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Morning Headlines 5/9/17

May 9, 2017 Headlines No Comments

FBI Director Invites Hospitals to Reach Out to His Agency

Addressing hospital executives at the annual AHA meeting, FBI Director James Comey calls on executives to report all instances of cyberattacks, explaining, “we have to convince you to talk to us. We will treat you as what you are — as victims. We will explain to you what will happen to any information you give us; we will be open and honest with you.”

GOP Sen. Susan Collins Says Senate Will ‘Start From Scratch’ on Health Care Bill

Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) says that the Senate will not take up a vote on the House passed AHCA, and will instead start from scratch and write its own legislation.

Mental health leader Thomas Insel is leaving Alphabet’s Verily

Former director of the National Institute of Mental Health, Thomas Insel, MD announces that he is leaving Verily, Alphabet’s life science business. Insel was developing technology that could be used to combat anxiety and depression.

The Internet Is Making Us Lose Trust In Our Doctors

A recent study links exposure to online symptom checker data with a decreased  confidence in a physician’s diagnosis, concluding that “prior exposure to information can ‘prime’ a parent to have a unique bias,” which can damage the doctor patient relationship and alter the care pathway.

Morning Headlines 5/8/17

May 7, 2017 Headlines No Comments

Warren Buffett, at Berkshire Meeting, Condemns Republican Health Care Bill

Warren Buffet comments on the recent House passage of AHCA, saying the bill amounted to “a huge tax cut for guys like me.” He also said rising health care costs, rather than high taxes, were the biggest drag on American businesses.

VA chief talks commercial Vista

Describing longstanding VA and DoD EHR interoperability issues, Rep. Thomas Rooney (R-Fla.) tells VA Secretary David Shulkin “You could be the best VA secretary of all time if you solve this one problem,” to which Shulkin agreed and affirmed that he would either replace VistA with a COTS EHR or hand development work over to a private firm, explaining "VA has to get out of the business of being a software developer. This is not our core competency, and I don’t see how it serves veterans.

Big Mega HIT Purchasing Report

A Reaction Data health IT purchasing report notes that inpatient and ambulatory EHR systems sit at the top of the shopping list for healthcare executives, followed by telemedicine solutions, patient engagement solutions, and MACRA implementation services.

Allscripts Healthcare Solutions (MDRX) Q1 2017 Results – Earnings Call Transcript

Allscripts Q1 earnings call affirms its positive Q1 results, noting a 13 percent increase in quarterly bookings, and announcing that it anticipates being accepted into the UK’s London Procurement Program, a sign of potential growth overseas.

Morning Headlines 5/5/17

May 4, 2017 Headlines No Comments

What’s in the AHCA: The Major Provisions of the Republican Health Bill

The House passes the American Health Care Act in a 217-213 vote. The ACA replacement bill will now head to the Senate for debate.

Allscripts Healthcare Solutions, Inc. (MDRX)

Allscripts reports Q1 results: revenue climbed 20 percent to $413 million, adjusted EPS $0.13 vs. $0.13.

Doctor On Demand Announces Lab Testing Services to Provide Patients Better Everyday Care

Direct-to-consumer telehealth vendor Doctor On Demand partners with both LabCorp and Quest Diagnostic. The partnership will give Doctor On Demand providers a way of ordering diagnostic tests that consumers can have run locally.

The world’s most valuable resource is no longer oil, but data

The Economist argues that data has surpassed oil as the world’s most valuable resource, and calls for antitrust actions against the technology giants that control the vast majority of data flow.

Morning Headlines 5/4/17

May 3, 2017 Headlines 3 Comments

US Hospital EMR Market Share 2017

KLAS publishes its 2017 report on EMR market share finding, not surprisingly, that Epic and Cerner lead, with a fairly even split of 25.8 percent and 24.6 percent respectively, followed by Meditech with 16.6 percent.

Statement of the Honorable David J. Shulkin, Secretary of Veterans Affairs

VA Secretary David Shulkin testifies before members of the House Appropriations Committee noting that the agency will make a decision on whether to implement a commercial EHR or continue with VistA by July 2017.

Growing Insurance Coverage Did Not Reduce Access To Care For The Continuously Insured

A Health Affairs study concludes that the increased insurance coverage brought about by ACA did not impact access to care for those that were already insured.

Genomic Testing and Precision Medicine in Cancer Care

A Medscape survey of 132 medical oncologists and hematologists finds that most patients do not benefit from genetic testing because results rarely point to evidence-based, clinically actionable changes to a treatment plan. Despite this, 61 percent of respondents still believe the tests are useful.

