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Morning Headlines 4/23/14

April 22, 2014 Headlines No Comments

The Personal Connected Health Alliance Launches with Goal to Improve Health and Wellness through Connected Technologies

The Continua Health Alliance, mHealth Summit, and HIMSS launch a new non-profit called the Personal Connected Health Alliance that will represent the consumer voice in the growing connected health industry.

Care Everywhere, a Point-to-Point HIE Tool

An Applied Clinical Informatics study says that using Epic’s Care Everywhere module in four Allina Health ER’s resulted in fewer duplicate diagnostic tests and procedures, and more drug seeking behaviors being identified.

athenahealth Announces 2013 Meaningful Use Attestation Rate and Early Stage 2 Performance Data

athenaHealth announces that 95.4 percent of the company’s participating providers successfully attested for Meaningful Use Stage 1 in 2013.

Medicare chief Jonathan Blum leaving Obama administration

CMS Principal Deputy Administrator Jonathan Blum will resign effective May 16, according to an internal email sent by CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner.

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April 22, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 4/21/14

April 21, 2014 Headlines 3 Comments

Heading off the alarms at Boston Children’s Hospital

Boston Children’s Hospital is piloting a predictive analytics tool in its cardiac ICU that it hopes will help combat alarm fatigue by predicting changes in patient condition before alarms sound, and then creating a real-time "heat map" of the unit that tells staff where resources should be directed next.

Scribes Are Back, Helping Doctors Tackle Electronic Medical Records

NPR reports on the medical scribe industry in the US, which is booming in parallel with EHRs.

Wikipedia Usage Estimates Prevalence of Influenza-Like Illness in the United States in Near Real-Time

Researchers at Harvard Medical School find that flu outbreaks can be predicted by monitoring spikes in traffic to Wikipedia pages about the flu and flu-like symptoms. The resulting annual figures were in line with CDC reports, and far outperformed Google Flu Trends, which predicts outbreak numbers based on Google search terms.

Obamacare enrollees urged to change passwords over Heartbleed bug

Healthcare.gov posted a message on Saturday informing users that all passwords had been automatically reset in response to the Heartbleed computer virus.

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April 21, 2014 Headlines 3 Comments

Morning Headlines 4/21/14

April 20, 2014 Headlines No Comments

UPMC data breach may affect as many as 27,000 employees

UPMC (PA) reports that hackers have stolen the personal information of 27,000 of its employees. 788 are reporting that their tax returns were stolen when the information was used to file fraudulent tax returns, while others are reporting that unauthorized bank accounts are being opened in their names.

A Robust Health Data Infrastructure

HHS publishes a JASON report on health information interoperability which concludes that without a sophisticated data exchange framework, health IT will continue to struggle to improve care quality or reduce costs. The report recommends that Stage 3 Meaningful Use be used "as an opportunity to break free from the status quo and embark upon the creation of a truly interoperable health data infrastructure."

T.J. Samson Community Hospital announces job, salary cuts Nearly 50 employees losing positions

49 employees at T.J. Samson Community Hospital (KY) will lose their jobs, while most remaining employees will face salary cuts as part of a new plan designed save $3.6 million between now and October. CEO Henry Royse says the cuts were needed due to problems with a Siemens install which he summaries by explaining "One year after going live, the product’s inoperability is still costing the hospital tens of millions of dollars in unrecoverable bad debt, consultant fees, and lost productivity.”

Even After Doctors Are Sanctioned or Arrested, Medicare Keeps Paying

In 2012, Medicare paid at least $6 million, but likely much more, to physicians that were actively suspended or terminated from state Medicaid programs for committing fraud, according to a ProPublica report.

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April 20, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 4/18/14

April 17, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Nuance PowerShare Network Unveiled for Cloud-Based Medical Imaging and Report Exchange

Nuance announces that it has acquired image sharing vendor Accelarad and will immediately begin marketing a cloud-based document and image sharing platform called the Nuance PowerShare Network. Financial details were not disclosed.

Athenahealth Posts Loss, Misses Street; Stock Down 10% – Quick Facts

Athenahealth reports Q1 earnings: revenue was up 30 percent at $163 million, but missed analyst estimates of $170 million, EPS $0.12 vs. $0.38.

Epic Wins Tender For Royal Children’s EMR

In Australia, Epic wins a $48 million deal at Melbourne’s Royal Children’s Hospital, concluding a vendor search that reportedly included all major US vendors as well as representation from local Australian vendors.

One Medical Group Raises $40M To Help Reinvent The Doctor’s Office

San Francisco, Calif.-based One Medical Group, a startup building technology-laden primary care offices across the nation, raises a $40 million investment round to continue its expansion.

