Trending News Today: CMS Seeks to Improve Accessibility of Health Care Data

Top news of the day from across the health care landscape.

The House Energy and Commerce health subcommittee will hold the last of 3 major hearings to address the opioid epidemic on April 11, according to STAT. The House committee hopes to bring a legislative package to the floor by Memorial Day on May 24, STAT noted. The third hearing will focus on insurance coverage, payment issues, and prescription regulations for Medicaid beneficiaries.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) wants to provide patients with greater control of their health data instead of the hospitals and insurers that collect it, STAT reported. Through its initiative, called MyHealthEData, CMS’s goal is to make health data as accessible and portable as a cell phone, according to the article. STAT noted that, by making the information more accessible, CMS wants to help app and device makers utilize high-quality data to develop productive health technologies.

Duke University researchers have found a miniature gastrointestinal tract embedded in a lung cancer tumor, according to STAT. A large proportion of human lung cancer cells lack a developmental gene called NKX2-1, which helps stem cells morph into lung cells, resulting in these cancer cells defaulting to another developmental pathway, according to the article. The findings illustrate how tumor plasticity and heterogeneity work and could help scientists develop better therapies to combat drug resistance, according to STAT.