The pMD Blog

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pMD Blog...

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



Here's What You May or May Not Have Missed This Week:


• A new study in the medical journal, JAMA Internal Medicine, reported that patient prices increase after hospitals acquire small private doctor practices. The study looked at the cost and volume of health-care services as physicians became more integrated into hospitals and found that patients pay an average of $75 more every year for outpatient services like check-ups, even though the number of appointments stays the same. Hospital employment of doctors and ownership of physician practices has grown over the past decade. Source

• Controversy around Theranos, a blood-testing start up, emerged when articles published in The Wall Street Journal questioned the accuracy of the company’s blood tests and the extent to which Theranos is actually using their unique technology. CEO Elizabeth Holmes attended a live onstage interview at The Wall Street Journal this week to defend the accuracy and utilization of the technology, alleging that the company uses proprietary lab equipment to deliver results much faster and more cheaply than traditional blood tests. Source

• Medical schools reported record-breaking application and enrollment totals from college students this fall, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges. Enrollment increased 1.4% to 20,630 in 2015 from 20,343 last year, and medical school applications saw a 6.2% increase to 52,550 this year from 49,480 in 2014. The problem that remains is that the number of medical residency training positions has not grown at the same pace. Source

On The Front Lines:


After riding a four week hot streak, Apple finally lost market share to Android this week with a 0.07 percent loss among pMD's physician users. Apple also released numbers around the status iOS 9 updates this week, revealing that 61% of devices are using iOS 9 since the new operating system was released on September 16. All eyes are set on Apple's Q4 earnings report this Tuesday.


FINAL RESULTS:


iOS: 90.14%
Android: 9.86%

Each Friday, Signor Goat reports the latest from the week in health care alongside the front lines of the iOS-Android wars among pMD's physician charge capture users. Check back next Friday for your dose of our little medical corner of health care news.


Here's What You May or May Not Have Missed This Week:


• The government announced this week that there will be no cost-of-living increase to Social Security benefits in 2016 despite potential record increases to premiums for nearly one-third of Medicare beneficiaries. The Obama administration is urging Congress to curtail the health insurance premium increases, which could raise the cost for some Medicare beneficiaries by about 50 percent. Source

• A new report estimates that cyberattacks will cost US health systems $305 billion over the next five years in lifetime revenue. The study, led by Accenture, estimates that one in 13 patients will have personal information, such as social security or financial records, stolen from health technology systems. Researchers used historical security breach data from the US Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights to project the number of patients likely to be affected by healthcare provider data breaches from 2015 through 2019. Source

• This week marks the two-week milestone with no major disruptions since ICD-10 was implemented on Oct. 1. Many of the large national payers had minor issues in the first week, especially on claims where a patient stay began in Sept. and ended in Oct. requiring both ICD-9 and ICD-10 codes. Health care groups who had been coding in a dual ICD-9 and ICD-10 list before the transition saw less of an impact on coder productivity. Source

On The Front Lines:


This week Apple saw a net increase in mobile market share among pMD's charge capture providers, gaining 0.05 percent against Android. Apple has been on a hot streak ever since the release of the iPhone 6s three weeks ago.


FINAL RESULTS:


iOS: 90.21%
Android: 9.79%

Each Friday, Signor Goat reports the latest from the week in health care alongside the front lines of the iOS-Android wars among pMD's physician charge capture users. Check back next Friday for your dose of our little medical corner of health care news.


Here's What You May or May Not Have Missed This Week:


• Medicare launched Comprehensive ESRD Care (CEC), a new accountable care organization (ACO) model centered on patients who receive dialysis for end-stage renal disease. Under the new model, participating facilities will coordinate care for ESRD patients by forming organizations which will be financially accountable for Medicare spending and patient outcomes. The model is designed to encourage dialysis providers to use a more patient-centered approach for more effective and efficient care. Source

• A new report by the Institute of Medicine found that people will experience at least one diagnostic error in their lifetime, including an incorrect or delayed diagnosis. The study calls for better collaboration and widespread commitment to improve diagnostic accuracy among health care professionals, health care organizations, patients, researchers, and policy makers. Source

• CMS and ONC released the final rules for the EHR Incentive Programs this week, which include significant changes to the current criteria and will ease reporting requirements for providers. Providers and hospitals have until Jan. 1 2018 to comply with the requirements under Stage 3 Meaningful Use using a certified EHR. Those who choose to report in 2017 will now have a 90-day reporting period. Source

On The Front Lines:


Apple has been on a hot streak since the release of the iPhone 6s, gaining 0.03 percent of the mobile device market this week among pMD's charge capture physician users. The new highly acclaimed Steve Jobs movie may have ignited even more excitement around Apple and is releasing this weekend in select markets.


