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:


• Susannah Fox was named the new Chief Technology Officer of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) yesterday. Fox, the first female CTO of HHS, has voiced her intent to support the "data liberación" strategy and free health data stored in siloed government databases. Source

• On Tuesday, CMS proposed its first update in 12 years to Medicaid managed-care plans. The new rule would financially encourage states to fund electronic health record (EHR) systems for long-term care and behavioral health providers, who have been previously excluded from receiving federal incentives for EHR use. Source

• The U.S. Department of Agriculture is accepting applications through July 6 for grants awarded through its Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) program. The department plans to award a total of $19 million dollars toward hardware, software, and other infrastructure to support telehealth and other DLT services. Source

On The Front Lines:


This week, Apple took a slight 0.01 percent dip in the total market share among pMD's physician charge capture users. Elsewhere in tech news, BrandZ’s Most Valuable Global Brands of 2015 list was published this week. Apple regained the top spot on the list, and last year’s winner, Google, came in at number two.

FINAL RESULTS:


iOS: 90.38%
Android: 9.62%

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:


• House committee members voted unanimously on Thursday to pass the 21st Century Cures Act, which is aimed at streamlining the drug approval process in the U.S. Congress did not cut the 340B drug discount program to fund the Cures bill; the 340B program is considered a backbone for hospitals that serve low-income Medicare and Medicaid patients. Source

• Banner Health officials chose 34 SNFs in the greater Phoenix metropolitan area as "recommended facilities" for patients leaving its hospitals who need short-term skilled-nursing care. The preferred providers will work closely with Banner to return patients home more quickly and prevent hospital re-admissions, in exchange for a greater volume of referrals. Source

• A recent survey found that 83 percent of health care executives believe that the ICD-10 transition will happen on Oct. 1, 2015 with no further delays. Meanwhile, Rep. Diane Black (Tennessee) has introduced the ICD-TEN Act, a bill requiring an 18-month transition period to test the submittal of ICD-10 claims during which time medical practices would not be penalized. Source

On The Front Lines:


Apple saw a tiny 0.01 percent jump in market share this week among pMD's physician charge capture users. Users may be a tiny bit excited about Apple's next operating system, iOS 9, which will reportedly feature new optimizations to support older generation iPhones and iPads.


FINAL RESULTS:


iOS: 90.39%
Android: 9.61%

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:


• Revisions were introduced this week to the latest version of the 21st Century Cure Act legislation, which was developed by the House Energy & Commerce Committee to kick-start biomedical innovation. One of the additions requires that electronic health records (EHRs) be interoperable by Jan. 1, 2018 or face stiff penalties, such as decertification. The bill also states that health care providers do not need patients' consent to share data for their care. Source

• The federal government announced the development of a new DNA standard to ensure the accuracy of DNA tests used to tailor treatments for patient care. The DNA 'reference material' will be used by laboratories to determine whether their machines and software are properly analyzing a person’s genetic blueprint, or genome. An inaccurate genome-sequencing test can lead to patients receiving the wrong diagnosis, the wrong treatment, or no treatment at all. Source

• The World Health Organization was heavily criticized in a report this week, which states that the WHO's slow response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa exacerbated the problem and exemplifies a need for significant reform within the organization. The report recommends a change in the organization's culture and leadership, as well as deep structural reform to its finance and funding. Source

On The Front Lines:


Apple lost net 0.03 percent this week, making this two weeks in a row now that Apple has lost share to Android in the mobile device wars among pMD's charge capture physician users. Apple also confirmed today that the first HomeKit-enabled devices will ship as early as next month. HomeKit is the software platform that will allow Apple devices to wirelessly control home appliances, such as light switches, garage clickers, and thermostat dials.


FINAL RESULTS:


iOS: 90.38%
Android: 9.62%

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:


• Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced this week that the Pioneer Accountable Care Organization (ACO) program generated more than $384 million in savings in its first two years, without compromise to the quality of patient care. The Department of Health and Human Services has qualified the program for an expansion, and CMS plans to extend the program in the coming years. Source

• The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that out of the 223,000 jobs added in April, the health care industry was among the leaders with 45,200 new jobs. Hospital employment accounted for more than a quarter of that total with an increase of 11,800, while Nursing homes and residential-care facilities added 8,100 employees. Source

• The White House nominated Karen DeSalvo as the assistant secretary for health at the Department of Health and Human Services. DeSalvo, who joined ONC in January 2014, will continue to fulfill her responsibilities as the head of ONC until she is officially confirmed in her new position. Once confirmed by the Senate, she will leave ONC. Source

On The Front Lines:


This week Apple dipped back down by 0.04 percent in the physician charge capture device wars against Android. In tech news, Apple is reportedly planning to leverage its new ResearchKit, a software medical research platform, to let iPhone users test their DNA and submit their results to researchers via apps.


