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Morning Headlines 10/20/16

October 19, 2016 Headlines No Comments

AMA Commends ONC Steps to Enhance Oversight and Transparency of Electronic Health Records

AMA announces its support of ONCs Enhanced Oversight and Accountability final rule, which former AMA president Steven Stack, MD says will promote vendor “accountability for the performance, reliability, and safety of certified health IT.”

IBM Is Counting on Its Bet on Watson, and Paying Big Money for It

The New York Times profiles IBM’s continued effort to monetize its Watson business unit, which experts describe as a moonshot project that could still take years before it returns value for the company.

Examining The HHS Projections For 2017 Marketplace Enrollment

In a Health Affairs article, Timothy Jost, JD discusses the HHS projections for public exchange enrollments for 2017, and highlights some reasons why the projected 13.8 million enrollments may be inflated.

New System Shortens Patients’ Wait Times

Rush University Medical Center (IL) is using real-time patient location technology to reduce patient wait times at their outpatient clinics.

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October 19, 2016 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 10/19/16

October 18, 2016 Headlines No Comments

$2.14 million HIPAA settlement underscores importance of managing security risk

St. Joseph Health (CA) will pay $2.14 million to settle potential HIPAA violations after OCR found files containing PHI used to attest for meaningful use were publically accessible through internet search engines.

St. Jude Medical Forms Cybersecurity Advisory Group

Following accusations that its medical devices contain potentially life threatening cybersecurity vulnerabilities, St Jude Medical announces that it is forming an internal cybersecurity advisory group.

FDA rules allow medical device makers to keep injuries under wraps

An investigative report from the Star Tribune finds that the FDA has created a program that lets medical device makers report adverse events late, sometimes years after the fact, and then reports those issues to doctors with summaries that keep the details out of view.

UnitedHealth Group Reports Third Quarter Results

UnitedHealth Group reports Q3 results: revenue is up 12 percent to $46.3 billion and earnings are up 19 percent to $3.6 billion.

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October 18, 2016 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 10/17/16

October 16, 2016 Headlines No Comments

A Letter from CMS to Medicare Clinicians in the Quality Payment Program: We Heard You and Will Continue Listening

CMS publishes its final MACRA rule.

Faulty ID methods led to surgical error at St. Vincent Hospital

Substandard patient identification procedures at St Vincent Hospital (MA) are being blamed after surgeons accidently remove the wrong kidney from a cancer patient receiving treatment at the hospital.

New e-health record system to debut at Fairchild

A local paper covering the DoD’s Cerner rollout at a hospital on Fairchild Air Force Base notes that Cerner will interface with, rather than replace, many of the legacy systems currently in use.

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October 16, 2016 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 10/14/16

October 13, 2016 Headlines 3 Comments

Trends in Hospital Inpatient Drug Costs: Issues and Challenges

Hospitals spent 40 percent more on inpatient drug costs in 2015 than they did in 2013, a change attributed to rising drug prices, rather than an increase in patient volume.

Software ‘freeze’ after network failure at St George’s

In England, St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust freezes all ongoing software installs after aging computers and unreliable core software systems, like Microsoft XP, lead to a system-wide network outage.

One of the physicists behind the Higgs boson has made an algorithm to replace the pill

A physicist turned entrepreneur launches a birth control app that tracks the daily temperature of users with the impressive result of helping women avoid pregnancy 99.5 percent of the time, making it as effective as the pill or condoms.

Revised HIPAA Security Risk Assessment Tool Now Available

ONC updates its HIPAA Security Risk Assessment Tool, offering a 156-item questionnaire that evaluates HIPAA compliance by walking users through a series of questions about typical organizational activities.

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October 13, 2016 Headlines 3 Comments

Morning Headlines 10/13/16

October 12, 2016 Headlines 1 Comment

New DOD health record to go live in February

DoD announces that will bring four pilot sites live on Cerner in February 2017, and affirms that it still anticipates having all sites live by 2022.

Shareholder sues Tenet over $514M Medicaid settlement

Shareholders have filed a class-action suit against Tenet Healthcare following its decision to pay $514 million to settle kickback allegations.

Cerner names roads in its new south Kansas City office campus

Cerner renames the roads on its Kansas City Three Trails campus, honoring Jonas Salk, Alexander Fleming, Marie Curie, Louis Pasteur and other notable researchers in medicine. The two main roads through campus have been named Health Care and Information Technology.

