QWay Healthcare brings you this week’s top healthcare news updates from the American medical industry. Have a look to stay updated:

Health

CDC releases treatment recommendations for Avian Flu

  • The CDC released a health advisory earlier this week to cover the testing and treatment pathways for Avian Flu or (A)H5N1 bird flu.
  • Just a day before that, the CDC had confirmed America’s first case of the H5 virus in a Colorado man.
  • According to the health advisory, any patient showing signs of respiratory illness who has potentially been in contact with infected birds must be tested for the H5N1 virus.
  • The CDC also said that clinicians and public health workers should use personal protective equipment while in contact with these patients.
  • The health advisory listed oseltamivir, zanamivir, and baloxavir for immediate use in the case of patients with potential exposure and visible symptoms.

Ban on flavored cigarettes proposed by FDA

  • The FDA, in its latest press release, has proposed a ban on menthol and other flavored cigarettes in the USA.
  • The other flavors cover grape, cocoa, fruit punch, and strawberry. Research shows that these flavors attract younger crowds more to tobacco products.
  • The FDA feels that the ban on flavored cigarettes will increase the number of tobacco quitters and reduce the young generation’s addiction to tobacco products.
  • According to a report in the New York Times, 85% Black population and 29% white population use menthol-flavored cigarettes currently.
  • The proposed rules are open to public comments from May 4, 2022, onwards. The FDA will also hold a public listening session in June.

Technology

Mayo Clinic develops an AI algorithm to detect a heart condition

  • A group of researchers at Mayo Clinic has developed a 12-lead algorithm to detect heart conditions in people.
  • The job is done with the help of electrocardiograms recorded on the Apple Watch. The algorithm is capable of detecting a weak heart pump from this data.
  • The researchers developed this methodology after collecting data from 125,000 unique Apple Watch EKGs for six months.
  • The information covers unique individual data taken from Apple watch users spanning 46 states in the USA and 11 countries overall.
  • Lead AI scientist in the Department of Cardiovascular Medicine at Mayo Clinic, Itzhak Attia, Ph.D., said, “While our data are early, the test had an area under the curve of 0.88, meaning it is as good as or slightly better than a medical treadmill test.”

Augmented Reality could be the next big disruptor, according to HCA

  • According to HCA Healthcare’s Chief Medical Officer Randy Fagin, MD, Augmented Reality could be the next big disruptor in medical technology.
  • The records from HCA Healthcare’s orthopedic surgeries suggest rapid growth in robotics-assisted surgery so far.
  • The organization also notes that the physicians using robotic assistance have seen a more extraordinary rise in revenue generation in comparison to those who have not.
  • Comparing the two methods, Augmented Reality entails a much lesser cost than robotics assistance. It also takes up less space.
  • “We’re going to hit a logarithmic rise in utilization of augmented reality in hip and knee replacement, and it will disrupt the robotic marketplace,” said Dr. Fagin in his statement.

Business

UNC Health and Appalachian Regional affiliation initiated

  • An affiliation deal has been finalized between Appalachian Regional Healthcare System and the University of North Carolina Health.
  • With the initiation of this deal, Appalachian Regional Healthcare System will now be able to invest in UNC’s technology, services, facilities, and pieces of equipment.
  • Epic’s MyChart patient portal will enable patients with different capabilities like viewing test results, online payment of bills, and appointment scheduling.
  • Access to Epic’s patient portal has been one of the vital focal points of this deal, says Appalachian Regional Healthcare System’s board chair, Thomas Dale.
  • This affiliation will also open doors for Appalachian to expand its services into specialties and subspecialties.

Wisconsin gets a new community acute-care hospital

  • Froedtert and Medical College of Wisconsin has opened a new acute-care community hospital in Mequon, Wisconsin.
  • The new hospital marks the fourth such hospital opened by Froedtert healthcare network in the area.
  • The new hospital is well-equipped with a seven-bed emergency department and eight in-patient bed departments.
  • The new facility also comes with imaging services, a pharmacy, and a well-equipped laboratory.
  • Cathy Jacobson, president and CEO of Froedtert said that the expansion of these facilities in the north shore area facilitates their goal of primary care access.

Medical Billing

Medicaid expansion bill underway in Connecticut

  • The Connecticut legislature finalized a bill expanding Medicaid to undocumented children of the age of 12 years and younger.
  • The bill expands Medicaid benefits to children regardless of immigration status. Their parents must fulfill the income criteria.
  • The bill has now been sent for Governor’s approval. The expansion has a budget of $400,000.
  • Last year, Connecticut brought the same law for children who are younger than eight years.
  • If and when approved, undocumented children who are 12 years or under in the state of Connecticut will be eligible for the extended Medicaid service from January 1 of next year.

Colorado Bill to facilitate a boost in price transparency

  • The Colorado legislature passed a bill in the house last week to boost price transparency compliance among hospitals.
  • The bill restricts hospitals from collecting debts from patients if they do not comply with the price transparency rule of the CMS.
  • Under the Colorado Fair Debt Collections Act, collecting debts while maintaining non-compliance with the CMS rule will become illegal.
  • The legislators highlighted that healthcare costs in Colorado were among the highest in all of the USA. Bringing this bill will keep the hospitals in check.
  • Though the price transparency rule came into effect on January 1, 2021, only around 14% of hospitals maintain compliance with the law, according to the data of PatientRightsAdvocate.org.

Follow our blog to get regular healthcare news updates on the American healthcare industry. You can also follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Sources:

CDC issues avian flu recommendations for clinicians | AHA News

FDA Proposes Rules Prohibiting Menthol Cigarettes and Flavored Cigars to Prevent Youth Initiation, Significantly Reduce Tobacco-Related Disease and Death | FDA

F.D.A. Moves to Ban Sales of Menthol Cigarettes – The New York Times (nytimes.com)

Mayo researchers use AI to detect weak heart pump via patients’ Apple Watch ECGs – Mayo Clinic News Network

Upward trend in robotic-assisted surgery may be disrupted by virtual reality (healio.com)

Appalachian Regional Healthcare System and UNC Health Sign Affiliation Agreement | Newsroom (unchealthcare.org)

Froedtert & MCW health network opens community hospital in Mequon | Froedtert & MCW

CT legislature expands Medicaid to undocumented children under 13 (ctmirror.org)

Colorado Bill Aims to Limit Debt Collections, Boost Price Transparency (revcycleintelligence.com)