Industry News Update 12/20/19

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


• The FDA has approved a Roche test for MRSA and said the novel diagnostic technology can deliver results in as little as five hours, compared to the one- to two-day wait time with conventional methods.

• The CMS said it will pay hospitals the money it owes them for evaluation and management services delivered at outpatient clinics in 2019 under the site-neutral payment policy.

• FCC commissioners voted in favor of a proposal last week to designate 988 as the country's national suicide-prevention hotline number, suggesting that having a 911-like option for people who are experiencing mental health crises could help combat the rising rate of suicides.

• An OIG audit finds that, because of inaccurate hospital calculations, CMS paid out $93.6 million in incorrect Medicare EHR incentive payments to acute-care hospitals between 2013 and 2017, which was less than 1 percent of the $10.8 Billion total paid out.  

• Congressional negotiators released details Monday on a budget deal that would repeal three Affordable Care Act taxes, delay Medicaid payment cuts to disproportionate-share hospitals for five months, and stop brand drug makers from withholding samples needed for generic development.

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Investment News


• The U.S. Federal Reserve held interest rates steady on Wednesday and signaled borrowing costs are likely to remain unchanged indefinitely, with moderate economic growth and low unemployment expected to continue through next year.

• Laurel, NJ-based Insight Telepsychiatry merges with Chicago-based Regroup Telehealth to become the largest telepsychiatry vendor in the country.

• Bridge Connector, which integrates CRM systems with EHRs and other health IT, raises $25 million, which it will use to help launch its new integration platform-as-a-service that connects health data systems without the need for code.

• 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





• The National Association of Accountable Care Organizations will launch a direct contracting taskforce to help doctors and hospitals take advantage of new government payment models.

• CVS Health unveiled a precision medicine program for oncology patients Thursday designed to increase access to broad-panel gene sequencing tests for patients with specific advanced stage cancers.

• Google Cloud announced Transfer Service, a new service for enterprises that want to move their data from on-premises systems to the cloud.

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• More than half a million people had data exposed in healthcare breaches reported to the federal government last month. Providers, health plans and their business associates in November reported 29 data breaches affecting 570,565 patients to HHS' Office for Civil Rights.

• Microsoft Security Essentials will not protect Windows 7 PCs after January 14, 2020.

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• According to a new analysis, hospitals that used a comprehensive approach to measure their patients' experience saw better clinical outcomes and brand recognition than their peers that only used federal survey requirements.

• A study of 70 EHR vendors with the most Meaningful Use attestations finds that physician satisfaction with EHRs is diminishing for nearly half of the products.

• Chicago-based Kaufman Hall consulting firm released a new report on the healthcare consumer experience, focusing on the needs and desires of millennials: “How Millennials Are Reshaping Healthcare’s Future.”

• Pharmacy benefits manager Express Scripts develops a list of recommended digital health tools for payers and providers organized into treatment categories that include depression, anxiety, asthma, and diabetes.

• The Navin, Haffty & Associates December newsletter covers MEDITECH highlights from 2019 and their plans for 2020, including a new smartphone-based physician app and a provider efficiency dashboard.

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