We bring you this week’s healthcare and medtech trends, from Boston and beyond:
1. Government Overhauls Medicare Payments to Doctors & Hospitals
You’ve heard the complaint before – Obamacare rewards quantity over quality, leaving physicians in the ethically tough spot of choosing between their own interests and those of the patients they care for. But on Monday, the Obama administration announced that Medicare will change the way it pays hospitals and doctors to reward quality over volume.
We’ve been hoping for a shift like this for a while, so we’re hesitant to put our belief in these new efforts. According to the NYTimes, though, this announcement will set specific goals and timetables for the initiative. “It’s time we put our money where our mouth is,” said Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon, the top Democrat on the committee that oversees Medicare.
2. Apple Watch to Ship in April 2015
If you’re excited to see the potential of the Apple Watch for yourself, Tim Cook’s announcement might just make your day. “Development for Apple Watch is right on schedule and we expect to begin shipping in April,” Cook said to mobihealthnews. “Developers are hard at work on apps, notifications, and information summaries that we call Glances, all designed specifically for the Watch’s user interface.”
The Apple Watch will track movement and give users “stand reminders.” The watch will also provide standing goals, moving goals and exercise goals.
3. Patients Join the EHR Movement, Too
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, a local hospital known for its innovative experiments in data collection and sharing, has announced another new pilot that will give patients unprecidented access to their EHRs. According to HealthcareITNews, the pilot is thanks to a $450,000 grant from The Commonwealth Fund. They’ll implement OurNotes, the latest innovation in the OpenNotes movement. Patients will be able to write directly into their own EHRs.
Jenni Whalen is the Executive Assistant of Editorial at Upworthy. She was previously MedTech Boston's Managing Editor and has an MS in Journalism from Boston University, as well as a BA in Psychology from Bucknell University. Whalen has written for Greatist, Boston magazine, AZ Central Healthy Living and the New England Journal of Medicine, among other places. She has also worked as a conference planner, ghost writer, researcher and content developer.
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