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HIMSSCast is a podcast produced by the HIMSS Media editorial team behind Healthcare IT News, MobiHealthNews, and Healthcare Finance News. In each episode, editors from are joined by special guests from around the health tech industry to discuss major news stories or trends in the space. The aim of the show is to add depth, analysis and color to our ongoing coverage of the digital health, health tech and healthcare finance realms, as well as to facilitate lively conversations about hot health tech topics. HIMSSCast is a member of the Health Podcast Network (
349 Episodes
The connection between EHRs and physician satisfaction – and, by extension, clinician burnout – is one that has been well-explored over the past few years. And the COVID-19 pandemic has only made those issues more relevant. Dr. Richard Baron, president and CEO of the American Board of Internal Medicine and the ABIM foundation, joined Healthcare IT News Senior Editor Kat Jercich to discuss his recent JAMA Network Open commentary about why some physicians may be happier with their EHRs than others – and what organizations might do about it.Talking points:-People in physician-owned practices report higher EHR satisfaction-Clinicians feeling technology is done to them, not for them-The clinical purpose of an EHR gets lost-How owning a practice makes a difference-The burnout from "inbox overload"-Using EHRs to answer broader population health questions-Connecting technology to physician success-The effect of COVID-19 on burnout-What organizations can doMore about this episode:EHRs are still a mess for physicians, but change is comingPatient messages via Epic increased during COVID-19, raising burnout concernsFemale physicians spent 33 more minutes per day in EHRsEHR satisfaction: A better way is possibleMayo Clinic study links EHR usability with clinician burnoutKLAS: Clinician burnout is a worldwide problem
The COVID-19 pandemic has had spillover effects on screening and preventive care. But even before the novel coronavirus, adequate screening for disease, especially among vulnerable people, was still a public health concern.A recent study from the Regenstrief Institute and Indiana University found that even though screening rates have improved, about one in five women still do not receive a test for syphilis during pregnancy –- which is recommended by the CDC given the serious threat syphilis can pose to the health of the fetus. Brian Dixon, study senior author and director of public health informatics at the Regenstrief Institute, joined Healthcare IT News to speak about the research and the role IT can play in informatics.Talking points:-Rates of congenital syphilis have been rising-Previous studies have largely only used claims data-The benefits of syphilis screening during pregnancy-Disparities in syphilis screening rates, and what might be behind them-The potential effects of COVID-19 on screening rates-How public health leaders could use information like this-More ways health IT can be used to support public health objectives-The next projects on deck at RegenstriefMore about this episode:Regenstrief, IU launch public and population health programRegenstrief launches initiative to disseminate SDOH dataHow HIEs can enable public health reporting when EHRs fall shortHospitals facing big hurdles to public health data reportingCIOs plan big investments in EHR optimization and pop health IT
Patients in rural parts of the United States often face specific and numerous barriers to care, including financial hurdles, logistical concerns and trust in the healthcare system.As the founder of Caravan Health and Chief Innovation Officer at Signify Health, Lynn Barr is deeply involved in rural health policy. She joins Healthcare IT News Senior Editor Kat Jercich to discuss her journey of working with health systems, what role population health programs and value-based payment can play in inequities, and what policy changes are necessary for safety-net providers.Talking points:-60 million people live in rural America-What data measurement can reveal about quality -The divide in life expectancy between rural and urban Americans-Population health programs and value-based payment addressing inequities-The HITECH Act's effect on independent physicians-Small numbers don't work for judging cost-Leading indicators of success for population health-Why regional benchmarks may not be useful for safety-net providersMore about this episode:Rural hospitals face growing sustainability threats on multiple fronts, AHA saysRural hospitals need more than telehealth to survive the pandemicCMS announces a new value-based payment model for rural healthcare providersHHS puts $48M toward rural public health IT, workforce expansion
