SMA Informatics 

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Tuesday, Jan 27, 2015
  • Contact Information
  • We are located in the BioTech One building of the VA Bio•Technology Research Park.

    SMA Informatics
    800 E. Leigh Street
    Suite 206-14 Building One
    Richmond, VA 23219

    Phone: (804) 344-8111
    FAX: (804) 344-8113

    Contact Form: Web Contact Form
Last Modified: March 25, 2014
News Item - 01/23/2015
Letter to Karen B. DeSalvo, National Coordinator for Health Information
Ensuring patient safety is a joint responsibility between the physician and technology vendor and requires appropriate safety measures at each stage of development and implementation.  While training is a key factor, the safe use of any tool originates from its inherent design and the iterative testing processes used to identify issues and safety concerns.  Ultimately, physicians must have confidence in the devices used in their practices to manage patient care.  Developers must also have the resources and necessary time to focus on developing safe, functional, and useable systems.

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News Item - 01/22/2015
What’s Behind Health Insurance Rate Increases? An Examination of What Insurers Reported to the Federal Government in 2013–2014
The Affordable Care Act requires health insurers in the individual and small-group markets to explain their rationale for premium rate increases of 10 percent or more for non-grandfathered products. (A non-grandfathered health plan is one that was introduced or that changed substantially after the Affordable Care Act was signed on March 23, 2010.) The federal government does not have authority to refuse insurers’ rate increases, but it issues a determination of whether it considers requested increases to be justified in the minority of states that lack the authority or decline to make this determination themselves.

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News Item - 01/22/2015
MedPac's final payment recommendations to Congress: 5 things to know
The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission has issued its final payment recommendations for inclusion in its annual report to Congress, which includes a slight increase in hospital Medicare payments and restructuring of the Primary Care Incentive Program.

Here are five things to know about the payment recommendations.

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News Item - 01/20/2015
ACA exchange patients no sicker than average, data suggests
This data may help alleviate concerns that Americans who signed up for health insurance through the ACA might be sicker than those with employer health programs.

However, it's hard to draw conclusions from one source. According to Kharraz, patients who use ZocDoc are typically younger, more tech-savvy and more female than the US population at large—although they "are otherwise demographically representative," a seemingly contradictory statement.

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News Item - 01/19/2015
Wasteful spending for transfusions
“Using data from the most recent National Blood Collection and Utilization Survey Report from HHS, out of the 21 million blood products transfused in the U.S. annually, we estimate that 6.5-10.5 million of these products are transfused unnecessarily. This translates to $1.4-2.4 billion in waste a year from the cost of the blood alone and an additional $3.5-$6 billion in waste from the labor to store, test and transfuse. Most important, up to 2 million patients are unnecessarily put in harm’s way with longer hospital stays, increased infection risk and other serious complications.” Tim Hannon, Rishi Sikka, “Saving Blood, Dollars and Lives,” Editorial Wall Street Journal, January 16, 2015

News Item - 01/26/2015
HHS seeks to have 85 percent of Medicare fee-for-service payments in value-based purchasing categories 2 through 4 by 2016 and 90 percent by 2018
Improving the quality and affordability of care for all Americans has always been a pillar of the Affordable Care Act, alongside expanding access to such care. The law gives us the opportunity to shape the way health care is delivered to patients and to improve the quality of care system-wide while helping to reduce the growth of health care costs.

When it comes to improving the way providers are paid, we want to reward value and care coordination – rather than volume and care duplication.  In partnership with the private sector, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is testing and expanding new health care payment models that can improve health care quality and reduce its cost.

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