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April 17, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 4/17/14

April 16, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Scientists embark on unprecedented effort to connect millions of patient medical records

PCORI will invest $100 million to build a nationwide database containing 26 to 30 million EHR records in an effort to begin supporting retrospective clinical research.

Telehealth Medical Treatment Coming to all 50 States, Brought to You by MeMD

MeMD announces that its subscription-based telemedicine service has expanded to include licensed providers in all 50 states.

Budget Office Lowers Estimate for the Cost of Expanding Health Coverage

The Congressional Budget Office expects that expanding insurance under the ACA will cost $100 billion less than previously forecast over the next 10 years, according to a report published Monday that cites an increase in non-elderly coverage and a decrease in the forecasted cost of insurance subsidies.

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April 16, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 4/16/14

April 15, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Public Workshop – Proposed Risk-Based Regulatory Framework and Strategy for Health Information Technology, May 13-15, 2014

The FDA, ONC, and FCC will co-host a free three-day public workshop at NIST’s campus in Gaithersburg, MD from May 13-15. The event will provide experts and stakeholders an opportunity to provide input on the recently published FDASIA health IT report.

ICD-10

CMS finally acknowledges the ICD-10 delay in a new post on its ICD-10 readiness website that says, "CMS is examining the implications of the ICD-10 provision and will provide guidance to providers and stakeholders soon."

Meaningful Use Not Correlated With Quality in Study

A study at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (MA) that compared the quality scores of 540 physicians who achieved MU with those of 318 physicians who did not finds that adoption of Meaningful Use does not correlate with improved quality.

IT landscape changing for sharing Oklahoma patient medical records

A local paper covers the launch of two competing health information exchanges in Oklahoma and discusses the impact the competition will have on the overall sustainability of the project.

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April 15, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 4/15/14

April 14, 2014 Headlines No Comments

DeSalvo calls for big data use over next decade

In a speech on Capitol Hill last Thursday, Karen DeSalvo, MD, said that one of the ONC’s goals for the next decade would be bringing about the benefits of big data, which she says will require that “the underpinnings of EHRs” be reconfigured to support the free flow of information.

Lawyers start mining the Medicare data for clues to fraud

Lawyers specializing in healthcare fraud cases begin analyzing the recently published Medicare payment data, looking for potential signs of fraud.

Dutton "Committed" To Electronic Health Record

In Australia, Health Minister Peter Dutton expresses support for the country’s EHR program, leading to speculation that while the federal government will not keep the program in its present form, it does not plan to cancel the $700 million project outright.

New York’s electronic medical record plan gets $55 million boost

New York approves an additional $55 million in funding to support its health IT goals, including a $4.5 million investment in the state-run Healthcare Information Exchange of New York.

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April 14, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 4/14/14

April 13, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Sebelius’s Slow-Motion Resignation From the Cabinet

The New York Times reports that the writing was on the wall for Kathleen Sebelius after her "wooden" performance on Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show in October left the administration questioning whether she was the right person to fix the healthcare.gov debacle.

Image sharing gets to early majority. Nuance’s rumored move validates.

Nuance will reportedly move into the image sharing business and on Monday will announce the acquisition of a small Atlanta-based company working in this space.

What you won’t see in the raw Medicare claims data

The American Medical Association publishes a piece addressing the recent release of Medicare payment data, explaining that the numbers are sometimes inaccurate, and do not represent an individual physician’s take home pay because it does not account for the overhead of running a practice.

‘Heartbleed’ Bug Coder: ‘It was a simple programming error’

The programmer responsible for introducing the OpenSSL bug in 2012 addresses accusations that he introduced the bug intentionally, explaining that it was "a simple programming error in a new feature, which unfortunately occurred in a security relevant area."

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April 13, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 4/11/14

April 10, 2014 Headlines 1 Comment

Health Secretary Resigns After Woes of HealthCare.gov

Kathleen Sebelius has resigned following a five-year span as secretary of HHS. Her term was marred by the failed rollout of Healthcare.gov, despite a late surge that helped it meet its original enrollment goals. On Friday, she will nominate Sylvia Mathews Burwell, the director of the Office of Management and Budget, to replace her.

Laptops ‘could save doctors’ time’

Researchers at the Birmingham Women’s Hospital in the UK find that physicians in its neonatal unit who use laptops or tablets spend an hour-per-day less on paperwork, compared to those that still document on paper.

WelVU Wins Dignity Health and Box Developer Challenge

Patient engagement platform WelVU takes first place and a $100,000 prize in a Dignity Health and Box sponsored developer challenged which called for "innovative health applications that will revolutionize the way physicians and hospitals educate patients."

