, the Six Sigma Black Belts will sky dive and the Safety Champions will tunnel their way clandestinely to rendezvous at the sentinel place.

What might be their unique insights? What will be their prescriptions?

One never knows what pearls one will encounter from ‘after-the-fact’ risk managers. I can imagine Caesar consulting a Sybil as he was being stabbed by Brutus. “Obviously Jules you should have shared Cleo with Brutus.” Thanks Sybil. Perhaps you should have told him that last night.

Nevertheless, permit me to conjecture.

First, they might say that the hospital ‘lacks a culture of safety which resonates with the values and aspirations of the American people.’

That’s always a safe analysis when the Ebola virus has just been mistaken for a coronavirus. It’s sufficiently nebulous to never be wrong. The premise supports the conclusion. How do we know the hospital lacks culture of safety? ‘Cos, they is missing Ebola, innit,’ as Ali G might not have said.

They would be careful in blaming the electronic health record (EHR), because it represents one of the citadels of Toyotafication of Healthcare. But they would remind us of the obvious ‘EHRs don’t go to medical school, doctors do.’ A truism which shares the phenotype with the favorite of the pro-gun lobby ‘guns don’t kill, people kill.’

Continue reading “Six Sigma vs Ebola”

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flying cadeuciiCrowdsourcing is engaging a lot of news organizations today. While some journalists are nervous about crowdsourcing — “Yikes, we’d rather talk than listen, and what if they tell us something we don’t want to hear? Or something that we know isn’t true?” — we here at clearhealthcosts.com love crowdsourcing. We find, as journalists, that our communities are smart, energized, truthful and engaged, and happy to join hands in thinking, reporting and helping us make something that’s bigger than the sum of its parts. We learn great things by listening, so … now we’re going to to an experiment crowdsourcing coverage for our blog.

Our current project crowdsourcing health care prices in California, with KQED public radio in San Francisco and KPCC/Southern California public radio in Los Angeles, has been a great success, as was our previous project with WNYC public radio, and we’re looking forward to launching similar projects with other partners. Continue reading “It Cost What? Crowdsourcing Costs In An Evolving Healthcare System”

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Screen Shot 2014-10-12 at 6.49.00 PMA friend of mine has been living well with lung cancer for five years — working, running several miles a day, traveling, doing good stuff with his family, and generally enjoying the pleasures of everyday life. He knows the cancer will eventually kill him, but has been making the most of every remaining minute.

Then, a month ago, things suddenly turned dramatically south. Severe shortness of breath, constant coughing, sleeplessness, fatigue, loss of interest, anxiety. My friend figured the jig was finally up — that he was going terminal. We all felt sad in the face of this inevitability. In our different ways, we began the painful process of saying goodbye.

Then things seemed to get even worse. I accompanied my friend to visit his lung doctor — an amiable and thorough man who spent lots of time with us, took a good history, and did many tests.

Continue reading “How Not to Talk to Someone Dying of Cancer”

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California-HealthCare-FoundationI am excited to announce that the California Health Care Foundation (CHCF) has just published a report, authored by me, about the state of healthcare Accelerators in the U.S. and around the world. For those of you who don’t know CHCF, it is a very large not-for-profit endowment that has a mission to improve the quality, cost and efficiency of healthcare delivered to the underserved populations of California. In so doing, they also provide a very valuable educational service to the overall healthcare community and fund the creation of reports like this one about Accelerators.

The new report, entitled Survival of the Fittest: Healthcare Accelerators Evolve Towards Specialization is available for download HERE.

This report is intended to update the report that CHCF released two years ago entitled “Greenhouse Effect: How Accelerators are Seeding Digital Health Innovation” about the then emerging field of healthcare Accelerators.   I would have to say that two years later in 2014, these programs have definitely emerged.

Continue reading “Healthcare Accelerators Evolve Towards Specialization”

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new adrian gropper

The essence of controlling Ebola is surveillance. To accept surveillance, the population must trust the system responsible for surveillance. That simple fact is as true in Liberia as it is in the US. The problem is that health care surveillance has been privatized and interoperability is at the mercy of commerce.

Today I listened to the JASON Task Force meeting. The two hours were dedicated to a review of their report to be presented next week at a joint HIT Committee Meeting.

The draft report is well worth reading. Today’s discussion was almost exclusively on Recommendations 1 and 6. I can paraphrase the main theme of the discussion as “Interoperability moves at the speed of commerce and the commercial interests are not in any particular hurry – what can we do about it?”

Health information technology in the US is all about commerce. In a market that is wasting $1 Trillion per year in unwarranted and overpriced services, interoperability and transparency are a risk. Public health does not pay the bills for EHR vendors or their hospital customers.

Continue reading “Ebola Offers a Teachable Moment For Health Information Technology”

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FROM THE VAULT

The Power of Small Why Doctors Shouldn't Be Healers Big Data in Healthcare. Good or Evil? Depends on the Dollars. California's Proposition 46 Narrow Networking
MASTHEAD STUFF

MATTHEW HOLT
Founder & Publisher

JOHN IRVINE
Executive Editor

JONATHAN HALVORSON
Editor

JOE FLOWER
Contributing Editor

MICHAEL MILLENSON
Contributing Editor

ALEX EPSTEIN
Director of Digital Media

MICHELLE NOTEBOOM Business Development

MUNIA MITRA, MD
Clinical Medicine

Vikram Khanna
Editor-At-Large, Wellness

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