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By Richard Kronick, Ph.D., Director of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
On Wednesday, October 29, 2014 - 5:55am

Which states are showing the most improvement in the quality of health care and access to services? State Snapshots, from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), answer that question with easy-to-read charts on the strengths, weaknesses and opportunities for improvement in each state and the District of Columbia. AHRQ’s State Snapshots is an interactive online program that provides a “snapshot” on health care quality and access to health services for each state and the District of Columbia. Approximately 200 measures on the quality of care and access are shown for each state. Trend data for most of the measures extend from 2000-2002 to 2010-2011. The new State Snapshots data are drawn from the 2013 National Healthcare Quality Report and National Healthcare Disparities Report.

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By Stacy Elmer
On Monday, October 27, 2014 - 8:30am

On October 14, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) CTO Bryan Sivak, and a group of six HHS agency data leads ventured to New York City to meet with some of the most progressive and promising health IT innovators the city has to offer  to discuss how HHS can support the development of their big ideas. The companies were a part of the New York eHealth Collaborative’s (NYeC) Digital Health Accelerator, a program supported by the Partnership Fund for New York City (the Fund) that is designed to help health IT entrepreneurs take their ideas to the next level. Companies ranged from medication adherence and patient feedback apps to electronic health records (EHRs) and claims integration programs to EHR security solutions. While accelerator programs are nothing new, HHS efforts to connect federal health data with these types of companies are catching fire one company at a time. Read more »
By Health Data Consortium
On Thursday, October 23, 2014 - 8:59am

Washington, D.C. — October 23, 2014 — Health Data Consortium (HDC) announced today the appointment of Christopher Boone, Ph.D., as its new executive director effective November 3. Dr. Boone is a recognized expert in health systems design, health informatics, health IT policy, and the use of health data to improve health outcomes. Throughout his career, he has applied his deep understanding of the value of using electronic health data to generate clinical and scientific evidence that informs public policy, quality improvement, and the implementation of patient-centered outcomes research efforts.
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By Richard Kronick, Ph.D., Director of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
On Wednesday, October 22, 2014 - 4:06pm

It’s probably not news to you that opioid overuse is a problem in the United States. What is news is evidence of the breadth and depth of this problem and the growing impact it is having on people and on our health care system.
Between 1993 and 2012, the hospitalization rate for overuse of opioids — prescription painkillers such as morphine, codeine, fentanyl and oxycodone — has more than doubled, according to the most recent data from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). In 2012, there were a total of 709,500 U.S. hospitalizations among adults for opioid overuse. In addition, the problem has become much broader, with hospitalizations increasing at particularly alarming rates among middle aged and older age groups. Read more »
By Dr. Shantanu Agrawal, CMS Deputy Administrator and Director of Center for Program Integrity
On Friday, October 17, 2014 - 3:30pm

Open Payments is a congressionally mandated, national disclosure program that promotes transparency and accountability in health care. But what does “transparency” mean to you as a patient, and why is it important? The program gives you the opportunity to know if your doctors have a financial relationship with companies that make or supply medications, medical supplies or devices, and the biological products used in your care. The bottom line is that knowing about these relationships will let you be a more involved and informed health care consumer. Read more »