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Morning Headlines 5/26/15

May 25, 2015 Headlines No Comments

EHRA Recommends Changes To ONC’s Standards Advisory Proposal

The HIMSS EHR Association responds to ONC’s Standards Advisory Proposal, citing concerns that the newly established standards, and their intended uses, could be unintentionally misinterpreted without explicit clarifications.

America’s Health Rankings Senior Report

The United Health Foundation publishes a report on senior’s health, finding that preventable hospitalizations within this sub-group have dropped 6.8 percent since 2014, and 11 percent since 2013.

Why We Need Design Thinking In Healthcare

Deonard D’Avolio, PhD and Director of Informatics at Airadne Labs, a joint venture between Harvard School of Public Health and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, authors a piece in InformationWeek calling for better design in healthcare, rather than a re-engineering of systems and processes. He uses the recent debacle at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas in which an ER doctor missed the travel history of a patient with Ebola and sent him home, and argues that the systems being implemented work as designed, but the design is not always inline with clinical workflows or expectations.

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May 25, 2015 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 5/25/15

May 24, 2015 Headlines No Comments

Patterson: No intersection has ‘more potential than what we’re at’ — health care, IT

Cerner booked $4.25 billion in new sales in 2014, beating its previous record of $3.8 billion. The company also reports that it expects its Siemens acquisition to return $1 billion in revenue in 2015.

Thompson and Rangel Introduce Veterans E-Health & Telemedicine Support Act of 2015

Representatives Glenn Thompson (R- PA) and Charles Rangel (D-NY) introduce H.R. 2516, the Veterans E-Health and Telemedicine Support Act of 2015, which would expand access to telehealth services for veterans by authorizing VA clinicians to practice medicine across state lines without running afoul of state or local regulations.

Connecticut Senate adopts major health care changes

Connecticut’s state Senate has passed a bipartisan bill that funds the development of a health information exchange for the state, replacing its failed $4.3 million first attempt.

eQHealth Solutions Selected by Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing to Provide Medical Management Services

Colorado selects non-profit population health vendor eQHealth Solutions to provide solutions for Colorado’s Medicaid program.

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May 24, 2015 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 5/21/15

May 20, 2015 Headlines No Comments

CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield has been the target of a cyberattack

CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, which provides insurance to residents in Maryland and Washington DC, is the latest victim of a targeted cyberattack. The attack was carried out in June 2014 but was only just discovered during a system-wide security audit.  Hackers gained access to a total of 1.1 million patient records.

AHA recommends changes to 21st Century Cures interoperability provisions

In a letter to the House Energy and Commerce Committee, AHA Executive Vice President Rick Pollack expresses concerns over interoperability requirements outlined in the 21st Century Cures Act currently being debated in Congress, suggesting that instead of establishing information blocking penalties that could be applied to providers, which he calls duplicative, the bill simply funds the FTC to investigate and address anti-competitive information blocking practices among EHR vendors.

Health IT Standards Committee and Task Forces

ONC announces that it will sunset the Health IT Standards Committee’s permanent workgroups, replacing them with a series of time-limited task forces that will study and make recommendations on specific issues. The intent is to create a more agile HITSC and to increase public engagement by offering an opportunity to participate in smaller, less time-intensive projects.   

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May 20, 2015 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 5/20/15

May 19, 2015 Headlines No Comments

Allscripts layoffs to impact Raleigh headcount

Allscripts lays off 250 employees across its service, support, solutions management, sales, and G&A departments as part of a wider “rebalancing” effort. The layoffs were alluded to during the company’s Q1 earnings call and were reported via reader tips on HIStalk earlier in the month.

Welltok Acquires Leading Healthcare Analytics Company Predilytics

Population health vendor Welltok acquires Predilytics, an analytics company that uses machine learning to segment patients based on risk. Financial details were not disclosed.

Detecting Unplanned Care From Clinician Notes in Electronic Health Records

Researchers at Stanford University use natural language processing to analyze free-text clinical notes to detect patients with reported unplanned episodes of care at outside locations, increasing identification of patients with one or more unplanned care visits by 32 percent.

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May 19, 2015 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 5/19/15

May 18, 2015 Headlines 1 Comment

Interoperability Roadmap Public Comments

ONC publishes all of the public comments it received on its interoperability roadmap (PDF).

ICD-10 Transition Testing Proposed

Rep. Diane Black (R-TN) introduces the ICD-TEN Act, a bill that would introduce an 18-month period during which providers could submit claims in either ICD-9 or ICD-10 format, and during which CMS would be barred from denying claims due to inaccurate ICD-10 sub-coding.

