Here's What You May or May Not Have Missed This Week:
• A federal ruling this week granted House Republicans the ability to sue the Obama administration for spending federal funds under the Affordable Care Act. The House argument was that suing the White House was the only way to control federal spending and prevent the administration from allocating $136 billion in insurance company cost-sharing assistance. The administration is expected to appeal the ruling and allow a higher court to consider the issue. Source
• New York insurer Excellus BlueCross BlueShield announced that the personal information of approximately 10.5 million members has been hacked in a previously undetected cyberattack that has been going on for almost a year and a half. The insurance organization first discovered the breach in August 2015 despite the hack initially taking place in December 2013. Stolen personal data includes member names, dates of birth, social security numbers, financial information, and addresses. This is the third largest HIPAA breach ever reported. Source
• Federal health officials declared that they have potentially lifesaving information from the results of a major study conducted on blood pressure research. The study found that patients who were assigned a systolic blood pressure goal below 120, which is far lower than the current guidelines of 140, had their risk of heart attacks, heart failure, and strokes reduced by a third and their risk of death reduced by a quarter. Officials ended the study over a year early based on their conclusive results and are calling for new, lower blood pressure guidelines. Source
On The Front Lines:
Apple had a superb week, gaining back 0.09 percent from Android in the mobile wars among pMD's physician users. Apple also unveiled the new iPhone 6s and iOS 9, which will have performance enhancements and new features like improved Siri responses, better search tools, and will allow iOS devices to learn user habits and act on that information. The iPhone 6s will also have a 3D touch, pressure-sensitive display that can detect varying levels of sensitivity to perform an array of functions. Pre-orders begin at 12:01am PDT on Sept. 12!
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.