Do Clinicians Have the Interoperability They Need

A KLAS survey on interoperability notes that only six percent of providers report that information accessed through an exchange from a different EHR vendor is being delivered in a way that facilitates improvement to patient care.

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October 12, 2016 Headlines 1 Comment

Morning Headlines 10/11/16

October 10, 2016 Headlines 1 Comment

More Than Half of Kaiser Permanente’s Patient Visits Are Done Virtually

Kaiser Permanente CEO Bernard Tyson reports that last year, 52 percent of the health systems 110 million patient interactions were done via smartphone, videoconference, kiosk, or other technology tool.

Major Investor Sues Theranos

San Francisco-based hedge fund Partner Fund Management sues Theranos, arguing that Elizabeth Holmes lied in order to secure nearly $100 million in investments from the firm.

Trade-Off or Turn-Off? The Privacy Dilemma

Joseph Kvedar, MD discusses common health data privacy concerns raised by the public and argues that providers need to address these concerns with patients because the potential benefits of data sharing outweighs the risks.

Physicians beat symptom checkers in test of diagnostic accuracy

A JAMA study measuring the accuracy of online symptom checkers concludes, not surprisingly, that doctors are still far more reliable diagnosticians.

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October 10, 2016 Headlines 1 Comment

Morning Headlines 10/7/16

October 6, 2016 Headlines No Comments

An Open Letter From Elizabeth Holmes

Theranos announces that it will close all of its clinical labs and wellness centers, and layoff the employees that work there, to focus its efforts on securing FDA clearance of its MiniLab.

This is how far phishers will go to make you click on a bogus link

In England, NHS Digital COO Rob Shaw discussed a situation in which hackers crafted a personalized phishing attack against an NHS employee, using his LinkedIn profile to learn about his background, and creating a fake email account in the name of one of his past colleagues. The extra effort paid off and the hackers managed to infiltrate the hospital’s network undetected for two weeks.

Chelsea and Westminster picks Cerner, and Jarrold as CIO

In England, 430-bed Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust will implement Cerner in partnership with fellow NHS trust Imperial College Healthcare.

Remarks by Andy Slavitt: Talking with the industry about the future of health care in America

CMS Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt discusses the transformation the health insurance industry is facing in a Wednesday speech.

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October 6, 2016 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 10/6/16

October 5, 2016 Headlines No Comments

Scientist using big data against heart disease wins $75 million award

The American Heart Association, Verily Life Sciences, and AstraZeneca have awarded their $75 million “One Brave Idea” research award to a single researcher, Calum MacRae, MD, chief of cardiovascular medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (MA), who will work with MIT engineers to analyze data from the Framingham and Million Veterans studies to learn more about how heart disease begins.

Surgeon General sends warning to own staff: Your personal information may have been stolen

The Surgeon General’s office confirms that hackers have stolen the personal information of its staff, including 6,600 medical professionals that report to the Surgeon General.

Chinese billionaire says he’s not interested in buying CHS

After increasing his stake in CHS, Chinese billionaire Tianqiao Chen says that the health systems recently enacted ‘poison pill’ defense is unnecessary. A spokesperson states “We believe it is important to reiterate our previously stated position of being a passive investor in the company. We have no intention to influence or control the company and have communicated this to the company on various occasions.”

It pays to be kind at Geisinger

Geisinger Health System has paid out $400,000 in reimbursements as part of a money-back guarantee to patients who say that their experiences were not met with kindness and compassion.

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October 5, 2016 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 10/5/16

October 4, 2016 Headlines No Comments

Warburg Pincus Private Equity XII, L.P.; Intelligent Medical Objects, Inc.

Clinical nomenclature vendor Intelligent Medical Objects will be acquired by PE firm Warburg Pincus.

Massive U.K. Brain-Mapping Project Releases First Results

UK researchers working to capture MRI scans of the brains of 100,000 people and then combine the data along with detailed health questionnaires from each person have released an early data set from the first 5,000 subjects to participate in the study.

WHO develops electronic solution to child, maternal deaths

The World Health Organization is developing an app to guide less skilled clinicians through labor-related clinical emergencies in sub-Saharan Africa in an effort to reduce child and maternal death rates.

