Health IT

Made up of more than a dozen Amazon employees and led by manager Rachel Jiang—a veteran of Facebook and Microsoft who has been with Amazon since 2013—the “health & wellness team” within Alexa's division has been working on how the voice assistant can adapt to the requirements of HIPAA.

Nearly a year after it was first announced the Department of Veterans Affairs would be replacing its in-house electronic health record (EHR) system with a Cerner platform, the contract hasn’t been finalized. A senior VA official now says the agency’s acting chief has set a deadline of Memorial Day—May 28—to make a decision on the acquisition.

Nashville, Tennessee’s Change Healthcare has announced a collaboration with tech giants Microsoft and Adobe on a new patient engagement solution—one that Change promised would unite “engagement orchestration proven to work in consumer marketing with industry leading healthcare IT across the continuum of care.”

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has requested quotes for a “large electronic medical record system” that could assess the safety and surveillance of FDA-regulated products through the agency’s current systems for reporting adverse events and leverage the database of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

In the latest acquisition by health IT vendor Allscripts, it has purchased HealthGrid, a mobile patient engagement platform, for $60 million in cash and adding its capabilities to the Allscripts FollowMyHealth portfolio.

Cerner reported its first quarter net earnings fell by $13 million compared to 2017, with the health IT giant acknowledging the delay in finalizing its hefty contract to bring a new electronic health record system to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) contributed to the decline.

A blog post from Shawn Martin, senior vice president of advocacy, practice advancement and policy at the American Academy of Family Physicians, argued the electronic health record (EHR) industry has failed to live up to promises to reduce costs, improve care and help avert dangerous medical errors—and what it needs now is a disruptive infusion of competition.

Eleven months after the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) selected Cerner to replace its in-house electronic health record system, the $16 billion contract hasn’t been finalized. According to Politico, two men in the social circle of President Donald Trump may be to blame for holding up the project—and neither man officially works for his administration.

In a speech at AcademyHealth’s Health Datapalooza conference in Washington, D.C., CMS Administrator Seema Verma said giving researchers the same access to data for other federal health programs that they can currently utilize for fee-for-service Medicare can help support “the creation of tools to help consumer make better care decisions.”

Fewer quality measures, a shorter reporting period for Meaningful Use requirements and an increase in uncompensated rate payments were all positives in the eyes of hospitals in their initial reaction to the proposed 2019 Medicare Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) rule.

Physicians, hospitals and health systems cited a variety of reasons for looking for a new electronic health record (EHR) vendor, from seeking better functionality to meeting new regulatory requirements. The fact the change likely won’t bring a quick return on their investment, however, doesn’t seem to deter anyone looking to make a switch.

A state board in Illinois has recommended voiding a seven-year, $62 million contract for Epic to implement a new electronic health record (EHR) system at University of Illinois Hospital and Health Sciences System in Chicago, finding some merit to Cerner’s claims that there was conflict of interest with the firm hired to evaluate the bids.