The fee-for-service model of healthcare has been reexamined over the past few years, with alternative models increasingly gaining traction. Zak Holdsworth, CEO and co-founder of Hint Health, tells Healthcare Finance News Executive Editor Susan Morse he believes the status quo payment models are on their way out – and the question isn't "if," but "when."Talking points:-How Hint Health got started-How the direct primary care model works-The benefit for health systems-What about specialty care?-Employers are starting to explore new options -Should insurers be scared?-The difference between this model and the ACO REACH model-The future for Hint HealthMore about this episode:Employees want direct primary care from their employer plansFlat-fee primary care model helping fill a niche in Texas, but it isn't insuranceFueled by health law, 'Concierge Medicine' reaches new marketsHint Health rolls out value-based primary care direct contracting networkHow a direct primary care model provider benefits from an easy-to-use EHR
Artificial intelligence tools in healthcare, as with any other software, are not immune to bias – especially if they have been trained on data sets that do not accurately reflect the global population.Last year, VisualDx, which provides diagnostic support software, launched Project IMPACT, a global effort to reduce disparities in medicine and highlight ways to bridge gaps of knowledge and improve healthcare outcomes for patients of color.VisualDx Director of Clinical Impact Dr. Nada Elbuluk joined Healthcare IT News Senior Editor Kat Jercich to discuss the project and the roles individuals and clinicians can play in working toward health equity. Talking points:Why it's so important to have a broad range of images across different skin typesAchieving health equity is a complicated problemHow individuals can contribute to reducing health inequityThe effect of providers' knowledge gaps on patient careHow technology can address some of those gapsThe role AI and ML tools can play in reducing bias – or worsening itWhat's missing from the wider conversation about health outcomesReal action is needed to promote health equityMore about this episode:VisualDx to unveil vastly expanded clinical decision support system at HIMSS16Even innocuous-seeming data can reproduce bias in AIFDA highlights the need to address bias in AIHow an AI-powered tool could help diagnose skin cancer in veteransHow augmented intelligence can promote health equity
Providers quickly adopted virtual care during the COVID-19 pandemic.Virtual specialist care company Summus Global saw the utilization rate of its platform jump by 3.1 times between January 2020 and January 2021, with membership growing more than 1,000%. CEO and founder Julian Flannery tells Healthcare Finance News Executive Editor Susan Morse he does not see virtual use declining to pre-pandemic numbers.Spurred by the growth, seasoned players joined emerging startups in the M&A virtual care space. Oak Street Health acquired RubiconMD for $130 million;  MDLive launched a remote patient monitoring program for virtual chronic care management; and One Medical and Humana introduced their own virtual chronic care offerings. Flannery believes these acquisitions will continue.Talking points:Summus Global has raised over $40 million in the last 12 monthsSummus sells to both employers and large health systemsPatients are set up with consultations within a network of more than 4,000 specialists across 48 hospitalsOver 80% of consumers say they will use virtual care, post COVID-19Over 75% of doctors say they will continue to use virtual careThe U.S. physician shortage will play a role in the growth of virtual visitsVirtual care is evolving rapidly to more tailored careMore about this episode:The COVID-19 crisis has 'forced people into virtual mediums,' says CEORPM startup Athelas raises $132M and more digital health fundingsOak Street Health invests only in value-based careOak Street Health buys virtual specialty care company RubiconMD for up to $190M
