Scientists at the Department of Veterans Affairs' new National Artificial Intelligence Institute are seeking input from veterans and partnering with other federal agencies as well as stakeholders in industry, academia and the nonprofit sector to apply artificial intelligence and machine learning to health and wellness. Work at the institute will contribute to the American AI Initiative and the National AI R&D Strategic Plan.
Four health care leaders at a Forbes summit shared steps their organizations have taken to improve social and community factors that contribute to poor health. Acts have ranged from building a local movie theater to offering low-cost broadband internet access to empowering social workers, health coaches and nurse practitioners to provide care.
A new CMS rule will require Medicare, Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Program to disclose relationships with other providers and suppliers who may have been sanctioned by the CMS or had other negative interactions with the agency. Practices will need to determine which entities would be considered an "affiliated relationship," and "bad actors" may need to be avoided in order to protect the practice.
Disruptive EHR alerts frustrate physicians and lead to burnout, but a visual aid that flags possible errors can reduce burnout, according to a study in JAMA Network Open. The visual aid led to a 49% drop in unintentional duplicate orders for lab tests and a 40% decline in unintentional duplicate orders for radiology tests.
The percentage of value-based payments from commercial health plans to physicians and hospitals increased to 53% in 2017 from 10.9% in 2012, according to a report from the Catalyst for Payment Reform. However, the analysis found that 90% of value-based payments in 2017 were based on fee-for-service and only 6% of total dollars stemmed from an alternative payment model that put downside risk on providers.
Eric Snyder, owner of Delray Beach, Fla.-based drug treatment center Real Life Recovery and sober home Halfway There, was sentenced to 10 years in prison and ordered to pay $20.2 million in restitution and repay an additional $4.1 million after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud for his role in a $20 million health insurance fraud scheme. Snyder's co-conspirators were also sentenced for their role in the scheme, which involved submitting claims for fraudulent and unnecessary tests to insurers.
Members of a Russian hacking group called Evil Corp. are being sought by the US for allegedly stealing at least $100 million from banks and corporations in more than 40 countries. The Justice and Treasury departments announced indictments and sanctions against the group, which used malware spread through phishing campaigns to steal bank account login credentials and transfer funds.
Ethical considerations for big data projects in health care like Google and Ascension's Project Nightingale go beyond consent and HIPAA compliance, writes public health lawyer and assistant professor Cason Schmit. The World Health Organization's public health ethics framework applies to such projects and calls for evaluating the collective benefit, effects on equity, respect for individual rights, accountability and public transparency, Schmit writes.
The fall cybersecurity newsletter from the HHS Office for Civil Rights includes insights on ransomware threats and mitigation strategies for the health care sector. Hackers are infiltrating targets' networks to identify crucial services, uncover sensitive data and locate backup resources before launching tailored attacks, but they continue to rely on phishing and unpatched vulnerabilities, the OCR says.
University Health Care System in Georgia and health IT vendor Recondo Technology developed a digital tool that can calculate a patient's out-of-pocket cost accurately to within 5%. The calculator is embedded in University Health's website, and George Ann Phillips, administrative director for revenue cycle, recommended that other systems using calculators do so in a way that encourages patients to schedule care instead of delaying it.