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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 | news


Image: CSA-Printstock/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Here's The Latest in Health Care:


•  The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is teaming up with 4 health systems to create a non-profit generic drug company. The goal of the four companies, Intermountain Healthcare, Ascension Health, SSM Health, and Trinity Health along with the VA, is to address the issue of high costs and shortages of medications in the U.S. They plan to make more affordable and more available generic medications. Read More

•  While stifling a sneeze may seem like one good method to stop the spread of germs, one rare case of sneeze stifling ended in a ruptured throat for an unsuspecting man in Britain. The force of the sneeze he attempted to stifle when obstructing both his nose and mouth was so strong that the blast of air forcefully made its way through the soft tissue in his throat as tiny bubbles. This caused his neck to swell and a change of voice along with unsettling crackling sensations. Don't worry, after a week, the man was well on his way back to the norm.  Read More

•  With the possibility of a government shutdown looming, health care programs will be threatened with billions of dollars in health care costs, as it did in 2013. The Department of Health and Human Services does have a contingency plan in place in the event of a government shutdown.  Read More

•  Curious about how this year's flu season compares to those of the past? The New York Times' Q&A answers some questions on what to expect of this year's flu season and how it's spreading and well as how historical data compares to the 2016-2017 season.  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: Tony Cenicola/The New York Times

Here's The Latest in Health Care:


•  There are approximately 1.7 million children across 20 states in the U.S. who could be at risk of losing their Children's Health Insurance Medicaid (CHIP) coverage in February due to shortage of funding. A few states plan to use state funds to make up for the lack of federal funding and the states that can't afford it may resort to freezing enrollment or terminating coverage when federal money dissipates.  Read More

•  For those of us who don't have a gluten sensitivity, pursuing a gluten-free diet may not yield the health benefits we think it would. Unnecessarily avoiding gluten-containing grains in your diet can lower overall digestive health because fiber intake decreases. We also have to remember that gluten-free substitutes are not always any more healthy.  Read More

•  Less than two months after canceling two mandatory bundled payment programs created under the Obama administration, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced it is launching a new bundled payment program under the Trump administration. The Bundled Payments for Care Improvement (BPCI) Advanced model gives providers an incentive to deliver high-quality and efficient care to their patients.  Read More

•  The opioid crisis continues to devastate the U.S. and health care leaders are turning to new strategies to fight it. In 2018, the focus will be on efforts to assess patients on their pain levels upon admission, educating staff about safe opioid use, patient education, and exploring alternative pain relief methods.  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: Sophie Sahara Barkham

Here's The Latest in Health Care:


•  Telehealth services and products are on the rise in rural areas. Rural hospitals are especially benefiting from telepharmacy services, which not only offers patients 24/7 pharmacy services but also provides big savings for these rural hospitals. Approximately 95 percent of medications delivered via the telepharmacy program are located in a dispensing machine.  Read More

•  Penalties through the Hospital-Acquired Conditions Reduction Program are responsible for hospitals losing 1 percent of Medicare payments each year. The program, in its fourth year, is meant to improve the quality of patient care. Hospitals are penalized for having too many infections and patient injuries.  Read More

•  Feeling terribly exposed may be a thing of the past when it comes to hospital gowns. In partnership with students from Parsons School of Design, Care and Wear, which specializes in medical wearables, has created a new gown design inspired by the kimono style. This new design ties in the front, allows for more coverage, and replaces five different types of gowns with one.  Read More

•  Overbilling, or upcoding, Medicare for office services has always been a problem and still remains unchanged. Unfortunately, this kind of fraudulent billing does not get doctors into legal trouble. Physicians have long been warned by the Office of Inspector General that they are responsible for billing Medicare at appropriate levels for office visits.  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: PhotoAttractive/Getty Images

Here's The Latest in Health Care:


•  The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is under scrutiny after investigators found that the FDA did not always evaluate food-borne hazards in a timely manner. The organization is not moving quickly enough to remove contaminated foods from store shelves, leaving consumers at risk.  Read More

