The pMD Blog
POSTS BY TAG | news


Image: Fierce Healthcare

Here's The Latest in Health Care:


•  On Thursday night, Republican Senators failed to pass the "skinny" bill, which would have said goodbye to ACA's "individual mandate." The mandate required that nearly every American have insurance or pay a penalty and was one of Obamacare's least popular provisions. Insurers, doctors, consumer advocates, and health policy experts agreed that this repeal would have wrecked the individual market.  Read More

•  Amidst the rumors that Apple is in talks with health care organizations to explore the realm of health records, reports that Amazon is considering developing an EHR platform are stirring. Amazon has reportedly started a secret lab in Seattle, its headquarters, and has a crew working on health care applications for Amazon devices.  Read More

•  How up-to-date are you on health care news? Take this fun, online quiz by The New York Times to find out!  Read More

•  While there has been significant progress in research surrounding sports-related head injuries, there is little data on women as most research participants tend to be male athletes.  The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently began to require scientists to include female animals in brain injury studies.  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: Takao Someya/University of Tokyo

Here's The Latest in Health Care:


•  The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is working on new strategies to enroll more children in longitudinal studies that are part of their precision medicine cohort program. The All of Us Research Program aims to conduct genomic research and responsibly engage children in the decades-long studies.  Read More

•  This week, the GOP's repeal-and-delay measure lacked the votes to move forward after three Republican senators opposed the plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell could only afford to lose two votes on this bill. The White House said in a statement on Tuesday that it would back whichever strategy results in repealing the ACA.  Read More

•  Scientists have developed a new, wearable sensor that can monitor your body's activities. The sensor is lightweight, thin and flexible. It resembles that of a henna tattoo and can monitor vital signs over a long period of time. Researchers hope that it can monitor a patient's vital signs without any discomfort.  Read More

•  With financial incentives and penalizations in place to reduce hospital readmissions, the readmission rate declined 20 percent since its inception in 2012 under the Affordable Care Act.  Such a decline led some researchers to be concerned about unintended consequences, such as more deaths as patients are kept out of the hospital. In a study published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association, no evidence was found that the reduction in hospital readmissions resulted in more deaths.  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:


•  On Thursday, the Senate released revisions to the Better Care Reconciliation Act. The new bill makes some significant changes from the last BCRA draft but also leaves some major parts from the original proposal intact.  Some of the changes include allowing insurance premiums to be paid for using health savings accounts, more money going towards the opioid epidemic, keeping Obamacare taxes, allowing insurers to offer non-Obamacare-qualified plans and more stabilization money for high-risk customers. Proposals to cut Medicaid spending and allowing states to opt out of key parts of Obamacare remain unchanged.  Read More

•  On Tuesday, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced that it has approved the waiver that will allow Alaska to continue its reinsurance program. The Alaska Reinsurance Program was created by the state to rescue its struggling ACA exchange and stabilize its individual marketplace. It is predicted that the reinsurance program will lower premiums by 20% and provide an additional 1,400 people with coverage.  Read More

•  You may re-think that second helping of mac and cheese when you realize what dangerous chemicals are lurking in that coveted powdered cheese mix.  Phthalates can disrupt male hormones like testosterone and have been linked to genital birth defects and behavioral problems. These chemicals were previously banned from children's toys a decade ago but may be present in high concentrations in mac and cheese powder mixes.  Read More

•  Emerging research has found that heart disease threatens women long-term who develop hypertension or diabetes during pregnancy. Women who had complications during pregnancy or labor are advised to alert their primary care physicians and screen annually for high blood pressure.  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:  Philby Illustration/Ikon Images/Getty Images

Here's The Latest in Health Care:


•  A new study reports that an increased risk of early death can be tied to proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), which are sold as common over-the-counter heartburn medication.  These PPIs have been linked to serious side effects associated with premature death.  Read More

