A study finds that a Facebook project has helped boost organ donor registration rates since it launched in May 2012 to 161 million users. On the first day of the initiative, 13,054 U.S. residents registered online to be donors, according to the study. Kaiser Health News' "Capsules" et al.
Telehealth is touted as a way to boost access to care for rural and low-income residents, but a new Department of Commerce study finds that telehealth use is much more prevalent among urban and wealthier Internet users. Clinical Innovation & Technology, FierceGovernmentIT.
On Wednesday, a Department of Veterans Affairs official said the department has reached a "tipping point" in processing the backlog of disability claims. VA expects to meet its goal of processing all claims pending for more than 125 days by 2015. Washington Post's "Federal Eye," NextGov.
Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood and Digital Citizens Alliance report Google has removed YouTube videos and online ads promoting websites selling medications without prescriptions. Last week, Hood threatened legal action over the content. AP/Mississippi Press, USA Today.
Teenager participants in the National Cancer Institute's text message-based smoking cessation program SmokefreeTXT have an average quit rate of 12% after one month and 6% after six months. In comparison, the typical smoking cessation rate for teens is 2% to 3%. Politico.
A federal judge has lifted a 33-year-old injunction that blocked public access to data on the amount that individual physicians receive in Medicare reimbursements. An American Medical Association official says the group might appeal the ruling. Reuters, Wall Street Journal.
Mount Sinai Medical Center CEO Steve Sonenreich says that he plans to publish online the prices that the hospital charges commercial insurers for diagnoses and care. Other health systems also should disclose such data, Sonenreich says. Miami Herald, Bloomberg Businessweek.
New Federal Communications Commission rules will require wireless carriers and text messaging providers to send bounce-back texts to users who try to text 911 where text-to-911 services are unavailable. FierceMobileHealthcare, Telecompaper.
During a House committee presentation last week, IBM representatives showcased the health care knowledge of its supercomputer Watson. Lawmakers at the event expressed support for Watson and health care innovation. Washington Post's "Innovations."
A study by communications agency Ideahaus that was published in the Journal of Communication in Healthcare finds that health care communications professionals prefer using YouTube over Twitter and other social media websites. Healthcare IT News.
Mana Health will receive $15,000 as the first place winner of a New York eHealth Collaborative challenge. The contest asked software developers to build an online portal that would allow New York residents to access and share their health records. Health Imaging, NYeC release.
A new online tool created by ProPublica allows the public for the first time to search, sort and compare information on physicians and other health care providers who prescribe medication under Medicare Part D. The tool -- called Prescriber Checkup -- accompanies ProPublica's analysis of CMS data on Medicare Part D prescribing patterns. ProPublica/Washington Post, ProPublica.
The Office of Management and Budget has issued a new policy requiring federal agencies to make data more accessible and searchable. The Obama administration also released an online resource to aid research on links between climate change and health. FierceHealthIT et al.
CVS Caremark and five health insurers will begin to require their business associates to assess their information security by participating in an independent security-assessment program developed by the Health Information Trust Alliance. Modern Healthcare, HITRUST release.
For the first time, CMS has made available an online data source showing hospital charges for certain common medical procedures. Federal officials also announced $87 million in grants to help local governments make health care pricing data available online. New York Times et al.