This Week Health

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It's Tuesday News Day and here is what we have on tap.

  • President Trump signs executive order requiring hospitals and insurers to reveal their negotiated prices Susan Morse
  • Hoag Hospital showcases the use of virtual reality in the operating room Orange County Register Lou Ponsi
  • Vanderbilt University Medical Center Launches Public Health Informatics Center Healthcare Rajiv Leaventhal
  • NewYork-Presbyterian launches Hauser Institute for Health Innovation Bill Siwicki 

Hope you enjoy.


This transcription is provided by artificial intelligence. We believe in technology but understand that even the smartest robots can sometimes get speech recognition wrong.

 Welcome to this weekend Health IT News, where we look at as many stories as we can in 20 minutes or less that are gonna impact health. It. It's Tuesday Newsday, and here's what we have on tap. President Trump signs executive order requiring hospitals and insurers to reveal their negotiated prices. Uh, we take a look at, um, virtual reality in the

Operating room. We, uh, also will take a look at Vanderbilt University, expanding beyond the four walls and, uh, creating a, uh, public health informatics center for the community. As well as Newark Presbyterian gets a large gift to start an institute for health innovation. My name is Bill Russell. We're covering healthcare c i o, and creator of this week in health.

It a set of podcasts and videos dedicated to developing the next generation of health leaders. This podcast is brought to you by health lyrics. Every health system needs to do more with less we know where to look. Let's talk. Visit health to schedule your free consultation. I wanna support the fastest growing podcast in the health IT space.

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And subscribe to our newsletter on the website. So let's get to the news. President Trump signs executive order requiring hospitals and insurers to reveal their negotiated pricing. Uh, so let's start with, uh, let's do this, uh, story in reverse actually. So here's what the order is about. The order instructs the Department of Health and Human Services to issue a proposed regulation within 60 days, requiring hospitals and pub to publicly post standard charge information.

Including charges and information based on negotiated rates and for common. Or shoppable items and services in an easy to understand, consumer friendly and machine readable format. In addition to the executive order requires H H, SS and the departments of the Treasury and Labor to issue within 90 days an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking, soliciting feedback on a proposal to require providers, insurers, and self-insured group health plans to provide or facilitate access to information about expected out-of-pocket costs for items and services.

To patients before they receive care. The order also instructs H H Ss and the Department of Veteran Affairs and Defense to create within 180 days a roadmap to align quality metrics across federal healthcare programs. Uh, and it also instructs federal agencies to expand access, uh, for researchers to de-identified healthcare claims data, and, uh, federal programs to direct.

Uh, treasury to issue guidance and expand the availability of health savings accounts to pay for more healthcare services. So it's a pretty, uh, overarching, uh, uh, a executive order with a lot of, a lot of reach. Let's just say that. Um, , you know, the reaction has been exactly what you think it would be. Uh, there's been an awful lot of pushback.

Uh, let's read some of these. So, provider impaired groups came out against the order saying it could affect, uh, and even raise prices publicly. Posting privately negotiated rates could in fact undermine competitive forces pri and of private market dynamics and result in increased prices. Uh, said American Hospital Association President and c E O, Rick Pollock.

Matt Les, president and c e o of America's Health Insurance Plan said publicly disclosing competitively negotiated proprietary rates will reduce competition and push prices higher, not lower for consumers, patients, and taxpayers. A A R P said it supported the president's efforts to create transparency and lower healthcare costs.

So what on this, um, You know, this is not a political show. I don't intend it to be a political show. I cover this because it is, uh, a story that's gonna impact health it. But, uh, let, let me just offer a couple little tidbits here. One is arguing against transparency, regardless of which side you're on. I.

And no matter of what is out there, arguing against transparency is a losing argument. It always has been. Transparency for pricing is good. In a free market economy, uh, getting there is hard. No one is arguing that getting there is hard and there will be some unintended consequences. But at the end of the day, healthcare does not function like a free market.

Uh, service. Um, and there's an intention by this administration and people within this administration, uh, to make it look more and respond more to competitive pressures, and that is the attempt here. Pricing continues to go up. Uh, you know, I sat down at a college university a couple weeks ago and they said, Hey, the, you know, would you like to lock in your tuition?

And I looked at it and the tuition rate was, um, a lot, not a lot higher, but significantly higher, six, seven, 8% more than what the first year was. And it said, would you like to lock in at this higher rate, meaning that for my daughter's freshman year, I would actually have to pay more than I was gonna pay at this lower rate.

I said, well, why would I do that? She said, well, it's gonna go up four and a half percent every year. I said, are you telling me that it is gonna go up four and a half percent every year from the time my daughter's a freshman until the time she's a senior? She said, that has been our policy. Yes. And I'm like, what industries do we get away with that if Amazon all of a sudden came out and said, Hey, shop with us, we're great, we're fantastic.

