Midweek update

Here are a few articles to give you a flavor for the Healthcare Datapalooza conference which ends today:

  • Health Data Liberation Remains a Political Struggle from Healthcare Informatics. What isn’t a political struggle these days?
  • HHS endorsed a AARP contest to design a new medical bill.  How about a piece of paper with the Cadusus symbol and the word “Free” written on it?  But seriously anything written for the patient specifically will lack the information that a health insurer needs to process the claim accurately so providers will be stuck with issuing two bills.  
  • NPR’s story on What Feds Push to Share Data Means for Patients.  The FEHBlog is not sure because we will still need a doctor or other healthcare professional to interpret the data.  Is the level of professional trust really that low? 
Here a two interesting public health pieces:
  • Does putting on a couple extra pounds help you avoid death also from NPR. Common sense tells you that it does. A dietician friend told the FEHBlog that the extra pounds (BMI overweight not obese) help older people in particular because if you get seriously ill you can lose weight quickly and it’s then hard to put the weight back on.  
  • From the Wall Street Journal this morning.  

Following up on [opioid] overdose rescues is “something that we need to figure out how to do better,” said Sharon Stancliff, medical director at the New York City-based Harm Reduction Coalition, an advocacy group for people and communities affected by drugs. “When people have one overdose, they’re at very high risk of having another one.”

Finally, a helpful article from fedsmith.com detailing the Medicare Part B premium mess that confronts us annually.