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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 | Health Care


Image: Thn Rocn Khosit Rath Phachr Sukh /EyeEm via Getty Images

Here's The Latest in Health Care:


•  After a video showing a sea turtle with a straw stuck up its nose went viral, the move to ban plastic straws has swept the nation. While trendy campaigns like #StopSucking have gained considerable traction in an effort to rid the ocean of straws, not everyone is on board. For many people with disabilities, being without plastic straws can be a matter of life or death. Alternatives such as paper or reusable metal straws often pose safety risks to those with disabilities.  Read More

•  According to a new report, health care startups benefited from $10.6 billion in venture capital investments in the first half of 2018. If this pace continues, health care investment will reach a record high this year. The health care sector has already made its way into second place among industries attracting VC investments.  Read More

•  The Justice Department's efforts to combat the epidemic of opioid abuse is expanding to drugmakers. A proposal from the Drug Enforcement Agency may require drugmakers to cut back on the amount of drugs produced in a given year if their opioids are being misused. The hope is to reduce the availability of potentially addictive drugs and for manufacturers to become more aware about how their drug is being used.  Read More

•  Some studies have suggested that spending time in lush forests might reduce stress and blood pressure, improve heart-rate variability, and lower cortisol levels. It has also been shown to improve one's mood. So, next time you're feeling stressed, indulge in a forest bath and take in the smells, sights, and sounds to boost your mood!  Read More

Each Friday, Signor Goat reports the latest from the week in health care. Check back next Friday for your dose of our little medical corner of health care news. Brought to you by pMD, innovators in charge capture, secure messaging, clinical communication, MIPS registry, clinically integrated network, and care navigation software.

Image: Antenna/fStop/Getty Images

Here's The Latest in Health Care:


•  In the summer "trauma season", emergency rooms are scrambling to find alternatives to much needed medications that are out of stock. Patients feel the effects of shortages the most as some must suffer through the pain or risk unusual reactions to the alternative drugs. The drug shortages have become severe enough that the Food and Drug Administration has allowed Pfizer, one of the main drug suppliers, to sell products that would normally have been recalled.  Read More

•  The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services recently proposed a rule that would allow home health providers to include the costs of remote patient monitoring in the home health agency's cost report.  In the proposed rule, home health providers will not be directly reimbursed for installation and use of equipment, however, these cost reports will help CMS determine if home health providers are appropriately being paid.  Read More

•  More and more nurse practitioners are turning to voluntary residency programs to help prepare them in dealing with the growing number of patients with complex health issues.  Mentored clinical training is a major part of many of these programs and can also include formal lectures and clinical rotations in other specialties.  Read More

•  The American Hospital Association (AHA), among other organizations, have asked the FDA for standards and support measures surrounding medical devices. The AHA outlined steps hospitals take to improve cybersecurity, however, can be vulnerable to medical devices running on legacy systems. Some additional recommendations from industry organizations: creating a central repository of all device patches and requiring manufacturers to implement secure device configurations with a recognized standard.  Read More

Each Friday, Signor Goat reports the latest from the week in health care. Check back next Friday for your dose of our little medical corner of health care news. Brought to you by pMD, innovators in charge capture, secure messaging, clinical communication, MIPS registry, clinically integrated network, and care navigation software.

Image: Chiara Zarmati

Here's The Latest in Health Care:


•  Water from a canal in the Yuma, Arizona region has been linked to the deadly outbreak of E.Coli that tainted romaine lettuce this spring and killed five. The romaine lettuce had been distributed across the U.S. and sickened over 200 people in 36 states, according the Food and Drug Administration. The outbreak is officially over now.  Read More

•  On Thursday, Amazon announced it is acquiring virtual pharmacy PillPack, a New England-based startup that delivers medications and coordinates refills and renewals. Amazon paid just under $1 billion for the startup, sources say, however the terms of the deal have not yet been released.  Read More

•  The Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently proposed a new hospital payment rule that makes information sharing a "Conditions of Participation" (CoP). Many organizations support the proposed plan for the federal government to require data sharing among providers in order to participate in Medicare and include ACOs, insurers, patient advocacy groups, and health IT companies.  Read More

•  While much of modern life seemingly promotes connectivity through technology, it can actually have the opposite effect. Often times, these technologies can foster social isolation and loneliness, leaving many feeling depressed and anxious. The rate of persistent loneliness is not only high in young people but also affects more than a third of adults. What are some ways to combat loneliness in this age of modern technology? Experts urge people to engage in meaningful social connections such as joining programs and groups that pertain to your interests, simply meet a friend for coffee, or do something creative and nurturing to feel more connected and outside oneself.  Read More

Each Friday, Signor Goat reports the latest from the week in health care. Check back next Friday for your dose of our little medical corner of health care news. Brought to you by pMD, innovators in charge capture, secure messaging, clinical communication, MIPS registry, clinically integrated network, and care navigation software.

