Top Stories for 3/4

March 04, 2022 HIMSS Media
Top Stories for 3/4
Show Notes Transcript

Fitbit Ionic smartwatches recalled due to burn risk; ONC analyzes information blocking claims. Plus: More than $1 billion in annual excess healthcare expenditure due to turnover of primary care physicians.

Links to the stories:

Fitbit recalls Ionic smartwatches due to burn hazard

ONC receives nearly 300 info blocking reports

Primary care physician turnover leads to almost $980M in excess healthcare costs

Smartwatches can offer a host of conveniences, but can they also result in serious burns? I’m Jeff Lagasse with Healthcare Finance News, and we’ll dig deeper into that and other news in this week’s Top Stories.

 Fitbit is voluntarily recalling its Ionic smartwatches due to a burn hazard in the device's lithium-ion battery. As we see in MobiHealthNews (https://www.mobihealthnews.com/news/fitbit-recalls-ionic-smartwatches-due-burn-hazard), this comes after at least 115 reports of the watches overheating and 78 reports of burn injuries in the U.S. The Consumer Product Safety Commission reported two incidents of third-degree burns and four incidents of second-degree burns in the U.S., and 40 reports of burns internationally. Fitbit is now working with CPSC to remedy the issue. The company is instructing customers who own a Fitbit Ionic to stop using their device, and customers are able to get a refund of $299 for the device, as well as a discount code of 40% for select Fitbit devices.

 The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT has analyzed information blocking claims submitted through its online portal through April of last year, and found that of 299 submissions received, 274 were classified as possible claims. HealthcareITNews reports (https://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/onc-receives-nearly-300-info-blocking-reports) that of the total claims submitted over the past 11 months, 176 were from patients who appeared to have been seeking access to their electronic health information. Some of the concerns described in the claims were consistent with practices likely to interfere with information access or exchange, such as providers being excessively charged to access or export the information, or patients being charged fees for access, ONC said.

 Finally this week, an American Medical Association-led study has found that nearly one billion dollars in annual excess health care expenditure are due to turnover of primary care physicians, and work-related burnout is a significant driver of those costs. According to Healthcare Finance News (https://www.healthcarefinancenews.com/news/primary-care-physician-turnover-leads-almost-980m-excess-healthcare-costs), the analysis found that job turnover in the primary care physician workforce leads to an additional $979 million in annual excess health care costs across the U.S. population, with $260 million attributable to burnout. The cost analysis is based on a pre-pandemic annual turnover estimate of 11,339 primary care physicians. Out of the total annual estimate, burnout-related turnover was estimated to impact 3,006 primary care physicians. Physician burnout is especially costly to public and private payers, who bear most of these excess healthcare costs.

 I’m Jeff Lagasse with Healthcare Finance News, and this has been Top Stories.