ONC announces behavioral health innovation challenge; Researchers collaborate to create inexpensive cancer-detection technology;

News From Around the Web

> In collaboration with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT this week launched its Behavioral Health Patient Empowerment Challenge. The intent of the challenge, according to ONC Management and Program Analyst Adam Wong, is "to showcase innovative applications that use evidence-based strategies" that help consumers to manage their own behavioral health. Post

> Researchers from Clemson University and the University of Georgia are teaming up to create low-cost technology with the ability to detect cancer, Clemson announced this week. The system combines "liquid magnet" technology with microfluidic technology to "measure magnetic properties of materials," and will be able to differentiate between normal and cancerous cells. Announcement

Provider News

> When a medical group enters into an accountable care organization contract with a payer, the benefits reach beyond just the patients covered by the ACO, according to a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. In particular, researchers found that groups' participation in Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) of Massachusetts' Alternative Quality Contract (AQC) was associated with savings for Medicare beneficiaries as well. Quality of care for Medicare patients, however, did not consistently improve after the groups joined the AQC, authors noted. Article

> Leaving the hospital against medical advice more than doubles a patient's risk of dying within 90 days, finds a large, nearly two-decade study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. Patients leaving against medical advice also are three times as likely to be readmitted within 30 days, according to a CMAJ announcement describing the findings. Article

Health Finance News

> A new report from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) finds that changes in Medicare payment rates and in beneficiary demand for services account for only one-quarter of the slowdown in Medicare spending between 2000 and 2010.The reasons for the rest of the slowdown are unclear as it "appears to have been caused in substantial part by factors that were not related to the recession's effect on beneficiaries' demand for services,"  the report says. Article

And Finally... Perhaps a similar incident inspired the late Jimi Hendrix. Article

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