Industry News Update 12/13/19

December 2019 | Mike Murphy, Director of Business and Industry Analytics

Industry News

Learn About the Latest in Healthcare and Healthcare IT by Reading this Week's Industry News Update

Click on the links below to read the full news articles.


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Regulatory, Legislative,


Legal News


• Hospital groups filed a lawsuit against the HHS on Wednesday over a final rule that would force hospitals to reveal the secret rates they negotiate with insurers for services.

• The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission is expected to vote against a pay increase for ambulatory surgical centers next month because they don't provide cost data.

• Beijing has ordered all government institutions and public bodies to get rid of their foreign (i.e. western) computer gear.

• New discharge planning requirements of the IMPACT Act went into effect on November 29th and the rule, recently finalized by the CMS addresses post-acute care transitions, patient choice and patient access to medical information.

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Investment News


• Once valued at $1.5 billion, “smart pill” medication management company Protenus struggles to stay afloat after a $100 million funding round falls through.

• Healthcare spending in the U.S. hit a high-water mark of $3.6 trillion in 2018, rising at a rate of 4.6%, the same rate of increase found in 2016, and higher than the 4.2% rate in 2017.

• Moody's Investors Service changed its outlook to stable from negative on the nonprofit healthcare and hospital sector for 2020, reflecting Moody's expectation that nonprofit hospitals' revenues will increase.

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New Products





• Amazon Web Services (AWS) has expanded its portfolio with three new services and capabilities meant to help organizations build and operate securely in the cloud.

• Microsoft Azure announced blockchain tokenization and data management services. The Azure Blockchain Tokens service aims to simplify the definition, creation and management of compliant tokens built to industry standards.

• HealthSnap adds remote patient monitoring to its Lifestyle Data Analytics software, enabling physicians to receive, aggregate, and analyze patient-generated data from wearables and apps.

• Microsoft is releasing a new feature for Outlook on iOS this week, introducing a new, integrated Do Not Disturb mode on the app.

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• Researchers at Malwarebytes have discovered what they describe as 'a rash of skimmers' on Heroku, a cloud platform owned by Salesforce.

• The Department of Homeland Security is backing away from requiring that U.S. citizens submit to facial-recognition technology when they leave or enter the country.

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• A study finds that unintentional ED ordering of duplicate laboratory and radiology orders was reduced more than 40% by swapping out interruptive alerts for a simple on-screen highlighting of the existing order in red, although no improvement was seen with medication order duplicates.

• Surgeons should listen to Mozart, Bach and Beethoven while operating on patients, according to new research by Dundee University experts. The results, published in the International Journal of Surgery, showed many benefits for surgeons who listen to classical music.

• A retrospective analysis of 101 telemedicine studies finds virtual visits may be just as effective as in-person visits for several neurological conditions.

• A Duke Health surgeon successfully completes the first transplant of a dead donor’s heart into a live patient, a procedure that has been performed for 10 years in the UK and in 619 procedures in last year alone in expanding the potential donor pool.

• At least one person in England has been diagnosed with a rare viral infection known as monkeypox, Public Health England (PHE) confirmed this week. The patient, who was not identified, is from southwest England but likely contracted the disease while visiting Nigeria, officials said in a news release.

• The Bureau of Labor Statistics says healthcare added 45,000 jobs in November and 414,000 jobs in the past 12 months.

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