We only raise our prices four and a half percent every year. , you know, you would just go somewhere else. That's what they're trying to, uh, put onto healthcare. Now I understand it's complex, but that is just the way it is. This is an election year. This is gonna be a hot button topic. You're gonna hear all sorts of stories and it's gonna be very hard to determine what is uh, right and what is wrong.

We have the Medicare for All debate going on right now. We have . Uh, stories from Kaiser Health News I decided not to cover and some others on, on the whole Medicare for All thing. Um, it's an election year. Lot of talk about these things. We'll continue to discuss it. What does it mean for the health systems?

Health systems should be able to, uh, consolidate this data, slice and dice it in any number of ways. Your, your data ninjas should be really . Good at working with these operational metrics and providing transparency around these metrics should not be all that hard. There's consternation around it because it's negotiated rates and it'll show, it will really reveal how people negotiate in the individual markets and how prices get to be, the prices they are in those markets.

I think this can be a negative for some health systems. I think it could be a positive as well. You get, you know, you're gonna get transparency in both sides. You're gonna get transparency in what you've been able to negotiate, but you're also gonna be able to see what everybody else has been able to negotiate, uh, in your market.

So, uh, interesting movement. Thought I'd share it with you guys. Uh, I, I like the next one. The next one is one of those feel good stories. I. Uh, Hogue Hospital showcases the use of virtual reality in the operating room. Orange County Register, Lou Ponzi shares this Hogue Hospital in Newport Beach right down the street from me.

Recently hosted a tour of its operating rooms. This was in the Orange County Register. They, uh, uh, it's really a puff piece. I mean, they essentially went in there, went through the tour and got to see this thing. And anytime you see this stuff, you really get, it really is, has a wow factor to it. So you can't help but to be, to write a story that is really

Uh, excited about what's going on here. So, uh, wearing this, uh, let's see, wearing the surgical theater headset, which looks very much like the one that gamers wear. Dr. Robert Lewis, uh, a neurosurgeon. Said he can virtually implant himself in the patient's brain and travel anywhere in the brain he needs to go.

The technology allows the surgeon to rehearse the complex brain and spine surgery in virtual reality multiple times if necessary, before operating on a live patient. Uh, and he goes on to say, I can do it three or four times, get comfortable with it before I actually get to the patient. Uh, surgical theater was founded by Ellan.

Gary and Modi Advar, former Israeli fighter pilots, adapted the technology used in fighter simulations for the operating room, which is great to see that technology now either go from the space program or the military spending to something. Uh, you know, just a much better, uh, application of it. So, uh, uh, appreciate that technology moving in that direction.

Uh, Jerry and advisor began working on their projects in 2005 and the technology received f D A clearance in 2013. The technology uses existing M R I scans to create three D models of the brain. That are compatible with virtual reality. And it really is interesting. You literally can walk through, you put these goggles on, you can walk through, and it creates some interesting dynamics.

Uh, you can sit down with the patient and walk through, uh, the tumor and explain to them how it's going to be removed, what it's gonna be like after. Uh, and it's just a different, uh, perspective, you know, seeing. Is a lot more powerful than just talking about something or just showing them pictures. Um, and so I don't, the, the wow factor is, is kind of interesting.

Uh, the hospital has two operating rooms equipped with surgical theater equipment. And has used it in more than a thousand cases, which is kind of cool. Both operating rooms are also equipped with 84 inch touchscreen monitor, uh, I think just a giant flat screen TV that allows manipulating of the image, uh, so that people who don't have the headset on can actually see it as well.

Uh, initially virtual reality technology was used mainly for brain surgery, but now it has expanded, which is awesome. And, uh, the final quote on this is from, uh, grant . Dr. Michael Brant Zeki, who says, we are starting to see virtual reality in healthcare expanding dramatically. Uh, bra Zeki said it ensures shorter patient surgical times improved outcomes, improved safety equating to cost savings for healthcare.

So what's the so what of this one? Shorter surgical times improved outcomes, improved safety, cost savings. Is pretty much the holy grail. So this is a pretty interesting technology. I think I, I'm, I'm kind of surprised that it has, uh, such limited use. It should be really, should be taught in every medical school.

Should be, uh, . The technology should be available in every medical school. I think it's a, uh, a, a really fascinating, uh, advance, uh, in, uh, patient to, uh, physician communication as well as, uh, the ability to practice, uh, without, you know, having to practice on humans, which I think is great. And, uh, yeah, so I'm, I'm looking forward to seeing more of this and see it advance, uh, one of the quotes from this past week with, um,

The past week's show with Dr. Klasko, he said he is looking for people that, uh, can look out 10 years, see what's going to happen, and are, have the courage to do it today. And this is one of those things that is gonna be very prevalent in 10 years. I'd love to see more systems figure out a way to fund and adopt this technology and start to, uh, uh, start to get it more mainstream and more locations.

Okay. So, uh, third Story. Vanderbilt University Medical Center launches public health informatics center, uh, for healthcare. I love this story because it's, it's about reaching beyond the four walls, which I think is gonna be so important, uh, for us, uh, as we, uh, try to improve the health and quality of life of the people in our community.