Interstate telehealth licensing compact set to become reality

A compact drafted by the Federation of State Medical Boards that would allow providers to practice medicine across state lines looks likely to be enacted. The compact was written in an effort to ease regulatory barriers to broader telemedicine adoption. The compact required that seven states formally adopt it before it would become active.  Alabama has just passed legislation adopting the compact and as soon as the Alabama governor signs the bill into law, the compact will have met its seven-state requirement and will be enacted nationally.

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May 18, 2015 Headlines 1 Comment

Morning Headlines 5/18/15

May 17, 2015 Headlines No Comments

AMA Letter To Representative Ted Poe

The AMA sends a letter to Representative Ted Poe (R-TX) supporting his bill, Cutting Costly Codes Act of 2015, which would cancel the migration to ICD-10 completely, and instead instruct CMS to wait for the international adoption of ICD-11 in a few years. 

HealthCare.gov Contractor Optum Declares Its Job Done

Optum, the contractor tapped to rescue the failing Healthcare.gov site just after its troubled launch, announces that it will not bid to continue on in its role as senior administrator once its current contract expires. 

Can the state build a better system to get your medical records to your doctors?

Connecticut will reportedly scrap its state health information exchange after spending $4 million but failing to achieve its interoperability goals.

Population Health Management Weekly Wrap Up 5/15/15

Jenn publishes the third installment in her comprehensive weekly recap of the emerging population health management market.

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May 17, 2015 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 5/15/15

May 14, 2015 Headlines 1 Comment

vRad to be acquired by MEDNAX

vRad, an outsourced radiology and telemedicine services company, will be acquired by MEDNAX, Inc for $500 million. MEDNAX is a national medical group specializing in anesthesia, maternal, neonatal and pediatric specialties.

McKesson (MCK) John H. Hammergren on Q4 2015 Results – Earnings Call Transcript

In its 2015 year end earnings call, McKesson CEO John Hammergren reports that the company’s Technology Solutions business revenue was down eight percent, to $3.8 billion, driven by anticipated declines in hospital software sales.

Here’s A Radical Approach To Big Hospital Bills: Set Your Own Price

NPR Shots covers ELAP Services, a benefits consulting firm that helps employers negotiate lower hospital bills by calculating the actual cost of services provided and then adding a reasonable profit margin.

New Company Announces Revolutionary Approach to Scribe Services in Healthcare, Finalist Spot on TiE50 Top Start-Up List

Skywriter MD launches to provide physician practices with remote scribes that listen in on exams through a microphone and navigate the physicians EHR through a remote connection. The scribes also document the encounter and enter any orders or prescriptions referenced during the visit. At the end of the session, the physician reviews the work and signs off on the chart.

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May 14, 2015 Headlines 1 Comment

Morning Headlines 5/14/15

May 13, 2015 Headlines No Comments

Stiff Interoperability penalties in new 21st Century Cures Act

The revised 21st Century Cures Act was introduced in Congress today, and the new changes included funding to develop metrics to quantify and report on the exact state of interoperability available between EHR systems today, and then report on whether each EHR vendor was in compliance with new interoperability certification criteria that would go into effect in 2018.

Meaningful Use Stage 3 NPRM Comments

At Tuesday’s Health IT Policy Committee meeting, four workgroups shared comments on the Stage 3 MU proposed rule, with three of the four expressing some form of concern over the increases to the view, download, or transmit requirement.

Patients six to ten times more likely to get HPV vaccine after electronic health record prompts

Researchers with the University of Michigan find that pediatric patients are three times more likely to start the three-dose series of HPV vaccinations, and are 10 times more likely to complete them, if their pediatrician receives EHR alerts reminding them to start or continue the regimen.

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May 13, 2015 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 5/13/15

May 12, 2015 Headlines 1 Comment

Health Information Companies HealthPort and IOD Incorporated to Merge

HealthPort and IOD, both health information management vendors, will merge, creating a single company with a combined revenue of $450 million and a customer base of 18,000 health care facilities in the US.

McKesson Reports Fiscal 2015 Fourth-Quarter and Full-Year Results

McKesson reports Q4 and FY2015 year end results: full-year revenue up 30 percent  to $179 billion. Q4 revenue up 19 percent to $4 billion, adjusted Q4EPS $2.94 vs. $2.71, beating expectation on both.

New machine could one day replace anesthesiologists

The Washington Post reports on an FDA-approved anesthesia machine that can automate sedation and could one day replace the need for an anesthesiologist when performing routine procedures.  An Anesthesiologists’ fee for sedation during a colonoscopy averages $2,000, but the machine can perform the same task for just $200.

