#PNN In Other News

Here are some other local, state or national stories we are reading that may impact you, your practice or your patients.

Warren Says Out-Of-Pocket Health Spending Will Total $11 Trillion In The Next Decade. We Checked Her Math. | Promoting her much-discussed plan to create a single-payer “Medicare for All” health system, Sen. Elizabeth Warren emphasized a striking figure. “If we make no changes over the next 10 years, Americans will reach into their pockets and pay out about $11 trillion on insurance premiums, copays, deductibles and uncovered medical expenses,” the Democratic presidential candidate said in an Instagram video.The Democratic health care debate has been full of competing analyses and estimates about what Medicare for All might cost, what it might save and who would bear the brunt of paying for it. But this precise number was new to us. If true, it would be a figure both staggering and significant to the unfolding debate, as Americans try to understand how Warren’s brand of a single-payer health system could affect their pocketbooks. So we decided to dig in.

What Does The Future Hold For Electronic Healthcare Records? | There are many challenges in making electronic health records more integrated, including endless customization, vendor market share protection, health system market share protection, and technological factors. These are just some of the challenges of making EHRs more integrated. I’ll focus on the customization issue. Currently, if you are a health system running an instance of the leading enterprise EHR systems and across the street is a different health system using the same EHR vendor as you, the two systems would not directly communicate with each other because they have been customized to such an extent that the data elements would not directly match up. So a patient who is seen at their doctor’s office running Cerner, Epic or Allscripts may show up at a competing hospital’s emergency department who has the same software, but their discrete granular data from their doctor’s office would not appear in the other hospital’s records. The best we have done with interoperability is getting one system to send a pdf version of the patient data to the other system to view, which is essentially a modern version of the fax machine.

Here’s how Amazon employees get health care through a new app — a glimpse of the future of medicine | Amazon has now launched its Amazon Care app into major app stores as part of its strategy to help its Seattle-area employees get more convenient and affordable health care. Amazon Care, which CNBC uncovered this fall, has been in the works for a few years. A website -- Amazon.care -- is live, and the company recently released apps that offer health advice, virtual medical visits and in-person support via a health professional that shows up at an employee’s home or office. Some giant companies like Amazon are moving into primary care to clamp down on rising health care costs, hoping it can help avoid costly emergency visits by catching health problems earlier. The program could also help Amazon recruit and retain talent, as many companies will offer telemedicine apps but few -- with the notable exception of Apple -- put their own spin on the service. In addition, Amazon has hired a mix of technical, product and analytics talent, not just clinicians, suggesting that Amazon could use the service to collect and analyze health data about a large population, which could be useful as it pushes deeper into the $3.5 trillion health care space.

Providence St. Joseph Health rebrands its system | Three years after merging to create one of the largest Catholic systems in the country, Providence St. Joseph Health is changing its name to Providence while retaining the St. Joseph Health cross as its logo, the system announced Monday [Nov. 11]. The change will happen over two to three years and start in Southern California. "The new brand will help us raise awareness about the high-quality specialty and subspecialty care available through our clinical institutes," said Mike Butler, Providence president of strategy and operations, in a news release. "In addition, it will help us recruit the biggest hearts and best minds into our organization. It will also allow us to be more effective advocates for value-based healthcare reform and programs that serve the most vulnerable in our communities." Providence said the rebrand reflects its Catholic heritage and will make it easier for consumers to identify the system's health network. Providence's individual ministries will maintain their leadership structures.

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