UnitedHealthcare's Techstars-powered accelerator held a demo day recently where entrepreneurs displayed digital tools for physicians, apps for patients and consumers, and a sensor that alerts caregivers when a patient's walker tips over. The accelerator provides funding and mentorship, and two more cohorts are scheduled through 2021.
Apple's AC Wellness primary health care clinics are offering Color Genomics' genetic tests to employees for free in an attempt to prevent disease. The initiative might also facilitate testing of new products.
The HHS' Office for Civil Rights fined Florida-based primary care provider Korunda Medical for failing to share a patient's medical records with a third party within the required time period and in electronic format despite multiple requests from the patient and technical assistance from the OCR. Korunda also charged more than allowed under HIPAA, according to the OCR, though the records eventually were provided for free.
Cigna's Express Scripts has chosen 15 programs from technology companies for a new digital health formulary. The formulary, which will include treatments for depression, anxiety, asthma and diabetes, will launch in January, and CVS Caremark is planning to offer a similar program.
Health care providers' lack of permission to show emotion and vulnerability can lead to a culture of zero tolerance for mistakes and can have negative health effects, write Roel van der Heijde of the Patient-Centered Care Association in The Netherlands and Dirk Deichmann of Erasmus University. Efforts to improve health care should focus less on why things go wrong and more on why things go right most of the time.
Patients continued to be more involved in their health care in 2019, and health IT helped providers connect with them in ways aimed at improving outcomes. University Health Care System in Georgia, Integris in Oklahoma and Eisenhower Health in California this year all implemented programs related to patient engagement.
A report from the HHS Office of Inspector General found Medicare Advantage plans used patient chart reviews to include additional patient diagnoses when billing, leading to an additional $6.7 billion in Medicare payments in 2017. Insurers said the report was based on old and incomplete information.
A panel discussion at the Radiological Society of North America's annual meeting covered the debate on diagnosing and managing pulmonary embolism, concerns about possible fatal but rare embolisms, and preventing unnecessary radiation and anticoagulant treatment with possible side effects. Points raised by the panel included the treatment of higher-risk embolisms that result in right-side heart failure, taking a cautious "watch and wait" approach when diagnosing, and the need for radiologists to play a more active role in the diagnosis of pulmonary embolism beyond taking images.
A study published in INCI Cancer Spectrum found that rates of HR-positive/HER-negative and HR-positive/HER2-positive breast cancer were 41% and 65% higher, respectively, among black men, compared with white men. The study also found that HR-negative/HER2-positive rates were 2.5 times higher and triple-negative breast cancer was 2.27 times higher in black men than in white men.