An end-to-end hybrid algorithm for automated medication discrepancy detection

A study evaluating the use of natural language processing and machine learning algorithms to support medication reconciliation processes found that by analyzing notes and prior prescription lists within the patient chart, the algorithms were able to increase accuracy and reduce manual labor.

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May 12, 2015 Headlines 1 Comment

Morning Headlines 5/12/15

May 11, 2015 Headlines No Comments

Core Functionality in Pediatric Electronic Health Records

AHRQ publishes a report calling for pediatric-specific functionality to be included in EHRs, including more advanced medication ordering tools, immunization tracking systems, and data sharing between family member records.

IBM’s Watson to guide cancer therapies at 14 centers

14 cancer institutes across the US and Canada will use IBM’s Watson computer to help oncologists create cancer treatment plans based on a  tumors genetic.

US attorney subpoenas records related to Health Connector

The federal government has subpoenaed records related to the Massachusetts health insurance exchange following a failed go-live that resulted in the site being scrapped and a new site being built. Federal investigators have not yet disclosed why the records were requested or whether an investigation is underway.

Experts Criticize World Health Organization’s ‘Slow’ Ebola Outbreak Response

An independent report criticizes the WHOs response to the Ebola outbreak, saying the organization failed to seek outside support in a timely manner and claiming that there is “strong, if not complete, consensus that WHO does not have a robust emergency operations capacity or culture.”

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May 11, 2015 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 5/11/15

May 10, 2015 Headlines 2 Comments

The revolution will be digitized

The Washington Post analyzes the emerging wearables market, the data-tracking consumers driving the increased demand, and the critics that say the “worried well generation” is collecting data that is not necessarily useful or accurate, and that over-monitoring introduces a host of new problems.

Cerner (CERN) Q1 2015 Results – Earnings Call Transcript

Cerner shares drop 4.5 percent on Friday after reporting lower than forecasted Q1 earnings and reducing Q2 expectations. On its earnings call, Cerner CFO Marc Naughton explains that the $50 million shortfall on projected revenue was a result of missed targets within both the Cerner and Siemens business lines.

Allscripts Healthcare Solutions (MDRX) Paul M. Black on Q1 2015 Results – Earnings Call Transcript

Allscripts hosts its Q1 earnings call, in which CFO Richard Poulton explains that the company missed both revenue and EPS projections for the quarter in part because its professional services bookings were down and client service margins were down because anticipated work to support New York’s eRx initiative never materialized.

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May 10, 2015 Headlines 2 Comments

Morning Headlines 5/8/15

May 7, 2015 Headlines No Comments

Cerner Reports First Quarter 2015 Results

Cerner reports Q1 results: revenue climbed 27 percent to $784 million, adjusted EPS $0.45 vs. $0.37. Revenue came in below Cerner’s Q1 forecast, due to lower than expected revenue across both its existing business and its new Siemens business.

Allscripts Announces First Quarter 2015 Results

Allscripts reports Q1 results: revenue was down two percent, at $335 million, adjusted EPS $0.08 vs. $0.07, missing expectations on both.

Are bungled VA claims systemic? Senators want agency review

The VA’s notorious claims processing system is back in the headlines. The VA reports that the claims backlog currently stands at 161,00, down from its peak of 611,000 in March 2013, but a VA inspector general review uncovered doctored data at five of the 10 worst performing claims processing centers. Now, a bipartisan group of senators is calling for a wide-scale, GAO-led review of all 56 regional VA claims processing offices.

Meaningful Use Stage 2 E-Prescribing Threshold and Adverse Drug Events in the Medicare Part D Population with Diabetes

A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association compares medication error rates between handwritten and electronically generated prescriptions and finds that e-prescribing was associated with fewer adverse drug events. The study also found that e-prescribing increased the number of prescriptions that make it to the pharmacy by 12%, and increased the number of prescriptions picked up by the patients by 10%.

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May 7, 2015 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 5/7/15

May 7, 2015 Headlines No Comments

Dr. Karen DeSalvo to leave ONC if confirmed for new HHS post

Karen DeSalvo has been nominated for the permanent position of assistant secretary for health, a role she has held as interim along with her National Coordinator position since October 2014.

Dramatic results for Banner Health’s telehealth pilot

Banner Health announces that it has reduced its hospitalizations by 45 percent, and its cost of care by 27 percent through its new telehealth pilot with Intensive Ambulatory Care pilot program.

Lack of Impact of Electronic Health Records on Quality of Care and Outcomes for Ischemic Stroke

A study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology designed to measure any correlation between improved ischemic stroke outcomes and the use of EHRs finds no such correlation.

