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Morning Headlines 7/2/15

July 1, 2015 Headlines 1 Comment

Teladoc shares surge 50% in healthy IPO debut

Dallas-based telehealth vendor Teladoc raises $157 million in its IPO debut, valuing the company at $620 million. Stocks closed at $28.50, up 50 percent on its first day.

The Fatal Cost of Hospitals’ IT Ignorance

Leah Binder, president and CEO of Leapfrog Group, publishes a Wall Street Journal editorial suggesting that poor health IT implementations are plaguing US hospitals because the health care industry lags behind in technology and, as a result, hospital administrators lack the experience needed to successfully implement the new systems.

Doctors See Big Cybersecurity Risks, Compliance as Key for Hospitals

A survey of 272 physicians, administrators, and health IT professionals finds that physicians have a significantly lower opinion of their hospital’s ability to defend against a cyber attack than health IT professionals and administrators, and are far more likely to cite EHRs as the hospital’s primary vulnerability.

CMS: Hospitals can attest to first year of ‘meaningful use’ this summer

ONC will allow hospitals participating in Meaningful Use for the first time this year to attest this summer rather than waiting until January 1 as it had previously planned. 

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July 1, 2015 Headlines 1 Comment

Morning Headlines 7/1/15

June 30, 2015 Headlines No Comments

Allscripts Takes $200M Equity Position in NantHealth and Expands Strategic Alliance to Enhance Precision Genomic Medicine at Point of Care

Allscripts invests $200 million in billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong, MD’s startup NantHealth, taking 10 percent ownership of the company in return. At the same time, Soon-Shiong personally invests $100 million in Allscripts. The two have formed a partnerships to integrate and market their respective product offerings together.

Patient Use of Email, Facebook, and Physician Websites to Communicate with Physicians: A National Online Survey of Retail Pharmacy Users

CVS publishes findings from a study of customers with at least one chronic condition, finding that 37 percent reported contacting their physician by email within the last six-months.

Epic chosen as new electronic health record system for UC Irvine Health

UC Irvine Health (CA) announces that it will implement Epic as its next EHR.

Vietnamese 7th grader devises comprehensive, handy medical software

A seventh grader in Vietnam has coded a program designed to help doctors and medical students review the latest medical research for conditions they see regularly. The system includes 300 evidence-based treatment plans and is now being used at Hau Giang General Hospital’s Internal Medicine Faculty.

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June 30, 2015 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 6/30/15

June 29, 2015 Headlines No Comments

Source Data Capture From Electronic Health Records: Using Standardized Clinical Research Data

The FDA will host a demonstration day for vendors to showcase technology that will help it mine EHRs for automated clinical trial data capture.

Despite Threats, Senate Appropriations Bill Currently Remains Free of ICD-10 Delay Amendment

Though a number of competing bills have recently been introduced in Congress to delay or outright cancel the upcoming ICD-10 transition, AHIMA reports that the Senate Appropriations Bill remains free of any language that could derail the transition.

Improving prediction of fall risk among nursing home residents using electronic medical records

Researchers develop an algorithm that uses either EHR data or MDS 3.0 data to predict fall risk for patients in the nursing home setting, finding that EHR data was almost 10 percent more accurate at forecasting falls.

Texas medical fraud case screams for tighter auditing by feds

The Dallas Morning News looks back on the $18 million Meaningful Use attestation fraud scam that left the owner and CFO of Shelby Regional Medical Center (TX) in jail, citing it as a key example of why the program needs more stringent audits.

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June 29, 2015 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 6/29/15

June 28, 2015 Headlines No Comments

Indictment In UPMC Stolen Identity Scheme

A federal grand jury in Pittsburgh returned a 21-count indictment against a foreign suspect charged with filing 900 fraudulent tax returns using the information of UPMC employees, The employee’s data was compromised in a 2014 breach that impacted 62,000 employees.

State Of Software Security – Volume 6: Focus on Industry Verticals

A Veracode report finds that healthcare is poor at keeping up with security policy compliance, with 80 percent of tested healthcare applications containing cryptographic issues, and only 43 percent of known issues being corrected.

Electronic Health Records Come Under Fire in Ventura County, Calif.

The Ventura County (CA) civil grand jury says that the Ventura County Health Care Agency failed to adequately prepare for its $50 million implementation of Cerner across two hospitals and 40 clinics. The new system, which the director of the Health Care Agency says is working fine, reportedly caused frequent crashes and problems generating prescription labels.

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June 28, 2015 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 6/26/15

June 25, 2015 Headlines No Comments

Supreme Court saves Obamacare

In a 6-3 decision, the Supreme Court rules in favor of preserving ACA subsidies for the six million users obtaining insurance through Healthcare.gov.

Arcadia Healthcare Solutions Acquires Leading Managed Care and ACO Implementation Provider Sage Technologies

Data aggregation and analytics firm Arcadia Healthcare Solutions acquires Sage Technologies, a company focused on helping provider groups transition from fee-for-service to value-based reimbursement models.

CVS Health Announces New Clinical Affiliations with Four Leading Health Care Organizations

CVS will use its Epic EHR to begin sharing visit and prescription information with four new clinical affiliates: Sutter Health (CA), Millennium Physician Group (FL) Bryan Health Connect (NE), and Mount Kisco Medical Group (NY).

HIStalk Practice Interviews Steven Stack, MD President, AMA

HIStalk’s own Jenn interview’s incoming AMA president Steven Stack, to discuss chronic disease management and prevention, improvements to medical education, and the impact EHRs and reimbursement reform is having on the provider community.

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June 25, 2015 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 6/25/15

June 25, 2015 Headlines No Comments

MDLIVE raises $50M from private equity firm

Telehealth vendor MDLive raises a $50 million investment round from private equity firm Bedford Funding.

Best Places to Work in IT 2015

Health IT was well represented on Computerworld’s “100 Best Places To Work In IT” list for 2015. The list included Cerner, Humana, Kaiser Permanente, Intermountain Healthcare,  HCA, and a number of other health systems.

Mobile app improves rates of CPR in cardiac arrest cases, studies find

A New England Journal of Medicine study investigates a mobile app that alerts CPR trained individuals when someone nearby needs help by pulling information from 911 dispatch systems. In the study, the app increased the likelihood of heart attack patients receiving CPR by almost 15 percent.

Welcome to our Newest CommonWell General Members

CommonWell Health Alliance welcomes T-Systems, Caremerge, and HIEs from Michigan and Texas to its health data exchange platform.

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June 25, 2015 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 6/24/15

June 23, 2015 Headlines No Comments

Google Reveals Health-Tracking Wristband

Google X Labs has developed a health tracking wristband that monitors pulse, heart rhythm, sink temperature, and environmental conditions such as light exposure and noise levels. “Our intended use is for this to become a medical device that’s prescribed to patients or used for clinical trials,” says Andrew Conrad, head of the life sciences team within X Labs.

Less than 15% of Doctors Use RI Health Information Exchange

In Rhode Island, less than 15 percent of providers are using the state’s $25 million health information exchange, while 75 percent have yet to even setup their account.

Healthcare Revenue Cycle Management | 2015

Peer60 publishes a report on value-based payment models, with 36 percent of respondents reporting that they have already migrated to a new reimbursement model. Respondents expect that the changes will reduce capital spend, but only seven percent expect efficiency gains.

Beacon Hospital to become Ireland’s first paperless hospital

In Ireland, Beacon Hospital signs with EHR vendor Sláinte Healthcare in a deal worth $3.5 to $5 million USD. While a local paper predicts the deal will result in the first paperless hospital in Ireland, Sláinte’s CEO subtly clarifies, “It will scan historical charts and paper files as necessary.”

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June 23, 2015 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 6/23/15

June 22, 2015 Headlines No Comments

Provider Experiences with HIE: Key Findings from a Six-State Review

ONC publishes a report on provider perceptions of state health information exchanges, finding that the needs of providers and ACOs have surpassed the basic requirements outlined in MU. Access to care summaries, ADT alerts, and medication reconciliation support are the most valued services offered by HIEs.

Cigna rejects Anthem takeover bid

Cigna has rejected a $47 billion offer to acquire the insurer by larger rival Anthem, calling the offer inadequate and “woefully skewed in favor of Anthem shareholders." The offer came in at $184 per share, an 18 percent premium on Cigna’s closing stock price on Friday.

Budgetary and Economic Effects of Repealing the Affordable Care Act

The CBO publishes the financial implications of repealing the ACA, finding that regardless of whether the entire law is repealed or only the contested federal subsidy portion, any repeal will add to the national deficit.

House votes to repeal medical device tax

A bi-partisan majority in the House of Representatives votes to repeal the Medical Device Tax enacted as part of the ACA. The President has promised a veto should the bill clear the Senate.

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June 22, 2015 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 6/22/15

June 21, 2015 Headlines No Comments

Aerospace Medicine Safety Information System (AMSIS)/ Request for Information

The FAA publishes an RFI for a system that it will use to track medical certifications, coordinate its substance abuse program, and integrate with NHIN and state and regional HIEs to collect medical information on pilots.

Personalized Technology Will Upend the Doctor-Patient Relationship

Harvard Business Review predicts that wearables, implanted devices, and medical apps will eventually deliver a 24/7 picture of individual health, revolutionizing the way chronic diseases are treated and managed and creating a gold-rush style influx of activity from existing businesses and startups. 

8 Indicted in Identity Thefts of Patients at Montefiore Medical Center

Eight Montefiore Medical Center (NY) were indicted Friday on charges of selling 12,000 medical records for $3 each, exposing the names, birthdays, and Social Security numbers of its patients.

Tamper-proof pill bottle could help curb prescription painkiller misuse, abuse

Engineering students at Johns Hopkins University’s Whiting School of Engineering createda 2.7 pound, 9-inch tall, tamper-proof pill bottle that uses fingerprint scanning technology to ensure that narcotics are dispensed only to the prescribed patient. The team cites the growing number of prescription drug-related overdoses as the motivation behind their work.

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June 21, 2015 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 6/19/15

June 18, 2015 Headlines No Comments

Health and social care leaders set out next steps to transform NHS services and improve health outcomes using technology and data

In England, the NHS announces that patients will be given real-time access to their entire digital health records by 2018. UK citizens are already able to book appointments, request prescription renewals, and view medical record summaries online.

New NHS e-Referral service ‘unavailable until further notice’

Also in England, the NHS’s new online appointment scheduling system has been taken offline until further notice after going live on Monday. The service, whose predecessor was used by 40,000 patients per day to schedule appointments until last week, launched despite 33 known issues, including missing functionality and slow loading times.

Making appropriations for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education

A draft budget created by the House Appropriations Committee reduces ONC’s requested $75 million budget to $60.4 million, and provides no funding for its proposed ONC Patient Safety Center.

National Medicare Fraud Takedown Results in Charges Against 243 Individuals for Approximately $712 Million in False Billing

The Department of Justice announces that it has arrested 243 individuals, including 46 doctors, in connection with a Medicare fraud scheme that netted $712 million through false billing. The arrests were the largest coordinated takedown in the history of the DOJ’s Strike Force.

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June 18, 2015 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 6/18/15

June 17, 2015 Headlines No Comments

Fitbit raises $732M in its IPO, $37M more than expected

Fitbit finalizes its IPO, raising $732 million at a $20 per share price, for a total valuation of $4.1 billion. Shares will begin to trade this Thursday under the symbol FIT.

