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Morning Headlines 6/26/17

June 25, 2017 Headlines No Comments

Google begins removing private medical records from search results

In light of the increase in medical records inadvertently becoming exposed to the Internet, Google adds medical record information to its list of information users can request be removed from its search results.

Anthem Agrees to $115 Million Settlement of Data Breach Lawsuit

Anthem will pay $115 million to settle a class action lawsuit filed in the aftermath of the 78 million record data breach it experienced last year after hackers compromised one of its servers.

Northern Territory Selects InterSystems to Implement Single Digital Medical Record for All Territorians

In Australia, the Northern Territory Department of Health chooses InterSystems TrakCare on its HealthShare platform for its Core Clinical Systems Renewal Program.

Morning Headlines 6/23/17

June 22, 2017 Headlines No Comments

Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017

Senate Republicans publish the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017, the GOP’s renewed effort to repeal and replace ACA. A vote is expected on the bill next week.

Google’s DeepMind will deploy Streams at Taunton and Somerset

In England, Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust will implement Google’s Streams app, which will alert care providers of potential kidney failure in patients.

Looking ahead to our 2018 map

Insurance startup Oscar Health announces that it will expand its footprint in 2018, offering individual market plans in five new states: Ohio, Texas, New Jersey, Tennessee, and California.

Morning Headlines 6/22/17

June 21, 2017 Headlines No Comments

Artificial Intelligence: Healthcare’s New Nervous System

An Accenture report projects a annual growth rate of 40 percent through 2021 for AI focused startups working in healthcare, with robot-assisted surgery, virtual nursing assistants, and administrative workflow assistance topping the list of top AI applications in healthcare.

Theranos reportedly settles $140M Walgreens suit for less than $30M

Theranos reaches a tentative settlement with Walgreens that would result in the retail pharmacy getting only $30 million and losing more than $100 million of its original investment. Theranos recently told investors that it only has $54 million left, while its monthly expenditures are said to be around $10 million.

Behind the scenes at President Trump’s private talks with the tech industry

During President Trump’s meeting with technology executives last week, industry leaders pressed him to shut down some of the governments 6,000 data centers and move the data storage work to private industry, while simultaneously lobbying for more data transparency, calling for a “data liberation administration.”

Anthem Blue Cross Exits Obamacare In Two More Red States

Anthem announces that will exit the individual exchange markets in Wisconsin and Indiana, citing financial pressure and regulatory uncertainty.

Morning Headlines 6/21/17

June 20, 2017 Headlines 1 Comment

Telemedicine provider Teladoc says to acquire Best Doctors

Teladoc acquires Best Doctors, a telehealth vendor focused on offering remote second opinions to support complex medical cases. Teladoc will pay$375 million in cash and $65 million in stock.

CMS Drops 2018 MACRA Proposed Rule – Proposes Continuing Flexibilities for Year 2

CMS publishes the 2018 Quality Payment Program proposed rule which allows for the continued use of 2014 Certified EHR technology, and increases the participation threshold  from $30,000 to $90,000 in Medicare Part B charges, which is expected to excuse another 130,000 practices from participation.

Patient Characteristics of Opioid-Related Inpatient Stays and Emergency Department Visits Nationally and by State, 2014

AHRQ finds that between 2005 and 2014 opioid-related ER visits doubled and opioid-related inpatient visits increased by 64 percent.

Prioritizing the Patient Experience Consumerization of Healthcare Brings Patient Satisfaction to Forefront for Providers

Two West surveys on healthcare and patient satisfaction finds that patients spend a lot of time researching providers before choosing one, but are quick to move on if they are not satisfied with the care they receive.

Morning Headlines 6/20/17

June 19, 2017 Headlines 2 Comments

Why Some of the Worst Cyberattacks in Health Care Go Unreported

Citing last year’s ransomware attack on MedStar (MD), the Wall Street Journal reports that some hospital executives avoid reporting ransomware breaches because HHS rules say hospitals only need to report attacks that result in exposure of medical or financial information, while ransomware attacks encrypt the information, but don’t necessarily expose it.

Memorial Hermann Health System Announces Leadership Change

Memorial Hermann Health System (TX) CEO Benjamin K. Chu resigns effective immediately without providing a reason. Charles Stokes, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, has been named as interim CEO.

