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where we cover interesting and relevant news, insights, events, and more related to the health care industry and pMD. Most importantly, this blog is a fun, engaging way to learn about developments in an ever-changing field that is heavily influenced by technology.

POSTS BY TAG | Android


Here's What You May or May Not Have Missed This Week:


• Healthcare IT News held its inaugaral Pop Health Forum 2016 in Boston this week, gathering clinicians, technology professionals and health care experts from all over the country to discuss the future of population health management. Strategies such as data and analytics, care coordination, patient engagement, technology and quality-based care are just some of the many efforts to be examined during the two-day forum. Source

• Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced this week a rule that requires hospitals and health care organizations to release injury data that will later be posted on its website. Businesses with 250 or more employees must submit work-related injury data. The new rule takes effect August 10 of this year, with data submissions being phased in beginning 2017. Source

• Oregon Health & Science University, or OHSU, is revolutionizing transgender health care by heading the first ever Transgender Health Program in the U.S. The program is meant to help transgender patients feel comfortable and more welcome in an already intimidating and non-nurturing environment, where many providers lack the training and sensitivity to deal with said patients. Source

 

On The Front Lines:


Week after week, Android has dominated the mobile user base, taking away 0.04 percent this week from iOS and stealing the show for the fourth week in a row. Could the declining apple market share worldwide be bumping the formally dominating smartphone brand down a few notches?

 

FINAL RESULTS:


iOS: 90.58%
Android: 9.42%

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.

Here's What You May or May Not Have Missed This Week:


• Telemedicine is becoming increasingly important as health care, technology and value-based reimbursement models converge. Telemedicine is enabled by connected devices, apps and wearables that the patient uses to monitor their conditions and communicate with their providers outside of a medical setting. Since the shift toward value-based models requires solutions that can optimize delivery and management of care, technology is changing the manner in which physicians now provide care. Benefits to telemedicine include better patient access to physicians and care, improved care experience for patients, as well as streamlined costs and processes for non-emergency ailments.  Source

• An analysis of medical death rate data over an eight-year period has found that more than 250,000 deaths per year occur due to medical error, bumping medical error deaths up to the third leading cause of death in the U.S. behind only heart disease and cancer.  Source

• On Thursday, a federal judge in Washington ruled for House GOP in the latest challenge to the Obama health care law. A provision of the law provides money to insurance companies when they reduce out-of-pocket expenses for low income people covered under Obamacare. However, Congress never appropriated that money, which is a violation of the constitution. For now, there will be no effect on the health care system from Thursday's ruling.  Source


 

On The Front Lines:


For the third week in a row, Android has topped Apple in net devices, taking away 0.06 percent of the mobile user base this week. The increase in Android's market share this past quarter along with increase in sales is cause for reflection - are doctors abandoning their iPhones for one of Google's progenies?

FINAL RESULTS:


iOS: 90.62%
Android: 9.38%

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.

Here's What You May or May Not Have Missed This Week:


• Why are some organizations experiencing ineffective care coordination? In short, poor communication. Health care systems are disjointed, patients are often left out of the loop in their own care, and information between specialists and primary care physicians is not often relayed. While new technologies are being introduced into the health care industry, often these technological issues can complicate the communication that is necessary for effective care coordination, such as multiple systems that don't talk to each other.  As health care systems rapidly transition to value-based care models, there are high hopes for the future success of care coordination.  Source

•  Bonuses to 231 subpar quality hospitals were paid out by the federal government because their patients tend to be less expensive for Medicare. The Affordable Care Act's intended incentive goals hardly had this in mind when rewarding hospitals for mediocre quality of care. These hospitals with below average scores on quality measures were rewarded bonuses because caring for their patients during their stays and 30 days post-discharge cost Medicare less than what it cost at half of hospitals evaluated in the program. In a statement, CMS said it would consider revising the program for future years and will take into account scores that fall below the median for quality.  Source

• Reported cases of the Zika virus are making their way throughout the U.S. The latest from the CDC indicates that there are now 472 travel-related cases of the virus reported in the U.S., 10 of which were sexually transmitted. Pregnant women are cautioned to avoid traveling to areas with Zika and to strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bites. Research efforts are underway worldwide in an effort to halt the advancement of this rapidly-spreading virus.  Source


 

On The Front Lines:


With Apple off to a rocky start heading into Q3, it's no surprise that Android has taken the crown for the second week in a row. While only a mere 0.02 percent take away this week, small victories may lead to big wins for the future of Android.

