DirectTrust Acquires Assets of SAFE Identity

DirectTrust has acquired the assets of SAFE Identity, including its Trust Framework. The acquisition substantially extends DirectTrust’s capabilities and services and is expected to enable new and expanded interoperability use cases. SAFE Identity (SAFE) is an industry consortium and certification body supporting identity assurance and cryptography in healthcare. DirectTrust is a nonprofit healthcare industry alliance that supports secure, identity-verified electronic exchanges of protected health information (PHI) between provider organizations, and between providers and patients, for the purpose of improved coordination of care.

DirectTrust has created DirectTrust Identity, a new division, to house the SAFE Trust Framework. New and current members of both organizations will be able to rely on DirectTrust to manage policies and infrastructure supporting a community that issues secure and identity-assured credentials for electronic transactions in healthcare. SAFE Policy Management Authority (PMA) members will participate as members of DirectTrust Identity, which will operate the SAFE infrastructure used by multiple large pharmaceutical companies to securely interact with federal agencies (in accordance with 21 CFR Part 11) and business partners in the US and globally.

“Our acquisition of SAFE Identity’s assets is truly a groundbreaking moment for DirectTrust and the entire electronic healthcare information industry,” said Scott Stuewe, president and CEO of DirectTrust. “SAFE Identity and DirectTrust are like-minded organizations with memberships that share common goals. Since our inception, DirectTrust has focused on instilling trust in electronic health communication with the goal of improving health for individuals and populations. Both the DirectTrust and SAFE Identity trust framework communities seek to enable safe and secure transactions through the use of identity-assured credentials backed by a public key infrastructure and consensus-based policies.”

Stuewe continued, “Members will be able to interact with federal agencies for signing documents and authenticating to systems. Potential new use cases could include universally trusted healthcare credentials for consumers; identity assurance and security for the pharmaceutical supply chain (DSCSA), possibly all the way to clinical pharmacy; as well as medical device security and identification.”

DirectTrust, most recognized for Direct Secure Messaging and the Direct Standard it supports and promotes, came into existence with backing from the ONC as a public key infrastructure (PKI)-based trust framework to enable healthcare interoperability to scale. SAFE-BioPharma (predecessor to SAFE Identity) came into being when the FDA and pharmaceutical companies sought a secure and scalable mechanism to submit digitized reports to the agency. In response to a growing need for high assurance digital signatures, several large pharma companies established SAFE as a legal framework to facilitate trust and interoperability of digital identities with government bodies, including the FDA, DEA, and the European Medicines Agency. While SAFE Identity and DirectTrust have branched out to other missions since their beginnings, both credit their initial existence to collaborations with federal agencies, and retain important relationships and roles with the federal agencies.

To learn more about DirectTrust Identity, including Frequently Asked Questions, visit bit.ly/DTIfaqs.

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Nanotechnology vs. SARS-CoV-2: Can Nanomedicine Help Combat COVID-19?

In a very short period, the novel coronavirus has caused a very significant impact on the global health and socio-economic sector. This has caused serious damages and mortality among countries, especially those developing countries that lack resources and with a poor government response.

In light of this ongoing pandemic, this article presents the feasibility of nanotechnology in combating the prevailing problem of the COVID-19.

Pathogenicity & Structure of SARS-CoV-2

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the virus that causes the novel coronavirus disease. Coronaviruses are single-stranded RNA viruses and under this type of virus are severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) that caused viral epidemics in 2002 and 2012 respectively.

The genome sequence of the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) shows a different homology from the other subtypes of coronavirus and is categorized under betacoronavirus which can be most likely found in bats. The virus is composed of densely glycosylated spike proteins that are responsible for virus binding and infiltration of the host cell.

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Medication Mistakes Among Seniors And Tips On How To Prevent Them

Taking medication is essential to treat some health conditions if they are taken the prescribed way. However, when you skip your dose or take an overdose, the results can be deadly.

