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Morning Headlines 9/30/14

September 29, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Shellshock bug could threaten millions. Compared to Heartbleed.

An old, but newly discovered command shell vulnerability called Shellshock has left millions of computers and servers vulnerable to hackers. The National Institute of Standards and Technology rates it a 10 out of 10 in terms of severity, compared to the Heartbleed vulnerability which had only been rated a 5 out of 10.

No New VA Patient Schedule System Until 2020

New contract documents published by the VA reveal that the department will not complete the roll out of new scheduling software to its 153 hospitals until 2020, contradicting acting VA Secretary Sloan Gibson’s claim that the software would be installed by 2016.

Obama presents public health strategy at summit meeting

During a public health summit in Washington focused on the current Ebola outbreak, President Obama cited syndromic surveillance tools as a critical component of his plan to prepare for future outbreaks.

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September 29, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 9/29/14

September 28, 2014 Headlines No Comments

HealthKit support added to WebMD, Carrot Fit, Yummly, more

A week after a bug forced Apple to pull HealthKit from its iOS 8 release, the feature is back up and running with a growing list of optimized health apps feeding data into it.

Citizen Hackers Tinker With Medical Devices

The Wall Street Journal covers the concerning rise in consumers hacking their own medical devices to add functionality that the FDA has yet to approve.

Deaths fall ‘with use of software’

In England, death rates drop at two NHS hospitals after a risk score-based alert system was implemented that monitors vital signs, calculates an “early warning score,” and then alerts nurses when the score trends outside of an acceptable threshold.

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September 28, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 9/26/14

September 26, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Intermountain Healthcare Partners with Cerner to Provide Clinical Governance for Leidos Partnership for Defense Health

Intermountain Healthcare joins Cerner, Accenture, and Leidos on their joint-bid to win the DoD EHR deal, making Cerner the only vendor with a prominent health system listed as a contributing member.

Premier, Inc., eHealth Initiative survey suggests many ACOs lack mobile applications and face high costs

A survey of 62 ACOs find that 95 percent are experiencing significant problems integrating data across disparate systems, and that 90 percent cite cost and ROI of health IT solutions as a barrier to adoption.

Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange ICD-10 Survey Results

A survey of 514 providers, vendors, and payers finds that while some progress has been made in preparation for the ICD-10 transition, most organizations have slowed, or completely halted, preparation efforts.

MEDITECH: Form 10-K Annual Report

After an 11-month delay in financial reporting due to revenue recognition issues, MEDITECH files its 2013 year end results: revenue fell three percent to $579 million, while net income rose slightly to $133 million.

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September 26, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 9/25/14

September 24, 2014 Headlines 1 Comment

New report projects a $5.7 billion drop in hospitals’ uncompensated care costs because of the Affordable Care Act

HHS claims in a report that hospitals will see a $5.7 billion drop in uncompensated care in 2014 due to the ACA, “based on an estimated 10.3 million decrease in the total number of uninsured and an estimated 8 million increase in the number covered by Medicaid.”

DMH may be on the hook to repay $900K: Government audit uncovers failures of compliance for year 2011-12

Drew Memorial Hospital of Monticello, AK will likely have to pay $900,000 of its Stage 1 MU incentive money back to the government after failing to pass an MU attestation audit.

Hospitals Cut Costs by Getting Doctors to Stick to Guidelines

Researchers from Christiana Care Health System (DE) found that they were able to cut costs associated with non-recommended use of cardiac monitors by 70 percent after embedding American Heart Association protocol reminders in their EHR.

A Health Care Success Story

Farzad Mostashari, MD and his investment partner Bob Kocher, MD co-author an op-ed in the New York Times highlighting the cost savings and improved outcomes seen in the small community of McAllen, TX, once famously pinpointed as the most expensive place in the US to receive healthcare, since its physician practices formed an ACO.

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September 24, 2014 Headlines 1 Comment

Morning Headlines 9/24/14

September 24, 2014 Headlines No Comments

HCA to Purchase PatientKeeper

164-hospital health system HCA acquires PatientKeeper, which it will roll out as an overlay for physicians using its legacy Meditech system.