Capturing Social and Behavioral Domains in Electronic Health Records: Phase 1

A new Institute of Medicine report recommends expanding the use of EHRs to capture social and behavioral data on patients, saying that EHRs are currently limited in what they can capture, and concluding that this information would be helpful to physicians and public health researchers alike.

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April 10, 2014 Headlines 1 Comment

Morning Headlines 4/10/14

April 9, 2014 Headlines No Comments

DeSalvo proposes new direction for ONC

Speaking at a Health Information Policy Committee on Tuesday, Karen DeSalvo, MD, proposed dismantling the ONC’s existing HIT workgroups and forming new ones that would address: HIT strategic planning; Advanced health models and meaningful use; HIT implementation, usability and safety; and Interoperability and health information exchange. Paul Tang, vice-chair of the HITPC said, "This is a nice step-back point. Now that we’ve finished wrapping up our comments and advice on Stage 3, we will begin to look a lot toward how are we getting the value from meaningful use.”

Final Notice of Termination of OIG Advisory Opinion No. 11-18

The HHS’s Office of Inspector General has reversed its 2011 decision on the Federal anti-kickback statute as it applies to transmitting patient referrals through an unnamed ambulatory EHR vendor’s "trading partner" network. The OIG originally approved of the network, but has since decided that it creates a situation in which transaction fees may be financially influencing referral decisions.

Lincoln Health Center request gives county pause

In North Carolina, Lincoln Community Health Center is looking to local county commissioners to pick up half of the $2 million it will cost to implement Duke University’s Epic system. The county thinks that Duke, which is paying the other half, should be on the hook for more.

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April 9, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 4/9/14

April 8, 2014 Headlines No Comments

ABILITY Network Receives $550 Million Strategic Investment From Summit Partners

ABILITY Network, a web-based Medicare billing technology vendor, announces a $550 million strategic investment from Summit Partners, a growth equity investment firm.

Northwest Patients to Gain Easy Access to Clinicians’ Notes

Nine health systems and medical groups in Oregon and Southwest Washington will begin sharing physician notes with their patients as part of an OpenNotes project that will reach one-million patients in the region.

Hospital still profitable after tax rejection

St. Bernard Parish (LA) voters reject a one-year property tax proposal that would have paid for a new electronic medical records system and several new full time employees at its publically-owned community hospital.

Phoebe Putney Health System Picks MEDITECH 6.1 EHR

691-bed Phoebe Putney Health System (GA) choses Meditech 6.1, marking it the second 400+ bed win for Meditech this year.

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April 8, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 4/8/14

April 7, 2014 Headlines No Comments

10 years after the revolution

Modern Healthcare recounts the history of the ONC and the impact each of the previous four national coordinators has had on shaping US health IT policy.

Proposed Risk-Based Regulatory Framework and Strategy for Health Information Technology Report; Notice to Public of Availability of the Report and Web Site Location; Request for Comments

The FDA begins accepting public comments on the FDASIA Health IT Report. The comment period ends July 7, 2014.

Kaiser Permanente Northern California Department of Research to notify participants of potential breach

Kaiser Permanente notifies 5,100 patients of a data breach that potentially exposed full names, age, gender, address, race, medical record number, and lab results. The breach, Kaisers fourth, stems from a malware-infected server that was being used to store research data.

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April 7, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 4/7/14

April 6, 2014 Headlines No Comments

IMS Health raises $1.3B in 2014′s second-biggest IPO

IMS Health completes its IPO, selling 65 million shares at $20 and raising $1.3 billion for the company. Stock prices closed at $23 Friday, up 15 percent, at the end of its first day of trading.

5 Things About States With Problem-Plagued Health Exchanges

Oregon, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, and Hawaii are named as having the worst health insurance exchange marketplaces in the country.

Oversold Conditions For Athenahealth

In trading on Friday, analysts watching key financial indicators warned that Athenahealth’s stock had entered into oversold territory. The stock closed down 11 percent by the end of trading Friday.

Beebe rolls out $33 million electronic records system

Beebe Healthcare (DE) goes live on its $33 million Cerner system, concluding a nine-month implementation and a two-year vendor selection process.

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April 6, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 4/4/14

April 3, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Proposed health IT strategy aims to promote innovation, protect patients, and avoid regulatory duplication

HHS publishes the long-awaited health IT regulatory framework proposal. The report suggests that health IT products be separated into three risk-based categories, with the FDA regulating only the category that includes software with medical device-related health IT functions, such as bedside monitor alarms and radiation treatment software. The FDA would not regulate EHRs or systems that provide medication management, provider order entry, clinical results review, and clinical decision support.