The rise in telehealth utilization, especially amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, has highlighted the potential of virtual care to expand access to services. These can be particularly important for those who may face hurdles to brick-and-mortar care. Dr. Jerrica Kirkley, co-founder and chief medical officer of Plume, joins Healthcare IT News Senior Editor Kat Jercich to discuss the potential of telemedicine for trans and gender-nonconforming people.Talking points:The need for data to support gender-affirming careThe dynamic, multifactorial process of providing services for LGBTQ peoplePatients are based across the country, including large metro areasYounger people are increasingly likely to identify as trans or gender-nonconformingInsurance coverage doesn't necessarily guarantee careWhat gender-affirming care entailsThe role of state licensing in telehealth expansionHow communities are being centered in careMore about this episode:More inclusive EHRs can help extend welcome, save transgender livesBeyond 'male, female, unknown' – informaticists propose gender-inclusive HL7 modelTelehealth has enabled wider access during COVID-19 – but not for everyoneStates can make a difference in long-term telehealth policiesDigital transgender health company Plume scores $14M in Series A funding
Given the strain on hospital resources caused by the pandemic, many informaticists have focused on the ability to try and predict patient populations. In January, researchers at the Regenstrief Institute and Indiana University found that machine learning models trained using statewide health information exchange data can actually predict a patient's likelihood of being hospitalized with COVID-19.Joining Healthcare IT News Senior Editor Kat Jericch to discuss the study's implications are two of its lead authors, Dr. Shaun Grannis and Suranga Kasturi.Talking points:How tools like this might be useful for health systems and hospitalsConnecting system-generated data with public healthHow COVID-19 has shined a light on cracks in different systemsThe Indiana Health Information Exchange as a data repository Seeing data-sharing blossom during the pandemicBiases in the model and how they can be addressedHow integrated data can be a powerful tool to shape policyMore about this episode:Regenstrief launches initiative to disseminate SDOH dataHIE-trained AI models can forecast individual COVID-19 hospitalizationData from 175K COVID-19 patients fuels predictive severity modelPredicting COVID-19 hotspots: Kaiser Permanente tool uses EHR data to forecast surgesEven innocuous-seeming data can reproduce bias in AI
In February, the federal government announced that the DOJ's Civil Division had recovered more than $5.6 billion in settlements and judgments under the False Claims Act, or FCA, for fiscal year 2021. This was a huge increase from the previous year – and almost 90% of that money was related to health industry claims. Joining Healthcare IT News Senior Editor Kat Jercich to discuss past and future enforcement initiatives is Ethan Davis, partner at King & Spalding.Talking points:A government wake-up on private equity enforcementDOJ's new cybersecurity initiativeHow COVID-19 shifted the federal approach to investigationsForthcoming focus on potential Provider Relief Fund fraud and clinical trial fraudThe Anti-Kickback Statute and how it affects providersEHRs as a stated area of focusWhat listeners should be aware of around telehealthHow stakeholders can protect themselvesPredictions for the rest of 2022More about this episode:OIG warns EHR vendors it will 'vigilantly' crack down on false claims tied to meaningful useDOJ slams Greenway with $57 million False Claims fineDOJ lawyer in Greenway case: EHR vendors are now on noticeCareCloud to pay $3.8M to settle kickback allegations with DoJAthenahealth to pay $18.25M for alleged False Claims Act violationsFlorida woman to pay $20.3M after using telemedicine to shield alleged fraudJudge awards whistleblower $390K in athenahealth kickback case
Analysts and stakeholders have put a lot of energy toward trying to predict the future of telehealth: Are we at the peak of a bubble, or is it only up from here?A new report from Trilliant Health takes a measured view, arguing that telehealth use tapered in 2021 from its early-pandemic spike. Joining Healthcare IT News Senior Editor Kat Jercich to discuss the report is Sanjula Jain, Trilliant Health chief research officer and senior vice president of market strategy.Talking points:Contextualizing the data around telehealthTelehealth's market share as a parallel to luxury brandsWho's still using virtual care?Reasons for telehealth use ratesHow market segmentation can empower stakeholdersWhat this means for equityPsychographics versus demographicsPredictions for the futureTelehealth as a commodity good More about this episode:Study of 36.5M people reveals huge jump in pandemic telehealth useReport: Telehealth use beginning to taperLike it, love it, gotta have it? A health economist on attitudes toward telemedicineHealth systems see telehealth dip, but the tech is here to stayTelehealth revenue could hit $20B in five years, say analysts
