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Morning Headlines 6/27/16

June 26, 2016 Headlines No Comments

Ethical hacking at the DoD draws interest from HHS

HHS considers launching a hackathon that will pay hackers for discovering cyber vulnerabilities within the agency. The program would be modeled after the DoD’s recent pilot program “Hack the Pentagon.”

Medical Image Sharing | 2016

Peer60 publishes survey results on the medical image sharing industry, with respondents favoring cloud-based and site-to-site data sharing models.

Unexpected medical bills can cost American consumers thousands

PBS examines the problem of patients receiving bills from out-of-network specialists that delivered care during a hospitalization at an in network facility.

DaVincian Healthcare Nabs Overall Champion Award in Pymnts.com /Amazon Alexa Challenge

Austin, Tx-based digital health startup DaVincian Healthcare wins Amazon’s Alexa Challenge, a design contest launched to attract innovators to build new solutions for Amazon’s voice-command personal assistant. DavIncian entered a medication adherence solution that uses the platform to track prescription refills and connect patients, caregivers, and providers.

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June 26, 2016 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 6/24/16

June 23, 2016 Headlines No Comments

Andy Gurman, MD, Takes Reins as AMA President

Incoming AMA president Andrew Gurman, MD says that he has no EHR in his practice and prefers to take a penalty than participate in the Meaningful Use program.

Nearly 1 in 3 On Medicare Got Commonly Abused Opioids

A federal report finds that 12 million Medicare beneficiaries were prescribed opioids last year, at a cost of $4.1 billion.

Implementation Of Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs Associated With Reductions In Opioid-Related Death Rates

A Health Affairs study finds that prescription drug monitoring programs reduced opioid-related overdose deaths by 1.12 per 100,000 people in the year after implementation.

Statement of Dr. David Shulkin Undersecretary of Health Veterans Health Administration

VA Undersecretary of Health David Shulkin, MD says during testimony before the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs that its EHR modernization plans are “not dependent on any particular EHR.”

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June 23, 2016 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 6/23/16

June 22, 2016 Headlines 1 Comment

Justice Department Announces Biggest Medicare Fraud Crackdown

Federal agents have arrested 300 suspects in the largest ever crackdown on Medicare fraud, with suspected losses totaling $900 million.

Veterans Health Administration Review of Alleged Manipulation of Appointment Cancellations at VA Medical Center Houston, Texas

A VA OIG report finds that leadership at the Houston VA has been falsely reporting appointments cancelled by the clinic as patient requested cancellations. Investigators identified 223 appointments incorrectly reported as patient cancellations between July 2014 and June 2015.

Workarounds and Test Results Follow-up in Electronic Health Record-Based Primary Care

A study published in Applied Clinical Informatics finds that 43 percent of primary care physicians use workarounds, rather than standard EHR functionality, to manage test results. Authors conclude that analyzing common workarounds in the clinical setting could lead to improved EHR design.

State Department eyes electronic health records

The US State Department has issued an RFI for a commercial EHR to support roughly 1,000 medical professionals along with diplomats and embassy personnel stationed at posts worldwide.

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June 22, 2016 Headlines 1 Comment

Morning Headlines 6/21/16

June 20, 2016 Headlines No Comments

Should digital health be regulated like air travel?

AMA CEO James Madara, MD doubles down on his “snake oil” analogy, reiterating that “That bluntness was by design” and citing a recent Commonwealth Fund study that looked at 1,000 healthcare apps for patients and concluded that only a minority were likely to be useful to patients.

First Human Test of CRISPR Proposed

Doctors at the University of Pennsylvania are seeking approval to use CRISPR gene editing technology on humans for the first time. The researchers seeking approval are working on a therapy in which immune cells are removed from the patient, edited to target myeloma, melanoma, and sarcomas, and then re-infused into the bloodstream.

Health Insurer Hoped to Disrupt the Industry, but Struggles in State Marketplaces

The New York Times profiles Oscar Health, a tech-focused health insurance startup that has raised $727 million in funding, but has yet to establish a profitable business model in the hyper-competitive ACA marketplaces.

Supercomputers Join the Fight Against Cancer

In an article published by Medium, US Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz pledges to support the Cancer Moonshot project with supercomputers owned by the Department of Energy’s 17 national laboratories.

