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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


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


• Receiving constant reminder pop-up alerts can do more harm than good. Nurses, doctors and pharmacists are getting hit with too much information through automated alerts from their electronic health record systems, causing alert fatigue in which these interruptions can turn into noise to be ignored. Clinicians ignore safety notifications between 49 percent and 96 percent of the time. Long term solutions are being tested and designed to offset the need for so many system warnings and alerts. Source

• Companies like Castlight are providing the tools necessary for price transparency when searching for providers online. Insurance companies, hospitals and doctors are, more often than not, resistant to the idea of making their negotiated prices available online, so there is the added challenge of obtaining these prices and other crucial information. The hope is for companies like Castlight to provide employers with the right tools to help their workers make better medical decisions. Source

• A survey conducted by Neilsen Strategic Health Perspectives and the Council of Accountable Physician Practices (CAPP) has found that only 49% of respondents said their doctors were able to share information about their health. Additional studies and surveys have found that while effective care coordination can improve outcomes for patients, only half or fewer than half of patients are experiencing those benefits. Source

 

On The Front Lines:


Android crushed Apple with a 0.24% surge in total devices this week. Could Google's hefty incentives as part of the Android Security Rewards program be the reason for the spike?

FINAL RESULTS:


iOS: 90.27%
Android: 9.73%

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 survey conducted by Health Catalyst revealed that only 3 percent of the health systems today meet the target set by CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) for providing value-based care for patients. Only 23 percent expect to reach that goal by 2019. The survey also shows that 62 percent of health systems have zero to less than 10 percent of their care tied to value-based care and payments, and those numbers include accountable care organizations. Health Catalyst gathered opinions from 78 healthcare professionals who responded to the online survey in May 2016, more than half of which were CEOs or CFOs. Source

• On Monday, California Governor, Jerry Brown, signed California's right-to-die bill into law. This law allows terminally ill patients who are given six months or less to live by two doctors to end their lives with the aid of their physician.  The patient must also provide a written request and two oral requests at least 15 days apart and must be deemed mentally capable of making decisions about their own health. The law will go into effect next year. Source

• Medical costs are projected to increase next year by 7.5 percent for people buying insurance under the Affordable Care Act according to The Geisinger Health Plan. One proposed solution? Increasing insurance rates by 40 percent for 2017. However, the Obama administration officials are optimistic that proposed rate increases are often reduced by state officials and in any case, consumers can always switch to cheaper health plans the next year. Source

 

On The Front Lines:


After six excruciating weeks of battling it out with Android, Apple is finally back on top.  This week Apple took a sweet 0.04% piece of the mobile device pie from Android. Could the impending release of the Apple watchOS3 be enticing enough to sway Android users to make the switch?

FINAL RESULTS:


iOS: 90.51%
Android: 9.49%

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:


• For the first time in the last decade, the death rate in the U.S. has risen, driven in part by deaths due to overdose, suicide and Alzheimer's Disease. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, the death rate rose to 729.5 deaths per 100,000 people in 2015, up from 723.2 in 2014. The increase in death rate on a national scale is surprising and concerning, especially when other countries in Europe are showing signs of declines in mortality. Source

• Doctors at the Cleveland Clinic remain optimistic about the controversial procedure to transplant a uterus after the first attempt failed in February. 26-year-old Lindsey McFarland, who was born without a uterus, became the first woman to undergo the procedure but had to have it removed within a few weeks due to infection and severe bleeding. Doctors who are conducting these studies to improve the uterine transplant procedure defend what they're doing, even though the procedure may come with physical and psychological ramifications. Source

• While MACRA (Medicare Access & CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015) is working to progress health care towards a more quality-driven model, it's becoming clear that complex EHRs may be hindering physicians at the point of care. Different systems don't talk to each other, limiting the integration and data sharing meant to supposedly improve the management of population health. Recent updates in Meaningful Use and MACRA legislation regulations reflected the ineffeciencies and loss of usefulness from overly complex EHRs. Source

 

On The Front Lines:


For the sixth week in a row, Android beat Apple in total devices this week, however with a narrowing lead of only 0.02%. Looks like Apple could be making a comeback in style!

 

FINAL RESULTS:


iOS: 90.47%
Android: 9.53%

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:


•  Democratic presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, proposes to give Americans younger than age 65, starting at age 50 or 55,  the option to buy into the Medicare program. Questions arise on how this will align with existing insurance coverage options. There are an estimated 7 million, or 11 percent of those age 50 and over that remain uninsured as of 2014. Source

•  The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) reports this week that the percentage of cigarette-smoking adults aged 18 and over have decreased in 2015, down to 15.1 percent versus 16.8 percent in 2014. This significant decline comes as the use of e-cigarette devices increases, especially among teenagers. Source

• CMS (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services) will soon launch a series of "Hospital Improvement and Innovation Networks" (HIINs) to strengthen patient safety and quality of care as well as to reduce readmissions. The aim of HIINs will be to reduce patient harm by 20 percent and cut readmissions by 12 percent over the next three years. Source

 

On The Front Lines:


For the fifth week in a row, Android has topped Apple in net devices, taking away a whopping 0.09 percent of the mobile user base. Could the new Samsung Galaxy S7 edge Injustice Edition be drawing in enough Batman fans in our physician pool to keep driving these numbers up?

