The pMD Blog

Welcome to the
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.



Here's The Latest in Health Care:


•  A recent report published that artificial intelligence is being used to automatically diagnose common childhood conditions after processing the patient's symptoms, history, lab results, and other clinical data. Millions of Americans each year are misdiagnosed as a result of physician bias or overlooked alternatives. The hope is that someday this highly accurate system may assist doctors in diagnosing more complex or rare conditions.  Read More

•  Health care executives agree that some of the top challenges the industry is currently facing includes declining reimbursements and the patient experience, in addition to maintaining and upgrading IT and cybersecurity. Executives also identified that some of the key initiatives to reducing costs and improving the patient experience are to enable interoperability and increase data visibility across the enterprise.  Read More

•  Before you go squashing the next scurrying cockroach you see, consider the fact that insects actually have antimicrobial-producing microorganisms that could one day help cure diseases. As more and more infections become resistant to antibiotics, scientists are turning to insects and the bacteria living inside them as a source for new antibiotics in a time when demand is high but pipeline for new drugs is dwindling.  Read More

•  The Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights reported 10 settled cases and one judgement totaling $28.7 million in 2018 in response to HIPAA violations. It is 22% higher than what was reported in 2016 and a record year for settlements.  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, and care navigation software.


Here's The Latest in Health Care:


•  According to a recent report from the American Hospital Association, rural hospitals are facing challenges that threaten their sustainability. One of the biggest, ongoing challenge is the ability to recruit and retain health care professionals, especially in such geographically isolated locations. Hospitals in rural areas with low population density also face high fixed operating costs that aren't able to be covered due to low patient volume.  Read More

•  Safe injection sites - what are they and why are they so controversial? On one hand, illicit drug users have a safe location to inject while under medical supervision. Users are also provided with clean needles, wound care, and addiction treatment referrals. On the other hand, opposers simply cannot accept the idea of medical-sanctioned use of illegal drugs, even if the objective is to save lives by preventing overdose deaths. The Justice Department is now suing to stop a group out of Philadelphia for opening a safe injection site called Safehouse.  Read More

•  Lyft sees Medicare Advantage plans as a key target for its health care platform. Lyft, a ride-sharing service has been making moves in the health care space by being a non-emergency transportation option for patients needing a ride for medical care.  Read More

•  One issue in health care that everyone can agree on is that surprise medical bills are unfair to the American public. Attention to surprise billing, which involves charging patients for care that is more expensive than expected or not covered by their insurance, has encouraged a movement among lawmakers of both parties to study the problem and begin to take legislative action.  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, and care navigation software.


Here's The Latest in Health Care:


•  A recent study has found that low-impact sports can actually pose a threat to bone health because activities like cycling and swimming may be putting too little pressure on bones. In the study, cyclists' bone density were compared to that of runners and were found to be thinner.  Read More

•  In a new report from the Bipartisan Policy Center, Congress and the Health and Human Services are urged to do more to enable data sharing for patients at risk of suicide and opioid dependency. Currently, mental and behavioral health data are poorly integrated with clinical information in EHRs.  Read More

•  The Department of Veterans Affairs recently announced that it has proposed a rule that would change access standards for community care and urgent care for veterans. The proposed rule would allow veterans to seek care with either VA or eligible community providers.  Read More

•  Health officials in the state of Washington have declared a state of emergency following a measles outbreak and are urging immunization across the state. As of Monday afternoon, there have been 36 confirmed cases of the highly contagious infectious disease, which can be fatal in small children.  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, and care navigation software.


Here's The Latest in Health Care:


•  Leading national hospital associations are urging stakeholders and policymakers to take part in driving interoperability in the health care industry. A recent report by the American Hospital Association outlines different strategies to get the job done, including enhancing infrastructure, improving data security, sharing best practices, and more.  Read More

•  Cutting carbs completely out of your diet may result in quick weight loss but may not be sustainable. Going from no-carb to slow-carb can help you avoid cutting out the carbs that are the building blocks of a healthy diet, which include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans. Slow carbs are rich in fiber and take more time to digest and, in turn, don't lead to the the same quick rise in blood sugar that you get from refined carbs.  Read More

•  Microsoft Azure, Microsoft's cloud and AI platform, will be teaming up with Walgreens to develop new health care delivery models. Both companies aim to build new health care solutions that will improve patient outcomes and lower the cost of care.  Read More

•  Even putting in as little as 20 seconds of brisk stair climbing several times a day might be enough to increase aerobic fitness. In a recent study of interval-style training, findings show that people can have a meaningful workout without even having to leave their office building. No more excuses!  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, and care navigation software.