Congressional GOP plans to continue health law subsidies

As the Supreme Court nears a ruling on a case challenging the legality of ACA subsidies paid on behalf of seven million Healthcare.gov consumers, congressional republicans announce that they will move forward with a plan to extend those subsidies through the end of the year while they draft their own healthcare reform plan.

US Nonprofit Hospital Tax Exemption Almost Doubles Between 2002 And 2011

Health Affairs publishes a study finding that the total value of tax exemptions enjoyed by non-profit hospitals has grown to $24.6 billion, up from $12.6 billion in 2002.

Doctor On Demand Pulls In $50 Million To Continue Expansion Of Its Virtual Doctor Visit Platform

Three-year-old telehealth vendor Doctor on Demand raises a $50 million Series B funding round to accelerate the growth of its platform. The company also announced that it has signed its 200th employer-customer.

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June 17, 2015 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 6/17/15

June 16, 2015 Headlines No Comments

CMS Internal Controls Did Not Effectively Ensure The Accuracy Of Aggregate Financial Assistance Payments Made To Qualified Health Plan Insurers Under the Affordable Care Act

An OIG report finds that CMS paid subsidies on behalf of Healthcare.gov and state insurance exchange customers without verifying that payments were made on behalf of confirmed enrollees or verifying that payments were made in the correct amounts.

What makes an EHR “open” or interoperable?

AMIA proposes an objective definition of EHR interoperability that calls on vendors to support data extraction, medical record transmission with structured data elements, exchanging records via record locator service queries, supporting migrations to another vendor by moving existing records to another EHR, and providing APIs that allow third-party apps to access and write to the EHR.

Bethesda health tech company raises $30 million

Bethesda, MD-based digital health startup Aledade raises a $30 million Series B to expand its ACO transition support firm. The company was founded by Farzad Mostashari, MD, former national coordinator for health IT, shortly after he left ONC.

CVS to Buy Target’s Pharmacy Business for $1.9 Billion

CVS acquires Target’s pharmacy business, which includes 1,700 pharmacies within Target stores, for $1.9 billion.

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June 16, 2015 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 6/16/15

June 15, 2015 Headlines No Comments

Anthem Talks to Cigna on Possible Takeover

Anthem pursues rival insurer Cigna in an acquisition deal that values Cigna at $45 billion.

FDA to Work With Online Patient Forum to Mine Safety Data

Online support group vendor PatientsLikeMe signs a research partnership with the FDA to supplement its post-market drug surveillance program with patient-generated adverse events reports.

Inside Obama’s Stealth Startup

Fast Company profiles Obama’s growing US Digital Services team, which was established in the days after Healthcare.gov’s failed launch. Todd Park, who is responsible for recruiting Silicon Valley’s best and brightest for the team, describes it as “DARPA meets the Peace Corps meets SEAL Team Six,” and tells stories of Obama’s hands on involvement in recruitment efforts.

White House Weighs Sanctions After Second Breach of a Computer System

The Office of Personnel Management reports that mental health data may have been compromised in its second confirmed security breach in the last two weeks.

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June 15, 2015 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 6/15/15

June 14, 2015 Headlines No Comments

VA app could change future of veteran care

The VA will pilot a new app that will give VA doctors a single view of a patient’s complete medical history, including allergies, prescriptions, and test results from both DoD and VA medical records.

Health Catalyst Is Keeping the Jobs At Home

Health Catalyst announces that it will add 300 jobs over the next five years, for which it will receive $700,000 in incentives from the Utah Governor’s Office.

Data Security in Healthcare 2015

A Peer60 survey on data security in healthcare finds that information security is the most important priority for 29 percent of organizations. The report finds that lack of funding and staff compliance with IT procedures are the largest issues preventing improvements.

Additional Actions and Oversight Urgently Needed to Reduce Waste and Improve Performance in Acquisitions and Operations

A GAO report on government IT projects finds that projects often result in “multimillion dollar cost overruns and years-long schedule delays,” with billions wasted on failed project cited. The government spends $80 billion on IT projects annually.