FINAL RESULTS:


iOS: 90.16%
Android: 9.84%

Each Friday, Signor Goat reports the latest from the week in health care alongside the front lines of the iOS-Android wars among pMD's physician charge capture users. Check back next Friday for your dose of our little medical corner of health care news.


Here's What You May or May Not Have Missed This Week:


ICD-10, the new diagnostic classification system that introduces approximately 58,000 additional diagnosis codes, officially went into effect this week for patient encounters starting on Oct. 1. After three government delays that pushed the implementation back four years, most health care organizations have had ample time to prepare. There have been no reported major problems in the first 24 hours of the new coding system. Source

• A new report by the Department of Health and Human Services found that nursing homes are over-treating patients for therapy services and receiving more in Medicare payments than it costs to provide the care. The study results showed that in recent years, nursing homes have been classifying more and more patients as needing the highest level of therapy and providing just the exact amount required to bill for higher payments. Medicaid typically pays nursing homes much less than their costs and Medicaid patients often constitute the majority of the nursing home patients. Source

• Two Washington D.C. hospitals are being sued by patients who say there were forced to pay excessive and illegal charges to obtain copies of their electronic medical records. Georgetown University Hospital and George Washington University Hospital allegedly charged patients hundreds to thousands of dollars to obtain electronic copies. One patient's final bill was nearly $2,500, including per-page charges, a “basic fee”, a handling fee, and an electronic delivery fee. The patients are seeking class-action status on behalf of all patients who obtained medical records for the hospitals. Source

On The Front Lines:


One week after Apple released its new iPhone 6s, it gained a whopping 0.19 percent of pMD's charge capture physician users, putting them back up over the 90 percent mark against Android in mobile device usage. Meanwhile, Tim Cook has been hitting the interview circuit to talk all things Apple.


FINAL RESULTS:


iOS: 90.13%
Android: 9.87%

Each Friday, Signor Goat reports the latest from the week in health care alongside the front lines of the iOS-Android wars among pMD's physician charge capture users. Check back next Friday for your dose of our little medical corner of health care news.


Here's What You May or May Not Have Missed This Week:


• The FDA launched its first-ever Patient Engagement Advisory Committee, which will offer perspective to the FDA Commissioner on issues related to the regulation of technology and medical devices and their use by patients. The group will use patient input to help identify the most important benefits and risks of technology and better integrate those perspectives into its regulatory process. Source

• The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) released an updated version of its federal HIT strategic plan, which will focus on ensuring that care is more "person-centered." The plan represents the government's goal for improving the health and wellness of individuals through the use of health IT over the next five years and is a shift from the prior plan where EHR adoption by providers was a heavy focus. Source

• Martin Shkreli, the man responsible for increasing the price of the drug Daraprim from $13.50 per tablet to $750 last week, said that he would finally agree to lower the cost of the 62-year-old drug. The overnight increase of the drug sparked outrage from the public and prompted direct calls from lawmakers and even Hillary Clinton to reduce the price. The incident has urged many to call for new measures to control the rising cost of medicines. Source

On The Front Lines:


Apple was the mobile device of choice this week, gaining 0.09 percent from Android among pMD's charge capture physician users. The iPhone 6s hits stores today and in typical release-day tradition, buyers crowded Apple stores to get a hold of the latest and greatest mobile device.


FINAL RESULTS:


iOS: 89.94%
Android: 10.06%

Each Friday, Signor Goat reports the latest from the week in health care alongside the front lines of the iOS-Android wars among pMD's physician charge capture users. Check back next Friday for your dose of our little medical corner of health care news.


