The Rundown | Week of 11.4.2019

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Running Lowers Risk of Premature Death

A recent study found that even small amounts of running — as little as once per week — ”would probably lead to substantial improvements in population health and longevity.” The report in the British Journal of Sports Medicine meta-analyzed 14 studies comprising 232,149 participants. Researchers determined that “running participation was associated with a reduction in the risk of cardiovascular mortality of 30 percent” as well as a 23 percent reduction in cancer risk. “More studies are needed to examine how sustained running behaviour, rather than sporadic participation, is associated with mortality risk,” researchers concluded, noting that wearable smart devices may also add helpful health data in future studies.
>> Read More: Is Running Associated With a Lower Risk of All-Cause, Cardiovascular and Cancer Mortality, and Is the More the Better? A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Cost of Healthcare Data Breaches to Hit $4 Billion in 2019

According to Black Book Market Research, the cost of healthcare data breaches will reach $4 billion by the year’s end — and 2020 is expected to have even costlier breachers. Nearly all of the IT professionals surveyed believed that “data attackers are outpacing their medical enterprises, holding providers at a disadvantage in responding to vulnerabilities.” Four out of five cybersecurity breaches were in the healthcare industry this year. However, only half of these “were caused by external hacking.” Still, 93 percent of healthcare organizations have experienced a data breach since Q3 2016. Furthermore, 93 percent of physician organizations reported they “do not have an adequate solution to instantly detect and respond to an organizational attack.”
>> Read More: Healthcare Data Breaches Costs Industry $4 Billion by Year’s End, 2020 Will Be Worse Reports New Black Book Survey

CMS Issues Final Rules

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has finalized changes to next year’s outpatient and physician services. The final rules postponed price transparency proposals that would have required hospitals to publish payer-specific negotiated charges for inpatient and outpatient services. There were also cuts to site-neutral payments, reducing the reimbursements to 40 percent of the Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (HOPPS) rate. Changes to the Medicare physician fee schedule now allow physicians, physician assistants, and advanced practice registered nurses to approve patients’ medical records in order to verify information from other clinicians.
>> Read More: Finalized Policy, Payment, and Quality Provisions Changes to the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule for Calendar Year 2020

Report: Patients Increasingly Online

A recent report from Kyruus found that more than half “consumers research providers online and 19 percent of them now start on a health system website,” a 6 percent increase from the previous year. Additionally, one-third of consumers prefer to schedule appointments online instead of via phone call or in-person. While patients continue to select their primary care providers on their own, physician referrals are the most trusted and used way to find specialists. One-third of polled patients were also willing to switch providers to gain access to virtual visits.
>> Read More: 2019 Patient Access Journey Report

Study: Smokers at Greater Risk of Mental Illness

A recent study found that cigarette smokers face a greater risk of depression and schizophrenia. Researchers established a causal link between smoking and an increased risk of developing the aforementioned mental illnesses. The study, which was published in Psychological Medicine, analyzed 378 genetic factors using Mendelian randomization to isolate and pinpoint traits associated with smoking and mental illness. “Future work should attempt to elucidate the underlying mechanisms with a hope to intervene, inform public health messages or further advance our knowledge on … mental illness,” researchers concluded.
>> Read More: Evidence for Causal Effects of Lifetime Smoking on Risk for Depression and Schizophrenia: A Mendelian Randomisation Study

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