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.

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Here's The Latest in Health Care:


•  An upcoming HIMSS session in Finland will examine the cross-sector collaboration between the pharmaceutical and technology industries and how such a partnership could add tremendous value to improved patient outcomes and experiences. The pharmaceutical industry offers deep knowledge about patient data in addition to scientific expertise, while tech provides ways to capture data and make predictive analytics. However, the differences between the two industries could present a significant barrier to seeing this collaboration work well on a large scale.  Read More

•  According to a new study, two-thirds of health systems in the U.S. are very slow at scaling innovation, and many still do not have a clear definition for the term. A health system’s approach to innovation usually corresponds to its system-level priorities, such as reducing cost or improving patient outcomes. It was also found that less than half of health systems had a formal process or department dedicated to innovation, and some turn to outside organizations such as tech companies to help develop strategies.  Read More

•  A new study from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute found that microplastics have made their way into the deep ocean. After taking samples from up to 3,000 feet deep in the Bay, researchers found that microplastics were widely distributed throughout the surface and deep-water levels, meaning that these microplastics are not just washing off the California Coast, but also coming from other parts of the ocean. The study also found that out of 2,000 fish examined, one in every three has plastic in its stomach. This means that plastic being introduced by humans is also being introduced into the marine food web, ultimately affecting animals that people consume.  Read More

•  Research conducted at the University of Bergen shows that gum disease plays a role in developing Alzheimer’s disease. Results from their study prove that bacteria causing gingivitis can move from the mouth to the brain, producing a protein that destroys nerves cells leading to memory loss. To lower the risk of Alzheimer’s, professionals encourage brushing and flossing your teeth to reduce the presence of these bacteria. Researchers have also developed a new medicine for blocking the harmful enzymes these bacteria excrete, slowing down the progression of Alzheimer’s.  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, MIPS registry, and care navigation software.


Here's The Latest in Health Care:


• KLAS, a leading health care research firm, published a new report that found that hospitals benefit from the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program data included in their EHR systems. Prescription intelligence software arms health systems across the nation with information to stop over-prescription and identify patients who should not be prescribed opioids. For the report, KLAS surveyed providers and found that the top-ranking prescription intelligence vendors have EHR integration, clinical decision support, and are cost-effective. Read More

• According to a new study, the expansion of Medicaid has increased the number of women insured, leading to a decrease in maternal deaths and infant mortality. States that expanded Medicaid have had a 50% greater reduction in infant mortality rates than states that have not. Medicaid expansion has helped women maintain continuous health coverage before, during, and after pregnancy, leading to healthier mothers and babies. Read More

• H.I.V. researchers and scientists face a major obstacle in the lack of female participants in clinical trials. There are 35 million people in the world with H.I.V., and women make up over half of this population. Men and women are impacted significantly differently by diseases, including H.I.V, which makes it important to have both sexes equally represented to find a universal cure. Read More

• According to a new study, skipping breakfast before exercising can affect our relationship with food and reduce the amount we eat for the rest of the day. In a small study, scientists from the University of Bath in England found that working out on an empty stomach depleted most of the body’s stored carbohydrates, and the subjects consumed more calories around lunchtime. However, unlike the scenarios where subjects did consume breakfast, their food consumption trailed off towards the end of the day and the participants burned more calories than consumed overall. 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, MIPS registry, and care navigation software.


Here's The Latest in Health Care:


•  The World Health Organization has announced a new Health Product Profile Directory, a free database of health products that are currently in development to treat infectious diseases and other global health threats. According to a WHO report from February, billions of dollars are spent on the research and development to improve health products, but the funding does not always go to the areas affecting global public health the most. The Health Product Directory, which currently has 196 product profiles and growing, was created to assist in guiding the global health research agenda and improve overall public health.  Read More

•  A recent study found that eating ultra-processed foods such as canned food, frozen dishes, and packaged snacks can be associated with weight gain. The research team conducted an experiment to test the outcomes of an ultra-processed diet versus the consumption of whole or unprocessed foods. Subjects on an ultra-processed diet averaged 500 calories more per day compared to when they were eating whole foods, and as a result, gained weight. It was also observed that when eating processed food, people tend to eat more quickly and consume more, leading to decreased levels of an appetite suppressant hormone called PYY. Obesity, a condition affecting about 40% of American adults, is a contributing factor in the development of heart disease, diabetes, stroke, kidney disease, and cancer.  Read More

•  Policymakers in Washington are currently devising a solution for the unexpected and pricey medical bills patients receive after care from a doctor or health system outside of their insurance network. Patients often are forced to see providers outside of their insurance network when they don’t have access to in-network providers or services. The Senate’s proposed legislation would protect patients treated by out-of-network providers, meaning the patient would not be accountable for paying more than what their insurance covers. The House presented a similar “No Surprise Act,” which does not include the “median in-network rate” clause that pays providers a predetermined rate based on what other health plans are paying for similar services. Congress is currently still negotiating the proposed bills.  Read More

•  According to a new analysis of private health insurance claims, behavioral health cases have increased from 1.3% to 2.7% of all medical claims in the past decade. The majority of the increase came from patients 22 years old and younger, most commonly diagnosed with major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder. Emergency department visits for this patient population have also increased. Health systems are doing their best to adapt to the growing need for behavioral health services; these efforts include increasing available services and educating both children and parents about the options available to them.  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, MIPS registry, and care navigation software.


