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.

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


• The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed new regulations this week under Stage 3 of Meaningful Use. The regulations are largely focused on the advanced use of electronic health records (EHR) through interoperability and patient engagement. By 2017, nearly all providers would be required to report on a set of quality measures over a full calendar year in order to earn incentives or avoid payment penalties. Source

• The House of Representatives passed a bipartisan repeal of the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR), or "doc fix," this week, which would impose automatic 21 percent Medicare reimbursement cuts for providers. Now, the Senate must address the bill before a two-week recess that would overlap with the March 31 deadline. Source

• A new study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine this week found that lack of communication between hospital clinicians and primary care providers often results in poor care coordination after discharge, and a greater chance of patient readmissions. Some of the challenges that clinicians faced included lack of time, difficulty reaching other clinicians, lack of personal relationships with other clinicians, lack of information feedback, and medication list discrepancies. Source

On The Front Lines:


This week Apple lost a sliver of the mobile device pie to Android, giving up 0.03 percent of pMD's charge capture physician users. In Apple news, CEO Tim Cook explained in a recent interview with Fortune his plan to donate all his wealth, a current net worth of $120 million, to philanthropic projects. “You want to be the pebble in the pond that creates the ripple for change,” said Cook.


FINAL RESULTS:


iOS: 90.71%
Android: 9.29%

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:


• House and Senate leaders introduced legislation on Thursday that could fix the widely unpopular Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula and would halt automatic Medicare cuts to doctors. The deal was crafted by House Speaker John Boehner and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and is expected to cost $210 billion. If Congress fails to pass the deal by March 31, there would be a 21.2 percent cut to physicians' Medicare reimbursements. Source

• A lab safety report was published on the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website this week, calling the agency's commitment to safety "inconsistent and insufficient." The CDC was involved in several major incidences in 2014, prompting the review by an external advisory committee. The report recommends that all CDC labs go through an external review and accreditation process. Source

• Lawmakers discussed problems created by the lack of interoperability among electronic health record (EHR) systems at a Tuesday hearing of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. Policy experts argued that EHR vendors treat lack of interoperability as a competitive advantage. "EHR vendors do not have a business case for seamless, affordable interoperability across vendor platforms, and provider organizations find it an expense that they often can't justify," said a health policy expert at the hearing. Source

On The Front Lines:


Apple gained a sweet 0.09 percent of the mobile device pie from Android among pMD's physician charge capture users this past week. Apple is also working on the next generation of its Apple TV, which will be a significant overhaul of the latest device. The new TV is reported to have its own App Store as well as Apple's virtual assistant, Siri, and will debut a software development kit (SDK) allowing developers to create their own apps for the streaming box.


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 Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) launched a new accountable care organization (ACO) model on Tuesday, calling it the "Next Generation" ACO model. The model will give participants more predictable, and more risky, financial targets as well as more opportunities to coordinate care and engage beneficiaries. This is part of CMS' larger effort toward "paying providers based on the quality, rather than the quantity of care they give patients." Source

• Apple announced a new framework this week called ResearchKit, which allows iPhone users to participate in medical trials and studies through health data sharing capabilities. The new health care framework is aimed at furthering medical research and making studies more accessible. Thousands of volunteers signed up for the early trials within a day of the launch. Source

• Oregon's failed health insurance exchange program, Cover Oregon, was formally disbanded with a bill signed by Gov. Kate Brown. This announcement came as no surprise, as state officials announced last spring that they intended to shut the site following numerous technical issues that made the site unusable. The state will rely on HealthCare.gov to sign up individuals for health insurance coverage. This leaves only 13 states and the District of Columbia with their own state-based exchanges. Source

On The Front Lines:


Apple lost 0.04 percent to Android this week in the mobile device war among pMD's charge capture physician users. Apple has also been the topic of a huge counterfeit scheme in China regarding its Apple Watch. Although the real Apple Watch won't go on sale until late April, knockoff devices are flooding China's black market. They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so this could be an indication of huge success for the real devices come April.


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 charge capture physician 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:


• Supreme Court justices met this week to discuss King v. Burwell, a case that focuses on federal subsidies paid to millions of Americans who bought health insurance through exchanges set up under the Affordable Care Act. The argument is over whether subsidies issued through exchanges operated by the federal government are legal; the justices remain divided along political lines. Source

• CMS released their 2015 Quality Measures report, an assessment of quality measures used by the agency. The report found that the U.S. has made significant progress in improving the national health care delivery system, and that improvements have been made in 95% of the 119 performance measures from 2006 to 2012. Source

• Nina Pham, the critical care nurse who worked at a Texas hospital and first contracted Ebola last year, has filed a civil lawsuit against Texas Health Resources (THR) this week. The lawsuit claims that THR's Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital was deceptive and did not provide adequate protective gear or training. THR disputed some of the allegations, stating that they were "false and irresponsible." Source

On The Front Lines:


Apple is on a hot four week win streak, taking away 0.08 percent of the mobile device pie from Android this week among pMD's charge capture physician users. Rumor has it that Apple is also working on a new, larger iPad, and is telling their suppliers to start production in the second half of this year. The whopping 12.9 inch iPad will allegedly have additional inputs, like a USB port, and is said to be geared toward enterprise customers and professional users.


FINAL RESULTS:


iOS: 90.69%
Android: 9.31%

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 charge capture physician 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 Federal Communications Commission embraced net neutrality rules on Thursday. The vote will ensure that health technology and telehealth companies won't face higher costs for Internet fast lanes. These new regulations will prove critical for the growing digital health sector that relies on moving large quantities of data quickly. Source

• CMS announced results of its week-long ICD-10 end-to-end testing period on Wednesday, stating that it accepted 81% of claims that were submitted. The testing period included 661 billing companies, clearinghouses, providers, and suppliers, who submitted approximately 15,000 claims in total. The testing periods are designed for providers to determine whether ICD-10 codes submitted to Medicare will be accepted under the new program. Source

• A survey released this week found that few physicians practices are, in fact, on track with their ICD-10 implementation. Navicure, a health care billing and payment vendor, conducted the survey, which showed only 21 percent of physician practices feel they are on track with preparation efforts. The majority of respondents stated they paused their ICD-10 preparation efforts when the last delay was announced last October. Source

On The Front Lines:


Apple gained 0.06 percent of market share in the mobile battle against Android this week, increasing their win streak to three weeks in a row. Apple is also gaining attention worldwide as Swedish telecom manufacturer, Ericsson, is now suing Apple for reportedly infringing on 41 percent of its patents that are used in iPhone and iPads. Apple stated that Ericsson "seeks to exploit its patents to take the value of these cutting-edge Apple innovations."


FINAL RESULTS:


iOS: 90.61%
Android: 9.39%

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 charge capture physician 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 White House announced the first chief data scientist, assigning DJ Patil to the new role. Patil has worked with corporations such as LinkedIn, eBay, PayPal, Skype, and Greylock Partners, and will focus efforts on big data in health care. Source

• Cleveland Clinic formed a new partnership with Cox Communications in order to improve in-home patient monitoring and treatment services. Cox will provide the broadband for video consultations administered by Cleveland Clinic in an effort to expand telemedicine services. Source

• It was announced today that approximately 800,000 HealthCare.gov customers were given the wrong tax information from the government. California is facing a similar problem, with nearly 100,000 people affected by incorrect tax information. The administration is investigating the cause, but in the meantime the tax filings and refunds for those affected will be delayed. Source

On The Front Lines:


Apple won the mobile battle this week, taking 0.05 percent from Android among pMD's physician charge capture users. Users could be feeling the excitement around the flurry of information recently that Apple is forming its own electric automobile team. Apple has not released any official statements, but tech rival, Google, has already gotten a head start on its own auto plans.


