What We're Reading: EHRs Improving Patient Care; Ark. Medicaid Deadline Missed; Cohen Role Wider Than Thought

Kaiser Permanente and Geisenger Health Systems are leading the way towards using health records for medical studies and data mining that could help improve individual care; more than 7000 people on Arkansas' Medicaid expansion didn't meet a requirement that they report at least 80 hours of work in June; Novartis' relationship with Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s longtime lawyer, was “longer and more detailed” than the company has said, according to a Senate report.

Electronic Health Records Being Used to Help Individual Patients' Care

Patients on Medicaid Expansion in Arkansas Miss Deadline for Reporting Work Requirements

Novartis' Relationship With Michael Cohen Wider Than Previously Known

Kaiser Permanente and Geisenger Health Systems, 2 big health systems with vast stores of electronic health records, are leading the way towards using these records for medical studies and mining data that could help improve individual care, NPR reported. Tracy Lieu, MD, MPH, who heads Kaiser's research division, has a prototype of how it could work. For instance, searching under “pancreatic cancer" can pull up data from Kaiser's history of treating the disease, including cancer type, stage, patient's age, and treatment options, to look at trends and outcomes. The records also include information about patients' feelings and emotional states based on a 9-question patient survey. Geisenger is adding voluntary genetic screening to its records, and some patients are using the option to learn more about their health.More than 7000 people on Arkansas' Medicaid expansion didn't meet a requirement that they report at least 80 hours of work in June, the Associated Press reported. The requirement took effect last month. Participants lose coverage if they don't meet the work requirement for 3 months in a calendar year. They face the threat of losing their coverage if they fail to comply sometime before the end of this year. The state said most of the more than 27,000 people on the expansion program who were notified about the new rule were exempt or met the requirement. MarketWatch reported that Novartis' relationship with Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s longtime lawyer, was “longer and more detailed” than the company has said, citing a new Senate committee report. The Swiss drugmaker previously said shortly after entering a 1-year, $1.2 million contract with Cohen’s consulting company, the relationship ended. But then-chief executive Joe Jimenez and Cohen communicated multiple times after that, including an email exchange during 2017 in which Jimenez sent Cohen Novartis’ ideas to lower drug costs. Several of the ideas later appeared in Trump’s drug pricing plan, the report found. In a statement, Novartis said that it disagrees with the report’s conclusions that it misled the public.