Here's What You May or May Not Have Missed This Week:


• The Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for Health Information Technology launched an online portal this week to allow EHR users to submit complaints about issues with usability, interoperability and patient safety related to technology. Health IT users can report problems specifically related to data-blocking or other issues with health information exchange, product usability, and other health IT performance issues, as well as product safety concerns. Source

• The battle over abortion issues intensified as the House voted to move forward with a bill that would end government financing for Planned Parenthood, and Senate Republicans announced that they would take up legislation outlawing all abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. The recent circumstances are threatening Congressional budget talks and could force a government shutdown at the end of the month. Source

• Health officials at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that this year's flu vaccine will be far more effective than last year's vaccine, which was only 13 percent effective in preventing the virus. The new vaccine for this season will target the same strain of the virus that mutated last year, the H3N2 strain, and will protect against three or four additional strains. Source

On The Front Lines:


After a strong previous week, Apple gave back 0.11 percent to Android in net devices this week among pMD's charge capture physician users. In Apple news, the launch of Apple's first Android app, "Move to iOS," was blemished by reports that the new data migration app is simply a rebranding of software already offered in the Google Play Store. Apple's second Android app is expected to be Apple Music.


FINAL RESULTS:


iOS: 89.85%
Android: 10.15%

Each Friday, Signor Goat reports the latest from the week in health care alongside the front lines of the iOS-Android wars among pMD's physician charge capture users. Check back next Friday for your dose of our little medical corner of health care news.


Here's What You May or May Not Have Missed This Week:


• A federal ruling this week granted House Republicans the ability to sue the Obama administration for spending federal funds under the Affordable Care Act. The House argument was that suing the White House was the only way to control federal spending and prevent the administration from allocating $136 billion in insurance company cost-sharing assistance. The administration is expected to appeal the ruling and allow a higher court to consider the issue. Source

• New York insurer Excellus BlueCross BlueShield announced that the personal information of approximately 10.5 million members has been hacked in a previously undetected cyberattack that has been going on for almost a year and a half. The insurance organization first discovered the breach in August 2015 despite the hack initially taking place in December 2013. Stolen personal data includes member names, dates of birth, social security numbers, financial information, and addresses. This is the third largest HIPAA breach ever reported. Source

• Federal health officials declared that they have potentially lifesaving information from the results of a major study conducted on blood pressure research. The study found that patients who were assigned a systolic blood pressure goal below 120, which is far lower than the current guidelines of 140, had their risk of heart attacks, heart failure, and strokes reduced by a third and their risk of death reduced by a quarter. Officials ended the study over a year early based on their conclusive results and are calling for new, lower blood pressure guidelines. Source

On The Front Lines:


Apple had a superb week, gaining back 0.09 percent from Android in the mobile wars among pMD's physician users. Apple also unveiled the new iPhone 6s and iOS 9, which will have performance enhancements and new features like improved Siri responses, better search tools, and will allow iOS devices to learn user habits and act on that information. The iPhone 6s will also have a 3D touch, pressure-sensitive display that can detect varying levels of sensitivity to perform an array of functions. Pre-orders begin at 12:01am PDT on Sept. 12!


FINAL RESULTS:


iOS: 89.96%
Android: 10.04%

Each Friday, Signor Goat reports the latest from the week in health care alongside the front lines of the iOS-Android wars among pMD's physician charge capture users. Check back next Friday for your dose of our little medical corner of health care news.


Here's What You May or May Not Have Missed This Week:


• An Indiana-based oncology group got hit with a $750,000 HIPAA violation fine this week for a breach reported back in 2012. Cancer Care of Indiana reported a breach of PHI to the Office of Civil Rights after an unencrypted laptop was stolen from the car of an employee. The Office for Civil Rights performed an investigation on the group and discovered that even before the breach Cancer Care was in "widespread non-compliance with the HIPAA Security Rule. Source

• Approximately half of U.S. states will not submit ICD-10 codes on workers’ comp claims on October 1. Twenty-one states currently have ICD-10 regulations, and four more states have regulations pending. The mandated transition to ICD-10 this October does not apply to state-level workers’ comp programs. Source

• Starting next week, providers in Texas will be able to receive reimbursement for conducting telemedicine visits with Medicaid-enrolled children while they're in school. The children's parent or guardian must give consent for the visit, and a health professional or school nurse must also be present with the patient during the session. The law will allow Dallas-based Children's Health to be able to sustain their growing school-based telemedicine program, which serves 57 schools in north Texas. Source

On The Front Lines:


Continuing its downward trend over the last two quarters, Apple lost 0.05 percent to Android in net mobile devices this past week. Apple’s upcoming press event, scheduled for September 9, is expected to include debuts for an iPad Pro and iPad Mini 4. The iPad Pro is said to be a MacBook-sized tablet geared toward enterprise use.