•  In 2017, the interoperability discussion centered around private sector innovations more so than federal government policy. While policy guidance from the government is well-meaning, interoperability will truly gain traction when driven from the private sector i.e. vendors, health systems, patients, VC investors, and more.  Read More

•  On Thursday, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) clarified its stance on texting patient information on non-secure versus secure platforms. Texting patient orders is prohibited regardless of the platform, however, members of the health care team are allowed to text patient information through a secure, encrypted platform.  Read More

•  Going into labor can be an exciting and often times scary experience. For some minors across the U.S., it can be even more of a challenging experience when they're denied requests for treatments such as epidurals. This is due to laws requiring permission from parents or legal guardians before receiving medical treatment that's not considered emergency care. Doctors and nurses are advocating for a change in policy.  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: Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times

Here's The Latest in Health Care:


•  The number of women enrolling in U.S. medical schools has increased in the last few years. In 2017, more women enrolled in med school than men for the first time and made up more than half of the enrollees list this year. This could potentially mean that more women become involved in hospital leadership roles that interact with hospital IT departments as well as digital health innovation positions.  Read More

•  Coconuts or olives? Experts reveal that compared to olive oil, coconut oil contains about six times the amount of saturated fat. Of course, there are still many health benefits to coconut oil but when thinking about cooking with either of these oils, olive oil is the better choice for overall health.  Read More

•  On Thursday, the federal government found 751 hospitals to have the highest rates of patient injuries. These hospitals were penalized with lowered Medicare payments. The penalty has been controversial since its start four years ago by the Affordable Care Act. The program is designed to financially incentivize hospitals to avoid infections and other mishaps.  Read More

•  Scientists have used gene editing  inside mice to prevent a form of inherited deafness. More research is still needed but this gene editing technique could potentially restore hearing, at the very least, to people who have lost it from non-inherent situations, such as a loud noise or infection.  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: iStock

Here's The Latest in Health Care:


•  Consumers who are hunting for health insurance during the open enrollment period are either finding prices to be more expensive or are finding cheap deals, depending on subsidy eligibility for 2018. For those who are eligible for subsidies, insurance brokers and analysts are cautioning clients against the temptation to get the inexpensive plans that don't comply with the Affordable Care Act's minimum standards. Some states have extended their open enrollment period past December 15.  Read More

•  The office of the National Coordination for Health IT (ONC) recently published best practices for data management processes, enabling hospitals to more accurately and effectively match patient records.  There are 5 categories published in the Patient Demographic Data Quality Framework across which hospitals can begin to evaluate their own organizations: Data governance, data quality, data operations, platforms and standards, and supporting processes.  Read More

•  In a new study released by the Journal of the American Medical Association, intense treadmill exercise has been found to be safe for those recently diagnosed with Parkinson's disease and may even slow the progression of their condition in the early stages of the disease. Current methods of treatment involve various drugs, most of which lose their effectiveness over time. While more studies have yet to be done, the findings are encouraging.  Read More

•  On Thursday, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted in favor to repeal net neutrality regulations. How does this impact telehealth? The new regulatory environment could break telehealth and remote monitoring functionality for providers, patients and vendors, especially those in rural areas of the country. Connectivity is an essential element of telehealth and without it, it doesn't work. Higher prices for connectivity might force providers in rural areas to abandon telehealth programs all together.  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: Joy Ho for NPR

Here's The Latest in Health Care:


•  On Monday, Google announced an open source version of their artificial intelligence (AI) tool, DeepVariant. This tool improves the accuracy of genomic sequencing, which addresses one of precision medicine's outstanding challenges. Big tech rivals, such as IBM, Microsoft, Apple, and Amazon are already speculated to be making moves into the health care AI space.  Read More