 

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:


• Healthcare IT News held its inaugaral Pop Health Forum 2016 in Boston this week, gathering clinicians, technology professionals and health care experts from all over the country to discuss the future of population health management. Strategies such as data and analytics, care coordination, patient engagement, technology and quality-based care are just some of the many efforts to be examined during the two-day forum. Source

• Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced this week a rule that requires hospitals and health care organizations to release injury data that will later be posted on its website. Businesses with 250 or more employees must submit work-related injury data. The new rule takes effect August 10 of this year, with data submissions being phased in beginning 2017. Source

• Oregon Health & Science University, or OHSU, is revolutionizing transgender health care by heading the first ever Transgender Health Program in the U.S. The program is meant to help transgender patients feel comfortable and more welcome in an already intimidating and non-nurturing environment, where many providers lack the training and sensitivity to deal with said patients. Source

 

On The Front Lines:


Week after week, Android has dominated the mobile user base, taking away 0.04 percent this week from iOS and stealing the show for the fourth week in a row. Could the declining apple market share worldwide be bumping the formally dominating smartphone brand down a few notches?

 

FINAL RESULTS:


iOS: 90.58%
Android: 9.42%

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:


• Telemedicine is becoming increasingly important as health care, technology and value-based reimbursement models converge. Telemedicine is enabled by connected devices, apps and wearables that the patient uses to monitor their conditions and communicate with their providers outside of a medical setting. Since the shift toward value-based models requires solutions that can optimize delivery and management of care, technology is changing the manner in which physicians now provide care. Benefits to telemedicine include better patient access to physicians and care, improved care experience for patients, as well as streamlined costs and processes for non-emergency ailments.  Source

• An analysis of medical death rate data over an eight-year period has found that more than 250,000 deaths per year occur due to medical error, bumping medical error deaths up to the third leading cause of death in the U.S. behind only heart disease and cancer.  Source

• On Thursday, a federal judge in Washington ruled for House GOP in the latest challenge to the Obama health care law. A provision of the law provides money to insurance companies when they reduce out-of-pocket expenses for low income people covered under Obamacare. However, Congress never appropriated that money, which is a violation of the constitution. For now, there will be no effect on the health care system from Thursday's ruling.  Source


 

On The Front Lines:


For the third week in a row, Android has topped Apple in net devices, taking away 0.06 percent of the mobile user base this week. The increase in Android's market share this past quarter along with increase in sales is cause for reflection - are doctors abandoning their iPhones for one of Google's progenies?

FINAL RESULTS:


iOS: 90.62%
Android: 9.38%

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:


• Why are some organizations experiencing ineffective care coordination? In short, poor communication. Health care systems are disjointed, patients are often left out of the loop in their own care, and information between specialists and primary care physicians is not often relayed. While new technologies are being introduced into the health care industry, often these technological issues can complicate the communication that is necessary for effective care coordination, such as multiple systems that don't talk to each other.  As health care systems rapidly transition to value-based care models, there are high hopes for the future success of care coordination.  Source

•  Bonuses to 231 subpar quality hospitals were paid out by the federal government because their patients tend to be less expensive for Medicare. The Affordable Care Act's intended incentive goals hardly had this in mind when rewarding hospitals for mediocre quality of care. These hospitals with below average scores on quality measures were rewarded bonuses because caring for their patients during their stays and 30 days post-discharge cost Medicare less than what it cost at half of hospitals evaluated in the program. In a statement, CMS said it would consider revising the program for future years and will take into account scores that fall below the median for quality.  Source

• Reported cases of the Zika virus are making their way throughout the U.S. The latest from the CDC indicates that there are now 472 travel-related cases of the virus reported in the U.S., 10 of which were sexually transmitted. Pregnant women are cautioned to avoid traveling to areas with Zika and to strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bites. Research efforts are underway worldwide in an effort to halt the advancement of this rapidly-spreading virus.  Source


 

On The Front Lines:


With Apple off to a rocky start heading into Q3, it's no surprise that Android has taken the crown for the second week in a row. While only a mere 0.02 percent take away this week, small victories may lead to big wins for the future of Android.