ACO bill expands telemedicine use

Diane Black (R-TN) and Peter Welch (D-VT) introduce bipartisan bill H.R. 5558, the ACO Improvement Act, which would enable ACOs to expand remote patient monitoring platforms, and allow them to use “share-and-forward” technologies that improve medical image sharing.

Philips Plans Breakup to Focus on Health, Consumer Goods

Royal Philips will split itself into two companies, one focused on lighting, which generates $9 billion in sales annually, and the other on consumer goods and healthcare, which generates $19 billion.

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September 24, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 9/23/14

September 22, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Billing dispute leads to blocked patient data in Maine

A small practice in upstate Maine is fighting back after its EHR vendor suspends access to its hosted EHR for falling 10 months behind on its $2,000 monthly maintenance payments.

AMIA welcomes Douglas B. Fridsma, MD, PhD, as New President and CEO

Douglas Fridsma, MD, PhD, and Chief Science Officer with the ONC will leave his position to become the CEO of the American Medical Informatics Association.

W.H.’s Steve VanRoekel to take tech to Ebola fight

White House CIO Steve VanRoekel resigns to join the USAID, where he will work as a senior adviser in the fight to halt the Ebola outbreak.

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September 22, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 9/22/14

September 21, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Behind the Curtain of the HealthCare.gov Rollout

A report from the US House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform portrays dissent between CMS and HHS before and after the failed rollout, with internal emails providing evidence.

Can a Computer Replace Your Doctor?

New York Times reporter (and physician) Elisabeth Rosenthal says everybody likes the potential of technology, but results haven’t been impressive and other fundamental questions should be answered first.

Building Mature Medical Software, McKesson Cardiology Achieves CMMI Level 5

The Israel-based development organization earns the highest possible rating in the Capability Maturity Model Integration framework.

CMIO Rant … with Dr. Andy

Andy Spooner, MD, CMIO of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, offers eight recommendations for the AMA to consider instead of complaining about EHRs.

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September 21, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 9/19/14

September 18, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Bug in Apple’s HealthKit hits iOS 8 launch

Apple discovers a bug in its HealthKit service that prompted it to pull all HealthKit-connected apps from the app store prior to the launch of iOS 8. 

Geneinsight Strategic Partnership

Sunquest and Partners (MA) create a strategic alliance to create a genomics software system that will support advanced personalized medicine initiatives.

Resurrecting Healthcare.gov Meant Dealing With Bureaucracy, Incompetence, Politics

Mickey Dickerson, the ex-Google engineer responsible for rescuing Healthcare.gov, discusses federal IT work and calls on his peers to engage with government IT projects.

Medical Records For Sale in Underground Stolen From Texas Life Insurance Firm

Medical records stolen from a Texas life insurance company have turned up for sale on a black market website, some going for as little as $6 per record.

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September 18, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 9/18/14

September 17, 2014 Headlines 1 Comment

Bill Would Cut 2015 Meaningful Use Reporting Period To 90 Days

A bipartisan bill introduced by representative Renee Elmers (R- NC) will reduce the 2015 attestation period from 365 days to 90 days if passed. Elmers explains the intent behind the bill, saying “By adjusting the timeline, providers would have the option to choose any three-month quarter for the EHR reporting period in 2015 to qualify for Meaningful Use. The additional time and flexibility afforded by these modifications will help hundreds of thousands of providers meet Stage 2 requirements in an effective and safe manner.”

EHR giant Epic explains how it will bring Apple HealthKit data to doctors

An Epic spokesman comments on Apple HealthKit integration points, saying “If the patient has given permission for the MyChart app on their phone to know about that data, HealthKit “wakes up” the MyChart app and tells it there’s new data.”

 What the new uninsured numbers don’t tell us about Obamacare

Several new polls indicate that the US uninsured rate is dropping, presumably due to the introduction of the Affordable Care Act.

2014 Survey of America’s Physicians Practice Patterns and Perspectives

The Physician Foundation publishes survey results representing 20,000 physician respondents. The report finds that 46 percent of physicians feel that EHRs have detracted from their efficiency, 47 percent feel that EHRs have detracted from patient interaction, and 24 percent report that EHRs have detracted from quality of care.