Apple is working with this small start-up to change how we track our health

Apple is reportedly working with digital health startup Health Gorilla in its efforts to turn the iPhone into a personal health data storage device. Apple and Health Gorilla are working together to add integration points that will allow iOS to import results from hospitals and lab-testing companies like Quest Diagnostic and LabCorp.

Morning Headlines 6/19/17

June 18, 2017 Headlines No Comments

Fostering Medical Innovation: A Plan for Digital Health Devices

FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD describes his plans for regulating digital health innovation, saying that the FDA “should carry out its mission to protect and promote the public health through policies that are clear enough for developers to apply them on their own, without having to seek out, on a case-by-case basis.”

On AHCA, CMS Actuary Finds Smaller Coverage Losses, Smaller Spending Reductions Than CBO

The Office of the Chief Actuary of CMS forecasts a 13 million reduction in insured patients by 2026 if AHCA is passed, 10 million less than the CBO’s prediction.

What Health Systems, Hospitals, and Physicians Need to Know About Implementing Electronic Health Records

Kaiser Permanente Medical Group CEO Robert Pearl, MD outlines the lessons he learned while working on the health system’s $4 billion Epic implementation.

Baby Genome Sequencing for Sale in China

Boston-based DNA sequencing company Veritas Genetics is offering full genome sequencing to parents in China. The sequencing report addresses 950 inherited diseases, as well as 200 genes connected to drug reactions, and 100 physical traits the child is likely to have.

White House task force echoes pharma proposals

STAT reports that behind-the-scenes discussions being held by the Trump administration on how to reign in drug prices are being influenced by lobbyists for the pharmaceutical industry.

Morning Headlines 6/16/17

June 15, 2017 Headlines 1 Comment

Apple is quietly working on turning your iPhone into the one-stop shop for all your medical info

Christina Farr reports that Apple wants to store health information on iPhone and work with EHR developers to allow users to export information to care providers as needed.

Coming to ONC – One Informaticist’s Journey

In his first blog post as National Coordinator for Health IT, Don Rucker, MD discusses the challenges facing the health IT industry, and his background as an informaticist.

Congress offers $65M as down payment on Vista replacement

The House Appropriations Committee approves a $65 million down payment toward the VA’s Cerner procurement, with the stipulation that it will integrate with both DoD and private EHR systems. The DoD’s Cerner implementation will cost $4.3 billion in total, and estimates suggest that the VA’s final cost could climb as high as $16 billion.

A.G. Schneiderman Announces Settlement With Healthcare Services Company That Illegally Deferred Notice Of Breach Of More Than 220,000 Patient Records

In New York, prescription eligibility check vendor CoPilot Provider Support Services agrees to pay $130,000 to settle a case with the state attorney general after waiting more than a year before notifying affected patients that a hacker had accessed its system and stolen 220,000 patient records.

Morning Headlines 6/15/17

June 14, 2017 Headlines No Comments

American Health Care Tragedies Are Taking Over Crowdfunding

Bloomberg reports that half of the $2 billion raised on popular crowdfunding platforms like GoFundMe are being used to pay medical expenses.

Ron Peterson retiring as Johns Hopkins Health System president after 44 years

Johns Hopkins Health System President Ron Peterson announces that he will retire at the end of this year. Peterson arrived at the health system in 1973, starting as an administrative assistant.

5 people, including Michigan health chief, charged in Flint

Nick Lyon, the former director of Michigan’s Health and Human Services department, is charged with involuntary manslaughter along with five other officials as a result of the 2014 Flint water crisis.

Your Doctor’s Office Is Vulnerable to Hackers, but Congress Could Change That

MIT Technology Review weighs in on legislative changes that could improve cybersecurity for smaller health care facilities.

Morning Headlines 6/14/17

June 13, 2017 Headlines No Comments

Kieran Murphy Appointed CEO of GE Healthcare, Succeeding John Flannery

Kieran Murphy is named president and CEO of GE Healthcare, succeeding John Flannery who has been promoted to CEO and chairman elect of GE.

MEDITECH Signs 16 More Hospitals in Q1 2017

Meditech signs five new health systems, with 16 combined hospitals, to its 6.1 Web EHR in Q1.

Drones carrying defibrillators could aid heart emergencies

Researchers launched drones carrying defibrillators from a fire department to see if drones could deliver a faster response time than an ambulance, and found that drones arrived at the scene of 18 cardiac arrests within about 5 minutes of launch, almost 17 minutes faster on average than ambulances.