Here's The Latest in Health Care:


•  Zynquista, the first oral treatment for people with Type 1 diabetes, is awaiting approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The advisory panel for the FDA, however, is split on whether to approve the new drug, which means that the agency would be responsible to decide by the end of March whether the drug should reach the market.  Read More

•  In a recent report, six major issues facing health care have been identified for 2019. This includes preparing for the arrival of digital therapeutics and connected devices, identifying employees that need to be upskilled or reskilled, bracing for tax reforms, creating a value line of products or services, keeping up with private equity's acquisitions and investments in the health sector, and navigating changes in the Affordable Care Act.  Read More

•  In the past year, 9 out of 10 people had visited a health care provider who are capable of prescribing medicines. Among those who went in for a possible infection, about 89 percent had a chat with their provider about whether antibiotics were appropriate. Some experts say this percentage should be higher and that more patients should understand why they were being prescribed an antibiotic. Antibiotics don't work on viruses and are little help for some conditions caused by bacteria, such as many forms of bronchitis and sinus and ear infections. Many times, an over-the-counter remedy can help with these symptoms.  Read More

•  A new effort to conquer rising costs in health care formally launched this week. The Society of Actuaries and Kaiser Family Foundation launched "Initiative 18 | 11" in an effort to address the rising cost of health care in the U.S., which is roughly 18 percent of its gross domestic product, while the rest of the developed world spends roughly 11 percent.   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, and care navigation software.


Here's The Latest in Health Care:


•  Due the government shut down, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has cut back on routine safety food inspections of seafood, fruits, vegetables, and many foods that are at high risk of contamination. There are concerns that outbreaks would not be prevented or caught at the earliest warning signs without inspections.  Read More

•  The F.D.A. released the new Digital Health Action Plan as part of the agency's effort to improve oversight of artificial intelligence and other digital health products. Its aim is to be more efficient, while promoting safety of technology.  Read More

•  According to a recent study, the U.S. spends more on health care than other developed countries and nearly 25% more than that of the next-highest country, Switzerland. What's to blame? Researchers say prices are to blame for the high health care spending but it's been the same old story since 2003.  Read More

•  Pregnant and haven't gotten your flu shot yet? A recent study found that pregnant women who are hospitalized in the ICU with the flu are four times more likely to deliver babies who are premature or born with low birth weight. Just another reason to get your flu shot if you're pregnant!  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, and care navigation software.


Here's The Latest in Health Care:


•  A new AI imaging tool promises to cut the time between medical imaging, diagnosis, and the start of treatment. This new tool would offer physicians automated diagnostic alerts for certain conditions within seconds of the image being completed, potentially accelerating patient diagnosis.  Read More

•  Could exercising in extremely cold weather make us healthier? While there is little evidence to support the health benefits of training in cold weather, believers say that cold weather exercising can help burn extra calories, exercise your blood vessels, and train the immune system. Which way to the next icy lake?  Read More

•  As the partial government shutdown continues on, some important health-related initiatives are put on hold. Many public health operations are vulnerable to the continued shutdown due to funding streams that are being affected. Health services for Native Americans are also on hold because Indian Health Service clinics are funded through the Department of the Interior.  Read More

•  It's a new year! Have you had a chance to get into the groove of 2019's health care news yet? Let's see how much you've learned going into the new year with this week's health care quiz.  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, and care navigation software.


