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Morning Headlines 2/12/16

February 12, 2016 Headlines No Comments

CommonWell Health Alliance Membership Continues to Expand Across the Care Continuum

CommonWell Health Alliance announces seven new members:eClinicalWorks, HIMSS, ImageTrend, lifeIMAGE, Mana Health, MediPortal, and Modernizing Medicine.

Electronic Health Record Adoption and Rates of In-hospital Adverse Events

A retrospective study analyzing 2012-2013 patient visits finds that “fully electronic EHR” use is associated with a 17 to 30 percent decrease in adverse events for patients with cardiovascular disease, pneumonia, or for surgical patients.

Insurer Centene ends search for missing hard drives

Insurer Centene announces that it found the six missing hard drives containing PHI from 950,000 patients that went missing last month.

US News Withdraws Rankings of 2 Children’s Hospitals

US News has removed Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital (TX) and Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital (NY) from its annual ranking of children’s hospitals after discovering significant errors in the data submitted by the hospitals.

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February 12, 2016 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 2/10/16

February 10, 2016 Headlines 2 Comments

Justification For Other Than Full and Open Competition

Leidos is awarded a $51 million contract to host its recently purchased Cerner EHR system.

Senate Health Committee Unanimously Passes Alexander, Murray Legislation to Improve Health Information Technology for Patients, Doctors, Hospitals

The Senate passes the Improving Health Information Technology Act, a bipartisan bill co-sponsored by Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.). Alexander explains, “Our goal is to make our country’s electronic health record system something that helps patients rather than something that doctors and hospitals dread so much that patients are not helped”

Cerner Launches Developer Experience For SMART on FHIR Applications

Cerner launches a developer platform that will give third-party developers an opportunity to code with its SMART on FHIR API within a sandbox environment.

Skagit Regional Health approves $316 million budget; adds jobs

Skagit Regional Health (WA) will spend $72 million implementing Epic over the next 10 years.

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February 10, 2016 Headlines 2 Comments

Morning Headlines 2/5/16

February 4, 2016 Headlines No Comments

Health IT & Health Information Services: 2015 Year-End Market Review

Healthcare Growth Partners publishes its annual market review, noting that “at this point in the market cycle, health IT behaves more like a policy-based economy than a market-based economy.”

Athenahealth, Inc. Q4 Earnings Retreat 21 percent

Athenahealth reports Q4 results: revenue of $257 million compared to $213 million during the same quarter last year, adjusted EPS $0.45 vs. $0.58, missing analyst estimates on revenue but beating on earnings.

Head Of California Exchange Scolds UnitedHealth For Blaming Woes On Obamacare

California health insurance exchange executive director Peter Lee criticizes UnitedHealth for blaming Obamacare exchanges for its financial losses, explaining “Instead of saying we screwed up, they said Obamacare is the problem and we may not play any more. It was giving an excuse to Wall Street and throwing the Affordable Care Act under the bus.”

Top 20 Employee Benefits & Perks

Glassdoor ranks Epic 16th on its list of Top 20 Employee Benefits and Perks, citing the company’s policy of granting a paid four-week sabbatical to employees after five years of employment.

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February 4, 2016 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 2/4/16

February 3, 2016 Headlines No Comments

Practice Fusion Lays Off 25% Of Workers To Create Positive Cash Flow

Practice Fusion confirms that it has laid of 25 percent of its workforce, across all divisions, in an effort to become cash positive.

Bipartisan Senate bill seeks to expand telemedicine services

A group of bipartisan senators introduce the CONNECT for Health Act, a bill aimed at expanding telemedicine services through expanded Medicare benefits.

2016 Clinical Analytics for Population Health Management Market Trends Report

A Chilmark report predicts that the data analytics market will grow as more health systems shift to value-based reimbursement models.

Healthcare: For here or to go?

An Accenture report predicts that startups working in the on-demand healthcare market will see investment levels quadruple by 2017, growing to nearly a billion dollars in annual investment.

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February 3, 2016 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 2/3/16

February 2, 2016 Headlines No Comments

White House To Request $1 Billion For Cancer ‘Moonshot’

President Obama will ask Congress to back his recently announced Cancer Moonshot project with $755 million for  cancer research. Congress already approved $195 million in research funding for 2016, bringing the projects total budget to nearly $1 billion over the next two years.

