Patient advocate Susannah Fox (Pew Research Center) is named CTO of HHS. She replaces Bryan Sivak, who stepped down last month.
From Publius: “Re: DoD EHR bid. Consulting firms are already contacting Epic consultants in regards to the IBM/Epic DHMSM bid. The communication is that the decision is anticipated to be made August 1, 2015, and consulting firms want to have a list of consultant resources ready to present as soon as the decision is made.” Unverified, but logical. The DoD project could be the equivalent of HITECH in spurring consultant demand, at least for those chosen to work on the project.
From Frank Poggio: “Re: Mr. H’s observation that patients aren’t Meaningful Users. That’s an idea for a new CMS program since it looks like ONC is struggling to find its next life! Everyone says that patient participation is a key to controlling healthcare costs, so ONC should develop a book of Meaningful Use criteria that is tied to a patient’s insurance premiums. If they don’t hit all criteria each year, their premiums double (or triple?), but if they hit them all, their premiums are cut in half. Since ONC would have to deal with some 100 million participants, they should easily be able to justify massive department budget increases.” I like it. When it comes to health, the customer definitely isn’t always right.
From Freddie Paris: “Re: New York Times article on interoperability. Wonder if Dan Haley would respond to a truth challenge to come up with any references to his assertion?” Athenahealth VP of Government and Regulatory Affairs Dan Haley was quoted in “Tech Rivalries Impede Digital Medical Record Sharing” as saying that IT vendors have business models that impede data sharing, a typical arrangement that he says costs customers $1 million to connect to another system, $500,000 per year to maintain the connection, and $2 each to send records to another system. Dan sent this response to my inquiry, which still doesn’t provide the $1 million vendor and client details the reader seeks:
The information I shared with Mr. Pear came from conversations with our clients and prospects who’ve told us firsthand and on countless occasions over the years about the exorbitant costs imposed by market-dominant vendors for out-of-platform information sharing. These costs are imposed in a number of ways: via one-time interface fees that can total more than a million of dollars for even a medium-sized health system; via annual interface maintenance charges that extend and compound that initial cost; and via per-transaction fees of the kind that one major vendor recently resolved to stop charging under pressure from Congress and others. The specific amounts vary, but are all large. The point is that any significant imposed cost for out-of-platform communication effectively discourages true interoperation and impedes progress toward the bipartisan societal goal of information fluidity in healthcare. As many in the industry know, vendor contracts are usually protected like the crown jewels, but they are sometimes obtainable via Freedom of Information Act requests directed at institutions that benefit from significant federal contracts. Enterprising reporters interested in this issue to should check for themselves. Clearly ONC gathered ample evidence of these business practices when preparing their recent information-blocking report. We are glad that both ONC and Congress are taking action.
From Carrollton Outsider: “Re: Lightbeam Health Solutions. Acquired by Greenway to be their population health solution.” Not true, said CEO Pat Cline when I asked him about the rumor, and he’s not talking to any entity about selling the company, either. Lightbeam announced a non-exclusive partnership with Greenway last year, one of several such agreements it has with EHR vendors to provide a PHM platform, but that’s it. I interviewed Pat a year ago if you want to know more about the company.
Welcome to new HIStalk Platinum Sponsor Boston Software Systems. The company revolutionizes how healthcare works by providing error-free automation for any application or purpose – EHR migration, streamlined business processes, and improved productivity. Its automation products are the most sophisticated available, giving customers the peace of mind that their critical data is 100 percent error free as it bridges the gap between their technologies. BSS’s reputation for ease of use and customer support is stellar. Check out the interviews with customers CVSHealth (onboarding new MinuteClinics), Unity Health System (improving discharge workflow), Methodist Houston (validating Medicare accounts), Fauquier Hospital (mass Meditech updates following a hospital acquisition), and CIO Kent Henriksen describing how his health system used BSS to migrate millions of clinical records to Epic. Thanks to Boston Software Systems for supporting HIStalk.
My latest grammar pet peeve is when people say something like, “If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to call,” the latter part of which can be equally clearly stated by just saying “call.” How many people would ever use the word “hesitate” except in this awkward form, and why can’t I hesitate if I want to? Peeve #2: a phrase such as “20 different physicians,” where nobody really needs the “different” part to understand that it’s not 20 of the same physician.
I was having odd, persistent “waiting on …” browser site loading messages that I fixed by reinstalling a solution I’ve used previously: OpenDNS. It’s a free, 30-second network connection change that bypasses slow, unreliable DNS lookups in replacing them with its own. It improved site load times quite a bit.
This week on HIStalk Practice: HHS awards $112 million to help primary care practices optimize EHR utilization to improve cardiac health outcomes. Morrow Family Medicine launches NeighborAide app for elderly patients and caregivers. Minnesota will no longer force solo docs to implement EHRs. The Illinois Gastroenterology Group rolls out new technology for Crohn’s patients. Physician practices show cloud-based EHRs some love, but still have reservations about data security. American Well CEO Roy Schoenberg, MD explains why the future of telemedicine is already in physician pockets.
Ms. N from California shared photos of her disabled high school seniors using the Chromebook we provided as a DonorsChoose grant to type their essays, complete college applications, and apply for jobs. The second graders in Ms. A’s class in Texas are using the math games we bought to learn to count money, write fractions, measure objects, and tell time, and she adds that they are so popular that the kids make a beeline for them during indoor recess.
