Author Archives: Rebecca Vesely

Rebecca Vesely

About Rebecca Vesely

Rebecca Vesely is AHCJ's topic leader on health information technology and a freelance writer. She has written about health IT since the late 1990s for a variety of publications.

Panel to examine MACRA, the physician payment overhaul law

Given the ACA’s uncertain future, some experts have said that another law, MACRA, could lead the way on provider payment reform and accountable care innovations.

At the AHCJ’s Health Journalism 2017 conference in Orlando, a panel of providers will discuss their implementation of MACRA rules so far (reporting began on Jan. 1), and what the law means for their practices and their patients. A trade group representative from Washington, D.C., will give an overview of the law and where regulations stand in the Trump administration. Continue reading

Preparing for the VA’s electronic health record system overhaul


Care delivery at the Department of Veterans Affairs, which serves 9 million veterans, will be fascinating to cover in the coming years.

President Donald J. Trump campaigned on the promise to “straighten out the whole situation for our veterans.” Specifically, to reduce wait times to access care and to deliver better and more high-tech services, including telehealth. The VA is among the few federal agencies that would see a funding bump under the president’s budget proposal, with a 6 percent increase proposed. Continue reading

Veteran health IT reporter shows how to sift through the whiz-bang at industry conferences

Photo: Tim Gee via FlickrThe exhibit floor of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) conference commanded 600,000 square feet of exhibit space.

So your editor wants you to cover health information technology at a conference. Whether it’s a product launch, upgrade or the policy implications of health IT, the prospect can be daunting.

In a new “How I Did It” article, veteran health IT journalist Neil Versel explains how he has covered health IT conferences in the past, including the gigantic HIMSS conference that takes place in Orlando every winter. Continue reading

What we know about the nation’s newest health IT czar

Donald Rucker

On Friday, Politico broke the story that Donald W. Rucker, M.D., has been named the new national coordinator for health information technology. Rucker is the first head of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) in the Trump administration.

His appointment carried no official announcement and did not require Senate confirmation. As of Monday afternoon, the ONC website did not have him listed under their leadership bios page. Continue reading

Congress’ internet privacy pullback has implications for health journalists, consumers

William Iven via Unsplash

The U.S. House of Representatives on March 28 voted 215-205 to eliminate Obama-era consumer protections that bar internet service providers (ISPs) from using and selling information about customers’ online habits, including health and financial data.

The resolution passed the Senate 50-48 the week before, with the White House issuing a statement in full support. Continue reading