 

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:


•  Online patient portals are becoming increasingly important as health care delivery moves towards value-based reimbursement, and patient care and consumer engagement become increasingly intertwined. These patient portals offer financial benefits that reduce staff workload, improve collections and help drive patient engagement with better outcomes. Patients are able to receive educational resources and targeted information. Additional benefits include quicker access to full patient records which can lead to improved provider productivity, secure communication between health care staff and patients as well as increased administrative efficiency. Source

•  This week, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services aims to simplify and streamline the existing patchwork of value-based payment models. This new proposed rule tackling MACRA, or Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015, will provide doctors with two paths for compliance under the umbrella of the Quality Payment Program: a merit-based incentive payment system (MIPS) and advanced alternative payment models (APMs). Most providers are expected to opt for the MIPS track, initially. According to CMS, doctors will have the flexibility to switch among various components of either path based on the needs of their patients or their practices.  Source

•  The F.D.A. cautions prescribing oral yeast infection drugs to pregnant women due to new evidence suggesting a possible link to miscarriage. There have been previous warnings that chronic high doses of the drug, fluconazole or brand name Diflucan, may be linked to a rare and distinct set of birth defects in infants whose mothers took the drug in the first trimester. Women who ingested the oral drug had a significantly increased risk of miscarriage in comparison to those who used a topical treatment.  Source



On The Front Lines:


Android crushed Apple with a 0.12% surge in this week's total devices, which is not surprising considering the results of the dismal Q2 earnings report released by Apple early this week. After a 13-year run of quarterly revenue growth, the tech giant experienced a 13% decline, leaving much of the tech industry wondering what's in store for Apple's future.

 

FINAL RESULTS:


iOS: 90.70%
Android: 9.30%

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 put a hold on revealing new quality star ratings for U.S. providers due to pressure from Congress. The release date has been pushed to July in order to  better clarify questions to providers over the next few months regarding the current methodology of how ratings are generated. The rating system gives providers one to five stars based on specific inpatient and outpatient reporting measures and is a way for consumers to compare and choose among different providers. Only 87 out of over 3,600 U.S. hospitals received a rating of five stars and just over half fell within the three-star range. The urge in delaying the program is also in response to questions about the seemingly confusing methods and disparity in outcome for hospitals in disadvantaged communities, which could potentially mislead consumers. These next few months are essential as hospitals and health systems work with CMS to improve the ratings for patients. Source

• In an effort to improve transparency, trust, and communication between physicians and their patients, OpenNotes is now being embraced by New York's Mount Sinai Health System. This initiative allows patients to access their provider's notes in their medical records, electronically. The notes are available in their health system's online electronic health record portal, called MyMountSinaiChart, and users are now able to read details surrounding their recent office visit from the comfort of their own home via personal computer, tablet or smartphone.  The ultimate goal is to improve and enhance patient engagement as well as patient empowerment. Source

• By 2050, an estimated 10 million people will be killed by drug-resistant bugs, exceeding the number of those who would die from cancer. These superbugs are bacterial threats that have become resistant to antibiotics. In the U.S., the CDC calls on hospitals and health care system leaders to help prevent infection by ensuring that staff follow best practices in proper hand-hygiene, isolation, and environmental device-cleaning. UK Chancellor George Osborne urges leaders to shift incentives to encourage pharmaceutical companies to develop new antibiotics, which is critical because it can take 10 to 15 years to develop new antibiotic therapies at a very high cost.  Source

 

On The Front Lines:


It's no surprise that Apple went up this week by 0.04 percent in light of releasing their upgraded MacBook Pro with new processors that are Intel's sixth-generation Core M and range from 1.1GHz to 1.3GHz depending on configuration. I predict we'll see Apple continue to dominate the mobile device scene among health care providers this year.

 

FINAL RESULTS:


iOS: 90.82%
Android: 9.18%

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 launched a new risk-based primary care initiative on Monday, which is expected to work hand in hand with data and technology to boost care, lower costs, and advance the health care industry toward becoming a learning health system. This Comprehensive Primary Care Plus, or CPC+, initiative will start in January 2017 and will include up to 5,000 practices and 20,000 physicians in about 20 regions. Practices will receive an up-front incentive payment that will either be kept or repaid by physicians based on quality metrics. The goal of this initiative is to move the health system from quantity of care to quality of care. Source

•  Long-held suspicions that the Zika virus causes microcephaly in infants as well as major brain-related birth defects were confirmed this week by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). While the link was confirmed in the results of a New England Journal of Medicine study, formally establishing the connection does not mean all pregnant women infected with Zika will give birth to an infant with microcephaly. The confirmation, however, does represent a significant milestone in preventative care for Zika. In addition, some U.S. businesses, regardless of how far the virus actually spreads, are expected to encounter shortage of staff and employee reluctance to travel. Source

•  A report released on Thursday shows that since the Affordable Care Act was enacted, more hospitals and health systems have started or expanded their own health insurance plans. By combining medical claims and clinical data, hospitals are able to build on their population health programs. Total enrollment in hospital-based plans in 2017 are expected to exceed the already 15.3 million people receiving their health coverage through a provider-owned health plan. Most of that growth is expected to come from Medicaid plans. Source



On The Front Lines:


Android took away a slim .02 percent of the mobile device pie this week. Such a small net change leaves room for speculation - will Android continue this trend into next week, or will Apple defend its dominance in mobile health care?

 

FINAL RESULTS:


iOS: 90.78%
Android: 9.22%

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.