HealthLeaders Media IT - March 18, 2008 | Separate Checks
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Separate Checks
Gary Baldwin, Technology Editor

If I had to boil down my healthcare technology worldview into one sentence, it would be this: "The technology shows great merit, but financial and other political issues remain." Time and time again, we see examples of how technological innovation is hindered by the financial question of who should pay for it. The industry has done a great job of promoting the development of high-end imaging equipment. But that's in part due to the fact the payers are willing to ante up for the procedures. [Read More]
March 18, 2008
Editor's Picks
Solution elusive for awaking in surgery
For many hospitals, the answer to "anesthesia awareness" is to use a brain monitor so doctors can give more drugs to patients who seem to be awaking. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, however, found the monitor might not reduce this risk at all. The manufacturer of that brain-monitoring technology has disputed the researchers' interpretation, and anesthesiology chiefs at three Philadelphia-area hospitals said the results would not keep them from using the device. This article dives into a problem that is not discussed much, although it was turned into a Hollywood movie last fall. What could be scarier than the prospect of being "awake" during surgery--without anyone else being aware of it? [Read More]

Errors delay BlueCross of Tennessee's release of doctor data
Here's a story about the limits of "transparency." After doctors questioned the accuracy of information, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee has put on hold plans to share quality of care and cost data about individual doctors with its members. Doctors had been given 60 days before the planned rollout to review their profiles, and some pointed to inaccuracies that included reports saying they didn't perform certain tests when their own records showed otherwise. For years, physicians have asserted that insurance plan's data is far too sketchy to give a complete portrait of their performance. By itself, claims data--the source of payer profiles--may not be enough. [Read More]

Aetna to offer an online service that helps link records and research
Not long ago, Aetna announced it would reimburse "e-visits" for physicians. This new announcement shows the payer is going to continue its expansion of online services to tackle rising costs. SmartSource draws upon a patient's own medical history to help answer questions about symptoms and treatments. The insurer plans to provide the service free to its customers in the hopes it will help people manage their own healthcare. [Read More]

New Ohio hospital maximizes wireless
Here's an update on a hospital I mentioned in last week's e-zine. Dublin Methodist, part of OhioHealth, is among the new "digital hospitals." I caught up with CIO Mike Krouse at the HIMSS conference. [Read More]

Worldly view
We have just launched HealthLeaders Media Global, a free e-newsletter that will provide information on the business of healthcare management from around the globe. This week, Editor Rick Johnson discusses how the leaders of the United Arab Emirates are focusing on enhancing the healthcare system as a cornerstone of the region's economic development. [Read More]
Tech Headlines
Report warns that flat NIH funding choking nation's young researchers
Cleveland Plain Dealer - March 12, 2008

Heart devices vulnerable to hack attack
Boston Globe - March 12, 2008

Center for Democracy and Technology launches health privacy initiative
PC World/Washington Post - March 12, 2008

CMS spares cardiac CTA reimbursement cuts
Health Imaging News - March 17, 2008
Events & Product News
Paperless patients

OHSU adds 'patient navigator' to ease cancer care

HIMSS delegation to convene in India
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From HealthLeaders Magazine
HealthLeaders March 2008Your Hospital, the Entrepreneur
Forget those fixed-income investments. Many organizations are funding early-stage healthcare ventures that can yield not only healthy financial returns, but also improved efficiencies and better quality care. [Read More]
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