CDC disease-tracking network back online; Mount Sinai researchers use big data to help reduce adverse drug events;

News From Around the Web

> The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reopened PulseNet--its computer network for tracking disease--after struggling to respond to an 18-state salmonella outbreak linked to chicken produced in California, USA Today reported. The network, which connects 87 public health laboratories nationwide, had been closed due to the ongoing government shutdown. Article

> Researchers at Mount Sinai's Icahn School of Medicine have reported that their use of big data could help to reduce adverse drug events in patients. The researchers used the Food and Drug Administration's Adverse Event Reporting System, the hospital's electronic health record database and an animal model to determine that combining diabetes drug rosiglitazone with another drug reduced adverse events significantly. "Big data systems have a wealth of data, and when studied appropriately, can point to potentially safer combinations," lead study author Ravi Iyengar said in a statement. Announcement

Provider News

> Patients with private insurance receive better hospital care than those without it, according to a new study published in Health Affairs. Researchers compared the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's Inpatient Quality Indicators to 2006-2008 State Inpatient Database records from 11 states. Using these measures, patients with private insurance had lower risk-adjustment mortality rates than Medicare beneficiaries for 12 out of 15 procedures and conditions, according to the research team led by Christine S. Spencer, an associate professor and executive director of the school of health and human services in the college of public affairs at the University of Baltimore. Article

> Septicemia tops the list of most expensive inpatient conditions to treat, costing $20.3 billion in 2011, according to the latest statistical brief from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Care and treatment for septicemia represented 5.2 percent of total inpatient hospital costs, which reached $387 billion in 2011, the AHRQ reports. Article

Health Insurance News 

> Now that the health insurance exchanges have been operating for one week, Republican lawmakers are demanding the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services release the number of people who have enrolled in plans. GOP members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, led by Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), also requested HHS provide enrollment data on a monthly basis until next March. They say the figures will help them monitor and evaluate the reform law's implementation progress. Article

And Finally... Congressional popularity continues to sink like a stone. Article

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