GE Healthcare to Acquire Analytics Solutions Provider CHCA, Further Advancing Industrial Internet Mission

GE acquires Canada-based CHCA Computer Systems, which offers the Opera Surgical Management System.

M*Modal Reaches Agreement On Financial Restructuring Plan

MModal announces that it has reached an agreement on the terms of a financial restructuring plan that will reduce its debt by than 55 percent, or $350 million, and lead to a conclusion of its debt-restructuring plan within the next 120 days.

CRMC implements new electronic medical records system

25-bed Cherokee Regional Medical Center goes live on its $2 million Epic install across the hospital, with all outpatient clinics coming on board later this year.

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April 3, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 4/3/14

April 2, 2014 Headlines 2 Comments

ICD-10 delay puts pressure on CMS for answers

Attention shifts to CMS for new guidance now that Congress has prohibited the October 2014 mandatory transition to ICD-10.

MMRGlobal 2014 "This Is Our Year" Letter to Shareholders

MMRGlobal sends a letter to its shareholders titled "This Is Our Year" in which the company boasts that because of Meaningful Use, the patient portal business is “the right business, at the right time”. The letter goes on to acknowledge that it prepared for Meaningful Use by investing millions of dollars in patents, intellectual property rights, and technology.

Veterans Affairs cut claims backlog by 44 percent since last year’s high

Since March 2013, the Department of Veterans Affairs has cut its backlog of pending benefits claims by 44 percent and shortened the average wait time for decisions from 282 days to 119. However, during that same timeframe independent audits turned up errors in 55 percent of the VA’s decisions. Appeals cases are up 50 percent.

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April 2, 2014 Headlines 2 Comments

Morning Headlines 4/2/14

April 1, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Securities and Exchange Commission: Form S-1, Imprivata, Inc.

Imprivata files paperwork for a $115 million IPO. The company’s revenue has increased by 30 percent in each of the last two years, but it booked a net loss of $5.5 million at the close of 2013.

Selected Defense Programs Need to Implement Key Acquisition Practices

A GAO report finds that the Department of Defense is not accurately calculating future costs for its information systems projects, with 11 of the 13 programs inspected missing their long-term cost targets. One program, an in-country EHR called the the Theatre Medical Information Program, was originally budgeted to cost only $67 million, but has already ballooned to $1.6 billion.

“Litigious nature” of software vendors preventing unbiased reviews of healthcare software

In England, hospitals trying to collect and publish unbiased EHR reviews are being pressured to stop by EHR vendors. One hospital executive explains, "We would like to see something like Comparethesoftware.co.uk… but our pockets are not deep enough to confront the legal departments of the suppliers."

Doctors prescribe scribes

Brigham and Women’s Hospital will expand the use of scribes across its facilities to help doctors manage EHR-related data entry. Scribes join physicians during patient exams and take real-time electronic notes while the doctor and patient talk.

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April 1, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 4/1/14

March 31, 2014 Headlines 1 Comment

Senate Approves ICD-10 Delay, ‘Doc Fix’

By a vote of 64 to 35, the Senate approves the "Doc Fix" bill, delaying the implementation of ICD-10 until October 2015, and preserving the current Medicare physician reimbursement rate for 12 months.

HealthCare.gov stumbles twice on deadline day

Healthcare.gov goes offline twice on its final day of registration, first due to heavy traffic, and then again due to software issues. Despite the problems, analysts tracking the registration numbers expect that the final count will come very close to meeting the original goal of seven million new registrations.

Appropriate Use of the Copy and Paste Functionality in Electronic Health Records

AHIMA calls for stronger technical and administrative controls over the use of copy and paste in EHRs, and recommends that the industry develop and publish best practices as a condition of its continued use.

Emergency Department Utilization: Update on Assumed Savings from Best Practices Implementation

A program in Washington state that tracks ED utilization rates for individual patients and alerts PCPs of frequent fliers results in a decrease in Medicaid ED visits and Medicaid narcotic prescriptions.

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March 31, 2014 Headlines 1 Comment

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Reader Comments

  • Mobile Man: Very, very interesting! Thank you both. And, I must say - I love the "final thoughts". Many/Most don't end with an ...
  • IntriguedByVistA: the link ... http://www.openhealthnews.com/hotnews/vista-rivals-epic-and-cerner-major-deployments-ehr-systems...
  • IntriguedByVistA: Here's an interesting article from last October courageously contrasting Epic/Cerner with VA Vista. Any guidance / fe...
  • Mobile Man: Re: "...about using EHR data..." I am constantly amazed that healthcare IT hasn't figured out the secrets that Ba...
  • Not in Monterey: I don't like this increasing prevalence of scribes in the ED and other locations because of the game of telephone that o...

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