According to a survey conducted by Fitch Ratings, a New York City-based global rating agency, the majority of nonprofit hospitals expect capital spending to either increase, and most of them are going to spend their money on IT. The survey said factors influencing capital plans, such as potential decreases in reimbursement levels, shifting clinical practice patterns from inpatient settings to outpatient settings, and the possible implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), have lead to this increase in IT expenditures.
The report’s authors say the surveyed hospitals identified IT as the highest priority capital expenditure area, since information systems allow for greater cost controls, and they can increase in the quality of care, and should help hospitals to adjust to emerging reimbursement models. Those models include pay for performance, quality incentives, and bundled payments.
Capital expenditure levels have historically been correlated to profitability levels, the report’s authors’ caution, saying a material change in operating profitability may alter future capital plans. In addition, the authors’ indicated that one of the main drivers of consolidation among nonprofit hospitals is the potential for strategic benefits. This included increased scale of operations, diversified service mixes, and enhanced access points throughout the continuum of care.
Officials from Carequality have stated that there are now more than 150,000 clinicians across 11,000 clinics and 500 hospitals live on its network. These participants are also able to share health data records with one another, regardless of technology vendor.
While stolen financial data still has a higher market value than stolen medical records, as financial data can be monetized faster, there are indications that there is ongoing development of a market for stolen medical data, according to an Intel Security McAfee Labs report.
A phishing scam at Baystate Health in Springfield, Mass. has potentially exposed the personal data of 13,000 patients, according to a privacy statement from the patient care organization and a report from MassLive.
In an update, DirectTrust reported significant growth in Direct exchange of health information and the number of trusted Direct addressed enabled to share personal health information (PHI) in the third quarter of 2016.
Eleven private insurers, including Aetna, Humana and Anthem, are urging the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to consider the experience of commercial insurers when evaluating the impact of telemedicine coverage in Medicare.