Point of View

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Editor's Corner

Drinking from the Firehose of Gov Health News

People sometimes ask me how they can best keep up with rapidly changing world of government healthcare policy and technology news.  The answer is that it is basically impossible. You have to set priorities. I look at the overall technology, policy, and business model trends...

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People sometimes ask me how they can best keep up with rapidly changing world of government healthcare policy and technology news.  The answer is that it is basically impossible.

You have to set priorities. I look at the overall technology, policy, and business model trends---focusing on CMS, health plans, providers, and to a lesser extent the rest of HHS, SSA, and VA.  At the state level, my focus is almost totally on the Medicaid program.

To stay informed—and to be prepared to provide leadership---the volume of news, data and comment can become overwhelming. Luckily, in our digital age, we have several good “government health” news aggregators--especially this publication and the rest of the DistilNFO family!

One of the best weekly aggregators for a quick health policy synopsis is KPMG’s Center for Healthcare Regulatory Insight’s-Around the World of US Healthcare in 360 words or less.  If you want to go deeper, here my major go-to dailies:

  1. Kaiser Health News--This is the king of daily news aggregators. They consolidate from all the major trade and news feeds.  I glance through their headlines daily and drill down to articles of interest.
  2. Politico Morning eHealth--They do a nice job of hitting major HIT policy highlights especially in the Federal space, as well as some technology-related articles and links.
  3. HIMSS Healthcare IT News--Carries a number of HIT-related articles and related content.
  4. Washington Post-the Health 202-one of a number of drill down sectors that the Post deliveries daily. They go deep on one key issue and have links to other articles in the health space
  5. Stat: Morning Rounds--fairly eclectic collection of reads but you can find a few nuggets.
  6. Axios Vitals-short and inciteful briefs on their five big items of the day.

I have to admit that I have not really adopted any regular blogs to read since John Halamka stopped doing his Geek Doctor blog – Life As a Healthcare CIO.  I do follow several podcasts that I highly recommend:

  1. This Week in Health IT is very good. It offers a different perspective each week.  The podcast has a HIT focus---mainly for the clinical side---but has also offered several good podcasts on consumer health topics.
  2. What the Health by Kaiser Health News is a weekly policy discussion by the Beltway crowd. Yes, they can come off as know-it-alls, but they have a very sound grasp of the major policy issues and their weekly podcast always hits timely issues.  They also recommend good healthcare articles to read.

There are many other places to go for in-depth technology or policy discussions, and of course the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and the Washington Post offer excellent continuous coverage.  Their articles are usually included in Kaiser’s Daily aggregator.  Happy reading!

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