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Morning Headlines 9/17/14

September 17, 2014 Headlines No Comments

HIMSS, CHIME, AHA, AMA, and others urge HHS to reduce 2015 attestation period to 90 days.

Several industry advocacy groups write a co-signed letter to HHS secretary Sylvia Burwell calling for the 2015 Meaningful Use attestation period to be reduced from 365 days to just 90 days.

Outsourcing Firm Cognizant to Buy TriZetto for $2.7 Billion

IT outsourcing firm Cognizant Technology Solutions will buy health IT vendor TriZetto for $2.7 billion in an effort to bolster its health IT portfolio.

Federal Health Care Website Faces Security Risks, Watchdog Finds

The GAO publishes a report on the security of Healthcare.gov, concluding that despite increased security efforts "weaknesses remained in the security and privacy protections applied to HealthCare.gov and its supporting systems."

AMA Calls for Design Overhaul of Electronic Health Records to Improve Usability

The American Medical Association publishes a framework with eight recommended changes for improving EHR usability.

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September 17, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 9/16/14

September 16, 2014 Headlines No Comments

 Factors Affecting Physician Professional Satisfaction and Their Implications for Patient Care, Health Systems, and Health Policy

A new RAND report conducted with the American Medical Association finds that EHR use is a direct contributor to physician burnout. Physician survey respondents  cite poor clinical notes, interruption of face-to-face time with patients, time consuming data entry, and less fulfilling work as EHR-related drivers of their dissatisfaction.

Apple HealthKit Trials Spearheaded By Duke And Stanford University Hospitals: Report

Stanford University and Duke Medicine announce plans to use Apple’s HealthKit to streamline data capture in support of their population health initiatives. Stanford Children’s Hospital will track blood sugar levels in its type 1 diabetes population, while Duke will capture weight, blood pressure, and other values to monitor heart disease and cancer patients.

Glitch in health care law allows employers to offer substandard insurance

A known bug in the validation tool that Healthcare.gov uses to ensure each plan listed on the market meets the minimum requirements outlined in the Affordable Care Act has resulted in employers flooding the site with cheap substandard insurance plans that do not offer basic protections, like hospitalization coverage.

AIG Raises Profile for Technology With Creation of CIO Job

Former Kaiser Permanente CIO Philip Fasano has been hired to a newly created CIO position with insurance giant American International Group.

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September 16, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 9/15/2014

September 14, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Advocate, NorthShore merger means 16 hospitals, 3 million patients

In Illinois, Advocate Health Care and NorthShore University Health System announce merger plans that will result in a 16 hospital, 45,000 employee organization with a $6.5 billion combined revenue.

State abandons search for new health exchange company

Nevada abandons its search for a new health insurance exchange contractor, after firing Xerox in May, and announces that it will join Healthcare.gov instead.

Docs frustrated with transition to electronic medical records

A local paper covers the frustrations that clinicians at Community Health of Central Washington are experiencing as they transition to a new EHR that has fallen short of their expectations. CMO Michael Schaffrinna is quoted saying “It reads like a translated Russian novel. It doesn’t flow, and that means it takes a lot longer for people to find the information they’re looking for to care for the patient.”

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September 14, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 9/12/14

September 11, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Allscripts Ex-CEO Glen Tullman Launches Livongo Health At Disrupt, Backed By General Catalyst

Glen Tullman launches a digital health startup called Livongo Health, backed by a $10 million investment from General Catalyst. The company is building chronic disease management platforms that use technology to connect patients, care providers, and family members.

States Graded on Telemedicine Policy

The American Telemedicine Association publishes two reports analyzing the telemedicine policies of all 50 states, focusing on coverage, reimbursement, practice standards, and licensure requirements.

Medicine’s Manhattan Project: Can The World’s Richest Doctor Fix Health Care?

Forbes profiles healthcare billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong and his startup NantHealth, which he promises will revolutionize healthcare. Forbes calls him a blowhard and quotes John Halamka, MD saying “The marketing is three years ahead of the engineering.”

Epic Systems again ranked as No. 1 Dane County employer

Just ahead of its annual user conference, Epic is named the largest employer in Dane County.

