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Morning Headlines 1/30/15

January 29, 2015 Headlines 3 Comments

CMS intends to modify requirements for Meaningful Use

Following months of growing pressure from industry groups, CMS announces that it will reduce the 2015 Meaningful Use reporting period for from 365-days to 90-days.

Best in KLAS & Category Leaders 2014

KLAS publishes its annual “Best in KLAS” awards, with Epic winning top spot for: Acute Care EMR, Ambulatory care for practices over 10 providers, HIE, LIS, Billing, Surgery Management, and Patient Portal. MEDITECH 6.0 wins Best in KLAS for community hospital EHRs, and Wellsoft wins best stand-alone EDIS.

This Medical Supercomputer Isn’t a Pacemaker, IBM Tells Congress

IBM has been lobbying Congress to push the newly introduced 21st Century Cures bill through to ensure that its Watson supercomputer is protected from FDA oversight.

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January 29, 2015 Headlines 3 Comments

Morning Headlines 1/29/15

January 28, 2015 Headlines 2 Comments

Major Health Care Players Unite to Accelerate Transformation of US Health Care System

A large group of private health care systems and payers have formed a coalition with a goal of migrating 75 percent of their business to value-based arrangements by 2020. Called “The Health Care Transformation Task Force,” the new organization is comprised of 16 health systems, including: Ascension Health, Dignity Health, and Partners Healthcare.

Internet of Things: Privacy & Security in a Connected World

The FTC is taking flack over recommendations made in a new data security report that addresses the coming “Internet of Things.” The report calls for updates to HIPAA that would expand its consumer protection standards to apply to any consumer-facing products that capture patient health data. The report also champions the notion of data minimization, the idea that businesses should redesign their processes with the goal of capturing and retaining less data, an idea with few fans in healthcare.

Data Analytics Update: Health IT Standards Committee Meeting

During yesterday’s HIT Standards Committee meeting, ONC reported that only 15 percent of eligible professionals scheduled to attest for Stage 2 MU have done so. Further, nearly half counted among the 15 percent that have successfully attested did so by securing a hardship exemption.

Committee releases to-do list to help medical industry

A group of bipartisan lawmakers introduced a 400-page draft proposal titled  “21st Century Cures” which would cut red tape from FDA approval processes, increase access to telemedicine, and invest in research to improve the security of medical devices.

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January 28, 2015 Headlines 2 Comments

Morning Headlines 1/28/15

January 27, 2015 Headlines No Comments

Huron Consulting To Buy Studer Group For $325 Million

Huron Consulting acquires healthcare leadership consulting firm Studer Group for $325 million, and anticipates that the deal will close by the end of February.

Biogen hires former Children’s executive as first VP of innovation

Cambridge, MA-based Biogen Idec, the leading manufacturer of multiple sclerosis drugs, hires former Boston Children’s Hospital CIO Naomi Fried as its next VP of medical information.

$1 Billion a Year in Redundant Obamacare Programs

An OIG report investigates quality improvement initiatives undertaken by CMS and finds that there are multiple, overlapping programs currently in place which results in unnecessary costs and increased complexity. CMS spent $1.6 billion on its quality improvement efforts between 2011 and 2014.

C-Lab Engineers Developing Wearable Health Sensor for Stroke Detection

Samsung has developed a prototype headset that analyzes brainwave activity to detect early signs of stroke. The device, called the Early Detection Sensor & Algorithm Package, is still under development and will soon be upgraded to monitor cardiac data as well.

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January 27, 2015 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 1/27/15

January 26, 2015 Headlines No Comments

Progress Towards Achieving Better Care, Smarter Spending, Healthier People

HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell unveils a new plan, and timeline, for moving the nations healthcare providers from fee-for-service model to a value-based reimbursement model. Burwell says that by 2018, 50 percent of all Medicare payments will be made through alternative payment models.

AMA’s letter to ONC

Former ONC Deputy National Coordinator for Health IT Jacob Reider, MD pens an open response to a letter drafted by AMA last week lobbying for renewed emphasis on EHR usability and interoperability. Former National Coordinator for health IT Farzad Mostashari, MD adds his two cents in the comments section.

Revised SOFTWARE Act ‘a huge step forward’

Marsha Blackburn (R- TN) has introduced a revised draft of the SOFTWARE Act, that has received broad support thus far. The bill would limit the FDA’s authority to regulate health IT products by establishing a narrow definition for both medical software and medical device accessories.

New simplified map for Veterans Affairs

The VA unveils plans to consolidate its reporting structure so that all divisions, including the Veterans Health Administration, will report through the same channels. The new five-region structure will be in place by June and is being called “the biggest organizational change in VA history.”

