PHARMACY

Bush administration to bypass Congress in setting up EHR

BY Drew Buono

WASHINGTON The Bush administration is not waiting on Congress to pass legislation that increases access to online personal health records, according to published reports. Congress’ efforts to pass legislation promoting health IT have been stymied so far but the Bush administration has been moving ahead with its own efforts related to Medicare.

Beginning in January, the administration will expand access to online records in Arizona and Utah as part of an ongoing effort to encourage greater use of health information technology.

The records will contain up to two years of information from Medicare’s records. Patients will be able to add to their records and share them with physicians, pharmacists and other healthcare providers.

The administration rolled out a similar program in South Carolina for traditional Medicare enrollees in April. In June 2007, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services launched a personal health records pilot project for some beneficiaries enrolled in private Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D prescription drug plans. CMS also said in May it is preparing to move ahead with an electronic medical records pilot project in four geographic areas.

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ActivePHR wins CDHC award

BY Drew Buono

NEW YORK ActivePHR, ActiveHealth Management’s personal health record has been named a winner of the 2008 Consumer Driven Health Care Solutions Award for Most Effective Solution Provider, as awarded by CDHC Solutions magazine.

The ActivePHR program provides an electronic home for a person’s health information. ActivePHR generates actionable alerts when opportunities to improve care are identified. Other innovative features within ActivePHR include integration with ActiveHealth’s health risk assessment and disease management program, the ability to grant access to doctors/caregivers, health trackers, calendar, and translation to Spanish.

“Consumers need and want to take an increased role in their healthcare,” said Peter Neupert, corporate vice president of Microsoft Health Solutions Group. “A personal health record like ActivePHR empowers consumers. When consumers have the ability to present a complete picture of their health and information on specific issues to all of their doctors and caregivers, the result is better care.”

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Danish company finds potential weight-loss drug

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK Good results from a study of a new drug from Denmark-based NeuroSearch caused the company’s stock to increase the most in more than a month, according to Bloomberg.

Studies of the experimental drug tesofensine showed that it improved fat metabolism and lowered weight. The results caused NeuroSearch’s stock to rise by about $2.20 to $50.77, a 4.5 percent increase.

The drug company said it hoped to find a partner to fund the testing required to gain regulatory approval for the drug, which could generate $1.1 billion in sales if approved.

One dollar equaled 5 kroner, as of mid-day Tuesday.

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