This week's highlights: California state officials unveiled revised pandemic-related guidelines, Change Healthcare launches vaccination record solution that is based on the open standards of the Vaccination Credential Initiative, and Microsoft will retire Internet Explorer next year.
• UK Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, recently announced the launch of the Genome UK 2021-2022 implementation plan which outlines 27 priority actions for the next year that will help the UK to advance its ambition to become “the world’s most advanced genomic healthcare ecosystem”.
• The CMS said it will reweight the cost performance category for the Merit-based Incentive Payment System from 15 percent to 0 percent for the 2020 performance period, which affects 2022 payments.
• California state officials unveiled revised pandemic-related guidelines on Friday. Starting June 15th, businesses can open their doors without COVID-19 constraints on capacity or requirements for physical distancing, and people who are fully vaccinated will no longer need to wear masks in most situations.
• The Senate has confirmed health policy veteran Chiquita Brooks-LaSure as the Biden administration's head of CMS, following a drawn-out approval process. As CMS administrator, Brooks-LaSure will have extensive oversight over the massive Medicare and Medicaid insurance programs and the exchanges set up by the Affordable Care Act.
• Harris acquires ER Express, which offers EDs and urgent care facilities software for online check-in, patient intake, and online referral. It will be placed within Harris’s PulseCheck business.
• Mayo Clinic maintained its financial momentum with $243 million in operating income during the opening quarter of 2021, 6.6% operating margin. Total revenue for the quarter landed at $3.7 billion, a 17.1% increase over the same period in 2020.
• Complete HealthCare Solutions, a health IT developer, reseller, and services company, acquires the healthcare division of Selent and Associates, including Computerized Business Systems and medicalbillingsoftware.com.
• Carrot Health will add social determinants of health data from LexisNexis Risk Solutions to its SDOH data and analytics software for providers and payers.
• JPMorgan Chase unveiled its new healthcare company, dubbed Morgan Health, on Thursday. The new business is focused on improving employer-sponsored healthcare in the U.S. and bringing meaningful innovation. It initially will focus its efforts on improving care for JPMorgan Chase employees.
• Just weeks after Peloton pulled its treadmills from the market, it rolled out a new safety feature on its Tread+ that locks the device after 45 seconds of inactivity outside a class or after a user puts it to sleep.
• Change Healthcare launches a vaccination record solution that is based on the open standards of the Vaccination Credential Initiative. Vaccination and testing providers, state registries, pharmacies, and labs can send their vaccination records at no cost, allowing pharmacies, testing labs, and government agencies to develop API-powered digital vaccine proof apps.
• Wyoming’s health director and the state’s CIO resign after COVID-19 test results ended up on GitHub due to an apparent mistake by a health department employee. Scammers have used the exposed data to call people they hope will be convinced to disclose their financial and insurance information.
• An FBI advisory says that at least 16 US healthcare and first responder networks were attacked by Conti ransomware in the past year.
• Researchers at cybersecurity firm Check Point discovered that many Android applications publicly expose sensitive user data through misconfigured third-party services. The research involved the analysis of 23 Android applications and revealed issues related to real-time databases, cloud storage keys, and push notifications.
• Microsoft will retire Internet Explorer next year in favor of its Edge browser, which holds a 3% browser market share.
• CHIME’s Opioid Action Center Podcast features MEDITECH Associate VP Janet Desroche.
• The ONC announced its health IT demographic EHR certification requirements to standardize race and ethnicity data collection.
• Navin, Haffty & Associates has published its May 2021 newsletter, providing updates on client projects and new engagements.
• MEDITECH will convene its virtual “2021 Nurse Forum: Setting the Pace” June 16-18th.
• Between 2011 and 2018, the state of Florida distributed nearly $100 million to healthcare providers that eventually did not maintain meaningful use status after obtaining first-year financial incentives, according to a study published in the International Journal of Medical Informatics. Only 43 percent of Florida Medicaid providers achieved meaningful use after receiving the first-year incentive.
• An MGMA poll of 716 medical groups finds that prior authorization requirements have increased since 2020, despite a brief reprieve from payers during the pandemic. Some respondents have hired full-time employees to handle the work associated with the increasingly burdensome requirements.
• Nearly 6 in 10 healthcare CIOs identified “getting the most out of existing IT purchases, like the EHR [electronic health record] system]” as the biggest financial goal for the year ahead, according to the results of the ninth annual Health IT Industry Outlook Survey conducted by health IT consulting firm Stoltenberg Consulting.