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June 20, 2016 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 6/20/16

June 19, 2016 Headlines No Comments

Up to 20 Percent of U.S. Trauma Deaths Could Be Prevented With Better Care

A report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine on trauma-based mortality rates in the US finds that quality of care for trauma patients varies greatly depending on when and where a patient is injured, resulting in 30,000 preventable deaths per year. The report calls for a national trauma care network to establish best practices and integrate civilian and military trauma care practices.

Online Trust Audit Briefing

An independent investigation recognizes Healthcare.gov as the second-most secure consumer website, while Twitter took top honors.

Doctors’ Hand Hygiene Plummets Unless They Know They’re Being Watched, Study Finds

A new study from Santa Clara Valley Medical Center (CA) finds that hand washing compliance rates improve dramatically when health professionals know they are being watched.

LeadingAge CAST Releases New Electronic Health Record Adoption Model

LeadingAge introduces an EHR adoption model for long-term and post-acute care organizations.

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June 19, 2016 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 6/16/16

June 15, 2016 Headlines No Comments

Cerner chips away at building $4.5B campus

A local Kansas City newspaper reports on the progress Cerner has made on its 10-year, $4.5 billion Trails Campus construction.

Florida Blues collected $471 million profit on ACA plans in 2015

Florida Blue Cross and Blue Shield reports $471 million in profits from its insurance exchange business, unlike the massive losses reported by other major insurers like Highmark, Humana, and UnitedHealth Group.

Consumerism in focus at AHIP 2016 this week, organizers say

Former CMS Administrator and current AHIP President and CEO Marilyn Tavenner presents the keynote speech at this year’s AHIP annual conference, calling for an increase in technology as healthcare reimbursement moves away from fee-for-service payment models.

New Methodology To Examine Spending Patterns For End-Of-Life Care

According to a Health Affairs study analyzing end-of-life spending data for Medicare patients finds that costs run five times higher for patients with multiple chronic diseases during the last year of life.

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June 15, 2016 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 6/15/16

June 14, 2016 Headlines 1 Comment

Why I Disagree with the Snake Oil Analogy

BIDMC CIO John Halamka, MD takes issue with the “snake oil” analogy AMA CEO James Madara, MD used to describe EHRs during a speech at the AMA Annual Meeting. Halamka acknowledges that current EHRs do not share data, engage patients, or enable population health effectively, but says “There is no snake oil.   We created the digital foundation that is a prerequisite for the next generation of tools.”

Sonoma West Medical Center chief nursing officer sues hospital, Dan Smith, after dismissal

The former CNO at Sonoma West Medical Center (CA) files a wrongful termination suit after being fired for voicing concerns that the home-grown EHR designed and implemented by a hospital board members’ startup company was unsafe.

Teladoc Secures Major Victory in Patent Dispute with American Well

A Massachusetts federal court judge dismisses a patent infringement suit filed by American Well against telehealth competitor Teladoc, concluding that American Well’s patent is invalid because major elements are “too abstract” to be patentable.

Patient wishes are tough to see in electronic health records

A Minneapolis newspaper discusses the difficulty providers have finding advance directives within EHRs, citing a recent study that found “less than one-third of ER doctors feel very confident they could locate information in the electronic record.”

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June 14, 2016 Headlines 1 Comment

Morning Headlines 6/14/16

June 13, 2016 Headlines No Comments

Digital Dystopia

American Medical Association CEO James Madara, MD speaks at the AMA Annual Meeting about the state of technology in healthcare, saying, w“e’re seeing digital tools in medicine that, unlike digital tools in other industries, make the provision of care less, not more, efficient.”

Walgreens formally cuts ties with Theranos

Walgreens ends its relationship with Theranos, effective immediately, citing bad test results and ongoing federal investigations.

ONC Publishes New Reports on Health IT Safety

ONC publishes two health IT safety reports: Report of the Evidence on Health IT Safety and Interventions, and Goals and Priorities for Health Care Organizations to Improve Safety Using Health IT. The reports were drafted eternally with ONC support as part of ONC’s Health IT Safety and Surveillance Plan.

Americans’ Experiences with ACA Marketplace and Medicaid Coverage: Access to Care and Satisfaction

The Commonwealth Fund publishes survey results measuring the impact marketplace insurance coverage has had on consumers. The survey found that over 80 percent of consumers were satisfied or very satisfied with the insurance they purchased, while just over 70 percent report that coverage options are good, very good, or excellent.

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June 13, 2016 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 6/13/16

June 12, 2016 Headlines No Comments

Privacy Concerns Halt UCSD’s Posting Of Patients’ Physician Critiques

UC San Diego Medical Center suspends its plan to publish physician ratings on its website after realizing that it solicited reviews from patients without informing them that the responses would be used in a public forum.

