Here's What You May or May Not Have Missed This Week:
• A recent Kaiser Health News analysis found that beginning in October, most US hospitals will face some sort of Medicare penalty for excessive 30-day readmissions between 2011 and 2014, losing a combined $420 million in the fourth year of the federal readmission reduction program. The analysis found that Medicare fined a hospital if it had a higher number of readmissions than the agency deemed appropriate based on the hospital's mix of patients and how the hospital industry performed overall. Source
• IBM finalized plans to acquire Merge Healthcare for $1 billion, in the hopes that the medical imaging software company can teach IBM’s cognitive computing unit Watson to read medical images. Currently, Watson can analyze mathematical data and can employ natural language processing to read large written data sets. But IBM researchers estimate that medical images account for at least 90 percent of all medical data today, and images aren’t currently something Watson can work with. Source
• Yelp announced that it is teaming up with ProPublica to provide patients with more robust rating information for health care organizations, including ER wait times, quality of doctor communications and patient room noise level, based on patient satisfaction surveys. Yelp plans to update the data each quarter for 4,600 hospitals, 15,000 nursing homes and 6,300 dialysis clinics in the US. Source
On The Front Lines:
Apple lost even more mobile device market share to Android this week among pMD's physician charge capture users with a net 0.05 percent drop. This puts Apple below the 90 percent threshold for the first time since we began reporting the iOS-Android wars over a year ago. While this stat may not exactly be music to Apple's ears, they did announce that 11 million people have signed up for the trial version of its music streaming system in the month since it was launched.
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.