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Morning Headlines 8/15/14

August 14, 2014 Headlines 1 Comment

Keys to HIT Success: Results from the 2014 Survey on ACOs

A survey of 62 ACOs finds that most operate with a basic health IT infrastructure comprised of an EHR with clinical decision support features, a data warehouse, and a disease registry. Most do not use population health systems, referral management systems, or telehealth platforms and more than 90 percent reported having concerns with the cost and return on investment potential of health IT solutions.

Update: 8/14/14 – Intermittent EHR access restored

Practice Fusion’s cloud-based EHR went down Tuesday and Wednesday, leaving customers unable to access their schedules or patient charts. Practice Fusion reported that the problem was likely caused by a “global internet brown-out,” citing a recent Fox News report as evidence.

The Meaningful Use Stage 2 Finish Line

John Halamka, MD and CIO of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, reports that the hospital will attest for Stage 2 by the September 30 deadline, but that they are struggling to meet the 10 percent transition of care threshold because there are not enough practices ready to receive CCDs electronically.

HHS on the hunt for HealthCare.gov emails Issa wants

HHS has spent 23,000 staff hours trying to recover deleted emails from CMS administrator Marilyn Tavenner’s email account in response to Congressional investigations into the failed Healthcare.gov rollout. Tavenner, whose email address is public, receives between 10,000 and 12,000 emails a month.

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August 14, 2014 Headlines 1 Comment

Morning Headlines 8/14/14

August 13, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Health Policy Brief: Interoperability

“Health Affairs” discusses the state of health data interoperability in the US given the nation’s $26 billion investment in health IT adoption.

Norton Healthcare stabilizes as EHR expenses fall

Five-hospital Norton Healthcare (KY) returns to a net positive revenue after two years of posting losses brought on by its system-wide Epic implementation. With the implementation complete, overhead costs have dropped and Norton’s revenue has climbed 4.7 percent.

Secretary Burwell further strengthens HHS management team

HHS welcomes Kevin Thurm as its new senior counselor. Thurm worked with HHS under the Clinton administration, and most recently worked at Citigroup as a senior executive overseeing corporate compliance.

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August 13, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 8/13/14

August 12, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Dallas County gets futuristic general hospital

A local paper highlights some of the technology being installed at Dallas-based Parkland Memorial Hospital, a $1.3 billion “digital hospital” set to open in May 2015.

The new No. 1 private-sector employer

Cerner has grown to become the top private sector employer in Kansas City, driven by a hiring spree that added 1,500 new hires in the past year.

Apple prepares Healthkit rollout amid tangled regulatory web

Apple is reportedly in discussions with Allscripts, Johns Hopkins, Mount Sinai, and Cleveland Clinic as it continues recruiting new digital health partners ahead of its upcoming HealthKit rollout.

Telemedicine could yield $6B per year in savings

A new study claims that adopting telemedicine as the primary means of treating certain non-urgent conditions could theoretically save US employers $6 billion annually.

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August 12, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 8/12/14

August 11, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Nuance fourth-quarter forecast misses expectations

Nuance downwardly revises its Q4 earnings forecast to $500 million or $0.24 per share, well below analyst expectations of $0.34 per share, driving stock prices down 10 percent in after hours trading.

White House launches ‘U.S. Digital Service,’ with HealthCare.gov fixer at the helm

The White House launches a new program, the US Digital Service, that will recruit the “country’s brightest digital talent” to providing strategic guidance on major IT projects like Healthcare.gov and iEHR. The department will be run by Mikey Dickerson, the engineer credited with saving Healthcare.gov.

Lawsuit Filed After Doctor Diagnosed Homosexuality as "Chronic Condition"

A Los Angeles man is suing his primary care provider for documenting “homosexual behavior” as a chronic condition in his medical record, and for subsequently failing to remove it when a compliant was made. The practice was given a year to remove the entry, but reported in a court document that “due to the highly complex software used in creating an electronic medical record,” the code could not be completely removed.

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August 11, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 8/11/14

August 10, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Massachusetts will keep state-based health website

Massachusetts officials have announced that the state will move forward with a plan to rebuild its failed health insurance exchange, rather than migrating to the federal exchange.

Oracle Sues Oregon Over Health Insurance Exchange

After overseeing the development of the worst-performing health insurance exchange in the country, now-fired Oracle Corp. is suing the state of Oregon for $23 million plus interest that it claims it was owed but never paid.

