Tricare subscribers in West must update info or risk losing coverage | DOD funder provides almost $4.1M grant to MeMed | Quality of care for veterans with stroke, TIA varies
February 14, 2018
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Tricare subscribers in West must update info or risk losing coverage
Roughly 50,000 Tricare users who have not updated their payment information with Health Net Federal Services, the West region's new contractor, are in danger of losing their benefits, according to Laura D'Antin, the Defense Health Agency's West region Reserve component liaison. Users whose premiums are not withdrawn from their paychecks were required to re-register when the new contractor took over.
Military online (2/8) 
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Military Health System
DOD funder provides almost $4.1M grant to MeMed
The Department of Defense's Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs awarded Israeli company MeMed a grant worth nearly $4.1 million to fund the transition of the company's prototype point-of-care platform toward finalization, which involves shifting to manufacturing and cloud connectivity implementation. The company makes rapid, accurate and actionable tests for inflammatory disorders and acute infectious diseases for community and hospital use.
FinSMEs (2/7) 
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Veterans Health Administration
Quality of care for veterans with stroke, TIA varies
Research published in JAMA Neurology found variation in the quality of care provided to veterans with transient ischemic attacks or minor strokes. The study showed significant variability in performance for various elements of care and across Veterans Health Administration system facilities, but patients admitted to the hospital generally got better care than those seen only in an emergency department.
Physician's Briefing/HealthDay News (2/7) 
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National Health Care
Opioid epidemic has cost over $1 trillion since 2001, analysis shows
Opioid epidemic has cost over $1 trillion since 2001, analysis shows
(Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
An analysis from Altarum estimates that the opioid abuse crisis cost the US economy more than $1 trillion from 2001 through 2017, with greatest financial costs attributed to lost earnings and productivity, and the epidemic's economic toll could further increase by $500 billion through 2020 unless there is comprehensive and sustained action to fight it. Health care expenses tied to the epidemic hit $217.5 billion during the study period, while the number of opioid-related overdose deaths reportedly exceeded 62,500 through June last year, according to the analysis.
CNBC (2/13),  National Public Radio (2/13) 
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Health and Medical Research
Study: EHR data can accurately assess mini-stroke patients' care quality
Researchers from the Department of Veterans Affairs used EHR data to develop 31 electronic quality measures to evaluate the care of patients who experienced a transient ischemic attack, or mini-stroke, and found that EHR data can accurately measure the quality of TIA care, compared with chart reviews. The findings, published in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, suggest health care systems can use electronic data "to complement and expand quality measurement programs currently focused on patients with stroke."
Health Data Management (free registration) (2/9) 
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Researchers develop device to help brain store memory
Researchers have developed an implantable device that has the potential to improve memory, but it does not appear to affect overall cognition. The device has electrodes that, when embedded in the brain, act like a pacemaker and send a stimulating pulse when the brain needs help storing new information.
The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (2/12) 
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