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Morning Headlines 7/30/14

July 29, 2014 Headlines 1 Comment

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 1 Comment

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

Morning Headlines 7/22/14

July 22, 2014 Headlines No Comments

HealthEquity Sets $100 Mil IPO Terms

HealthEquity announces IPO plans that will raise $100 million through the sale of 9.1 million shares valued at between $10 and $12. The offering is being underwritten by JPMorgan and Wells Fargo Securities.

UNC Health Care bounces back from operating loss

UNC Health Care is forecasting a $53 million profit next year, up from last year’s $12.2 million loss which CFO John Lewis attributes to expenses related to its system-wide Epic implementation.

Big Data Peeps At Your Medical Records To Find Drug Problems

NPR covers the FDA’s $116 million mini-sentinel project, a data analytics initiative aimed at uncovering unknown side effects in post-market drugs and medical devices.

iEHR redefined: DOD’s top 3 tactics in VA turf war detente

Government HealthIT traces the remaining funding allocations for the defunct iEHR program, highlighting the various modernization and interoperability projects now being pursued instead

.

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July 22, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 7/21/14

July 20, 2014 Headlines No Comments

The Leapfrog Group: Hospital Survey Report

The Leapfrog Group publishes its annual hospital report which says that while CPOE adoption is on the rise, the systems being implemented are failing to alert physicians far more often than expected, with “ the proportion of all orders that did not receive an appropriate warning remaining at 36% and the number of potentially fatal orders that did not receive an appropriate warning falling from 14.2% in 2012 to 12.5% in 2013.”

New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation Selects QuadraMed  for QCPR Meaningful Use Eligible Professional Software

The New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation, which selected Epic last year and was subsequently sued by Allscripts over the decision, announces that it has selected incumbent QuadraMed to provide software to its practice offices.

GE Healthcare 2Q profits increase slightly

GE Healthcare announces Q2 results: revenue fell 0.7 percent closing at $4.48 billion for the quarter, however, profit climbed one percent to $730 million up from $726 million for the same quarter in 2013.

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July 20, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 7/18/14

July 17, 2014 Headlines No Comments

CVS Caremark Announces New Clinical Affiliations with Four Major Health Care Providers

CVS announces that its MinuteClinic services will partner with ProHealth Physicians in Connecticut, Texas Health Resources in Texas, Palmetto Health in South Carolina and The Baton Rouge Clinic in Louisiana to bring additional chronic disease management services to the population, and to collaborate on medication adherence initiatives.

athenahealth, Inc. Reports Second Quarter Fiscal Year 2014 Results

AthenaHealth announces Q2 results: revenue is up 27 percent to $185 million but  Epocrates-based earnings fell 23 percent to $11.3 million. Adjusted EPS $0.32 vs. –$0.08, beating expectations for both.

Subcommittees Team Up To Learn How 21st Century Technology Can Improve 21st Century Cures

During a joint hearing between the Subcommittees on Communications and Technology and Health focused on the future of technology in healthcare, Rep. Phil Gingrey, MD (R-GA) called out Epic for its resistance to interoperability, saying that the company has indirectly collected billions in incentive payments but is still selling closed platforms.

Starting to Evolve Our Organization and Culture

Microsoft will layoff 14 percent of its workforce, or 18,000 workers, primarily from its Nokia division, as it works to rebrand itself as a “productivity and platform” company.

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July 17, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 7/17/14

July 16, 2014 Headlines 1 Comment

Acting head of VA says agency needs $17.6 billion to fix problems

Interim VA Secretary Sloan Gibson testified before the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee today, reporting that the VA would need $17.6 billion in additional funds over the next three years to fix the departments problems.

Program Evaluation of Remote Heart Failure Monitoring

A study published in Telemedicine and e-Health finds significant reductions in overall hospitalization rates followed the implementation of a remote patient monitoring system, but equivalent drops in hospitalization were also seen within the studies control group, leaving researchers with little choice but to conclude that remote monitoring seems promising, but additional research is needed.

States shirking Medicaid fraud reduction: report

An OIG report finds that 14 states are still not reporting enrollment data used to fight fraud within the Medicaid Interstate Match program.

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July 16, 2014 Headlines 1 Comment

Morning Headlines 7/16/14

July 15, 2014 Headlines No Comments

M*Modal Receives Approval to Emerge From Chapter 11

MModal confirms that it will emerge from bankruptcy within three weeks as its Plan of Reorganization is approved by the courts.

