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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 | Healthcare



Here's The Latest in Health Care:


• Fitbit, a wearables company, is expanding its reach into health care with a new premium subscription service. The service offers personalized health and wellness insights based on health data collected from its 27.3 million users. The company also plans to roll out a one-on-one coaching service in 2020 in order to help consumers manage chronic conditions.  Read More

• Even as the overall number of people with individual insurance has dropped, insurers plan to expand their Affordable Care Act plan offerings for next year. Rates were relatively flat this year, so premium increases for 2020 are likely to be moderate in many markets.  Read More

• While artificial intelligence (AI) may have the potential to discover new methods of treatment, a new report examines the obstacles health care faces in implementing AI. Organizations looking towards AI solutions would have to consider the following hurdles: machine learning needs free and open access to large quantities of good health care data, hospitals need to be able to find and respond to threats by building robust security into data operations, data needs to be easily shareable.  Read More

• Deli meat labels using words like "no nitrates added" or "uncured" may be misleading, according to a new report. While these labels could make people think these meats are healthier, using natural curing agents, such as celery powder, pose the same health risks as traditionally cured meats because the nitrate and nitrite levels are essentially the same.  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, and care navigation software.


Here's The Latest in Health Care:


•  A number of public health organizations have labeled climate change as “the greatest public health challenge of the 21st century.” The medical groups argue that climate change poses health risks due to extreme weather events, air pollution, and mosquito and tick-borne illnesses. The organizations advocating the climate change agenda, which include the American Medical Association and the American College of Physicians, urge U.S. leaders to take actions to reduce the global epidemic. These actions include increasing the use of renewable energy and public transportation.  Read More

•  The state of Louisiana officials recently made a deal with Asegua Therapeutics, a pharmaceutical company specializing in the treatment of Hepatitis C, to treat its affected Medicaid and prison populations. There are at least 39,000 Louisiana residents suffering from hepatitis C who are either on Medicaid or in prison. The cost of providing treatment for these patients is extremely high, outside of the state’s constrained budget. Asegua Therapeutics has stepped in to offer a solution: providing the state of Louisiana with an unlimited supply of the generic version of the lifesaving hepatitis C drug Epclusa. In return, the state will make fixed monthly payments and give Asegua exclusive access to Louisiana’s Medicaid and corrections markets.  Read More

•  A new survey found that patients would be open to using health-monitoring wearable devices if it means fewer trips to the doctor. Patients had an overwhelming interest in wearables such as Fitbit and the Apple Watch, with over half of the participants leaning towards the idea of using a monitoring device at home. Health care professionals are starting to recognize the convenience and cost savings in telemedicine, but there are still providers that remain unconvinced.  Read More

•  Apple is now selling a glucose monitoring device in its physical retail locations. The health device, called One Drop, integrates with the iPhone and Apple Watch and is yet another way the tech giant is breaking into health care. Free coaching on topics related to managing diabetes is included with the purchase of a One Drop device.  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, and care navigation software.


Here's The Latest in Health Care:


•  The National Institutes of Health began a study in 2013, which is still ongoing, that aims to reveal how brain development is affected by various experiences, which include concussions, substance abuse, and screen time. CBS's "60 Minutes" reported on the early results of the study and found that heavy screen use was associated with lower scores on some aptitude tests. But the data is still preliminary and it's unclear whether the effects are long lasting.  Read More

•  St. Mary Medical Center's emergency department was facing a slew of problems, from overcrowding to gaps in leadership to changes in their electronic health record system. By hiring consultants and making updates to the design of their EHR documentation templates as well as to leadership and front-end processes, they were able reduce length of stay, left-without-being-seen rate, and the arrive-to-provider time.  Read More

•  According to a new analysis from the National Association of ACOs (NAACOS), Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) saved Medicare $2.7 billion to date, proving that ACOs are valuable and are saving American taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars.  Read More

•  Families who don't qualify for subsidies under ACA (Affordable Care Act) are bearing the full cost of coverage as insurance premiums continue to rise. These financial challenges have pushed many to drop their coverage or turn to cheaper, less comprehensive insurance.  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, and care navigation software.