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January 26, 2015 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 1/26/15

January 25, 2015 Headlines 1 Comment

VSS exits Strata Decision Technology

Roper Industries has acquired Strata Decision Technology, a cloud-based analytics platform used by 1,000 hospitals for financial planning and reporting. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

New Technology May Save Patients an Additional Visit to a Specialist

The University of Virginia Health System will pilot a remote consultation system that connects primary care providers with specialists for quick questions or second opinions on cases that otherwise would have resulted in an unnecessary referral.

How Are We Today? Study Lets Patients Help Write Medical Notes, Google Doc Style

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center will pilot a new program called OurNotes that will expand on the OpenNotes concept by allowing patients to access and contribute to physician notes in their EHR.

ONC Annual Meeting, February 2 – 3, 2015

ONC will host its annual meeting on February 2-3 in Washington DC. Karen DeSalvo, MD, now both the National Coordinator for health IT and the acting assistant secretary of health, will deliver the opening remarks and lead a session on ONC’s nationwide interoperability roadmap.

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January 25, 2015 Headlines 1 Comment

Morning Headlines 1/23/15

January 23, 2015 Headlines No Comments

 EHR Certification Improvements

A large cohort of medical associations lobby to ONC to focus MU3 certification on usability, interoperability, and safety.

NHS disregards patient requests to opt out of sharing medical records

The NHS confirms that it has disregarded tens of thousands of requests by patients to opt out of a new national medical record sharing program, citing concerns that patients did not understand what they were opting out of.

Pew Submits Letter to Health and Human Services Regarding Unique Device Identifier Capture in Electronic Health Records

Geisinger Health Systems, Intermountain Healthcare, and a number of industry groups send a letter to ONC asking that implant medical device tracking be included as a required feature for EHR certification.

ONC adds chief health information officer position

ONC hires Michael McCoy, MD, to its newly created position of chief health information officer. 

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January 23, 2015 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 1/22/15

January 21, 2015 Headlines No Comments

Precision Medicine: Improving Health and Treating Disease

The White House releases details on the new precision medicine program President Obama announced during his State of the Union Address. The program will work to individualize treatment plans through advances in genetic research, medical imaging, and health information technology.

Survey finds physicians being forced to switch EHRs

The American Academy of Family Physicians releases survey results from physicians who have recently switched EHRs. The majority reported that the switch was an organizational choice and not their own. 61 percent of those that had a say in which EHR was selected reported being happy with the new system, versus a paltry 19 percent approval rating from new EHR users that were not involved in the selection process.

Doctors Choose the Best Health Apps of 2014

HealthTap, an online Q&A site where doctors respond to anonymous medical questions, publishes a list of the top 100 mHealth apps based on voting by its contributing doctors. The top three were all calorie counter apps, and there were no medication reminder or chronic disease management apps within the top 10.

Cerner Collaborates With VFW to Help Improve Lives of Service Members During and After Their Service

Cerner announces a virtual veterans job fair that it will co-host with the VFW on February 18, and a new conversion tool on its recruitment page that will convert a military job code to an ideal job at Cerner.

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January 21, 2015 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 1/21/15

January 20, 2015 Headlines No Comments

Mayo Clinic Selects Epic as Strategic Partner for Electronic Health Record and Revenue Cycle Management System

Mayo Clinic announces that it has chosen Epic to replace its incumbent Cerner and GE Centricity EHR and revenue cycle systems.

Federal Marketplace: Inadequacies in Contract Planning and Procurement

A report from the HHS Office of the Inspector General finds that CMS failed to oversee Healthcare.gov development work adequately, failed to review past performances of vendors selected for key Healthcare.gov contracts, and structured vendor contracts so that the risk of unanticipated cost increases were absorbed solely by the government, rather than shared among the selected contractors.

Geographic Clusters in Underimmunization and Vaccine Refusal

Kaiser Permanente uses its EHR data to pinpoint areas in California with low rates of childhood vaccination,  finding in one school that 50 percent of the children were unvaccinated due to “personal belief exemption.”

MMRGlobal Proceeds With $30 Million Patent Licensing Case and Files Three New Federal Appeals

MMRGlobal announces that it will appeal decisions made by the California district court to throw out its patent infringement lawsuit against Allscripts and WebMD.

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January 20, 2015 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 1/20/15

January 19, 2015 Headlines 1 Comment

The Role of Health Information Technology in Care Coordination in the United States

A study evaluating the role that health IT systems play in coordinating care finds that a higher percentage of physicians using HIT received patient information necessary for care coordination than those who did not use HIT

ACOs make progress in using big data to improve care

Modern Healthcare takes a look at the slow progress being made as ACOs work to roll out effective data analytics systems.

2015 Top 10 Hospital C-Suite Watch List

ECRI names 3D printing, Google Glass, telehealth, and alert fatigue to its 2015 hospital c-suite watch list.

