This week's highlights: The FDA asks states to temporarily stop using the J&J's COVID-19 vaccine, MEDITECH announced Expanse Patient Connect, and a large study finds that people who have had COVID are 84% less likely to be re-infected over at least seven months.
• The CMS has added a number of CPT codes to the list of audiology and speech-language pathology services provided by telehealth that will be covered by Medicare during the coronavirus pandemic.
• The CMS is proposing to increase Inpatient Psychiatric Facility payment rates 2.3 percent and to increase Inpatient Rehabilitation Facility payment rates by 2.2 percent over this year in fiscal year 2022.
• Pfizer requests that FDA expand the Emergency Use Authorization for its COVID-19 vaccine to those who are 12-15 years old, citing Phase 3 clinical trials data of its effectiveness.
• The FDA asks states to temporarily stop using J&J’s COVID-19 vaccine following six reports of women who developed rare blood clots days after being vaccinated, pending CDC’s review of those cases.
• Virtual-first primary care company Firefly Health raises $40 million in a Series B round of funding led by Andreessen Horowitz.
• Investment firm KKR has acquired a majority interest in Therapy Brands, parent company of 19 behavioral health IT businesses.
• San Francisco-headquartered messaging platform startup Gupshup has raised $100 million in its Series F financing round from Tiger Global Management, which valued the 15-year-old startup at $1.4 billion.
• Vesta Healthcare, which offers clinical services and a digital health platform to support high-needs members and their home caregivers, raises $65 million in growth capital.
• MEDITECH announced Expanse Patient Connect, powered by WELL™ Health, a contemporary, mobile solution enabling bidirectional, meaningful communication between healthcare organizations and their patients.
• WebMD announces GA of PracticePro software that includes patient engagement and intake, and practice marketing and CRM capabilities.
• General Electric recently announced the launch of its wireless handheld ultrasound device, Vscan Air, as the company looks to speed up diagnostic and examination processes without sacrificing quality.
• The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has released a new tool to help with the detection of potential compromise within Microsoft Azure and Microsoft 365 environments.
• VMware issued a software update for its vRealize Operations, Cloud Foundation, and Lifecycle Manage to address two severe flaws that could allow an attacker to steal admin credentials and manipulate or access device information.
• Specialty networking solutions provider Belden shared an update this week on the data breach disclosed in November 2020, and said health-related information was also exposed.
• Phishing attacks using PDF files have spiked over the past year, according to researchers at Palo Alto Networks’ Unit 42. The most common form of PDF phishing lures used an image of a fake CAPTCHA to trick victims into clicking the “Continue” button, which led to a malicious site.
• The virtual EHR implementation process occurred as a direct result of COVID-19, but the hybrid EHR implementation model could be the future of implementations as travel opens up again.
• The CDC reports that 43% of U.S. adults and 76% of senior citizens have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine. Nearly 59% of senior citizens have been fully vaccinated.
• MEDITECH posts a new podcast titled “Different than a tornado: How Phoebe Putney Health System navigated the disaster response challenges of COVID-19.”
• Gartner announced the Gartner Identity & Access Management Summit 2021, Americas in May 2021.
• A new Yale study looks into the data on how physicians are using EHRs, including how time spent using the systems differs by specialty, and what these findings reveal about how the technology can be improved. One of the key findings is that female physicians spend an average of 30 minutes more per day using EHRs than their male colleagues. Overall, the most time was spent by doctors in gastroenterology, internal medicine, and family medicine.
• KLAS Research ranked MEDITECH amongst the top large vendors in their recently updated report, Performance in Response to the COVID-19 Crisis. MEDITECH scored an 8.0 out of 9 for customer satisfaction, rating the company’s efforts as fast, on target with their needs, and extremely helpful.
• A large study finds that people who have had COVID are 84% less likely to be re-infected over at least seven months.