Image: Fierce Healthcare

Here's The Latest in Health Care:


•  A new study released this week by HealthlinkNY found that New York hospitals that accessed outside patient records reduced patients' average length of stay by over 7 percent and by 4.5 percent for 30-day admissions. The report clearly shows that the benefits of using HIEs are greater when they contain robust patient data and when physicians have experience using them.  Read More

•  Prestigious hospitals across the U.S. are offering more and more alternative medicine therapies. Despite very little evidence that methods such as Chinese herbal therapies and acupuncture actually work, alternative medicine is on the rise. Opposers to alternative medicine are quick to point out that physicians who promote these therapies forfeit claims they belong to a science-based profession. Advocates say these unconventional treatments offer alternatives that have helped patients who could not be cured by modern medicine.  Read More

•  Hospital and Medical groups are among the opposers to the Republicans' Health Care Plan, citing expected declines in health insurance coverage and causing potential harm to vulnerable patient populations as well as threatening health care affordability, access and delivery.  Read More

•  A newly released study found that there are two effective tests in determining the cause of a stillbirth, a death of a fetus at or after 20 weeks of gestation. Both an examination of the placenta and a fetal autopsy helped in approximately 40 percent of cases, and with genetic testing being the third most useful test.  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.


Here's The Latest in Health Care:


•  Will Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) survive a repeal and replacement of the current Affordable Care Act? One leading health policy expert seems to think so. Paul Keckley, Ph.D., managing editor of The Keckley Report predicts that ACOs will evolve with the ever-changing health care regulations. Studies have shown evidence that ACOs do lead to quality improvement benefits, which will only continue to grow over time.  Read More

•  A recent study, published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), compared birth outcomes of several hundred pregnant women entered into the CDC's Zika Pregnancy Registry and who were likely to have the virus. It found that women who were infected with Zika were 20 times as likely to give birth to babies with birth defects as mothers who were not infected with the virus.  Read More

•  Health care sites took a hit this Tuesday when Amazon's S3 cloud-based hosting service experienced outages. AWS partners with many health care technology vendors, such as Synapse, PracticeFusion, Philipps and Cognizant, to name a few.  Read More

•  According to a recent article published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, we're seeing an upward trend in colon cancer among younger Americans. While overall cases of colon cancer have been decreasing dramatically since the 1980's, cases in people younger than 50 years of age have slowly been on the rise.  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.

Image: Robert Hanson/Ikon Images/Getty Images

Here's The Latest in Health Care:


•  Republicans' newly unveiled health care plan is not exactly drawing confidence from health insurance leaders. Just some of the many concerns with the new ACA replacement proposal range from no mention of temporary funding for premium tax credits or cost-sharing reductions to not having a replacement in place for ACA's individual mandate, giving healthy individuals less incentive to enroll in insurance plans. Read More

•  Can design flaws really kill us? According to a recent article in the New York Times, hospitals are among the most expensive facilities to build but we may have been building them all wrong. From housing patients too closely together for too long to poorly lit areas and poorly designed bathrooms causing many falls to too much exposure to noise, patients are surrounded by many factors that could potentially be life-threatening in a place that is meant to save lives. One idea to improve hospital design? More exposure to nature! Read More

•  The age of nursing homes may be transitioning to home health care with the slew of new technology available to aging patients. The existence of a "community of care" is in the near future as more of patients' data are shared with their family, health care team and even their neighbors. While all these data points raise the question of liability and privacy, some companies are more aimed towards creating new systems to help providers navigate the plethora of incoming data. Read More

•  While a handful of non-profit organizations are popping up to promote low-cost to free heart screenings for teens, disadvantages surrounding electrocardiograms (EKGs) for adolescents could far outweigh the benefits.  For one, there is no evidence that EKGs for young adults can prevent deaths, especially since sudden cardiac death is rare in young people. False positives can lead to follow-up tests and risky, unnecessary interventions. 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.


Here's The Latest in Health Care:


•  The unintended consequences of a gluten-free diet? Increased blood levels of arsenic and mercury, apparently. While everyone has some trace amount of arsenic and mercury in their blood, those on a gluten-free diet tend to have higher than average levels due to eating many rice-based products. Rice, it turns out, absorbs metals from water and soil.  While the health impacts at these levels are still unknown, it's good to keep in mind how much more rice gluten-free eaters are potentially consuming.  Read More

•  In an age where technology is ever prevalent in the health care setting, clinicians are often bombarded with daily alerts and alarms, causing alert fatigue and proving ineffective from its intended use. Dr. Vitaly Herasevich of the Mayo Clinic proposes a smart system to be put in place in order to curb this phenomenon. The idea is to issue alerts only in a situation when clinical providers fail to do the intended action as opposed to a reminder-like alert. This approach decreases unnecessary alerts while easing cognitive overload.  Read More

•  Trump's nomination for head of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) faced ethics questions this Thursday after nearly 3 hours of questioning during her confirmation hearings. Democrats raised ethics questions about Seema Verma's consulting firm and whether the work she did there conflicted with her public duties in Indiana.  Read More

•  New studies have found that vitamin D helps reduce the risk of respiratory infections, including colds and flu, especially in those who are vitamin D deficient. However, not everyone is convinced that we should all be heading to the supplement aisle. If you're already getting the recommended daily dose of vitamin D from your diet, a supplement may not lead to any further benefit.  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.

