This week's highlights: The FDA has authorized another Pfizer or Moderna COVID booster for people ages 50 and up, Google has issued an emergency security update for Chrome 99, & MEDITECH discusses FHIR and the future of interoperability on CommonWell TV.
Regulatory, Legislative, and Legal News
- The HHS will distribute more than $413 million in provider relief fund payments to more than 3,600 providers in the U.S. through the Health Resources & Services Administration.
- Nevada Democratic Senator Jacky Rosen and Republican Louisiana Senator Bill Cassidy introduced bipartisan legislation last week aimed at protecting hospitals and the health care sector from potential Russian cyberattacks.
- RaDonda Vaught's conviction for a fatal medical error has created a dangerous precedent that will have long-lasting effects on the nursing profession, the American Nurses Association and Tennessee Nurses Association said last week.
- The FDA has authorized another Pfizer or Moderna COVID booster for people are 50 and up. Everyone eligible for a first booster who hasn’t gotten one yet needs to, FDA vaccine chief Dr. Peter Marks said.
Financial and Investment News
- UnitedHealth Group's Optum unit has bought Refresh Mental Health from private equity firm Kelso & Co., Axios reported. Refresh Mental Health runs a network of more than 300 outpatient sites across 37 states and has more than 1,500 employees.
- Hospitals across the U.S. saw their operating margins remain negative for the second consecutive month in February as they continued to feel the repercussions of the winter omicron surge, according to Kaufman Hall's "National Hospital Flash Report: March 2022" posted this week. The median operating margin in February was -3.45 percent, up from -4.52 percent in January, but "still well below sustainable levels," Kaufman Hall said.
- Following its acquisition of TransUnion Healthcare late last year, RCM software vendor NThrive will change its name to FinThrive.
New Products and Services
- Baptist Health South Florida will launch its first startup company focused on detecting movement abnormalities. The company, named Gait Boost, will partner with Rehab Boost, an AI rehabilitation suite, to utilize body motion recognition technology to develop a platform that diagnoses movement abnormalities.
- Google announced a number of health product updates Thursday, including new search functionality for finding provider appointments, ongoing work on using Fitbit to detect atrial fibrillation, and research using smartphones and artificial intelligence to conduct obstetric ultrasounds. Google is partnering with CVS' MinuteClinic as well as online scheduling companies to support the new scheduling tool.
- Hewlett Packard Enterprise announced the availability of HPE GreenLake for Microsoft Azure Stack HCI as an integrated system, pre-built and configured for faster deployment and easier integration.
- PerfectServe accelerates speed to care with faster delivery of critical lab results.
Privacy and Security
- VMware announced software updates this week that address two critical-severity vulnerabilities in its Carbon Black App Control product.
- HP announced that more than 200 printer models are impacted by a severe remote code execution vulnerability that was exploited by researchers at the Pwn2Own hacking contest last year.
- Sophos announced the rollout of urgent patches for a critical authentication bypass vulnerability in the web portal of its Sophos Firewall product.
- The U.S. ranks third on the Global Innovation Index, a designation that certain states have contributed toward more than others, according to rankings released March 23rd by personal finance site WalletHub.
- MEDITECH discusses FHIR and the future of interoperability on CommonWell TV.
- Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s Clickbusters program has helped reduce alert fatigue through a six-month review process that has modified 42 clinical decision support alerts and turned off 10.