Morning Headlines 5/3/17

May 2, 2017 Headlines 3 Comments

University Hospitals struck by computer outage

University Hospitals (OH) is working through a network outage that began Monday. Details surrounding the cause of the outage have not yet been disclosed.

Cancer patients in limbo as five hospitals suffer ‘major’ IT crash

In England, five major NHS trusts have started cancelling chemotherapy treatments and surgeries after widespread failures within radiology, PACS, dictation, and chemotherapy systems.

Demystifying Patient Matching Algorithms

ONC announces a $75,000 challenge soliciting patient matching algorithms.

Baptist Memorial and Mississippi Baptist Merge

Baptist Memorial Health Care (TN) and Baptist Health Systems (MS) complete their merger, creating a 21-hospital not-for-profit health system.

Morning Headlines 5/2/17

May 1, 2017 Headlines 12 Comments

How science fares in the US budget deal

Congress passes a bi-partisan budge that will fund the government through the end of the fiscal year on September 30, including a 6 percent bump in NIH funding, and additional funding earmarked to establish a telehealth center of excellence.

Vanderbilt is a case study for the dreaded EHR conversion

Modern Healthcare profiles Epic’s $214 million implementation at Vanderbilt University Medical Center as it prepares for its November go-live.

VA partners with Department of Energy on big-data initiative to improve health care for Veterans

The VA is partnering with the Department of Energy to develop supercomputing capabilities that will analyze health and genomic data to help the VA improve its suicide prevention programs.

Cleveland Clinic CEO Toby Cosgrove talks about his decision to step down, time at the helm: Q&A

Cleveland Clinic CEO Toby Cosgrove announces that he will retire from his position by the end of the year.

Morning Headlines 5/1/17

May 1, 2017 Headlines No Comments

Athenahealth (ATHN) Q1 2017 Results – Earnings Call Transcript

Athenahealth shares fall 20 percent in trading Friday following its report of Q1 results. In its earnings call, CFO Karl Stubelis said that lower than anticipated claims and collections volumes, more aggressive sales promotions, and slower on boarding of clients were the primary drivers of revenue falling below expectation.

Meditech 10-Q

Meditech reports Q1 results: revenue remained flat at $117 million, EPS $0. vs. $0.51. Net income has dropped 23 percent compared to the same period last year, while dividends paid  per share has remained level.

Cerner (CERN) Q1 2017 Results – Earnings Call Transcript

On Cerner’s Q1 earnings call, CFO Marc Naughton reports that strong software license sales and technology resale drove its quarterly revenue up 11 percent to $1.26 billion.

U. Health Care CEO Vivian Lee resigns after cancer institute controversy

University of Utah Health Care System CEO Vivan Lee resigns following an incident in which she fired the director of the health system’s cancer institute via email. Lee has also been caught in the fallout from a recent STAT news investigation on NantHealth exposing questionable donations coming from Patrick Soon-Shiong, MD, passing through University of Utah Health Care System, and then almost entirely returning to NantHealth.

Morning Headlines 4/28/17

April 27, 2017 Headlines No Comments

Medication Safety

Leapfrog Group publishes safety results on electronic bedside medication administration, finding that while 98 percent of hospitals have software in place to support electronic medication administration, only 30 percent fully utilize the technology.

Greenway Health Reports Criminal Cyber Attack Affecting Certain Customers

Greenway Health is hit with a ransomware attack impacting users of its cloud-hosted Intergy platform. The company says it plans to restore client data from backups.

Cerner Reports First Quarter 2017 Results

Cerner reports Q1 results: revenue climbed 11 percent to $1.26 billion, adjusted EPS $0.59 vs. $0.53, beating analyst expectations for both.

Wanted: Feedback on Ways to Measure the Implementation and Use of Interoperability Standards

ONC solicits feedback on its proposed interoperability standards.

Morning Headlines 4/27/17

April 26, 2017 Headlines 3 Comments

The MacArthur Amendment Language, Race In The Federal Exchange, And Risk Adjustment Coefficients

Health Affair’s Tim Jost, JD reviews the new AHCA amendment proposed that has won the support of the GOP Freedom Caucus, substantially improving its chance of passing both chambers of Congress.

CMS notifying clinicians of MIPS participation status

CMS announces that by the end of May it will send letters to practices to notify them that they are required to participate in MIPS in 2017.

Sepsis Solutions Are Saving Lives and Enabling Better Care, According to New KLAS Report

In a small survey, KLAS reviews sepsis surveillance solutions marketed by major EHR vendors and niche surveillance vendors. 69 percent of respondents reported improved outcomes, with some reporting up to a 50 percent drop in mortality.