New Mexico Physician Chosen as AMA President-elect

At the Annual Meeting of the American Medical Association, Barbara McAneny, MD, an oncologist from Albuquerque, NM, is elected as the next president of AMA.

Morning Headlines 6/13/17

June 12, 2017 Headlines No Comments

Medicare Paid Hundreds of Millions in Electronic Health Record Incentive Payments That Did Not Comply With Federal Requirements

An OIG report concludes that CMS inappropriately paid eligible providers $729.4 million in EHR incentive payments who did not meet meaningful use requirements.

FBI is investigating an Oregon health care startup

Oregon-based health insurance startup Zoom is under FBI investigation for retrospectively altering medical claims to make its patient population look sicker in an effort to avoid paying into risk adjustment pools.

Iowa Seeks to Revamp Affordable Care Act

Iowa state officials are seeking permission to make signification changes to its ACA marketplace in an effort to protect residents at risk of losing their insurance due to payers backing away from the exchanges.

CRISPR May Cure All Genetic Disease—One Day

CRISPR pioneer Jennifer Doudna, PhD. discusses the future of genetic editing, saying “I think it’s really likely that in the not-too-distant future it will cure genetic disease.”

Morning Headlines 6/12/17

June 11, 2017 Headlines 1 Comment

Cost of HSE’s €35m IT system continues to rise

Ireland’s countrywide Maternal and Newborn Clinical Management System project, which includes Cerner clinical software and Deloitte project management and implementation staff, is reportedly overrunning its budget at every site that implements it.

Artificial intelligence can now predict suicide with remarkable accuracy

Researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center have created an algorithm that was “80-90% accurate when predicting whether someone will attempt suicide within the next two years, and 92% accurate in predicting whether someone will attempt suicide within the next week.”

Amazon poised to deliver disruption in medical supply industry

Amazon plans to use its massive distribution network to enter the medical supply distribution market.

Opioid Dealers Embrace the Dark Web to Send Deadly Drugs by Mail

Drug dealers selling opioids are turning to the Dark Web to move their products as potency increases, as the New York Times reports “enough fentanyl to get nearly 50,000 people high can fit in a standard first-class envelope.”

Apple just hired the star of Stanford’s digital health efforts

Apple hires Sumbul Desai, MD and former executive director of Stanford Medicine’s center for digital health, to its healthcare team.

Morning Headlines 6/9/17

June 8, 2017 Headlines No Comments

athenahealth Agrees to Acquire Praxify Technologies to Advance Cloud Platform and Mobile Innovation

Athenahealth acquires Palo Alto-based EHR optimization vendor Praxify Technologies, which analyzes the way doctors interact with EHRs and uses machine learning to optimize workflows.

One Person-One Record Clinical Information System

Nova Scotia narrows the list of vendors that will compete to implement its province-wide “one person-one record” system to Cerner and Allscripts.

Epic, Allscripts and Cerner Signal Paradigm Shift in Population Health Management

A Black Book Report lists Epic, Cerner, and Allscripts as mindshare leaders in the growing population health software vendor marketplace.

Bruce D. Greenstein: Chief Technology Officer

HHS names Bruce Greenstein as CTO. Greenstein leaves his role as President at Quartet, a data integration company working in behavioral health.

Morning Headlines 6/8/17

June 7, 2017 Headlines No Comments

Epic Systems’ $600-plus million contract with VA will hold, officials say

A VA spokesman confirms that Cerner will replace only the agency’s EHR, and confirms that Epic’s $624 million contract to implement an appointment scheduling program for the VA is not in jeopardy.

Health Inequalities in the U.S.: A Good Target for our Work

Former FDA Commissioner Robert Califf, MD discusses his new role at Verily and his perspective on how to consistently translate the potential of new technology into better health

This new smart pill reminds you to take your medicine

Rush University Medical Center (IL) pilots Proteus Digital Health’s smart pill sensor, one that is added directly into traditional pills. The sensor detects when the pill has been ingested, and then sends a signal updating an app with medication adherence data.

MIT and Harvard’s Biosensing Tattoos Will Change Color When You’re Dehydrated

A team of researchers from MIT and Harvard develop a proof of concept tattoo ink that changes color based on metabolism changes in the body, allowing a tattoo to act as a low glucose or dehydration indicator.

