Pharma Ads Target Smartphone Users in Waiting Rooms
July 9, 2019 | Eric D. Fader | HIPAA | Hospitals | Pharmaceuticals
FiercePharma reports that patients in doctor’s office waiting rooms who use the office Wi-Fi network may now receive targeted pharmaceutical ads on their smartphones. Semcasting, Inc., a Massachusetts-based data provider, uses a technology called Smart Zones that can deliver messages to the entire audience at a business’s IP address. The digital ad delivery is far …
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Medical Practitioners Call for Change to Massachusetts Marijuana Regulations
June 10, 2019 | Mark J. Wagner Jr. | Cannabis | Hospitals | Legislation and Public Policy
More than 40 physicians, clinicians and researchers from Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital and other institutions issued a 16-page Statement of Concern to Massachusetts lawmakers requesting that the Commonwealth’s Cannabis Control Commission suspend processing new business licenses and conduct a public health assessment of its “Social Equity Program.” These practitioners are criticizing the inadequacy …
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Supreme Court Sides with Hospitals on Change in Medicare DSH Payments
June 6, 2019 | Margarita Christoforou | Hospitals | Legislation and Public Policy | Litigation | Medicare and Medicaid
In a 7-1 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on June 3 that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) may not adjust the rates it pays hospitals for serving low-income patients without first giving them an opportunity to comment on the changes. The Medicare Act requires public notice and a 60-day comment period …
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NYS Senate Bill Would Expand Medical Marijuana Program
May 21, 2019 | Cassandra Rivais DiNova | Mark J. Wagner Jr. | Cannabis | Hospitals | Legislation and Public Policy | Pharmaceuticals
On May 10, a new bill was introduced into the New York Senate to expand the state’s medical marijuana program. The overall goal of the bill is to reduce the burdens on patients seeking access to medical marijuana. The current version of the applicable statute requires that a medical condition be designated as “serious” in …
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HHS Announces New Primary Care Pay Models
April 23, 2019 | Eric D. Fader | Hospitals | Legislation and Public Policy | Medicare and Medicaid | Private Insurers
On April 22, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) officials announced the introduction of five optional value-based care models for large and small primary care physician practices. The new payment models will incorporate incentives for keeping Medicare patients healthy, as alternatives to traditional fee-for-service payment structures. Alex Azar, HHS Secretary, and Seema Verma, …
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Amazon’s Alexa Now HIPAA-Compliant
April 18, 2019 | Eric D. Fader | Cybersecurity | Electronic Health Records | HIPAA | Home Health | Hospitals | Medical Devices and Wearables | Private Insurers | Telehealth
Amazon announced in a blog post on April 4 that its Alexa voice assistant’s operating environment now complies with HIPAA. Companies that build functions, or skills, for Alexa will now be able to create skills that involve the transmission of users’ protected health information. The initial group of six participants in an invitation-only program includes …
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Imaging Equipment Vulnerable to Cyberattacks
April 4, 2019 | Eric D. Fader | Cybersecurity | Electronic Health Records | Hospitals | Telehealth
Researchers at the Ben-Gurion University Cyber Security Research Center in Israel have created malware that could exploit vulnerabilities in MRI and CT scanning equipment to alter patients’ images. The Washington Post discussed the research project in an April 3 article. In theory, by adding fabricated cancerous nodules to a MRI or CT scan, an attacker …
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New York State Budget Includes ACA-Type Protections
April 3, 2019 | Eric D. Fader | Affordable Care Act | Home Health | Hospitals | Legislation and Public Policy | Medicare and Medicaid | Private Insurers
New York’s state budget for the 2019-2020 fiscal year, approved by the State Legislature on March 31, included provisions that codify into state law the primary consumer protections of the federal Affordable Care Act. In a public announcement, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said, “We have codified many of the protections of Obamacare, so regardless of what …
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CMS Accepting Applications for AI Contest
March 28, 2019 | Cassandra Rivais DiNova | Electronic Health Records | Hospitals | Legislation and Public Policy | Medicare and Medicaid
On March 27, the Innovation Center at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced an artificial intelligence contest. The CMS Artificial Intelligence (AI) Health Outcomes Challenge, in collaboration with the American Academy of Family Physicians and the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, is looking for innovative technology and strategies to predict health outcomes, …
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“Surprise Bill” Solution is on Senate’s To-Do List
March 20, 2019 | Eric D. Fader | Hospitals | Legislation and Public Policy | Private Insurers
A bipartisan group of U.S. senators is at work on federal “surprise bill” legislation that may be officially proposed within weeks. The proposal will target the common scenario in which an insured individual receives covered healthcare services from an in-network hospital, surgery center, imaging center or laboratory, while an out-of-network healthcare provider also provides non-emergency …
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