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June 14, 2015 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 6/12/15

June 11, 2015 Headlines No Comments

Committee Working to Identify Immediate Solutions to Electronic Health Records Program that has Physicians “Terrified”

Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN), chairman of the HELP committee charged with evaluating the Meaningful Use program, says at the committees first hearing this week, “Physicians and doctors have said to me that they are literally terrified of the next implementation stage of electronic health records, called Meaningful Use Stage 3, because of its complexity and because of the fines that will be levied. My goal is that before that phase is implemented, we can work with physicians and hospitals and the administration to get the system back on track and make it a tool that hospitals and physicians can look forward to using to help their patients instead of something they dread.”

E-health Progress Still Poor $2 Billion and 14 Years Later

The Canadian Medical Association Journal reports on the country’s largest annual e-health conference, saying that interoperability roadblocks are still hindering improvements. Mike Checkley, conference speaker and president of British Columbia-based QHR Technologies, quipped “Ten years ago, the big topic was interoperability. Ten years later, it’s not a lot different."

Study may help Department of Veteran’s Affairs find patients with high risk of suicide

The VA and NIH co-develop an algorithm that can scan the VA’s electronic medical records and identify patients that have a high suicide risk.

Judy Faulkner’s Giving Pledge

Epic Systems CEO Judy Faulkner signs the Giving Pledge, launched by Warren Buffet and Bill and Melinda Gates in 2010, promising to leave 99 percent of her estimated $2.3 billion fortune to charity upon her death or direction.

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June 11, 2015 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 6/10/15

June 9, 2015 Headlines No Comments

American Well Corp v Teladoc, Inc

Telehealth vendor American Well sues rival Teladoc for patent infringement, alleging that Teladoc is using American Well’s patent-protected technology to match patients with doctors. The lawsuit comes just as Teladoc prepares for its IPO.

NHS details released against patients’ wishes, admits data body

In England, the Health and Social Care Information Centre reports that 700,000 patients have had their medical information shared against their wishes. The organization, which is responsible for processing patient requests to prevent data sharing, reports that it does not have the staff to keep up with the volume of requests it is receiving.

Charities struggle to share care data

In England, the CIO of Combat Stress, a charity dedicated to providing mental health services to  veterans, reports that a lack of interoperability with NHS health IT systems is hindering care delivery. He is calling for a standards-based approach to document sharing between the organizations.

Veterans Adding Life Story to Medical Records

The Madison, WI VA Medical Center is piloting an initiative aimed at capturing the life story, as told by the patient, for every patient’s medical record. The initiative is designed to permanently record the traumatic events behind many of the veteran’s injuries so that they do not need to retell the story every time they see a new doctor.

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June 9, 2015 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 6/9/15

June 9, 2015 Headlines No Comments

Medicare Program; Medicare Shared Savings Program: Accountable Care Organizations

CMS publishes its final rule addressing changes to the Medicare Shared Savings Program. The final rule introduces a new program, called Track 3, based on the successful aspects of the Pioneer ACO Model. The rule also beings to address performance benchmarking concerns, and promises additional performance benchmarking regulations later this year.

Back to the Future

Outgoing AMA president Robert Wah, MD, rails against the Meaningful Use program and ICD-10 implementation at the AMA Annual Conference this weekend in Chicago, saying “the Meaningful Use requirements for electronic records are a heavy burden and a prison for innovation,” and “We believe ICD-10 will further disrupt physician practices when we’re already facing headaches like Meaningful Use.”

ICD-10 ‘Grace Period’ Bill Introduced in US House

Representative Gary Palmer (R-AL) introduces HR 2652, titled Protecting Patients and Physicians Against Coding Act of 2015, which if passed would establish a two-year grace period during which both ICD-9 and ICD-10 codes would be accepted. It is the third bill introduced in the last two months that attempts to delay the upcoming ICD-10 switchover.

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June 9, 2015 Headlines No Comments

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