Bill Clinton calls Obamacare ‘the craziest thing in the world,’ later tries to walk it back

While campaigning for his wife, Bill Clinton drew immediate attention when he described the ACA as a “crazy system where all of a sudden 25 million more people have health care and then the people who are out there busting it, sometimes 60 hours a week, wind up with their premiums doubled and their coverage cut in half. It’s the craziest thing in the world.” He went on to reiterate that “the people that are getting killed in this deal are small businesspeople and individuals who make just a little too much to get any of these subsidies.”

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October 4, 2016 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 10/4/16

October 3, 2016 Headlines No Comments

Community Health Systems Adopts “Poison Pill’

Community Health Systems (TN) has enacted a ‘poison pill’ stockholder protection agreement as Chinese billionaire and activist investor Tianqiao Chen increases his stake in the company to 9.9 percent.

New Wearable Microscope Could Enable Continuous Patient Monitoring at Home in the Future

Researchers from UCLA and Google’s Verily Life Sciences lab have miniaturized a microscope that can track biochemical reactions through the skin. Researchers see applications in remote patient monitoring and medication adherence.

The New Data Experts Our Health-Care Professionals Need

Drew Harris, MD and director of health policy and population health at Thomas Jefferson University’s College of Population Health publishes an op-ed calling for an increased focus on analytics in medial, nursing, and health professional schools as providers continue to generate more data but struggle to generate meaningful intelligence from it.

What it’s like when Alphabet’s venture arm invests in your startup — and helps grow it to a $1.2 billion company

Business Insider profiles Nat Turner and Zach Weinberg, founders of Flatiron Health, which secured a $130 million Google investment in its oncology clinical decision support software.

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October 3, 2016 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 10/3/16

October 2, 2016 Headlines No Comments

By The Numbers: Our Progress In Digitizing Health Care

National Coordinator for Health IT Vindell Washington, MD and his predecessor Karen DeSalvo publish an article in Health Affairs looking back on the health IT achievements that the last seven years have brought.

Ochsner’s David Carmouche: Population Health and Top-Quality Care

The president of 25-hospital Oschsner Health System (LA) discusses how EHRs and disease registries are being used to help the organization target and engage with at risk populations as it moves away from fee-for-service reimbursement.

About the SPRINT Data Analysis Challenge

NEJM announces a data analytics contest in which contestants are asked to analyzed a data set of clinical trials data in search of new scientific or clinical discovery.

The terrorist inside my husband’s brain

Robin William’s wife publishes an article in the Journal of the American Academy of Neurology about Lewy body disease, the debilitating condition that led to her husband’s 2014 suicide.

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October 2, 2016 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 9/30/16

September 29, 2016 Headlines 2 Comments

My Vision for Universal, Quality, Affordable Health Care

Using NEJM as a podium, Hilary Clinton outlines her plans for improving healthcare, which includes improving ACA, working to “integrate our fragmented healthcare delivery systems,” and helping to increase research and innovation.

HITRUST Becomes First Healthcare Information Sharing Organization Connected to DHS Automated Indicator Sharing Program

Health Information Trust Alliance begins exchanging bi-directional cyber threat alerts with the Department of Homeland Security.

AARP, HHS Announce Winners of Challenge to Redesign the Medical Bill for Patients

HHS announces the winner of its “A Bill You Can Understand” design challenge. The challenge awarded two prizes, one for the bill that is easiest to understand, and another for the design that best improves the overall approach to the medical billing system.

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September 29, 2016 Headlines 2 Comments

Morning Headlines 9/29/16

September 28, 2016 Headlines 1 Comment

FDA Approves First ‘Artificial Pancreas’ for Diabetes

The FDA approves Medtronic’s artificial pancreas that automatically monitors a patient’s blood sugar levels and then administers the appropriate insulin dose.

Aetna to Transform Members’ Consumer Health Experience Using iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch

Aetna announces plans to offer an Apple Watch subsidy through large employers and select individual customers to ramp up its wellness and care management programs, and will provide its own 50,000 employees Apple Watches free of charge.

Fixing electronic health records is good. Adding scribes is even better

In a STAT editorial, an emergency medicine resident at the University of Virginia discusses the impact working with a scribe has on job satisfaction.

