The pMD Blog

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pMD Blog...

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 | Apple


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


• Researchers at the University of Michigan and two New Jersey Hospitals are doubling up on efforts to fight "superbug" Clostridium difficile (C.diff). C diff is a bacterium that can cause symptoms ranging from diarrhea to life-threatening inflammation of the colon and often presents in patients as a hospital-acquired infection. It is one of the deadliest and expensive challenges currently facing the health care profession. Newly announced initiatives are aimed at limiting the spread of C. diff throughout health care facilities such as hospitals and local nursing homes. The University of Michigan announced a $9.2 million initiative to fight C. diff, while hospitals across the nation plan to share best practices and protocols in an effort to reduce the spreading of C. diff from institution to institution. Source

• The Million Hearts EHR Optimization Guides, released by The Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) this week, aim to help health systems put their Electronic Health Records (EHRs) to work identifying at-risk patients in order to protect them from future cardiovascular events. The initiative aims to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes by 2017. The guides will direct clinicians on how to use their EHR systems to find and improve data on cardiovascular health management, such as aspirin therapy, blood pressure control, cholesterol management and smoking cessation.  Source

•  The Obama administration is testing new ways to pay for prescription drugs in order to slow the growth of Medicare spending on medicines. Doctors are also encouraged to choose the most effective treatments for their patients. Several proposals are in place to create higher incentives for doctors to choose the lowest-cost therapy to effectively treat patients. The current Medicare payment methods reward doctors and hospitals based on the average sale price of a drug and 6 percent, which incentivizes doctors to prescribe higher-priced drugs, which can then generate more revenue. The administration will be accepting public comments on the proposals until May 9. Source


On The Front Lines:


Apple took a deep hit this week in the mobile device wars against Android, losing 0.15 percent of the market share among pMD's charge capture physician users. Apple sent invites to its upcoming media event, Let Us Loop You In, on March 21. Apple will be revealing several new products at the event, including the new 9.7 inch iPad, the 4 inch iPhone SE, and new Apple Watch bands.

FINAL RESULTS:


iOS: 90.74%
Android: 9.26%

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 HHS announced that an estimated 30 percent of Medicare payments are now tied to alternative payment models that reward value-based care over fee-for-service. As of January 2016, CMS estimates that roughly $117 billion out of a projected $380 billion Medicare fee-for-service payments are tied to alternative payment models. Alternative payment models reimburse providers based on the health outcomes of the patient rather than the number of services provided. Examples include accountable care organizations (ACOs), advanced primary care medical homes, and new models that bundle payments for episodes of care. Source

• The White House and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will hold a one-day Zika virus summit with state and local officials next month to develop a plan to combat the virus in the United States. Health officials expect the Zika virus to spread locally in the U.S. in June or July. Doctors at the summit will share the latest science on Zika, including implications for pregnant women and strategies for mosquito control. Source

• The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) proposed a new rule, which would impose greater oversight for electronic health records certified to Meaningful Use standards. It would allow them to review certified health IT products for information blocking, as well as potential risks to patient safety and public health. It would also give ONC increased power to regulate authorized certification-testing bodies. Source

On The Front Lines:


Apple gained even more traction in the mobile device market among pMD's charge capture physician users, adding 0.03 percent this week. The feud between Apple and the government seems to be having a positive effect on Apple marketshare, with 32 of the largest internet, social media, and technology companies uniting behind Apple.


FINAL RESULTS:


iOS: 90.89%
Android: 9.11%

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 (CMS) announced an extension for hospitals, physicians, and other eligible professionals to file their "hardship exemption" applications for meaningful use requirements. The new deadline is now July 1, 2016 for all providers. The extension gives providers additional time to submit their applications to avoid payment penalties to their Medicare reimbursements in 2017. Source

• A judge upheld a measure in New York City requiring chain restaurants to warn consumers about high levels of sodium in their food offerings. The measure only applies to restaurants with fifteen or more locations nationwide and requires restaurants to place small images of saltshakers next to menu items high in salt - containing at least 2,300 milligrams of sodium. High levels of sodium are linked to hypertension and heart disease. Source

• Google's DeepMind artificial intelligence (AI) group has formed a new program called DeepMind Health to build medical software. In collaboration with Royal Free Hospital London, Google DeepMind built a mobile app called Streams that doctors and nurses can use to diagnose acute kidney injury. DeepMind Health is part of a larger initiative by Alphabet Inc., Google’s parent company, to grow its presence in health care technology and research. Source

On The Front Lines:


Apple saw a 0.08 percent boost this week in the mobile device wars against Android. The iPhone-cracking saga continues as Apple filed to dismiss a court order to assist the government in hacking an iPhone. Apple CEO Tim Cook has doubled down on the company's privacy stance and called the government's request the "software equivalent of cancer."


