Learn About the Latest in Healthcare and Healthcare IT by Reading this Week's Industry News Update
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• Microsoft has agreed to pay about $25 million in settlements with both the Justice Department and SEC over charges that its Hungary subsidiary violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
• The American Health Information Management Association and College of Healthcare Information Management Executives went to Capitol Hill on Monday to push for overturning a 20-year prohibition on federal funding for a unique patient identifier.
• The House voted to repeal the “Cadillac Tax,” a provision of the Affordable Care Act meant to control healthcare spending.
• Amazon threatens to sue Surescripts, which is partially owned by Amazon competitors CVS and Express Scripts, over threats to revoke its mail-order pharmacy’s access to patient medication lists.
•The HHS' Office of Inspector General's latest report released Wednesday examines how 20 of the top ACOs managed to lower Medicare spending while improving care. They saved the program about $314 million in 2017, which is a fraction of Medicare's total spending of nearly $706 billion that year.
• Facebook will pay a record-breaking $5 billion fine to resolve a government probe into its privacy practices and the social media giant will restructure its approach to privacy, the FTC said on Wednesday. The company also agreed to pay a $100 million fine to settle charges by the SEC that it misled investors for more than two years about the misuse of its users' data.
• Health system mergers continue to push deal activity to near-historic levels, with the amount of revenue tied up in such deals nearly four times higher in the second quarter of 2019 compared with the prior-year period according to Kaufman Hall's latest healthcare M&A report, which tallied $11.3 billion in total transacted revenue in the recently ended quarter.
• Health Catalyst revises its IPO filings to increase both the number of shares and the planned share price range, now valuing the company at just under $1 billion.
• After decades of R&D and kicking machines in parking lots, Boston Dynamics is set to launch its first ever commercial robot later this year: the quadrupedal Spot.
• LabCorp expands its Pixel service to give consumers the ability to purchase tests online, drop off their specimens at an approved service site, and receive results via a secure portal. The platform offers consumers 25 packages, comprised of nearly 90 individual lab tests.
• Ping An Smart Healthcare (PASH), a subsidiary of the Ping An Group (Ping An) in China, has introduced AskBob, an artificial intelligence (AI)-based medical decision support tool, to Singapore providers.
• Medical device maker Medtronic will distribute AI-powered stroke detection imaging analysis software from Viz.ai. The CT-connected software quickly identifies large vessel occlusion and sends images to the smartphones of stroke specialists to reduce door-to-needle time.
• The cost of data breaches have increased by 12 percent within the past five years, with the healthcare industry experiencing the highest costs at $6.5 million on average per breach, according to IBM Security's recent report.
• ProPublica finds that the federal government doesn’t check applications for National Provider Identifier (NPI) numbers for accuracy, making it easy for just about anyone to obtain one and then file false non-Medicare claims with insurance companies.
• Several vulnerabilities were discovered in Comodo Antivirus, including allowing an attacker to escape the sandbox and escalate privileges, and the vendor does not seem to have released any patches.
• Healthcare Innovation summarized a recent interview with attorney Brandon Reilly about the potential impact of the California Consumer Privacy Act on healthcare companies.
• Sixty-nine percent of respondents in a recent Sage Growth Partners survey said improving the healthcare consumer experience is their organization’s first or second top strategic priority in 2019.
• In what some are calling one of the first comprehensive data studies examining physician employment trends in telemedicine, the number of doctors who self-reported telemedicine as a skill between 2015 and 2018 has doubled and continues to increase annually by 20 percent.
• New research from Vanderbilt University Medical Center (TN) finds that independent physicians have not kept up with federally-mandated EHR maintenance as much as their employed counterparts. The study includes nearly 300,000 physicians and suggests that the drop-out rate for independent physicians was likely due to the fact that the benefits didn’t outweigh the costs of maintenance.
• Over the last five years, telemedicine between providers and patients outside of hospitals has grown exponentially, according to a repository of more than 29 billion private healthcare claim records. A new white paper from nonprofit organization FAIR Health, based on an analysis of the nation’s largest collection of such claims data, shows that from 2014 to 2018 use of non-hospital-based provider-to-patient telehealth grew 1,393 percent.
• The majority of hospitals fail to comply with the Leapfrog Group's minimum volume standards for eight high-risk surgeries, according to a new analysis. The report, published Thursday, found most hospitals that participated in the 2018 Leapfrog Hospital Survey perform less than the recommended number of surgeries for the procedures to be performed safely.