About healthcare quality
Families and Residents’ Right to Know: Uncovering Poor care in America’s Nursing Homes: CMS left off 400 troubled nursing homes from its most recent report. Pennsylvania Senators Bob Casey (D) and Pat Toomey (R) released their report on the status of nursing home quality and included the list of those previously omitted facilities. Nice to see bipartisan cooperation on transparency of care.
Industry Voices—Patients deserve consistent standards for medical imaging servicing: This article highlights the lack of uniformity of standards not only of servicing medical imaging but also other medical devices. Last month, an FDA report on servicing medical devices found between 16,000 and 20,000 entities involved.
About healthcare IT
Lawmakers fear lack of governance of DOD-VA EHR project will derail progress: This article provides the latest update on the years-long, multibillion dollar effort to harmonize the VA and DoD electronic health records.
HCSC call-center pods saving employers and patients money:This article is a good study in how case management can help deliver comprehensive care and lower costs.
Fight the fakes: how to beat the $200bn medicine counterfeiters: Counterfeit drugs are a huge international problem, causing deaths and other problems, like antibiotic resistance. This article explains the scope of the counterfeiting and how such IT solutions as Artificial Intelligence and blockchain can help.
Digital Health Tech Vision 2019: This thought piece from Accenture has many interesting examples of best practices in the digital tech space. Two big concept acronyms that are discussed in detail are :
DARQ-Distributed ledger technology (DLT), artificial intelligence (AI), extended reality (XR) and quantum computing—can spark a step change that allows businesses to reimagine entire industries.
SMAC- Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud technologies .
About health insurance
New Research: How Health Insurance Providers Contribute to Each State’s Economy: This study by AHIP (the health insurance trade organization) details how its members contribute to the economies of each state. At the national level, AHIP claims that health insurance companies “Directly or indirectly employ more than 1.5 million people…[and] Contribute more than $20 billion in state premium taxes.” The timing of the research coincides with Democratic calls for a single payer system that would eliminate these firms.
10 Things to Know About Medicare Part D Coverage and Costs in 2019: This Kaiser Family Foundation update has a wealth of information about Medicare Part D, which has 44.9 million enrollees, or 70 percent of all Medicare beneficiaries.
V.A. Prepares for Major Shift in Veterans’ Health Care: The VA will now allow vets who meet certain access criteria to receive care in the private sector. Although plans to expand this access have been in the works over the past year, some in the government are concerned the system is not yet properly set up to handle it.
Read the story (NY Times but appears to be open access)
About the public’s health
Biological Clocks Could Drive the Immune System: This article is a very readable amount of how biorhythms affect our response to infections and medications.
Immigrants Help to Alleviate U.S. Health Care Staffing Shortage: “In 2017, immigrants accounted for 18.2 percent of health care workers.” As the population of physicians is aging and retiring and other professionals and workers are in short supply, we may need more immigrants to provide adequate staffing. In the current anti-immigrant climate, we may be hurting ourselves.
Request for Information; Reducing Administrative Burden to put Patients over Paperwork:
CMS has issued this RFI (to be printed 6/11/19) to solicit “additional public comment on ideas for regulatory, subregulatory, policy, practice, and procedural changes that reduce unnecessary administrative burdens for clinicians, providers, patients and their families.” The aim is “to increase quality of care, lower costs, improve program integrity, and make the health care system more effective, simple, and accessible.”
If you drink bottled water, you could double how many microplastic particles you ingest, study says:The headline says its all.
Henry Lynch, celebrated as father of cancer genetics, dies at 91: Dr. Lynch (after whom Lynch syndrome is named- read the obituary) was a pioneer in looking at family genetic profiles and inferring hereditary connections- before genomics provided the “why” behind his findings.
Read the obituary (Washington Post but appears to be open access)