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Morning Headlines 7/13/17

July 12, 2017 Headlines No Comments

Improving the Health Records Request Process for Patients

ONC leverages human-centered design principles in its new report on making medical data easier for patients to access.

Enlisting Virtual Reality to Ease Real Pain

The Wall Street Journal profiles the work researchers are doing using VR to treat pain.

Humana And Oscar Partner To Sell Health Plans To Small Businesses

Health insurance startup Oscar Health partners with Humana to begin offering policies to small businesses.

House passes bipartisan FDA user fee bill

The House of Representatives passes legislation reauthorizing the FDA’s ability to collect user fees from drug and device makers, a process that funds much of the FDA’s operations. The Senate still needs to approve its own version, and the two need to be reconciled, before the current authorization expires in September.

Morning Headlines 7/12/17

July 11, 2017 Headlines No Comments

Celebrating the Life of Neal Patterson

The memorial service for Neal Patterson will be held Thursday, July 13th, at 11am and will be live-streamed.

Nuance Healthcare: Impacted Customer Update

Nuance reports that it will begin holding solution-specific conference calls to update impacted clients on the progress it is making to restore services. Nuance has now been working to restore services for 14 days.

Can Patients Make Recordings of Medical Encounters?

A JAMA review of state laws finds that patients are legally allowed to secretly record clinical encounters in 39 of 50 states and the District of Columbia. A small survey of the general public found that 15 percent of respondents reported having done so in the past.

Neil Woodford-backed healthtech startup Drayson Technologies just raised £10m to make the NHS more digital

In England, Drayson Technologies raises a $13 million Series C funding round to commercialize technology developed with Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Morning Headlines 7/11/17

July 10, 2017 Headlines No Comments

Fewer issuers apply to participate in Health Insurance Exchanges for 2018

A CMS press release cites a 38 percent decline in applications to sell qualified health plans on the federal exchange for the 2018 enrollment period as evidence that ACA is failing.

Digital Health Funding 2017 Midyear Review: A record breaking first half

Rock Health publishes its midyear report on digital health funding, concluding that 2017 is on pace to be a record-setting investment year, despite ongoing legislative uncertainty, with $3.5 billion invested in the first half of the year.

Georgia’s Health Commissioner Named to Lead CDC

Brenda Fitzgerald, MD and public health commissioner of Georgia, is tapped to lead the CDC.

US  to Fund Advanced Brain-Computer Interfaces

DARPA issues $65 million in grants to fund a moonshot effort a developing brain implants that would result in seamless brain-to-computer communications.

Morning Headlines 7/7/17

July 7, 2017 Headlines No Comments

After the Medicare breach, we should be cautious about moving our health records online

The Australian Federal Police are investigating after discovering that Medicare card details of Australians was available for purchase on the dark web.

The MeDoc Connection

An analysis of the spread of the NotPetya cyberattack concludes that a popular Ukranian accounting software hosted on compromised web servers propagated the attack.

FirstHealth completes major project

FirstHealth (NC) goes live on Epic following an 18 month implementation.

Morning Headlines 7/6/17

July 5, 2017 Headlines No Comments

Heritage Valley Health System Restores Services at All Locations

Heritage Valley Health System (PA) announces that it has restored network services across all of its hospitals and clinics following a June 27 “NotPetya” cyberattack that forced operations back to paper.

What Jared’s office actually does

Poitico reports that Jared Kushner and his Office of American Innovation worked behind the scenes with VA Secretary David Shulkin and DoD Secretary James Mattis to resolve the agencies longstanding IT issues, brokering an agreement between the two to consolidate on a Cerner EHR platform and approving the VA’s request to side-step normal procurement procedures.

Million Veteran Program Surpasses 580,000 Enrollments; Faces Cut

The Million Veteran Program, a large-scale research project being launched by the VA to study how veterans’ genetic profile, medical history, and military service affect their health, has recruited 580,000 participants, but faces challenges amid cuts to the VA’s research and IT budgets.

Patrick Soon-Shiong’s NantWorks to take over St. Vincent and 5 other California hospitals

NantWorks, the health tech startup of Patrick Soon-Shiong, acquires six California hospitals, to which Soon-Shiong notes “I’ve spent the last decade of my life quietly building this infrastructure. This system will provide an experiment at scale.”

Morning Headlines 7/5/17

July 4, 2017 Headlines No Comments

Google DeepMind trial failed to comply with data protection law

In England, the Information Commissioner’s Office concludes that Royal Free NHS Foundation Trust broke data privacy laws when it handed 1.6 million patient records over to DeepMind, a Google business unit applying AI to healthcare problems.

Chief medical officer calls for gene testing revolution

England’s Chief Medical Officer Sally Davies, MD focuses the entirety of her annual report on the potential of genetic testing, calling for an increase in the routine use of genomics testing in treatment and preventative care.

T-MSIS Data Not Yet Available for Overseeing Medicaid

An OIG report concludes that adoption of the Transformed Medicaid Statistical Information System, a database comprised of state and federally reported Medicaid data, is behind because there is no fixed deadline for when States and CMS must begin participating.

