As summer sizzles, there’s no shortage of hot topics in healthcare technology. Our HIT List this week takes a cool look at burning issues from Big Data to digital health funding to cloud solution security risks.

  1. Big gap in Big Data. There’s still a major chasm between healthcare organizations’ perceptions about Big Data capabilities and actual performance. To maximize Big Data’s potential for improving outcomes, experts say the industry needs more analytics professionals, more training in analytical information systems and more patience. Optimism remains high, though, despite KLAS findings that healthcare CIOs using Big Data say it’s “two to three times harder than they thought.”
  2. Investors speak loud and clear. Digital health funding in 2015 appears to be keeping pace with last year’s record-breaking growth, totaling $2.1B in just the first half of the year. Wearables and biosensing devices were the most-funded category, with $387M. Analytics and Big Data, consumer tools for purchasing healthcare products and services, and telemedicine were also big draws. See what other categories attracted the big bucks.
  3. Security risk climbs sky-high. Growing security risk accompanies the growing popularity of cloud services in healthcare. recently earned the dubious honor of experiencing the first healthcare cloud solution data breach. Data in the cloud remains highly vulnerable, given that the latest cyberattacks are less about breaching networks from the outside and more about social engineering with sophisticated tools to capture privileged access from the inside. Never hurts to take another look at those data defenses, does it?
  4. Inching closer to ICD-10. The CMS announcement that Medicare will not deny payment for incorrectly coded claims during the first year of transition was welcomed by the medical community, but the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) still has concerns about commercial payers who may not be equally flexible. As a result, MGMA has been advocating for legislation that would require both public and private payers to accept either ICD-9 or ICD-10 during the transition year. Or, there’s always the hope CMS will act voluntarily.
  5. EHR powerhouses. Although there are 748 EHR vendors (in case you’re counting), updated meaningful use attestation data shows the market consolidating in both the ambulatory and inpatient markets. SearchHealthIT analyzed tens of thousands of attestation submissions to identify the top 10 vendors in each category and the top five in individual medical specialties, as well as to compile state-by-state rankings. Check out how many top performers you can rank accurately. (Hint, you may find a surprise or two.)
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