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Morning Headlines 11/24/14

November 23, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Beth Israel fined $100,000 for patient data breach

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center will pay a $100,000 fine after an unencrypted laptop containing personal information of 4,000 patients and employees is stolen. The Massachusetts attorney general’s office says that lax data security practices were to blame for the data being compromised.

Traditional primary care, meet next year’s model

The Advisory Board Company publishes a consumer survey focused on the growing retail clinic (Walgreens, CVS) model of delivering primary care, and what it means for traditional family practice offices.

Electronic health records project has been a failure

In Quebec, a local paper scrutinizes a $563 million government funded project that was scheduled to bring EHRs to all primary and secondary care providers in the province by 2010. The project is now four years behind schedule and looking at revised cost of $1.6 billion.

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November 23, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 11/21/14

November 21, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Emdeon to Acquire Change Healthcare

Emdeon announces that it will acquire Change Healthcare for $135 million. Change Healthcare markets a benefits management system focused on helping employees make the most of their health benefits,

Fiscal Year 2014 Top Management and Performance Challenges Identified By the Office Of Inspector General

The Inspector General of HHS publishes a list of the top 10 challenges it is facing. The list touches on a number of health IT initiatives, including: validating spending for federal and state health insurance exchange markets, and monitoring the EHR Incentive Program for fraud.

Can we predict the unpredictable?

Researchers at the University of Windsor unveil a forecasting algorithm that can monitor EEG waveforms and predict oncoming seizures in epileptic patients 17 minutes ahead of time.

Merge Healthcare to Introduce Merge One for Ambulatory Radiology at RSNA 2014

Merge unveils a new solution, called Merge One, which is designed to support ambulatory imaging centers. Its provides a RIS, PACS, financial system, universal viewer, cloud archive, document management, and business analytics.

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November 21, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 11/20/14

November 20, 2014 Headlines No Comments

CMS creates new chief data officer post

CMS names Niall Brennan, former acting director of CMS’ Offices of Enterprise Management, as its first Chief Data Officer. Brennan will oversee the newly created Office of Enterprise Data and Analytics.

Former Obama adviser Zeke Emanuel says digital health coupled with payment reform will vindicate ACA

Zeke Emanuel, a former healthcare advisor to President Obama, refutes the recent “stupidity of American voters” comments of MIT economist Jonathan Gruber, as well as his claim of being central to the drafting of the ACA. Emanuel says that Gruber was an outside consultant with limited influence on the legislation, that the ACA has already slowed healthcare spending, and that as value-based payment reform takes hold, VCs will respond by funding startups focused on expanding at-home and office-based care delivery.

New coalition hopes for no further ICD-10 delays

A group of 15 healthcare organizations that includes providers, insurers, vendors, and professional membership groups like CHIME and AHIMA, sent a letter to congress requesting that the October 1, 2015 ICD-10 implementation date be upheld this year.

Survey Reveals Private Option Impact on Hospitals

The Arkansas Hospital Association publishes a survey measuring the effect of implementing a state-level plan for expanding health insurance to low-income residents. The survey included responses from 80 percent of all Arkansas hospitals, and measured a 56.6 percent decrease in uncompensated care losses associated with uninsured patients. The decrease was attributed to a 46.5 decrease in uninsured inpatient visits, and a 35.5 percent decrease in uninsured emergency department visits.

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November 20, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 11/19/14

November 19, 2014 Headlines No Comments

John Glaser to join Cerner upon acquisition close

Cerner reports that Siemens CEO John Glaser will join Cerner as a senior vice president following the acquisition. Glaser will focus on driving technology and product strategies, interoperability, and government policy development.

Fitch Affirms Duke University Health System (NC) Revs at ‘AA'; Outlook Stable

Duke University Health System retains its AA bond rating despite a $65 million reserve adjustment tied to billing issues following its Epic go-live.

Armed Robbery Of Doctor Puts Brigham and Women’s Patient Info At Risk

Brigham and Women’s Hospital (MA) is notifying 1,000 patients of a potential PHI breach after an armed gunman steals a physicians computer and then ties him to a tree and demands his username and password.

HSE sets up internal audit into awarding of hospital contract

In Ireland, federal auditors are investigating a public hospital group that signed a sole-bidder contract for a clinical IT system after a local reporter discovered that the CEO of hospitals had previously consulted for the private firm that won the business.

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November 19, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 11/18/14

November 17, 2014 Headlines No Comments

International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision (ICD-10) Testing -Acknowledgement Testing with Providers

CMS kicks off its first ICD-10 testing week, during which providers will be able to submit ICD-10 claims, and CMS will respond with an acknowledgement or a rejection.  Additional testing weeks will be held in March and June 2015.

