Back to school time is here and we’re studying up on health IT trends and topics sure to make an impact this fall and beyond. This week, our HIT List syllabus highlights ICD-10 preparedness, the addition of healthcare data on Yelp, an EHR vendor cyberattack and much more.

  1. Steep readmission penalties predicted (again). The good news: Readmission rates have dropped. The bad news: Unfortunately, around 1 in 5 hospitalized Medicare patients are readmitted within 30 days. With 2015 repeating last year’s penalties, we’ll see over half of U.S. hospitals again having to pay Medicare readmission penalties. As the combined payments are estimated to reach $420M, here’s hoping hospitals double their efforts to follow patients more closely after discharge.
  2. EHR vendors not immune to cyberattack. Indiana-based cloud electronic health record (EHR) vendor Medical Informatics Engineering (MIE) recently suffered a data breach affecting 3.9 million people. Since this breach represents possibly the first known cyberattack on an EHR vendor, concern over the security of digital patient information grows. Even as MIE takes steps to remediate and enhance security to protect future patient data, you can’t help but wonder if this is a sign of more EHR vendor breaches to come.
  3. Yelp adds healthcare data. As part of its consumer protection efforts, Yelp announced the release of a new feature that adds healthcare data for more than 25,000 healthcare facilities to its online review pages. Consumers can now evaluate data points such as quality of doctor communication versus state average, or nursing home fines paid during the last three years.
  4. Docs still struggling to prepare for ICD-10. A recent survey by the Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange (WEDI) revealed that nearly a quarter of physician practices expect to be ready for the upcoming ICD-10 transition, while another 25% are unsure. What should practices do to prepare? Check out the four recommendations WEDI says can help ensure a smooth transition.
  5. Quality metrics receive negative perception. According to a recent report, a majority of healthcare providers negatively view the use of metrics and financial penalties when it comes to measuring provider performance. While the negative perception didn’t vary much — even from providers that were paid based on quality of care — a bright spot in the report revealed that a majority of respondents viewed the increased use of health IT as a positive when it came to improving quality of care delivery. Only time will tell if perception (and reality) turns the corner on quality metrics.
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