Image of male nurse pushing senior woman in a wheelchair in nursing facility

» Rep. Scott Peters (D-CA) has introduced legislation that aims to cut federal outlays by increasing the use of health technology in federal programs. Under the proposal, a 19-member commission would be established to collect information and make spending cut recommendations for Medicare, Medicaid and other federally supported healthcare programs.

» A Bipartisan Policy Center report alleges that HIPAA privacy rules and regulations impede the use of big data to improve care. “Despite the significant growth in electronic health information, for the most part, data continues to reside in silos — inaccessible for purposes of improving health as well as the quality, cost and patient experience of care,” the report states. Investigators called for greater clarity in privacy legislation at the state and federal levels. 

» The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has proposed delaying the start of Stage 3 of the meaningful use program. CMS also has proposed a voluntary “2015 Edition” EHR certification program with upgraded standards and implementation guides. 

» 3-D glasses soon might be seen in long-term care facilities, thanks to a potential breakthrough in stroke rehabilitation. Stroke survivors in a study successfully used a virtual reality system to activate parts of their brain linked to motor skills, researchers recently announced. Investigators at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities conducted the study, which involved six stroke survivors wearing the glasses. They used a virtual reality program that asked them to control a set of “photorealistic” hands with their brains: Simply by thinking about picking up a glass of water or tea, they could control the hands. The success rate in picking up the beverages was 81%, according to the researchers.

» The most common Facebook faux pas is a “norm violation,” says a new Northwestern University study. Forty-five percent of participants surveyed said they experienced an event where “one’s behavior is exposed in a way that could lead to social and emotional consequences,” such as being tagged by a friend as being at a concert after calling in sick to work.