Some New Frustrations as Health Exchange Opens

As the 2014/2015 health insurance enrollment period opens, sporadic but largely non-disruptive technical problems continue to plague both state and federal exchange websites. However, 23,000 people submitted complete applications in the first eight hours after Healthcare.gov opened on Saturday morning.

Strategic partnership between IWG, HIMSS and IHE focuses on EHR-HIE connectivity

HIMSS, the EHR/HIE Interoperability Workgroup, and Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise have formed a strategic partnership that will work to expedite the creation of national data exchange standards, and will develop EHR and HIE certification programs to independently validate vendor interoperability.

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November 17, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 11/17/14

November 16, 2014 Headlines 1 Comment

eHealth Initiative 2020 Roadmap

The eHealth Initiative publishes a HIT roadmap that focuses on improving interoperability and data access, while maintaining a focus on business and clinical adoption motivators.

Health IT Enabled Quality Improvement: A Vision to Achieve Better Health and Health Care

ONC publishes its own 10-year plan for advancing health IT capabilities. The plan focuses on advancing clinical decision support and laying the groundwork for standards-based interoperability.

£200 million eHospital system at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge under spotlight after incident in operating theatre

In England, executives at Addenbrooke’s Hospital are denying widespread problems with its recently finished $200 million Epic install, despite concerns voiced by its OR staff and technical issues with its blood transfusion analyzer interface.

Did Jonathan Gruber earn ‘almost $400,000′ from the Obama administration?

The Washington Post analyzes the financial compensation that MIT economist Jonathan Gruber, the “architect of Obamacare,” received for helping the administration draft the ACA. The media has been focusing on Gruber recently after a video of him surfaced in which he claims that the ACA was intentionally written to hide its true cost, in what was a successful effort to exploit “ the lack of economic understanding of the American voter.”

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November 16, 2014 Headlines 1 Comment

Morning Headlines 11/14/14

November 13, 2014 Headlines 2 Comments

Capturing Social and Behavioral Domains and Measures In Electronic Health Records

The Institute of Medicine calls on ONC to mandate the inclusion of far more comprehensive social and behavioral health assessments as part of the MU Stage 3 requirements.

Personalised Health and Care 2020: Using Data and Technology to Transform Outcomes for Patients and Citizens

In England, the Department of Health publishes a “framework for action” that outlines its  ambitious digital transformation plans spanning the next five years.

Saving Patient Ryan — Can Advanced Electronic Medical Records Make Patient Care Safer?

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University compare pre and post-implementation data sets and measure a 27 percent reduction in patient safety events following the deployment of an advanced electronic medical record.

Former Shelby County Hospital CFO Guilty in EHR Incentive Case

The former CFO of Shelby Regional Medical Center (OK) pleads guilty in federal court to charges that he attested for Meaningful Use and collected $785,000 in incentive payments while the hospital was still almost entirely on paper. He faces up to five years in prison.

Meaningful Use. Born, 2009, Died, 2014?

UCSF School of Medicine Professor Bob Wachter, MD recall the history of the Meaningful Use program from inception to its current state, concluding that the ONC does not have the leadership to right the ship, and that the program should be scaled back and focused solely on interoperability, or altogether scrapped so that vendors can go back to developing features that customers are interested in.

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November 13, 2014 Headlines 2 Comments

Morning Headlines 11/13/14

November 12, 2014 Headlines 1 Comment

New VA chief may fire 1,000 staffers over healthcare scandal

Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald unveils a restructuring plan within the VA that he says will be the largest in the organizations history. As part of the shuffle, McDonald confirmed that 35 staffers will lose their jobs immediately as a result of the recent scheduling scandal, and that nearly 1,000 others are being pursued for “violating our values.”

Health Information Technology: An Untapped Resource to Help Keep Patients Insured

Researchers with Oregon Health and Science University publish a study in the Annals of Family Medicine that concludes that EHRs and health information exchanges are untapped resources that could be used as tools to support clinic-based efforts to help eligible patients maintain insurance coverage.

AMA backs interstate compact to streamline medical licensure

The American Medical Association calls on more states to adopt the recently finalized interstate provider licensure compact drafted by the Federation of State Medical Boards. The compact was written to help reduce barriers to telehealth programs, but only 10 states have adopted it so far.

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November 12, 2014 Headlines 1 Comment

Morning Headlines 11/12/14

November 11, 2014 Headlines 1 Comment

BULLETIN: HIPAA Privacy in Emergency Situations

HHS updates its HIPAA guidance in light of the ongoing Ebola outbreak to authorize disclosure of PHI to any member of the public in danger of contracting the disease.

