Saturday, May 19, 2007


  • The Senate subcommittee hearing on FEHB Program premiums held yesterday was uneventful. Sen. Voinovich (R Ohio) did announce that he and Sen. Carper (D Del.) will be introducing their FEHBP electronic personal health records bill next week.
  • The Healthcare Information Technology Standards Panel is seeking public comment on the following two Requirements, Design and Standards Selection (RDSS) documents: HITSP Requirements Design and Standards Selection: Security and Privacy Capabilities for the Version 2.0 Biosurveillance, EHR-Lab and Consumer Empowerment Use Cases, and HITSP Requirements Design and Standards Selection: Emergency Responder Electronic Health Record (ER-EHR) Use Case. These are the AHIC work group use cases on which HITSP currently is focusing. Comments are due by June 14, 2007.
  • The Hill newspaper printed an interesting article on the President's nomination of Kerry Weems as CMS Administrator and the importance of that position.
  • Modern reported on privacy concerns being raised in connection with the recent IRS memorandum reported on the FEHBlog that allows non-profit hospitals to subsidize electronic health records technology for their medical staffs.
  • The Wall Street Journal reported a sharp drop in artery stent implantation in heart disease patient since the recent COURAGE study questioning the utility of the treatment. reports that: "According to the Journal, some experts believe COURAGE may in fact be having a swift impact. "We've definitely seen a decline," Winstein quotes Dr William O'Neil (University of Miami, FL) "[The COURAGE study] is causing some people to think that angioplasty is unnecessary. A lot more patients are going to be treated with medical therapy."
  • An annual University of Maryland medical conference on historic deaths concluded that President Abraham Lincoln may have survived the assassin's bullet that killed him in April 1865 if he had received modern trauma care.

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