Cleveland Clinic joins 5 Ohio health systems to form statewide healthcare collaborative

The Cleveland Clinic, along with five other Ohio health systems, have formed the Midwest Health Collaborative, which will share information in an effort to improve quality and reduce costs within the state.

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January 19, 2015 Headlines 1 Comment

Morning Headlines 1/19/15

January 18, 2015 Headlines No Comments

Official Who Led Medicare Through Insurance Shakeup Is Resigning

CMS administrator Marilyn Tavenner resigns, telling staffers in an email that February will be her last month. Tavenner joined CMS in February 2010, just before President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act, and went on to oversee the troubled rollout of Healthcare.gov in October 2013.

Electronic Medical Record Provides Dartmouth-Hitchcock Pathologists Powerful Tool to Push Best Practices in Transfusions

A new EHR alert implemented at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (NH) has significantly reduced the improper use of two-unit blood transfusions for non-bleeding patients.

ER visits still rising despite ACA

At ERs with traditionally high patient volumes, annual visits have only gone up since the rollout of the Affordable Care Act, with one physician speculating that “More people have insurance, but the cultural norm has been to wait until they’re sick to seek care. As they get educated, ER use will go down over a period of years.”

New Department of Biomedical Informatics

Harvard opens a new Department of Biomedical Informatics that will work to leverage new biomedical data streams to develop new methods for research and clinical care. The new department’s advisory board includes digital health pioneer, and Rock Health founder, Halle Tecco.

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January 18, 2015 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 1/16/15

January 15, 2015 Headlines No Comments

Google joins PwC’s Vista-based bid for military health records

Google will join PwC, General Dynamics, Medsphere, and DSS in their bid to install VistA as the DoD’s next EHR.

Whistleblower Lawsuit Calls Billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong’s Healthcare Startup ‘Fraudulent’ And Dangerous

Two ex-employees of physician billionaire Patrick Soon Shiong’s startup NantHealth file a whistleblower suit alleging that the company is “engaged in a multitude of fraudulent activities.”

The new 10-year standard: Find a more accurate EHR total cost ownership

Becker’s Hospital Review calls for a change to the way total cost of ownership is calculated during EHR procurements, saying that five or seven year timelines are not long enough when in reality a successfully installed EHR won’t be replaced for ten years or longer.

Philips and MIT investigators collaborate to give researchers unprecedented access to critical care patient data

Philips is collaborating with MIT to provide researchers access to the de-identified medical records of 100,000 ICU patients that received care in one of Philips’s eICU centers.

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January 15, 2015 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 1/15/15

January 14, 2015 Headlines No Comments

Athenahealth Acquires RazorInsights

Athenahealth acquires RazorInsights, an inpatient EHR vendor that has been selling its cloud-based system in the critical access and community hospital market since its 2010 launch.

BT to Offer Medsphere’s OpenVista Electronic Health Record

Medsphere announces that it will partner with BT to begin offering hosted OpenVista systems.

GAO kicks off review of HIE performance

Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Richard Burr (R-NC), and Mike Enzi (R-WY) have asked the General Accounting Office to evaluate the effectiveness of state health information exchanges as the federal government’s $600 million effort to support their implementation winds down.

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January 14, 2015 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 1/14/15

January 13, 2015 Headlines No Comments

Data Analytics Update: Health IT Policy Committee Meeting

At this week’s Health IT Policy Committee meeting, ONC reports that 77 percent of eligible hospitals and 56 percent of eligible providers scheduled to attest to Stage 2 Meaningful Use have done so. Hospitals still have a month left to attest, while providers have three months left.

Ellmers Reintroduces the Flex-IT Act

Congresswoman Renee Elmres (R- NC) reintroduce HR 270, the Flexibility in Health IT Reporting Act of 2015, a two-page bill that would reduce the Meaningful Use reporting period from 365 days to 90 days.

Clinical Documentation in the 21st Century: Executive Summary of a Policy Position Paper From the American College of Physicians

The Annals of Internal Medicine publishes a paper investigating the effect EHRs have had on the structure and usefulness of clinical notes, concluding that EHRs have real room for improvement, but that the primary driver of change in clinical notes has been the documentation requirements imposed to support an increasingly complex billing process.

Why We’re Picking Walmart And CVS Over Doctors’ Offices

The Huffington Post covers the rise of retail clinics, whose numbers have seen a sevenfold increase since 2007, driven largely by CVS and Walgreens.

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January 13, 2015 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 1/13/15

January 12, 2015 Headlines No Comments

FDA puts interoperability guidance on back burner

The FDA has published its list of priorities for 2015, which includes clarifying regulatory guidance on clinical decision support software, but does not include any short-term efforts to improve interoperability.

eLearning as good as traditional training for health professionals

Researchers at Imperial College in London, carrying out a study commissioned by the World Health Organization, review findings from 108 research studies and conclude that online learning is likely to be as effective as traditional education for training health professionals.