New AMA Policy Continues Call for Penalties to Be Removed From the Meaningful Use Program

The American Medical Association is calling for MU-related penalties to be dropped and for the program be refocused on interoperability.

KLAS Offers Performance Insights on HIE and EMR Interoperability

KLAS publishes interoperability survey responses that suggests that Cerner offers more advanced interoperability features, but that Epic customers are reporting much higher overall interoperability success.

Walgreens’ Greg Wasson kicks off an extraordinary roster of HIMSS15 keynotes

HIMSS publishes its 2015 annual conference keynote speakers, with Walgreens CEO Greg Wasson kicking off the event and George W. Bush taking the Wednesday afternoon slot.

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November 11, 2014 Headlines 1 Comment

Morning Headlines 11/11/14

November 10, 2014 Headlines 1 Comment

CHIME, HIMSS Letter To HHS

In a just released letter sent to HHS on November 3, CHIME and HIMSS call on Secretary Sylvia Burwell to replace national coordinator Karen DeSalvo, MD quickly if her new appointment as Acting Assistant Secretary of Health is going to be permanent, citing the need for leadership that can focus on the ONC in a full time capacity.

Identification of undiagnosed diabetes and quality of diabetes care in the United States

Researchers with Oxford University were able to identify over 60,000 undiagnosed diabetic patients by developing a search algorithm to pour through a data set of 11 million electronic medical records.

AHA unveils toolkit to help hospitals hire veterans

The American Hospital Association partners with the White House Joining Forces initiative and unveils a new toolset designed to connect hospitals with medically trained soldiers now actively looking for civilian employment.

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November 10, 2014 Headlines 1 Comment

Morning Headlines 11/10/14

November 9, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Allscripts Healthcare Solutions’ CEO Paul Black on Q3 2014 Results – Earnings Call Transcript

Allscripts holds its Q3 earnings call after shedding 15 percent of its share price Thursday on disappointing earnings. CEO Paul Black and CFO Richard Poulton both acknowledged the poor performance, citing lower full system sales and hardware sales, and noted that Q3 is traditionally the slowest quarter for the HCIT industry.

Proposed EHR/Meaningful Use Regulations

The Massachusetts medical board presents its recommendations on how to implement a state law requiring physicians to demonstrate EHR proficiency as a condition of licensure prior to the law’s January 2015 effective date.

Nurse Value-Added and Patient Outcomes in Acute Care

Researchers with the University of Michigan compare data from the hospital’s EHR system and its HR system to evaluate individual nurses and the effect they had on patient outcomes. The study attributed 7.9 percent of variance in patient clinical condition to nursing skill.

Most people don’t know they have the right to view medical records online

In England, only three percent of practices have a patient portal in place despite an April 2015 federal mandate that requires all citizens be given online access to their medical records.

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November 9, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 11/7/14

November 7, 2014 Headlines 13 Comments

Changes in Medical Errors after Implementation of a Handoff Program

A New England Journal of Medicine study finds that implementing a structured process for resident handoff procedures at nine hospitals led to a 23 percent medical error-rate decrease, and a 30 percent decrease in preventable adverse events.

Epic replies to comments made by Cerner CEO Neal Patterson at health conference

Typically media shy,  Epic’s media spokesman responds to charges from Cerner that her company shrugs off its interoperability responsibilities, claiming that, according to KLAS, it is an industry leader in this segment as well.

Allscripts Healthcare: Blue Harbour Group Won’t Go Lightly

Activist investor Blue Harbour Group has increased its stake in Allscripts from five to seven percent.

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November 7, 2014 Headlines 13 Comments

Morning Headlines 11/6/14

November 5, 2014 Headlines No Comments

More Problems Expected on Federal Health-Insurance Site in New Year

The Wall Street Journal reports that known bugs and unfinished development efforts on Healthcare.gov will likely cause a fresh set of problems for consumers this enrollment period, including erroneous renewals of cancelled policies and duplicate enrollments for those that try to switch insurers.

AHIMA/eHealth Initiative 2014 ICD-10 Readiness Survey Results

A recent survey conducted by AHIMA finds that 63 percent of health systems will be ready for end-to-end ICD-10 testing by the end of 2014, while 10 percent report that they plan to forgo testing altogether.

Office of Inspector General: Work Plan 2015

HHS’s OIG will increase its focus on EHRs in 2015, according to its recently published work plan. Audits will focus on validating downtime contingency plans, securing medical devices that interface with EHR systems, and verifying entitlement to Meaningful Use incentive payments.

