Monday, April 29, 2024 – KFF Health News

FTC ready to tighten rules on health apps that share users’ data

The Federal Trade Commission has finalized its health breach notification rule, emphasizing that it applies to health apps, in an effort to limit how sensitive user data is shared with other companies. Is. Also in news: Centene updates prior authorization; growing financial differences between hospitals; even more.

Fierce healthcare: FTC finalizes changes to healthcare breach notification rule

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on Friday finalized a rule aimed at reining in digital health apps that share consumers’ sensitive medical data with tech companies. The agency released the final version of its revised health breach notification rule to outline the rule’s applicability to health apps to protect consumers’ data privacy and provide greater transparency about how companies collect their health information. (Landy, 4/26)

Chicago Tribune: Rush partners with MD Anderson to rank top cancer center

Rush University System for Health is teaming up with the top-ranked University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center – a move that is expected to give Rush patients better access to the latest cancer treatments and put Rush in line with other Chicago-area hospitals. Will help in competing against. (Schenker, 4/26)

Moderna Healthcare: Centene completes prior authorization update: CEO Sarah London

Centene has updated its prior authorization system with a view to expediting pre-authorization decisions for patients and providers. “We have completed a significant initiative to streamline our prior authorization process by automating our real-time source data,” CEO Sarah London said during the company’s first-quarter earnings call on Friday. “This simplification improves the timeliness of prior authorization decisions, ensuring our members get the care they need quickly and removing friction from the process for both members and providers.” (Taper, 4/26)

Axios: Years after pandemic, financial differences between US hospitals widen

Some health systems have recovered from the pandemic much better than others, and those that have better margins have made a strong push into outpatient care. There is a large and growing gap between the operating margins of top-performing health systems and those at the bottom, according to Kauffman Hall data shared with Axios. (Owens, 4/26)

Statistics: Bringing AI in medicine to small and rural hospitals

In Kingman, Arizona, a town of 35,000 on the eastern edge of the Mojave Desert, data scientists are as rare as drenching rain. The local health clinic doesn’t have a stable internet connection, much less the software to support the latest, greatest artificial intelligence. But the clinic, a federally qualified health center called North Country Healthcare, has plenty of problems that AI can help with. (Ross, 4/29)

On health workers unions –

Reuters: CVS Omnicare staff in Las Vegas vote to join new union

Employees at Omnicare, a unit of CVS Health in Las Vegas, voted to join the Pharmacy Guild, becoming the national pharmacy chain’s first location to join the union. Nearly 87% of employees at CVS Omnicare, which provides pharmacy services to long-term care facilities in Las Vegas, voted in favor of unionization on Thursday. The vote comes months after some employees at CVS Health and Walgreens Boots Alliance’s U.S. pharmacies launched a walkout to pressure the companies to improve working conditions and add more workers to their stores. (4/26)