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Health Care Week in Review: Medicare Readmission Penalties, Health Benefits of Cockroach Milk, HIPAA Violation Fines, Barnyard Dust Asthma Prevention

Here's The Latest in Health Care:


• Medicare is dinging U.S. hospitals for excessive 30-day readmission rates. More than half of U.S. hospitals are being penalized this year, taking effect with the new fiscal year in October. These penalties mean that hospitals will lose upwards of $520 million in payments from Medicare. While these readmission penalties are controversial, fear of penalties are pushing hospitals to work harder torwards reducing their readmission rates. Source

• Will the latest health food trend arise from one of the least revered insects? Cockroach milk, secreted from the Pacific Beetle Cockroach, is actually a liquid that takes the form of protein crystals in the guts of baby cockroaches. It's high in protein, fat and sugar and researchers indicate this may someday be a food supplement worthy of human consumption. Source

• The largest settlement yet paid by a single entity for potential HIPAA violations came from Advocate Health Care to the tune of $5.6 million. In an investigation starting in 2013, it was revealed that Advocate Health Care was in violation of HIPAA-compliancy involving electronic protected health information. Source

• Researchers have found that microbes from farm animals, carried into the home via dust, could be the magic ingredient in preventing asthma in children. Children who are exposed to microbes that stimulate their immune system at an earlier age are more likely to be protected against asthma. Studies have shown that children who lived in far too clean environments were developing asthma at rate higher than those who grew up in other environments, such as a farm.  Source

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.
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