•  A recent study revealed that women who use hormonal birth control pills or contraceptive devices such as intrauterine contraceptive devices (IUDs) face a small yet significant risk for breast cancer. This is the first study to examine risks associated with current, modern forms of birth control in a large population, however, not the first to establish a link to cancer.  Read More

•  Health care spending in 2016 saw a slow in growth, likely due to an increase in insurance enrollment during the first few years of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, per capita spending topped $10,000 in 2016 and spending per person was $10,348. Experts expect a continuation of growth in health care spending due to an aging population and growing health care costs.  Read More

•  Common ceramic household cookware, such as crockpots, may contain traces of lead, which can leak into food and cause lead poisoning. Where does the lead come from? Ceramic ware is glazed before entering a kiln to bake. Often, these glazes contain lead, which gives ceramic ware their attractive shine. Be sure to refer to the FDA's list of products that have been tested for lead contamination!  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: Paul Rogers

Here's The Latest in Health Care:


•  Health care tech vendors are creating products specifically geared towards use for accountable care organizations, or ACOs. With the industry transitioning to more value-based care and payment reform, ACOs need robust analytics and advanced care management platforms that perform beyond what today's EHRs are capable of doing.  Read More

•  The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, passed in 2008, promised to make mental health and substance abuse treatment easily accessible as the treatments that are available for any other condition. However, a recent national study found that health insurers are skimping out on mental health coverage and patients are still struggling to gain access to affordable treatment.  Read More

•  This morning, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced it has officially canceled mandatory cardiac and hip fracture bundled payment models. While CMS sees this as a way to offer hospitals greater flexibility and choice in how they provide care to their Medicare patients, some health care experts believe this might hurt the value-based care movement.  Read More

•  Do you think you're all caught up with the latest health care news? Take this week's quiz to see how much of that information you've retained!  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: Andy Baker/Ikon Images/Getty Images

Here's The Latest in Health Care:


•  Doctors are now allowed to prescribe addiction medication virtually, after the President declared the opioid crisis a health emergency. However, some health care professionals are skeptical. The in-person visits establish trust and allow physicians to pick up on things like body language that are often hard to determine through a screen.  Read More

•  The health care industry is a buzz with rumors that big tech giants like Apple and Amazon are poised to enter the EHR market. Apple is rumored to be working on putting health records on the iPhone, making it easy for users to access their own medical records. Amazon has started a secret lab to explore business prospects in the health care sector.  Read More

•  The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services proposed a new rule last week for Medicare Advantage, Part D. The proposed rule would make several changes aimed at reducing regulatory burden for plans and promoting flexibility when it comes to Medicare Advantage.  Read More

•  The presence of abnormal proteins, or prions, in the skin samples of those diagnosed with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, a rare brain-destroying disease, may be used to improve detection of the disorder. Currently, the disease is diagnosed using more invasive procedures such as brain biopsies or autopsies.  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: Proteus Digital Health

Here's The Latest in Health Care:


•  Who will be replacing Tom Price as the next Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS)? Alex Azar, former pharmaceutical executive at Eli Lilly and former HHS general counsel and deputy secretary, is the President's nomination for the next head of HHS. Some major goals Azar will be tasked with, if confirmed, is the lowering of drug prices and implementing deregulation.  Read More

•  The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the first drug with a sensor that transmits data to a smartphone app, notifying whether someone has taken it. The tiny sensor is about the size of a grain of sand and is embedded into the pill, serving as a digital ingestion tracking system.  The sensor will detect and record the date and time the pill was ingested.  Read More

•  In the first 11 days of Healthcare.gov's open enrollment period, signups totaled nearly 1.5 million. Some experts suggest that with the push for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) repeal, the heightened visibility of the health care law is actually driving the increase in signups for the ACA exchange plans.  Read More

•  Scientists have found that a rare genetic mutation in Amish people living in a rural part of Indiana actually protects them from Type 2 diabetes and provides life-extending benefits.  The new findings could lead to new therapies for chronic diseases.  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.