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What We’re Watching: October 1, 2018

WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED IN OPIOID BILL

The final compromise package addressing the nation’s opioid epidemic failed to include a provision that would enhance each of the tools in this package to help ensure doctors, nurses, and other caregivers can see the full medical record to safely treat patients suffering from addiction.

What we’re saying: We’re extremely disappointed by this move. Premier and 167 patient, healthcare provider, physician, addiction treatment, municipal and other organizations, as well as the nation’s governors, state Medicaid directors and HHS have called for Part 2 reform to combat opioid misuse. This measure (H.R. 6082) passed overwhelmingly in the House (357 members), including all physicians elected. The Overdose Prevention and Patient Safety Act would strengthen patient protections and improve the healthcare community’s ability to coordinate care for patients suffering from substance use disorders safely and discretely, just like for every other disease covered by HIPAA. Imagine a doctor or nurse trying to remotely care for a patients’ health, but not having access to the full medical record to safely and effectively coordinate care. We urge lawmakers to take action and hold a separate vote on H.R. 6082 if it is not included in the final compromise package.

TARGET: INTEROPERABLITY

With the buzz among many app developers around developing consumer apps using Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR®) standard in health IT, we think a strict focus on consumer-facing apps provides a limited view into the state of interoperability.

What we’re saying: Providers need to be included in the push toward interoperability. It gives false hope of reaching the tipping point for free and unencumbered data exchange in healthcare if we soley focus on consumers. We urge the administration to prioritize achieving a similar degree of development across provider-facing applications that support predictive analytics, clinical decision support and other workflow technologies. The reality is that we are nowhere near reaching our goal of a data-enabled health system, and this is why we continue to press for the timely implementation of 21st Century Cures Act interoperability and data standards provisions.

CHALLENGE ACCEPTED

Responding to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) Antibiotic Resistance (AMR) Challenge, Premier is ready to continue helping healthcare organizations implement successful antimicrobial stewardship programs that strengthen surveillance, reduce inappropriate use and prevent the spread of resistant infections.

What we’re saying: Using data-driven solutions, research and educational services, and performance improvement collaboratives, Premier will participate in actionable, impactful, measurable and timely initiatives to further combat AMR. Specifically, we’re enabling increased reporting of antimicrobial usage and resistance (AUR) data; leveraging our deep analytics to benchmark and understand usage patterns; and apply our collaborative methodology to target, implement and measure performance improvement efforts to help health systems navigate surveillance and data for optimal antibiotic prescription practices.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

What We’re Watching is a weekly blog focused on the current events Premier is following and their relevance to the work of Premier and its members.
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