MASSDEVICE ON CALL — The IRS is under fire again, this time for allegations that it improperly seized millions of medical records in California.
The U.S. House Energy & Commerce Committee opened a probe of the alleged malfeasance by the federal tax bureau after a lawsuit filed in March charged the IRS with seizing 10 million records without a warrant or subpoena.
Republicans sent a letter to acting administrator Daniel Werfel asking how the IRS planned to assure patient privacy and confidentiality, according to Kaiser Health News. The original class action suit, filed in San Diego, Calif., argues that the IRS violated the Constitutions’s 4th Amendment when it allegedly took the records.
Mobile network launches for the blind
The first mobile network for the visually impaired is slated to launch next month. Odin Mobile’s flagship phone has specially-designed software to allow visually impaired customers to easily call, send texts and browse the Internet. Odin Mobile said it plans to give 2% of the profits from voice and text services to organizations that focus on visual impairment solutions.
Hospital accountable care program will save billions by 2015
One piece of the Affordable Care Act, the physician and hospital accountable care program, has already saved hospitals and patients millions, according to Bloomberg. More than 200 hospitals and physician groups signed up for the accountability program, which asks docs to track the health of elderly and disabled patients. Hospitals save if they manage to cut the cost of care, and early indicators suggest this program will meet expectated savings of $1.9 billion from 2012 to 2015.
American immigrants found ⅓ of startups
One-third of the venture-backed firms that went public from 2006-2012 were founded by immigrants, according to a study from the National Venture Capital Assn. The number of immigrants involved in start-up creation is up 20% compared to the years before 2006, according to the study.
"As Congress debates comprehensive immigration reform, understanding the contributions of high-skilled, foreign born entrepreneurs to our country is imperative to ensuring meaningful changes to our system," said Mark Heesen, NVCA president, according to a press release.