The FDA issues a warning letter to St. Jude Medical – acquired by Abbott Laboratories in January – for failing to respond to cybersecurity vulnerabilities that could allow a hacker to control implanted devices remotely and for failing to address battery issues that have been linked with two deaths. The warning comes three months after the FDA issued a similar notice warning St. Jude of the vulnerabilities. Further inaction could result in disciplinary actions that include “seizure, injunction, and civil monetary penalties.”
From Athenahealth Spokesperson: “Re: ‘Will Athena be able to deliver, on time, for hospitals MU3?’ Athenahealth offers cloud-based revenue cycle and financial management, EHR, patient communication, and care coordination services for community hospitals. All of these services are on one platform, AthenaNet, which enables a single patient chart and a seamless Athena “look-and-feel” across the health system – inpatient, ED, outpatient, clinic, and ancillaries. The RazorInsights platform has been completely sun-setted. As of December 2016, we have over 90 contracted hospital clients, of which 35 are live on all or a portion of our AthenaOne for Hospitals & Health Systems service. These organizations are already seeing tangible results. For example, our clients saw an average of 106.5 percent of patient collections as a percentage of baseline during 2016. Stage 3 Meaningful Use is optional in 2017 and mandatory in 2018. Currently, AthenaClinicals for Hospitals & Health Systems is a 2014 Certified EHR Technology (CHERT), which allows our clients to pursue Stage 2 Meaningful Use this year. We plan on achieving 2015 CHERT status, which is required for Stage 3, in the second half of 2017. Thanks to our cloud-based platform, we can deploy the Stage 3 update to our entire client base overnight. All of our Meaningful Use services – a certified platform, real-time performance insight, performance coaching, and attestation – are included in our percentage of collections pricing. Our clients don’t have to pay hefty upgrade fees or endure cumbersome upgrade rollouts. Our results prove that our model works: 95.7 percent of our hospital clients successfully attested for Stage 2 Meaningful Use in 2015. We expect similar results for 2016, which will become available in the coming weeks.”
HIStalk Announcements and Requests
Just over a third of poll respondents teeter on the edge of full-blown enthusiasm for using at-home genetic testing kits to better understand their hereditary health risks. An almost even number of people are as eager to order their spit kit as are to likely not. No matter how you slice and dice the results, they are likely music to 23andMe’s ears – not to mention known competitors and those contemplating moving into it. MPW says, “I utilized their service a few years ago when some members in my family were testing positive for the same genetic abnormality, and have had no regrets. One thing to remember if you’re looking into this is that discovering a propensity for a trait does not mean it is an eventuality. For example, I’m listed as likely lactose intolerant. However, my Wisconsin roots and love for almost all things dairy says otherwise.” MineoPie explains that, “I voted ‘highly likely’ as my practical side sees the opportunity to plan appropriately whether that be treatment, an increase in health, life or long-term care insurance, or general peace of mind. There is also the potential to share these risks with my children for their own well-being. While I vacillate between this view and the one where I stick my fingers in my ears while yelling ‘la la la I can’t hear you,’ I ultimately see more benefit in having the data. Then I read the response from ‘no name’. I certainly share the concern that any negative results will not be proprietary leading to increased insurance costs and general shunning. I’m reminded of the Monty Python & The Holy Grail scene (‘I’m not dead yet, I think I’ll go for a walk’). Perhaps I’m more on the fence that I realized.” Barbara, on the other hand, thinks that “the public availability of this information will be used as a detriment in the future, i.e. insurance rates will go up, misinformation will be provided by targeting populations through Google/Facebook adds, etc. Not to mention the lack of professional interpretation resulting in self diagnosis, which could result in personal hysteria. This has already been evidenced with the advertising of medications and patients demanding of their physicians they be given this new, wonderful medication that may not be suitable for their situation. This should be done professionally where confidentiality is supported by both federal and state laws. No Name takes an even dimmer view: “I wish I trusted my government and insurers more, but don’t. I am now retired, but if I were still working, I don’t think I’d trust any employer to not use this info to possibly discriminate against employees who might prove to be high risk. Yep, that’s just the way it is.”