Prize-Winning DxtER “Tricorder” Makes a Public Appearance With Tech Legend Steve Wozniak

Basil Harris, MD, the team leader of Qualcomm Tricorder X-Prize first place winner Final Frontier Medical Devices, demonstrates his team’s Tricorder design to Steve Wozniak at the 2nd annual Silicon Valley Comic Con.

Morning Headlines 4/26/17

April 25, 2017 Headlines No Comments

USCG Electronic Health Record Acquisition RFI

The Coast Guard issues an RFP soliciting bids for an EHR that will integrate with both the DoD and the VA. The Coast Guard abandoned its 2015 Leidos-run Epic installation without going live anywhere.

Mayo Clinic Health Information Offered Through Epic Patient Apps

Epic partners with Mayo Clinic to offer patient’s health information within its MyChart and MyChart Bedside apps.

Erlanger reports solid earnings for third quarter

Erlanger Health System reports strong Q3 results, but warns that the $100 million Epic implementation, which begins May 1, will impact future revenues.

Former NFL Player, Myron Rolle, To Start Neurosurgery Residency at Harvard

Former Tennessee Titans defensive back Myron Rolle has earned a medical degree from Florida State University College of Medicine following and recently announced that he has been matched to Harvard medical School, where he will start his neurosurgery residency program.

Morning Headlines 4/25/17

April 24, 2017 Headlines No Comments

$2.5 million settlement shows that not understanding HIPAA requirements creates risk

OCR announces a $2.5 million HIPAA settlement with remote mobile monitoring vendor CardioNet after a stolen laptop exposed 1,391 patient records. During its investigation, OCR found that CardioNet never implemented finalized policies on safeguarding ePHI.

AHIMA Letter to Congress

AHIMA sends a letter to ranking members of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education lobbying for sufficient ONC funding to allow the office to meet expanded obligations established under the 21st Century Cures Act.

HHS to stand up its own version of the NCCIC for health

HHS announces that it will form the Health Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center, which will work to educate healthcare organizations and consumers about cyber threats and data security.

Prescription monitoring program stalls in Legislature

The future of Missouri’s prescription drug monitoring program is once again uncertain after the Missouri House rejects the most recent version of the bill after several new amendments were added, one limiting the type of drugs monitored and another defining how long patient records would be kept. Missouri’s bill is now at a standstill, leaving it the only state without a PDMP.

Morning Headlines 4/24/17

April 23, 2017 Headlines No Comments

Surgeon general dismissed, replaced by Trump administration

US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, MD is fired and replaced by Rear Admiral Sylvia Trent-Adams, who is the current Deputy Surgeon General.

The Mumps Programming Language

The MUMPS programming language catches the attention of Hacker News, with 178 comments discussing its peculiarities and its use at Meditech and Epic.

Theranos Secretly Bought Outside Lab Gear and Ran Fake Tests, Court Filings Allege

A lawsuit filed by former investors accuses Theranos of setting up a shell company to secretly buy commercial lab test equipment.

ECMC, hit by cyberattack, continues massive task of restoring computer functions

Erie County Medical Center (NY) continues to operate on paper as it works to restore network services after a cyberattack on April 9.

Morning Headlines 4/21/17

April 20, 2017 Headlines No Comments

Secretary Price Announces HHS Strategy for Fighting Opioid Crisis

HHS Secreatry Tom Price, MD announces $485 million in funding that will be made available to all 50 states fund efforts to combat the opioid epidemic.

Tanium exposed hospital’s internal network in product demos

Cybersecurity company Tanium puts its own client’s network at risk by using an installation of its software at El Camino Hospital (CA) to do product demonstrations for two years without permission, revealing server and computer names, employee information, and real-time security vulnerabilities during the demonstrations.

Using telephony data to facilitate discovery of clinical workflows

National Coordinator for Health IT Don Rucker, MD publishes a paper suggesting that analyzing telecommunication activity within healthcare settings may help developers target clinical workflows in need of redesign.

How technology supports accurate risk adjusting for Medicare ACOs

The Advisory Board Company EVP Jon Kontor, MD offers a primer on how to optimize EHRs to be able to better manage clinical and financial risks within value-based payment models.

Direct to Consumer Digital Medical Devices – A Cautionary Tale for Entrepreneurs

Venture Valkerie offers a warning to entrepreneurs considering a direct-to-consumer approach to medical device sales.

