Weekly Healthcare Roundup: August 7-13

Weekly Healthcare Roundup: August 7-13

This week new health spending statistics were released, as it was widely reported that health spending grew more than twice as fast as GDP. Despite the fact that health spending growth has slowed down since the bump associated with Affordable Care Act’s expanded coverage, experts believe healthcare is steadily consuming more and more of the economy.

Here’s what we’re reading:
NEW HEALTH SPENDING REPORT – Health spending grew 5.2 percent in the 12 months leading up to June, while GDP grew just 2.3 percent, according to a report from the Altarum Institute. The report’s data also shows that since the beginning of the year, health spending has consistently grown faster than 5 percent, outpacing other sectors. Charles Roehrig, founding director of the Center for Sustainable Health Spending argues in a new Health Affairs blog that these projections are unaffordable in the long term even if they are moderate relative to historical levels.

CMS AIMS TO UPDATE PACE ELDERLY CARE PROGRAM – On Thursday, CMS issued a proposed rule that provide greater operational flexibility, remove redundancies and outdated information, and codify existing practice for its Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly. CMS Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt reaffirmed his support for PACE in a blog post released in conjunction with the proposed rule. In it, Slavitt also talks about the importance of delivering patient-centered care to people at critical stages of their lives.

HEALTH IT CHIEF EXITS ONC – Karen DeSalvo stepped down from her role as national coordinator for health IT and will be replaced by current deputy coordinator, Vindell Washington. What does this mean for physicians? Before leaving, DeSalvo, encouraged efforts to move ONC into “post-HITECH era.” In her farewell email, she noted that interoperability was high on her list and she hopes her successor will “accelerate the seamless and secure flow of data.”

ELATION FEATURED IN FORBES – Following last week’s announcement at Elation, Forbes decided to delve deeper into Elation’s focus on building products that support clinical needs. The article also touched on Elation’s backstory as a company rooted in understanding the unique dilemmas of providing patient-focused care from a physician’s standpoint while also discussing Elation’s plant to allow “doctors and patients to collaborate across organizational boundaries and share information.”

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Read more Weekly Healthcare Roundups here: July 10-16, July 17-23, and September 11-17.