Entries in Announcement (126)


Cyber attacks – a new reality for health care organizations

By Claire Thayer, April 20, 2016

The healthcare industry as a whole is at a critical juncture in its efforts to curb medical identity theft, data breaches and health care fraud. More than any other industry, health care is now leading the way for the highest number of records breached - 84.4 million alone in the first half of 2015. Hospitals, health plans, health systems and provider organizations are all doubling down on efforts to address vulnerabilities related to cyber attacks. And, the sooner the better – as consumers are starting to take notice - about 50% say they wouldn’t hesitate to find another healthcare provider if they were concerned about the security of their medical records.

Cyber threats now have the full attention of the c-suite. A recent HIMSS Cybersecurity Survey finds:

  • 87% of healthcare leaders indicated that information security had become a critical business priority
  • 66% of healthcare organizations experienced a significant security incident
  • 57% of healthcare organizations have allocated a full-time resource to address cybersecurity
  • 81% of respondents believe more innovative and advanced tools are needed to combat security threats

These and issues pertaining to identity management in health care are the focus of a recent MCOL infographoid, co-sponsored by LexisNexis Healthcare, highlighted below:

MCOL’s weekly infoGraphoid is a benefit for MCOL Basic members and released each Wednesday as part of the MCOL Daily Factoid e-newsletter distribution service – find out more here.


Health Systems Advised to Tread Carefully When Considering Provider-led Health Plans 

By Claire Thayer, April 18, 2016

McKinsey & Co released an in-depth paper that explores both growth and evolution of provider-led health plans and offers key questions health systems should think about when evaluating their current plans or considering offering stepping into to provider-led plan market space. Here are some of the highlights gleaned from this paper.

The authors point out that overall, the growth in enrollment of provider led plans has increased 6% since 2010, growing from 12.4 million in enrollment to 15.3 million in 2014. While during this same time period, growth in the number of provider-led health plans was modest, increasing just 3% from 94 plans in 2010 to 106 in 2014. The enrollment growth was most pronounced in the Medicaid, Medicare Advantage and Individual Markets

The authors point to 4 important questions that are critical for health systems to consider when evaluating provider-led health plan (PLHP) offerings:

  • How can consumerism benefit a PLHP
  • When is growth through a PLHP most likely
  • Is an alternative type of administrative infrastructure possible?
  • What can be gained through granular analytics?

For further reading:

Article Summary: The market evolution of provider-led health plans [McKinsey & Company]

Full Article: The market evolution of provider-led health plans [McKinsey & Company]


52% of healthcare IT leaders evaluating cloud-based solutions for population health management

By Claire Thayer, April 12, 2016

A recent HIMSS Media survey of healthcare IT leaders identifies five key challenges in using connected health IT applications to support population health management:

  • Care Coordination – 23.5%
  • Financial investment in IT – 21.4%
  • Data Management – 18.4%
  • Patient Engagement & Adherence – 14.3%
  • Cohort identification and risk stratification – 12.2%

With the growing consumer interest in all things mobile, it’s not a surprise to see that many of these health IT leaders are giving serious considerations to population health platforms that support telehealth systems with back-end integration services.  Notably, 52% are evaluating cloud-based solutions and more than half say they intend to adopt mobile wellness monitoring apps for their population health management needs.


Aligning Wellness Program Incentives to Increase Use of Digital Health Apps

By Claire Thayer, March 29, 2016

A recent HealthMine survey of 500 insured consumers finds that half of those surveyed are enrolled in a wellness program and one-third received their health device/app as a benefit of their wellness program.  Of those now using digital health tools, most were for tracking fitness and nutrition purposes. Pharmacy and medication tracking apps were used by 28% and 14% of those surveyed; patient portal by 22%, and about 10% indicated they were using apps for prescriptions / medical provider price comparisons.  A bit surprisingly, only 7% were using disease management apps:

More on these findings, including biggest motivators to use digital health apps, are published at HIT Consultant.


Telemedicine and Virtual Visits preferred by close to one-third of consumers

By Claire Thayer, March 17, 2016

Telehealth, quite simply refers to the use of electronic technology to deliver health care and health information between patients and their providers. Use of mobile devices and smartphones for vitual visits and remote patient monitoring alone goes a long ways in terms of enhancing patient engagement. The American Telemedicine Association reports that up to 15 million people used telehealth services in 2015, a 50 percent increase from 2013. 

A new Accenture survey finds that nearly one-third (29 percent) of consumers said they prefer virtual doctor appointments to face-to-face doctor appointments,  compared with just under one-quarter (23 percent) in the 2014 survey.

The survey further finds that both physicians and consumers alike believe that virtual visits provide benefits for patients, such as:

  • lower costs:  58% of consumers vs. 62% of doctors
  • convenience:  52% of consumers  vs. 80% of doctors
  • timely access to care: 42% of consumers vs. 49% of doctors

For providers, plans and health systems evaluating incorporation of telemedicine into overall care delivery systems, ECG Management Consultants offers a few key questions to take into consideration:

  • What operational and care delivery challenges is your organization looking to solve?
  • How far do your patients live from sites of care?
  • What are the demographics and health needs of your organization’s patient population?
  • Which services will your contracted health plans reimburse for?
  • What is your organization’s capacity and ability to build telemedicine services internally?
  • Which companies are the right partners to support your telemedicine services?
  • What is the level of technology adoption in your organization, and what are the technology habits of your patient population?