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.
Thirty health care and patient safety organizations have sent a letter asking Congress to approve $31.5 million to support CDC's National Health Care Safety Network -- which tracks health care-associated infections -- as well as a related CDC program. Health Data Management.
The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health has advanced a draft bill to increase oversight of the country's prescription drug supply. Unlike similar draft legislation introduced in the Senate, the House proposal would not require FDA to implement electronic tracking tools. However, the House proposal would allow for electronic prescription labeling. The Hill's "RegWatch" et al.
An FDA spokesperson says that it likely will be at least seven weeks before the agency releases a final rule creating a unique device identification system. A UDI system would allow FDA to electronically track and recall problematic medical devices. Modern Healthcare.
For a new study, researchers from Brigham Young University used Twitter to track Adderall misuse among college students. According to the researchers, social media could help public health officials identify populations with high rates of medication misuse. Deseret News et al.
CMS said it intends to remove data on eight hospital-acquired conditions from its Hospital Compare website in part because some of the measures are redundant. The agency is expected to identify a new list of hospital-acquired conditions to report on the site. Bloomberg.
The Federal Communications Commission is seeking input on its plan to create a national public safety broadband network. Such a network would make it easier for emergency responders to communicate with each other. FierceMobileHealthcare, Courthouse News Service.
A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association finds that implementing newer electronic health record systems with advanced clinical decision support tools could help reduce prescribing errors over time. Becker's Hospital Review et al.
Some lawmakers are concerned about the lack of electronic drug tracking requirements in a draft House bill aimed at boosting oversight of the nation's prescription drug supply. A similar Senate proposal calls for an electronic drug tracking system. The Hill's "RegWatch" et al.
As part of its plan to modernize its medical device surveillance system, FDA is calling for the creation of a smartphone application that would make it easier for health care providers to report medical device-related adverse events. Meanwhile, the agency has launched a new website to educate consumers about its regulatory process. Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times' "Booster Shots."
A draft bill unveiled by a bipartisan group of senators would implement a nationwide electronic system to track the distribution of prescription drugs. Under the proposal, FDA would maintain a publicly available, online database of wholesale drug distributors. The lawmakers are accepting public comment on the draft bill through April 26. Philadelphia Inquirer's "PhillyPharma" et al.
A new proposal from HHS seeks to address legal barriers under HIPAA that prevent states from reporting certain medical data to a federal gun-purchase background check database. The proposal states that HHS is considering "an express permission in the HIPAA rules" for reporting relevant data. The Hill's "RegWatch" et al.
A work group convened by HHS and the Federal Communications Commission is preparing to hold its first meeting April 29. The group is charged with identifying strategies to improve patient safety and promote innovation in health IT. Healthcare IT News, Health Data Management.
A computer model developed as part of an online crowdsourcing contest uses a three-gene signature to predict with 76% accuracy which of two breast cancer patients would live longer, according to a study. MedPage Today's "The Gupta Guide," MyHealthNewsDaily/Yahoo! News.
In the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings on Monday, emergency response teams used social media channels to disseminate information to the public. In addition, organizations like the American Red Cross, Google and the Boston Globe provided online resources to help friends and family locate each other and to help displaced individuals find a place to stay. FierceHealthIT et al.