MASSDEVICE ON CALL — Health IT change in Washington. Dr. David Blumenthal, who has overseen President Obama’s health IT policy, is leaving to return to Harvard.
“As you know, I have told Secretary Sebelius that I will be returning to my academic home this spring, as was planned when I accepted the position of National Coordinator for Health Information Technology,” Blumenthal wrote in a memo to ONC colleagues, reports EMR Daily News.
“He’s helped bring the industry back to life when it seemed to be failing, and he gave the industry a jolt of energy it lacked,” Betty Otter-Nickerson, president of Sage Health, told Kaiser Health News. Some are concerned about the impact of changing leaders in the midst of national EMR adoption.
Redirect whistleblower cash to Medicare, says former prosecutor. Michael Loucks, a former healthcare fraud prosecutor with the Massachusetts U.S. Attorney’s Office, told The Wall Street Journal‘s Health Blog that whistleblower payments should be capped at $2 million. He said the money recovered from healthcare fraud cases should go back to Medicare and Medicaid.
Obesity, hypertension and high cholesterol go global. Obesity rates around the world have nearly doubled since 1980, but there have been slight declines in high blood pressure and high cholesterol, according to three new studies in TheLancet journal, writes WebMD. The health risks from all three are now global, however, the study says.
Scientists discover new mosquito. A new type of mosquito is raising concern about malaria in Africa, reports the BBC.
Shoring up state Medicaid. The Obama administration spent Thursday offering guidance to states on ways they can keep Medicaid costs down — a tactic that would hope to maintain coverage as well as support for healthcare reform. But the administration dodged the issue of using standards that would remove low-income citizens from Medicaid rolls and cut their insurance coverage.
Robot nurses? New technology would allow surgeons to use hand signals to display images during a surgery or command a robotic scrub nurse.The goal would be to cut the length of a surgery.
Health reform Egyptian style? Via The Health Care Blog.
Maybe the uninsured could learn something from Egyptians and the Arab street. At a time when landmark health reform granting most of the uninsured access to medical care for the first time in their lives is being seriously threatened, protests by the uninsured themselves are nowhere to be seen.
Wear red today help raise awareness for heart disease in women. Today is the American Heart Association’s National Wear Red Day in honor of women’s heart health.
Material from MedCity News was used in this report.