Aetna Reports Surge in Profit and a Dark Spot

Aetna reports Q4 results: revenue of $15 billion contributed to a 38 percent increase in profit, EPS $0.91 vs $0.65, missing on earnings but meeting revenue expectations. Like UnitedHealth, the company noted that its public exchange business was losing money.

Roper Industries Misses Q4 Street Views On EPS, Revenues

Roper Industries, parent company of Sunquest, reports Q4 results: revenue was flat at $943 million compared to $946 million during the same quarter last year, EPS $1.82 vs. $1.85, missing analyst estimates for both.

Theranos continues to dodge opportunities to validate its inventions

Theranos indefinitely delays its promise to allow its partner Cleveland Clinic to independently verify its technologies, while also confirming that it would not publish data to validate its tests before securing FDA approval for them.

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February 2, 2016 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 2/2/16

February 1, 2016 Headlines No Comments

Athenahealth Names Prakash Khot as Chief Technology Officer

Athenahealth hires Prakash Khot as its new CTO. Khot was previously the CTO of Kaseya, and spent several years with Salesforce prior to that, where he rose to the position of SVP of Engineering, overseeing big data and analytics development.

American Heart Association, IBM Watson Health and Welltok Team Up to Transform Heart Health

American Heart Association announces a strategic partnership with IBM Watson and patient engagement vendor Welltok to develop employer-focused solutions to improve heart health.

Certification Frequency and Requirements for the Reporting of Quality Measures under CMS Programs; Extension of Comment Period

CMS issues a 15-day extension to the public comment period for its RFI seeking input on certification and testing of EHR products used for quality measure reporting.

Defining Value in Health Care: CMS Releases Updated Benchmarks for ACOs

Aledade publishes a blog analyzing the recent CMS update to ACO benchmarks.

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February 1, 2016 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 2/1/16

January 31, 2016 Headlines No Comments

New Proposal to Give Providers and Employers Access to Information to Drive Quality and Patient Care Improvement

A proposed rule by CMS will allow qualified entities to sell de-identified Medicare and private payer claims data to providers, employers and other groups interested in using the data to support quality improvement projects.

Flint doctor used Epic Systems records to expose lead crisis

The pediatrician who brought the water crisis in Flint, MI credits EHRs for allowing her to quickly calculate the recent rise in lead poisoning among local children, noting “If we did not have Epic, if we did not have (EHRs), if we were still on paper, it would have taken forever to get these results.”

Meditech Form 10-K Annual Report

Meditech reports its 2015 year end results: total revenue was $475 million, down eight percent from 2014, driven down by decreased product revenue. Net income was $70 million.

Quality Systems Beats Q3 Earnings, Lags Revenue Estimates

Quality Systems, parent company of NextGen, reports Q3 results: revenue fell 1.6 percent to $117 million compared to the same quarter last year, adjusted EPS $0.16 vs. $0.16.

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January 31, 2016 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 1/29/16

January 28, 2016 Headlines 1 Comment

2015/2016 Best in KLAS Winners: Software and Services

KLAS publishes its annual list of Best in KLAS winners. Epic takes the Acute Care EMR category. Cerner wins Acute Care EMR for community hospitals, while MEDITECH wins the community HIS category.

No patient records involved in possible NCH computer breach

NCH Healthcare System (FL) notifies its employees that two servers being hosted at Cerner’s Kansas City data center have been breached, exposing employee and medical staff credentialing information.

CPSI Announces Fourth Quarter and Year-End 2015 Results and 2016 Guidance

CPSI announces Q4 and year-end results:revenue of  $44 million for the quarter, down 4.5 percent from last year, EPS $0.30 vs. $0.60, missing estimates on both.

MidMichigan Health investing $55M for electronic medical record system

MidMichigan Health selects Epic to replace its existing Cerner and Allscripts EHRs, for a total project cost of $55 million that the health system expects will pay for itself within six years.

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January 28, 2016 Headlines 1 Comment

Morning Headlines 1/28/16

January 27, 2016 Headlines No Comments

Theranos’ Deficiencies Put Patient Safety In “Immediate Jeopardy”

CMS has issued a public letter to lab test vendor Theranos warning that deficiencies found during its CLIA recertification and compliance inspection put patients in “immediate jeopardy.” Theranos has 10 days to submit proof that the deficiencies have been corrected, or it could lose its CLIA certificate. 

