The pMD Blog

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pMD Blog...

where we cover interesting and relevant news, insights, events, and more related to the health care industry and pMD. Most importantly, this blog is a fun, engaging way to learn about developments in an ever-changing field that is heavily influenced by technology.


Image: Pixabay

Here's The Latest in Health Care:


•  In 2017, the U.S. saw a drop in birthrate, one of the sharpest declines since 1987. Across all groups of reproductive age, birthrates have shown a general decline. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "the decline in rate from 2016 to 2017 was the largest single-year decline since 2010."  Read More

•  This week, the Veterans Affairs Department announced that it will sign with Cerner to implement the same EHR as the Department of Defense in an effort to modernize its system. With this being one of the largest IT contracts in the federal government, it's no wonder it took nearly a year after the initial announcement for the contract to be signed.  Read More

•  Anthem, the nation's second-largest insurer has decided to slash reimbursement rates to breast pump suppliers. This means that some breast pumps that used to be free will now come at a cost to consumers. This move will especially impact lower-income moms and could potentially see a drop in breastfeeding altogether.  Read More

•  On Thursday, the Food and Drug Administration approved the first medicine designed to prevent migraines. Migraines affect millions of people and are often debilitating. While the drugs do not prevent all migraine attacks, they can make them less severe.  Read More

Each Friday, Signor Goat reports the latest from the week in health care. Check back next Friday for your dose of our little medical corner of health care news. Brought to you by pMD, innovators in charge capture, secure messaging, clinical communication, MIPS registry, clinically integrated network, and care navigation software.

Image: Courtesy of Pasca lab/Stanford University

Here's The Latest in Health Care:


•  The Senate HELP committee bill requires the DEA to create guidelines on how providers in health care can prescribe controlled substances in a telemedicine setting. It also outlines ways in which to expand access of care for addicted patients, while limiting who can prescribe opioids through telemedicine.  Read More

•  Desperate oncology physicians are turning to immunotherapy drugs for dying cancer patients. However, experts are split. Some offer immunotherapy drugs in the hopes that the cancer drug will help but at the risk of not knowing which patients might benefit and from which drugs. Others argue that scientists must first gather rigorous evidence before treating their patients with experimental drugs.  Read More

•  Nearly a year after canceling a planned release of Medicare Advantage encounter data, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) are finally making good on their promise. CMS collected data from private insurers who administered Medicare Advantage plans since 2012. The data release is part of CMS' new data sharing program that puts patients first.  Read More

•  Research on cerebral organoids, or minibrains, are raising ethical questions about the potential development of lab-grown consciousness or sentience and what that means for human brain cells that live and grow outside the human body. Minibrains are created by transforming skin cells from a person into neural stem cells.  Read More

Each Friday, Signor Goat reports the latest from the week in health care. Check back next Friday for your dose of our little medical corner of health care news. Brought to you by pMD, innovators in charge capture software.

Image: Getty/smartstock

Here's The Latest in Health Care:


•  In a recent study, traumatic brain injuries have been found to increase the risk for Parkinson's disease. Even mild blows to the head with subsequent symptoms can increase this risk.  Read More

•  Two medical associations announced their collaboration surrounding a value-based payment model for treatment of opioid addiction. The payment model is aimed at lowering health care spending for people with addiction by decreasing the amount of expensive emergency department visits and improving coordination of care.  Read More

•  Apple is uniquely positioned to succeed in the population health space because they are moving data directly from the health system to the device. By giving the patient their data as opposed to storing it in another cloud, Apple is creating a positive, individual-centric experience for the patient.  Read More

•  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warns of an E.coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce grown in Yuma, Arizona. The CDC has reported 31 people having been hospitalized and no deaths have been reported. The CDC cautions that if the source of the romaine lettuce is confirmed, do not buy or eat it.  Read More

Each Friday, Signor Goat reports the latest from the week in health care. Check back next Friday for your dose of our little medical corner of health care news. Brought to you by pMD, innovators in charge capture software.

Image: Leyla B / EyeEm/Getty Images

Here's The Latest in Health Care:


•  One of the more promising opportunities for Artificial Intelligence (AI) in reducing health care costs is associated with population health. Population health is an ever-moving target and this is where AI would be most beneficial because machine learning can spot trends and patterns that may be missed by physicians.  Read More

•  Mergers in health care can pose safety risks to patients because business considerations drive these mergers and as a result, clinical consequences become low in priority. Identifying risks before and during the merger process, such as handling new patient populations, understanding the varied platforms and protocols, and considering the risks of doctor relocations, can help avoid problems that could potentially impact patients.  Read More

•  Currently, Medicare reimburses audiologists for diagnosing hearing loss in older adults but not for providing assistance on how to adjust and use them. In a bill that was recently introduced, Medicare would pay audiologists for such services where most elderly patients are not able to afford such services.  Read More

•  One of the leading causes of illness and death in young children is acute respiratory infection of the lungs and airways and can often be a result of air pollution.  In a recent study, scientists found that beginning the second week after pollution levels increased, there was a corresponding increase in respiratory infections.  Read More

Each Friday, Signor Goat reports the latest from the week in health care. Check back next Friday for your dose of our little medical corner of health care news. Brought to you by pMD, innovators in charge capture software.

