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Healthcare: Cheater's Edition

If you grew up in the pre-video games era, you have probably played Monopoly. If you have, chances are you've probably cheated too; Hasbro's own research indicates half of players do. So they did what, in hindsight, seems like the obvious solution: they created a version of the game that explicitly builds in cheating. Monopoly Cheater's Edition launched June 1. My first thought was, gosh, what kind of game builds in cheating? Then it struck me: healthcare. Of course, healthcare is not a game, but there certainly are plenty of rules (some of which make sense, some of which don't), and plenty of, well, if not outright cheating, then at least gaming. And let's not minimize the outright cheating.

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A Public Health Perspective on the CMS Quality Payment Program

I have seen several pretty good summaries of the recently 0release Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) 2019 Inpatient Prospective Payment System Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to Quality Payment Program (one from AMIA, one from CDC). Here are just a few additional tidbits I picked out of the NPRM. Of course, this document is written like stereo instructions so I welcome any corrections or comments to my interpretation of what’s in the rule. I put page numbers (from final FBO version referenced above which has just been released) where relevant in parenthesis. And I apologize in advance as much of what’s here is cryptic to anyone who has not been exposed to this before and I don’t make much of an attempt to explain the context (or even the acronyms)...

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A Tale of Two Health Systems

We need a different health system for the majority of us, if only so that we can devote the necessary resources to the people who need to use our health care -- aka medical care -- system the most. My vote is for a public health system. You know, public health. Like clean water. Like vaccinations. Like safer food. Like reducing smoking. It includes a variety of efforts that, intentionally, do not usually look much like medical care but which have drastic impacts on health and longevity. In a recent article in The Upshot, Aaron E. Carroll and Austin Frakt make the case for why we should spend more money on public health. As they detail, we spend very little -- depending on what you count, as low as $10 billion and as high as $100 billion or so, either of which is basically a rounding error in our overall health spending -- but which often have dramatic paybacks.

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Top 8 Open Source Artificial Intelligence (AI) Technologies in Machine Learning

Artificial intelligence (AI) technologies are quickly transforming almost every sphere of our lives. From how we communicate to the means we use for transportation, we seem to be getting increasingly addicted to them. Because of these rapid advancements, massive amounts of talent and resources are dedicated to accelerating the growth of the technologies. Here is a list of 8 best open source AI technologies you can use to take your machine learning projects to the next level.

A Look at Open Source Image Recognition Technology

Image recognition technology promises great potential in areas from public safety to healthcare...At the Supercomputing Conference in Denver last year, I discovered an interesting project as I walked the expo floor. A PhD student from Louisiana State University, Shayan Shams, had set up a large monitor displaying a webcam image. Overlaid on the image were colored boxes with labels. As I looked closer, I realized the labels identified objects on a table. Of course, I had to play with it. As I moved each object on the table, its label followed. I moved some objects that were off-camera into the field of view, and the system identified them too.

How Citizens Become Scientists with Open Hardware

Eymund Diegel, a research coordinator for Gowanus Canal Conservancy, shares this tidbit during the first clip of the new Open Source Stories documentary, "The Science of Collective Discovery." He's setting out in a canoe on an inner-city canal that is polluted and struggling to get the help it needs. That's the theme of citizen science it seems: people and places in need who are not getting the help and resources they deserve taking matters into their own hands. Why are they not getting the help they need in the first place? The reason is shockingly simple yet a typical problem: Where's the evidence?

HLN and Oregon Health Authority Present Optional Approaches to Oregon's School Immunization Reporting Process at Atlanta Conference

At the 2018 National Immunization Conference (NIC) held in Atlanta May 15-17, HLN co-presented Diverse Stakeholder Perspectives to Improve Oregon’s School Immunization Reporting Process in collaboration with the Oregon Immunization Program (OIP). Aaron Dunn, Oregon’s Immunization Program Manager, and Marcey Propp, HLN Project Manager, presented the project context, approach, and outcomes as part of the segment for Improving measurement and reporting to foster clear vaccine communication. The project context included antiquated technology, the growing complexity of vaccine requirements, and excessive, redundant and unnecessary workload that culminated in making the current school immunization reporting process unsustainable.

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Too Many Poor Excuses

I am so tired of reading yet another story about how we -- Americans -- cannot afford things. Not luxury items, not splurges, not nice-to-have items. Increasingly, it seems like too many of us can't afford what most people would consider basics -- food, housing, child care, transportation. And health care, of course. A new study by the United Way ALICE Project (a collaboration of United Ways in 18 states) found that 51 million households can't afford a basic monthly budget that includes food, housing, health care, child care, and a cell phone. That is 43% of all U.S. households.

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Feature Overlaps Between Immunization Information Systems and EHRs

Immunization Information Systems (IIS) have been around for nearly twenty years. Their functionality, completeness, and usefulness have all increased over this time. IIS and electronic health record (EHR) systems have always had unique features, as well as some overlapping features, and the deployment of EHRs has enhanced the local immunization capabilities of clinician practices. Several critical clinical features that are considered to be core functions of IIS are beginning to be supported by EHRs. This article will review and discuss five such critical features: online data entry, clinical decision support for immunization, reminder-recall, practice-level assessment of up-to-date status, and patient access to their immunization data.

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Edge computing and the importance of open infrastructure

The "edge" is diverse, dispersed, often independently owned and operated, and comes with a set of constraints not addressed in the average data center. Old sci-fi films painted a picture of how computers would permeate every facet of life in the future. It has come to pass, and it happened almost without us noticing: having PCs at home became commonplace, our mobile phones turned into small smart devices, and our cars began making decisions for us, controlled by thousands of sensors and controllers. Self-driving cars, augmented and virtual reality, smart homes and more all underscore our rapidly emerging dependence on distributed computing infrastructure.