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September 17, 2014 Headlines 1 Comment

Morning Headlines 9/17/14

September 17, 2014 Headlines No Comments

HIMSS, CHIME, AHA, AMA, and others urge HHS to reduce 2015 attestation period to 90 days.

Several industry advocacy groups write a co-signed letter to HHS secretary Sylvia Burwell calling for the 2015 Meaningful Use attestation period to be reduced from 365 days to just 90 days.

Outsourcing Firm Cognizant to Buy TriZetto for $2.7 Billion

IT outsourcing firm Cognizant Technology Solutions will buy health IT vendor TriZetto for $2.7 billion in an effort to bolster its health IT portfolio.

Federal Health Care Website Faces Security Risks, Watchdog Finds

The GAO publishes a report on the security of Healthcare.gov, concluding that despite increased security efforts "weaknesses remained in the security and privacy protections applied to HealthCare.gov and its supporting systems."

AMA Calls for Design Overhaul of Electronic Health Records to Improve Usability

The American Medical Association publishes a framework with eight recommended changes for improving EHR usability.

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September 17, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 9/16/14

September 16, 2014 Headlines No Comments

 Factors Affecting Physician Professional Satisfaction and Their Implications for Patient Care, Health Systems, and Health Policy

A new RAND report conducted with the American Medical Association finds that EHR use is a direct contributor to physician burnout. Physician survey respondents  cite poor clinical notes, interruption of face-to-face time with patients, time consuming data entry, and less fulfilling work as EHR-related drivers of their dissatisfaction.

Apple HealthKit Trials Spearheaded By Duke And Stanford University Hospitals: Report

Stanford University and Duke Medicine announce plans to use Apple’s HealthKit to streamline data capture in support of their population health initiatives. Stanford Children’s Hospital will track blood sugar levels in its type 1 diabetes population, while Duke will capture weight, blood pressure, and other values to monitor heart disease and cancer patients.

Glitch in health care law allows employers to offer substandard insurance

A known bug in the validation tool that Healthcare.gov uses to ensure each plan listed on the market meets the minimum requirements outlined in the Affordable Care Act has resulted in employers flooding the site with cheap substandard insurance plans that do not offer basic protections, like hospitalization coverage.

AIG Raises Profile for Technology With Creation of CIO Job

Former Kaiser Permanente CIO Philip Fasano has been hired to a newly created CIO position with insurance giant American International Group.

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September 16, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 9/15/2014

September 14, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Advocate, NorthShore merger means 16 hospitals, 3 million patients

In Illinois, Advocate Health Care and NorthShore University Health System announce merger plans that will result in a 16 hospital, 45,000 employee organization with a $6.5 billion combined revenue.

State abandons search for new health exchange company

Nevada abandons its search for a new health insurance exchange contractor, after firing Xerox in May, and announces that it will join Healthcare.gov instead.

Docs frustrated with transition to electronic medical records

A local paper covers the frustrations that clinicians at Community Health of Central Washington are experiencing as they transition to a new EHR that has fallen short of their expectations. CMO Michael Schaffrinna is quoted saying “It reads like a translated Russian novel. It doesn’t flow, and that means it takes a lot longer for people to find the information they’re looking for to care for the patient.”

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September 14, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 9/12/14

September 11, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Allscripts Ex-CEO Glen Tullman Launches Livongo Health At Disrupt, Backed By General Catalyst

Glen Tullman launches a digital health startup called Livongo Health, backed by a $10 million investment from General Catalyst. The company is building chronic disease management platforms that use technology to connect patients, care providers, and family members.

States Graded on Telemedicine Policy

The American Telemedicine Association publishes two reports analyzing the telemedicine policies of all 50 states, focusing on coverage, reimbursement, practice standards, and licensure requirements.

Medicine’s Manhattan Project: Can The World’s Richest Doctor Fix Health Care?

Forbes profiles healthcare billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong and his startup NantHealth, which he promises will revolutionize healthcare. Forbes calls him a blowhard and quotes John Halamka, MD saying “The marketing is three years ahead of the engineering.”