So Vanderbilt University Medical Center is forming a new center for improving the public's health. . Using informatics, C I P H I, with the aim to provide a bridge between public health and healthcare by mutually developing and testing critical informatics capabilities, uh, for improving population health.

The center, which will be co-directed by, uh, Michael Metheny. I assume Dr. Michael Metheny, so not the, uh, former coach for the St. Louis Cardinals and Melissa mcfe, uh, PhD will also look to expand the needed capacity in graduate education in public health informatics officials noted in a recent announcement.

According to the university officials CI P h I will coordinate with state and national public health agencies to offer services and expertise in developing key informatics and analytics capacity. And developing new research programs and expand research, uh, faculty capacity, particularly in the areas of public health reporting and data exchange with healthcare, uh, in integration and use of evolving data systems, real-time predictive analytics, population surveillance, and risk adjustment and medical product surveillance.

Seems like the . Scope might be a little too big if you ask me, but, uh, but I applaud this effort. Uh, thinking beyond the four walls is excellent. This is the so what. So thinking beyond the four walls is excellent. If 80% of outcomes are not healthcare specifically related there, social determinants, we've gotta figure out how to marry these things, uh, together.

And, uh, if you want to have a greater impact on the health of your community, Um, you know, you, you just have to be able to utilize this data in partnership with these entities to start to address those social determinant things. You know, it's, uh, uh, you, you've gotta, you gotta address the 80%. Otherwise, health is not going to improve.

So, uh, fantastic work by, uh, Vanderbilt. The last one I'm going, the last story I'm going to, uh, take a look at, uh, also, uh, I think highlights one of the, uh, leaders in the industry. That's New York Presbyterian launches, uh, the Hauser Hauser, h a u s e r, Hauser, uh, Institute for Health and Innovation. And this is from healthcare IT News.

Let's see who wrote it. Uh, bill Sowicki, uh, New York Presbyterian has launched the Hauser Institute for Health Innovation and Recognition of the Visionary Philanthropy of Longtime supporters, Rita Hauser and Gustav. I. Hauser, the Hauser have given more than $50 million to New York Presbyterian in support of the hospital's innovation programs, in health information technology, and tele telemedicine.

Since 2011, the key focus of the new initiative will be expanding telemedicine services deeper into the communities. New York Presbyterian serves to provide high quality, convenient, and affordable care with an emphasis on preventative health and wellness. So, uh, Daniel Barce, who he's had on, uh, this week in health, it.

And I will probably circle back around with, to have a discussion on this and other topics. Uh, it says, uh, Hauser uh, investment in telemedicine is allowing Newark Presbyterian to develop a fully integrated emergency care and urgent care ecosystem. This is one of the things you talked about on the show is just expanding the use of tele technologies, remote patient monitoring on demand services, um, you know, putting telehealth services in the

Uh, in the ambulatory, uh, in the ambulance and the, uh, transportation services as well. So they have a lot of different areas they're looking at. Uh, tele paramedics, that's what it's tele paramedics and high risk patients. Uh, clinical operation center, remote patient monitoring, uh, New York Presbyterian on demand.

There's a lot of different areas they're looking to, uh, focus this in on. Uh, very exciting. I can't think of, uh, anyone else I'd rather give money to than . Uh, uh, Daniel Barce in New York Presbyterian. I think they will utilize it very well for the, uh, very large community of New York City. So excited to see where they go with that.

Well, that's all, uh, that's all for this week, holiday week, my mom's birthday. A lot of exciting things happening this week. Hope you enjoy your, uh, 4th of July holiday, uh, this Friday in uh, uh, well, actually before I talk about this Friday, this past Friday, I did have Dr. Steven Klasko and Nassar Ami of, uh, Jefferson Health.

On the show, huge range of topics, great quotes. Um, the person who I have transcribed the, uh, podcast for me, uh, called me up and said, I can't. We, she pulls out the key quotes and she pulled out a bunch of the quotes and she goes, there's too many good quotes. So, uh, that's from somebody who's not necessarily in healthcare saying,

Uh, there, they said so many, uh, amazing, uh, things. And I'm gonna keep coming back to some of those, uh, topics. So if you get a chance, check that, uh, that out. Wonderful conversation. You check it out on this week, Uh, and uh, this Friday we're gonna be talking security. So you wanna check that out as well.

Uh, keep the comments, comments coming. Build it this week in health Good, bad, or different. It all helps. You know, the person who sent me the comment saying, Hey, you're too monotone. I'm working on it. So just keep 'em coming, let me know. Uh, the people who tell me, Hey, you go over 20 minutes every week, I'm working on it.

So I appreciate the comments. So this shows production of this week in Health It for more great content, you can check out the website at this week in health Actually, it's this week, We've shortened it up. Uh, you can still get there by going to this, uh, or the YouTube channel at

This week in health Thanks for listening. That's all for now.


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