This week's highlights: The FDA is warning parents and caregivers against making or feeding infants homemade formula, MEDITECH launches a Telemetry Appropriateness Toolkit in Expanse, and Cisco released patches this week for over a dozen vulnerabilities affecting multiple products.
• The FDA issues its Emergency Use Authorization to the COVID-19 vaccine of Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen subsidiary, a single-shot product that requires simple refrigeration instead of the two-shot, freezer-stored vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna. The company expects to deliver enough vials to for vaccinating more than 200 million people in the U.S. by the middle of this year.
• The FDA is warning parents and caregivers against making or feeding infants homemade formula. The agency said it recently received reports of hospitalized infants who were suffering from low calcium after being fed formula that was homemade.
• Due to the COVID-19 public health emergency, the CMS will apply an automatic extreme and uncontrollable circumstances policy to all clinicians participating as individuals in the Quality Payment Program’s MIPS program for the 2020 performance period, the agency announced.
• The HHS OIG reviewed Medicare payments for severe inpatient stays from federal fiscal 2014 through 2019 and found that stays at the highest severity level are susceptible to inappropriate billing practices such as upcoding.
• Mayo Clinic-backed maternal and fetal remote patient monitoring company Marani Health raises $3.7 million.
• Lifespan and Care New England Health System have inked a definitive agreement to merge into a single organization and create an integrated academic health system in partnership with Brown University.
• HCA Healthcare will pay $400 million to acquire 80 percent of Brookdale Senior Living's hospice, home health and outpatient therapy division. Brookdale Health Care Services operates 57 home health agencies, 22 hospice agencies and 84 outpatient therapy locations.
• Teladoc Health reports Q4 results: revenue up 151%, EPS –$3.07 versus –$0.26, beating revenue expectations but falling short on earnings, affected by the acquisition costs of Livongo in late 2020.
• MEDITECH launches a Telemetry Appropriateness Toolkit in Expanse which helps organizations improve telemetry management through indication-based ordering and timely removal of ECG monitoring.
• In April, Microsoft will release the first update for its Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare that will include new features for remote patient-monitoring and the Microsoft Teams and Epic EHR integration.
• Walgreens announced it has entered into an agreement with Labcorp™ to sell Pixel by Labcorp COVID-19 PCR Test Home Collection Kits over-the-counter in up to 6,000 Walgreens stores nationwide starting in spring of this year.
• The CDC, in partnership with Boston Children's Hospital and Castlight Health, launched a new tool which allows Americans to search for COVID-19 vaccine providers with stocks of vaccine where they live.
• Cisco released patches this week for over a dozen vulnerabilities affecting multiple products, including three critical bugs impacting its ACI Multi-Site Orchestrator, Application Services Engine, and NX-OS software.
• An analysis of 40 COVID-19 contact tracing applications for Android has led to the discovery of numerous security and privacy issues in more than half of them.
• Google announced the release of patches for 37 vulnerabilities as part of the Android security updates for March 2021, including a fix for a critical flaw in the System component.
• Special Offer for MEDITECH hospitals! Receive a 50% discount on Membership when you join the Medical Users Software Exchange (MUSE). MUSE is an independent community of MEDITECH users and related professionals who come together to learn and share their knowledge and experiences.
• MEDITECH publishes a new success story, “Med Center Health’s vaccination process supports high volume and eliminates waste.”
• Community Medical Centers (CA) has updated their COVID-19 Dashboard with new status information.
• Wes Wright, CTO of Imprivata, discusses reducing medical record matching errors through technology.
• The Social Interventions Research & Evaluation Network (SIREN) based at the University of California San Francisco is collaborating with organizations conducting research seeking patient perspectives on the appropriateness of clinicians asking about economic and social needs in social risk screenings.
• The impact of COVID-19 on front-line healthcare staff will likely be felt for years, based on the findings from a recent survey of 400 physicians and 86 administrators. The survey, conducted by Jackson Physician Search, found that nearly 70 percent of physicians said they are actively disengaged from their employers and 54 percent said COVID-19 has changed their employment plans.
• A KFF poll finds that the percentage of Americans who plan to wait and see before being vaccinated has dropped from 39% in December to 22% now. Seven percent say they would only be vaccinated if legally required. The 15% who say they won’t get it under any circumstances remains unchanged.
• Researchers have revealed a new dataset of 64 sequenced full human genomes that should better reflect genetic diversity. The new reference point covers 25 different human populations.
• Navin, Haffty & Associates has published its February newsletter, covering their Expanse benefits identification studies, introducing Tegria’s (their parent company) enterprise cloud analytics solution, and providing updates on their client engagements and upcoming MEDITECH events.