Epic Systems again ranked as No. 1 Dane County employer

Just ahead of its annual user conference, Epic is named the largest employer in Dane County.

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September 11, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 9/11/14

September 10, 2014 Headlines No Comments

2014 Edition Release 2 Electronic Health Record (EHR) Certification Criteria and the ONC HIT Certification Program

ONC scraps its voluntary 2015 Edition EHR certification criteria, providing some flexibility for EHR vendors, but doing little for providers that are not yet ready for the start of the MU 2 attestation period.

Epic retains lobbyist to improve image on Capitol Hill

Epic hires lobbying firm Card & Associates to help address its reputation on Capitol Hill as an opportunistic EHR vendor selling closed systems that are unable to exchange data with other vendors.

Watchdog Says V.A. Officials Lied

Richard J. Griffin, the VA’s acting  inspector general, said in testimony to the Senate Veterans’ Affairs committee on Tuesday that during its investigation on scheduling improprieties, 42 VA health care facilities were found to be altering appointment wait times. Additionally, 13 VA administrators are accused of lying to IG staff during the investigation.

Homeland Security picks Mass company for electronic health record system

eClinicalWorks wins a $5 million contract to provide EHRs for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s detention facilities.

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September 10, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 9/10/14

September 9, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Apple Watch

Apple unveils its newest device, a smartwatch that will monitor caloric burn, daily activity levels, heart rate, and exercise intensity.

New dean reviews Dell Medical School

Clay Johnson, dean of the University of Texas’s new Dell Medical School, says in an interview that one of his goals for the school is to embrace healthcare IT as a means of solving some of the fundamental problems he sees in care delivery.

A Comparison Of Hospital Administrative Costs In Eight Nations: US Costs Exceed All Others By Far

A recent study finds that hospital administrative costs in the US account for 25 percent of all hospital expenditures, far more than any other nation included in the study.

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September 9, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 9/9/14

September 8, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Interstate Medical Licensure Compact Ready for Consideration by States

The Federation of State Medical Boards announces that its Interstate Medical Licensure Compact is complete and ready for adoption by individual state medical boards. The compact simplifies the process of transferring licenses from state to state, and was written to help make it easier for physicians to provide telehealth services to patients that live out of state.

Chinese engineer accused of stealing trade secrets from GE unit

A Chinese engineer is being charged with stealing trade secrets from GE Healthcare after downloading 2.4 million confidential records from his office in Wisconsin, and shipping them back to China.

Mayo Clinic and IBM Task Watson to Improve Clinical Trial Research

Mayo Clinic will begin using IBM’s Watson supercomputer to improve clinical trial recruitment. The program will automate the now manual process of analyzing patient charts and matching them with clinical trials that are searching for participants. To start, the project will focus on cancer patients.

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September 8, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 9/8/14

September 8, 2014 Headlines No Comments

PwC to Propose Open Source EHR System to the Department of Defense Healthcare Management Systems Modernization Program

PwC enters the DoD EHR vendor search, proposing VistA and partnering with General Dynamics as a system integrator, and MedSphere and DSS as commercial resellers of VistA.

Nine Ways Hospitals Can Use Electronic Health Records to Reduce Readmissions

The Society of Hospital Medicine’s Health Information Technology committee publishes a list of nine strategies that hospitals can deploy within their EHRs to reduce all-cause readmissions.

Propeller Health Raises $14.5 Million Series B Financing Led by Safeguard Scientifics

Madison, WI-based Propeller Health raises a $14.5 million Series B and hires Practice Fusion VP Chris Hogg as its COO. The company helps health systems manage their asthma and COPD populations through a rescue inhaler sensor that tracks medication usage, pushing the captured data to both a smartphone app for patients, and a population health dashboard for health systems.

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September 8, 2014 Headlines No Comments

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  • Robert D. Lafsky M.D.: Apple Medical ID: I entered my info on my iPhone....so do I have this straight--text-entered med list only? No link to...
  • Eddie T. Head: I am confused exactly what problem is the participation of IHC supposed to solve? Is the DoD health system siloed in way...
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