From Washington, DC,
- Govexec tells us, “The Office of Personnel Management on Friday proposed new regulations aimed at granting federal agencies greater flexibility in selecting new federal employees during the hiring process.” The public comment deadline is September 19, 2023.
- Federal News Network offers a table of federal government return-to-office policies.
- The Society for Human Resource Management informs us,
- “The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced Friday a new Form I-9—which has been streamlined and shortened—that employers should use beginning Aug. 1, 2023.
- “Employers may continue to use the older Form I-9 (Rev. 10/21/19) through Oct. 31., 2023. After that date, they will be subject to penalties if they use the older form. The new version will not be available for downloading until Aug. 1.
- “Additionally, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a final rule that allows the agency to create a framework under which employers could implement alternative document examination procedures, such as remote document examination. The new form subsequently has a checkbox to indicate when an employee’s Form I-9 documentation was examined using a DHS-authorized alternative procedure.
- “At this time, the final rule only allows employers using E-Verify to use alternative verification methods.”
- Healthcare Dive notes
- “The Federal Trade Commission and the HHS’ Office for Civil Rights are warning hospitals and telehealth companies about embedding online tracking technologies on their websites or apps, saying the trackers risk exposing consumers’ personal health data to third parties.
- “The trackers, like the Meta Pixel or Google Analytics, collect identifiable information about users and could reveal information about health conditions, diagnoses, treatments, frequency of visits and more, the agencies wrote in a letter to about 130 health systems and telehealth providers.
- “The warning marks the latest move from regulators regarding the healthcare industry’s use of tracking technologies, which monitor user behavior on websites. Sharing consumers’ health data with third parties, like advertisers, has been a recent target of FTC oversight.”
Following up on the tornado that struck a Pfizer factory in Rocky Mount, NC, STAT News reports
- “Pfizer says a tornado that ripped through a key manufacturing plant in North Carolina does not appear to have caused “any major damage” to areas that produce medicines.
- “The company reported most damage from the storm occurred at a warehouse that stores raw materials, packaging supplies, and finished medicines awaiting release by quality assurance personnel. As a result, it remains unclear about the extent to which destruction at the facility — which produces nearly 8% of all sterile injectables used in U.S. hospitals — will exacerbate a growing shortage of prescription drugs across the country.”
The Food and Drug Administration also issued a report on the incident.
From the medical malpractice front, STAT News points out
- “A new study published this week in BMJ, * * * estimates that “371,000 people die every year following a misdiagnosis, and 424,000 are permanently disabled — a total of 800,000 people suffering “serious harm,” said David Newman-Toker, the lead author of the paper and a professor of neurology at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and director of its Center for Diagnostic Excellence. Settling on an exact number is hard because many cases of misdiagnosis go undetected, he said. It could be fewer than his study identified or more — between half a million and a million — though in any event, it would be the most common cause of death or disability due to medical malpractice.
- “He likens the issue of misdiagnosis to an iceberg, saying cases leading to death and disability are but a small fraction of the problem. “We focused here on the serious harms, but the number of diagnostic errors that happen out there in the U.S. each year is probably somewhere on the order of magnitude of 50 to 100 million,” he said. “If you actually look, you see it’s happening all the time.”
- “But misdiagnoses typically don’t lead to severe consequences because, most times, people aren’t visiting the doctor with a serious condition. “The risk level just walking through the door in the doctor’s office that something horrible is going to happen to you because of a diagnostic error is actually quite low,” said Newman-Toker.”
In related news “[The American Hospital Association] AHA today released its quarterly Health Care Plan Accountability Update, featuring the latest news on AHA efforts to hold commercial health insurers accountable for policies that can delay care for patients, burden health care providers and add unnecessary costs to the health care system. READ MORE.”
From the factoid front —
- HealthEquity suggests three ways to drive health savings account plan adoption.
- Beckers Payer Issues points out how seven payers are using artificial intelligence.