In the News: August 2–9
Google Continues Its Push Into Health Care
A recent Modern Healthcare article discusses how, last week, Google’s parent company, Alphabet, hired former Cleveland Clinic CEO Dr Toby Cosgrove as an executive advisor to the Google Cloud health care and life sciences team. Dr Cosgrove will work closely with the Google Cloud team on using new technology to improve the patient and provider user experience. Development of the health care executive team suggests Google is moving from research and development to implementation.
This news comes after Google Cloud recently partnered with the National Institutes of Health on an initiative to decrease barriers in using large amounts of biometric data for biomedicine, as well as a partnership with Fitbit to integrate patient-generated data and clinical data in electronic health records.
Sg2 believes that Alphabet, along with Amazon and Apple, is one of the potential disrupters that may fundamentally change the health care environment. For more information how these disrupters could impact health care providers, patients and caregivers, watch the on-demand Sg2 webinar Disrupters to Watch in 2018.
CMS Releases Inpatient Payment Final Rule for 2019
Last week, CMS released its 2019 Inpatient Prospective Payment System rule, which comes with several changes to price transparency guidelines, data interoperability and the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program. Starting in January 2019, hospitals will be required to publish a list of standard charges in an online format and give patients timely access for “viewing, downloading or transmitting their health information.” The rule also increased 2019 uncompensated care payments approximately $1.5 from 2018.
In addition, the rule eliminates a postponed rule that would have cut the Medicare reimbursement rates of long-term care hospitals by 25% and eliminates 18 quality measures that acute care hospitals are currently required to report.
As the health care payment and policy landscape continuously changes, these changes have different reverberating effects on different providers, in different areas, at different times. For a deep dive discussion on all things health care payment and policy, register for the upcoming Sg2 Experts Live Q&A: Payment and Policy Update (Fall 2018).
North Carolina’s Managed Medicaid Transition to Involve SDH Screening
A recent Modern Healthcare article discusses how North Carolina will require managed care organizations to screen every Medicaid beneficiary for social determinants of health (SDH), including access to food, housing and transportation, as the state transitions from fee-for-service Medicaid to Medicaid managed care. North Carolina is also building a free resource platform to help providers connect patients to organizations that can help address patients’ needs.
North Carolina requested $800 million from CMS for several pilots to help determine what SDH interventions would best improve health and manage costs, with the goal of incorporating the most successful pilots into the Medicaid managed care program. The state is currently awaiting federal regulatory approval.
The connection between SDH and health outcomes is well documented: people who feel unsafe in their communities, lack adequate housing or food, or are without other basic human necessities will likely suffer from poor health outcomes. Sg2 believes that health systems should consider their role in addressing SDH, and for examples on how providers can do this, read the Sg2 Expert Insight Extending Health Care Beyond the Medical Campus: Addressing Social Determinants of Health.