MASSDEVICE ON CALL — Study: PTSD biological pathway identified. New research shows that high blood levels of a hormone, called PACAP (pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide), produced in response to stress is associated with post-traumatic stress disorder in women but not men. The results of the study by researchers at Emory University and the University of Vermont is scheduled for publication in the Feb. 24 issue of Nature, according to a statement from Emory.
New York City parks and plazas are now (tobacco) smoke free. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg signed legislation that prohibits smoking in parks, beaches, marinas and on boardwalks and pedestrian plazas, reports The Wall Street Journal. The law takes effect on May 23.
CMS touts physician interest in EHR incentive programs. More than 21,000 healthcare providers registered for the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs in January and four states reported initial Medicaid incentive payments totaling $20.4 million, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. CMS reports that, in addition,
[T]he Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) announced that as of Feb. 11, 2011, more than 45,000 providers requested information or registration help from 62 Regional Extension Centers. RECs provide hands-on support for providers who want to adopt and become meaningful users of electronic health information technology. This early interest in the Medicare and Medicaid EHR programs reveals strong support for these programs that will advance health care through improvements in patient safety, quality of care, and patient involvement in treatment options.
athenahealth survey suggest docs still skeptical of EHRs. A 500-physician survey released by athenahealth (NSDQ:ATHN), which provides online business services to medical groups, and online physician community Sermo, showed that while the overall favorable rating held steady at 77 percent, more detailed responses showed doctors were more skeptical about digitized records, The Wall Street Journal writes.
MIT engineers develop nano-vaccine technology. New nanoparticles developed by engineers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology could lead to powerful vaccines for HIV and other diseases, such as Malaria, the school reports. The new particles, described in the Feb. 20 issue of Nature Materials, consist of concentric fatty spheres that can carry synthetic versions of proteins normally produced by viruses.