Here's The Latest in Health Care:


•  Many foods are banned in the European Union that are still used in the U.S., such as additives that are linked to cancer and can be found in American-made bread, cookies, soft drinks, and other processed foods. Drugs that are used in farm animals as well as genetically modified foods are also banned in Europe.  Read More

•  Where do hospitals need to be five years from now and how should they be preparing for the future? Patient experience is at the center of the future of hospitals and with that, hospitals should be looking for new methods to measure and report on patient satisfaction as well as to engage the patients. Some strategies also include providing staff escorts to guide patients to their destinations, experimenting with virtual experiences, and working with ride share companies to provide patient transportation.  Read More

•  The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has furloughed more than 40 percent of employees starting this past Wednesday in response to the partial government shutdown. The FDA will continue work that is critical to public health and safety and will still be able to respond to emergencies.  Read More

•  In 2018, several new Medicaid policies rocked the nation. To name a couple: requiring proof that beneficiaries work a certain number of hours per week or month with some exempt individuals and a proposal that would allow the Department of Homeland Security to consider whether someone is likely to use public services when deciding if the individual should be granted permanent residency.  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, and care navigation software.





The emergency department (ED), for most people, is the easiest place to go for health care. Hospital administrators and payers have understood for a long time that patients who are seen frequently in the ED are responsible for a disproportionate amount of health care spending.

In an effort to reduce ED visits, one of the primary strategies being employed is a shift of high-utilization or high-risk patients to primary care. Traditionally, this is a complex process requiring a team of people who are not only able to identify high risk patients but also would be in a position to intervene in a timely manner, before the patient is seen in the ED.

In addition to chronic health problems, high-utilization patients also often experience challenges in their ability to access care such as transportation, financial difficulties, or poor health insurance coverage. Understandably, this difficult reality often forces these patients to look for help at the ED closest to them, regardless of facility or the facility’s relationship with their primary care provider.

Some organizations, for example Oncology practices who are participating in the Oncology Care Model (OCM), are often well-positioned to be able to identify and intervene.  Practices who have strong relationships with their local hospitals, potentially leveraging pMD's clinically integrated networkwould have the ability to not only identify these high utilization patients but also understand their relationships with other providers. By understanding where the patient is already established and also understanding important elements of their medical history, providers are then able to eliminate unnecessary tests and imaging studies, reducing the costs of, or even necessity of, an admission.

But what happens when a patient is not within this utopia of information sharing and potentially not being tracked closely? Patients who visit the ED of a facility outside of the clinically integrated network are off the radar of care coordinators and this presents a significant problem for ACOs. When an ACO patient is seen outside of the ACO, this is known in the industry as patient leakage. The problem is exacerbated if the patient has not already been identified as a high-utilizer as it’s unlikely that this patient has been assigned to a team of care coordinators.

The pMD solution to patient leakage is comprised of two layers. The first being the ability for a provider or care coordinator to receive real-time notifications when a patient is admitted to a facility where pMD is integrated. The second layer is real-time communications - the ability for providers, care coordinators, family members, and even patients themselves to communicate securely with their care team. In this way, the people who are best able to help are able to intervene as soon as possible, getting the patient to the right place of service or at the very least, the right ED.

Find out more about pMD's suite of products, which includes our MIPS registry, charge capture, secure messaging, clinical communication, and care navigation software and services, please contact pMD.






Here's The Latest in Health Care:


•  The National Institutes of Health began a study in 2013, which is still ongoing, that aims to reveal how brain development is affected by various experiences, which include concussions, substance abuse, and screen time. CBS's "60 Minutes" reported on the early results of the study and found that heavy screen use was associated with lower scores on some aptitude tests. But the data is still preliminary and it's unclear whether the effects are long lasting.  Read More

•  St. Mary Medical Center's emergency department was facing a slew of problems, from overcrowding to gaps in leadership to changes in their electronic health record system. By hiring consultants and making updates to the design of their EHR documentation templates as well as to leadership and front-end processes, they were able reduce length of stay, left-without-being-seen rate, and the arrive-to-provider time.  Read More

•  According to a new analysis from the National Association of ACOs (NAACOS), Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) saved Medicare $2.7 billion to date, proving that ACOs are valuable and are saving American taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars.  Read More

•  Families who don't qualify for subsidies under ACA (Affordable Care Act) are bearing the full cost of coverage as insurance premiums continue to rise. These financial challenges have pushed many to drop their coverage or turn to cheaper, less comprehensive insurance.  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, and care navigation software.