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September 11, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 9/11/14

September 10, 2014 Headlines No Comments

2014 Edition Release 2 Electronic Health Record (EHR) Certification Criteria and the ONC HIT Certification Program

ONC scraps its voluntary 2015 Edition EHR certification criteria, providing some flexibility for EHR vendors, but doing little for providers that are not yet ready for the start of the MU 2 attestation period.

Epic retains lobbyist to improve image on Capitol Hill

Epic hires lobbying firm Card & Associates to help address its reputation on Capitol Hill as an opportunistic EHR vendor selling closed systems that are unable to exchange data with other vendors.

Watchdog Says V.A. Officials Lied

Richard J. Griffin, the VA’s acting  inspector general, said in testimony to the Senate Veterans’ Affairs committee on Tuesday that during its investigation on scheduling improprieties, 42 VA health care facilities were found to be altering appointment wait times. Additionally, 13 VA administrators are accused of lying to IG staff during the investigation.

Homeland Security picks Mass company for electronic health record system

eClinicalWorks wins a $5 million contract to provide EHRs for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s detention facilities.

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September 10, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 9/10/14

September 9, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Apple Watch

Apple unveils its newest device, a smartwatch that will monitor caloric burn, daily activity levels, heart rate, and exercise intensity.

New dean reviews Dell Medical School

Clay Johnson, dean of the University of Texas’s new Dell Medical School, says in an interview that one of his goals for the school is to embrace healthcare IT as a means of solving some of the fundamental problems he sees in care delivery.

A Comparison Of Hospital Administrative Costs In Eight Nations: US Costs Exceed All Others By Far

A recent study finds that hospital administrative costs in the US account for 25 percent of all hospital expenditures, far more than any other nation included in the study.

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September 9, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 9/9/14

September 8, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Interstate Medical Licensure Compact Ready for Consideration by States

The Federation of State Medical Boards announces that its Interstate Medical Licensure Compact is complete and ready for adoption by individual state medical boards. The compact simplifies the process of transferring licenses from state to state, and was written to help make it easier for physicians to provide telehealth services to patients that live out of state.

Chinese engineer accused of stealing trade secrets from GE unit

A Chinese engineer is being charged with stealing trade secrets from GE Healthcare after downloading 2.4 million confidential records from his office in Wisconsin, and shipping them back to China.

Mayo Clinic and IBM Task Watson to Improve Clinical Trial Research

Mayo Clinic will begin using IBM’s Watson supercomputer to improve clinical trial recruitment. The program will automate the now manual process of analyzing patient charts and matching them with clinical trials that are searching for participants. To start, the project will focus on cancer patients.

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September 8, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 9/8/14

September 8, 2014 Headlines No Comments

PwC to Propose Open Source EHR System to the Department of Defense Healthcare Management Systems Modernization Program

PwC enters the DoD EHR vendor search, proposing VistA and partnering with General Dynamics as a system integrator, and MedSphere and DSS as commercial resellers of VistA.

Nine Ways Hospitals Can Use Electronic Health Records to Reduce Readmissions

The Society of Hospital Medicine’s Health Information Technology committee publishes a list of nine strategies that hospitals can deploy within their EHRs to reduce all-cause readmissions.

Propeller Health Raises $14.5 Million Series B Financing Led by Safeguard Scientifics

Madison, WI-based Propeller Health raises a $14.5 million Series B and hires Practice Fusion VP Chris Hogg as its COO. The company helps health systems manage their asthma and COPD populations through a rescue inhaler sensor that tracks medication usage, pushing the captured data to both a smartphone app for patients, and a population health dashboard for health systems.

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September 8, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 9/5/14

September 4, 2014 Headlines 1 Comment

After quitting tobacco, CVS makes its next health-care moves

CVS pulls tobacco from its shelves a month ahead of its published goal, cutting $2 billion in annual revenue in the process. The company will expand its Minute Clinics and pursue new payer and health system partnerships to compensate for the loss.

President Obama Names Megan Smith U.S. CTO, Alexander Macgillivray Deputy U.S. CTO

Megan Smith, former Google VP of new business development, replaces Todd Park as the new US CTO, while Alexander Macgillivray, Twitter’s former lead council, will assume the role of Deputy US CTO.

Cover Oregon needs Oracle’s help to avoid delays in federal health exchange transition

After Oracle and the state of Oregon sue each other over the failed Cover Oregon health insurance exchange, Oracle puts the brakes on efforts to move on by refusing to provide access to the servers and source code for the site. The impasse will likely compromise Oregon’s ability to launch a functional exchange before the start of the next open enrollment period on November 1.