Google Fit Preview SDK now available

Google unveils the developer kit for its recently announced health data aggregator service, Google Fit.

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August 10, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 8/8/14

August 7, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Allscripts announces second quarter 2014 results

Allscripts reports Q2 results: a nine percent increase in quarterly bookings drove revenue up two percent, to $354 million. Adjusted EPS EPS $0.09 vs. $0.05, meeting analyst expectations.

More Than Half of US Hospitals Have At Least A Basic EHR, But Stage 2 Criteria Remain Challenging For Most

A Health Affairs study finds that only 5.8 percent of hospitals are currently able to meet all of the MU Stage 2 criteria.

Walgreens stock smacked after tax inversion out

Walgreens acquires overseas pharmacy chain Alliance Boots in a move many assumed would be followed by a tax-dodging transfer of its headquarters out of country. Instead, Walgreens announced that it would keep its headquarters in the US, leading to a 14 percent drop in its stock price.

Health Information Technology in the United States: Progress and Challenges Ahead, 2014

RWJF publishes a report on the EHR incentive program and the state of EHR adoption across the US.

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August 7, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 8/7/14

August 6, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Practice Fusion buys startup Ringadoc in telemedicine play

Practice Fusion acquires Ringadoc, an after-hours call routing system that it says will play a vital role in its plans to roll out a full telehealth platform for its customers. Financial terms were not disclosed.

ONC lays down 10-year interoperability plan milestones

ONC interoperability manager Erica Galvez outlines details from the office’s 10-year interoperability plan during Wednesday’s HIT Policy Committee meeting.

M*Modal Partners with athenahealth to Empower Physicians with Speech-Based Clinical Documentation

MModal joins athenahealth’s More Disruption Please program, bringing natural language processing functionality to athenahealth’s customer base.

UW Health, five other providers enter statewide partnership

In Wisconsin, six health systems representing 44 hospitals, all of which run Epic, have created a state-wide partnership that will share emerging best practices around IT, research, care management, and patient experience. The new partnership is also launching its own insurance plan backed by Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield’s Blue Priority network.

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August 6, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 8/6/14

August 5, 2014 Headlines 2 Comments

Cerner to Acquire Siemens Health Services for $1.3 Billion

Cerner announces that it will acquire the health IT division of Siemens for $1.3 billion, confirming rumors that have been circulating since late April.

Premier, Inc. continues growth trajectory with acquisition of Hospira’s TheraDoc

Premier announces that it will acquire TheraDoc, Hospira’s clinical surveillance business, for $117 million in cash. Hospira acquired the business themselves in 2009 for an undisclosed sum.

MModal Completes Financial Restructuring, Emerges from Chapter 11

After nearly five months, MModal officially emerges from Chapter 11 bankruptcy, reducing its debt by 55 percent in the process.

New California Not-for-Profit to Operate Statewide, Next-Generation Health Information Exchange

California will launch a state-wide HIE, founded through $80 million in seed funding from Blue Shield of California and Anthem Blue Cross. The funding will sustain the exchange for its first three years of operations, after which it will charge subscription fees to providers and insurers to fund continued operations.

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August 5, 2014 Headlines 2 Comments

Morning Headlines 8/5/14

August 4, 2014 Headlines 5 Comments

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology’s Oversight of the Testing and Certification of Electronic Health Records

An OIG investigation finds that the ONC’s EHR testing and certification standards do not test EHR security features enough to adequately ensure that patient information is protected.

State will replace CGI, health exchange vendor

Vermont is the next to join a growing list of states that have fired CGI as their primary health insurance exchange firm. Starting in September, development responsibilities will be handed over to Optum as part of a $5.7 million deal.

Actionable Recommendations in the Bright Futures Child Health Supervision Guidelines

A new study published in Applied Clinical Informatics finds that only 20 percent of the preventative health care guidelines followed by US pediatricians are defined in a way that would allow them to be integrated into EHR clinical decision support tools.

DeSalvo says providers, hospitals on track for EHR Stage 2

With just 10 eligible hospitals attesting for Stage 2 MU thus far, national coordinator Karen DeSalvo, MD, reports “We know from past experience with meaningful-use Stage 1, for example, that people wait to attest until the eleventh hour,” adding “It seems on track with where we expect it to be, and we’re watching it closely.”

