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» HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius testified before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce on the failings of healthcare.gov. Sebelius said the government has spent about $118 million on the website itself and another $56 million on other IT around the system.

» Homebound elderly people might soon have virtual access to activities offered by senior living communities, thanks to the winners of the inaugural LeadingAge HackFest. The event brought eight teams to Dallas, where LeadingAge's annual conference was held. The interdisciplinary teams had 24 hours to think up an idea and create a prototype application, website, interactive online experience or device. “We created a small system where retirement communities can expose their calendar of activities online, and take some of those activities and make them available through a video conference,” said Cristhian Parra, a member of the winning team. Through his system, people living at home would be able to access a list of ongoing activities, such as book clubs, religious services or other events. 

» Without solid research about how discharged hospital patients fare in various post-acute settings, cautious doctors are ordering more intensive and expensive care than is needed, according to testimony in the Harvard Business Review. Greater investment is needed to establish meaningful quality measures to evaluate the performance of skilled nursing facilities, medical experts wrote.

» The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has corrected therapy coding information in the updated Minimum Data Set 3.0 Resident Assessment Instrument Manual. The updates affect coding examples on pages 3, 5 and 6 of Chapter 3, Section O. CMS also fixed a Chapter 3 flowchart on activities for daily living.

» Carnegie Mellon University computer scientists have developed a system that uses inkblots to provide extra protection for website passwords. The new type of password would work for high-value accounts, including medical records. They presented their findings at the Association for Computing Machinery's Workshop on Artificial Intelligence and Security.


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