Morning Headlines 4/20/17

April 19, 2017 Headlines No Comments

Innovative EHR Platform Brings 11,000 True-life Cases to Med Ed

AMA introduces a web-based EHR training tool developed by Regenstrief Institute that uses records from 11,000 de-identified patients with built-in medical histories going back as far as 40 years. The EHR training platform includes functionality based on Meaningful Use Stage 2 certification criteria so that the workflows will be similar to what residents will see in a hospital setting.

Alphabet will track health data of 10,000 volunteers to ‘create a map of human health’

Alphabet’s life sciences business Verily launches its Project Baseline initiative, a 4-year project aimed at creating a database that will be used to look for early warning indicators for a variety of illnesses. The project will sequence the genomes of 10,000 volunteers and then use an activity tracker to monitor participant’s sleep, activity, heart rate, and other health metrics over the next four years.

Social networks push runners to run further and faster than their friends

A study published in Nature finds that sharing exercise activity over social networks does have a positive influence on the exercise habits of friends.

Health Insurers Make Case for Subsidies, but Get Little Assurance From Administration

At a Tuesday meeting with White House officials, health insurance lobbyists and executives seeking assurances that subsidies would continue to be paid for low-income consumers buying individual marketplace plans, a step seen as critical to stabilizing the individual markets, were given no assurances and were instead told to take the matter up with Congress.

Morning Headlines 4/19/17

April 18, 2017 Headlines No Comments

Theranos Reaches Resolution with Centers For Medicare & Medicaid Services

Theranos settles its ongoing legal battles with CMS over unsafe practices at its Newark and California labs, agreeing that it will not own or operate a clinical laboratory for the next two years in exchange for reduced monetary penalties.

Arizona Attorney General Reaches Settlement With Theranos

Theranos also settles its legal battles with Arizona Attorney General, agreeing to issue a full refund to all 175,000 Arizona residents who received Theranos blood tests.

Increasing Access to Care for Phoenix Veterans

The Phoenix VA Medical Center will partner with CVS to expand coverage locations to include local MinuteClinics.

Cardinal Health’s $6.1 billion deal for Medtronic unit ignites debt concerns

Cardinal Health announces that it will acquire Medtronic’s Patient Care, Deep Vein Thrombosis and Nutritional Insufficiency businesses for $6.1 billion in cash.

Morning Headlines 4/18/17

April 17, 2017 Headlines 2 Comments

Hospital Inpatient Prospective Payment Systems for Acute Care Hospitals and Proposed Policy Changes and Fiscal Year 2018 Rates

A new rule proposed by CMS would relax CQM reporting requirements for eligible hospitals.

Cerner Tops Shortlist of Vendors to Replace VA’s Outdated EHR

A Black Book report evaluating Epic, Cerner, Allscripts, Meditech, and Athenahealth says Cerner is the best EHR vendor to replace VistA within the Department of Veterans Affairs.

HCA Previews 2017 First Quarter Results

HCA reports Q1 results: revenue climbed to $10.6 billion compared to $10.2 billion in Q1 of 2016, however net income dropped from $694 million to $659 million over the same time period, EPS $1.74 vs. $1.69. Revenue and net income missed analyst estimates, sending share prices down 3.6 percent Monday.

An informatics-based approach to reducing heart failure all-cause readmissions: the Stanford heart failure dashboard

A JAMIA study on dashboard-based support tools aimed at reducing 30-day all-cause readmissions for heart failure finds that readmission rates were pushed downward from a 14 percent baseline to 10.1percent after the implementation of dashboards.

Morning Headlines 4/17/17

April 16, 2017 Headlines No Comments

Electronic POLST Puts End-of-Life Wishes in the Patient’s Hands

In New Jersey, a program is being launched to move the documentation of end-of-life care decisions off of paper and onto a state-wide database that will integrate with EHR systems in use across the state’s hospitals.

RWJBarnabas CISO Rethinks Cybersecurity for Age of Connected Medical Devices

The Wall Street Journal profiles RWJBarnabas (NJ) CISO Hussein Syed and his approach to maintaining the network security across his organization’s 12 hospitals, 250  clinics, and 75,000 devices.

Where medical marijuana, health IT, and personalized medicine may intersect

The Advisory Board outlines the implication medical marijuana legalization is having on care delivery, and the potential role health IT will have in educating providers on the appropriate strains, dosages, and methods of ingestion.

A Boy’s Life Is Lost to Sepsis. Thousands Are Saved in His Wake

The New York Times reviews 5-year results from a program in New York State aimed at improving early detection of sepsis in hospitals. The program has resulted in a 21 percent decline in mortality among adults, but showed no decline in pediatric mortality.

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