Here's The Latest in Health Care:


•  The nonprofit Physicians Foundation has started a program to financially incentivize physicians to link their electronic health records to health information exchanges (HIEs). The Foundation is partnering with six state medical societies in an effort to facilitate the sharing of and access to interoperable patient data. The number of EHRs and other systems physicians are required to use is one of the leading causes of burnout. This initiative has the potential to improve data sharing while reducing the burdens currently faced by physicians and patients.  Read More

•  According to a new report from The Leapfrog Group, patients at hospitals that received “D” and “F” grades in safety were 88% more likely to die from medical error compared to those treated at higher scoring facilities. Although the death rate from medical error has improved over time, decreasing from 205,000 avoidable deaths in 2016 to 160,000 in 2018, these statistics are alarming to researchers. Some people criticize Leapfrog’s rating system as being too simple and potentially deceptive, although the CEO defends the program, citing that the results are based on actual death rates and real occurrences of medical error.  Read More

•  Research in brain-stimulation has seen many recent developments, including the creation of electric current skullcaps to enhance the memory of older people and electrode skull implants that boost memory storage. The current knowledge about brain stimulation recognizes that there are many different techniques, applications, and unknown risks that come with it. Electrical intervention therapy has been used for many years to provide relief for depression and manage intense medical conditions such as Parkinson’s disease. Brain stimulation studies have been groundbreaking and intriguing, although they have had their share of controversies and still reveal many mysteries to uncover about the human mind.  Read More

•  The United States saw a 2% drop in birth rates from 2017 to 2018, the lowest number in 32 years. Demographers had predicted the birthrate to stabilize or increase due to the growth in the U.S. economy and job market but instead were surprised by the declining birthrate, calling it a “national problem.” Some researchers cite factors such as the increase in Americans who are delaying getting married and having children and an overall negative outlook for the future from those of childbearing age.  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, MIPS registry, and care navigation software.


Here's The Latest in Health Care:


•  A study from the American Medical Association has found that for the first time since this survey was conducted in 2012, the percentage of employed physicians outnumber self-employed physicians. The findings confirm a continuing trend of declining physician ownership of medical practices due to the administrative burden of health care reform and decreased reimbursement.  Read More

•  A recent study, published in the journal PNAS, provides new evidence of a single gene that determines how different one person's "smellscape" is from another's. The scientists who conducted the study found that the single genetic mutation was linked to dozens of scents including the lily of the valley scent, beet’s earthiness, and the intensity of whiskey’s smokiness.  Read More

•  A new experimental genetic test that can help predict obesity has the scientific community questioning whether a deep dive into DNA databanks is valuable, especially since there is currently no clear way to put that information to use. This type of analysis performed in this study doesn't reveal specific information about individual genes, instead calculating a composite score, and can't be used to understand one’s underlying biology. Some researchers have concluded that while genes influence a person's risk of obesity, the obesity-promoting culture sweeping the nation is far more impactful than being at genetic high risk.  Read More

•  A new study shows that more hospitals and health systems are recognizing the innovation that nurses can bring to their organizations. According to the report, nurses are appreciated by their colleagues for skills in areas such as the "interface of clinical innovation and technology" and "design-thinking for process change.” While this appears to be increasingly true, many health system leaders recognize the need to have more nurse innovators at the leadership level and recognize the forward-thinking skills nurses can contribute to product and process development.  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, MIPS registry, and care navigation software.


Here's The Latest in Health Care:


•  New research is asking the question: can treating patients with both medicine and compassion make a measurable difference on the wellbeing of both patients and doctors? A recent study has shown that when health care providers take the time to show compassion and make human connections, patient outcomes improve, medical costs decrease, and physicians suffer less burnout.  Read More

•  The Department of Health and Human Services issued a request from December 2018-February 2019 for the public's input on how the HIPAA Privacy Rule could be changed to further promote health care that is better coordinated at lower cost. HHS requested this information on specific HIPAA regulations that present barriers to patient care and interoperability. The office said it wants to update HIPAA to support care coordination, improved patient outcomes, and easier access for patients to their protected health information. The AMA later posted a letter saying that this wasn't necessary and urging HHS not to make changes.  Read More

•  A recent United Nations report says that the overuse of common antimicrobial drugs is leading to the world’s population becoming unable to fight deadly infections. The problem is predicted to majorly impact underdeveloped countries, which are more prone to the spread of infectious diseases. The report seeks to raise public awareness and urge political leaders to take action.  Read More

•  Cincinnati-based health system Bon Secours Mercy is planning on yet another merger - this time in Ireland. The new partnership will create a system with more than 60,000 employees and improve care for their patients and communities. These new merger talks with Bon Secours Ireland comes only months after Bon Secours and Mercy Health finalized their merger, which resulted in a whopping $293 million in operating income.  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, MIPS registry, and care navigation software.


