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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.

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Here's The Latest in Health Care:


The COVID-19 death toll in the U.S. topped 500,000 this week, a staggering number that all but matches the number of Americans killed in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam combined. The U.S. toll is by far the highest reported in the world, accounting for 20 percent of the nearly 2.5 million coronavirus deaths globally.  Read More

COVID-19’s impact on front-line health care staff will unfold for years to come, but it appears to have already had an effect on physicians’ career plans. According to a new survey, a surprisingly large percentage of physicians are considering leaving the practice of medicine entirely, retiring early, or leaving to work for another employer.  Read More

The massive amount of data available in health care makes it a prime area for artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) automation. Implementing these technologies has the potential to advance preventive care, but for that to be possible, health systems need to adopt "high-level" AI and ML processes. Read More

Revenues across U.S. hospitals could be at least $53 billion lower in 2021 compared to pre-pandemic levels, according to the American Hospital Association. Health systems are still dealing with the fallout from delaying non-urgent procedures, depressed volumes, higher expenses as well as the physical and mental health toll of COVID-19 on their staff.  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.

Source: Getty Images

Here's The Latest in Health Care:


In the rush to quickly deploy virtual care programs during the pandemic, basic processes were sometimes overlooked. To ensure long-term success, organizations should assess whether they are delivering the best experience, determine how telehealth fits into the overall care delivery model, and examine the role trust plays in their endeavors.  Read More

The icy blast across much of the U.S. injected more confusion and frustration into the nation's COVID-19 vaccination drive this week. The snowy, slippery weather either led to the closing of vaccination sites outright or held up the necessary shipments, with delays expected to continue for days.  Read More

The shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) and other critical health and safety material and equipment that have persisted throughout the Covid-19 pandemic have made one thing clear; large organizations need to be much better prepared to operate when future devastating emergencies strike.  Read More

EHRs are one of the top clinician burnout drivers, and especially so among specialists who might need different EHR functions. Specialty-specific or bespoke EHR may be a promising approach to overcoming the limitations of general-purpose EHR and mitigating burnout among physicians by reducing the time spent sifting through large amounts of clinical data for the specific data elements they need.  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.

Source: Getty Images

Here's The Latest in Health Care:


The long-awaited E/M coding and documentation changes, which are the first major overhaul to E/M guidelines in nearly 30 years, have now officially gone into effect and are expected to have a significant impact on revenue cycles. The goal is to increase efficiency while reducing administrative burdens and ultimately improve patient care.  Read More

Multiple EHR usability factors lead to clinician burnout, highlighted by total EHR time, after-hours EHR time, and EHR documentation time, according to a new study. The study also found that clinician burnout costs health systems roughly $250,000 to $1 million per clinician who quits due to burnout or job dissatisfaction.  Read More

As much of the world locked down in an effort to stop the spread of the virus, save lives and reduce pressure on hospitals, there are indications the COVID-19 pandemic may be associated with longer-term indirect effects on population morbidity and mortality through pathways such as halted drug development.  Read More

Automating common healthcare administrative transactions, such as prior authorization, has reduced annual costs by $122 billion, finds the 2020 CAQH Index. However, the industry is still leaving $16.3 billion in potential savings on the table. In addition, the costs associated with some manual and partially electronic portal transactions are also increasing.  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:


Endocrinologists and gastroenterologists were the specialty clinicians that used telemedicine the most last year during the onset of the pandemic. The new study comes as the health care groups are pressing Congress to make some of the flexibilities given by the federal government for telehealth during the pandemic permanent.  Read More

The COVID-19 pandemic has permanently changed the health care business model, causing providers to rely more on scale and efficiency to maintain financial stability in 2021 and beyond. Remote work and the explosion of virtual care are leading executives to rethink the number of in-person care sites they need to deliver high-quality, patient-friendly, affordable care.  Read More

Telemedicine utilization by condition and medical specialty during the early phase of the coronavirus pandemic sheds an interesting light on deferred care according to new research. Despite the uptick in telemedicine use, overall medical visits dropped substantially, which raises concern about deferred care.  Read More

Interoperability continues to improve in health care, with 67 percent of providers in 2020 reporting they often or nearly always have access to needed records, up from 28 percent in 2017, according to a recent KLAS Research and College of Healthcare Information Management Executives report. The EHR interoperability trends report analyzed data from a survey of healthcare executives to determine the top 10 themes in health data sharing among providers.  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:


As part of a broader strategy to ramp up vaccinations, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will allow doctors and nurses that recently retired or are inactive to administer COVID-19 vaccinations. In addition, the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act will be amended to permit anyone licensed to vaccinate to administer a shot across state lines.  Read More

Just as revenue cycle executives are coming up for air from the CMS price transparency mandate, they have another date to add to their compliance calendar. On January 1, 2022, the No Surprises Act goes into effect, which will protect patients from surprise medical bills and establishes an independent dispute resolution process for payers and providers.  Read More

During the COVID-19 pandemic, hospital and health system CEOs have faced unprecedented challenges related to the deadly and unpredictable coronavirus, many of which have led to some positive unintended outcomes such as enabling a rapid acceleration of organizational learning and adaptability.  Read More

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has made corrections to the 2021 Physician Fee Schedule, opening the door to improved reimbursement for remote patient monitoring. CMS amended a requirement for RPM coverage that had drawn criticism from telehealth advocates, clarifying how healthcare providers will be paid for using RPM platforms to gather physiologic data from patients at home.  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:


While millions wait for a lifesaving shot, the U.S. death toll from the coronavirus continues to soar upward with horrifying speed. This week the official death count reached 400,000 — a once-unthinkable number. In fact, more than 100,000 Americans have died due to the pandemic in just the past five weeks alone.  Read More

The more packed a hospital intensive care unit (ICU) is with COVID-19 patients, the greater likelihood those patients will die, according to a chilling new study. COVID-19 initially overwhelmed hospitals when it all but shut down the United States in early spring, which is also when mortality rates peaked for COVID-19 patients in the ICU. But as the infection curve was bent later in the spring and summer and hospital capacity freed up, mortality rates declined significantly.  Read More

Vaccination is widely viewed as essential to controlling the coronavirus through herd immunity, which occurs when a large proportion of a population develops resistance to infection, yet, many people are reluctant to be vaccinated for reasons including misinformation and cultural barriers. Clinicians will need to take a multipronged approach to communicate with their patients about coronavirus vaccination.  Read More

Managing staff shortages, as well as mental health concerns, will be top priorities for physicians' groups as they head into 2021, according to a new report by MGMA. They also identified telehealth in particular as an area that will remain a major focus in the coming year, with 97% of practices reporting they've expanded telehealth services in the past 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, and care navigation software.


Here's The Latest in Health Care:


The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has extended the public health emergency surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic until April, extending key waivers for regulations on a variety of topics such as telehealth reimbursement. This is now the fourth time HHS has expanded the emergency period.  Read More

In an effort to give Medicare beneficiaries quicker access to the latest medical technology, Medicare will now cover all medical devices designated by the FDA as a "breakthrough" technology. The final rule will cover the use of these devices for four years after it receives FDA market authorization, while CMS evaluates whether to cover them permanently.  Read More

According to the health care management advisory firm KaufmanHall, the COVID crisis has shushed but not silenced hospitals’ talks on mergers and acquisitions in 2020. In fact, there are signs the pandemic may be spurring rather than slowing such deals.  Read More

CMS now requires U.S. hospitals to post a list of their standard charges, including rates negotiated with private payers, on a publicly available website in both machine-readable and consumer-friendly formats. While it sounds simple, price transparency compliance is proving to be a challenge for many hospitals. Implementing a few key strategies can help hospitals stay ahead of the curve and avoid penalties under new CMS requirements.  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:


Two key variables in understanding the stress to the health system due to new COVID-19 hospitalizations are the availability of staff and intensive care unit (ICU) beds. A new study found a 90% increase in hospitals reaching ICU capacity from July through December, with rural hospitals facing the biggest capacity issues.  Read More

CMS plans to adopt the AMA's code revisions and accompanying guideline changes for the E/M office or outpatient visit codes. Among the changes, health care practitioners will need to familiarize themselves with a new medical decision-making table as well as a new definition of "time" for office or outpatient visit services.  Read More

Add heart attack patients to those who may find significant value in using telehealth as a post-discharge treatment tool for recovery. A recent study showed no significant differences in safety events or medication adjustment when using telehealth with low-risk patients.  Read More

In an effort to accelerate inoculation efforts, which have fallen behind initial targets, HHS will dole out more than $22 billion to states and local jurisdictions by mid-January to support COVID-19 containment and lagging vaccination rollouts. According to the CDC, as of Wednesday morning, only 5.3 million Americans had received their first shot out of 17 million doses distributed.  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.

Source: HealthExec

Here's The Latest in Health Care:


With the first doses of COVID-19 vaccines now being administered across the United States, questions abound about who can safely get them. Expect answers to these questions to evolve as the vaccines go into broader use, but here’s what is known so far, and what experts at or advising the CDC recommend regarding their use at this point.  Read More

Experts say that the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of digital health and virtual care forward by at least three years. The industry has fast-forwarded in areas like telehealth, remote monitoring, and artificial intelligence, which is predicted to cause disruptive changes that will significantly impact the technology market. Many of these experts, for example, expect that communication and collaboration tools will explode in 2021.  Read More

Three of the most influential associations in U.S. health care joined forces this week to ask all health care workers to get vaccinated for COVID-19. The American Hospital Association, American Medical Association, and American Nurses Association present their plea in a short open letter, addressing the audience as fellow workers whose duties transcend their job descriptions.  Read More

HHS began distributing the third phase of COVID-19 relief funding for providers this week, with $24.5 billion to go to more than 70,000 providers through the end of January. This phase opened applications up to providers who had previously received or been rejected for, provider relief funds as well as behavioral health providers and those who began practicing between January and March of this 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, and care navigation software.

Source: Getty Images

Here's The Latest in Health Care:


Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine passed a critical milestone this week when a panel of experts formally recommended that the Food and Drug Administration authorize the vaccine. The agency is likely to do so within days, giving health care workers and nursing home residents first priority to begin receiving the first shots early next week.  Read More

The U.S. passed yet another gruesome pandemic milestone, with states reporting more than 3,000 coronavirus deaths in a single day for the first time. The extraordinary death count represents an all-time high for the pandemic, which is also expected to pass the tragic point of 300,000 deaths in the coming week.  Read More

No search for an open COVID-19 testing center. No waiting in line. No need to even venture outside the house, in fact. That's the promise of LabCorp's Pixel test, which has secured an FDA green light for home delivery without a prescription, the first test to reach that milestone.  Read More

HHS has proposed changes to HIPAA rules that aim to improve care coordination and give patients more access to their health information. The goal is to enable greater family and caregiver involvement in the care of individuals experiencing emergencies or health crises and boost flexibilities for disclosures in emergency or threatening circumstances.  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.