Wednesday, August 24, 2011

From the BNA: HHS Challenges Software Developers To Make Facebook Applications for Disasters

the Department of Health and Human Services announced Aug. 22 that federal officials are challenging software application developers to design new Facebook applications to help people prepare for emergencies and get support from friends and family after an emergency strikes.

HHS said its Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) issued the ASPR Lifeline Facebook Application Developer Challenge in collaboration with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). According to HHS, the online challenge runs throughout National Preparedness Month in September and the remainder of the 2011 hurricane season, closing Nov. 4.

“After disasters, a tremendous number of people use Facebook to post and share information,” Assistant HHS Secretary Nicole Lurie said. She added, “We're challenging our country's most innovative developers to create apps that help people use Facebook not only to reach out to friends and family for any kind of help they may need after emergency but also to become better prepared in the first place.”

The person or team developing the best application will receive $10,000 from HHS and free admission from Health 2.0 to the 2012 Health 2.0 conference, and will be invited to an HHS event with Lurie, according to HHS. The second-place winner will get $5,000, and third place will receive $1,000.

According to HHS, the submissions will be judged on the application's ability to enhance community connections and improve individual preparedness. “The goal is an app that enables a Facebook user to invite three Facebook friends to become lifelines, points of contact who agree to act as a source of support during disasters such as providing transportation, a place to stay or anything else the Facebook friend may need,” the department said.

HHS said that all submissions will be reviewed by judges from Facebook, ASPR, FEMA, and the New Orleans Health Commissioner.

The Aug. 22 announcement by HHS follows publication of an Aug. 10 notice on the “Lifeline Facebook App Challenge” in the Federal Register (76 Fed. Reg. 49485).

Monday, August 15, 2011

From Medscape Medical News: Two Physicians Indicted in Pain-Med Deaths of 4 Patients

Medscape News has reported that two physicians who once practiced in Colorado face federal charges of illegally prescribing opioid analgesics and other controlled substances that led 4 patients to overdose and die. They also face charges of healthcare fraud and money laundering.

If convicted, Sam Jahani, DO, of Cleveland, Texas, and Eric Peper, MD, of Summerland Key, Florida, could receive long prison sentences and pay millions of dollars in fines. The charges related to the patient deaths come with the most severe punishment — life imprisonment.

Read the entire article at the Medscape Medical News website.

From The BNA: HHS, Treasury Issue Proposed Exchange Rules on Enrollment, Premium Subsidies, Tax Credits

The BNA has reported that the departments of Health and Human Services and Treasury Aug. 12 released three proposed rules regarding implementation of new state-based health insurance exchanges.

As both HHS and the Treasury Department have reported, the rules detail enrollment and eligibility standards, including small employer participation, and how premium tax credits for low-income individuals will be administered.

The HHS rule on Exchange Eligibility and Employer Standards proposes standards and procedures for enrolling individuals in the online insurance exchanges through a simplified, coordinated system that verifies income and eligibility in “near real-time.”

The same proposed rule also sets out standards for employer participation in the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP), which permits small employers to purchase health insurance on the exchange.

Read more about the proposed rules here:

"HHS, Treasury Issue Proposed Exchange Rules on Enrollment, Premium Subsidies, Tax Credits." BNA's Healthcare Daily Report. 12 Aug. 2011

Sunday, August 14, 2011

From the Public Citizen Press Room: California Is Delinquent in Disciplining Dangerous Doctors

710 Doctors Escaped Medical Board Action, Including 102 Considered an ‘Immediate Threat to Health and Safety.’

Read more at the Public Citizen website.

From the New York Times: The Phantom Menace of Sleep-Deprived Doctors

After decades of debate and over the opposition of nearly every major medical organization and 79 percent of residency-program directors, new rules went into effect that abolished 30-hour overnight shifts for first-year residents.

Read the rest of the article at the New York Times website.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Joint Commission Telemedicine Pre-Publication Standards

The Joint Commission has released its pre-publication standards regarding Telemedicine.

Read more about the requirements here:

From InformationWeek: How social media is being utilized to prepare for emergencies.

A recent article in InformationWeek's Healthcare section indicates that Twitter, Facebook, and online communities can help healthcare organizations, emergency personnel, and government agencies better prepare for and respond to emergencies, so it's a good idea to integrate these technologies into planning.

Read the full article here:

Monday, August 1, 2011

From the AMA: Call for civility aims to stop disruptive behavior in the OR

In the following article, the AMA reports on continued concerns regarding disruptive behavior and medicine. The article reports that the chair of Surgery and Transplant Medicine at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles arranges social events so surgical teams can get to know each other as individuals, help to build relationships and improve patient safety. Share your strategies with other MSP’s by leaving a comment about what your medical staff has implemented to improve disruptive behavior.

Read more from the AMA:

Announcement for TX - From the Texas Medical Association: DPS Extends Controlled Substance Certificate Renewals

The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) says it will grant physicians 30 days to correct incomplete or inaccurate applications to renew controlled substance certificates.

Read more here: