Healthcare and Insurance News Headline Updated on 31 Jan 2020

The headline on 31 Jan 2020

Health agencies don’t typically weigh in on Netflix programming but NHS’ chief exec Simon Stevens spoke out this week saying a series on Gwyneth Paltrow’s The Goop Lab poses “considerable risks to health,”. Source: BBC > Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop series on Netflix slammed by NHS chief

Stores are selling out of medical face masks in the wake of the coronavirus, posing a risk to providers. Source: New York Times > Mask Hoarders May Raise Risk of a Coronavirus Outbreak in the U.S.

The headline on 30 Jan 2020

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in a statement that AI “represents one of technology’s most important priorities, and healthcare is perhaps AI’s most urgent application” as the company made a $40 million announcement. Source: Microsoft > AI for Health

A number of women suffered major complications from “a five minute fix that was anything but,” according to an investigation by MedPage Today into a procedure meant to help women suffering from heavy periods. Source: MEDPAGE TODAY > Women Burned by Quick Fix for Heavy Periods

CVS’ Caremark is launching a new plan design that would eliminate member cost-sharing for diabetes drugs. Source: CVSHealth > CVS Health RxZERO Solution Eliminates Member Out-of-Pocket Costs for Diabetes Medications

CMS has released the latest Hospital Compare data, to the ire of providers. Source: CMS.gov > CMS Announces Updated Quality Information Including Star Ratings on Hospital Compare

The federal government isn’t doing a good job of stopping drug companies from doling out duplicate 340B and Medicaid discounts, a federal watchdog said. Source: Government Accountability Office (GAO) > Oversight of the Intersection with the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program Needs Improvement

The headline on 29 Jan 2020

And, a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine warns the opioid epidemic is driving a simultaneous epidemic of infectious diseases. Source: Opportunities to Improve Opioid Use Disorder and Infectious Disease Services

It’s been a rough week for EHR vendors. Federal policy leaders continue to take shots at industry giant Epic and its opposition to proposed data-sharing regulations. And, Practice Fusion will pay $145 million to resolve charges it took kickbacks aimed at increasing opioid prescriptions. Source: DoJ > ELECTRONIC HEALTH RECORDS VENDOR TO PAY LARGEST CRIMINAL FINE IN VERMONT HISTORY AND A TOTAL OF $145 MILLION TO RESOLVE CRIMINAL AND CIVIL INVESTIGATIONS

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is teaming up with New York City startup Quartet to roll out a value-based payment model for mental health care. Source: Milliman Research Report > Addiction and mental health vs. physical health: Widening disparities in network use and provider reimbursement

Weather-prognosticating groundhog Punxsutawney Phil might lose his job to artificial intelligence, if PETA has it their way. Source: The Washington Post > No more Punxsutawney Phil? It’s ‘long overdue’ for an AI groundhog instead, PETA says.

Practice Fusion will pay $145 million to resolve kickback allegations in a federal opioid case, representing the Department of Justice’s first criminal case against an electronic health records vendor.

The headline on 28 Jan 2020

As employers take steps to curb health spending by offering more chronic condition resources or help for quitting smoking, they might also want to shift their focus to another insidious cost driver among younger workers: social isolation. Paige Minemyer has more. Source: Cigna > Loneliness is at Epidemic Levels in America

A new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association raises questions about the impact of “free samples” on doctor relationships with pharma companies. Source: JAMA Internal Medicine > A National Survey of the Frequency of Drug Company Detailing Visits and Free Sample Closets in Practices Delivering Primary Care

As the world races to respond to the coronavirus emergency which originated in China, FiercePharma reports that officials there are publicly backing off-label use of an HIV drug to help. Source: 艾伯维将捐赠价值千万的抗病毒药物 助力抗击新型冠状病毒

Practice Fusion will pay $145 million to resolve kickback allegations in a federal opioid case, representing the Department of Justice’s first criminal case against an electronic health records vendor. Source: DoJ > ELECTRONIC HEALTH RECORDS VENDOR TO PAY LARGEST CRIMINAL FINE IN VERMONT HISTORY AND A TOTAL OF $145 MILLION TO RESOLVE CRIMINAL AND CIVIL INVESTIGATIONS

The headline on 27 Jan 2020

Interest in artificial intelligence in healthcare soared in 2019 with investment in the sector jumping 48% over 2018. Source: CB Insights > AI In Numbers Q1’20: Global Funding, Corporate Activity, Partnerships, And R&D Trends

Alphabet’s life sciences research arm Verily received FDA clearance for its Study Watch to offer an irregular pulse monitor feature. Source: verily > Verily receives FDA 510(k) clearance for Study Watch with Irregular Pulse Monitor

The headline on 24 Jan 2020

CMS is planning to launch a slew of updates to Medicare.gov later this year, with the goal of making it easier for beneficiaries to compare providers. Source: CMS.gov > Making it Easier to Compare Providers and Care Settings on Medicare.gov