•  The President's nomination for the next surgeon general is Indiana State Health Commissioner Jerome Adams, M.D. Adams has helped lead the charge in dealing with the state's opioid epidemic. His nomination must still be confirmed by the Senate but if appointed, he will serve a four-year term, replacing Vivek Murthy, M.D., who was fired in April.  Read More

•  If the current proposed health care bill becomes a law, it is predicted that 15 million fewer people would have Medicaid coverage by 2026. Some states have already begun to look for ways to tighten eligibility, with availability only for those who truly need it.  Read More

•  The Department of Health and Human Services is awarding $15 million for the families of Flint, Michigan affected by lead exposure. These earmarked funds will help residents who are experiencing health issues linked to the community's tainted water supply.  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: Oscar Gronner

Here's The Latest in Health Care:


•  As the number of accountable care organizations (ACOs) continue to grow this year, their success depends on how well they align with new payment models as well as off-loading some of the administrative burdens from providers. Balancing multiple advanced payment models at a time can be a challenge but is important for providers to experiment with these models and gain adequate knowledge of how they work for the benefit of their organizations.  Read More

•  The Black Plague killed a third of Europe's population 700 years ago. Today, the plague periodically re-emerges but can be treated with common antibiotics. Yersinia pestis, a flea-dwelling bacterium, is the cause of what was once known as the Black Death for the dark patches caused by bleeding under the skin. The most recent cases were reported in New Mexico, two of them this week.  Read More

•  The GOP has decided to delay the vote on their health care bill until after the July 4 holiday. At this point, Republicans are short on votes that are needed to pass the bill. Five Senate Republicans oppose the bill primarily because it defunds Planned Parenthood and cuts Medicaid funding.  Read More

•  We've all experienced that sudden jolt of crippling stomach pain or nausea at one point in our lives. Our immediate reaction is to blame the last thing we ate or drank. "It had to be the sushi," or "I knew that egg looked a little funny".  To help truly pinpoint the source of the unpleasant ailment, figuring out the correct time frame of consumption and considering the CDC's list of foods that are more likely to be contaminated are useful strategies in finding the culprit that finds us bed-ridden for a day or two.  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: Healthcare IT News

Here's The Latest in Health Care:


•  Four lawmakers opposed the newly released Senate health care bill. In a statement Thursday afternoon, Republican Senators Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Mike Lee and Ron Johnson announced their opposition, stating "Currently, for a variety of reasons, we are not ready to vote for this bill, but we are open to negotiation and obtaining more information before it is brought to the floor."  Read More

•  Beef imports from Brazil have been suspended in the U.S. as of Thursday due to safety concerns. A two-year investigation by Brazil's Federal Police found that dozens of federal inspectors were accused of accepting bribes to falsify sanitary permits and allow expired meats to be sold.  Read More

•  According to a new Accenture report, artificial intelligence (AI) applications are expected to save the health care industry $150 billion over the next decade. While these AI applications lead to improvements in efficiency and precision, a few concerns to keep in mind are the challenges of balancing automation and workforce, sound organizational strategy, patient engagement and security.  Read More

•  The proposed MACRA rule released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services would make it optional for physicians to adopt upgraded EHR systems and can continue using the 2014 Edition Certified EHRs. Hospitals under the current Meaningful Use regulations, however, are still required to upgrade their systems by January 2018.  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: Andreas Claesson/Courtesy of FlyPulse

Here's The Latest in Health Care:


•  Indiana University's CEO, Dennis Murphy, is taking a new and more interactive approach to the annual "state of the system" address. He's meeting with IU clinicians and staff members face-to-face at various IU Health facilities, hoping to learn more about staff members' concerns while communicating his vision for the system. This active listening and in-person engagement approach by health care leaders has been proven effective in improving patient and staff satisfaction.  Read More