The HHS 405(d) Program was created as a provision of the Cybersecurity Act of 2015. It's designed to offer resources and best practices for healthcare organizations and public health agencies to help mitigate and respond to cybersecurity threats.Joining Healthcare IT News Executive Editor Mike Miliard to talk about 405(d), and the work that went into developing its cornerstone document, are Nick Rodriguez, program manager for 405(d) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Erik Decker, chief information security officer at Intermountain Healthcare and Eli Fleet, director of government relations at HIMSS.Talking points:A brief background on 405(d) and what it means for healthcare stakeholdersHow the HHS 405(d) Task Group was convened, with 150 individuals from government and the healthcare industryHealth Industry Cybersecurity Practices: Managing Threats and Protecting Patients, or HICP, a cyber preparedness 'cookbook' with recipes for readinessThe top 5 threats to cybersecurity, as described in that reportHow recent legislation is impacting 405(d) What healthcare organizations should be doing to avail themselves of these effortsWhere healthcare security leaders can find vetted cybersecurity practices and other resources for risk mitigationHow HICP will be evolving in the years aheadWhy "Cyber Safety is Patient Safety"What attendees can learn about cybersecurity at HIMSS22 in Orlando.More about this episode:5 key takeaways from Cybersecurity Act of 2015HHS releases voluntary cybersecurity guidanceSecurity chief touts the value of HICP, a cyber preparedness 'cookbook' with recipes for readinessHHS launches website for the 405(d) Aligning Health Care Industry Security Approaches ProgramThere's no 'magic bullet' to enhance cybersecurity, say expertsHIMSS Healthcare Cybersecurity Forum HIMSS22 Cybersecurity Command Center
Acute-level care at home is another innovation driven by the pandemic, though the concept is not new. But as hospitals needed to free up beds and CMS loosened restrictions, health systems both set up programs and invested in partnerships that could help.Medically Home offers the logistics, hardware and software technology to make it possible for care providers to give the same acute level care at home that they would in the hospital, says CEO Rami Karjian, who spoke to Healthcare Finance News Executive Editor Susan Morse. The result has been good for both providers and patients.   Talking Points:Kaiser Permanente and Mayo Clinic are providing hospital-level care at home through Medically HomePatients getting kidney and bone marrow transplants at Mayo are recovering at homeKaiser and Mayo invested $100 million in Medically Home in May 2021Other strategic partners such as Global Medical Response have added $110 millionMedically Home provides the technology and logistics to scale about 20% of what is done in brick and mortar hospitalsThe hospital at home model is not new, but interest has risen during the pandemicThis has been spurred by CMS flexibilities during the PHEA coalition of over 25 health systems have asked CMS to continue the flexibilitiesPayers and providers in value-based care contracts need not worry about Medicare FFS incentivesMore about this episode:Kaiser, Mayo, Medically Home found coalition to promote advanced hospital-at-home servicesMayo Clinic announces advanced care at home model with Medically HomeMayo Clinic, Kaiser put $100M toward hospital-at-home careThe rise of hospital at home careHealthcare groups urge Congress to extend Acute Hospital Care at Home waiver
Many health IT experts, innovators and vendors have touted digital health as a mechanism to overcome hurdles to care. But at the same time, we also know that digital health tools can exacerbate difficulties, especially for people with disabilities.Josh Basile, community relations manager for accessiBe, joins Kat Jercich, senior editor of Healthcare IT News, to discuss  how organizations can ensure websites and other software are accessible for everyone. Talking points:COVID-19 as a catalyst for driving online accessibilityDisability as a matter of "when," not "if"Frequent misconceptions about disabilityThe challenges —and advantages—presented by telehealthWhy accessibility in healthcare websites is so importantThe different needs of different groups of peopleThe evolving nature of accessibilityThe business case for ensuring tools are accessibleMore about this episode:Telehealth may worsen digital divide for people with disabilitiesExpansion of remote tech can help safeguard care for people with disabilitiesFor people with disabilities, accessing care can be 'overwhelming'Telehealth as a tool to keep people with disabilities out of the hospitalTelehealth making it easier for people with disabilities to access care
