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Top stories summarized by our editors
12/9/2019

When a national pharmacy chain acquired an independent drugstore, it also acquired all of the drugstore's patient data without the knowledge or consent of those patients. The practice is legal under HIPAA, but cybersecurity expert Joseph Steinberg questions whether it is appropriate or ethical, considering that most people don't understand HIPAA's "covered entity" rules.

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Joseph Steinberg
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Joseph Steinberg
12/9/2019

Ruth Carlos, editor-in-chief of the Journal of the American College of Radiology, writes in an editorial that value-based imaging is "here to stay" and increasingly becoming the norm and not just an option in the practice of radiology, in line with the Protecting Access to Medicare Act in 2014. She writes that there is still a "need for a sensible system to implement measures of appropriateness and value-based reimbursement that assigns the risk of inappropriate utilization to those who have control over ordering decisions."

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Radiology Business
12/9/2019

The holidays aren't the most wonderful time of year for everybody, particularly those who have lost a loved one, says licensed clinical social worker Kelley Kitley. People should spend time with those who offer support and understand that there's no right way to feel, she says.

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Kelley Kitley
12/9/2019

Senate health committee Chairman Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., reached an agreement with House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone Jr., D-N.J., and Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., on legislation to address unexpected out-of-network bills that they say would rely on arbitration to resolve disputes. The package also includes drug price transparency provisions, language raising the minimum age for buying tobacco to 21 and a measure extending community health center funding, and supporters of the legislation hope to include it in a government funding deal later this month.

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Politico, The Hill
12/9/2019

A study published in Diabetes Care, based on data from 2,536 Japanese adults with a mean age of 65, found that women with type 2 diabetes who received 81 mg or 100 mg of aspirin had a 42% reduced risk of dementia, compared with women who did not take the drug. The researchers found no difference in dementia development between men who took aspirin and those who did not.

12/9/2019

A small study published in Diabetes Care found that patients with type 2 diabetes who ate three meals daily saw weight loss and better blood glucose levels at two and 12 weeks, compared with no improvements among participants who the usual six meals a day. Using data from 28 participants, the researchers also found that the diet lowered the need for diabetes medications and enhanced the expression of biological clock genes.

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Medical News Today
12/9/2019

Former physician Elisabeth Rosenthal got a first-hand look at modern hospital billing practices when her husband fell off his bicycle and suffered six broken ribs, a collapsed lung, and a broken finger, collarbone and shoulder blade. Although some of the charges were transparent and reasonable, others were opaque and exorbitant and could be considered fraudulent in any other industry, Rosenthal writes, adding that EHRs may be enabling shady billing.

12/9/2019

Scientists at the Department of Veterans Affairs' new National Artificial Intelligence Institute are seeking input from veterans and partnering with other federal agencies as well as stakeholders in industry, academia and the nonprofit sector to apply artificial intelligence and machine learning to health and wellness. Work at the institute will contribute to the American AI Initiative and the National AI R&D Strategic Plan.

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Healthcare IT News
12/9/2019

Four health care leaders at a Forbes summit shared steps their organizations have taken to improve social and community factors that contribute to poor health. Acts have ranged from building a local movie theater to offering low-cost broadband internet access to empowering social workers, health coaches and nurse practitioners to provide care.

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Forbes
12/9/2019

Eight health systems in Washington state, representing 40 hospitals and more than 1,000 health care facilities, have formed the Washington Health Care Climate Alliance to advocate for "climate-smart" policies and help protect their communities from the effects of climate change. WA Alliance members also are working to make their facilities more climate-friendly.