This Week's Healthcare Online News
Illinois hospitals cite impact on jobs, economy
Illinois' nearly 50 health systems and more than 200 hospitals contribute $83.4 billion annually to the state's economy, according to a report issued this week by the Illinois Hospital Association. Looking at their financial health however, 39% of Illinois hospitals operated in the red over the last two years, the report noted.
Medicare and Medicaid payment cuts have contributed to Illinois hospitals' financial challenges. Since 2011, the state has seen more than $380 million in Medicaid reductions, while in the past decade, Medicare payments have dropped by about $11 billion.
Facebook CEO sees telemedicine opportunity with $2B Oculus acquisition
The multibillion dollar tech news this week is that Facebook is set to acquire virtual reality gaming company Oculus for more than $2 billion. During a call with reporters and analysts following the announcement, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg explained that while Oculus will continue to focus on gaming in the short term, the deal was more about placing a bet on the next big computing platform shift.
Health Insurance Exchange
10 Key Dates in Obamacare
Open enrollment officially closes, however those who began the process before the deadline will be allowed to enroll until a yet unannounced date in April. Obama administration announces no way to verify when users began enrollment.
HIT Youngsters Need to Sharpen Focus on Tech for the Elderly
There’s plenty of IT around to help the elderly—medical alert devices, medication reminder apps, Wi-Fi enabled scales and blood pressure cuffs, touchscreens with big buttons for Skyping with the grandkids—but one observer thinks there could be much more and better technology with a few commonsense tweaks to the paradigm. One, stop thinking of “the elderly” as a homogeneous and technophobic group, because for every 85-year-old who avoids newfangled gadgets, there are several who won’t go anywhere without their iPad. And second, don’t let young people have a monopoly on designing the products.
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