Morning Read: HHS contest wants app to track sickness trends via Twitter

Health and Human Services has announced a contest to build an application that would monitor Twitter to track illness in a specific parts of the country.
The Now Trending: #Health contest is looking for software that could create a list of the top five illnesses in a particular region during the past 24 hours. The app would then deliver the list to public health agencies through an online widget.

Utah and Indiana are the latest states to join a movement to replace Medicare and Medicaid with block grants. Governors of both states signed into law this week Health Care Compact bills designed to allow states to opt out of healthcare reform without losing billions in federal funding.

An entrepreneur and adviser at RockHealth gives an inside look at how the incubator selects startups and mentors them to get companies off the ground. Geoff Clapp describes how companies are vetted before being accepted into the program, how expert mentors work with the class members, and what kind of team and one-on-one coaching helps the startups enter the market.


Computer glitches across the country have caused trouble for states managing Medicaid claims. Data has disappeared in Louisiana, incorrect information has been sent to recipients in Colorado, and bills have not gone out in Florida.

Ted Doolittle, deputy director of CMS’ Center for Program Integrity,  says that his department is refining the predictive modeling software to search for fraud based on a specific type of provider, such as an orthopedic surgeon. Doolittle discussed other aspects of the Fraud Prevention Program which is supposed to identify waste and overpayments in the Medicare system.

[Photo from flickr user _DaniloRamos]

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