 

FINAL RESULTS:


iOS: 90.68%
Android: 9.32%

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.

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.

 

FINAL RESULTS:


iOS: 90.70%
Android: 9.30%

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.

Here's What You May or May Not Have Missed This Week:


• The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services put a hold on revealing new quality star ratings for U.S. providers due to pressure from Congress. The release date has been pushed to July in order to  better clarify questions to providers over the next few months regarding the current methodology of how ratings are generated. The rating system gives providers one to five stars based on specific inpatient and outpatient reporting measures and is a way for consumers to compare and choose among different providers. Only 87 out of over 3,600 U.S. hospitals received a rating of five stars and just over half fell within the three-star range. The urge in delaying the program is also in response to questions about the seemingly confusing methods and disparity in outcome for hospitals in disadvantaged communities, which could potentially mislead consumers. These next few months are essential as hospitals and health systems work with CMS to improve the ratings for patients. Source

• In an effort to improve transparency, trust, and communication between physicians and their patients, OpenNotes is now being embraced by New York's Mount Sinai Health System. This initiative allows patients to access their provider's notes in their medical records, electronically. The notes are available in their health system's online electronic health record portal, called MyMountSinaiChart, and users are now able to read details surrounding their recent office visit from the comfort of their own home via personal computer, tablet or smartphone.  The ultimate goal is to improve and enhance patient engagement as well as patient empowerment. Source

• By 2050, an estimated 10 million people will be killed by drug-resistant bugs, exceeding the number of those who would die from cancer. These superbugs are bacterial threats that have become resistant to antibiotics. In the U.S., the CDC calls on hospitals and health care system leaders to help prevent infection by ensuring that staff follow best practices in proper hand-hygiene, isolation, and environmental device-cleaning. UK Chancellor George Osborne urges leaders to shift incentives to encourage pharmaceutical companies to develop new antibiotics, which is critical because it can take 10 to 15 years to develop new antibiotic therapies at a very high cost.  Source

 

On The Front Lines:


It's no surprise that Apple went up this week by 0.04 percent in light of releasing their upgraded MacBook Pro with new processors that are Intel's sixth-generation Core M and range from 1.1GHz to 1.3GHz depending on configuration. I predict we'll see Apple continue to dominate the mobile device scene among health care providers this year.

 

FINAL RESULTS:


iOS: 90.82%
Android: 9.18%

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.

Here's What You May or May Not Have Missed This Week:


• The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services launched a new risk-based primary care initiative on Monday, which is expected to work hand in hand with data and technology to boost care, lower costs, and advance the health care industry toward becoming a learning health system. This Comprehensive Primary Care Plus, or CPC+, initiative will start in January 2017 and will include up to 5,000 practices and 20,000 physicians in about 20 regions. Practices will receive an up-front incentive payment that will either be kept or repaid by physicians based on quality metrics. The goal of this initiative is to move the health system from quantity of care to quality of care. Source

•  Long-held suspicions that the Zika virus causes microcephaly in infants as well as major brain-related birth defects were confirmed this week by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). While the link was confirmed in the results of a New England Journal of Medicine study, formally establishing the connection does not mean all pregnant women infected with Zika will give birth to an infant with microcephaly. The confirmation, however, does represent a significant milestone in preventative care for Zika. In addition, some U.S. businesses, regardless of how far the virus actually spreads, are expected to encounter shortage of staff and employee reluctance to travel. Source

•  A report released on Thursday shows that since the Affordable Care Act was enacted, more hospitals and health systems have started or expanded their own health insurance plans. By combining medical claims and clinical data, hospitals are able to build on their population health programs. Total enrollment in hospital-based plans in 2017 are expected to exceed the already 15.3 million people receiving their health coverage through a provider-owned health plan. Most of that growth is expected to come from Medicaid plans. Source



On The Front Lines:


Android took away a slim .02 percent of the mobile device pie this week. Such a small net change leaves room for speculation - will Android continue this trend into next week, or will Apple defend its dominance in mobile health care?