Medication nonadherence among the elderly is common. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, about 200,000 seniors are hospitalized annually because of severe drug reactions, and 50% of seniors are non-compliant with prescriptions meaning they don’t take their medication as prescribed.

Numerous reasons can cause seniors to make mistakes while taking their prescription drugs. Today, this guide highlights the common reasons seniors do not take their medication and tips on how their caregivers can help prevent them.

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Ensuring High Quality Virtual Care Requires Telehealth Training for Clinicians

Vikram Savkar

By Vikram Savkar, vice president and general manager of the medical segment at Wolters Kluwer’s Health Learning, Research and Practice business

During the pandemic, nearly every healthcare provider in the country had to execute a rapid, unplanned switch to telemedicine for the majority of their consults and activities. According to one study from the RAND Corporation, there was a 20-fold increase in the rate of telemedicine utilization after March 2020. For the most part, this transition was executed well and successfully, but only due to heroic levels of creativity and dedication by clinicians in every field.

With few established practices to rely on, it fell to each hospital, each department, each clinician to more or less invent ways to conduct virtual consultations in dermatology, cardiology, oncology, and more. There was much trial and error, but a commitment to rapid learning meant that the community as a whole was able to achieve a reasonable level of healthcare delivery quality to patients via the web.

Now, however, it is clear that telemedicine will be a permanent and sizeable segment of healthcare delivery; some estimate that more than 20% of healthcare from 2021 onward will be virtual. As a result, every aspect of the healthcare ecosystem must move out of an “emergency” mindset when it comes to telehealth and focus on establishing scalable, sustainable processes that ensure that a steady shift to telehealth drives equity, access, and quality. Healthcare providers themselves are actively engaged in this effort, and medical schools also now need to evolve to reflect this new normal.

Medical schools have incorporated some telehealth training into their programs in recent years, but it has tended to be ancillary. Now, it will be critical for telemedicine training to be incorporated more structurally into core curricula. What is being called “webside manner,” for instance, is significantly different to “bedside manner” and needs to be taught explicitly ?— in both a classroom setting and during clerkship rotations, as well as residencies.

Clinicians need to be taught how to establish rapport with patients whom they don’t see face to face, how to assess possible domestic abuse threats when the patient may not be able to speak freely, and how to gather emergency contact information in case there is a critical event during the consult for which the clinician needs to call emergency services. They also must learn how to take advantage of the unique opportunity that telehealth presents to closely observe and document social determinants of health by, for instance, asking patients to show the contents of their refrigerator. And they must be taught how to navigate the “digital divide” and ensure that patients without access to broadband or smartphones aren’t consigned to a lower quality of telehealth care.

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Innovation Options For Healthcare IT leaders

Jörg Schwarz

By Jörg Schwarz, director of strategy and solutions, Infor Interoperability

The COVID-19 pandemic has served as an innovation catalyst for many healthcare delivery organizations. Within a short period of time, health systems had to find ways to perform tasks they previously did not execute, such as scheduling thousands of vaccination appointments online with people that are not regular patients and delivering healthcare visits between patients and doctors electronically.

Let’s pause for a moment and acknowledge what a great achievement this burst of innovation and implementation was in an industry that chronically underfunds IT and rolls-out projects over years, not months.

However, this accelerated innovation can also present a problem – there is no going back. Patients expect online services. Patients want to book appointments like they book services for their car or food delivery: online. Patients want the option to have phone or video visits instead of waiting weeks for face-to-face visits. There is a myriad of options for new applications that promise remote patient monitoring or improved diagnostics, workflows, etc. How can a CIO in Healthcare possibly cater to all the demands for innovation when they must shell out the majority of their budget to maintain a behemoth EHR Mega suite from one of the three main vendors in the U.S. at the same time?

Fortunately, there are interoperability standards that enable just this – connecting new applications that augment the functionality of core systems and let information flow between all of them. HL7 v2 was designed for this and has been around since the 1990s. It was developed along with other EDI standards, such as X11, in an age when files where exchanges in batches or real-time when a connection was available – in other words, before the Internet age. While HL7 v2 is focused on transacting clinical data, X11 was developed to transact claims.