FINAL RESULTS:


iOS: 90.86%
Android: 9.14%

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:


• CMS announced the first set of core quality measures that will be used as the basis for quality-based payments. CMS, major commercial payers, and physician groups agreed on seven sets of clinical quality measures that will standardize and simplify quality reporting across multiple payers. Physicians and other clinicians must currently report multiple quality measures to different entities. Measure requirements are often not aligned among payers, which has resulted in confusion and complexity for reporting providers. Source

• Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center paid a ransom this week to a hacker who seized control of the hospital's computer systems earlier this month. The hacker demanded 40 bitcoin, the equivalent of about $17,000. The attack prevented staff from logging into the hospital's system and forced the hospital to return to pen and paper for record-keeping. The hospital said that patient care was not compromised, and the FBI is investigating the incident. Source

• CMS released a proposal for an increase of an average of 1.35 percent in payments to health insurers who offer Medicare Advantage and Part D programs, which provides health benefits to more than 17 million elderly or disabled people. The change would take place in 2017 and is a major shift from last year, when initial rates were cut by an average of 0.95 percent. Source

On The Front Lines:


Apple won back 0.05 percent of the mobile market share from Android this week among pMD's charge capture users. Apple has been in the spotlight lately after it refused orders from the government to decrypt an iPhone that was owned by an attacker in the San Bernardino shootings. The public has largely sided with Apple in this battle, agreeing that it would set a dangerous precedent and could undermine the security of Apple's devices.


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 Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has finalized a controversial rule that will require providers to return identified Medicare overpayments. Providers will be liable for returning Medicare overpayments going back as far as 6 years. According to the rule, an overpayment is “identified” if the provider or supplier has actual knowledge of the existence of the overpayment or acts in reckless disregard or deliberate ignorance of the overpayment. Source

• CommonWell Health Alliance announced seven new member organizations to its health data exchange: eClinicalWorks, HIMSS, ImageTrend, lifeIMAGE, Mana Health, MediPortal, and Modernizing Medicine. The goal of the memberships is to enhance nationwide health information exchange regardless of health IT vendor, geography, or setting of patient care. Source

• A new study published in the The New England Journal of Medicine suggests that the risk of developing dementia is decreasing for people with at least a high school education. The study provides the strongest evidence to date that a more educated population and better cardiovascular health are contributing to a decline in new dementia cases over time. Source

On The Front Lines:


Apple lost 0.03 percent of the charge capture mobile device pie to Android this week. Reports are circulating that Apple is planning to introduce a new 4-inch iPhone called the “iPhone 5se” and a new iPad Air at an event on Tuesday, March 15th.


FINAL RESULTS:


iOS: 90.73%
Android: 9.27%

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:


• A new report found that poor communication among physician practices and hospitals was a factor in nearly 2,000 patient deaths and incurred approximately $1.7 billion in hospital costs. The report listed the most common breakdowns in communication, including miscommunication about a patient's condition, inadequate informed consent, poor documentation and an unsympathetic response to a patient's complaint. Source

• The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed a new rule this week that will give health care providers and their employers access to de-identified claims information in order to improve patient care quality. Under the new rule, qualified organizations can share or sell Medicare and private sector claims data to providers, employers, and other groups who can use the data to support improved care. Source

• The Obama administration announced that approximately 12.7 million people signed up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act or had their coverage automatically renewed in the third annual open enrollment season. The health care signups exceeded expectations, with four million new members to the federal insurance marketplace. The three-month open enrollment period began November 1 and ended on Sunday. Source

On The Front Lines:


This week Apple took 0.09 percent of the mobile device pie from Android among pMD's mobile charge capture physician users. Apple also publicly acknowledged an unusual "Error 53" message that iPhone 6 users were reporting, triggered by updating to iOS 9 or later after having the phone's Touch ID sensor fixed by an unofficial technician. The Error 53 issue essentially renders the iPhone unusable.


FINAL RESULTS:


iOS: 90.76%
Android: 9.24%

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:


• A study by Stanford researchers found that doctors who are sued in malpractice claims are more likely to get sued again. According to the study, just one percent of all doctors account for nearly one-third of all paid malpractice claims. More than half the claims were by doctors in four areas: internal medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, general surgery and general practice/family medicine. Source

• Nearly 75 percent of office-based physicians had adopted a certified EHR system in 2014, according to the annual Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Electronic Health Records Survey. The percentage of physicians who had a certified EHR system ranged from 58.8 percent in Alaska to 88.6 percent in Minnesota. Just over 30 percent of the EHR systems were electronically sharing patient health information with external providers. Source