FINAL RESULTS:


iOS: 89.87%
Android: 10.13%

Each Friday, Signor Goat reports the latest from the week in health care alongside the front lines of the iOS-Android wars among pMD's physician charge capture users. Check back next Friday for your dose of our little medical corner of health care news.


Here's What You May or May Not Have Missed This Week:


• The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a quality and financial performance report this week for Medicare Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs). The results show that ACOs are continuing to improve the quality of care for Medicare beneficiaries, as well as generating financial savings. ACOs are groups of doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers who come together to provide coordinated care, with the goal of giving Medicare patients – especially the chronically ill – the most appropriate care at the right time, while avoiding unnecessary duplication of services and preventing medical errors. Source

• A federal report released this week showed that the nutritional profile of school meals in the United States had improved substantially since higher government standards went into effect in 2012. Nearly 80 percent of schools offered two or more vegetables per meal in 2014, up from 62 percent in 2000. Two or more fruits were offered in about 78 percent of schools, up from 68 percent in 2000. About a third of schools now have salad bars. The rules put into effect in 2012 included increasing the availability of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat- free and low-fat fluid milk in school meals, as well as reducing the levels of sodium, saturated fat and trans fat in meals. Source

• CVS announced that it is partnering with three telehealth companies – American Well, Doctor On Demand and Teladoc - to explore how direct-to-consumer telehealth providers, retail pharmacy and retail clinic providers can collaborate to improve patient care. This represents an expansion of CVS Health's existing telehealth approach. The plan is to provide telehealth care to patients in CVS retail stores and serve as a site for in-person exams to facilitate telehealth medical visits. Source

On The Front Lines:


After positive growth last week, Apple took a 0.07 percent hit from Android in net mobile devices among pMD's physician users this week. Rumors around the iPhone 6S are suggesting a Sept. 9 debut; if the rumor mill pans out, we may see Apple gain back some of the market share as excitement builds around the next generation device.


FINAL RESULTS:


iOS: 89.92%
Android: 10.08%

Each Friday, Signor Goat reports the latest from the week in health care alongside the front lines of the iOS-Android wars among pMD's physician charge capture users. Check back next Friday for your dose of our little medical corner of health care news.


Here's What You May or May Not Have Missed This Week:


• Researchers at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston recently published a study on what happens when patients have access to their doctor’s notes. Five years of data showed that not only is the arrangement beneficial to patients, but also to doctors and to the accuracy and quality of the notes. Researchers at Beth Israel have found that patients with access to clinician notes were more engaged and saw better outcomes. Source

• Proposed CMS reporting requirements for doctors who treat sepsis, one of the top drivers of costs, readmissions and mortality for hospitals, are drawing criticism from providers. Under the new requirements set to take effect in October, providers must take several steps to treat severe sepsis and/or septic shock within the first three hours of care. Some providers argue that the definition of severe sepsis by CMS is arbitrary and could lead doctors to treat patients for sepsis when they may not actually have it. Source

• The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced the "2015 Million Hearts Hypertension Control Challenge," a national initiative to prevent one million heart attacks and strokes by 2017 through clinical approaches such as using health information technology. The challenge is “designed to identify and honor clinicians and health care teams that have helped their patients control high blood pressure and prevent heart attacks and strokes.” Source

On The Front Lines:


This week Apple gained back 0.03 percent of the mobile device market share from Android among pMD's physician users. Apple has been making some optimizations with its software this week, announcing that they have moved to a hot new technology that will ensure Siri continues to be even faster and cheaper to run.


FINAL RESULTS:


iOS: 89.99%
Android: 10.01%

Each Friday, Signor Goat reports the latest from the week in health care alongside the front lines of the iOS-Android wars among pMD's physician charge capture users. Check back next Friday for your dose of our little medical corner of health care news.