This week's highlights: app-based testing company Cue Health plans on using $100 million to expand its San Diego headquarters, Fitbit secured an Emergency Use Authorization from the FDA for its Fitbit Flow emergency ventilator, and MEDITECH has been named an honoree for three 2020 Medigy HITMC Awards.
• The CMS Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation offered clarity Wednesday on the future of its Next Generation and direct contracting models, announcing the Next Generation ACO model will get a one-year extension and the Direct Contracting Model will begin April 1st, a three-month delay from the original start date.
• The HHS issues new COVID-19 testing data requirements that it hopes will give it better understanding of the outbreak. Laboratories must report de-identified COVID-19 testing results to the CDC in one of three ways: (a) through local health departments via HL7 or CSV; (b) by a centralized platform such as AIMS whose information is then routed to CDC; or (c) via an HIE.
• The CDC reported 1,920,904 cases of new coronavirus on Sunday, an increase of 29,214 cases from its previous count, and said COVID-19 deaths in the United States had risen by 709 to 109,901.
• The Trump administration announced Tuesday it would distribute $25 billion to health providers caring for Medicaid patients following weeks of pressure from lawmakers and advocates.
• Healthcare hiring began to bounce back in May, but hospitals still shed 26,700 jobs as the COVID-19 pandemic affected their finances.
• Billions in COVID relief have gone to the biggest hospital chains as smaller rivals still await aid.
• App-based testing company Cue Health will use $100 million in new financing to expand its San Diego headquarters and further develop and commercialize its portable COVID-19 testing kit.
• Change Healthcare, a Nashville-based company that makes billing and analytics software, is rolling out new software that allows patients to order healthcare services in an ecommerce-like setting. The software allows patients to book, schedule and pay for healthcare services in advance.
• Fitbit has secured an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the FDA for its Fitbit Flow emergency ventilator. The ventilator hardware is low-cost and doesn’t require very much training or expertise to use, making it a good solution for deployment in scenarios where healthcare systems are overwhelmed by resource strain stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.
• Microsoft recently filed for a patent for a sensor that tracks health information. The patent describes a device with a light source that emits light against skin. A sensor within the device then receives the light from the skin and uses the data to track various pieces of health information.
• Samsung's free handwashing app brings rinsing reminders to smartwatches, encouraging frequent washing at pre-scheduled intervals with the appropriate technique.
• Banyan Medical Systems offers its virtual care and telemedicine platform with no upfront costs to eligible hospitals that are waiting for funding from FCC’s COVID-19 Telehealth Program.
• The Drug Enforcement Administration has been granted sweeping new authority by the Department of Justice to “conduct covert surveillance” and collect intelligence on people participating in protests over the police killing of George Floyd, according to a two-page memorandum.
• Two critical vulnerabilities patched recently by IBM in its WebSphere Application Server product can be exploited by a remote, unauthenticated attacker to execute arbitrary code with elevated privileges.
• According to new data from software information hub Capterra, in their Remote Work Survey 2020, employees working remotely are doing anything but practicing good security, with nearly a third falling victim to phishing scams, of which nearly half were COVID-19 related.
• MEDITECH has been named an honoree for three 2020 Medigy HITMC Awards: Social Media Campaign of the Year, Blog of the Year, and Video of the Year.
• A survey released this week has uncovered challenges facing patients with chronic conditions in the U.S., because of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, with delays in services and challenges in obtaining support for managing their diseases, among the pandemic’s major effects.
• Governments around the world have changed their COVID-19 policies using apparently flawed research findings from virtually unknown U.S. analytics vendor Surgisphere. Lancet has retracted the paper and NEJM has begun the retraction process for hydroxychloroquine-related articles that were based on suspicious data from the company.
• A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine finds that hydroxychloroquine did not prevent people who had been exposed to COVID-19 from developing the disease.
• Imprivata commissioned Forrester Consulting to conduct a Total Economic Impact (TEI) study which examined the potential ROI realized from using Imprivata digital identity management solutions, including Imprivata Identity Governance, Imprivata Confirm ID, and Imprivata OneSign.
• Gilead's antiviral drug remdesivir has shown promise in a COVID-19 study on macaque monkeys.