Much has changed in the world since the 1990s, and HL7 v2 is still the reliable de-facto standard that our healthcare system and interoperability across providers runs on in 2021. But it is not a great standard in the age of web services and mobile applications. To ensure interoperability flourishes in today’s digital age, we now have HL7 FHIR (Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources). Many of the new and promising applications that allow innovative functions and workflows are based on FHIR. The introduction of FHIR creates the following set of questions for a CIO at a healthcare delivery organization that is considering his or her innovation agenda:

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Dr. David Nash, Katherine Capps To Headline hc1’s 2021 Precision Health Virtual Summit

hc1, the leader in critical insight, analytics, and solutions for precision health, announces that Katherine Capps and David Nash, MD, MBA, will deliver the mainstage keynote addresses at its second annual Precision Health Virtual Summit. Hosted by hc1 in partnership with Becker’s Healthcare, the two-day event is scheduled for Aug. 31-Sept. 1, 2021, and will feature some of the healthcare industry’s leading thought leaders and innovators helping to advance the promise of precision health to all aspects of care delivery.

Capps, president of Health2 Resources and co-founder and executive director of GTMRx Institute, has a long history of collaboration in multi-stakeholder environments and has led the growth of GTMRx—an organization focused on cross-collaboration to advance appropriate use of medications and gene therapies—to over 1,200 members from 800 companies in less than two years. A gifted communicator, she cultivates and manages relationships with stakeholders across the health care and health policy spectrums. Her keynote address will focus on “The Future of Precision Health.”

Dr. Nash is the founding Dean Emeritus of Jefferson College of Population Health at Thomas Jefferson University and currently serves as the Dr. Raymond C. and Doris N. Grandon Professor of Health Policy. Named to Modern Healthcare’s list of Most Powerful Persons in Healthcare multiple times, Dr. Nash is internationally recognized for his work in public accountability for outcomes, physician leadership development and quality of care improvement. His presentation, “Precision Health and Population Health: Friends or Foes,” will focus on how two of healthcare’s priority initiatives can work in tandem to achieve cost, access and clinical outcomes goals.

“We are excited to build on the success of last year’s inaugural Precision Health Virtual Summit by showcasing some of the top precision health thought leaders at this year’s event. In Dr. David Nash and Katherine Capps, our keynote speakers, we have two of the leading authorities sharing thought provoking, actionable strategies,” said Brad Bostic, Chairman and CEO of hc1, who will take part in the opening fireside chat with Purdue University President and former Indiana Governor, Mitch Daniels. “Along with hc1, innovators from across the healthcare industry will be gathering for this virtual event to share the secrets for delivering scalable precision health to all patients.”

Joining Bostic, Capps and Dr. Nash on the summit agenda are some of the nation’s top thought leaders in Precision Health:

?        Kristine Ashcraft, Medical Director for Pharmacogenomics, Invitae

?        Scott Becker, Publisher and Founder, Becker’s Healthcare

?        Erica Carbajal, Writer and Reporter, Becker’s Hospital Review

?        Todd Crosslin, Global Head of Healthcare and Life Sciences, Snowflake

?        Mitch Daniels, President, Purdue University

?        Peter J. Embí, MD, MS, FACP, FACMI, FAMIA, FIAHSI, President and CEO, Regenstrief Institute

?        Yuri Fesko, MD, Executive Medical Director of Medical Affairs, Quest Diagnostics

?        Molly Gamble, Vice President of Editorial, Becker’s Healthcare

?        Matthew Katz, Principal, MCK Health Strategies, LLC

?        Jeffrey Kuhlman, MD, Chief Quality and Safety Officer, AdventHealth

?        Mike Lukas, Vice President and General Manager, Health Systems, Quest Diagnostics