FINAL RESULTS:


iOS: 90.41%
Android: 9.59%

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 bill that was aimed at accelerating the pace of federal drug approvals was scaled back this week with the introduction of new legislation, which removed many of the most controversial provisions. Critics of the original bill, called 21st Century Cure, included top officials at the FDA and argued that the changes would risk patient safety. The new draft bill represents a less aggressive streamlining of the drug approval process. Source

• The Department of Defense plans to build its own digital service team in an effort to improve federal IT projects and other data problems, and is opening a unit in Silicon Valley. The department unveiled its Cyber Strategy this week, which outlines plans to collaborate with the private sector to improve cybersecurity. Through this new program, the DOD hopes to improve capabilities that will help both the federal organization as well as the wider US marketplace, such as health care and technology. Source

• The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has introduced a new five-star ranking system to rate hospitals on patient quality and experience. The star ratings will use data from the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems, which measures patient experience at approximately 3,500 Medicare-certified acute care hospitals. The metrics assessed in the ranking system include facility cleanliness, staff responsiveness, and clinician communication. Source

On The Front Lines:


Apple finally broke a five-week losing streak to Android, coming up with a 0.07 percent net gain of the mobile market share among pMD's charge capture physician users. Also this week, Apple met with IBM and announced that as part of their partnership they will deliver iPads with apps that are tailored specifically for seniors. The apps aim to monitor seniors' health, remind them of their medications and doctor's appointments, and connect them to their family and home care services. The program will be piloted in Japan.


FINAL RESULTS:


iOS: 90.45%
Android: 9.55%

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:


• CMS put forth a payment formula reform that will increase hospital inpatient payments by 1.1 percent for the 2016 fiscal year. The increase is down from last year's 1.4 percent raise. By law, CMS must update payment rates for Inpatient Prospective Payment System hospitals every year and must account for changes in the costs of goods and services used by these hospitals in treating Medicare patients. Source

• An analysis found that the overall number of Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) has increased to 585 at the start of 2014, and that nearly 70 percent of Americans live in a region served by an accountable care organization. Approximately 5.6 million Medicare patients, or 11 percent, will receive their health care from an ACO this year. Source

• A controversial bill that would limit "personal belief" exemptions to school district vaccination requirements passed in a 7-2 vote this week and will now go before the judiciary committee for review. A study was also released this week by the Journal of the American Medical Association that showed even more evidence that childhood immunizations are not linked to autism. The recent surge in number of measles cases puts pressure on public health officials and lawmakers to boost vaccination rates and end exemptions. Source

On The Front Lines:


For the fifth week in a row, Apple has lost mobile market share to Android among pMD's physician charge capture users. To Android's glee, Apple's 0.11 percent loss this week puts the total drop at 0.38 percent. The first shipment of Apple Watches arrives in stores today, and with it are more than 3,000 new third-party apps for the new smartwatch.


FINAL RESULTS:


iOS: 90.38%
Android: 9.62%

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 Senate approved bipartisan legislation this week to permanently replace Medicare's highly unpopular Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula. The ongoing Congressional actions for this bill go back as far as February 2003. The bill will increase Medicare reimbursement rates for physicians and will also extend the Children's Health Insurance Program for two more years. Health policy experts hail the bill as a move toward pay-for-performance reimbursement rather than fee-for-service. Source

• CMS has imposed a record number of Medicare Advantage fines in the first quarter of 2015. The agency has focused on cracking down on bad practices among Medicare Plan Sponsors, and almost $2.5 million in civil money penalties have been collected so far this year. CMS has the authority to take contract action if they determine that a sponsor fails their requirements or no longer meets the applicable conditions of the program. Source

• A new study found that the growing amount of paperwork involved in patient visits may cause patients to avoid visiting a doctor or hospital altogether. Participants in the survey reported that paperwork cuts into the time the clinicians spend with patients, and the majority would rather search for treatment on non-life-threatening issues on the Internet than deal with health care paperwork. Source

On The Front Lines:


Apple took a tumble this week among pMD's physician charge capture users, losing 0.11 percent of the mobile device pie to Android. Users may be focused on the Apple Watch, which drew in nearly 1 million pre-orders for the new device since last week.