ImageCreditZephyr/Science Source

Here's The Latest in Health Care:


•  The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) still continues to experience staffing shortages and faces challenges in recruiting and retaining clinicians. Some of the more common reasons include not having enough qualified applicants, high turnover, and non-competitive salaries relative to the private sector.  Read More

•  With the future of medical devices already trending toward the expansion of the internet of things, manufacturers and hospitals are ramping up in security, clinical integrations, and data management automation, all for the improvement of the patient experience.  Read More

•  Researchers have found that children who are held in migrant detention facilities may experience increased, long-term health care needs. The stress of being separated from a parent can play a big role in lasting physical harm to children, leading to reduced immune system functioning, increased heart disease, diabetes or other long-term, chronic health issues.  Read More

•  New research offers compelling evidence that two types of herpes virus might be involved in how Alzheimer's develops and progresses. These types of herpes usually infect most people as infants and lie dormant for years. Scientists believe they play a significant role in driving the immune system in Alzheimer's, which could pave the way to new treatments and ways of screening for the disease.  Read More

Each Friday, Signor Goat reports the latest from the week in health care. Check back next Friday for your dose of our little medical corner of health care news. Brought to you by pMD, innovators in charge capture, secure messaging, clinical communication, MIPS registry, clinically integrated network, and care navigation software.

Image: Dorling Kindersley/Getty Images/Dorling Kindersley

Here's The Latest in Health Care:


•  In a recent clinical trial by the Food and Drug Administration, it has been found that complications with Lasik are not uncommon. Nearly half of all people with healthy eyes prior to undergoing Lasik developed visual aberrations after the procedure. Yet many ophthalmologists insist that Lasik is the safest procedure done on the eye.  Read More

•  New payment models and health care reform call for better care coordination but true coordination has its challenges. Team-based care is most effective when the entire care team along with the patient are all on the same page. That's where mobile devices and remote monitoring play a key role in end-to-end care. By automating workflows, care teams can improve care coordination and in turn, patient care.  Read More

•  In a recent international study, there is strong evidence that vitamin D may protect against colorectal cancer and that risk of cancer increases if there is a deficiency.  Vitamin D can be obtained from foods such as egg yolks, salmon, trout, swordfish, tuna, sardines, and fortified foods such as cow's milk, soy and almond milks, some cereals, and some orange juices.  Read More

•  The Centers for Disease Control Prevention recently released a report that found that the U.S. suicide rate has risen in almost every state since 1999 and for about half the states by 30% or more.  This report comes in the wake of the shocking suicides of two high-profile celebrities, renowned Chef, Anthony Bourdain, and fashion designer, Kate Spade.  Read More

Each Friday, Signor Goat reports the latest from the week in health care. Check back next Friday for your dose of our little medical corner of health care news. Brought to you by pMD, innovators in charge capture, secure messaging, clinical communication, MIPS registry, clinically integrated network, and care navigation software.

Image: Healthcare IT News

Here's The Latest in Health Care:


•  An inexpensive blood test developed by scientists will be able to predict a pregnant woman's due date and the possibility of a preterm death. Premature birth is the leading cause of newborn death in the U.S. The test detects changes in RNA circulating in a pregnant woman's blood. If the test works, it could prevent deaths of babies born prematurely.  Read More

•  On Tuesday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recalled over 5,000 HeartWare 3 Left Ventricular Assist Devices due to causing low blood flow or clotting, leading to the possibility of serious injury or death. The medical device is manufactured by pharmaceutical company, Abbott.  Read More

•  A recent study published on Sunday finds that many women diagnosed with early-stage invasive breast cancer could safely forgo chemotherapy, making the decision on whether or not to go through with chemo easier.  Read More

•  In a recent report from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), hospital-acquired conditions have decreased between 2014 and 2016, saving over 8,000 lives and $2.9 billion. A safety-focused culture is important in continuing this trend for future years.  Read More

Each Friday, Signor Goat reports the latest from the week in health care. Check back next Friday for your dose of our little medical corner of health care news. Brought to you by pMD, innovators in charge capture, secure messaging, clinical communication, MIPS registry, clinically integrated network, and care navigation software.

Image: The Felix Project

Here's The Latest in Health Care:


•  Many public health programs in the U.S. have been widely successful but funding for these health campaigns is surprisingly low. Why? The public sector is beholden to political forces that dictate spending. Projects that focus on more obvious and immediate benefits are preferred over public health investments. However, even with less advantageous returns, the more recent public health investments still have been worth the value they provide.  Read More

•  In a move to reduce state burdens, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services proposed a policy that would require 17 states to accept lower Medicaid payment rates without a review of the consequences or even industry input. Hospitals oppose this proposal because of the anticipated adverse impact it would have on Medicaid Beneficiaries' access to care because many providers may choose not to treat Medicaid patients.  Read More

•  Artificial intelligence is here to stay in health care and one line of research is seeking to train computers to diagnose pancreatic cancer while the disease is still readily treatable. However, The Felix Project at Johns Hopkins still puts in a huge amount of human time, labor, and intellect into training computers to distinguish between a normal pancreas and one with a tumor.  Read More

•  On Wednesday, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) launched an innovation challenge that aims to offer unique approaches to detecting, treating, and preventing opioid addiction. The challenge is open to products in any stage of development, from concept to testing. Developers accepted into the challenge will work with the FDA review divisions during the development and evaluation of the proposed product.  Read More

Each Friday, Signor Goat reports the latest from the week in health care. Check back next Friday for your dose of our little medical corner of health care news. Brought to you by pMD, innovators in charge capture, secure messaging, clinical communication, MIPS registry, clinically integrated network, and care navigation software.

