NIH studying Twitter for tracking depression; VA, DoD award iEHR re-compete contract to Systems Made Simple;

News From Around the Web

> The National Institutes of Health is funding research by the University of California, San Diego that involves the use of Twitter to monitor depression, according to a blog post at The Social Graf. The study will examine the effectiveness of the social media site in tracking depression, as well as its potential as an adjunct to traditional methods of tracking. Post

> Syracuse, N.Y.-based Systems Made Simple this week was awarded a re-compete of the integrated electronic health record system integration contract from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense's Interagency Program Office. Under the terms of the contract, SMS will provide systems integration and engineering support for the much maligned iEHR project. Announcement

Health Finance News

> A new study by the Kaiser Family Foundation indicates millions of Americans will fall into the so-called "Medicaid gap" wherein they earn too much to be eligible for Medicaid benefits in their state and too little to obtain subsidies on the health insurance exchange. Altogether, the Kaiser Family Foundation has estimated that 5.2 million Americans will fall into this gap, primarily within the 25 states that are not expanding Medicaid eligibility as part of the Affordable Care Act. Article

> The Veterans Affairs healthcare system is likely facing a huge bill in the coming decades to treat soldiers severely wounded in action during the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts. Altogether, those soldiers cost the VA $2.8 billion last year, about 4.5 percent of its total budget. Their costs are expected to rise to more than $3.3 billion this year. Article

Provider News

> Physicians need to consider out-of-pocket costs as a "side effect" to treatment when they make decisions about their patients care, according to one of two perspectives published Thursday in the New England Journal of Medicine. The two perspectives illustrate why it is imperative that physicians discuss costs with their patients and understand the role they can play in helping rein in escalating healthcare costs. Article

And Finally... I love bacon and even I wouldn't touch this. Article

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