1. “Doc Fix” Gets the Nix
Last Tuesday, a policy nicknamed the “doc fix” finally got the ax. The policy, which has served as an excuse for crisis-motivated legislation for many years, refers to a process by which Congress struggled to figure out how much Medicare would pay physicians. According to the Huffington Post, this struggle was often accompanied by loud threats from physicians who proposed that they might just stop treating Medicare patients altogether. Surprisingly, Congress just passed a $141 billion bill that fixes the doc fix – that’s a pretty big deal.
2. Medicare Reimbursement Gets Clarified
What does axing the “doc fix” mean, exactly? It means that Congress approved a bill that would repair the current formula for reimbursing Medicare physicians, according to Reuters. The bill will replace the 1990s formula linking doctor pay to economic growth, instead allowing for a focus on quality of care. It will also mean that wealthier individuals pay higher Medicare premiums.
3. Partners Health Care & Samsung Unite
This week, Partners Health Care and Samsung Electronics announced that they will be partnering to develop mobile health solutions, including “personalized digital and mobile solutions for health and wellness.” According to an announcement on Tuesday, they’ll be starting with software development and clinical research to improve chronic disease management.
“We are excited to have access to the vast capabilities of Samsung Electronics to help improve the way we deliver care to our patients. This joint development program has the potential to significantly propel mHealth and personal connected health forward,” Kamal Jethwani, MD, MPH, Senior Director of Connected Health Innovation at Partners HealthCare, said in a release.
4. Nexus Launches Mobile Nursing Station
Nexus is also jumping on the mobile train, and has announced that they will be making use of the MONA (Mobile Patient Observation Station) in the coming months. According to a release, this station has been designed to cost effectively improve patient safety and to provide added flexibility across more diverse locations while shortening deployment time. MONA will allow for video and audio technology to monitor multiple patients from a remote location.
5. JAMA Article Calls for More Effective Tools & Apps
The benefits of apps aimed at chronic conditions may have limits, according to a new JAMA article. Where are those limits? And should app developers submit their ideas to scientific study and rigorous approval processes? According to MedCity News, the study calls out WellDoc, which is a secure, research-backed app for around the clock diabetes management. The app also has FDA clearance, making it a good example of an app that is both effective and can be recommended by physicians.
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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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