Image: Cell

Here's The Latest in Health Care:


• Recently published in JAMA, new research finds that sepsis accounts for more 30-day readmissions and associated costs than any other commonly tracked medical condition such as heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia and obstructive pulmonary disease. Sepsis contributes to as many as 50% of all U.S. hospital deaths, according to previous research. To help providers improve patient care and outcome for sepsis patients, JAMA also published updated sepsis treatment guidelines. Read More

• A Reagan-era policy, known as the Mexico City policy, has been revived by President Trump. The rule requires not only hospitals or clinics to refrain from providing education on the benefits and availability of abortion but also includes any international organizations supporting those clinics to stop promoting abortion or advocating abortion rights anywhere in the world — regardless of whether or not they use non-American money to do so. The policy spells out a few exceptions, including cases of rape and treating women who have had botched abortions. Read More

• Controversial scientific experiments have successfully resulted in part human, part pig embryos. Scientists grew embryos inside a sow, containing a 'low' amount of human tissue. The hope is to one day utilize this technique to allow for whole organs in the pig to be grown of human cells, tackling the increasing problem of organ transplant shortage. However, ethical concerns focused on the possibility that the human cells could create animals that had human brain cells or tissues, blurring the line between the species. Read More

• Finding creative and holistic ways to assess and treat a patient often times may prove to be challenging from a revenue standpoint when there is no code to reflect that treatment. It’s essential for codes to be correct, both for reimbursement and for population health. In turn, accurate population health data is essential for ensuring that the patient's home and clinical needs are being met. 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.

Image: Adriana Zehbrauskas for The New York Times

Here's The Latest in Health Care:


• The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report this week about a Nevada woman who died because the bacteria was resistant to every single antibiotic available in the United States. Dubbed as a "nightmare bacteria", Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, or CRE, is highly resistant to antibiotics. Recent findings indicate that CRE is more widespread than previously thought and that people may spread the germs even though they may show no sign of illness. Read More

• The number of uninsured Americans will increase by 32 million within a decade by enacting even a partial repeal of the Affordable Care Act. While most of the coverage reductions would result from the disappearance of individual mandate penalties, a mass exit from insurers from the individual market are also expected to play a role. Read More

• A group of prominent donors announced this Wednesday that they had raised almost $500 million for a new partnership with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations to tackle pandemics. New epidemics can be expected to occur regularly and spread quickly due to air travel, public health experts warn. Stopping them in their early stages will save lives and billions of dollars. Read More

• A.I. can be applied today to ever-expanding health data sets. Its many uses can be applied to settings such as clinical decision support, research data mining and analytics, as well as pattern classification for tasks such as tumor detection. One of many limitations to keep in mind, however, is that A.I. is only as good as the quality of data they are being fed. But hospitals holding off on A.I. might be missing out on the opportunity to help shape the technological advancements in health care. 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.

Image: Getty Images

Here's The Latest in Health Care:


• In a recent analysis released this week by the nonprofit Fair Health, studies have shown a sharp rise in obesity-linked diagnosis among kids and teens. These findings come amidst a rise in obesity-related insurance claims for youth under the age of 22. Whatever the underlying cause of the increase, one thing remains certain: the longer children remain obese, the more likely they are to get diabetes. The challenge is providing the resources that will be necessary to address this emerging situation. Read More

•  The ongoing Affordable Care Act (ACA) debate continues as Republicans push forward with a repeal. Lawmakers have cautioned about moving too quickly and some even Republicans have asked to delay repeal of the ACA until a replacement plan is in place. However, after seven hours of voting this Thursday and objections from Democrats, a budget that could possibly dismantle the ACA received the needed simple majority, 51-48, to pass the Senate. Read More

•  Recent observational studies have found that "weekend warriors", or individuals who pack in their workouts into one or two sessions over the weekend, are equally less likely to die prematurely as individuals who meet the recommended guidelines of five moderate 30-minute sessions each week. But don't get too comfy on the weekdays. There are still a lot more health benefits to spreading out your exercise throughout the week! Read More

• A new study recently published by Health Affairs has found that hospitals affiliated with accountable care organizations (ACOs) were able to reduce readmission rates of nursing home patients in contrast to other hospitals. What exactly are ACOs doing differently to improve readmission rates? Researchers are calling for additional studies to examine the discharge behaviors and care coordination of ACO-affiliated hospitals to determine their impact on these statistics. 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.