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Morning Headlines 11/2/16

November 1, 2016 Headlines No Comments

CMS Finalizes Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System Changes to Better Support Hospitals and Physicians and Improve Patient Care

CMS reduces the reporting period for the 2017 EHR Incentive Program to 90 days.

Cerner Reports Third Quarter 2016 Results

The company misses expectations for both revenue and earnings.

Meditech Form 10-Q

Meditech announces Q3 results in which revenue dropped 7 percent, but EPS jumped from $0.37 to $0.68 mostly due to reduced costs.

Business of the American Medical Association House of Delegates 2016 Interim Meeting

The AMA will consider policies that address information blocking, EHR vendor interfacing fees, and the cost of EHR conversions in its meeting in Orlando November 12-15.

Morning Headlines 11/1/16

October 31, 2016 Headlines No Comments

Red Cross Blood Service data breach: personal details of 550,000 blood donors leaked

In Australia,the personal information of 550,000 blood donors is exposed after a web developer working for the Red Cross inadvertently leaves an unsecured file with the information into the Internet.

Fall 2016 Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grades Out Now

The Leapfrog Group publishes its 2016 Hospital Safety Grades, ranking patient safety across 2,600 US hospitals.

Appeals court revives FTC’s bid to block Advocate/NorthShore merger

The FTC wins an appeal to block the merger of Illinois-based Advocate Health Care and NorthShore University Health System.

Morning Headlines 10/31/16

October 30, 2016 Headlines No Comments

Why McKesson Corporation Shares Fell 23% In A Day

McKesson shares drop 23 percent following a poor Q2 financial report and lowered earnings guidance for 2017.

Athenahealth lays off more than 100 in restructuring effort

Athenahealth eliminates 150 jobs in San Francisco and Atlanta as it consolidates its R&D functions.

Nanaimo MDs offered extra pay to stick with controversial software

In Canada, Nanaimo Regional General Hospital is offering physicians extra money to keep using its recently implemented Cerner system to compensate for “the extra burden the new electronic health record has placed on many physicians during the roll-out phase of IHealth.”

Healthcare IT Trends in the UK — Who’s Winning & Losing | 2016

A Peer60 survey of hospital executives in the UK reveals a high level of concern over physician and nursing staffing shortages.

Morning Headlines 10/28/16

October 27, 2016 Headlines 1 Comment

McKesson Reports Fiscal 2017 Second-Quarter Results and Revised Fiscal 2017 Outlook

McKesson reports Q2 results: revenue climbed slightly to $50 billion, EPS $1.35 vs. $2.65, missing expectations for both. The company also lowered guidance, driving share prices down 13 percent in after-hours trading.

Quality Systems, Inc. Reports Fiscal 2017 Second Quarter Results

Quality Systems, parent company to NextGen, reports Q2 results: revenue remained flat at $127.2 million compared to $125.4 million during the same quarter last year, adjusted EPS $0.23 vs. $0.21, beating analyst expectations for both.

Anthem to invest $20 million in 2,000-job IT hub in Midtown’s Bank of America Plaza

Anthem announces that it will build a 2,000 employee software development center in Atlanta, at a cost of $20 million.

Cleveland Clinic Unveils Top 10 Medical Innovations Most Likley To Be Game Changers

Cleveland Clinic includes FHIR in its list of top 10 ten medical innovations that will transform healthcare in 2017.

Morning Headlines 10/26/16

October 25, 2016 Headlines No Comments

AARP Sues US Over Rules for Wellness Programs

The AARP files a lawsuit against the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission arguing that regulations over workplace wellness programs violate employee confidentiality and result in a potentially inequitable workplace for older workers.

Third quarter lobbying details

Politico publishes financial details behind healthcare lobbying spending.

McKesson Announces New Release of Paragon Electronic Health Record Solution

McKesson announces the release of Paragon 14.0, which brings enhancements to its pharmacy, lab, and operating room management systems.

Your Patient Is Now Reading Your Note: Opportunities, Problems, and Prospects

The American Journal of Medicine discusses Open Notes, providing documentation tips for participating providers.

Morning Headlines 10/25/16

October 24, 2016 Headlines No Comments

Catholic Health Initiatives, Dignity Health in Merger Talks

The Wall Street Journal reports that CHI and Dignity Health are in merger talks. The merger would create a 142-hospital health system with $27.8 billion in annual revenue.

VA touts patient satisfaction, but its findings are questionable

In recent years, the VA has argued that its performance should be measured by by patient satisfaction scores, rather than focusing on appointment wait time backlogs, but a new report finds that the VA has no internal tools to compare its own satisfaction scores with non-VA facilities.

Banning Tablets Is Best for Children

The American Academy of Pediatrics updates its recommendations on screen time for children to say that children under the age of 18 months should get zero screen time, and that those between the ages of two and five should be limited to just one hour per day.

Athenahealth, Allscripts websites down amid nationwide hack

The websites of both Athenahealth and Allscripts were compromised during Friday’s cyberattack on Dyn Inc. A spokesperson from Athena clarified that while portions of its site were down, access to its web-based EHR was not impacted.

