Here's What You May or May Not Have Missed This Week:
• A bill that was aimed at accelerating the pace of federal drug approvals was scaled back this week with the introduction of new legislation, which removed many of the most controversial provisions. Critics of the original bill, called 21st Century Cure, included top officials at the FDA and argued that the changes would risk patient safety. The new draft bill represents a less aggressive streamlining of the drug approval process. Source
• The Department of Defense plans to build its own digital service team in an effort to improve federal IT projects and other data problems, and is opening a unit in Silicon Valley. The department unveiled its Cyber Strategy this week, which outlines plans to collaborate with the private sector to improve cybersecurity. Through this new program, the DOD hopes to improve capabilities that will help both the federal organization as well as the wider US marketplace, such as health care and technology. Source
• The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has introduced a new five-star ranking system to rate hospitals on patient quality and experience. The star ratings will use data from the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems, which measures patient experience at approximately 3,500 Medicare-certified acute care hospitals. The metrics assessed in the ranking system include facility cleanliness, staff responsiveness, and clinician communication. Source
On The Front Lines:
Apple finally broke a five-week losing streak to Android, coming up with a 0.07 percent net gain of the mobile market share among pMD's charge capture physician users. Also this week, Apple met with IBM and announced that as part of their partnership they will deliver iPads with apps that are tailored specifically for seniors. The apps aim to monitor seniors' health, remind them of their medications and doctor's appointments, and connect them to their family and home care services. The program will be piloted in Japan.
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.