Morning Headlines 7/4/17

July 3, 2017 Headlines No Comments

Roche buys diabetes app firm in digital health push

Swiss pharmaceutical company Roche acquires mySugr, a Vienna-based diabetes management platform, to expand its patient-facing app offerings. Financial details were not disclosed.

The ice bucket challenge, made famous by ALS patient Pete Frates, raised millions. Here’s how the money was used

Pete Frates, the ALS patient behind the Ice Bucket Challenge, has been hospitalized. STAT recaps how the $115 million his idea raised was used.

Building Unity Farm Sanctuary – First Week of July 2017

John Halamka, MD and CIO of BIDMC updates readers on recent improvements he has made around his 60 acre farm.

Morning Headlines 7/3/17

July 2, 2017 Headlines 1 Comment

Nuance Healthcare: Impacted Customer Update

In Nuance’s most recent cyberattack update, the company says that its Emdat eScription RH service is being brought back online.

Department of Veterans Affairs IT Project In Danger of ‘Catastrophic Failure’

A $543 million project to implement real-time location service tracking software across VA medical facilities to help track medical equipment has been setback by a slew of previously undisclosed problems, including failed operational tests and questions over whether VA WiFi networks can adequately support the new tracking equipment.

Day 4: Princeton Community Hospital diligently rebuilds network after cyberattack

Princeton Community Hospital (WV) continues to manually rebuild its network following a cyberattack that forced clinicians back to paper. The hospital’s  IT department is installing new hard drives across all of its computer and reports that “fifty-three new computers have been installed throughout the hospital offering clean access to Meditech.”

Patients are losing patience, and they’re speaking out

The Boston Globe reports on patient satisfaction amid the tendency of practices to double book provider schedules, sometimes leaving patients waiting an hour past their scheduled appointment.

Morning Headlines 6/30/17

June 29, 2017 Headlines 2 Comments

Nuance Healthcare: Impacted Customer Update

Nuance launches a webpage to keep customers informed of its progress restoring services following a cyberattack that took down its hosted services.

Petya.2017 is a wiper not a ransomware

A blogpost on Petya explains that its not technically ransomware because it does not attempt to solicit money from victims and offers no options for reversing the damage it causes.

Medicare Halts Release of Much-Anticipated Data

CMS cancels the highly anticipated planned release of Medicare Advantage data to researchers, which was scheduled to be released at the annual research meeting of AcademyHealth.

Former DoD acquisition chief Kendall joins Leidos board

Frank Kendall, the former DoD undersecretary for acquisition, technology and logistics, joins the board of directors at Leidos, effective immediately.

Morning Headlines 6/29/17

June 28, 2017 Headlines No Comments

Cyberattack Causes Surgeons to Cancel Some Operations

The Wall Street Journal covers the global Petya ransomware attack that forced a Pennsylvania-based, two-hospital health system (PA) back to paper.

Merck hit by new global ransomware attack

Pharmaceutical giant Merck’s network is taken offline, a victim of the global Petya ransomware attack.

Survey Finds Doctors Don’t Feel Prepared for Quality Reporting Rules

A survey of 1,000 practice-based physicians involved in MACRA planning finds that fewer than one-in-four feel well prepared to meet its requirements in 2017.

Fast, Precise Cancer Care Is Coming To a Hospital Near You

Wired profiles a recently FDA approved tumor sequencing test from Thermo Fisher Scientific that will tell doctors which treatments will work best to tackle lung cancers.

Morning Headlines 6/28/17

June 27, 2017 Headlines 1 Comment

Nuance: Special Communication Service

A cyberattack against Nuance takes down all of its cloud services, including dictation and transcriptions, with users turning to Twitter seeking answers from a non-responsive Nuance.

Senators urge VA to lean on DOD in health record push

In a June 26 letter, Senators Johnny Isakson (R-GA) and John McCain (R-AZ) urge VA Secretary David Shulkin to lean on the Pentagon for advice as they move forward with their plan to implement Cerner across all healthcare facilities.

A Reality Check for IBM’s AI Ambitions

A MIT Technology Review article argues that IBM is overhyping the capabilities of its Watson technology, but still has value due to the library of clinical data it has amassed.

Troops wrongly prescribed damaging drugs before deployment due to failures in IT system, senior doctor warns

In England, senior military doctors blame the Ministry of Defence’s EHR for overprescribing anti-malarial drugs prior to troop deployments, explaining that medics are frequently unable to access soldiers’ prescription histories.

Effect of Electronic Reminders, Financial Incentives, and Social Support on Outcomes After Myocardial Infarction

A JAMA study investigating the use of electronic pill bottles, combined with social support tools, and a lottery incentive finds no improvement to medication adherence rates among discharged MI patients.

Morning Headlines 6/27/17

June 26, 2017 Headlines No Comments

Improvements Needed in Data and Monitoring of Clinical Productivity and Efficiency

A GAO report on VA clinical quality measures finds that existing data collection efforts do not monitor all clinical services, and do not accurately reflect clinical workloads and staffing levels.

Senate Health Bill Would Leave 22 Million More Uninsured, CBO Says

The CBO estimates that the Senate bill to repeal the ACA will increase the number of uninsured Americans by 22 million by 2026, a small improvement over the House version of the bill, which was estimate to increase the number of people without insurance by 23 million.