An email from Epic CEO Judy Faulkner to CEOs and presidents of hospital systems, urged recipients to speak out against the ONC’s proposed interoperability rules. Source: CNBC > Epic’s CEO is urging hospital customers to oppose rules that would make it easier to share medical info

But in an earnings call on Wednesday, a health tech CEO was calling the move out. Source: NextGen Healthcare, Inc. Reports Fiscal 2020 Third Quarter

When it comes to physician salaries, men starting their careers are paid an average of $36,600 more than their female colleagues, according to a new study. Source: Health Affairs > A Persisting Gender Gap For Starting Physicians’ Compensation

The headline on 23 Jan 2020

Centene and WellCare announced that their merger has cleared its final regulatory hurdles, including a DOJ review, and is set to close as early as today. Source: WellCare Press Release > Centene and WellCare Have Now Satisfied All Regulatory Approvals for Acquisition

Humana unveiled a plan that would allow members to connect hundreds of wearable devices to its Go365 wellness program. Source: Validic, Humana Collaboration Targets Growing Accessibility, Connectivity of Health Incentive Programs

A group of major conservative organizations has formed the Coalition Against Rate Setting to push back on proposals to address surprise medical bills.

Competition from companies like CVS Health, UnitedHealth Group and Walmart—all of which are pushing into the provider space—are shaping how hospitals are approaching growth. Source: KaufmanHall > 2019 Healthcare M&A in Review: In Pursuit of the New Bases of Competition

If they’re being honest, healthcare CEOs admit they thought they’d be further along in the transition to value-based care than they are today, a new survey shows. Source: Deloitte > Findings from the Deloitte 2019 Health Care CEO Perspectives Study

The cost of prior authorizations, which physician practice leaders already say is their most burdensome regulatory issue, continue to increase, a new study found. Source: CAQH 2019 Index: $13.3 Billion, 33 Percent of Healthcare Administrative Spend, can be Saved Annually Through Automation

CMS will have to decide on a complicated issue that could save Medicare billions but will have a major impact on physician revenue. Source: The New England Journal of Medicine > Payment for Services Rendered — Updating Medicare’s Valuation of Procedures

Hospitals need to patch a critical vulnerability and beef up their cybersecurity defenses in the face of several new cyber risks, security experts say. Heather Landi has more. Healthcare organizations need to patch a critical vulnerability and beef up their cybersecurity defenses in the face of several new cyber risks, security experts say. Source: CISA Releases Emergency Directive and Activity Alert on Critical Microsoft Vulnerabilities

The headline on 22 Jan 2020

Competition from companies like CVS Health, UnitedHealth Group and Walmart—all of which are pushing into the provider space—are shaping how the industry approaches growth through mergers and acquisitions. Source: KaufmanHall > 2019 Healthcare M&A in Review: In Pursuit of the New Bases of Competition

CVS Health released a look at six trends to watch this year, and a peek behind the curtain on how it’s working to solve them. Source: CVSHealth > Health Trend 2020

Amazon may be looking to expand its prescription drug delivery business overseas based on more than a dozen international trademarks it filed for Amazon Pharmacy. Source: CNBC > Amazon just filed a bunch of international trademarks for ‘Amazon Pharmacy’

Healthcare is facing a double-barreled threat with the expiration of Windows 7 support and a warning about a major flaw in Windows 10, cybersecurity experts say. Source: CISA Releases Emergency Directive and Activity Alert on Critical Microsoft Vulnerabilities

90% of surgeons in countries like the U.S. use safety checklists in the operating room, a new report found. Source: Lifebox safety checklist > Checking in on the Checklist

Investors expect there to be plenty of dealmaking in health IT this year, though the upcoming election could dampen those prospects, but the upcoming election threatens to disrupt market activity. Source: KPMG US > 2020 healthcare and life sciences investment outlook

A new survey from Deloitte shows that hospital and payer CEOs expected the industry to have made greater progress on value-based care by now. Source: Deloitte Insights > Findings from the Deloitte 2019 Health Care CEO Perspectives Study

American College of Physicians, the second-largest physician group in the U.S., is pushing for universal coverage by endorsing either single-payer or a public option solution. The country’s second-largest medical association has endorsed universal healthcare coverage with either a single-payer system or public option. In a first, the second-largest physician group in the U.S. has called for a transition to a healthcare system that achieves universal coverage through a single-payer system or public option. Source: Annals of Internal Medicine > Envisioning a Better U.S. Health Care System for All: A Call to Action by the American College of Physicians

Wrong electronic drug orders is on the list of the top 10 medication hazards in 2019, released by the Institute for Safe Medication Practices. Source: ISMP Publishes Top 10 List of Medication Errors and Hazards Covered in Newsletter

Published by Thomas Apel

, a dynamic and self-motivated information technology architect, with a thorough knowledge of all facets pertaining to system and network infrastructure design, implementation and administration. I enjoy the technical writing process and answering readers' comments included.