Internet Searching For Health Info Growing, But Not Dominant
The Hill: People still prefer to gather information related to personal health from sources other than the Internet, according to a survey by the Pew Internet Project in association with the California HealthCare Foundation. Those sources include friends, family members, and health professionals. "Still, mobile apps have a growing role in helping people find health information, particularly among young people, the report said. Seventeen percent of cell phone owners have used their phone to look up health or medical information." In addition, health-related mobile apps can "calculate disease risks, provide health tips, keep track of workouts, or count calories," according to the report (Jerome, 10/19).
Medscape: The new federal health IT agenda "will greatly change the way most of the health care industry approaches electronic health record (EHR) technology," a family physician writes. The Medicare and Medicaid HER incentive programs, at the crux of the agenda, have billions of dollars to distribute. "A complex set of rules and regulations govern how physicians and hospitals may start to receive incentive payments beginning in 2011 for the 'meaningful use of certified EHR technology. Physicians are eligible for the Medicaid incentive if their caseload includes at least 30 percent Medicaid patients (or at least 20 percent Medicaid patients for pediatricians). Unlike the Medicaid incentive program, the Medicare program incorporates penalties. The Medicare fee schedule for physicians who are not 'meaningful EHR users' will be reduced by 1 percent in 2015, by 2 percent in 2016 and by 3 percent in 2017" (Kibbe, 10/20).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.