New poll to your right or here: Have you ever volunteered to be bumped from a flight? Share your circumstances – and the cash value you finally jumped at – by leaving a comment after voting.
This Week in Health IT History
One year ago:
- CMS launches the Comprehensive Primary Care Plus model, a value-based payment program that will give PCPs more financial flexibility when caring for the chronically ill.
- Epic wins $940 million in its trade secret lawsuit against Indian IT firm Tata Consultancies.
- VA CIO LaVerne Council says she will unveil plans for a “new digital health platform” to replace VistA.
- Intermountain Healthcare will partner with the University of Utah and several other organizations to create a joint security center focused on thwarting cybersecurity attacks.
- Federal regulators propose banning Elizabeth Holmes from the blood-testing business for two years after Theranos fails to correct serious problems discovered at its California lab.
Five years ago:
- The DoD Inspector General finds that drug abuse among Marines in the Wounded Warrior Battalion at Camp Lejeune, NC is hard to detect because of EHR shortcomings.
- 3M acquires CodeRyte.
- HHS proposes a one-year delay for ICD-10 compliance, pushing the deadline to October 1, 2014.
- Verizon announces a relationship with NantWorks to create the Cancer Knowledge Action Network.
Weekly Anonymous Question
Last week, I asked readers what passion they’d pursue given enough free time and money:
- Play music … all acoustic band.
- Dog rescue and fostering 24/7. I would get property and have a place to foster many dogs; and would collect codified data regarding the adopters/adoptees to be able to identify traits of good dog/person pairings.
- Ride coast to coast on a motorcycle.
- Create a business-school partnership to encourage additional learning opportunities for math and critical thinking; incorporate local in-person and online virtual mentoring.
- Travel the world, meeting people from all different walks of life, and seeing the beautiful landscapes of our planet. I also would love to do something to help those in need, so maybe a nonprofit that combines my dream to travel and also takes disadvantaged children on these adventures. Having fun with them and seeing their reactions to experiences like that would bring me such joy!
- Build community gardens in areas where fresh produce is hard come by.
- I would do more volunteer work. And make quilts – a lot of quilts.
- Instead of having one in five kids in the US go to sleep hungry at night, I would work to drive that number to zero.
- Roadside BBQ stand. It’s done when it’s done and it’s gone when it’s gone.
- When I grow up, I want to be a photographer. I would love to travel the world snapping pictures of whatever comes my way.
- Traveling to the best restaurants around the world and return to food blogging. I had to quit my blog last year (after a six-year run) due to cost and limited time.
- Finish that novel, get it out there. Write another one.
- Art. Art. Art. Nothing but painting, drawing, sculpting, weaving … and gardening. All things visually creative that require getting my hands dirty!
- I’d follow my favorite bands around the world.
- Music. That’s been the dream ever since I started playing guitar at age 12. I knew it had a chance since I can play almost every rock/blues song that I hear just by ear, but a) I never found the right band and b) my desire to secure a career somewhere besides McDonald’s led me to attend college and get a "real job" as opposed to rolling the dice and heading from the North Country out to LA a la Neil Young. That doesn’t seem to work out as well in the 21st century as it did in the mid 60’s. I still do some local gigs on occasion and play everyday; it will always be my number-one passion.
- Photography – Weird News Andy
- Attending as many music festivals as I could across the US and when I feel that is fairly complete, move on to Europe, Australia, etc.
- Coaching people on living a more balanced life to have time with friends and family, and to look after emotional, physical, and spiritual needs.
- Building and promoting a not-for-profit, nationwide health IT co-op.
- Rock and roll guitar. What else could there be?
- Space travel.
- Hosting international yoga and wellness focused retreats.
- Right now, a free weekend to relax and read a non-technical book and some time to travel and see some new places sounds pretty good, albeit mundane. The list of top 50 restaurants in the world just came out and a checking out a new one every week would be fun.
- Cruising around the world.
- I’d help patients learn how to be informed advocates for their own healthcare and the health of their family and friends.
- Coding! Python, SQL, JScript and everything in between. Nothing like coding to keep your mind sharp and busy. And I do have the time and money to do it, so I do it and love every moment of it. Strongly recommended.