•  A new study published in Occupational and Environmental Medicine found that noise increases the risk of hypertension. Greek researchers studied 420 people living near an airport and tracked their noise exposure. They found that over the next decade after the study began, there were 71 newly diagnosed cases of high blood pressure. This adds to the nearly half of the study population already diagnosed at the start of the study.  Read More

•  We've heard of drones dropping off packages and food orders directly to customers' doors. But what if drones could do more than simply deliver accoutrements of leisure? Researchers in Sweden have been testing out drone deliveries of automated external defibrillators to cardiac arrest patients. While there is still more research to be done, so far the drones have beat the median response time of ambulances to reach patients in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest situations.  Read More

•  Some health care organizations are still running on outdated systems or browsers, remaining vulnerable to malware attacks, such as that of WannaCry on May 12.  Many of these organizations simply can not update due to lack of funding. In an unprecedented move by Microsoft, security patches were released to these out-of-date systems, recognizing the elevated risk of such cyberattacks, where normally such patches would not be released for technology the company no longer supports.  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: Fierce Healthcare

Here's The Latest in Health Care:


•  As population health management initiatives become more of a priority for many hospitals, EHR vendors like Epic, Cerner and Allscripts emerge as more appealing due to their integrated platforms. Standalone population health management products must compete with these large vendors as hospitals transition to value-based and patient-centric care.  Read More

•  Telehealth patients at Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia were recently interviewed about their experience. The feedback was mostly positive, expressing satisfaction with their telehealth visit and praising the convenience. Surprisingly, according to the study, patients preferred to receive bad news via video while in the privacy of their own home.  Read More

•  The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) made history on Thursday after it asked Endo Pharmaceuticals to remove its opioid painkiller, Opana ER, from the market. This comes in the wake of a rising opioid epidemic in the U.S. The drug company responded to the FDA stating that it will review the request and are “evaluating the full range of potential options as we determine the appropriate path forward.”  Read More

•  The merger of Anthem and Cigna, two major health insurance companies, has been blocked by a federal judge, concluding that a merger of this kind would reduce competition in the health insurance market and raise prices.  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: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Here's The Latest in Health Care:


•  eClinicalWorks, one of the largest Electronic Health Record (EHR) software vendors in the U.S., agreed to pay a $155 million settlement after allegedly falsifying its Meaningful Use certification. It's the first time the government has held an EHR vendor accountable for not meeting federal standards designed to ensure quality patient safety and care.  Read More

•  The World Health Organization recently released a study detailing the environmental costs of tobacco. From sucking up resources to releasing harmful chemicals in soil and waterways to contributing to worldwide litter, tobacco's environmental impact adds to the already well-known costs to global health.  Read More

•  Zika testing spiked in the month of May but the sharp increase does not directly correlate to a rise in Zika infections, at least as of now. The CDC recommended in early May that all pregnant women who were potentially exposed to be administered two different tests.  Read More

•  In a recent study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, researchers have found that habitual coffee drinkers can still receive an athletic boost from caffeine when needed. This opposes the traditional notion that athletes should abstain from caffeine in the days leading to the big event if they hope to gain any performance boost from it on the big day.  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: Fierce Healthcare

Here's The Latest in Health Care:


•  Two pharmacists from New York Presbyterian Hospital have teamed up with the hospital to consult with transplant patients virtually, tapping into telehealth to improve care for these specific subset of patients. This approach allows them to continue care after the patients' hospital discharge.  Read More

•  A rare outbreak of botulism has been linked to nacho cheese sauce bought at a gas station in Walnut Grove, California, killing one man and hospitalizing nine others. Botulism is rare, with only 20 cases in adults each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. After health officials removed the nacho cheese sauce from the gas station on May 5, the California Department of Public Health said it "believes there is no continuing risk to the public."  Read More

•  According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the American Health Care Act, which is the repeal and replacement to the Affordable Care Act, would reduce the federal deficit by $119 billion by 2026 but would also leave 23 million people uninsured. The CBO also projects that premiums would rise in the coming 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 software.