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August 4, 2014 Headlines 5 Comments

Morning Headlines 8/4/14

August 3, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Kaiser Permanente, Johns Hopkins Medicine Announce Enhanced Strategic Collaboration

Johns Hopkins and Kaiser Permanente announce a partnership that will focus on “sharing evidence-based best practices, advancing population health programs, collaborating on education and research endeavors, and exploring how the organizations can work together to create better health care models.”

Berwick believes he has a healthy chance in race for governor

Democratic candidate for Massachusetts governor Donald Berwick, MD, says in a recent interview that healthcare costs, which make up 42 percent of the state’s budget, “are just eating the state alive.” He is calling for a single-payer health care system instead.

Hospital wants back CEO charged in scheme to steal $158 million

Riverside Hospital (TX) is asking a local judge to allow one of its healthcare administrators, recently charged with $158 million in Medicare fraud, to return to work at the hospital as an unpaid consultant where he would help them address their financial issues.

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August 3, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 8/1/14

July 31, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Deadline for ICD-10 allows health care industry ample time to prepare for change

CMS confirms in a press release that the ICD-10 switchover will take place on October 1, 2015.

When ‘Hacktivists’ Target Your Hospital

In a New England Journal of Medicine article, Boston Children’s Hospital SVP/CIO Daniel Nigrin, MD discusses his experiences defending the hospital’s network against cyberattacks from the hacker group Anonymous. The group was retaliating over a very public child custody dispute between a Boston Children’s physician and a child’s parents.

McKesson adjusted profit, sales rise above expectations

McKesson reports Q1 results: profit dropped slightly to $425 million, but revenue and sales were both up significantly, EPS $2.49 vs. $2.11, beating expectations.

Novant Health to roll out electronic medical records system at Triad hospitals this weekend

Novant Health will go live with Epic across four of its NC-based hospitals this weekend. The go-live is part of a $600 million system-wide transition and follows its successful install across 300 physician offices last year.

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July 31, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 7/31/14

July 30, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Healthcare.gov: Contract Planning and Oversight Practices Were Ineffective Given the Challenges and Risks

A GAO report concludes that Healthcare.gov cost taxpayers a total of $840 million, including $150 million spent fixing the site after its failed launch.

Merge Reports Second Quarter Financial Results

Merge reports Q2 results: revenue is down 5.9 percent to $53.8 million for the quarter, EPS $0.05 vs. $0.01, beating analyst estimates on both.

Full-time Health IT Workers Aren’t As Happy As Consultants

A new employee satisfaction survey finds that consultants working in health IT are more satisfied with their job (43 percent vs. 19 percent) and their pay (40 percent vs. 18 percent) than traditional health IT FTE’s.

PCORI Board Approves $54.8 Million in Funding for Patient-Centered Comparative Effectiveness Research Projects

PCORI today approved $54 million in new grant awards that will support 33 new research projects. The new funding of brings its total contributions to $549 million, spanning 313 research projects.

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July 30, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 7/30/14

July 29, 2014 Headlines 2 Comments

Former Procter & Gamble CEO Tapped as New VA Secretary

Robert McDonald, the former Procter & Gamble CEO, is unanimously confirmed as the new VA secretary.

Many health-IT success stories to note

National coordinator for health IT Karen DeSalvo, MD, publishes a response to an earlier Boston Globe article which reported that rushed EHR implementations are introducing new, sometimes serious, patient safety risks into care delivery.

Graduate Medical Education That Meets the Nation’s Health Needs

The Institute of Medicine publishes a report analyzing what value taxpayers get from the $15 billion in annual funding that is provided to pay for medical student residencies. The report concludes that the investment is warranted, but that improvements, including more transparency and accountability, are needed.

Medical identity theft can threaten health as well as bank account

CBSNews reports that medical identity theft has become the low hanging fruit of

the criminal underworld because the security protections that banks and credit card companies have put in place to protect consumer data have not yet reached healthcare infrastructures.

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July 29, 2014 Headlines 2 Comments

Morning Headlines 7/29/14

July 28, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Lawmakers reach $17B deal on VA bill

House and Senate lawmakers announce a $17 billion plan aimed at addressing appointment wait times.  The bill would provide $10 billion for veterans to seek medical treatment from non-VA providers, with another $5 billion going toward hiring additional medical to help the VA keep up with appointment demands.