This week’s question: What’s the most patient-endangering IT issue you’ve personally seen?
Last Week’s Most Interesting News
- NextGen will acquire Entrada in a deal worth $34 million.
- The White House finalizes its rules aimed at stabilizing the individual marketplaces.
- Erie County Medical Center (NY) returns to paper after a virus brings down its network.
- United Airlines suffers financial loss and extreme PR backlash after dragging a physician, later hospitalized, off a flight.
- India-based provider appointment-scheduling vendor Practo lays off 10 percent of its workforce.
April 26 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET. “SSM Integrated Health Technologies Clinical Data Migration: Functional and Technical Considerations.” Sponsored by Galen Healthcare Solutions. Presenters: Sandy Winklemann, MHA, RHIA, project manager, SSM Integration Health Technologies; Tyler Mawyer, MHA, managing consultant, Galen Healthcare Solutions; Kavon Kaboli, MPH, senior consultant, Galen Healthcare Solutions. GE Centricity and Meditech to Epic EHR transition. Join us for a complimentary webinar as present the decisions that are important to consider when performing a clinical data migration from the point of view of the healthcare organization program manager, the clinical analyst, and the technical implementation team. Our expert panel will survey data migration considerations, best practices, and lessons learned. The webinar will present a unique client perspective, offering insight into considerations surrounding staffing, clinical mapping, legacy application support, and validation and testing.
Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock
EncounterCare Solutions wraps up the sale of its telemedicine and chronic care management operations to IGambit, which plans to market the services under the HealthDatix brand.
Salt Lake City-based Collective Medical Technologies announces plans to hire nearly 600 people over the next eight years. The company specializes in real-time care management tech for EDs.
Natoshia Erickson (Washington Health Benefit Exchange) joins Royal Jay as senior manager of solution delivery.
Announcements and Implementations
Trinity Health (MI) expands its home health telemedicine program, powered by technology from Vivify Health, to six additional states.
Miami Children’s Health System will work with telemedicine hardware and software vendor Tyto Care to expand its MCH Anywhere virtual consult services.
- Indiana Regional Medical Center (PA) will switch from MEDITECH to Cerner On May 1.
- Sierra Vista Hospital (NM) will switch from Evident (a CPSI company) to Athenahealth on July 1.
- Van Wert County Hospital (OH) Human Resources will go live with Infor this year.
- Cameron Memorial Community Hospital (IN) Human Resources will go live with Oracle in 2017.
These provider-reported updates are provided by Definitive Healthcare, which offers powerful intelligence on hospitals, physicians, and healthcare providers.
New Jersey Hospital Association President and CEO Betsy Ryan and NJ Dept. of Health Commissioner Cathleen Bennett attempt to drum up interest in the forthcoming statewide roll out of the electronic Practitioner Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment program. The initiative will convert the state’s paper-based, end-of-life planning documents for patients to a digital format, and give physicians access to the documents via a Web-based portal.
Here’s Part 4 of the top 10 HIS vendors report from Vince and Elise.
- T-System will exhibit at EDPMA 2017 Solutions Summit April 25-28 in San Diego.
- TierPoint will host a grand unveiling of its newest Chicago data center April 27.
- TransUnion publishes, “Revenue Cycle POS and High-Risk Patient Toolkit.”
- ZeOmega publishes a case study highlighting how a large health system implemented Jiva HIE to connect 36 disparate EHR systems.
- ZirMed publishes a new ebook, “3 Ways to Take Control of Your Contacts.”
- ClinicalArchitecture makes donations to Boy Scouts of America, Casa de los Ninos, and Compassion International on behalf of HIMSS17 contest winners.
- STAT profiles GE Healthcare CEO John Flannery.
- The Channel and the Cloud: A Perfect Partnership (TierPoint)
- To Build or Buy an Analytics Solution? (Part 4) (Vital Images)
- A VUE you don’t want to miss. (Voalte)
- 5 Ways to Stop Wasting Resources on Patient Collections (ZirMed)
- #JoinTheConversation with Experian Health’s Kathleen Harris at #HIMSS17 (Experian Health)