Here's The Latest in Health Care:


•  Recent studies show that time spent on smartphones impacts sleep, self-esteem, relationships, memory, and more. The use of our favorite devices can also cause elevated levels of cortisol, the body’s main stress hormone. Increased stress levels can have dangerous effects, including an increased risk of serious health problems and a shorter lifespan.  Read More

•  On April 19, CMS proposed increasing payments to skilled nursing homes by 2.5% in 2020. This new structure for the SNF Value-Based Purchasing Program will calculate Medicare payments based on the patient’s condition and care received, rather than the amount of care provided, more closely aligning with value-based care models.  Read More

•  The FDA has approved an AI-powered wearable device that patients can use to track multiple vital signs, including heart rate and oxygen saturation. Clinicians can receive real-time updates with highly accurate analytics, allowing them to monitor patients’ health and intervene when needed. The company has partnered with large health systems worldwide to assist in delivering home health care, aiming to decrease readmissions and preventable deaths.  Read More

•  Social factors such as food security and access to transportation have been proven to impact health. Health systems are trying to address patient populations struggling in these social and environmental areas to deliver successful care and improve patient outcomes.  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, MIPS registry, and care navigation software.


Here's The Latest in Health Care:


•  Past studies have struggled to determine whether workplace wellness programs actually improve the health of employees and if it’s worth the $8 billion industry that it’s become. A large-scale study, recently published by the University of Chicago and Harvard, has discovered that incentives and a more targeted approach to these programs may be the key to positive health outcomes.  Read More

•  Telehealth is currently being utilized by 1 in 5 physicians, a 5% increase since 2015, and is expected to skyrocket in the next few years. A new survey from American Well found a correlation between physicians’ likelihood to use Telehealth and physician burnout.  Read More

•  OrthoAtlanta, one of the largest physician-owned orthopedic and sports medicine practices in the greater Atlanta area, has started using an AI-powered, voice-enabled digital assistant named Suki. The technology leverages artificial intelligence to become a digital scribe, capable of completing notes to ease the burden of documentation by clinicians. The practice saw their average note completion time decrease significantly as well as many other advantages.  Read More

•  A hand-held ultrasound scanner, Butterfly iQ, is being utilized in rural countries that have limited access to X-ray machines, CT and MRI scanners. In some African villages, the scanner is being used to check for pneumonia and other potentially fatal conditions. The battery powered device, which can connect to a mobile phone, is expected to have huge diagnostic potential.  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, MIPS registry, and care navigation software.


Here's The Latest in Health Care:


•  In a new study, research suggests that sitting for more than 13 hours a day can cause metabolic problems, even with exercise. Exercising can improve our metabolisms and keep our blood sugar and insulin levels steady. Being inactive, however, has the opposite effects, raising the risk of diabetes and heart disease.  Read More

•  Interoperability in health care should not only be thought of as a goal but also as an ongoing process that continues to evolve and be redefined with emerging technologies. One health care expert says health care should simplify its approach to data exchange by focusing on worthwhile use cases, sharing first, and then standardizing later. A more unified infrastructure should be in place in order for patients to access their entire medical record.  Read More

•  New York City is now declaring a state of emergency and calling for mandatory vaccinations after over 285 cases of measles have been reported since October. Brooklyn neighborhoods, Williamsburg and Borough Park, have been hit the hardest. All unimmunized children and adults in this area are mandated to receive vaccinations and those who do not comply could incur fines and violations.  Read More

•  Walgreens is opening a series of primary care clinics in Houston as part of its new health care delivery models and in partnership with VillageMD. The first locations are scheduled to open by the end of the year, with plans to possibly expand in Texas and other markets.  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, MIPS registry, and care navigation software.


Here's The Latest in Health Care:


•  How well do you know this week's latest news in health care? Take the quiz to find out!  Read More

•  Experts in health IT consulting offer advice on software implementation best practices. Where best to start? To ensure success, they recommend beginning relationships with consultants as early as possible. By engaging consultants early in the process, health care organizations can discuss alternatives before predetermining which technologies to use and implement.  Read More

•  Poor diets are responsible for about 11 million deaths a year around the globe. As a planet, many diets lack whole grains, nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables and are supplemented with too many sugary drinks, salt, and processed meats. When it comes to ending hunger and improving health globally, we don't just need food, we need nourishment.  Read More

•  As care begins to shift away from physician offices to outpatient settings, we see the cost go up for those services. This comes at a time when more and more medical practices are being absorbed by hospitals and large health systems. Services in the outpatient setting tend to be more expensive and also tend to increase at a faster rate.  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, MIPS registry, and care navigation software.