Briefs

Modern Healthcare - - LATE NEWS -

The trou­bled Open Pay­ments web­site is en­coun­ter­ing a bit more tur­bu­lence.

The CMS an­nounced last week that it plans up­com­ing out­ages for the site and that down­time would be used for “sched­uled main­te­nance up­grades.” As a re­sult, the re­view-and-dis­pute process for doc­tor data dis­played on the site will be ex­tended un­til Sept. 10, the agency said. That de­lay will push the corrections pe­riod to Sept. 25. The agency still says that the data will be re­leased to the public Sept. 30. The out­ages are sched­uled on Aug. 30 between 1 and 11 a.m. ET and on Sept. 5 for an as-yet-undis­closed du­ra­tion.

The White House last week con­firmed that Todd Park will be de­part­ing as U.S. chief tech­nol­ogy of­fi­cer and turn­ing to a new gov­ern­men­tal role.

The an­nounce­ment came in a White House blog post. In Septem­ber, Park will move to Cal­i­for­nia, where he will be re­cruit­ing tech­nol­ogy tal­ent to the fed­eral gov­ern­ment as well as “iden­ti­fy­ing in­no­va­tive ways to im­prove the qual­ity of gov­ern­ment dig­i­tal ser­vices.” Park helped turn around Health­Care.gov. Be­fore that, he had been a se­rial en­tre­pre­neur who co-founded two public health IT com­pa­nies: Athenahealth, which pro­vides cloud-based elec­tronic health records, and Cast­light, which pro­vides price trans­parency for con­sumers.

Spend­ing on Medi­care and Med­i­caid is ex­pected to be roughly $100 bil­lion less than pre­vi­ously an­tic­i­pated over the next decade, in large part be­cause of re­duc­tions in the cost of la­bor and med­i­cal ser­vices, ac­cord­ing to the lat­est anal­y­sis from the Con­gres­sional Bud­get Of­fice.

Medi­care spend­ing is an­tic­i­pated to be $71 bil­lion less than pre­vi­ously pro­jected, while Med­i­caid spend­ing is ex­pected to drop by $31 bil­lion. But over­all health­care spend­ing is still an­tic­i­pated to rise by $67 bil­lion in 2014, a 9% in­crease. That’s driven in large part by the ex­pan­sion of Med­i­caid, with spend­ing on the pro­gram ex­pected to in­crease by $40 bil­lion, or 15%, over 2014.

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