FDA launches UDI database website

Three years after Congress called for medical devices to be tracked with unique identifiers, the FDA has launched a website where consumers can look up information on devices sold in the US by its unique ID.

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May 7, 2015 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 5/6/15

May 5, 2015 Headlines No Comments

Cognizant Earnings Top, Fueled By TriZetto Buy

Cognizant reports Q1 results: revenue up 20 percent to $2.9 billion, EPS $0.62 vs. $0.57, beating analyst estimates on both. The company’s stock price climbed 10.8 percent, to a record high $65.55, following the results.

Imprivata Achieves Revenue Growth of 32% for the First Quarter of 2015 and Raises Annual Guidance

Imprivata reports Q1 results: revenue up 32 percent to $25 million but still resulted in an overall net loss of $6.7 million, EPS –$0.28 vs. –$2.29, beating expectations for both.

Overkill: An avalanche of unnecessary medical care is harming patients physically and financially. What can we do about it?

In a New Yorker piece, Atul Gawande, MD discusses the tendency to overtreat patients in the US, citing a study suggesting that, every year, at least 25 percent of Medicare patients receive high-cost tests that are well known to be wasteful.

Apple Has Plans for Your DNA

Apple will begin offering DNA testing to some iPhone owners to support current and future ResearchKit initiatives. UCSF and Mount Sinai Hospital are planning ResearchKit-based studies that involve DNA testing.

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May 5, 2015 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 5/5/15

May 4, 2015 Headlines No Comments

Imprivata Acquires HT Systems to Expand its Authentication and Access Management Platform to Patients

Imprivata acquires HT Systems, a palm-vein based biometrics vendor focused on the patient identification market, for $19.1 million in cash and $6.9 million in potential performance bonuses scheduled to be paid out over the next two years.

Athenahealth Looking Like A Very Unhealthy Stock

Forbes contributor David Trainer forecasts additional losses for athenahealth stock , citing slowing revenue and after-tax profit growth, and a 35 percent decline in stock value since its peak in February 2014.

Why Your Next Doctor’s Visit Might Be Through An iPhone

Telehealth vendor American Well launches a new telemedicine application designed to help doctors provide telehealth services to just their own local patients. The new app is designed to help doctors working through regulatory restrictions on remote consultations.

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May 4, 2015 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 5/4/15

May 3, 2015 Headlines No Comments

Former HealthCare.gov IT program manager Chao retires from CMS

Henry Chao, CMS deputy director of the Office of Information Services and program manager of the troubled Healthcare.gov rollout, retires after 21 years of government service.

Almost half of Obamacare exchanges face financial struggles in the future

The Washington Post reports that nearly half of the 17 state-run health insurance exchanges are struggling financially. Some are considering increasing fees imposed on insurers, while others looking into cost sharing arrangements with other states or shutting down completely and migrating exchange services to Healthcare.gov.

athenahealth’s (ATHN) CEO Jonathan Bush on Q1 2015 Results – Earnings Call Transcript

Athenahealth hosts its Q1 earnings call, with CEO Jonathan Bush providing his own style of commentary on the company’s recent performance and projects. This quarter the company added 2,300 providers, and sold a number of new inpatient systems through its recently acquired EHR RazorInsights.

Erlanger Chooses Epic Software For New $100 Million Electronic Medical Records System; CEO Judy Faulkner To Visit Chattanooga

Erlanger Health System chooses Epic as its next EHR vendor, beating out Cerner as the other finalist. The system will be implemented over a two-year period and will cost $100 million.

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May 3, 2015 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 5/1/15

April 30, 2015 Headlines 1 Comment

Medicare Provider Utilization and Payment Data: Part D Prescriber

CMS publishes a new dataset containing Medicare Part D prescription details for 2013, representing $103 billion in drug costs.

athenahealth, Inc. Reports First Quarter Fiscal Year 2015 Results

Athenahealth publishes its Q1 results: revenue is up 27 percent to $206 million, adjusted EPS $0.24 vs. $0.12. Epocrates-related earnings remained flat at $10 million. Athena shares are up 20 percent over the past year.

Former hospital CFO ordered to pay $4.4 million restitution

The CFO of a small network of rural Texas hospitals is ordered to pay back the $4.4 million in payments his hospital received after fraudulently attesting to MU Stage 1. He is also facing criminal charges that could result in up to seven years in jail.

Premier statement for the record on 21st Century Cures legislation (PDF) 

Premier applauds the legislative work being undertaken by the House as it drafts the 21st Century Cures bill, and lobbies for increased interoperability requirements through a unique patient identifier, national interoperability standards, and APIs. Premier calls on ONC to include the requirements in its EHR certification criteria.

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April 30, 2015 Headlines 1 Comment

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