McKesson Reports Fiscal 2016 Third-Quarter Results

McKesson reports Q3 results: total revenue up three percent to $47.9 billion, EPS $2.71 vs. $2.04. Technology Solutions revenue was down eight percent, to $694 million, compared to the prior year.

Some States Look to Avoid Federal Obamacare Payments

State officials discuss sharing state insurance exchanges after CMS published new rules last year requiring states to pay a three percent user-fee per policy issued over Healthcare.gov.

Adoption of Certified Electronic Health Record Systems and Electronic Information Sharing in Physician Offices: United States, 2013 and 2014

The CDC publishes data from its 2014 National Electronic Health Records Survey, finding that 74 percent of office-based physicians are now using certified EHRs, while 32 percent are sharing patient health information with external providers.

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January 27, 2016 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 1/27/16

January 27, 2016 Headlines No Comments

Leidos To Combine With Lockheed Martin Information Systems & Global Solutions Business

Leidos will acquire the Information Systems and Global Holdings business units of Lockheed Martin, including its health IT business, for $5 billion.

Centene Announces Internal Search of Information Technology Assets

Insurance provider Centene Corporation announces that it has lost six hard drives containing the personal health information of 950,000 patients. The loss was discovered during a recent IT assets inventory.

Design Considerations and Pre- market Submission Recommendations for Interoperable Medical Devices

The FDA publishes draft guidance outlining interoperability standards for medical device manufacturers.

Scripps Trial Fails Where Geisinger Succeeded

Forbes covers the recent Scripps Translational Health Institute study on remote patient monitoring, highlighting the reasons it failed to demonstrate reductions in cost and utilization or improvements in outcomes.

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January 27, 2016 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 1/25/16

January 24, 2016 Headlines No Comments

Hurley Medical Center Confirms ‘Cyber-Attack’ as Anonymous Hacking Group Threatens Action Over Flint Water Crisis

Hacker group Anonymous is suspected of a cyberattack on a hospital in Flint, MI after the group posted a YouTube video promising realization for the city’s recent water crisis. Hospital administrators report that the attack was detected on January 21, but that patient care was not companied.

athenahealth Partners With University of Toledo Medical Center to Accelerate Development of Inpatient Electronic Health Record

Athenahealth will work with the University of Toledo Medical Center to develop its inpatient EHR, The University of Toledo Physician Group has been on Athena since 2014.

Data Sharing

A NEJM editorial raises concerns about medical research based on big data when combining data sets is often an imprecise endeavor, asking “Can it be assumed that the differences in study populations, data collection and analysis, and treatments, both protocol-specified and unspecified, can be ignored?”

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January 24, 2016 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 1/22/16

January 21, 2016 Headlines No Comments

Virus hits TRMC computers

Ransomware has been blocking EHR access at Titus Regional Medical Center (TX) since January 15, sending all hospital operations back to paper. “It’s just like in the 1970s, before electronic medical records. Everything is on paper and people are serving as runners. There’s no automation,” explains the hospital’s public information officer. There is currently no estimate for when the system will be back online.

VA chief to Congress: You can’t fire your way to excellence

VA Secretary Robert McDonald testifies before Congress that he has fired 2.600 VA employees since he took office 18 months ago, and that he is now working to turn the organization into the number one customer-service agency in government, primarily through new IT projects

Clarifying, Eliminating and Enforcing Special Enrollment Periods

CMS updates its rules on special enrollment periods for insurance exchanges to crack down on those that “remain uninsured and then decide they need health insurance when they get sick.”

Time for a Patient-Driven Health Information Economy?

An NEJM opinion piece calls for APIs that could help establish a patient-controlled health record infrastructure, citing reluctance of providers to share medical records with patients, despite HIPAA and HITECH mandates.

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January 21, 2016 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 1/19/16

January 18, 2016 Headlines No Comments

Privacy experts say Coburn op-ed misses the mark

Privacy experts respond critically to an op-ed published in the Wall Street Journal last week by former Senator Tom Colburn, MD’s in which he argues that “HIPAA makes it difficult for researchers to tap into large caches of clinical and genomic data shared across multiple institutions or firms, and then share their findings more broadly.”

50 hospitals charge uninsured more than 10 times cost of care, study finds

A Health Affairs study analyzing Medicare-certified hospital data from 2012 and 2013 finds that 46 of the 50 hospitals with the highest overall markup on care delivered to out-of-network or uninsured patients are members of for-profit health systems, and that 20 of 50 operate in Florida.