• The head of the World Health Organization announced that the Zika virus, which is linked to birth defects and brain damage in newborns, is spreading at a rapid rate in the Americas. Officials estimate that as many as four million people could be infected by the end of the year. The CDC has urged pregnant women against travel to two dozen countries in Latin American and the Caribbean, where the diseases is spreading the fastest. Source

On The Front Lines:


Apple claimed 0.04 percent of the mobile device pie this week among pMD's physicians charge capture users. Apple also reported on its fiscal first quarter earnings on Tuesday. Although Apple beat estimates on earnings per share and bottom line, it fell short of expectations of 75 million iPhones shipped (coming in at 74.78 million units, up from 74.5 million units in the same period last year). Cook said on the company's earnings call that he expects iPhone unit sales to decline in the fiscal-year second quarter, so we'll be closely monitoring pMD's device trends to see if that hypothesis holds true in the medical market.


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.
The big day that Apple enthusiasts are anxiously awaiting is just a day away, and we’re here to play the prediction game for Apple’s Q1 performance based on our own little set of data from the mobile health care consumer base. After all, researchers estimate that over 80 percent of health care providers use smartphones in their work, so it’s enough for us to make some sort of prediction on how the fruit and robot devices are doing in the real world.

iOS vs. Android:



Apple has always been the dominant device of choice among pMD’s mobile charge capture and secure text messaging physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician’s assistants. Throughout the quarter we saw Apple’s portion of the mobile device pie fluctuate from week to week, finally closing out the quarter with a strong 0.4 percent net increase over Android.

iPhone by Model:



There were also small shifts within the iPhone population itself as we had the first full quarter to gauge the performance of the 6S devices. To little surprise, the 6S saw a slow uptake among users, who were still holding onto the popular iPhone 6 models. This behavior is typical of most second models in the same body for iPhones.

So does Apple’s increase amongst pMD’s mobile users indicate that Apple is doing well, or that Android is doing poorly? Or a bit of both? Or perhaps it’s all for naught because what really matters is what Apple tells us in their quarterly earnings report tomorrow. For what it’s worth, we think that these numbers from our medical users indicate a bullish Q1 earnings report for Apple. Will our numbers match Apple’s? Find out tomorrow, 1/25 at 2pm PT.


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


• A new study released in JAMA found that popular heartburn, indigestion and acid reflux medicines may significantly elevate the chances of developing chronic kidney disease. Researchers studied the medical records of over a quarter million people and followed over 10,000 people, concluding that the use of the drugs was independently associated with a 20-50 percent higher risk of chronic kidney disease. Source

• Andy Slavitt, the administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), announced that the agency may replace the meaningful use program in 2016. Slavitt talked about the meaningful use program at the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco this week and summarized his comments in a series of tweets. "In 2016, MU (meaningful use) as it has existed — with MACRA — will now be effectively over and replaced with something better," wrote Slavitt. Source

• MedStar Health is collaborating with Uber to expand transportation options for patients and increase access to health care appointments. Patients can log into the "Ride with Uber" app, submit their appointment data through a form, view wait times and approximate costs for their visits, and then request a ride. Studies have shown that transportation is one of the top reasons patients miss appointments and estimate that missed appointments can cost the US health care system up to $150 billion each year. Source

On The Front Lines:


Apple lost 0.07 percent of the mobile device marketshare to Android this week among pMD's charge capture physician users. Apple has been feeling the sting of the market decline, with shares seeing a 29% drop from the stock's high in May last year.


FINAL RESULTS:


iOS: 90.65%
Android: 9.35%

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 Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a final rule this week to HIPAA regulations, allowing certain HIPAA-covered groups to disclose patient information to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. Psychiatrists are now able to report potentially violent patients who are subject to the federal "mental health prohibitor," which disqualifies them from purchasing and handling guns. The modification doesn't allow the reporting of diagnosis or other clinical information outside of limited patient demographic information. Source

• AT&T is opening "AT&T Foundry for Connected Health," a new innovation center that will focus on helping startup companies develop digital health products that connect caregivers and patients via wireless monitoring. The goal is to develop products that expand wireless information sharing for health devices so that medical centers can better monitor and treat patients. This is the first of AT&T's innovation centers to be focused solely on health care. Source

• IBM introduced new health and wellness solutions at the Consumer Electronics Show this week, including an app that builds cognitive solutions for diabetes management. IBM partnered with Medtronic to apply cognitive analytics to patient data from insulin pumps and glucose monitors and predict hypoglycemia up to three hours before onset. Source

On The Front Lines:


Health care providers must have received an even dose of iPhone and Android devices over the holidays because the net mobile device marketshare held steady! Apple generated a flurry of media attention when it was discovered that they registered several car-related Internet domains, including 'Apple.car,' fueling rumors of an upcoming Apple-branded car.


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.