Oklahoma doctor charged with murder for prescribing opioids that killed her patients

A doctor in Oklahoma is being charged with five counts of second-degree murder after prescribing a combination of opioid painkillers, Xanax, and muscle relaxers that directly contributed to five overdoses.

Launching the Biden Cancer Initiative

Former VP Joe Biden announces that he is launching the Biden Cancer Initiative, a venture that focus on developing and driving implementation of solutions to improve cancer detection, diagnosis, and treatment.

Morning Headlines 6/26/17

June 25, 2017 Headlines No Comments

Google begins removing private medical records from search results

In light of the increase in medical records inadvertently becoming exposed to the Internet, Google adds medical record information to its list of information users can request be removed from its search results.

Anthem Agrees to $115 Million Settlement of Data Breach Lawsuit

Anthem will pay $115 million to settle a class action lawsuit filed in the aftermath of the 78 million record data breach it experienced last year after hackers compromised one of its servers.

Northern Territory Selects InterSystems to Implement Single Digital Medical Record for All Territorians

In Australia, the Northern Territory Department of Health chooses InterSystems TrakCare on its HealthShare platform for its Core Clinical Systems Renewal Program.

Morning Headlines 6/23/17

June 22, 2017 Headlines No Comments

Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017

Senate Republicans publish the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017, the GOP’s renewed effort to repeal and replace ACA. A vote is expected on the bill next week.

Google’s DeepMind will deploy Streams at Taunton and Somerset

In England, Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust will implement Google’s Streams app, which will alert care providers of potential kidney failure in patients.

Looking ahead to our 2018 map

Insurance startup Oscar Health announces that it will expand its footprint in 2018, offering individual market plans in five new states: Ohio, Texas, New Jersey, Tennessee, and California.

Morning Headlines 6/22/17

June 21, 2017 Headlines No Comments

Artificial Intelligence: Healthcare’s New Nervous System

An Accenture report projects a annual growth rate of 40 percent through 2021 for AI focused startups working in healthcare, with robot-assisted surgery, virtual nursing assistants, and administrative workflow assistance topping the list of top AI applications in healthcare.

Theranos reportedly settles $140M Walgreens suit for less than $30M

Theranos reaches a tentative settlement with Walgreens that would result in the retail pharmacy getting only $30 million and losing more than $100 million of its original investment. Theranos recently told investors that it only has $54 million left, while its monthly expenditures are said to be around $10 million.

Behind the scenes at President Trump’s private talks with the tech industry

During President Trump’s meeting with technology executives last week, industry leaders pressed him to shut down some of the governments 6,000 data centers and move the data storage work to private industry, while simultaneously lobbying for more data transparency, calling for a “data liberation administration.”

Anthem Blue Cross Exits Obamacare In Two More Red States

Anthem announces that will exit the individual exchange markets in Wisconsin and Indiana, citing financial pressure and regulatory uncertainty.

Morning Headlines 6/21/17

June 20, 2017 Headlines 1 Comment

Telemedicine provider Teladoc says to acquire Best Doctors

Teladoc acquires Best Doctors, a telehealth vendor focused on offering remote second opinions to support complex medical cases. Teladoc will pay$375 million in cash and $65 million in stock.

CMS Drops 2018 MACRA Proposed Rule – Proposes Continuing Flexibilities for Year 2

CMS publishes the 2018 Quality Payment Program proposed rule which allows for the continued use of 2014 Certified EHR technology, and increases the participation threshold  from $30,000 to $90,000 in Medicare Part B charges, which is expected to excuse another 130,000 practices from participation.

Patient Characteristics of Opioid-Related Inpatient Stays and Emergency Department Visits Nationally and by State, 2014

AHRQ finds that between 2005 and 2014 opioid-related ER visits doubled and opioid-related inpatient visits increased by 64 percent.

Prioritizing the Patient Experience Consumerization of Healthcare Brings Patient Satisfaction to Forefront for Providers

Two West surveys on healthcare and patient satisfaction finds that patients spend a lot of time researching providers before choosing one, but are quick to move on if they are not satisfied with the care they receive.

Morning Headlines 6/20/17

June 19, 2017 Headlines 2 Comments

Why Some of the Worst Cyberattacks in Health Care Go Unreported

Citing last year’s ransomware attack on MedStar (MD), the Wall Street Journal reports that some hospital executives avoid reporting ransomware breaches because HHS rules say hospitals only need to report attacks that result in exposure of medical or financial information, while ransomware attacks encrypt the information, but don’t necessarily expose it.

Memorial Hermann Health System Announces Leadership Change

Memorial Hermann Health System (TX) CEO Benjamin K. Chu resigns effective immediately without providing a reason. Charles Stokes, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, has been named as interim CEO.

Apple is working with this small start-up to change how we track our health

Apple is reportedly working with digital health startup Health Gorilla in its efforts to turn the iPhone into a personal health data storage device. Apple and Health Gorilla are working together to add integration points that will allow iOS to import results from hospitals and lab-testing companies like Quest Diagnostic and LabCorp.

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