SA Health is offering $90,000 for a spin doctor to sell its EPAS electronic patient record project

South Australia is looking for a spokesperson to reassure the public that its over budget, behind schedule 80-hospital Allscripts EHR implementation is still a worthwhile investment.

70% of Consumers Still Don’t Price Shop for Healthcare Services: HealthMine Wellness Survey

A survey of 750 consumers enrolled in wellness programs finds that 70 percent do not compare prices before seeking medical services or pharmaceutical drugs, while only 29 percent of health plans offer online tools that would help consumers price shop.

Man lives for over a year without a heart in his body

CNET profiles the SynCardia Freedom Portable Driver, a 13 pound machine that fits in a backpack and uses compressed air to keep blood pumping through the body. A Michigan man has been using one for more than a year while waiting on the transplant list for a new heart.

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June 12, 2016 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 6/10/16

June 9, 2016 Headlines 12 Comments

Electronic Health Records Company Settles FTC Charges It Deceived Consumers About Privacy of Doctor Reviews

Practice Fusion settles FTC charges that it misled consumers by soliciting reviews for their doctors without disclosing that the information would be publicly posted on the Internet, leading to patients unknowingly publishing their own sensitive patient information.

The Helping Hospitals Improve Patient Care Act of 2016

The House passes the Helping Hospitals Improve Patient Care Act, exempting ambulatory surgical centers from MU and MIPS penalties.

Southcoast Health’s implementation of new electronic health record boosts South Coast region’s economy with an estimated $3 million in local spending

Southcoast Health (MA) says that its $100 million Epic implementation resulted in $3 million going back to the local economy in the form of hotel room, auto rental, gas, and dining costs for the Epic staff and consultants that helped manage the implementation.

Shkreli taunts feds, pleads not guilty to new charge

Martin Shkreli pleads not guilty to an updated indictment that added a new conspiracy charge to the list of criminal allegations against him.

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June 9, 2016 Headlines 12 Comments

Morning Headlines 6/9/16

June 8, 2016 Headlines 1 Comment

Connecture buys exchange competitor ConnectedHealth

Connecture, a technology company that builds online health insurance marketplaces, acquires ConnectedHealth, a benefits technology platform that helps employers chose health plans. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Will genetic tests help prevent chronic diseases?

Cerner launches a one-year pilot study that will help determine whether patient’s genetic data can play a motivating role in promoting behavior change.

Three more Phoenix VA officials fired in aftermath of wait-time, retaliation probes

The VA has formally fired three more administrators within the Phoenix VA Health Care System. Lance Robinson, assistant director at the Carl Hayden VA Medical Center; Brad Curry, the chief of Health Administration Service; and Dr. Darren Deering the hospital’s chief of staff were all terminated for “negligent performance of duties and failure to provide effective oversight."

Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs Are Associated With Sustained Reductions In Opioid Prescribing By Physicians

A Health Affairs study correlates the use of prescription drug monitoring programs with a 30 percent reduction in the rate of prescribing Schedule II opioids, a change that continued in the second and third years following the launch of the program.

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June 8, 2016 Headlines 1 Comment

Morning Headlines 6/8/16

June 7, 2016 Headlines No Comments

Cerner’s Burke: Patterson is ‘fully engaged’

Cerner President Zane Burke reports that CEO Neal Patterson remains fully engaged in day-to-day operations as he undergoes cancer treatments.

Theranos Says Only One Percent of Results Affected; Some Doubt Tests

Theranos says that less than one percent of its blood test results have been voided or corrected, a clarification on earlier reports that it would need to cancel or amend tens of thousands of results.

‘Silicon Valley arrogance’? Google misfires as it strives to turn Star Trek fiction into reality

Verily, Google’s life science business unit, comes under fire as a number of its high profile projects flounder, including a cancer-detecting wristband and glucose-sensing contact lenses.

Back to Meditech: Delta Regional Hospital to Deliver Quality Care at a Lower Cost with Meditech 6.1

325-bed Delta Regional Hospital (MS) will implement Meditech, replacing Cerner.

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June 7, 2016 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 6/7/16

June 6, 2016 Headlines No Comments

Dr Farzad Mostashari Explains the New ACO Benchmarking Rule

Former national coordinator Farzad Mostashari, MD comments on newly published ACO benchmarking rule.

