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Weekender 7/13/18

July 13, 2018 Weekender No Comments

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Weekly News Recap

  • Facebook fixes security holes that allowed third parties to harvest the names and email addresses of people who signed up for its private groups, triggered by a breast cancer group’s concern
  • A new KLAS report covering non-US EHR activity finds that Epic doubled its relatively small market share in 2017, InterSystems continued its rapid growth, and Cerner experienced moderate activity
  • Cerner partners with and takes a $266 million equity position in value-based care operator Lumeris
  • AdvancedMD acquires competitor NueMD
  • England’s health secretary Jeremy Hunt takes the foreign secretary job vacated by Boris Johnson, with the country’s culture secretary taking over as health secretary in a major government shakeup

Best Reader Comments

The biggest challenge to telemedicine is the lack of insurance coverage. Medicare (which also sets the rules for most commercial payers) has a very limit set of originating sites (locations where the patient can be during the visit). The AMA is scared to death of how this technology could negatively affect their urban/ suburban member’s pocketbooks. (Former Community CIO)

Don’t forget one independent assessment [of University of Washington Medicine’s plan to move to a single EHR] was done showed no benefits after 10 years. If you don’t think part of new savings comes from staff, you haven’t read the notes. We lost millions of dollars last year and staff reduction is the plan to fix the problem. (JoblessInSeattle)

$190M in benefits on a $180M project seems pretty convenient. How much staff are they [UW Medicine] cutting? Are these numbers real? (EpicITStaffer)


Watercooler Talk Tidbits

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Readers funded the DonorsChoose teacher grant request of Ms. Z in New York City, who asked for a solar bag and solar beads for a STEAM project. She reports, “Exploring solar energy concepts can be challenging. With the materials that have been provided by this grant, my students explored new concepts, conducted hands-on activities, and had a great time learning. Students focused on solar energy, which is the most abundant renewable energy source. We conducted our investigations outside in our schoolyard. Students constructed necklaces and bracelets using the solar beads and were truly amazed by the color changing reaction by the sun. We also used the solar balloons which flew like hot air balloons, except we used the sun’s energy as the heat source. Thanks again!”

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A jury orders Johnson & Johnson to pay $4.7 billion in damages to 22 women who sued the company for failing to warn them that its baby powder increases the risk of ovarian cancer because it may contain asbestos. The company says it will appeal, as it has successfully done in several similar lawsuits, and complains that the women were allowed to sue in Missouri even though most of them don’t live in that state.

HIMSS recaps its well-received HIMSS18 session titled “Boston Strong: Lessons Learned from the Boston Marathon Bombing” by former Boston Police Department Chief Daniel Linskey.

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Boston Children’s Hospital achieves near-miraculous recoveries by infusing mitochondria from a patient’s healthy tissue into their ischemia-damaged hearts or lungs. The experimental procedure is credited with saving the live of Avery Gagnon (pictured above), whose post-open heart surgery ischemia was immediately resolved, allowing her to be taken off ECMO. Researchers say the procedure’s low risk make it potentially useful in every major heart surgery as well as in treating other organs and diseases.

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A Texas couple whose six-year-old daughter requires around-the-clock medical care due to a chromosomal disorder considers divorcing to qualify the child for Medicaid as they are overwhelmed by $15,000 in annual out-of-pocket medical costs on top of expensive insurance premiums on a family income totaling $40,000.

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Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital (that a hospital would be named after a drug company tells you a lot about US healthcare) rehomes the 16-foot-tall statue of Geoffrey the Giraffe that had stood in front of the former headquarters of the defunct Toys R Us.

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A Memphis woman sues her dermatologist after he greeted her during her visit with, “Hi, Aunt Jemima,” which he later admitted to reporters was a “misspoken blunder.”

This former Iowa Methodist Medical Center pharmacy technician is clever (maybe unintentionally so) in his apology to hospital patients whose injectable narcotics he swapped out with sterile water so he could use them himself — “I’m sorry for the pain I caused them.” The lawyer for several patients who are suing the hospital over the incident added his own possibly unintentional humor in declaring, “He hurt a lot of people.” The former tech will ache for his 30 months in federal prison to pass quickly.

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A man is charged with using the identity of a New Jersey doctor to bill an insurance company for $1 million in medical services using a made-up practice name and an empty, unlocked office’s address. United Healthcare paid him $46,000 before a woman noticed that her insurance was being billed for services she hadn’t received.

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California dermatologist Sandra Lee, MD – whose pimple-popping videos have earned her 3.9 million YouTube subscribers, a just-premiered TV series, and the sobriquet Dr. Pimple Popper – launches an Operation-like board game titled Pimple Pete whose objective is to extract the most fake zits. Life must be good in America if millions of people have time to be entertained by pimple videos and doctors who were trained as healers at great taxpayer expense can make a career of creating them.

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Bizarre: Michael Jackson’s former doctor – ex-cardiologist and now ex-convict Conrad Murray, who served time for accidentally killing the singer by injecting him with propofol for insomnia in 2009 – claims Jackson’s just-died father Joe chemically castrated MJ as a pre-teen so his voice wouldn’t change.


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