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September 4, 2014 Headlines 1 Comment

Morning Headlines 9/4/14

September 3, 2014 Headlines 3 Comments

Task force taps the brakes on interoperability

During Wednesday’s Health IT Policy Committee meeting, members decide that a JASON report on health data interoperability that had been created to guide future policymaking is inadequate and overlooks the pressures on EHR vendors.

Google’s Calico, AbbVie forge deal against diseases of aging

Google’s Calico initiative to extend human life enters into a $500 million research agreement with US drugmaker AbbVie to help create life sciences research facilities in Silicon Valley, and then collaborate on drug development projects. Each business will contribute $250 million initially, with the option of adding an additional $500 million over the lifetime of the partnership. The team will share both costs and profits equally as new drugs are developed and marketed.

Groups press FDA to encourage medical-device registries

Pew Charitable Trusts, the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, and the Science Infrastructure Center run by Weill Cornell Medical College are collectively calling on the FDA to create a medical device registry that would be tasked with post-market surveillance and capturing data for long-term research initiatives.

CMS finalizes auto-enrollment process for current Marketplace consumers

CMS publishes a final rule that will provide consumers who purchased their health insurance over an insurance exchange with a simple way of to renewing the plan.

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September 3, 2014 Headlines 3 Comments

Morning Headlines 9/3/14

September 2, 2014 Headlines 1 Comment

‘Find My iPhone’ exploit may be to blame for celebrity photo hacks

A long-known vulnerability within Apple’s Find My iPhone portal allowed hackers to gain access to the login details of dozens of celebrities’ iCloud accounts, ultimately leading to the exposure of hundreds of nude photos. The embarrassing security lapse comes just ahead of Apple’s planned roll out of HealthKit, a service that Apple will use to store and share personal health data.

U.S. Digital Services Playbook

The newly created US Digital Services group publishes its Digital Services Playbook for public comments. The playbook outlines 13 best practices borrowed from private industry that will become the standard operating procedure for future government IT projects.

Failure to join up medical records ‘is a health risk’, says GP chief inspector

In England, the chief inspector for primary care doctors calls the country’s lack of integration between primary and acute care EHR systems a health risk. He proposes giving patients unrestricted access to their own primary care EHRs as a potential solution.

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September 2, 2014 Headlines 1 Comment

Morning Headlines 9/2/14

September 1, 2014 Headlines No Comments

CHIME Statement on Finalization of Meaningful Use ‘Modifications’ Rule

CHIME publishes a statement calling the decision to mandate a 365-day reporting period for 2015 attestations deeply disappointing, going on to say that as a result “the very future of Meaningful Use is in question.”

Providers see little enthusiasm to join Pioneer ACOs

While federal officials debate expanding recruitment efforts for Medicare’s Pioneer ACO model, existing Pioneer ACO executives are speaking out over the logic of such a decision, explaining that “Organizations are not gravitating toward the Pioneer ACO model because the downside risk is not outweighed by the opportunity for economic gain—the business case is not compelling.”

Doctors Use Canadian Technology to Tackle Prescription Drug Crisis

In Canada, physicians are using a government-funded opioid management toolkit made by CognisantMD to help combat the increased prevalence of prescription drug abuse and opioid overdoses.

Taking the pulse of Beaumont Health hospital merger

Crain’s covers the formation of Beaumont Health, an eight-hospital health system that will finalize its formation this week. While the merger is imminent, key strategic decisions are still unresolved. One consultant explains “The new organization officially goes online Sept. 1, and none of the executives know what their jobs will be”

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September 1, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 9/1/14

August 31, 2014 Headlines No Comments

New CMS rule allows flexibility in certified EHR technology for 2014

CMS publishes a final rule that will delay the start of MU Stage 3 until 2017, but does little to help providers and hospitals still struggling to meet Stage 2 requirements.

Hundreds of blood tests to be re-checked after computer crash at hospital

In Ireland, Cork University Hospital will have to redraw and rerun hundreds of blood tests after an IT failure leads to the loss of the original test results.

More Data to Be Withheld from Database of Physician Payments

CMS reports that additional data will be withheld from the Open Payments platform set to go live September 30. Payment data stemming from research grants made by pharmaceutical companies to doctors through intermediaries, such as contract research organizations, will be suppressed until doctors have time to verify or dispute the reported payment data.

