Louisiana hospital breach impacts more than 8,300 patients; Digital data being used to synthesize flu strain;

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> More than 8,300 patients at LSU Health Shreveport were alerted this week that their personal health information was exposed thanks to a database error in a computer entry field. While patient bills contained incorrect information, no Social Security numbers, birth dates or financial account numbers were disclosed, according to the Shreveport TimesArticle

> Digital data can be used to synthesize a flu strain and create a vaccine in days instead of months, according to a new study published in the journal Science Translational Medicine. "Generation of synthetic vaccine seeds, together with more efficient vaccine release assays, would accelerate responses to influenza pandemics through a system of instantaneous electronic data exchange followed by real-time, geographically dispersed vaccine production," the study's authors said. Abstract

> Engineering students at Rice University have created a belt that sends signals wirelessly for seizure monitoring, the school announced this week. According to researchers, the belt is able to detect an increase in electrical conductance in the skin, as well as changes in respiration rate."Though children or adults can wear the belt," they say, "the students designed it with kids in mind." Announcement

Health Insurance News

> As Pennsylvania lawmakers consider whether to expand their Medicaid program under the reform law, a top state official said even if Gov. Tom Corbett approves, it would take until at least January 2015 to negotiate and implement the expansion. So far, Corbett hasn't explicitly supported expanding Medicaid in Pennsylvania, but he said he would consider enlarging Medicaid if the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services can help keep it financially viable. Article

Provider News

> Healthcare reform in Massachusetts, which served as the model for the federal law, didn't lead to a significant increase in healthcare utilization, length of stay or costs, according to new research presented at the American Heart Association's Quality of Care and Outcomes Research Scientific Sessions 2013. The quarterly admissions for each hospital averaged 1,557 after Massachusetts reformed its healthcare system, only a 3.6 percent jump from pre-reform numbers. Similarly, three comparison states without reform saw a 3.3 percent increase during the 2004-10 study period. Article

And Finally… Looks like those police officers don't have anything to worry about now. Article

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