This week's highlights: protection against surprise medical bills proposed by Georgia's Senate, a cybersecurity product that recommends responses using artificial intelligence (AI), and a report revealing how providers feel about digital technology.
• Georgia's Senate passed legislation Monday that would protect some patients from receiving unexpected medical bills. The legislation, passed unanimously, would require insurers in many cases to pay for care by a doctor or at a hospital that is not within their network of medical providers. It also would limit patient liability for any costs.
• President Trump announced yesterday that Vice President Mike Pence would lead domestic efforts to combat the coronavirus disease.
• Inspectors general at the DoD and VA will conduct a joint audit of efforts by the two departments to roll out an interoperable EHR.
• Google said on Wednesday it would invest more than $10 billion in new offices and data centers across the United States this year.
• Ribbon Health raises $10.25 million and announces GA of health data aggregation software that can be used to bolster provider directories, referral management, and care navigation for providers, payers, and digital health vendors.
• UnitedHealth Group is cutting ties with Mednax, a physician staffing firm that focuses on providing specialty services including anesthesia, neonatology, and high-risk obstetrics in both urban and rural areas.
• Intel and QuTech have provided some technical details for Horse Ridge, a cryogenic control chip that should make quantum computers, smaller, faster and with less aggressive cooling.
• With MEDITECH’s Staff Gateway, the newest component of the company’s Human Resources planning solution, healthcare employees have an intuitive, easy-to-use tool to manage a wide range of HR tasks from any device, at any time.
• Lumeon and Mayo Clinic announced a strategic collaboration to integrate Mayo’s library of clinical insights with Lumeon’s Care Pathway Management platform.
• GE Healthcare unveiled a cybersecurity product called Skeye that scans for cyber risks and recommends responses using a mix of artificial intelligence and human expertise.
• Nuance announces GA of Dragon Ambient Experience (DAX), its “exam room of the future” where “clinical documentation writes itself.”
• Amazon knows what we buy, what we read, the music we listen to and soon it will know our ailments. The amount of data collected is staggering and offers minute insights into the details of peoples’ lives.
• The personal information of 10.6 million guests who stayed at MGM Resorts hotels was hacked last summer. The hack was first reported by ZDNet on Wednesday, which said the stolen information was posted to a hacking forum this week.
• Hackers are using COVID-19 hysteria to their advantage, sending fake emails from WHO and the CDC that warn them that the virus has reached their city, then direct them to phony websites that ask for their personal information.
• In 2019, data breaches that made the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ “Wall of Shame”—a database containing information about breaches of protected health information (PHI)— collectively affected over 27 million individuals, according to a new report.
• Practices that effectively utilize and integrate health information exchange (HIE) data into their daily workflow were able to reduce the rate of unplanned hospital readmissions and the rate of emergency department (ED) visits, according to new research.
• A new report from the UPMC Center for Connected Medicine finds that only four in 10 providers feel that digital technology is being successfully integrated into the overall patient experience.
• Wired profiles BlueDot, a Canadian company that has developed an illness outbreak and tracking app that identified the COVID-19 outbreak several days before WHO and the CDC.
• The ONC and the CMS released the Strategy on Reducing Regulatory and Administrative Burdens Relating to the Use of Health IT and EHRs. The report targets burdens tied to regulatory and administrative requirements that HHS can directly impact through the rulemaking process.
• The effectiveness of the current season's influenza vaccine is about 45 percent, according to a new CDC report. The vaccine's effectiveness was higher among children and adolescents who are 6 months to 17 years old, than among adults.
• CBS publishes an overview of Epic and the impact of the company on the healthcare industry. Their software handles the private medical records of about 60 percent of the patients in the country.