Almost half of Kaiser Permanente members book appointments, request refills and send messages online

A new Kaiser Permanente report claims the health system’s portal and mobile app saw 131 million visitors during 2013. Kaiser ties their web presence to impressive gains in medication adherence rates and chronic disease management.

Early Q2 financials show reform benefiting hospitals’ bottom lines

The ACA is generating increased patient volumes, and thus having a positive impact on quarterly earnings for publicly traded hospitals, according to Modern Healthcare.

Geisinger CEO will step down

Geisinger Health System CEO Glenn Steele, MD, will retire next year after 12 years leading the organization.

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July 28, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 7/28/14

July 27, 2014 Headlines 1 Comment

Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Related Agencies Appropriation Bill 2015

The Senate Appropriations Committee cuts ONC’s requested $75 million budget for 2015 down to $61 million and adds a stipulation that ONC should decertify and publicly report any EHR vendors that “proactively block sharing of information.”

NPA seizes over R1bn contract claims

In South Africa, a $133 million Siemens implementation is put on hold over allegations that the local Siemens reseller engaged in bid-rigging to close the deal.

Self Regional announces security breach of patient info

Self Regional Hospital (SC) announces a data breach affecting at least 500 patients stemming from a Memorial Day office break in that led to the loss of an unencrypted laptop.

Board recaps fair at monthly meeting

In a local article, 71-bed Nevada Regional Medical Center CFO Greg Shaw blames its Cerner billing system for the hospital’s $5.6 million YTD net loss, claiming that the system incorrectly classified insurance payers and aging accounts.

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July 27, 2014 Headlines 1 Comment

Morning Headlines 7/25/14

July 24, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Health-Care Technology Firm Cerner Posts Higher Profit

Cerner reports Q2 results: revenue is up 20 percent to $852 million and bookings for the quarter are up 15 percent to $1.08 billion, adjusted EPS $0.40 vs. $0.34.

North Bristol to swap Cerner for Lorenzo

In England, North Bristol NHS Trust will replace its Cerner Millennium EPR with CSC Lorenzo. North Bristol’s medical director says that Lorenzo “ We also have significant ambitions, and we were impressed with the vision and appetite CSC showed for working with us to build a truly world-class approach to patient care.”

Health Information Technology and Health Information Services: 2014 Mid-Year Review

Healthcare Growth Partners releases its healthcare IT mid-year review, which covers investments, M&A activity, and the expansion of the health IT footprint.

NEA Baptist Clinic and Hospital will soon be integrated with an electronic medical record

NEA Baptist Clinic and Hospital (AR) will go live on Epic across its entire organization, migrating from a previous vendor in its clinic and introducing its first EHR in the hospital.

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July 24, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 7/24/14

July 23, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Panel approves Robert McDonald’s nomination to VA

The Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs confirms the nomination of Robert McDonald as the next VA Secretary in a 14-0 decision. His nomination will now move to Senate for a final vote.  In his post-confirmation statement, McDonald said that the VA needs to prove “ that it can create, with Department of Defense, an integrated records system; (and) that it can regularly and accurately produce key data for decision-makers and oversight entities.”

Study Finds 10.3M Uninsured Gained Coverage Under ACA

A NEJM study finds that 10.3 million uninsured American’s gained health insurance during the ACA open enrollment period, with eight million signing up for private insurance and 2.3 million taking Medicaid. Enrollment variations between age, gender, and ethnicity are also included in the study.

Court halts $4 billion privacy suit against Sutter Health

A $4 billion class action lawsuit against Sutter Health stemming from an earlier data breach has been thrown out because patients could not prove that their data had been accessed by anyone or used in any illegal way.

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July 23, 2014 Headlines No Comments

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Reader Comments

  • Leonard Smith, MD, MS: Chris, Great work by you and your team. With ePrescribing via EHRs and Surescripts Rx History, patient lab and diagnost...
  • Eddie T. Head: @Inspired Informatics - I thought the following pretty much answered your question: "We have such a high rate of data ex...
  • The PACS Designer: Wow! Dr. Chris has TPD excited about getting HIT to be a focus of fellow education for better treatment decisions throug...
  • Eddie T. Head: "She used her IRB-approved access to a data warehouse to look at a holistic experience with teenagers with lupus at Stan...
  • Steven Davidson, MD: Chris Longhurst was an inspired interview pick, Mr. HIStalk. He's been doing great work at Lucille Packard and Stanford ...

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