#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.

New hospital proposed for Morgan Hill | A new hospital and urgent care facility is proposed for Morgan Hill. Kaiser Permanente is looking at opening a medical office in the city. And the County of Santa Clara is preparing to remodel the De Paul Health Center. The public heard about these projects during the latest talk in the Choose Morgan Hill Speaker Series on Nov. 7. The discussion, titled “Healthcare in Morgan Hill,” was held at the Granada Theater downtown. Cecily Murray, management consultant at Camino Ear, Nose & Throat Clinic, said the clinic is running out of room at its current location at 16130 Juan Hernandez Drive, as more independent physicians are looking for space in the facility. The four-acre property adjacent to the clinic, between Tennant and Barrett avenues, could be home to a 55-bed hospital, a 10,000-square-foot medical office building, a 4,000-square-foot urgent care facility, 10,000 square feet of commercial retail space, 200 multifamily units and open space, according to plans submitted to the city recently. 

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