Image: iStock

Here's The Latest in Health Care:


•  A new report found that the government's projection for Accountable Care Organizations, or ACOs, missed the mark by several billion dollars. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) in 2010 projected that the program would produce $1.7 billion in net savings by 2018, a $2 billion difference than the current savings. However, the report also mentions that ACOs that participate longer eventually gain more experience and perform better, seeing greater savings.  Read More

•  Standards for health savings accounts (HSA) have tightened a bit this year. The annual maximum allowable contribution to a HSA is slightly lower for individuals with family coverage this year. Money deposited in a HSA is tax-deductible, grows tax-free, and can be used to pay for medical expenses.  Read More

•  Millennials are a driving force in the health care industry these days. In a recent survey that included participants from the baby boomer, genX, and millennial generations, millennials were less likely to have a primary care physician and more likely to utilize walk-in clinics, use online cost-tracking tools to manage medical expenses, and find telemedicine an extremely important option.  Read More

•  In a new study that compared the cellular effects of carbohydrates in sports drinks versus bananas, it has been found that a banana provides comparable or greater anti-inflammatory benefits than sports drinks in athletes. While bloating may be one downside, exercisers who prefer a natural and inexpensive alternative to sports drinks can count on bananas to do the job!  Read More

Each Friday, Signor Goat reports the latest from the week in health care. Check back next Friday for your dose of our little medical corner of health care news. Brought to you by pMD, innovators in charge capture software.

Image: Healthcare IT News

Here's The Latest in Health Care:


•  In research recently published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases journal, a new study introduces a new potential malaria-fighting tool: the medication, Ivermectin. Ivermectin kills malaria-carrying mosquitos who feed on individuals that ingest the drug.  Read More

•  Many health systems experience obstacles in the operating room in the face of supply shortages. Using inventory analytics can help reduce costs and medical supply shortages. By automating this process, costs are reduced and providers have more free time to focus on patients and support better outcomes.  Read More

•  Experts have outlined three key reasons for ditching the fee-for-service (FFS) payment model. First, FFS trends toward a metric-oriented process over patient outcome. Second, joining partnerships in value-based care can break down payment barriers and prioritize patient input. And third, FFS can create an ethical issue when physicians over-diagnose or over-treat patients in favor of increased reimbursement rates.  Read More

•  This week, a California state judge ruled that coffee sellers would be required to brand their beverages with cancer warning labels. When coffee beans are roasted, a chemical called acrylamide is formed, which is on California's list of chemicals considered to cause cancer. Companies like Starbucks and Dunkin' Donuts can file objections to the proposed decision within the next two weeks.  Read More

Each Friday, Signor Goat reports the latest from the week in health care. Check back next Friday for your dose of our little medical corner of health care news. Brought to you by pMD, innovators in charge capture software.

Image: Roy Scott/Getty Images/Ikon Images

Here's The Latest in Health Care:


•  On Thursday, the House passed the $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill that would fund the government through the end of September. The Department of Health and Human Services will be getting a considerable increase in the billions. The budget also  includes a large amount of funding for the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs to boost interoperability.  Read More

•  Americans living in rural areas struggle with access to care. Expansion of programs providing emergency air medical services are limited by cost but a bill introduced last summer hopes to improve access to air ambulance services by updating Medicare's currently minuscule reimbursement rates.  Read More

•  Recently, Amazon announced its entry into the health care space. Its early efforts are dedicated to selling medical supplies such as gloves, syringes, and other health care items to various types of providers.  Read More

•  Social media is becoming a platform for patients to connect online and share reactions to drug treatments. Sometimes, clinical trials can miss side effects and collecting data about a drug from insurance claims and health records can take a long time. So, rather than being faced with lag time, companies are often sifting through the internet and social media for patient reports of side effects as a tempting method of collecting data. But experts warn of drawbacks to this approach.  Read More

Each Friday, Signor Goat reports the latest from the week in health care. Check back next Friday for your dose of our little medical corner of health care news. Brought to you by pMD, innovators in charge capture software.





This past winter, I had learned that my guilty pleasure was taking in as much of the Olympics that I could. I found myself mesmerized. There’s something about the pursuit of excellence at the highest level possible that was captivating to me. I have such great respect for these athletes that have given their last 4 years and most of their lives dedicated to execution in one moment of excellence that typically lasts less than 2 minutes.

I had watched athlete after athlete compete, and it forced me to think about what their path to excellence and success looked like. As a former athlete, I’ve had a small taste into that world, and I quickly realized that it was the thousands of hours dedicated to the practice of the fundamentals that put these athletes into such an elite level.

As much as I would liked to be able to participate in the Olympics, it’s not happening anytime soon for me. However, I do take great pride in my job each day. My guess is that most of us want to perform at the highest level possible. Thus, lately, I’ve been inspired by others that have been at the pinnacle of the business or sports world. As I read and study their methods, I’m reminded even more of the importance of continually practicing, preaching, and executing on the fundamentals day in and day out.