Morning Headlines 6/7/17

June 6, 2017 Headlines No Comments

WannaCry Ransomware Continues to Cause Problems for U.S. Hospitals

HHS issues a cyber notice alerting healthcare organizations that the WannaCry ransomware attack is causing major operational issues for two large, multi-state hospital systems, and reiterates that the virus continues to pose a threat.

ONC announces winners of Privacy Policy Snapshot Challenge

ONC awards a combined total of $35,000 to the three winners of its Privacy Policy Snapshot Challenge, a contest that asked developers to create new Model Privacy Notices generator that helps software vendors create consumer-facing privacy and security policy.

The Tower Of Babel In Clinical Research: PCORnet’s Common Data Model Cracks The Foundation

A Health Affairs article discusses the research potential that EHR interoperability and data analytics will have on generating clinical evidence, saying “the ability to harness good quality, usable data from EHRs will likely be as revolutionary for health care as the Internet was to other industries.”

Morning Headlines 6/6/17

June 5, 2017 Headlines No Comments

Kansas City-based Cerner wins VA contract

VA Secretary David Shulkin, MD announces that the VA will shut down its VistA EHR and join the DoD in implementing Cerner Millennium, explaining, “The VA’s adoption of the same EHR system as DoD will ultimately result in all patient data residing in one common system and enable seamless care between the Departments without the manual and electronic exchange and reconciliation of data between two separate systems."

Early experience with IBM Watson for Oncology cognitive computing system for lung and colorectal cancer treatment.

At the 2017 ASCO Annual Meeting, IBM presents performance data on Watson for Oncology.  A multidisciplinary tumor board and Watson for Oncology both independently reviewed and generated treatment plan recommendations for 362 cancer cases, after which Watson-generated treatment plans were found to be in line with oncologist recommendations in 96 percent of lung, 81 percent of colon, and 93 percent of rectal cancer cases.

Dallas’ Walnut Hill Medical Center confirms its abrupt closure

Walnut Hill Medical Center, which billed itself as the “hospital of the future” when it opened in 2014 , closes suddenly. Officials declined to provide details, other than to say that the hospital’s provider agreement with Medicare had expired and it would cease operations after June 1.

Morning Headlines 6/5/17

June 4, 2017 Headlines No Comments

The Health Care Industry Cybersecurity Task Force Releases Improvement Report

The Health Care Industry Cybersecurity Task Force, per a Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2015 mandate, releases its report to Congress, detailing six high-level directives over the course of 88 pages.

Health Insurance Startup Bright Health Raises $160 Million

Led by former UnitedHealthcare CEO Bob Sheehy, Minneapolis-based Bright Health closes a $160 million round of financing it will use to expand into new markets via private health insurance exchanges and health system partnerships.

23andMe Asks Customers to Conduct Pain Research at Home

23andMe for the first time enlists customers to help it conduct at-home research on pain tolerance.

OIG Highlights Data Privacy and Security in Semi-Annual Report

The HHS OIG’s Congressional report highlights challenges related to protecting the privacy and security of the data it collects and maintains, as well as those related to “effectively using data to detect and prevent improper payments and to ensure safety and quality of care for program beneficiaries.”

Morning Headlines 6/2/17

June 1, 2017 Headlines No Comments

Outcome Health Raises Financing at $5 Billion Valuation to Accelerate Growth and Transform Healthcare

Tablet-based patient education and pharmaceutical advertising vendor Outcome Health raises a $500 million investment round on a $5 billion valuation.

The ADHA wants to link up all of Australia’s health systems

The Australian Digital Health Agency releases a request for tender seeking technology vendors that will help it achieve “a digitally interoperable environment for the Australian health and care system,” over the next five to 10 years.

Accenture to Acquire LabAnswer, Expanding Its Life Sciences and Cross-Industry Research and Laboratory Informatics Capabilities

Accenture acquires LabAnswer, a laboratory research and informatics technology consulting firm, and will combine the business with its existing R&D informatics capabilities to establish the Accenture Scientific Informatics Services division.

Privacy Breach at Beverly Hills Clinic Puts Thousands of Patients, Some Celebrities, at Risk

A former employee of a Beverly Hills clinic steals 15,000 medical records, some of which belong to celebrities, after being fired for stealing from the practice.

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