access of children without parental authorization to a chat room or social networking Web site. It also would mandate the Federal Trade Commission to create a Web site and issue consumer alerts to inform parents, teachers and school officials about the potential dangers on the Internet, specifically online sexual predators and their ability to contact children through social networking sites and chat rooms. -- U.S. Rep Michael Fitzpatrick

I Pledge Allegiance ...

As of July 1, Medicaid recipients must provide documentation proving their U.S. citizenship to receive benefits. The new law implemented by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services was passed by Congress in late 2005 as part of the Deficit Reduction Act. The act directs states to require all individuals applying for or renewing Medicaid coverage document their citizenship.

Citizenship and legal immigration status have always been a requirement for Medicaid eligibility. But prior to the enactment of the act, no proof of citizenship was required; applicants simply checked a box on a form. --

Big Spenders

In June, personal income increased $66.5 billion, or 0.6 percent, and disposable personal income increased $53.2 billion, or 0.6 percent. In May, personal income increased $41.7 billion, or 0.4 percent, and disposable personal income increased $34.6 billion, or 0.4 percent. -- Bureau of Economic Analysis

Topping the Spam Charts

The United States continues its reign as the top spam-relaying country, even as zombie computers gain European momentum, according to the Dirty Dozen report by Sophos. The top 12 spam-relaying countries from April to June 2006 are as follows:

1. United States: 23.2%

2. China (incl. Hong Kong): 20%

3. South Korea: 7.5%

4. France: 5.2%

5. Spain: 4.8%

6. Poland: 3.6%

7. Brazil: 3.1%

8. Italy: 3% (new entry)

9. Germany: 2.5%

10. United Kingdom: 1.8%

11. Taiwan: 1.7%

12. Japan: 1.6%

13. Others: 22%

Small Spending

Personal spending in the United States increased only a small percentage in June -- by only 0.4 percent, according to Bloomberg News. This was also the increase in May, and reflects an increase in gasoline purchases that left Americans with less to spend on other goods.

EMRs on the Rise

The growing trends toward electronic record keeping in the medical community according to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control's (CDC) National Center for Health Statistics include:

  • Nearly 24 percent of physicians reported using full or partial electronic medical records (EMRs) in their office-based practice in 2005 -- a 31 percent increase from the 18.2 percent reported in 2001.

  • Physicians in the Midwest (26.9 percent) and West (33.4 percent) were more likely to use EMRs than those in the Northeast (14.4 percent).

  • Physicians in metropolitan statistical areas (nearly 24.8 percent) were more likely to use EMRs than those in nonmetropolitan areas (16.9).

  • Only 1 in 10 (9.3 percent) physicians, however, used EMRs with all four of the basic functions (computerized orders for prescriptions, orders for tests, reporting of test results and physician notes) considered necessary for a complete EMR system.

-- CDC's National Center for Health Statistics Electronic Medical Record Use by Office-based Physicians: United States, 2005.

Jessica Jones, Contributing Writer  |  Contributing Writer