The Rundown | Week of 10.28.2019

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EMTs May Have Some Backup: Drones

Testing is underway to integrate drones into EMT services. Mark Hanna, MD, a fellow in pediatric emergency medicine at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York, conducted over 50 tests with drones and concluded the drones are sufficient to help bystanders stabilize patients suffering from “conditions have been associated with decreased mortality based on time intervention from first responders” like opiate overdoses and asthma attacks. The drones would carry life-saving devices like epipens and defibrillators for bystander intervention until an ambulance arrives.
>> Read More: Research tests speed of drones in responding to medical emergency scenarios

Cerner and Uber to Start Offering Patients Rides to Their Appointments

Cerner and Uber are teaming up to start the Uber Health, an app physicians can use to schedule non-emergency rides for their patients to make their services more accessible. The app “will soon be available for integration into Cerner’s electronic services.” The invention came from one of Cerner’s own studies, which estimates that “3.6 million patients aren’t able to easily access healthcare because of a lack of transportation.” Cerner hopes this development will help reduce “unnecessary costs thanks to overuse of ambulance services and emergency department resources.”
>> Read More: Cerner teams up with Uber to help patients get to appointments

Facebook Creates a Tool to Drive Users to Preventative Health Measures

Facebook has partnered with the American Cancer Society, the American College of Cardiology, the American Heart Association, and the Center for Disease Control to create the Preventative Health tool. This tool is part of a user’s Facebook profile and will allow users to personalize their preventative health measures. Users enter a small amount of personal information and receive “a list of recommended preventive tests or checkups, sets scheduling reminders and connects users to local providers of those services.” The simple tool comes in light of consumer privacy concerns. Freddy Abnousi, MD, head of healthcare research at Facebook, states that the “tool was designed as an awareness and information resource rather than a way to collect and use data.”
>> Read More: Facebook’s new tool tells users what checkups they need, where to get them

The Center for Disease Control Warns of a Poor Flu Outlook for this Year

The Center for Disease Control predicts the United States will have a “rough flu season” and expects cases to rise between December 2019 and February 2020. This report comes from Australia, which “saw its deadliest flu season in two decades, an ominous sign as trends from the Southern Hemisphere are typically reflected in the U.S. in the following months.” Healthcare Dive reports that the CDC made a similar prediction in 2017 before ILI “reports peaked at 7.5 percent, the highest since 2009.”
>> Read More: A rough flu season is predicted — but it’s an opportunity for some

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to Pay Hospitals $1.9 Billion in Bonuses for Value-Based Performance

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced it will be paying more than 1,500 participating hospitals $1.9 billion in bonuses under its Hospital Value-Based Performance Program. The program, also known as VBP, was created in 2012 to “cut healthcare expenditures and improve quality by moving away from traditional fee-for-service payments.” Despite the large payment, less than 60 percent “will see small changes in their payments.” CMS also reports that urban hospitals “outperformed rural hospitals on clinical outcomes but trailed in all other measures, including safety, person and community engagement, and efficiency and cost reduction.”
>> Read More: CMS will pay hospitals $1.9 billion in bonuses for inpatient care

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