This week's highlights: Cerners preparing to sell off part of its software portfolio, Sony will be releasing an OR integration system, and the New York Times describes the increasing number of prescription mistakes resulting from chain drugstores.
• A federal judge overrules a policy that places limits on the fees providers and businesses can charge patients when they request that their records be sent to a third party. The ruling raises questions about whether the OCR has the authority to revamp HIPAA.
• The CMS on Wednesday refreshed the overall hospital quality star ratings on Hospital Compare using the current methodology as it works to potentially change the program.
• Reuters names OxyContin manufacturer Purdue Pharma as the opioid vendor that paid Practice Fusion $1 million to program its EHR to encourage doctors to prescribe its products inappropriately.
• A San Diego judge ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay nearly $344 million in penalties for deceptively marketing pelvic mesh devices for women. Superior Court Judge Eddie Sturgeon ruled against the medical giant in a lawsuit brought in 2016 by the California Department of Justice.
• Medicaid block grant guidance for the new Healthy Adult Opportunity initiative unveiled on Thursday would allow states to exclude some prescription drugs from their formularies, though the CMS in 2018 denied Massachusetts' request to employ a similar strategy.
• Cerner is preparing to sell part of its software portfolio in Germany and Spain to CompuGroup Medical for $274.5 million, to support an ongoing effort to improve the company's operating margin.
• Consumer genetic testing company Ancestry announces it will lay off 6% of its staff, following a similar move made by competitor 23andMe several weeks ago.
• Microsoft will devote $40 million to its AI for Health Initiative, a five-year project that will use artificial intelligence to help partner organizations study, prevent, and treat diseases; prepare for and protect against future pandemics; and reduce healthcare inequities.
• Sony received 510k clearance for its OR integration system, NUCLeUS, which allows surgeons to connect numerous instruments, screens and other applications to one platform.
• Intelligent Medical Objects adds coronavirus-related terminology to its content, including 15 new diagnosis descriptions that are mapped to ICD-10-CM and SNOMED CT codes for billing, reporting, triggering clinical decision support rules, and tracking cases.
• A bug meant that some people who exported their photos and videos stored in Google Photos between November 21st and November 25th, 2019 accidentally had private videos shared with strangers. The affected service, called Google Takeout, lets people download their data. Google apologized and said the issue had been fixed. It is emailing everyone who was affected by the breach with this letter.
• Google, YouTube, Twitter and Venmo have sent cease-and-desist letters to Clearview AI, a facial recognition app that scrapes images from websites and social media to help law enforcement.
• Healthgrades and MGMA analyze 4 million patient reviews to determine that the top subjects of positive and negative comments were related to skill and care quality, communication, and bedside manner.
• KLAS announced its “Best in KLAS Software & Services 2020” winners, with Epic winning top Overall Software Suite for the tenth straight year as well as awards in numerous other categories.
• The nurse practitioner workforce more than doubled over a seven-year span as the healthcare industry ramps up primary care, according to new research. The number of NPs grew at an unprecedented rate across major professions from around 91,000 in 2010 to 190,000 in 2017, an analysis of U.S. Census data that Health Affairs published Monday revealed.
• The NIH has halted a major clinical trial for an HIV vaccine after an independent panel determined that the injections provided no protection against the virus, according to a statement released yesterday.
• In anticipation of National Cancer Prevention Month, the ONC recently released new data that examines how people diagnosed with cancer access and use their electronic medical record.
• A New York Times article describes the increasing number of prescription mistakes that result from chain drugstores holding their pharmacists accountable for high productivity metrics and forcing them to work the drive-through window, give flu shots, and answer phones.