Health Poll: Data Privacy, Part 2

In a survey of 3,000 Americans conducted by Truven Health Analytics, only 53 percent of respondents report that they would be willing to anonymously share their medical data to support research.

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January 12, 2015 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 1/12/15

January 11, 2015 Headlines No Comments

HLM Venture Partners aiming at $150M for fourth investment fund

Boston, MA-based HLM Venture Partners raises its fourth funding round, a $150 million investment fund. While the new funds will likely be distributed across a wide variety of industries, HLM has a track record of investing in digital health.

Internists Suggest Congressional Actions to Improve American Healthcare

The American College of Physicians calls on Congress to: repeal the Medicare SRG formula, continue the current Medicare 10 percent primary care bonus, restore the Medicaid primary care pay parity program, and provide relief from “unrealistic Medicare meaningful use requirements for Electronic Health Records.” 

The Future of Medicine Is in Your Smartphone

In a Wall Street Journal op-ed, digital health advocate Eric Topol, MD predicts that new smartphone-based medical technologies will improve care delivery and create a “radically altered” doctor-patient relationship.

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January 11, 2015 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 1/9/15

January 8, 2015 Headlines No Comments

Insider Selling: McKesson CEO Sells 77,100 Shares of Stock

McKesson stock hit a 52-week high of $215 this week, prompting CEO John Hammergren to sell 77,000 of his personal shares for a profit of $16 million.

NY State Ready to Deploy New Weapon in the Battle Against Prescription Drug Abuse

DrFirst reports that 80 percent of New York providers and 85 percent of New York hospitals are prepared for the states I-STOP deadline, at which point all prescriptions, including controlled substances, must be sent electronically. While 97 percent of the states pharmacies are setup to receive electronic prescriptions, only 58 percent are equipped with the additional security features required to receive controlled substance prescriptions electronically.

The BD Intelliport Medication Management System Receives Clearance from the Food and Drug Administration

BD Medical receives FDA clearance for a medication management system that focuses exclusively on IV bolus injections. The system verifies that the correct type and dose of medication are being administered, and checks for allergy conflicts at the point of administration, then it wirelessly records the medication administration in the EMR.

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January 8, 2015 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 1/8/15

January 7, 2015 Headlines No Comments

Stage 3 proposals go to OMB, hint at changes

ONC submits a notice regarding Stage 3 MU to the Office of Management and Budget that contains the following description of the yet-to-be-published rule: “Stage 3 will also propose changes to the reporting period, timelines, and structure of the program, including providing a single definition of meaningful use. These changes will provide a flexible, yet, clearer framework to ensure future sustainability of the EHR program and reduce confusion stemming from multiple stage requirements.” 

IBM, Epic already prepping for military EHR work

In pursuit of the DoD EHR contract, IBM and Epic announce the formation of an advisory group comprised of 17 medical informatics specialists, physicians, hospital administrators, and a former US Army Special Forces Major who lost his leg in combat and who will represent the patient perspective, detailing his experience transitioning from the Army’s care to the VA health system.

Avoiding Unintended Incentives In ACO Payment Models

An analysis of ACO shared savings reimbursement levels published in Health Affairs finds that the calculation used to establish benchmark spending level focuses too heavily on spending data from the year immediately preceding the transition to an ACO. Researchers suggest that this could encourage ACOs to ramp up their spending before transitioning to an ACO model so that benchmark costs are falsely inflated, resulting more substantial year-one savings.

Qualcomm announces new connected health collaboration with Walgreens

Walgreens partners with Qualcomm to bring medical device integration to its growing ecosystem of health applications.

Open Enrollment Week 7: December 27, 2014 – January 2, 2015

HHS reports that 6.6 million consumers have used the federal insurance marketplace to enroll in an insurance plan thus far, though many were automatically re-enrolled into their existing plans. The number does not include state-run marketplace enrollments. Open Enrollment ends on February 15.

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January 7, 2015 Headlines No Comments

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Reader Comments

  • Confused Consultant: re: KLAS rankings. Is anyone else curious about Epic's KLAS wins for HIE and Lab? Every evaluation we see about Beaker r...
  • meltoots: It could be a 90 minute reporting period, no one is doing MU2. MU is dead to the EP. Its way too much work, the cost ben...
  • Ganesh: KLAS should have to disclose how much money it has made from each vendor for the past 10 years. They do make money off o...
  • Kathy: great article! You summed up the issues well. When looking at a phased in approach, there are different "flavors" of...
  • Bignurse: The future of interoperability needs to be a single repository of patient data for every person - the Virtual Care Plan....

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