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PPO Direct brings PPO network members exposure to an audience of potential payers and administrators looking to expand their provider network. Providence Preferred, a member of PPO Direct, is a Portland-based preferred provider organization composed of physicians, hospitals and ancillary service providers in Oregon and southwest Washington. Providence Preferred is designed to manage the cost, delivery and quality of health care for its diverse clientele.
Doctors practicing telemedicine should be certified in it because a virtual visit "involves a true medical interaction that needs to be defined and categorized," said Dr. Michael Nochomovitz, co-author of a paper published as a JAMA Viewpoint. Nochomovitz does not think there will be a problem with telemedicine adoption if the certification takes shape because "[d]octors will want to do it right."
Seventeen schools in South Carolina are participating in a three-year pilot program that seeks to study the effectiveness of robots in teaching students with autism. The robot used in the study is designed to offer social, emotional and behavioral lessons.
Migrating birds can bring avian influenza to North America from other continents, threatening poultry and waterfowl, according to a genomic study by scientists with the US Geological Survey's National Wildlife Health Center. Influenza viruses that probably evolved in Asia spread easily among wild birds and between domestic and wild birds in North America in a 2014-15 outbreak, but the spillover rate was minor, and the infection in poultry persisted without further transmission from wild birds, researchers reported in Evolutionary Applications.
A puppy may be an adorable present, but dogs require time, patience, lifestyle changes and a significant financial investment, and the decision to get a dog or puppy should be carefully considered, writes Emily Birch, who studies human-canine interactions at Nottingham Trent University. A UK dog adoption charity said the number of dogs abandoned at its shelters increased 54% last year around Christmas, Birch notes.
Cats are naturally curious about holiday decorations and plants but also may become anxious about the changes in their environment, says Jacqueline Munera, a certified cat behavior consultant. Decorating carefully and giving cats a safe place to hide from guests go a long way toward ensuring a safe, low-stress holiday, Munera says.
Luke Miels, the new head of pharmaceuticals at GlaxoSmithKline, said the company will focus on buying or licensing early-stage cancer and immunology drugs. After gaining recent approvals for three new products -- for shingles, HIV and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease -- the company will not launch others until after 2020.
The next iteration of CMS' Bundled Payments for Care Improvement program should accelerate the shift to value-based health care and hasten the end of the fee-for-service model, says analyst Keely Macmillan. Health care providers understand the program and the potential for success better now than when it was launched, and more will want to participate, Macmillan says.