Novartis and Google to Work on Smart Contact Lenses

Google and medical device manufacturer Novartis have entered into a licensing agreement to commercialize Google’s recently unveiled glucose monitoring contact lenses.

Best Hospitals 2014-15: Overview and Honor Roll

US News and World Report publishes its 2014 Top Hospitals list with Mayo Clinic taking first place, followed by Massachusetts General Hospital and Johns Hopkins.

New challenge for team that passed Turing test: health insurance

Three computer scientists from the team that recently claimed to have beaten the Turing Test are leaving the artificial intelligence field and heading to a Santa Rosa company where they will help build a website designed to help consumers shop for Medicare plans.

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July 15, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 7/15/14

July 14, 2014 Headlines No Comments

E-Prescribing Trends in the United States

E-Prescribing rates in the US have climbed dramatically since 2011, according to new data published by ONC. In 2011, just seven percent of providers were live with e-prescribing, compared to 70 percent that use the technology today.

New resources improve states’ abilities to advance Medicaid payment and delivery system reform

HHS unveils a new program called the Medicaid Innovation Accelerator Program which will work with state agencies to award $100 million in federal funding help promote innovation aimed at advancing Medicaid-specific delivery system improvements.

MMRGlobal Subsidiary Receives Clinical Trials Patent

MMRGlobal receives a US patent titled “Electronic Health Records in Clinical Trials” which the company’s press release says will “opens the door to completely new revenue generating opportunities,” likely by demanding license fees from research organizations and pharmaceutical companies using EHR data within clinical trials.

British Government Picks Illumina to Sequence 100,000 Genomes

US-based gene sequencing firm Illumina lands a $160 million deal with the British government to sequence 100,000 human genomes.

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July 14, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 7/14/14

July 13, 2014 Headlines No Comments

WellPoint CEO: Insurer readies for technology wave

Joseph Swedish, CEO of the insurance company WellPoint, says in an interview that he will drive the company to adopt new technologies to reduce health costs, including telehealth, workplace health kiosks, and participation on insurance exchanges.

Verona’s Epic Systems adding employees

Epic adds 600 employees since February, bringing its total to 7,400. Epic has seen tremendous growth in the past three years when, in June 2011, the company’s head count sat at just 4,200.

Duke Medicine’s Big Data Plan to Improve Population Health

Ex-NASA Geospatial Scientist Sohayla Pruittan launches Duke Medicines new location-centric population health platform that will analyze health trends down to individual neighborhoods. She says, “When we visually map a population and a health issue, we want to give an understanding about why something is happening in a neighborhood. Are there certain socioeconomic factors that are contributing? Do they not have access to certain things? Do they have too much access to certain things like fast food restaurants?”

Key statistics for Summary Care Records

In England, the Health & Social Care Information Centre announces that nearly 41 million Summary Care Records have been generated by 5,454 practice offices thus far.

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July 13, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 7/11/14

July 11, 2014 Headlines No Comments

HIT Policy Committee DRAFT Summary of the June 10, 2014 Virtual Meeting

During Tuesday’s HIT Policy Committee meeting, CMS reported that only 972 providers and 10 hospitals have attested for Stage 2 of Meaningful Use.

Cerner ups campus cost to $4.45B, will seek $110M TIF bump

Cerner increases the budget on its new Kansas City campus by $160 million, to $4.45 billion, and is asking the local and state government to cover $110 million of that through tax breaks.

The Experience of Young Adults on HealthCare.gov: Suggestions for Improvement

A study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine concludes that Healthcare.gov’s user interface was perceived as confusing and unintuitive by millennials.

Moody’s Assigns AA3 To Providence Health & Services Series 2014B Bonds; Outlook Stable

Moody’s gives Providence Health’s bonds a strong, stable Aa3 rating, something that is not always the case for health systems in the midst of an Epic implementation. The rating notes, “PHS has nearly completed its system-wide implementation of the Epic electronic medical record (EMR) system. Implementation has spanned many years, and has occupied a significant portion of the system’s capital budget. Outsized operating expenses related to Epic have suppressed margins but are now expected to reach a steady state going forward.”