Biden unveils launch of major, open-access database to advance cancer research

Vice President Biden announces formation of the Genomic Data Commons, an open-access cancer database that will help researchers collaborate and share information, as part of the administration’s Cancer Moonshot.

Forbes’ 2016 List Of America’s Richest Self-Made Women

Judy Faulkner comes in third on Forbes’ list of America’s richest self-made women, with a net worth of $2.4 billion.

Geisinger researchers profile overdose patients and predictors of death

Researchers at Geisinger Health System analyze EHR data of 2,000 patients admitted to the hospital for drug overdoses to create a risk algorithm capable of predicting which patients are most likely to die and experience other serious complications from their drug abuse.

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June 6, 2016 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 6/6/16

June 5, 2016 Headlines No Comments

McKesson Considers Separation of Information-Technology Unit

McKesson may sell its health IT business unit to focus efforts on its core drug distribution business. The business unit is valued at an estimated $5 billion. 

Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes Did Not Just Lose $4.5 Billion

Fortune’s Dan Primack argues that Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes never should have been listed as a billionaire by Forbes because her worth was based entirely on her ownership stake in a company whose value was set by “a small group of outside investors.”

Pioneering Data-Sharing Network Created to Accelerate Cancer Precision Medicine Development

Intermountain Healthcare, Stanford Cancer Institute, and Providence Health & Services launch a data-sharing network that will transmit genomic data from cancer research to help oncologists develop more effective treatment plans.

Potential Patient Information Breach at ProMedica Bixby and Herrick Hospitals

ProMedica Bixby and Herrick hospitals (MI) informs 3,500 patients that their records were breached after an internal investigation found that seven employees were accessing patient records without justification.

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June 5, 2016 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 6/3/16

June 2, 2016 Headlines No Comments

From $4.5 Billion To Nothing: Forbes Revises Estimated Net Worth Of Theranos Founder Elizabeth Holmes

Forbes lowers its estimate of Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes’ net worth to zero, down from $4.5 billion.

Redskins: Laptop containing player data was stolen

The Washington Redskins have confirmed that the medical records of thousands of NFL players have been compromised after a laptop belonging to one of the teams athletic trainers was stolen in April.

A Foundation for Discovering Clinical Health IT Applications

ONC awards Boston Children’s Hospital a total of $275,000 in grants to lead the development of an online app store for FHIR apps.

Equation Acquired by MedAssets-Precyse

Equation, a financial and clinical healthcare analytics vendor, is acquired by MedAssets-Precyse for an undisclosed sum.

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June 2, 2016 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 6/1/16

May 31, 2016 Headlines No Comments

Adoption of Electronic Health Record Systems among US Non-Federal Acute Care Hospitals: 2008-2015

ONC reports that 84 percent of US hospitals had adopted a basic EHR by 2015, up from just 9.4 percent in 2008, though pediatric and psychiatric specialty hospitals still trail with 55 percent and 15 percent adoption, respectively.

Pontiac General Hospital Selects OpenVista Healthcare IT Platform

Pontiac General Hospital (MI) will implement Medsphere’s OpenVista EHR, a commercialized version of the VA’s open source Vista EHR.

Local health departments brace for funding loss amid Zika standoff

In July, the CDC will cut $45 million in emergency public health funding from health districts in all 50 states after Congress fails to pass a bill to fund Zika-related work .

Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center completes recruitment for pediatric migraine study using Curelator Headache

Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center (OH) will use an app designed by digital health startup Curelator to research migraine triggers in adolescents.

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May 31, 2016 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 5/31/16

May 30, 2016 Headlines No Comments

Jawbone has stopped producing its fitness trackers and sold the remaining inventory to a third party

Jawbone stops manufacturing its line of UP fitness trackers but makes no announcement suggesting that it will exit the market entirely.

Doctors Test Tools to Predict Your Odds of a Disease

The Wall Street Journal profiles Norwell Health’s (NY) use of a clinical decision support tool that scrubs EHR data and predicts which condition the patient being treated most likely has before lab or imaging tests are ordered.

A New Way to Report College Sexual Assault

The New York Times profiles Callisto, a startup that hopes to improve sexual assault reporting on college campuses with a website that lets college students file sexual assault reports online.

Intel backs AI-powered analytics startup Lumiata in $10M funding round

AI startup Lumiata raises a $10 million Series B fund from Intel Capital. The company is building algorithms to quantify and manage risk within population health programs.

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May 30, 2016 Headlines No Comments

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