Among the many mysteries of COVID-19, a major one regards "long COVID": symptoms that persist for weeks, and sometimes months, after someone first tests positive for the disease.Experts and scientists have begun using data repositories to try and answer some of the questions surrounding long COVID. Joining Healthcare IT News Senior Editor Kat Jercich to discuss how health IT can advance long COVID research are Michael Simon, director of data science at Arcadia, and Dr. Brett Giroir, former assistant secretary for health and a member of the COVID Patient Recovery Alliance.Talking points:How COVID-19 changed the potential for data analysisA recent study suggesting the effects of vaccines on long COVIDThe policy implications of the findingsVirtually everyone is at risk for long COVIDSome necessary caveats about the findings What follow-up research should investigateThe Patient Recovery Alliance's history and missionHopes for the near future for data and policyMore about this episode:UC Health creates unified data set to aid COVID-19 researchersResearch Data Alliance finalizes COVID-19 data sharing guidelinesNIH All of Us program makes more COVID-19 data availableUK announces five new COVID-19 vaccine research projectsMeet the informaticist trying to solve the mystery of long COVID
The Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement, also known as TEFCA, is now officially live. Joining Healthcare IT News Senior Editor Kat Jercich to talk about how TEFCA's implementation will affect those at multiple levels of the healthcare industry is Dr. Dan Golder, principal at the consulting firm Impact Advisors. Talking points:Why everyone should learn about TEFCAThe journey from the 21st Century Cures ActThe "TEF" and the "CA"Wait, what's a QHIN?The role the Sequoia Project plays in the frameworkNot every current HIE can become a QHINHow will TEFCA affect individual health systems?Who could benefit the most from TEFCAThe role cost will play, and ensuring long-term financial viabilityPotential effect on patientsWho should be responsible for potential data breachesThe non-healthcare data includedPredictions for 2022More about this episode:ONC names Sequoia Project as TEFCA coordinatorTEFCA could introduce a 'new exchange paradigm'TEFCA, framework for nationwide health info exchange, now live from ONCSo TEFCA is live. Now what?Everything you wanted to know about TEFCA (but were afraid to ask)
The COVID-19 pandemic hit the gas pedal on the use of virtual care, particularly synchronous video chats. But virtual care's potential extends beyond one-on-one conversations – it can also leverage remote patient monitoring technology to take services out of the brick-and-mortar facility.Joining Healthcare IT News Senior Editor Kat Jercich to talk about telehealth's capabilities now and in the future is Dr. Maulik Majmudar, chief medical officer at Biofourmis.Talking points:The transition of care to "virtual-first"The evolution of the definition of telemedicineThe use cases of telehealth beyond synchronous video callsUsing acute-level hospital services as inspirationLooking at different disease processesCan technology drive equity?Algorithms assisting clinicians in making decisionsEvidence for telehealth's longevityEnsuring that patients are receiving appropriate careHow virtual care can be a tool rather than a hurdle for cliniciansConsolidation and integration will drive adoptionMore about this episode:Telehealth's post-COVID challenge: Integrating in-person careHow health systems should be preparing now for the future of hospital at homeHospital at home: How healthcare orgs can set programs up for successNurse unions slam Kaiser's advanced care at home strategyMayo Clinic, Kaiser put $100M toward hospital-at-home care
New host Kat Jercich brings together the HIMSS Media leads – Mike Miliard, executive editor at Healthcare IT News; Susan Morse, executive editor at Healthcare Finance News, and Laura Lovett, executive editor at MobiHealthNews – to discuss Oracle's recent acquisition of Cerner.  Talking points: What are the basics of the deal?Oracle's interests in the cloud arenaWhat this might mean for the health-tech industryHow providers are feelingThe role of voice recognition techEpic and Cerner: The Coke and Pepsi of EHRs?  What we're keeping an eye on for 2022More about this episode:  Cerner names Dr. David Feinberg president and CEO  Oracle acquires Cerner for $28.3B  Industry analysts react to Oracle's big-ticket Cerner buy  How Oracle's acquisition of Cerner is positive for providers  What Oracle's acquisition of Cerner could mean for big tech in health  The most significant mergers and acquisitions of 2021