?        Robert Michel, Editor-in-Chief, DARK Daily and The Dark Report

?        Anthony P. Morreale, Pharm.D. MBA, BCPS, FASHP, Associate Chief Consultant for Clinical Pharmacy Services and Policy, US Department of Veterans Affairs

?        Jordan Olson, MD, Division Chief, Clinical Pathology Informatics and Quality, Geisinger

?        Brian Patty, MD, Chief Medical Informatics Officer, Medix Technology

?        Albert Villarin, MD, FACEP, Vice President and CMIO, Nuvance Health

?        Stephanie Lahr, MD, CHCIO, CIO and CMIO, Monument Health

?        Gilan El Saadawi, MD, PhD, MS, Founder, CMO, Realyze Intelligence

?        Behnaz Sarrami, MS, PharmD, Medical Science Liaison, AltheaDx

?        Kandace Schuft, PharmD, Senior Clinical Content Specialist – Pharmacogenomics, Wolters Kluwer

?        Umberto Tachinardi, MD, MS, FACMI, IAHSI, CIO, Regenstrief Institute

?        Rehan Waheed, MD, Senior Medical Director, CMIO, Quest Diagnostics

?        Richard M. Peters Jr., MD, Assistant Professor of Population Health, The University of Texas

Programming for the Precision Health Virtual Summit will run from 12 – 4 p.m. EST on both August 31 and September 1. Sponsored by AWSSnowflake and leader sponsor Quest Diagnostics, the event is free of charge. Attendees can register for the Precision Health Virtual Summit at hc1.com/summit.

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Carrot Health Joins 2021 Inc. 5000 List of Fastest-Growing Private Companies

Carrot Health, a leading provider of healthcare solutions powered by consumer and claims data, ranked among the top 400 fastest-growing private companies in its inaugural appearance on the 2021 Inc. 5000. The company revealed today that it ranked No. 311 on the annual list with a three-year revenue growth of 1481.5% – an announcement that comes on the heels of Carrot Health’s acquisition by Unite Us, the nation’s leading technology company connecting health and social care services.

“Our growth is a direct result of the shift in the nation’s focus toward creating health equity and improving equitable access to care, which reflects Carrot Health’s long-time mission to help shape a future without health disparities in which everyone nationwide is able to lead their healthiest lives,” said Kurt Waltenbaugh, CEO of Carrot Health. “To be recognized among the elite companies that make up the top 500 fastest-growing private companies is a testament to the dedication and perseverance of the entire Carrot Health team.”

The Inc. 5000 is the most prestigious ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies. It represents a unique look at the most successful companies within the American economy’s most dynamic segment – its independent small businesses. The companies joining Carrot Health on the 2021 list proved especially resilient and flexible given 2020’s unprecedented challenges, realizing an average median three-year growth rate of 543% and median revenues of $11.1 million, while adding a combined total of 610,000 jobs over the past three years.

Carrot Health’s inclusion on the 2021 Inc. 5000 came as another milestone was achieved: the company’s acquisition by Unite Us. The powerful combination of Carrot Health’s robust consumer and health data set powering hundreds of proprietary predictive models and Unite Us’ end-to-end product suite creates the only nationwide solution that truly integrates health and social care.

Said Waltenbaugh: “Together, we can drive a new standard of care, one that identifies where disparities exist and empowers communities to direct targeted investments in social care services that improve health and reduce the cost of medical care.”

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The Future of Healthcare: How Emerging Technologies Have Transformed Today’s Healthcare Contact Center

Tim Eyre

By Tim Eyre, CMO, Aceyus.

The healthcare system was turned upside down when the pandemic hit, transforming the overall communication structure throughout healthcare facilities. As a result, contact centers became a critical beacon of hope to connect patients to their providers efficiently.

Many people shifted to using digital channels of communication as patients and their families sought to engage with their care providers in any way possible. However, with significant demand comes the inevitable challenges such as longer wait times, higher call volumes, and an increased need for enhanced customer service to ensure streamlined connections between patients and providers.

