• The White House is giving qualitative reimbursement a huge push with a plan to tie 85% of Medicare payments to health outcomes by the end of next year. Right now, it’s about 20% for Medicare, 10% for health spending overall. The White House built a lot of smaller pilot projects into the Affordable Care Act that were intended to nudge the system towards qualitative, rather than fee-for-service, reimbursement – things like ACOs, Patient-Centered Medical Homes, etc. Now they’re going all in in hopes of holding spending growth down and improving patient outcomes. Puts UnitedHealth’s recent move away from fee-for-service in perspective – insurers are sure to follow.
  • Google is plugging symptom and condition information compiled in collaboration with Mayo Clinic right into the Knowledge Graph that appears atop search results in the Google App. Big news for consumer health and search.
  • Biogen is partnering with Google X on a plan to use wearable sensors to study MS progression factors. Last month, Biogen gave 250 patients Fitbits to better understand how much and how fast they walk.
  • Roche and Qualcomm seem to be working on building the Internet of Things for pharma. See a great list of similar recent tech/pharma partnerships from Shwen Gwee here.
  • The number of NPs has DOUBLED over the past decade, according to AANP. That’s being driven in part by a need, amidst a doctor shortage, for NPs to meet a surge in demand for services as millions of newly-insured patients enter the system. There’s even a provision in the ACA funding training.
  • Here’s a great primer on ACOs and HMOs and the alphabet soup of healthcare organizations, courtesy of Austin Frakt.
  • John Oliver crashed CMS’ Open Payments program site by sending his viewers there to see how much their doctors had taken from pharma. Said Oliver: “Drug companies know that doctors hold all the real power in the prescription drug business.” Ahem. Somebody hasn’t been reading our Formulary Decision Makers study. That said, his skewering of pharma marketing is pretty funny, however we might disagree. People, do not let embarrassing video of your annual sales meetings (3:06) fall into the hands of a master comedian.
  • Microsoft is working on a smart scarf for autism therapy.

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