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Reimbursement
More than half of rural hospitals could close under a public health option
Half of rural hospitals could close under public health option
Revenue Cycle Management
Healthcare revenue cycle management market projected to be worth $104 billion by 2025
Rev cycle market worth $104B by 2025
Strategic Planning
Close to one-third of healthcare employees have never received cybersecurity training, report shows
One-third of healthcare employees lack cybersecurity training
Capital Finance
U.S. spends more on healthcare, but not on social services spending, study finds
Higher social spending linked to higher healthcare spending
Supply Chain
Optimizing the total performance of a healthcare supply chain means data and clinical integration
Optimizing the total performance of the supply chain
Accounting & Financial Management
Charity care spending among California hospitals is plunging
CA hospitals: Charity care plunging
Budgeting
Health systems allocate just 5-10% of total spending on primary care, despite benefits
Public and private payers underinvest in primary care
Quality and Safety
Hospitals need to know: When disaster strikes, FEMA money is available to those that file quickly
When disaster strikes, FEMA money is available
Billing and Collections
Surprise medical bills in ER and inpatient settings are soaring, JAMA finds
Surprise medical bills are soaring
Claims Processing
BCBS Institute and Solera partner, pay SDoH organizations through outcomes-based medical claims
BCBS Institute, Solera, to pay organizations through outcomes-based claims
Workforce
Up to 14% of internal medical residents have been bullied during training, Johns Hopkins found
14% of internal medicine residents have been bullied
Operations
Physicians looking to become small practice owners have many factors to consider before making the leap
What would-be physician practice owners should consider
Medical Devices
Apple is developing custom health information tracking chips
Apple is developing custom health chips
Hospital/physician relations
Wording in medical student evaluations differ by gender, minority status, revealing potential bias
Gender, minority bias revealed in med student evals
Construction & Facilities Management
Cape Cod Healthcare building $180M patient tower, investing in EHR
CCHC building $180M patient tower
Compliance & Legal
Majority of providers fall short of compliance with HIPAA access requirements
HIPAA access: Most providers fall short
Policy and Legislation
HHS and FDA propose plan for importation of prescription drugs from other countries
HHS releases plan for importation of drugs from other countries
Community Benefit
Kaiser Permanente commits $1.65 million to California wildfire relief efforts
Kaiser Permanente commits $1.65 million to California wildfire relief efforts
Accountable Care
Rural hospitals not using bundled payment models, data shows
Rural hospitals not using bundled payment models
Acute Care
Diverting avoidable emergency department visits could save healthcare $32 billion annually
Diverting avoidable ED visits could save $32B
Ambulatory Care
Medical schools, teaching hospitals account for 3% of US GDP, report shows
Med schools, teaching hospitals are 3% of GDP
Analytics
Innovaccer research shows how AI could improve cost of care models
Innovaccer research shows how AI could improve cost of care models
Business Intelligence
While the price of healthcare is growing, utilization is dropping and price variations persist, report says
HCCI: Price of healthcare is growing, utilization is dropping, price variations persist
ICD-10 & Coding
Physician practices examine risk adjustment coding in wake of federal lawsuits
Practices keeping close watch on risk adjustment coding
Meaningful Use
CMS overhauls meaningful use EHR program, renames it 'Promoting Interoperability'
CMS overhauls meaningful use as 'Promoting Interoperability'
Medicare & Medicaid
CMS will delay updates to hospital star ratings until 2021
CMS delays hospital star ratings update until 2021
Patient Engagement
Bar is rising for consumerism in healthcare, but providers are still playing catch-up
Consumerism is rising; providers are playing catch-up
Pharmacy
Drug price forecast projects 4.5 percent increase in hospital drug spending for 2020
4.5% increase predicted for hospital drug spending
Population Health
IPA, insurer launch innovative new partnership to manage social determinants of health
IPA, insurer launch innovative new partnership to manage social determinants of health
Risk Management
Hospital employees are clicking on phishing emails, and that's a problem, JAMA study shows
JAMA: Hospital employees are clicking on phishing emails
Telehealth
Use of non-hospital-based provider-to-patient telehealth grew nearly 1,400%
Non-hospital-based telehealth grew 1,400%
Mergers & Acquisitions
Tufts and Harvard Pilgrim to merge, creating large nonprofit insurer
Tufts and Harvard Pilgrim to merge
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Opinions View more >>
Payers must change dynamic with providers to survive in the post-Affordable Care Act world
Payers must change dynamic with providers to survive in the post-Affordable Care Act world
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HIE best practices
HIE best practices
Slideshows View more >>
Healthcare mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures in 2018: Running list
List: Healthcare M&A in 2018
MAGAZINE View more >>
September-October 2017
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More on Pharmacy

Amazon contemplating lawsuit against Surescripts

Surescripts is seeking to cut off PillPack's access to patient data, and the latter, an Amazon-owned company, isn't taking the matter lightly.

Jeff Lagasse, Associate Editor

Last week, it was reported that Amazon is contemplating a lawsuit against electronic prescribing company Surescripts, which has taken action to prevent the former from accessing its patient information. A lawsuit could complicate matters for both businesses.

This comes about a year after Amazon snatched up PillPack in a $753 million acquisition. PillPack, a pharmacy delivery service, receives comprehensive data indirectly from Surescripts, and uses the information to access patient medication lists, inform patients about potential safety risks, pinpoint duplicate medications and assist with refills. Surescripts is owned by potential PillPack competitors CVS and Express Scripts.

According to a CNBC report, PillPack will soon be blocked from accessing that data from third party company ReMy Health. Amazon's pending lawsuit is designed to put the brakes on those efforts, with PIllPack allegedly sending a cease-and-desist letter to Surescripts.

Rather than contracting directly with Surescripts, Pillpack goes through ReMy for information on patient medication. ReMy collects raw data from Surescripts and sends a more polished version of it to clients through its application software. ReMy indicated last week that it would cease working with Pillpack, severing a relationship that began in 2017.

WHAT'S THE IMPACT

If PillPack loses access to data from Surescripts it would effectively be cut off from patients' digital histories. This introduces a particularly vexing challenge, since many of its patients take multiple medications prescribed by various doctors. PillPack would probably have to call each patient by phone to get their medication lists, a time-consuming process that would rely on patients' memories rather than on hard and fast data.

There's another possible complication for Amazon. According to a Forbes contributor, if Amazon goes forward with the lawsuit, it may be hit by claims for openness on its own part -- adding stress to its practice of keeping a private lid on its own customer data.

Amazon told Forbes this was an unfounded concern, given the differences between customer data and personal health information.

THE LARGER TREND

Amazon reported $3.6 billion in profit for the first quarter of 2019, more than double the $1.6 billion earned during the same time period last year, releasing its quarterly report during the same week it began actively marketing PillPack to its customers.

Prescription deliveries are included in Amazon's Prime membership program.

Twitter: @JELagasse

Email the writer: [email protected]

Focus on: The Future of Pharma

In the month of July, we'll take a closer look at the many answers to this question, as well as exploring what the changing face of pharma means for other healthcare stakeholders.