Industry News Update 8/16/19

August 2019 | Mike Murphy

Industry News

Learn About the Latest in Healthcare and Healthcare IT by Reading this Week's Industry News Update

Click on the links below to read the full news articles.


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Regulatory, Legislative,


Legal News


• The CMS decided to discontinue the Medicare Advantage Qualifying Payment Arrangement Incentive (MAQI) demonstration aimed at testing the concept of waiving MIPS requirements for clinicians who participate in certain MA plans that involve taking on risk. 

As the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) and other payers begin to provide funding for housing, food and transportation assistance, pilot projects are springing up across the country to develop partnerships between social service agencies, hospital systems, public health agencies and federally qualified health centers.

The FDA is investigating 127 cases of people suffering from seizures after vaping. The agency said it is unclear whether e-cigarettes caused the seizures.

The CMS has increased wage index payments to rural hospitals in a final rule that enacts several payment changes to enable faster access to new medical technology, increasing new technology add-on payment (NTAP) from 50 to 65% for cases with high costs involving eligible new technologies.

New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu signs a bill into law enabling primary care physicians and pediatricians to bill Medicaid for virtual visits.

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Investment News


Walgreens plans to close 200 stores in the U.S., decreasing its real estate footprint by about 3 percent, according to CNBC.

The cost of hospital inpatient services for privately insured individuals is on the rise, according to a new data brief by UnitedHealth Group.

WebMD acquires QxMD, a Canadian company that offers providers digital point-of-care educational resources and medical calculators.

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New Products





• The Electronic Healthcare Network Accreditation Commission is launching a new consulting and advisory arm to help healthcare organizations better manage their data and maintain regulatory compliance. 

• DrFirst uses Imprivata’s Mobile Device Access to develop single sign-on access to its HIPAA-compliant Backline messaging software.

Voluntis has received FDA marketing authorization for an algorithm-driven digital tool that helps cancer patients manage their symptoms and care teams identify clinical insights.

Elsevier and LogicStream Health will align their respective Care Planning and Clinical Process Improvement and Control Software Solutions to help improve nursing documentation.

Google has taken an important step with a new login method that doesn't require passwords, letting phone users log on to some websites with just their Android phones, using a standard called FIDO2.

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• Three more healthcare organizations have alerted patients that their information may have been affected from a data breach at American Medical Collection Agency, according to the HIPAA Journal.

Microsoft said its contractors listen to conversations to hone voice translation features offered by Skype and its digital assistant Cortana, but only when obtaining user permission.

A cybersecurity firm says it has identified flaws in the popular messaging app WhatsApp that could allow hackers to manipulate messages in both public and private conversations, raising the prospect of misinformation being spread by what appears to be trusted sources.

Researchers at SafeBreach, a cybersecurity firm that specializes in breach and attack simulations, have catalogued most known Windows process injection techniques. They also discovered a new method, which they claim is stealthy and can bypass all protections implemented by Microsoft.

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• CNBC reports that CVS and Walgreens pharmacists are denying prescription transfer requests from PillPack, claiming patients haven’t given their permission to make the change.

Apple, Eli Lilly, and data collection company Evidation Health are working together to determine if information from Apple’s devices can be used to detect early signs of dementia.

An international research team has designed a wireless, smartphone-controlled device that is able to deliver drugs straight into the brain. It can also stimulate brain cells using light.

Scientists from Harvard University have created a gut gel 'band-aid' made from the body's own bacteria. The hydrogel is made from nanofibers which can adhere to the walls of the gut, created by engineering  coli bacteria that naturally exist in our digestive systems.

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