 

FINAL RESULTS:


iOS: 90.78%
Android: 9.22%

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.

Here's What You May or May Not Have Missed This Week:


• The Department of Defense is soon rolling out a new electronic health records software in the Pacific Northwest later in 2016. This project is going to be a new beginning towards interoperability and secure patient records. This massive EHR modernization by the DoD now has a new name - MHS Genesis. The project is in partnership with Cerner, Leidos and Accenture and this "new beginning" will soon hope to provide greater population health data, tracking and alerting capabilities, which will also enable health care professionals to more easily monitor patients' health status and encourage healthy behaviors. Source

• Veterans Affairs' medical facilities are under investigation after officials in seven states falsified wait-time records. Evidence of misconduct was found in dozens of states after the discovery of falsified wait-time records at the Phoenix VA facility nearly two years ago. It was reported that the VA environment encouraged or provided incentives for such misconduct and in other cases, the mandates to manipulate wait times were found to come from higher level administration. The department has initiated disciplinary proceedings against 29 employees. Source

•  A new federally led task force aims to crack down abuse in nursing homes. Federal, state and local authorities will collaborate in 10 new regional task forces across the country to toughen enforcement against substandard care to patients and residents in nursing homes. The U.S. Justice Department announced on Wednesday that the task forces hope to "share information and concerns much more quickly and to take action in a more coordinated and timely manner". Source


On The Front Lines:


For the second week in a row Apple has topped Android in net devices for the week, taking away an additional 0.08 percent of the mobile user base. Perhaps there's a correlation between Apple's growth and the new, polished, developer's portal - making things a bit easier to find and giving developers a shiny, redesigned website to work with.

 

FINAL RESULTS:


iOS: 90.80%
Android: 9.20%

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.

Here's What You May or May Not Have Missed This Week:


• PowerWare is the latest example of recent ransomware attacks on hospitals across the U.S., wreaking havoc on health care. Similar to the Locky virus, the fileless malware is delivered via email through a Microsoft Word document that resembles an invoice and locks down the system until the ransom is paid. In addition, PowerWare takes it a step further and mimics legitimate activities and files on the computer. Many times, ransomware is successful because organizations have a same file sharing system and depository for all documents across the organization and it only takes one employee to be fooled.  Source

• The FDA approved an experimental blood screening test on Wednesday for the Zika virus in blood donations. The approval for the experimental test is a response to a blood donation shortage in Puerto Rico, where fear of spreading the virus halted local donations. Puerto Rico will be able to start collecting blood again within a week or two thanks to the green light from the FDA. The test is still under investigational use. Source

• The Obama administration announced a proposal this week that would allow physicians to issue more prescriptions for buprenorphine, which is a mild narcotic used to wean users off heroin and prescription opioids. The proposal aims to increase access to medication-assisted treatment for tens of thousands of people with opioid use disorders, provide behavioral health support, as well as double the current cap of the number of patients to whom a doctor can prescribe buprenorphine from 100 to 200.  Source


On The Front Lines:


This week Apple took a sweet 0.05% piece of the mobile device pie from Android, adding to their already dominating presence in mobile health care. The iPhone SE was launched this Thursday, bringing in crowds of loyal apple consumers in some major cities ranging from Sydney, Australia to Miami, Florida while other cities experienced no queues. The launch of this low-cost smartphone sparked mixed reactions but is expected to be particularly popular in emerging markets.

 

FINAL RESULTS:


iOS: 90.72%
Android: 9.28%

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.