Image: Damian Dovarganes/Associated Press

Here's The Latest in Health Care:


•  On Tuesday, the House passed a "right-to-try" bill that would allow terminally ill patients to get access to experimental drugs. Advocates for the bill say it would become easier for patients to get experimental drugs that have completed the first phase of clinical trials. Those opposed to the bill say the drugs could potentially shorten patients' lives, doing more harm than good.  Read More

•  Precision medicine is already underway in health care and is saving lives. However, the health care system can get stuck in a tangle of policies and other setbacks. To avoid making a broken system even worse, it is increasingly critical for hospitals to ensure an infrastructure to support these emerging technologies and provide widespread access to patients in all areas.  Read More

•  A few years ago, researchers ran an experiment that had barbers checking their customers' blood pressure and referring customers with high levels to pharmacists, who then met with the patients in the barbershop. The pharmacists would treat the patients with medications and lifestyle changes, updating their physicians but taking the physician out of the patient interaction entirely. After six months, the results showed a drop in blood pressure and a retention of those patients throughout the study and care process.  Read More

•  According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), individual premiums will see a rise by an average of 15% in 2019 due to the repeal of the individual mandate, which penalized individuals for not having insurance. Additionally, the mandate repeal will see a number of uninsured Americans rise by 3 million next year.  Read More

Each Friday, Signor Goat reports the latest from the week in health care. Check back next Friday for your dose of our little medical corner of health care news. Brought to you by pMD, innovators in charge capture, secure messaging, clinical communication, MIPS registry, clinically integrated network, and care navigation software.

Image: Pixabay

Here's The Latest in Health Care:


•  In 2017, the U.S. saw a drop in birthrate, one of the sharpest declines since 1987. Across all groups of reproductive age, birthrates have shown a general decline. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "the decline in rate from 2016 to 2017 was the largest single-year decline since 2010."  Read More

•  This week, the Veterans Affairs Department announced that it will sign with Cerner to implement the same EHR as the Department of Defense in an effort to modernize its system. With this being one of the largest IT contracts in the federal government, it's no wonder it took nearly a year after the initial announcement for the contract to be signed.  Read More

•  Anthem, the nation's second-largest insurer has decided to slash reimbursement rates to breast pump suppliers. This means that some breast pumps that used to be free will now come at a cost to consumers. This move will especially impact lower-income moms and could potentially see a drop in breastfeeding altogether.  Read More

•  On Thursday, the Food and Drug Administration approved the first medicine designed to prevent migraines. Migraines affect millions of people and are often debilitating. While the drugs do not prevent all migraine attacks, they can make them less severe.  Read More

Each Friday, Signor Goat reports the latest from the week in health care. Check back next Friday for your dose of our little medical corner of health care news. Brought to you by pMD, innovators in charge capture, secure messaging, clinical communication, MIPS registry, clinically integrated network, and care navigation software.

Image: Courtesy of Pasca lab/Stanford University

Here's The Latest in Health Care:


•  The Senate HELP committee bill requires the DEA to create guidelines on how providers in health care can prescribe controlled substances in a telemedicine setting. It also outlines ways in which to expand access of care for addicted patients, while limiting who can prescribe opioids through telemedicine.  Read More

•  Desperate oncology physicians are turning to immunotherapy drugs for dying cancer patients. However, experts are split. Some offer immunotherapy drugs in the hopes that the cancer drug will help but at the risk of not knowing which patients might benefit and from which drugs. Others argue that scientists must first gather rigorous evidence before treating their patients with experimental drugs.  Read More

•  Nearly a year after canceling a planned release of Medicare Advantage encounter data, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) are finally making good on their promise. CMS collected data from private insurers who administered Medicare Advantage plans since 2012. The data release is part of CMS' new data sharing program that puts patients first.  Read More

•  Research on cerebral organoids, or minibrains, are raising ethical questions about the potential development of lab-grown consciousness or sentience and what that means for human brain cells that live and grow outside the human body. Minibrains are created by transforming skin cells from a person into neural stem cells.  Read More

Each Friday, Signor Goat reports the latest from the week in health care. Check back next Friday for your dose of our little medical corner of health care news. Brought to you by pMD, innovators in charge capture software.