Here's What You May or May Not Have Missed This Week:
• Online patient portals are becoming increasingly important as health care delivery moves towards value-based reimbursement, and patient care and consumer engagement become increasingly intertwined. These patient portals offer financial benefits that reduce staff workload, improve collections and help drive patient engagement with better outcomes. Patients are able to receive educational resources and targeted information. Additional benefits include quicker access to full patient records which can lead to improved provider productivity, secure communication between health care staff and patients as well as increased administrative efficiency. Source
• This week, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services aims to simplify and streamline the existing patchwork of value-based payment models. This new proposed rule tackling MACRA, or Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015, will provide doctors with two paths for compliance under the umbrella of the Quality Payment Program: a merit-based incentive payment system (MIPS) and advanced alternative payment models (APMs). Most providers are expected to opt for the MIPS track, initially. According to CMS, doctors will have the flexibility to switch among various components of either path based on the needs of their patients or their practices. Source
• The F.D.A. cautions prescribing oral yeast infection drugs to pregnant women due to new evidence suggesting a possible link to miscarriage. There have been previous warnings that chronic high doses of the drug, fluconazole or brand name Diflucan, may be linked to a rare and distinct set of birth defects in infants whose mothers took the drug in the first trimester. Women who ingested the oral drug had a significantly increased risk of miscarriage in comparison to those who used a topical treatment. Source
On The Front Lines:
Android crushed Apple with a 0.12% surge in this week's total devices, which is not surprising considering the results of the dismal Q2 earnings report released by Apple early this week. After a 13-year run of quarterly revenue growth, the tech giant experienced a 13% decline, leaving much of the tech industry wondering what's in store for Apple's future.
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.