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November 5, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 11/5/14

November 4, 2014 Headlines No Comments

HIT Policy Committee

At Tuesday’s HIT Policy Committee meeting, ONC released updated Stage 2 MU attestation numbers. 93 hospitals and 2,282 providers have attested for Stage 2, compared to the 4,000 hospitals and 266,067 providers that attested for Stage 1.

CPSI Announces Third Quarter 2014 Results

CPSI reports Q3 earnings: revenue was up 14 percent to $53 million, while net income jumped 29 percent, EPS $0.83 v $0.66.

Novant Health to cut pay for medical secretaries

Novant Health will demote and reduce the wages of 150 medical secretaries after its EHR implementation eliminates one of their core job functions, order entry.

Cerner will break ground Nov. 12 for $4.45B Three Trails Campus

Cerner will break ground on its $4.45 billion Three Trails Campus construction next week. The project will add 3.7 million square feet of offices and eventually house 16,000 employees.

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November 4, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 11/4/14

November 3, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Bids are in for $11B DOD health records system

The deadline to submit a bid on the DoD’s EHR search passed Friday, with submissions from teams proposing Epic, Cerner, Allscripts, and VistA making up the competition.

Oregon’s transition to federal exchange on track

After scrapping its health insurance exchange website after a failed launch in 2013, Oregon reports that it is on track to merge with Healthcare.gov by the November 15 enrollment period.

Onward and upward: Big news at Rock Health

Health IT startup accelerator Rock Health announces that it has raised a new $250 million investment fund and that it will begin offering $250,000 in seed capital to startups accepted to its program, up from $100,000.

CDC National Health Report

The CDC releases its National Health Report which shows a one year jump in life expectancy over the past ten years, topping off at 78.7 years. The increase is attributed to lower heart disease and cancer-related deaths.

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November 3, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 11/3/14

November 2, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Revisions to Payment Policies under the Physician Fee Schedule

CMS updates its 2015 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule, adding a requirement that providers use certified EHRs to support Chronic Care Management, a newly created reimbursable service.

Which electronic health record is better: A or B? Realities of comparing the effectiveness of electronic health records

A Future Medicine article discusses the feasibility of comparing EHR systems through comparative effectiveness research, concluding that there are too many variables that would need to be controlled for in the healthcare setting to be able to make an accurate comparison. The authors suggest that the best route would be comparing specific EHR features, rather than entire EHR platforms.

Epic Systems Corporation v. Tata Consultancy Services

Epic files a lawsuit against India-based Tata Consultancy Services alleging that a Tata employee logged into the Epic’s UserWeb and stole documents containing sensitive intellectual property. Epic says the company intends to use the information to improve its own medication management application.

Castlight Health Announces Third Quarter 2014 Results

Castlight Health reports Q3 earnings: revenue jumped 238 percent to $12.2 million, but despite the increase the company recorded a net loss of $20.3 million for the quarter, EPS -$0.23 vs -$1.58.

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November 2, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 10/31/14

October 30, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Epic Systems makes strategic next moves for expansion

Epic confirms that it has constructed a data center on its Verona, WI campus that it will use to begin offering hosted Epic systems to new customers. A backup data center is currently being constructed in Western Wisconsin.

PwC pitches open-source electronic health records

FWC analyzes the VistA EHR bid that PricewaterhouseCoopers and General Dynamics are proposing for the $11 billion DoD deal.

McKesson’s CEO John Hammergren on Q2 2015 Results – Earnings Call Transcript

In its Q2 earnings call, McKesson CEO John Hammergren highlights its $45 billion quarterly revenue, but notes that revenue from its health IT business dipped six percent.  He also mentions plans to monetize its involvement in the CommonWell health data exchange through the expanded use of RelayHealth, the McKesson-owned exchange suite powering the network.

Lockheed Martin to buy health technology firm Systems Made Simple

Lockheed Martin acquires health IT vendor Systems Made Simple for an undisclosed sum. Systems Made Simple targets government contracts, providing data analytics and systems integration support to federal health IT projects, generating $278 million in revenue in 2013.

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October 30, 2014 Headlines No Comments

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Reader Comments

  • HITPundit: Regarding the HIT consulting market, if your business is mostly Epic, the market is not in your favor. There is plent...
  • Daddio62: “Re: health IT consulting." Nothing lasts forever. Healthcare IT consultants needed to keep an ever-watchful eye on ...
  • F(n): Re: retail clnics - they're as close to concierge medicine as some folks will get. That also has the practices nervous. ...
  • meltoots: I don't understand AHIMA phase in for ICD10 answer. When I send in my claim for payment, I have NO idea what the hospita...
  • mike: re: journal articles behind paywalls -- I've had some success in finding such articles using the google scholar search e...

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