Consumerism Forcing Change in Health IT.

Hospital leaders, vendors and others who gathered last week at the Healthcare Information and Management System Society's annual meeting were adamant that health care organizations must pick up the pace in embracing consumerism. That push must be balanced with the reality that provider revenue streams are tightening, as well as the fact that payers, employers, consumers and the government are clamoring for more preventive and population health-based care, reports Modern Healthcare. "Your whole role as a CIO is changing," said Marc Probst, chief information officer for Intermountain Healthcare. "You've got to be way ahead of the game."

Drone Deliveries to Begin in Health Care.

During recent hurricanes and storms, drones surveyed wrecked roads, bridges and rail lines, spotted oil and gas leaks, and inspected damaged cell towers. Regulations make it hard for commercial drones to operate, but last October, the Department of Transportation invited state and local governments to propose plans that would integrate drones into the national airspace. Many of the proposals are health-related, writes Esther Landhuis for NPR. John Walker, an aerospace consultant, believes that early public acceptance of drone delivery in urban areas will revolve around hospitals, as the drones could be used for delivering blood, medical supplies and lab tests to help doctors provide timely care to patients. 

Rural Hospitals and Patients Would Feel Medicaid Cuts.

As part of Kaiser Health News series on how the U.S. has evolved into a "Medicaid Nation," they examine how health care has become inextricably linked to Medicaid in rural areas, which are often home to lower-income and more medically needy people. Matthew Perry, CEO of Genesis HealthCare System in Zanesville, OH, acknowledges that cuts to Medicaid would be deeply problematic for his hospital. "If you pull too many of those foundational blocks out of the system that support the safety net … it can crumble," said Perry. "People can assume something's always going to be there, when in reality, that assumption is not always true."

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