Cerner again teams up with KC-area startup

Cerner partners with local Kansas City startup Infusion Express, an outpatient IV therapy company, to reduce IV treatment costs among its employees and reduce absenteeism by a forecasted 5,000 hours annually.

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January 18, 2016 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 1/18/16

January 17, 2016 Headlines No Comments

New Guidelines Nudge Doctors to Give Patients Access to Medical Records

The New York Times covers the recent OCR clarification reminding providers of their obligation to provide electronic copies of medical records to patients.

NHS out-of-hours GP service 12-hour wait ‘clinically unsafe’

In England, NHS callback times have reached 12 hours for patients calling out of hours with non-emergency conditions, a situation some describe as a “significant risk to patient safety.” The delay is blamed on a shortage of doctors and inefficient call handling.

Privacy-breach discipline against 24 of 48 health-care workers withdrawn

In Canada, 24 healthcare workers accused of inappropriately accessing medical records have had disciplinary actions against them dropped after a nurses union successfully argued that the hospitals policy was unclear.

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January 17, 2016 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 1/15/16

January 14, 2016 Headlines No Comments

Walgreens, UnitedHealth Are In Talks To Buy WebMD

Rumors of a buyout send WebMD share prices up nearly 10 percent today, but prices tumbled after the company issued a press release stating that no acquisition was being planned. Share prices ultimately overcorrected, closing down 7.7 percent.

Medical Taylorism

An opinion piece published in NEJM argues that EHRs, while “introduced with the laudable goals,” have undermined patient care by monopolizing the provider’s limited time during patient encounters. The author explains, “Open-ended interviews, vital for obtaining accurate clinical information and understanding patients’ mindsets, have become almost impossible.”

Athenahealth CEO uses CPR to resuscitate a stranger

Athenahealth CEO Jon Bush, a former EMT and combat medic, provides CPR to a man who had collapsed, commenting about the encounter afterwards, “It was like the US health care system. Everybody was standing there, nobody was helping.”

Chief Information and Technology Officer

In England, the NHS publishes a job description for a national chief information and technology officer to lead “the strategic procurement and successful implementation of the information and technology priorities that will support a modern, sustainable health and care system.”

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January 14, 2016 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 1/13/16

January 13, 2016 Headlines 1 Comment

Comments of CMS Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt at the J.P. Morgan Annual Health Care Conference

CMS Administrator Andy Slavitt announces that Meaningful Use will soon be shut down, explaining “Now that we effectively have technology into virtually every place care is provided, we are now in the process of ending Meaningful Use and moving to a new regime culminating with the MACRA implementation.”

Why Shares in McKesson Slumped 10% Today

McKesson shares fell 10 percent after dropping the upper limit of its 2016 EPS forecast from $13.00 to $12.90.

Electronic Health Record-Related Events in Medical Malpractice Claims

A study analyzing malpractice claims from 2012-2013 uncovers 248 cases in which health IT was cited as having caused patient harm. 80 percent of the health IT related claims resulted in moderate or severe harm to the patient.

The Doctor Will See You Now?

The National Center for Policy Analysis publishes a report critical of the Texas Medical Board for its efforts to limit telehealth visits in the state, noting that Texas ranks last in the country for access to medical care.

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January 13, 2016 Headlines 1 Comment

Morning Headlines 1/12/16

January 11, 2016 Headlines No Comments

Medical device maker Medtronic to buy back up to $5 billion shares

Medtronic raises its full-year EPS forecast from $4.33 to $4.36 and announces a $5 billion share buyback program that it will execute over the next several years.

New hospitals and health care providers join successful, cutting-edge federal initiative that cuts costs and puts patients at the center of their care

HHS announces 121 new Medicare ACOs, including 21 organizations that are the first to enroll in the Next Generation ACO Model, bringing to total number of ACOs to 477.

Texas board asks appeals court to block suit challenging telemedicine rules

The Texas Medical Board files an appeal with the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals after telehealth vendor Teladoc won the right to proceed with its antitrust case against the board over its restrictive telehealth policies.

Barton Health First to Implement Proteus Digital Health’s Innovative Solution for Patients with Chronic Conditions

Smartpill vendor Proteus Digital Health announces that Barton Health (CA) will be the first health system to implement its medication adherence technology. The project will focus on improving uncontrolled hypertension.

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January 11, 2016 Headlines No Comments

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