The $10,000 Challenge
A vendor executive who shall remain nameless was so moved by the participation and classroom reports that I’ve mentioned here that he/she is putting up $10,000 to match new DonorsChoose donations. If your company donates $1,000 or more (I’ll set up a credit card payment), I’ll feature it here and also apply matching funds from our anonymous benefactor, which will provide double bang for the buck (actually quadruple bang for the buck potentially, since I often find requests that will be matched by charitable groups such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation). DonorsChoose is a stellar charity that spends 94 percent of its income on projects rather than overhead, paying its CEO and genius founder only $240K (and that’s New York city money, a rounding error in the salaries of health system CEOs there). Centura SVP/CIO Dana Moore, who conceived this HIStalk project in the first place and donated his time at HIMSS to encourage donations, has ideas to keep it going as well.
June 9 (Tuesday) 11:30 ET. “Successful HIEs DO Exist: Best Practices for Care Coordination.” Sponsored by Medicity. Presenters: Dan Paoletti, CEO, Ohio Health Information Partnership; Brian Ahier, director of standards and government affairs, Medicity. Not all HIEs are dead – some, like Ohio’s CliniSync HIE, are evolving and forging a new path to successful care coordination. Brian Ahier will explain how HIEs can help providers move to value-based care models, emphasizing Meaningful Use Stage 3 and FHIR. Dan Paoletti will provide best practices in describing CliniSync’s journey to success in serving 6,000 primary care physicians, 141 hospitals, and and 290 long-term and post-acute care facilities. Attendees will learn how to use a phased approach, establish client champions, help providers meet MU Stage 2, create a provider email directory, deliver care coordination tools, and drive continued ROI.
Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock
Cloud computing services vendor ClearData closes a $25 million Series C funding round.
Medical image exchange platform provider LifeImage closes a $17.5 million investment round led by non-profit insurance and health solutions company Cambia Health Solutions, which owns several healthcare technology vendors.
A construction company confirms that Allscripts will move its 1,000 Raleigh, NC employees into a new 12-story office tower that will open in the spring of 2017.
Forbes names Epic CEO Judy Faullkner as the wealthiest female in all of technology. The assets of the top 11 women combined ($10.6 billion) is 3 percent of the wealth of the top 11 men.
Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula (CA) and University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center choose revenue cycle management products from Experian Health/Passport.
Lakeland Health (MI) chooses ProVation Order Sets for clinical content management.
Announcements and Implementations
Nuance announces PowerScribe 360 Reporting v3.0, which allows radiologists to create higher quality reports using real-time, evidenced-based guidance developed by the American College of Radiology.
ToSense’s CoVa body-worn sensor (thoracic impedance, heart rate, heart rate variability, respiration rate, skin temperature, and posture) earns FDA 510(k) clearance. Elderly patients wear the necklace-type device in their homes for a few minutes each day to allow remote monitoring for heart failure.
CompuGroup Medical US and rehab services company Weston Group will partner to develop rehab modules for CGM’s webEHR.
Privacy and Security
Ohio’s medical board reprimands a radiologist for violating HIPAA by looking up the electronic medical records of a colleague for unstated reasons.
Weird News Andy would enjoy captioning this photo of a virtual butt being used for medical student prostate exam training. In slightly related news, a Florida college will stop requiring female sonography students to perform vaginal probes on each other for ultrasound training and will instead move to simulators.
Bizarre: a father and son in their 70s are married after 52 years together, with the “bizarre” part being that in order to game the system in a state that doesn’t recognize domestic partnerships, one had adopted the other in 2000, a parental status the court agreed to vacate prior to their nuptials.
- First Databank President Chuck Tuchinda, MD provides advice for career success in a San Francisco TV interview.
- Nordic posts a video of its Community Giveback Day activities on May 22. Check out the 1:00 mark when the guy recording Nordic employees working on a Habitat for Humanity house asks one of them, “What do you think your KLAS rankings for hammering upside down would be?”
- VMware posts “New Research Highlights Clinical Benefits of Virtual Desktops.”
- Healthfinch asks “How does a 21.7 hour work day sound to you?”
- Impact Advisors posts “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of Meaningful Use Stage 3: Objective 2 – ePrescribing.”
- E-MDs will exhibit at the Texas Medical Society event June 1 in Austin.
- Extension Healthcare and Iatric Systems will exhibit at the AAMI 2015 Annual Conference June 5-8 in Denver.
- Healthgrades recaps its experience at the Colorado Digital Health Summit.
- Galen Healthcare posts “Point-to-Point vs Interface Engine: Does your interface setup suit your needs?”
- InterSystems and Intelligent Medical Objects will exhibit at the e-Health Conference May 31-June 3 in Toronto.
- Glytec presents several research studies at the AACE 24th Annual Scientific and Clinical Congress.
- HCS will exhibit at the LeadingAge CA Region Meeting June 3 in LA.
- The HCI Group posts “PeopleSoft ALM is as Important to Patient Safety as it is to Cost Control.”
- HDS asks “Are Text-Only Emails Obsolete?”
- Healthwise will exhibit at the AHIP Institute 2015 June 3-5 in Nashville.
- InstaMed will present a session at the AHIP Institute 2015 on June 4 entitled, “Positive Member Payment Experience is Critical – See How Health Plans are Delivering.”