Health IT Business News Roundup for the Week of October 31, 2014

latestVitals, a physician rating platform, has acquired Compass Healthcare Advisers, a provider of health care price transparency tools, for an undisclosed sum…Optum, a subsidiary of the UnitedHealth Group, has agreed to acquire Alere, a health IT vendor, Continue reading

Microsoft Unveils Fitness Band, Health Tracking Platform and App

microsoftMicrosoft has unveiled a health data tracking platform, a mobile health application and a wearable fitness tracking band, Health Data Management reports (Slabodkin, Health Data Management, 10/31).

According to the AP/San Francisco Chronicle, Microsoft aims to compete with Apple and others in the Continue reading

American Meat Production Uses More Antibiotics Than Ever, Despite Growing Threat of Antibiotic-Resistant Disease in Consumers

antiStory at-a-glance 

The routine use of antibiotics to promote growth in food animals promotes antibiotic-resistant bacteria and drug-resistant disease in humans

Meat tainted with drug-resistant bacteria can cause disease Continue reading

The Media Uses These Tricks to Condition You to Accept Vaccines

trickMany of you know him through his methods, but have never met him.

Edward Bernays is best known in mass media circles as the “Father of Propaganda.” Scientific techniques were developed and used to shape the psychological decisions and opinions Continue reading

WellPoint Beats Wall Street Expectations as Customers Grow

wellpointWellPoint Inc on Wednesday reported third-quarter profit that beat Wall Street expectations as the company’s customers increased in its Medicaid business and in new subsidized individual health plans under the national healthcare reform law.

The U.S. health insurer, which operates Blue Cross Blue Shield plans in 14 states, raised its earnings per share outlook for 2014 and said that its estimate for medical cost increases remains in the range of 6.5%, plus or minus Continue reading

Maximum 2015 FSA Contribution Allowed Increased to $2,550

2015-flexible-spending-account-contributionsThe maximum contribution employees will be able to make to their flexible spending accounts will rise in 2015 by $50 to $2,550, while the maximum pretax contribution employees can make to cover mass transit expenses will be unchanged, the Internal Revenue Service announced Thursday.

That $50 FSA contribution increase will be the first since the 2010 health care reform law set a $2,500 annual limit, effective in 2013. Continue reading

Natural Herbal HPV “Cure” Discovered

 

natural_hpv_infection_cureDespite the widespread belief that HPV infection is a lethal force against which we only have vaccination and watchful waiting to defend ourselves, both ancient herbal medicine and our body’s inherent immune defenses have newly been confirmed to have significant power against it. Continue reading

Ginger Treats Heavy Menstrual Bleeding

ginger_menstrual_bleedingIn the first study of its kind, ginger is found to be an effective treatment for heavy menstrual bleeding in young women.

Heavy menstrual bleeding (menorrhagia) is one of the most common gynecological problems in women, accounting for approximately 15% of all Continue reading

5 Tips to Keep Halloween Healthy

Halloween_HealthyWhen it comes to raising my 7-year-old daughter, one of the biggest challenges has been getting her to eat healthy. I’ve tried teaching her about nutrition, playing games, and yes-even a little bit of light-hearted bribery. But as it turns out, little girls are also little tanks that enjoy eating every delicious morsel in sight.

Halloween can be an especially difficult time of the year for health-minded parents like myself, thanks to the plethora of Snickers, Continue reading

Current Law Restricts Millions of Americans’ Access to Telehealth Services

pharSeveral of the nation’s largest pharmacies and health-care companies are urging lawmakers to expand the types of telehealth services that can be covered by government insurance programs, arguing that an outdated federal law is limiting the number of Americans who can access telemedicine. Continue reading

Survey: Physicians Dissatisfied With Federal Reporting Programs

dislikePhysicians are highly dissatisfied with three federal quality reporting programs, according to a new survey by the Medical Group Management Association, Health Data Management reports (Goedert, Health Data Management, 10/28). Continue reading

New, More Toxic Breed of Crops Gain Approval

nonoStory at-a-glance 

The widespread use of genetically engineered crops has led to chemical resistance among weeds and insects alike. Weed resistance has been documented on 60 million farm acres across the US

The US Department of Continue reading

Magnesium Improves Metabolic Profile In Metabolically Obese, Normal-Weight Individuals

Magnesium_DeficiencyIntroduction:

Some normal weight individuals show obesity-related characteristics such as insulin resistance, elevated fasting blood sugar levels, high triglyceride levels, and high blood pressure. Although eating a high carbohydrate diet is linked to these findings, Continue reading

Telehealth Use Growing Amid Pressure for Convenient, Affordable Care Alternatives

thealthDelivery of care remotely with the use of telecommunications is a rapidly growing segment of the health care market.

According to the American Telemedicine Association, there are about 200 telemedicine networks in the U.S., with 3,500 service sites.  Continue reading

San Francisco Health Care Spending Requirement Adjusted for Managers

hcsThe increase from this year’s exemption limit of $88,212 for managers is tied to the rise in the consumer price index for urban wage earners and clerical workers in the San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose metropolitan statistical area, the City and County of San Francisco Office of Labor Standards Enforcement, Continue reading