Flu season will be coming early this year, according to electronic health record (EHR) data from Watertown, Mass.-based health IT vendor athenahealth.
athenahealth tracks approximately one million visits per week to 20,000 primary care providers around the country who are on the company’s cloud-based EHR. Because athenahealth is a cloud-based software and services provider, it is able to report on disease trends around the country with minimal delay, Iyue Sung, director of athenahealth's athenaResearch, wrote in a blog post.
The most recent data for the week ending Nov. 22 showed that flu-like illness rates are rising across the country. What’s more, the increase is particularly high among children. The percent of visits to pediatricians with increased from 2.8 percent to 3.5 percent the week alone leading up to Nov. 22.
As a result, flu is more widespread among children this year than last and rapidly approaching rates seen in the difficult flu season of 2012-2013, researchers note. Additionally, among adults, flu is climbing most in the Midwest region, where researchers are seeing a climb similar to that during the 2012-2013 season.
Eleven private insurers, including Aetna, Humana and Anthem, are urging the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to consider the experience of commercial insurers when evaluating the impact of telemedicine coverage in Medicare.
With the aim of improving patient safety monitoring, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is currently developing and testing an improved patient safety surveillance system.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is awarding $210 million to Seattle-based University of Washington’s Population Health Initiative, with the funds going toward the construction of a new building to serve as the initiative’s hub.
More than half (56 percent) of healthcare professionals believe their organization could be doing more to educate employees on HIPAA compliance and the rules around sharing protected health information.
The Arnhold Institute for Global Health at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai is partnering with DigitalGlobe to create the Health Equity Atlas Initiative (ATLAS), a platform that standardizes and maps population data in order to generate insights that address health inequities.