A lack of adequate controls in New Mexico's Medicaid data and IT systems resulted in security flaws when the state's Human Services Department migrated its legacy eligibility systems to a modernized network in 2014, according to a report from the HHS Office of Inspector General. OIG officials found that if exploited, the systemic vulnerabilities in the agency's new security system "could have resulted in unauthorized access to, and disclosure of, sensitive information, as well as in disruption of New Mexico's critical operations."
EHR vendor CliniComp sued the Department of Veterans Affairs for failing to conduct a competitive bidding process before awarding a sole-source contract to Cerner to replace its legacy VistA EHR system. "[T]he VA's decision to award a sole-source contract to Cerner is arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion and violates the [Competition in Contracting Act of 1978] and Federal Acquisition Regulations," the lawsuit states.
MassTech's Massachusetts eHealth Institute awarded grants amounting to $193,000 to four EHR vendors to develop and install new electronic interfaces at 12 behavioral health organizations throughout the state. The grants aim to improve electronic reporting to the Commonwealth's Children's Behavioral Health Initiative and reduce the amount of time providers spend on data entry.
Former CMS Administrators Andy Slavitt and Gail Wilensky say Medicaid needs several policy adjustments to address weak spots in the program and allow it to better deliver on its mission to provide quality health care coverage to low-income beneficiaries. Their recommendations, outlined in the Journal of the American Medical Association, include turning Medicaid into an outcomes-based program, supporting states' efforts to innovate through waivers and other means, and strengthening the program's data infrastructure to drive value-based decision-making and care coordination.
Boys and girls with a body mass index z score of 1 at age 13 had hazard ratios of 1.21 and 1.26, respectively, of developing ischemic stroke in early adulthood, and the risks increased with BMI, Danish researchers reported in JAMA Neurology. The findings, based on data involving 372,636 Danish children born between 1930 and 1989, also showed an increased early adult ischemic stroke risk for those with above-average and below-average BMI z scores at age 7 whose scores rose by 0.5 between ages 7 and 13.
A study in JAMA Neurology found that among older adults treated for hypertension, having lower systolic blood pressure readings was linked to greater cognitive protection. Racial disparities were seen in the results, and researchers said lower SBP targets may provide the biggest protection for older blacks, compared with whites.
A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found use of prednisolone in adults with acute cough and one or more lower respiratory tract infection symptom, but without asthma, did not lead to reductions in cough severity or duration. The findings, based on about 400 patients, also did not show significant treatment effects for other lower respiratory infection symptoms, antibiotic use, abnormal peak flow duration or non-serious adverse events.
Registered dietitian Kristin Kirkpatrick says diets often fail because people try to make too many changes at once, so she recommends simple food swaps that make weight loss easier. Replace high-calorie coffee flavorings with unsweetened milk and spices, stop drinking soda, substitute zucchini noodles for pasta and make salad dressings from scratch, Kirkpatrick says.
Fruit snack sales have been decreasing as shoppers look for healthier options, and registered dietitian Wesley Delbridge says even if the snacks do not contain added sugar, they should still be eaten sparingly. Delbridge says even fresh fruit is high in sugar, which is why it is recommended people eat fruits and vegetables and not just fruit.
New York City-based telemedicine company Fruit Street Health will conduct classes via live video feed to deliver the CDC's National Diabetes Prevention Program. Patients may attend the registered dietitian-conducted DPP classes through group telehealth calls and will be given a Fruit Street-developed mobile app, a Fitbit and a wireless scale.