The House Ways and Means Committee announces the Medicare Red Tape Relief Project, which will work to reduce legislative and regulatory burdens on Medicare providers. The three-stage project (the name of which is eerily similar to AMA’s Break the Red Tape campaign) is initially seeking feedback from stakeholders on how Congress can deliver statutory relief from current mandates, and how it can work with HHS Secretary Tom Price, MD and CMS Administrator Seema Verma to provide that relief. Feedback is due August 25.
HIStalk Practice Musings
I added a landline several days ago in an effort to take back my cell phone from certain members of my household whose friends love to call and chat for extended periods of time. It’s been about 10 years since I’ve had a home phone, and I had forgotten how many telemarketing calls they attract. It didn’t take me long to look up the particulars of adding my new number to the National Do Not Call List. The CDC, which tracks mobile phone and landline use in households as part of its focus on the health habits of American domiciles, reports that cell phone-only homes are now in the majority. Fun/sobering fact: Nearly 30 percent of wireless-only adults are binge drinkers, while “only” 18 percent of adults living in landline households drink heavily.
Announcements and Implementations
ATI Physical Therapy (IL) develops an app to give its physical therapy patients access to their treatment plans and related content while on the go.
Digital health company Livongo Health will make its high blood pressure- and diabetes-related educational resources available to patients through its new membership in the American Heart Association’s Center for Health Technology and Innovation Tech Collaborative.
Radiology Associates (AR) selects enterprise imaging software from Mach7 Technologies.
Therapy Source hires Tracy Sippl (Cross Country Staffing) to head up its TheraWeb virtual therapy staffing services.
The Memphis, TN-based Southern College of Optometry’s new paperless FocalPoint clinic rolls out telemedicine services from EyecareLive.
Telemedicine startup OmniaMD – founded by cardiologist Jorge Castellanos, MD and Lauren Timpe, RN opens for business in California.
Abundant Life Social Services (UT) will offer remote mental health therapy through white-label telemedicine services from Doxy.Me
Government and Politics
CMS adds new APIs and Github Repositories for developers working on QPP reporting.
The majority of Wisconsin tech company Three Square Market’s 80 employees have agreed to embed RFID chips in their fingers to free up time when accessing the building and purchasing things at the on-site cafeteria. CEO Todd Westby has downplayed any concerns around privacy by pointing out that cell phones report “100 times” more data than do RFID chips.
The Onion publishes a funny piece on the damage Dr. Mario is doing to the practice of medicine:
“You see, unlike Dr. Mario, I’m constantly forced to make nuanced, complicated decisions. There are more than three germs out there. And there’s more to medicine than spinning pills in the air and lining them up according to color in columns of four or more. In my practice, I write prescriptions, conduct examinations, order diagnostic tests and scans, and break the bad news to terminally ill patients about how long they have to live. It really is an extremely difficult job.
Just yesterday I picked up my forceps and—being ever so careful not to touch the sides of the incision and get shocked—removed an ice cream cone from a man’s skull, successfully treating his brain freeze. For real doctors, it’s all in a day’s work.”