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July 11, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 7/10/14

July 9, 2014 Headlines 1 Comment

RWJF Project Tracks Impact of Reform on Hospital Utilization

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation announces a new surveillance program called the Hospital ACA Monitoring Project designed in collaboration with state hospital associations  to measure the impact that the Affordable Care Act has on hospital utilization.

Electronic Health Records: Fiscal Year 2013 Expenditure Plan Lacks Key Information Needed to Inform Future Funding Decisions

The DoD and VA have failed a GAO audit of their integrated EHR plans, satisfying just one of the six areas evaluated. When Congress approved the 2013 VA and DoD EHR budget requests, a provision was added preventing more than 25 percent of the funds from being distributed unless the GAO confirmed that the departments were on track with their plans.

2014 Most Wired

2014 Most Wired Hospital’s list has been published, an effort collectively undertaken by the American Hospital Association, CHIME, McKesson, AT&T, and H&HN.

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July 9, 2014 Headlines 1 Comment

Morning Headlines 7/9/14

July 8, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Siemens Said to Explore Sale of Hospital IT Business

Bloomberg reports that Siemens is soliciting buyers for its health IT business unit, valued at $1.4 billion, so that it can focus on its energy and industrial units.

What Looks Like Overcharging By Your Hospital Might Not Be

A study finds that Medicare reimbursement rates at hospitals using EHRs are comparable to those still working on paper, contrary to earlier allegations suggesting that EHRs were driving up reimbursement by promoting copy and paste fraud. Critics point out that the study only analyzed inpatient records, and fails to address the original fraud allegations which were focused on ED reimbursements.

Critics worry health IT regulatory plan is already outdated

The public comments period closes on the FDASIA’s recently proposed health IT regulatory framework. The comments offered a mix of both criticism and support from various industry groups. The ONC’s policy advisory committee today moved immediately forward in a vote to endorse the framework.

Vials of Smallpox Virus Found in Unapproved Maryland Lab

Six vials of the smallpox virus, thought to be misplaced remnants from a 1950’s research lab, were found abandoned in an FDA lab in Maryland this week and are now undergoing testing to determine if they are still active. Smallpox samples are now considered so dangerous that only two labs in the world are authorized to store the pathogen, a CDC lab in Atlanta, and a VECTOR Institute lab in Russia.

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July 8, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 7/8/14

July 7, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Proposed policy and payment changes to the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule for Calendar Year 2015

CMS’s proposed 2015 Medicare physician fee schedule expands reimbursable telehelath services, adds language requiring 2014 Edition EHR adoption for physicians providing chronic disease management, and introduces a bonus structure to the ACO program that further incentivizes quality improvements.

VistA for NHS’ ready for trusts

Responding to the NHS’s call for more open source EHR solutions, General Dynamics and Medsphere team up to introduce an anglicized version of the VA’s VistA EHR in England. The team has been at work since the end of 2013 and is now prospecting for its first UK customers.

Scientists threaten to boycott €1.2bn Human Brain Project

In Europe, 130 prominent neuroscientists are threatening to boycott the $2 billion Human Brain Project funded by the European Commission because they say that the project’s scope is too narrow and limits research topics to those that support HBP’s goal of mapping the human nervous system and creating a computer model of the human brain.

ONC 2014 Edition Test Method

The ONC has updated the test procedures and test data used by vendors when seeking 2014 Edition EHR certification. The changes address automated measure calculation and automated numerator recording for measures that have percentage-based thresholds.

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July 7, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 7/7/14

July 6, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Fireside chat with Google co-founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin

Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin sit down with VC legend Vinod Khosla at the annual Khosla Ventures CEO Summit. The three discuss a wide range of topics, including health IT, of which Sergey Brin says, “Generally, health is just so heavily regulated. It’s just a painful business to be in. It’s just not necessarily how I want to spend my time. Even though we do have some health projects, and we’ll be doing that to a certain extent. But I think the regulatory burden in the U.S. is so high that think it would dissuade a lot of entrepreneurs.”

Triangle hospitals go Epic with multimillion-dollar software

A Raleigh-Durham, NC paper looks back on the Epic migrations at the area’s three largest academic hospitals.

How webcams in Syria’s bombarded hospitals offer a lifeline for war victims

Physicians in the US, Canada, England, and Saudi Arabia are providing telehealth support to ICU units in war torn Syrian hospitals. 50 percent of Syria’s physicians have fled, leaving behind overcrowded ICU’s with no physicians.

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July 6, 2014 Headlines No Comments

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