Automated phone calls help to improve BP control; Dermatologists use iPhones for work;

News From Around the Web

> A new Kaiser Permanente study found that patients receiving automated telephone calls in which they were invited to get their blood pressure checked at a walk-in clinic were more likely to have controlled hypertension than those who did not receive such calls. The research was published this week in the Journal of Clinical Hypertension. Announcement

Mobile Health News

> A survey reveals that 85 percent of dermatologists use a smartphone, 90 percent of whom use Apple iPhones. Almost all (90 percent) of those iPhone users employ their devices for work-related purposes, according to an article in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. The survey results parallel national use trends among physicians, concluded the authors. Article

Provider News

> A Congressional proposal to repeal the much-hated Medicare sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula and replace it with a system that rewards providers for high-quality care would cost the federal government $175 billion by 2023, according to the Congressional Budget Office. The Medicare Patient Access and Quality Improvement Act of 2013 unanimously passed the Energy and Commerce Committee in July and will now head to the full chamber. Under the bill, Medicare physician reimbursements would grow 0.5 percent a year between 2014 and 2018 before payments are based on quality-measure performance under the new Quality Update Incentive Program. Article

> A new NBC/WSJ poll shows President Barack Obama's healthcare law remains unpopular with the American public with 44 percent calling it a bad idea and 31 percent believing it's a good idea, virtually unchanged from July's survey. In addition, by a 45 percent to 23 percent margin, Americans think the law will have a negative impact on the country's healthcare system rather than a positive one. Post

And Finally… When Put-in-Bay, Ohio, officials slap you with a fine, mostly likely urine trouble. Article

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