Having to check on the status of one’s health is stressful enough; patients shouldn’t have to deal with communication barriers, especially during these trying times. The time to make a digital transformation is now. The modern-day patient experience begins online or over the phone, not in person. Even though the way patients interact with healthcare teams has changed, the quality of service and care they receive shouldn’t have to. Contact center agents are still expected to handle high call volumes and provide patients with seamless service. With patients engaging with their providers through various sources, it is vital to have actionable insights and siloed data sources consolidated into an omnichannel platform.

Why is data so crucial for contact centers in the healthcare sector? According to statistics, businesses with robust omnichannel customer engagement strategies can retain 89% of their customers. This shows how important it is for healthcare leaders and contact center managers to utilize their data effectively to create better interactions for the patient, agent, and provider. During the current unprecedented health crisis, contact center agents are no longer simply liaisons between the patient and provider – they are lifelines.

As many contact centers continue to use outdated technology, providing quality service to patients is becoming increasingly more difficult. So, how do contact centers in the healthcare sector advance communication efforts and connect patients to their providers? By utilizing a technology management solution that uses real-time data reporting dashboards to leverage the power of contact center data. This allows healthcare providers to enhance daily workflows, customer and agent interactions, and real-time decision-making. The right technology and tools help contact centers create more positive experiences for people struggling to get answers on their health while saving healthcare facilities money and time through efficient communication.

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Make Patient Data More Useful Today: Here’s How

How can we take full advantage of electronic health record ...

Just like other segments of the financial industry, insurance services providers have been severely shaken by the COVID-19 pandemic. The increasing rate of unemployment in many places and the rise in claims have contributed to a significant misalignment of premiums collected and claims paid. In addition to the lingering level of uncertainty surrounding premium collectability, the current disruptions are also making it difficult for companies to calculate premiums for years to come.

On the other hand, the ongoing crisis has also served as a wake-up call for many insurance companies. It’s a must for insurance providers to fully make use of the latest health insurance technology at their disposal if they want to minimize the negative impacts of the pandemic on their business. Access to real-time information and making data-driven and timely business decisions are keys to ensuring that the company will remain afloat despite the currently unstable business environment.

One of the resources that many health insurance companies underutilize is patient data. This valuable resource, when managed by digital solutions and used properly, can assist health insurance providers in many ways, including:

Delivering Better Outcomes for Individual Patients

Consolidating information gathered from different medical facilities and practitioners has always been a challenge for more traditional health insurers. The lack of both a unified information repository and open yet secure channels for exchanging data prevents medical care providers from consolidating patient information. In turn, this makes it more difficult for medical professionals and insurance companies to ascertain the patient’s condition and the treatments they need to effectively and quickly address or manage their health issues.

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Smile CDR Finalizes 20 US Payers’ Compliance with CMS Interoperability and Patient Access Final Rule

Smile CDR, a leading health data storage and integration company, today announced the successful implementation of its clinical data repository (CDR) platform across 20 U.S. payer databases.

The platform updates allowed customers to effectively meet the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) Interoperability and Patient Access Final Rule (CMS-9115-F) compliance enforcement deadline of July 1, 2021. The new CMS rule addresses barriers to the secure exchange of health information that limit the ability of patients to access essential health information.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to help customers standardize data capabilities that improve patient access to their own health information,” said Duncan Weatherston, chief executive officer at Smile CDR. “It is critical that we keep our customers at the center of what we do as we move one step closer to creating a common information exchange playing field.”

In June, Smile CDR became the first company to receive the Drummond Certification of Compliance, certifying interoperability and compliance with CMS Final Rule standards and reducing the risk payers, providers, developers, and applications may not be truly interoperable or only partially interoperable in real-world settings.

Under the CMS Final Rule, U.S. government health plans must have an interoperable Patient Access Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resource (FHIR) API to provide patients easy and secure access to their records.

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