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August 31, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 8/29/14

August 28, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Apple prohibits HealthKit app developers from selling health data

Apple has updated its privacy policy to prohibit developers that connect to its HealthKit API from selling health data to marketers. The announcement comes on the heels of rumors that Apple will finally unveil the iWatch during its upcoming September 9 marketing event.

Google’s Smith Is Top Candidate for U.S. Chief Technology Officer

The VP of Google’s secretive X labs is rumored to be a top candidate for next US CTO position, replacing Todd Park who recently announced that he would be moving on.

Greenway Collaborates with Walgreens to Deploy Nation’s Largest Pharmacy EHR System, Furthering Care Coordination Across Drugstore Chain

Greenway has completed its implementation of Walgreen’s pharmacy EHR, the largest centralized pharmacy EHR system ever deployed.

Making Science Fiction a Science Reality: 10 Finalist Teams Selected For $10 Million Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE

Qualcomm has unveiled the final 10 teams in its $10 million tricorder XPRIZE competition.

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August 28, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 8/28/14

August 28, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Medtronic Buys NGC Medical To Expand Hospital-Services Offerings

Medtronic acquires Italian-based hospital services firm NGC Medical for $350 million. NGC Medical will be integrated into Medtronic’s hospital managed-services business.

Federal auditors sought documents related to troubled Md. health exchange launch

Auditos from HHS’s Office of the Inspector General are investigating the now fired Noridian Healthcare Solutions over fraud allegations surrounding the failed health insurance exchange it was contracted to develop for Maryland.

NIH issues finalized policy on genomic data sharing

The National Institutes of Health issues its final policy on genomic data sharing. The new policy will apply to all NIH-funded projects that generate genetic data.

Twitter helps Chicago find sources of food poisoning

Health officials within the Chicago Department of Public Health are using aggregated Twitter feed data to identify restaurants causing food poisoning in the city.

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August 28, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 8/27/14

August 27, 2014 Headlines 1 Comment

DoD Takes Next Step in Modernizing Electronic Health Records

The Defense Department issues an $11 billion RFP for its next generation EHR. The RFP calls for initial field testing by the end of 2016.

There’s finally someone in charge of HealthCare.gov

CMS names Kevin Counihan to the newly created CEO of Healthcare.gov position. Counihan was previously the chief executive of Connecticut’s largely successful health insurance exchange.

VA Takes Next Step to Modernize Scheduling System

The VA announces that it will issue an RFP for a new medical appointment scheduling system by the end of September, one of many corrective actions being put in place following the VA’s recent off-the-books scheduling scandal.

In Indiana, state government tries using big data project to reduce infant mortality

Indiana will spend $9.1 million to implement SAP’s data analytics platform with goals of reducing its infant mortality rate from 7.7 to 6.89 deaths per 1,000 births.

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August 27, 2014 Headlines 1 Comment

Morning Headlines 8/26/14

August 25, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Assessing The Financial Impact Of 4.5 Million Stolen Health Records

Forbes looks back on prior data breaches to calculate the likely true cost that Community Health System will incur as a result of its recent 4.5 million-record data breach, pegging the total cost at between $75 million and $150 million.

No proof deaths caused by delay in care, VA says

After completing its assessment of scheduling improprieties at the Phoenix VA Health System, a VA inspector general’s report concludes that there is no evidence that the unethical delays in care directly contributed to preventable veterans deaths.

EMR Market Share by the Numbers: The Cerner/Siemens Acquisition, Part I

In the first of a two-part piece, KLAS covers the Cerner/Siemens acquisition and what it might mean for Cerner’s market share in the years ahead.

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August 25, 2014 Headlines No Comments

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Reader Comments

  • a patient too: Allen K - Well said!! Pre-visit price transparency should be at the top of that list. I cant think of how many time...
  • Allen K.: Mr. Biehle makes a lot of good points here, but I think some illustration might be valuable. Dignity and clear communic...
  • Cheryl Lappas: Great post....
  • Donald: I look forward to watching the Dim-Sum webinar after it is uploaded. I am also interested in hearing what industry veter...
  • Not in Monterey: Just what does this possible move by GE to get users off of Centricity mean for health systems that use GE/IDX for regis...

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