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.

What Trump’s budget proposal may mean for health research agency

President Donald Trump’s budget proposal includes rolling a relatively obscure agency that conducts health care research into the National Institutes of Health, and cutting the NIH budget by $5.8 billion.

That small agency – the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, or AHRQ (pronounced “arc“)  – could be cut entirely or see its mission shrink drastically under the president’s plan. Reducing or eliminating AHRQ would have a significant effect on health system research and health IT adoption in communities across the country. Reporters have a number of ways to see how changes to AHRQ could affect health services in their region. Continue reading

Take a pulse check on health care innovation in your area

One feature of the Affordable Care Act that doesn’t get a lot of ink was the creation of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ Innovation Center. With the very real prospect of an ACA repeal, the Innovation Center’s future is in doubt. As Neal Versel noted in his column for Fortune on the Republican replacement bill to the ACA, the new bill is remarkably thin on the subjects of health IT, innovation and new care delivery models.

The CMS Innovation Center has been responsible for funding new ideas and technology systems that help hospitals and other providers manage the health of populations. Continue reading

Examining ‘alternative facts’ in patient data

telehealthIn this era of “alternative facts,” everyone should read Sue Halpern’s piece, “They Have, Right Now, Another You,” published in the New York Review of Books in late December.

The piece, along with several recent studies on the accuracy of electronic health records, adds to the growing question over what types of data we can trust. And more important, how can we know the difference between bad and good data. Continue reading

Will the hope and hype of predictive analytics pan out?

Photo: jfcherry via Flickr

Photo: jfcherry via Flickr

Predictive analytics is an area of data science that is getting a lot of attention in health care.

Predictive analytics offers a tantalizing solution to problems plaguing resource-restrained hospitals. Namely, if providers can predict which patients will be readmitted within 30 days, or who will acquire an infection in the hospital, they can apply scarce resources to those high-risk patients and change the predicted outcome. This has the potential to improve quality outcomes and lower costs. Continue reading

Health data bazaar: Covering the legal trade in patient data

cybersecurityThere’s a big focus these days on cybersecurity in health care, and rightly so, with the frequency and cost of data breaches.

But what about the legal trade in patient data?

Adam Tanner, a former Reuters reporter and now writer in residence at Harvard University’s Institute for Quantitative Social Science, has a new book out on the lucrative patient data industry. Continue reading