Here's What You May or May Not Have Missed This Week:


• The NIH and ONC for Health IT have launched a new pilot program that will allow individuals to donate their health data to researchers. Sync for Science, or S4S, is a coordinated project between NIH, ONC, Harvard Medical School Department of Biomedical Informatics and EHR vendors Allscripts, athenahealth, Cerner, drchrono, Epic and McKesson. Once developed and implemented, patients will be able to connect a research app to their electronic health data, facilitating data donation on an individual basis. The two goals for S4S's pilot are to make it easier for patients to share clinical data with the PMI Cohort in a structured, electronic format and also to build up a national ecosystem for patient-mediated data access through APIs. Source

• A bill was introduced this week to delay the implementation of a Medicare bundled payment program, which was set to take into effect next week. The bill would push the implementation date to January 2018. The Medicare bundled payment program requires hospitals in nearly 70 regions to accept bundled payments for hip and knee replacements, meaning there would be one price per patient that includes procedure and follow-up care and projects savings of about $343 million in the next five years.  Delaying the start of the program would allow the providers and stakeholders involved to be given ample time to prepare for the change and to better protect the quality of patient care. Source

•  FDA now requires a "black box" warning for all prescription opioid painkillers, the strongest of FDA's warnings, which is meant to educate doctors as they're prescribing medications to patients. These warnings include information about the risk of abuse, addiction, overdose and death. When a patient receives their prescription, the bottle should have a notification indicating that there is a black-box warning for the drug. The consumer will then need to go to the manufacturer's website for details. Pharmacists are highly encouraged to provide patients with a medication guide in consumer-friendly language explaining the risks of the drug. Source


On The Front Lines:


Apple gained 0.01 percent this week in the mobile device wars against Android among pMD's charge capture physician users. Reports of issues with Apple's latest software update, iOS 9.3, have surfaced, including an activation bug affecting users of older iPhones and iPads. Apple confirmed existence of the bug and has released an updated version of iOS 9.3.

 

FINAL RESULTS:


iOS: 90.67%
Android: 9.33%

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.

Here's What You May or May Not Have Missed This Week:


• Starting March 27, physicians operating in New York will be required to transmit all prescriptions digitally and will be penalized for continuing to use paper script pads. Penalizations can range from hefty fines to even possible imprisonment. Under the I-STOP, or Internet System for Tracking Over-Prescribing Act Legislation, electronic prescription of drugs is being mandated in order to combat controlled substance abuse. Another added benefit of e-Rx is the hope of improving patient safety by removing sloppy handwriting and missed or inaccurate information. All practitioners, excluding veterinarians, must issue electronic prescriptions for controlled and non-controlled substances. Source

• Hospitals dominate Fortune's annual list of best places to work in health care. Eleven hospitals made the list this year of the 100 best medical workplaces, with Baptist Health South Florida taking the number one spot. Companies are graded on a combination of company culture, benefits, and career paths. Of the eleven hospitals, the top five include Baptist Health South Florida, Southern Ohio Medical Center, St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital, Scripps Health, and Texas Health Resources. Source

•  TV003, a new type of dengue vaccine, has been found to protect people against at least one type of the virus, representing a big advancement in controlling the most common mosquito-transmitted virus worldwide. Researchers are now testing whether the TV003 vaccine can protect people from the three other types of dengue virus. Another vaccine, Dengvaxia, recently became available in Latin America and Asia, but may be inappropriate to use in countries such as the U.S. as many of the cases in Latin America and Asia involve a population that may have already been exposed to the dengue virus before. Source


On The Front Lines:


Apple took back to back hits these past two weeks, most recently losing 0.08 percent of the market share in the mobile device wars against Android. There's been much speculation around Apple's media event on March 21, where Apple will be unveiling a new 9.7 inch iPad and a 4 inch iPhone. Given Apple's recent downturn among pMD's charge capture niche, users may be holding out for Apple's September event, when Apple typically announces more highly sought-after products, including the redesigned iPhone 7.

FINAL RESULTS:


iOS: 90.66%
Android: 9.34%

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.