FINAL RESULTS:


iOS: 90.49%
Android: 9.51%

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 Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) launched a new social media initiative this week in an attempt to highlight the consequences of prescription drug abuse and overdoses. The campaign, "When the Prescription Becomes the Problem," tells the stories of people who have been affected by prescription painkiller abuse and are working to improve their lives. According to the CDC, there were 16,235 deaths involving prescription opioids in 2013 alone. Source

• Ebola researchers announced a breakthrough in their testing against the virus responsible for the deadly outbreak in West Africa. Two new Ebola vaccines protected lab monkeys against the virus, requiring only one dose of the vaccine and without apparent side effects. The vaccines have not yet been tested on people, but safety trials among healthy volunteers are expected to begin early this summer. Source

• The White House reported this week that it will enlist the help of hospitals and medical professionals to fight the health risks associated with climate change. They stated that "rising temperatures can lead to more smog, longer allergy seasons, and an increased incidence of extreme weather-related injuries." The announcement aims at building a health care infrastructure that is resilient to the adverse health effects of climate change. Source

On The Front Lines:


Apple lost a total of 0.08 percent of the mobile device pie to Android this week, making that three weeks in a row now that Apple has lost market share. Users may be focused on the Apple Watch instead, which can be pre-ordered starting today. Apple will also be taking in-store appointments to let users try on the watch in-person.


FINAL RESULTS:


iOS: 90.60%
Android: 9.40%

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:


• This past Thursday, CMS and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) announced a partnership that will give participants of the State Innovation Models initiative access to new online tools and resources to improve their health systems. The federal effort aims to advance states' usage of health information technology, health information exchange, and interoperability. Source

• The White House released a plan to combat antibiotic-resistant infections from contaminated medical devices, in light of the outbreaks linked to the contaminated duodenoscopes and endoscopes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) hopes to slash rates of the deadly superbug by replicating a research program that saw successful results among four Chicago hospitals. Source

• Google and Ethicon, a medical device company and Johnson & Johnson subsidiary, have partnered to build a cutting edge platform for robotic surgery. The companies aim to develop new robotic tools for surgeons and operating room professionals, including improved medical device technology, robotic systems, imaging, and data analytics. Source

On The Front Lines:


Apple lost yet another piece of the mobile device pie to Android this week among pMD's charge capture physician users, with a 0.03 percent slip. Today also marks the fifth anniversary of when the iPad first went on sale in 2010. Since Apple released the revolutionary tablet, almost 250 million have been sold and the device has evolved to be thinner, faster, and better.


FINAL RESULTS:


iOS: 90.68%
Android: 9.32%

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 and Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed new regulations this week under Stage 3 of Meaningful Use. The regulations are largely focused on the advanced use of electronic health records (EHR) through interoperability and patient engagement. By 2017, nearly all providers would be required to report on a set of quality measures over a full calendar year in order to earn incentives or avoid payment penalties. Source

• The House of Representatives passed a bipartisan repeal of the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR), or "doc fix," this week, which would impose automatic 21 percent Medicare reimbursement cuts for providers. Now, the Senate must address the bill before a two-week recess that would overlap with the March 31 deadline. Source

• A new study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine this week found that lack of communication between hospital clinicians and primary care providers often results in poor care coordination after discharge, and a greater chance of patient readmissions. Some of the challenges that clinicians faced included lack of time, difficulty reaching other clinicians, lack of personal relationships with other clinicians, lack of information feedback, and medication list discrepancies. Source

On The Front Lines:


This week Apple lost a sliver of the mobile device pie to Android, giving up 0.03 percent of pMD's charge capture physician users. In Apple news, CEO Tim Cook explained in a recent interview with Fortune his plan to donate all his wealth, a current net worth of $120 million, to philanthropic projects. “You want to be the pebble in the pond that creates the ripple for change,” said Cook.


FINAL RESULTS:


iOS: 90.71%
Android: 9.29%

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.