FINAL RESULTS:


iOS: 90.55%
Android: 9.45%

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 charge capture physician 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:


• This week, Google redesigned the search results for 400 of the most commonly searched-for medical terms. When users type in one of these health terms, they will now see an at-a-glance summary in addition to general search results. This summary contains medical information sourced from the Mayo Clinic and vetted by an average of 11 doctors per term. Source

• The White House announced the Cyber Threat Intelligence Integration Center as a new government agency this week. President Obama considers cybersecurity a top priority in 2015 after recent attacks on Anthem Inc., Sony, Target, and the federal government. Source

• The House of Representatives’ Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Health held a hearing Wednesday, February 11 on the upcoming transition to ICD-10. The majority of the panel members, which included health care practitioners, vendors, and advocacy groups, voiced their support of the October 2015 deadline for ICD-10 implementation. All but one of the panelists voted to oppose another delay. Source

On The Front Lines:


This week, Apple took back 0.02 percent of the market share among pMD’s mobile charge capture users. Elsewhere in the mobile world, Apple increased the size limit of apps in the App Store from 2GB to 4GB to allow for apps that “provide a complete, rich user experience” on iOS devices.


FINAL RESULTS:


iOS: 90.50%
Android: 9.50%

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 charge capture physician 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 bill was sponsored this week in Minnesota to expand a program that offers financial incentives to clinicians and other health care workers if they commit to working in a rural area for at least three years after finishing school. Other similar bills have been passed in states with the goal to draw doctors to rural areas using financial incentives. Source

• Federal health information technology policymakers have laid out a robust interoperability plan that sets nationwide goals for 2017. The plan calls for health care providers to be able to use their systems to send, receive, and utilize a common set of electronic clinical information, such as patient demographics, lab test results, and identifiers for a patient's care team. Source

• Reuters released a report this week finding that major U.S. hospitals are adopting Apple’s HealthKit service, which acts as a storage unit for patient-generated health information like blood pressure, weight or heart rate. Apple's new health care technology is showing early promise among the hospitals as a way for doctors to monitor patients remotely and lower costs. Source

On The Front Lines:


This week Apple relinquished 0.10 percent of the mobile device pie to Android among pMD's charge capture users. Meanwhile, Apple is in the process of killing off the 13-year-old "iPhoto" application with a new and improved "Photos" app, released to developers on Thursday. While the name change itself is fairly anticlimactic, the new application is said to be more streamlined with iCloud, boasts a drastic visual redesign, and offers fancy editing tools.


FINAL RESULTS:


iOS: 90.48%
Android: 9.52%

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 charge capture physician 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:


• Medicare announced a payment reform initiative this week that they will execute over the next three years. The payment reform is designed to move the United States’ health care system away from the fee-for-service model toward alternative and value-based payments linked to quality and value. Source

• New England was nearly brought to a standstill after a blizzard this week, but that didn't stop hospitals from doing everything they could to remain open and care for patients during the storm. Despite a statewide travel ban in Massachusetts, health care providers found a way to get to work in Boston, catching a ride with the Boston PD and even cross-country skiing! Source

• The US Department of Health and Human Services wrote a letter this week to Representatives Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and Tom Marino (R-PA) stating they will begin to work with mobile health companies to clarify HIPAA rules and guidelines with regards to current technology. Source

On The Front Lines:


Apple surged ahead of Android with a 0.17 percent gain among pMD charge capture physician users this week. Fans of Apple may be getting excited for the Apple Watch, which is scheduled to ship this April according to Apple CEO Tim Cook.

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 charge capture physician users. Check back next Friday for your dose of our little medical corner of health care news.
Apple is gearing up to report their Q1 FY15 Earnings on Tuesday, January 27th, and as usual we’d like to chime in from the roots of the grass of the medical technology world to predict how Apple market share has been faring.

Since Q4 FY14, the market share among our growing physician charge capture user base remains stable with a mild increase in Android usage. Looks like the holidays saw proportional gifts from both platforms.


Even though Apple did not gain any ground on our Android users, the iPhone 6/6+ achieved a very large and impressive number of upgrades among preexisting iOS users, particularly from the iPhone 5 segment.


Given these numbers and trends, we feel that Apple stock will have minimal upward pressure from changes in market share, but the large number of upgrades may provide a strong bullish indicator. Although the unknown impact of the Apple Watch is already priced in, it still holds quite a bit of uncertainty in the coming months.