Here's What You May or May Not Have Missed This Week:
• House and Senate leaders introduced legislation on Thursday that could fix the widely unpopular Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula and would halt automatic Medicare cuts to doctors. The deal was crafted by House Speaker John Boehner and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and is expected to cost $210 billion. If Congress fails to pass the deal by March 31, there would be a 21.2 percent cut to physicians' Medicare reimbursements. Source
• A lab safety report was published on the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website this week, calling the agency's commitment to safety "inconsistent and insufficient." The CDC was involved in several major incidences in 2014, prompting the review by an external advisory committee. The report recommends that all CDC labs go through an external review and accreditation process. Source
• Lawmakers discussed problems created by the lack of interoperability among electronic health record (EHR) systems at a Tuesday hearing of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. Policy experts argued that EHR vendors treat lack of interoperability as a competitive advantage. "EHR vendors do not have a business case for seamless, affordable interoperability across vendor platforms, and provider organizations find it an expense that they often can't justify," said a health policy expert at the hearing. Source
On The Front Lines:
Apple gained a sweet 0.09 percent of the mobile device pie from Android among pMD's physician charge capture users this past week. Apple is also working on the next generation of its Apple TV, which will be a significant overhaul of the latest device. The new TV is reported to have its own App Store as well as Apple's virtual assistant, Siri, and will debut a software development kit (SDK) allowing developers to create their own apps for the streaming box.
Each Friday, Signor Goat reports the latest from the week in health care alongside the front lines of the iOS-Android wars among pMD's physician charge capture users. Check back next Friday for your dose of our little medical corner of health care news.