Learn About the Latest in Healthcare and Healthcare IT by Reading this Week's Industry News Update
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• Industry efforts to lift a ban on using federal funding for a unique patient identifier hit a roadblock last week when Senate appropriators failed to support overturning the ban in a draft funding bill.
• While hospitals groups have welcomed a federal judge's ruling against the CMS' expansion of site-neutral payments for basic doctor's visits, some analysts see it as a short-term solution that can't survive as a long-term strategy.
• A group of healthcare stakeholders including AHIMA, The Pew Charitable Trusts, Microsoft, and others, has written to congressional committee members, urging them to support recent efforts by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) to boost the use of application programming interfaces (APIs) to extract and use patients’ electronic health data.
• The Justice Department charges 58 people in Texas for participating in Medicare fraud schemes and operating pill mill clinics that doled out 6.2 million pills at a cost of $66 million.
• Fitbit’s stock increases on the news that it has engaged investment bank Qatalyst Partners to advise it on a sale, with Alphabet named as a potential suitor.
• Digital stethoscope and ECG technology company Eko raises $20 million in a Series B funding round led by Artis Ventures.
• California house call app provider Heal acquires Doctors on Call for $15 million and expands to the New York City market.
• Buffalo, New York-based Catholic Health has implemented a hiring freeze after posting an operating deficit of $16 million, according to Buffalo Business First.
• CVS Health is now offering Sleepio, an all-digital insomnia treatment app, to CVS Caremark pharmacy benefit management clients Under a partnership with Sleepio's parent company Big Health.
• Online birth control and skin care company Alpha Medical expands its services to include membership-based virtual care.
• UnitedHealth Group will offer a Medicare Advantage plan to more than 63,000 Medicare beneficiaries in California, the insurer said last week.
• The MITRE Corporation published an updated list this week of the most dangerous software weaknesses and vulnerabilities.
• The intelligence community is working to build biometric identification systems that can single out individuals from hundreds of yards away or more, a feat that’s virtually impossible using the technology that exists today.
• VMware has patched code execution, command injection, information disclosure and denial-of-service (DoS) vulnerabilities in its ESXi, vCenter Server, Workstation, Fusion, VMRC and Horizon Client products.
• Microsoft has released an emergency update for its Internet Explorer browser to fix a bug that cyber-thieves are known to be exploiting to hijack a web browser and use their access to install malware.
• A small observational study finds that ED residents often create EHR documentation of their physical exam and review of systems that doesn’t match what they actually did.
• Partners HealthCare is seeking input from employees to develop a new name that better reflects its academic medical centers, according to the Boston Business Journal.
• A new report from Deloitte found that, compared to other industries, healthcare is moving more slowly toward full adoption of more advanced data management platforms.
• CAQH CORE and Health Level Seven International (HL7) announced a collaboration to improve interoperability and enhance the automation between administrative and clinical systems.
• 3M Health Information Systems announces GA of AI-enhanced CDI software that incorporates natural language processing technology from MModal, which it acquired in February.