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This was another particularly busy week in the health IT realm.
The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT planted seeds for a new mobile data privacy and security initiative that will kick off later this spring. The agency also kicked off a developer contest seeking an application that ensures patients make follow-up appointments after a hospital stay. And three of ONC’s Beacon communities detailed intentions to participate in the new Txt4health program to help patients assess diabetes risk, manage health, and ultimately connect with care resources.
ONC head Farzad Mostashari looked at the year ahead, with 5 HIT trends he thinks will take flight in 2012.
All that was before the Care Innovation Summit at which CMS acting head Marilyn Tavenner described to attendees the multi-faceted benefits of health reform, personal to her and otherwise, as she pressed for scaling innovation by 2014 to advance reform. Separately, CMS also shared more details about EHR incentive appeals, for any hospitals or physicians that do not receive the reimbursements but believe they ought to.
One might be left wondering, however, if the good folks in the health care realm – federal, state, local, private, and HIT, all – don’t feel a bit left out after President Obama’s third State of the Union address; The Atlantic's James Fallows does a nice job annotating the speech.
Very little healthcare talk, and while most pundits did not anticipate Obama or Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels in his GOP response to volley that particular topic, it was still a wee dram surprising just how little healthcare talk there turned out to be. A couple sentences, really; 44 words, in sum. The Advisory Board Co. has a graph comparing the percentage of words dedicated to health care in this State of the Union to previous speeches. Whereas during the 2010 State of the Union healthcare comprised 7.8 percent of the words, in the 2012 iteration, just a mere 0.6 percent.
Among the reasons that pundits give for President Obama largely avoiding healthcare during the SOTU is the upcoming SCOTUS case over the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which it also stands to reason may well be why Governor Daniels did the same. But the GOP appears to have something of an answer, perhaps, to the nag against presidential hopefuls saying they want to repeal the ACA but offering little insight about exactly how they would achieve that. Politico is reporting that PA Republican Joe Pitts said he intends to offer such a replacement package come the Supreme Court’s decision. Pitt, who serves as chairman of the House Energy and Commerce health subcommittee said he anticipates the individual mandate in the law will be struck down, but not the entire law.
Healthcare IT News’ Kelly Mehler tracks the social media reactions to Obama’s State of the Union, while the nation’s focus is now back on Florida – a state that is lagging in health reform, yet one of four with the most to gain.