Acusphere (Watertown, Massachusetts) reported that the FDA has published a Federal Register Notice on its web site of a planned public meeting of the Cardiovascular and Renal Drugs Advisory Committee on December 10, 2008.

On the agenda for that meeting will be a review of Acusphere's lead product candidate, Imagify (Perflubutane Polymer Microspheres) for Injectable Suspension, proposed for use as an ultrasound imaging agent indicated for patients with stable chest pain being evaluated for inducible ischemia for the detection of coronary artery disease based on assessment of myocardial perfusion and wall motion. The Imagify briefing package prepared by the company will focus on the safety, efficacy and risk-benefits of the procedure. In addition, FDA will prepare briefing materials for the advisory committee.

Acusphere is a specialty pharmaceutical company that develops new drugs and improved formulations of existing drugs using its proprietary microsphere technology.

McKesson gets CCHIT certification

The Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology (CCHIT) said that McKesson's (Alpharetta, Georgia) Practice Partner Patient Records 9.3 software complies with updated interoperability requirements, is CCHIT Certified 2008 Ambulatory EHR, is additionally certified for Child Health, and meets the Certification Commission's electronic health record (EHR) criteria for office-based use.

Ambulatory EHRs are designed for physician offices and clinics. CCHIT, a private, nonprofit organization, is the recognized certification body in the U.S. for certifying health information technology products.

In addition to complying with updated interoperability requirements required to achieve certification, Practice Partner Version 9.3 also has received CCHIT's 2008 specialty certification for Ambulatory and Child Health. The Practice Partner software earned this certification by fulfilling all of CCHIT's clinical and administrative requirements specific to child health practices.

HealthSouth to open Arizona rehab facility

HealthSouth (Birmingham, Alabama) said it has broken ground on HealthSouth East Valley Rehabilitation Hospital (Mesa, Arizona), a 40-bed free-standing inpatient rehabilitation hospital.

"We have been privileged to serve patients in Arizona since 1995 and look forward to offering HealthSouth's services closer to home for Mesa residents," said Jerry Gray, president of HealthSouth's West Region. "We are on track with the groundbreaking and expect to be fully operational by late-summer 2009."

HealthSouth East Valley Rehabilitation will offer inpatient and outpatient programs. Plans for the 47,500-square-foot, single-story hospital include all private rooms, an on-site therapy gym and "cutting-edge" rehabilitation technologies.

HealthSouth is a provider of inpatient rehabilitation services, operating in 26 states and Puerto Rico.