As we embark on lofty goals at pMD for 2018, I wanted to share a few of the key fundamentals I’m routinely seeing among those that have achieved and led teams to the pinnacle of success and are applicable no matter what line of work you’re in:

Clarify your Definition of Success

In our personal and professional lives, there can be a tremendous amount of noise and opinions that will all try to dictate what success looks like. I found it fascinating that John Wooden, a former Hall of Fame UCLA basketball coach who won 10 national championships (7 consecutively), 80 games in a row and is considered one of the greatest coaches in history, never talked about “wins” being a benchmark to success when speaking with his teams. Rather, he said, “True success comes only to an individual by self-satisfaction in knowing that you gave everything to become the very best that you are capable of. Less than 100% of your effort towards obtaining the objective is not success, regardless of the outcome. Don’t worry about whether you’re better than somebody else, but never cease trying to be the best you can become. You have control over that; the other you don’t.”

Little Things Make Big Things Happen

Rome wasn’t built in a day. Lofty goals are achieved through your seemingly small actions each day, accumulated over extended periods of time. Be relentless in your pursuit of staying committed to doing the little things correctly over time. Wooden states, “Long-term success requires short-term focus.” Stay consistent with investing in the fundamentals for improvement today and the future will take care of itself. When you start obsessing about the future and the projected scoreboard, you lose the opportunity to better yourself and your team today.

Discipline Equals Freedom

I’ve also been following a former Navy-Seal-turned-business-consultant, Jocko Willink. He preaches that discipline equals freedom and is critical to success. While discipline may seem like your enemy, it’s actually your best friend. All of us desire to reach a freedom that comes from achieving our lofty goals. Jocko states clearly that there are no shortcuts to success. It is the best offense to reach your potential and the best defense against temptation, weakness and procrastination. It’s through your discipline that you’re able to execute on the priorities and “little things” that frees you to perform your best and reach your goals.

My takeaways from these themes are that you can’t accomplish lofty goals and dreams without being incredibly disciplined and relentless on the fundamentals every single day. Easier said than done, but it starts with making those disciplined decisions today and then starting all over in executing tomorrow. Over time, those minutes turn into hours, hours into days, and days into years. Execute on the daily process and the scoreboard and your accomplishments will take care of themselves.

 If you'd like to find out more about pMD's suite of products, which includes our MIPS registry, charge capture, secure messaging, and care coordination software and services, please contact pMD.






Image: Gerald Herbert/AP

Here's The Latest in Health Care:


•  Use of opioid drugs has risen among the elderly population, despite their vulnerability to the drugs' side effects. Pain relievers like Vicodin and Oxycontin are frequently prescribed for older people, often for falls and fractures, and when patients take both, they're at risk for overdosing.  Read More

•  Leading vendors in the electronic health record space are developing technology that incorporate artificial intelligence, or AI. For AI and machine learning to advance in health care, clean data is needed to fuel interoperability and modern data exchange.  Read More

•  In a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, it has been found that the U.S. spends nearly double the amount on medical care than 10 of the highest-income countries, yet performed less well on patient population health outcomes. The main drivers of the differences in spending are prices of labor and goods and administrative costs.  Read More

•  On Thursday, the Food and Drug Administration announced its plans to reduce the amount of nicotine in cigarettes in the hopes of weaning millions of smokers off the deadly habit. The goal is also to prevent millions more from becoming regular smokers. Preliminary plans to cut nicotine in cigarettes tentatively begin in July.  Read More

Each Friday, Signor Goat reports the latest from the week in health care. Check back next Friday for your dose of our little medical corner of health care news. Brought to you by pMD, innovators in charge capture software.

Image: Trina Dalziel/Getty Images/Ikon Images

Here's The Latest in Health Care:


•  In a recent report, it has been found that women taking probiotics and fish oil supplements during pregnancy and breast-feeding may reduce food allergy risks and eczema in early childhood.  Read More

•  The U.S. still has the highest health care costs in the world and some experts suggest that carefully scrutinizing unnecessary elective treatments could contribute to a long-term solution. As people live longer, the population takes on more cost.  Read More

•  On Tuesday, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that it has plans to do a complete overhaul of the Meaningful Use program for hospitals. CMS Administrator, Seema Verma, specified to reporters that the agency is moving away from giving credit to providers for simply having an EHR to making sure their EHR is focused on interoperability and providing patients with their data.  Read More

•  A slowly growing number of health systems are encouraging selected emergency department patients who are acutely ill yet stable to opt for hospital-level care at home. For this subset of patients, a trip to the hospital can put them at risk for infection, sleeplessness, and delirium, among other problems. The biggest obstacle is getting health insurers to pay for it.  Read More

Each Friday, Signor Goat reports the latest from the week in health care. Check back next Friday for your dose of our little medical corner of health care news. Brought to you by pMD, innovators in charge capture software.