University of Rochester develops food poisoning Twitter tracker; Florida hospitals see lower surgical complications in statewide initiatives;

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> University of Rochester researchers have developed a system to help people use Twitter to make more informed decisions on where to eat to avoid getting food poisioning. It also has the potential to complement traditional public health methods for monitoring food safety, such as restaurant inspections. For example, it could enable what they call "adaptive inspections," inspections guided in part by the real-time information that the tool provides. It uses crowdsourcing and machine-learning to analyze millions of tweets to find people reporting food poisoning after a restaurant visit. Announcement

Health Insurance News

> Florida hospitals that voluntarily participated in statewide initiatives saw lower surgical complications and readmissions, in addition to saving millions of dollars, according to a report released yesterday by the Florida Hospital Association (FHA). The FHA started the quality effort in 2008 after the state's hospitals were slammed for poor health outcomes and high costs, the Tampa Bay Times reported. Article

> The former Maryland General Hospital (recently renamed University of Maryland Medical Center Midtown Campus) in Baltimore has agreed to pay $750,000 to settle a False Claims Act lawsuit in connection with overbilling for cardiac testing. The settlement, announced by the United States Attorney for the District of Maryland and the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, resolves allegations that the acute care hospital overbilled cardiac perfusion studies from March 24, 2003, through Dec. 23, 2009, and failed to repay the amounts after senior financial managers became aware of the overpayments in 2007. Article

Mobile Healthcare News

> Mobile devices continue to transform the work lives of physicians, with more than four in five using smartphones every day and more than half of doctors using tablets daily and two in five nurse practitioners and physician assistants doing the same, according to the second annual Epocrates Mobile Trends Report. By 2014, the report predicts that nine in 10 healthcare providers will use smartphones, and nearly as many will have adopted tablets. The report also finds that while the majority of charting and electronic health record interaction is performed via laptop or desktop computer, nearly half of all clinicians who own a tablet commonly utilize it for EHR management and other clinical documentation. Article

> Scripps Translational Science Institute, a National Institutes of Health-supported consortium led by Scripps Health, has initiated a clinical study aimed at evaluating whether the integration of wireless technologies, online social networks and medicine can lower healthcare spending, according to an announcement. Article

And Finally... The Internet doth protest too much. Article