Host Jonah Comstock is joined by editors from all three HIMSS Media brands — Kat Jercich, senior editor at Healthcare IT News; Susan Morse, executive editor at Healthcare Finance News and Laura Lovett, executive editor — to look back at the biggest health tech and finance trends of the past year, and to chat about what to expect in 2022. We'll be taking a few  weeks off after this, so enjoy the final HIMSSCast of the year.Talking points:Trend: Health tech companies going public through SPACsTrend: Hospital staffing shortages and staff burnoutTrend: New care modalities, especially in the retail worldTrend: Virtual services accelerated by COVID-19Trend: Innovation in kidney carePrediction: More ransomware attacksPrediction: More hybrid and online primary carePrediction: More hospital  at home servicesPrediction: Bigger strides toward value-based carePrediction: Rethinking insurancePrediction: Moving forward with interoperability and price transparencyMore about this episode:Digital health in 2021: A look backThe future of healthcare: What 2022 could bringHealthtech companies reap benefits of robust year in venture capital fundingLooking back on a year of interoperability milestones at eHealth ExchangeThe biggest healthcare data breaches of 2021Former CMS chief of staff previews 4 areas of value-based care in 202A turbulent year, and a retooled future, for the VA's EHR rollout2022 will require augmented intelligence, IoT and wearables data, and info outside EHRs
In our final Workforce Re-entry companion podcast, HIMSSCast welcomes Anahi Santiago, CISO of ChristianaCare to discuss the cybersecurity risks and challenges created by telehealth and other teleconferencing accomplishments in healthcare.This podcast is brought to you by Zoom.Talking points:ChristianaCare’s preparation for the pandemicSteps to take to secure virtual communicationsResponding to Zoom-bombing and similar threatsProtecting against threats and bad actors in healthcareWhy telecommunications platforms are important, even beyond telehealthKeeping data secure in multiple locationsAdvice for securing communicationsImportance of multi-factor authenticationKeeping in mind clinician workflow and patient experienceMoving toward hospital at home — the benefits and challengesProvider and patient security educationSecurity is a patient safety issueMore about this episode:This episode's companion video on HIMSS TVTelehealth is biggest threat to healthcare cybersecurity, says reportTelehealth poses big cybersecurity dangers, Harvard researchers warnAnahi Santiago, Christiana Care Health System: 'Security a safety issue'Cybersecurity in a pandemic year: One CISO's perspectiveCIO Spotlight: ChristianaCare's Randy GaboriaultCEO's perspective: Cybersecurity is a strategic imperative
Clover Health wants to improve physician performance by giving them access to cutting edge AI technology. But the company chose to enter the market not as a technology vendor but as an insurer, disrupting traditional payment structures and care navigation technology in one fell swoop. On today's HIMSSCast, Clover Health's Andrew Toy joins host Jonah Comstock to talk about his story and his own particular take on solving the healthcare cost crisis in America.Talking points:What Clover does and how its different from other payers and other startupsClover Assistant, Clover’s provider-facing tech stack, and how it fits into their modelGetting away from the idea of networksWhat does value-based care mean for CloverWho holds the risk? And why it should be the insurersWhy the incentive alignment argument for value-based care is more complicated than people thinkIncentivizing doctors by giving them more powerful toolsHow health systems should fit into the value-based care landscapeWhy Clover launched as a payer and not a technology vendorWhy Clover built its Assistant outside of the EHRFixing healthcare means fixing healthcare for everyoneHow can innovation in insurance push through incumbent players?More about this episode:Medicare Advantage insurtech startup Clover Health raises $500MClover Health will join the public market by merging with Social Capital SPACClover Health's new subsidiary will rely on members, machine learning to fuel drug developmentClover Health laying off 25 percent of staff as it seeks new healthcare expertiseClover Health gets $130M from Greenoaks, Google Ventures, othersClover Health planning expansion into 101 new marketsClover Health taps MedArrive to vaccinate its homebound MA membersWalmart partners with Clover Health to offer Medicare Advantage plans
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