AMA Survey Finds Physicians Enthusiastic About Digital Health Innovation

An AMA survey of 1,300 physicians finds broad-based optimism for digital health innovations, but note that liability coverage, data privacy, workflow integration, and improved ease of use are all issues that need to be overcome before digital health tools will deliver at full capacity.

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September 28, 2016 Headlines 1 Comment

Morning Headlines 9/28/16

September 27, 2016 Headlines No Comments

InstaMed Announces $50 Million Investment From Carrick Capital Partners

InstaMed announces a $50 million investment from Carrick Capital Partners, which it says will be used to “drive the growth of the InstaMed Network, accelerate go-to-market strategy, and drive further innovation in healthcare payments technology.” The new round brings InstaMed’s total funding to $126 million since its 2004 formation.

Technology and Health Care: The View From HHS

HHS CTO Susannah Fox discusses the future of innovation in healthcare and HHS in a Wall Street Journal interview.

EHR Contracts Untangled

ONC publishes a guide on EHR contracting for providers.

Former Tuomey CEO to personally pay $1 million to settle False Claims Act case

Former Tuomey Healthcare (SC) CEO Ralph Cox will personally pay a $1 million fine to settle Stark Law allegations that he illegally compensated doctors in exchange for unnecessary patient referrals to the hospital.

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September 27, 2016 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 9/27/16

September 26, 2016 Headlines 1 Comment

GAO slams HHS in health IT cybersecurity report

The GAO releases a “scathing” report on cybersecurity preparedness in health information technology, recommending that HHS “update its guidance for protecting electronic health information to address key security elements, improve technical assistance it provides to covered entities, follow up on corrective actions, and establish metrics for gauging the effectiveness of its audit program.”

Medical Record Mix-Ups a Common Problem, Study Finds

The Wall Street Journal reports on an ECRI Institute study on wrong-patient medical errors, of which 7,613 cases were identified between January 2013 and July 2015. The report calls for an increased use of barcode scanners and patient pictures embedded within the EHR, but stops short of calling for a national patient identifier.

A New Tool to Help Health Care Providers Get the Most Out of their Health IT

ONC releases its Health IT Playbook, a web-based manual that updates the Patient Engagement Playbook for Providers, offering guidance on a wide variety of health IT products and topics.

ACO Spillover Effects: An Opportunity Not to Be Missed

A NEJM study investigates what impact ACOs might be having on non-ACO patients being treated by the network.

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September 26, 2016 Headlines 1 Comment

Morning Headlines 9/26/16

September 25, 2016 Headlines No Comments

GE Healthcare Aims to Fund up to $50M for Global Health Startups

GE launches a healthcare-focused accelerator with $50 million in funding.

Our Decision to Exit the ACA Marketplace

BCBS of Nebraska announces that it will exit the state’s health insurance exchange, citing the $140 million in marketplace-related losses it has suffered thus far.

Remote Alaska port clinic goes modern with telemedicine

Providence Alaska Medical Center (AK) begins offering telehealth critical care consults to a clinic in Unalaska, the remote town that is home to Dutch Harbor, one of Alaska’s busiest fishing ports.

HIPAA settlement illustrates the importance of reviewing and updating, as necessary, business associate agreements

Care New England Health System pays $400,000 to settle HIPAA violations after OCR discovered, while investigating a lost backup tape, that it had hadn’t updated its business associate agreement with Woman & Infants Hospital (RI) since 2005.

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September 25, 2016 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 9/23/16

September 22, 2016 Headlines No Comments

Epic Systems’ ‘wonderland’ includes humanitarian pursuits

A local paper covers Epic’s annual user group meeting, which drew a crowd of 18,000 attendees.

Digital Hospital resulted in “significant adverse impacts” upon patient safety in Cairns

In Australia, the entire board of Cairns Hospital resigns following an unpopular and over budget Cerner rollout. A staff survey included complaints that the system was “convoluted and time consuming, with significant adverse impacts on patient safety and care.”

Mamba Ransomware Encrypts Computer Hard Drives, Rather Than Data

A new ransomware called Mamba now encrypts the entire infected hard drive, rather than just specific files.

New board headed by McNeil

In England, the newly formed Digital Delivery Board will be overseen by NHS England’s new chief clinical information officer Keith McNeil.

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September 22, 2016 Headlines No Comments

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