Healthcare Roundup—Protesters arrested outside HHS secretary's house

Alex Azar
More than 25 people were arrested outside Alex Azar's home on Sunday and more health headlines from around the web. (Wwsgconnect)

Protesters arrested outside HHS secretary's house

A group of protesters were arrested over the weekend outside the Indianapolis home of HHS Secretary Alex Azar.

The protesters were from a group called ADAPT, a national advocacy group of the disabled. The protesters said demonstrating to draw awareness to its claim that shock devices are used on developmentally disabled patients and that the Food and Drug Administration has not created rules to end the use of such practices.

In all, 26 people were arrested for refusing to leave private property. (The Indianapolis Star article)

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Study: Too few kids getting vaccinated against HPV

The number of teenagers completing a series of vaccinations to protect against HPV infection is falling, according to a new study in the American Journal of Public Health.

Public health officials recommend children ages 11 or 12 get the two HPV shots six to 12 months apart to protect against the virus, which is responsible for 90% of all cervical and anal cancers, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Those who are older than 15 years old should get the series of three shots within six months.

Researchers found nearly 70% of kids who got the first vaccine completed the series, but less than 40% of kids complete the series today, said study author Jennifer Spencer from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. (The Washington Post article)

Health tech leaders call for expanded reimbursement for remote monitoring

Nearly 50 health IT stakeholders are calling Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to expand reimbursement for remote monitoring services in its next physician payment rule.

In a letter (PDF) to CMS Administrator Seema Verma, several major healthcare associations, along with dozens of health IT and mobile health companies, pushed the agency to consider three Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) remote monitoring codes approved by the American Medical Association’s CPT Editorial Panel last year.

The request comes less than a year after CMS finalized a separate CPT code, effective Jan. 1, 2018, to reimburse physicians for collecting and interpreting patient-generated data. AMA's new CPT codes, however, distinguish payments for educating patients to use remote monitoring technology, using devices with daily recordings or programmable alerts, and at least 20 minutes of staff time each month devoted to interacting with patients about remote monitoring data. (FierceHealthcare)