Several consumer advocacy, privacy and social justice groups said in a letter to the Federal Trade Commission that Google's proposed acquisition of Fitbit raises privacy and antitrust concerns. The groups said the acquisition would further strengthen Google's dominance of internet search and advertising as well as smartphone operating systems, and would expand Google's trove of consumer data.
About 0.5% of the 400,000-plus people who enrolled in the Apple Heart Study received notification of an irregular heartbeat, but only about 25% of that subset followed the protocol of wearing a monitoring patch for two weeks and submitting it for analysis, researchers reported in The New England Journal of Medicine. Of the group that did submit the patch, 84% were confirmed to have atrial fibrillation, suggesting that the Apple Watch could be used to monitor some cases of AFib, but cardiologists are skeptical.
Drugmakers and academic research institutions are posting results from a larger percentage of clinical trials on ClinicalTrials.gov in compliance with a federal law, but the quality of data being posted varies, and most results are submitted after the one-year deadline, researchers reported in The New England Journal of Medicine. Much of the data submitted lack mortality statistics and are inconsistent, researchers found.
The Indiana Health Information Exchange and the Michiana Health Information Network are consolidating into a statewide health information exchange beginning Jan. 1. A third Indiana exchange, HealthLINC, has been moving customers to the IHIE since the middle of this year.
The Weill Family Foundation is donating $106 million to establish a brain research consortium at the University of California's San Francisco and Berkeley campuses and the University of Washington. The foundation says the new Neurohub will fund multidisciplinary, high-risk/high-reward neuroscience research projects that combine imaging, engineering, genomics and molecular therapeutics, and computation and data analytics in pursuit of treatments and cures for brain diseases.
The authors of a case study published in Pediatrics say mandatory newborn genome sequencing programs are fraught with moral issues, including whether to inform parents of genetic mutations linked to adult-onset diseases and children's right to privacy. "Until sequencing is ready for prime time, the focus of pediatric sequencing should be exclusively on identifying diseases or conditions that can impact their present-day medical care," said co-author Lainie Friedman Ross.
Black Book Research polled 3,300 coding and records professionals from 2,167 hospitals and physician practices and found 44% said their organizations are already using AI-powered clinical documentation technology, while 88% expect to implement such technologies in the next five years. Almost all respondents are hopeful that AI-based technology can make clinical documentation more efficient and make patient history documentation more accurate to enhance revenue integrity and patient outcomes.
Four health IT experts offered advice on how hospitals and health care systems can leverage predictive analytics to improve administrative and clinical functions such as predicting claims denials and patient admissions. When phasing in new technology, leaders must ensure they are leveraging the right predictive analytics model, because it could help them determine whether it will help meet the desired return on investment.
The number of private equity firms purchasing medical practices and health systems continues to increase and it's not likely to slow down, said MGMA President and CEO Halee Fischer-Wright. In 2018, $22.3 billion in private equity bills were made, with more than $60 billion so far in 2019.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will require physicians to check with a Clinical Decision Support Mechanism before they order Medicare Part B advanced diagnostic imaging services beginning Jan. 1. MGMA's Robert Tennant said physician practices need to be aware of the change, and that MGMA will "continue to fight" it.
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