Morning Headlines 10/24/16

October 23, 2016 Headlines 2 Comments

Yesterday’s major outage was brought to you by hacked IoT devices

Friday’s widespread internet outage has been attributed to a botnet made up of unsecure, Internet-connected consumer devices, such as cameras, DVRs, and routers running a DDoS attack against the servers of Dyn Inc., a internet management company that monitors and routes internet traffic.

ASU, Mayo alliance seeks to transform health care

Mayo Clinic and Arizona State University are creating a new curriculum that will address the clinical, legal, and administrative issues involved in care delivery under one curriculum.

athenahealth’s CEO Jonathan Bush on Q3 2016 Results – Earnings Call Transcript

During its earnings call, Athenahealth CEO Jonathan Bush reports that it added a record 5,092 providers in Q3, but acknowledged that bookings growth hasn’t kept up with expectations due to a drop in Epocrates revenue and elongated sales cycles in the industry.

Morning Headlines 10/21/16

October 20, 2016 Headlines 1 Comment

athenahealth, Inc. Reports Third Quarter Fiscal Year 2016 Results

Athenahealth reports Q3 results: revenue climbed 17 percent to $276.7 million adjusted EPS $0.35 vs. $0.15, missing revenue projections and sending share prices down two percent on the news.

This is why you shouldn’t believe that exciting new medical study

An article on journalists that cover healthcare topics warns readers that the press tends to cover published studies without considering whether the underlying research findings are meaningful. The article notes that of 101 studies published in journals claiming to have identified a new therapy that was very promising, only five of those therapies made it to market within a decade, and only one went on to be extensively used.

Keynote Speaker: Ginni M. Rometty

HIMSS announces that IBM CEO Ginni Rometty will be a keynote speaker at HIMSS17, as the company works to build a viable health IT product with its Watson technology.

Study: With Medicaid, ER visits remain high for two years

An MIT study finds that people enrolled in Medicaid significantly increase ER use for at least two years after they first sign up.

Morning Headlines 10/20/16

October 19, 2016 Headlines No Comments

AMA Commends ONC Steps to Enhance Oversight and Transparency of Electronic Health Records

AMA announces its support of ONCs Enhanced Oversight and Accountability final rule, which former AMA president Steven Stack, MD says will promote vendor “accountability for the performance, reliability, and safety of certified health IT.”

IBM Is Counting on Its Bet on Watson, and Paying Big Money for It

The New York Times profiles IBM’s continued effort to monetize its Watson business unit, which experts describe as a moonshot project that could still take years before it returns value for the company.

Examining The HHS Projections For 2017 Marketplace Enrollment

In a Health Affairs article, Timothy Jost, JD discusses the HHS projections for public exchange enrollments for 2017, and highlights some reasons why the projected 13.8 million enrollments may be inflated.

New System Shortens Patients’ Wait Times

Rush University Medical Center (IL) is using real-time patient location technology to reduce patient wait times at their outpatient clinics.

Morning Headlines 10/19/16

October 18, 2016 Headlines No Comments

$2.14 million HIPAA settlement underscores importance of managing security risk

St. Joseph Health (CA) will pay $2.14 million to settle potential HIPAA violations after OCR found files containing PHI used to attest for meaningful use were publically accessible through internet search engines.

St. Jude Medical Forms Cybersecurity Advisory Group

Following accusations that its medical devices contain potentially life threatening cybersecurity vulnerabilities, St Jude Medical announces that it is forming an internal cybersecurity advisory group.

FDA rules allow medical device makers to keep injuries under wraps

An investigative report from the Star Tribune finds that the FDA has created a program that lets medical device makers report adverse events late, sometimes years after the fact, and then reports those issues to doctors with summaries that keep the details out of view.

UnitedHealth Group Reports Third Quarter Results

UnitedHealth Group reports Q3 results: revenue is up 12 percent to $46.3 billion and earnings are up 19 percent to $3.6 billion.

Morning Headlines 10/17/16

October 16, 2016 Headlines No Comments

A Letter from CMS to Medicare Clinicians in the Quality Payment Program: We Heard You and Will Continue Listening

CMS publishes its final MACRA rule.

Faulty ID methods led to surgical error at St. Vincent Hospital

Substandard patient identification procedures at St Vincent Hospital (MA) are being blamed after surgeons accidently remove the wrong kidney from a cancer patient receiving treatment at the hospital.

New e-health record system to debut at Fairchild

A local paper covering the DoD’s Cerner rollout at a hospital on Fairchild Air Force Base notes that Cerner will interface with, rather than replace, many of the legacy systems currently in use.

Morning Headlines 10/14/16

October 13, 2016 Headlines 3 Comments

Trends in Hospital Inpatient Drug Costs: Issues and Challenges

Hospitals spent 40 percent more on inpatient drug costs in 2015 than they did in 2013, a change attributed to rising drug prices, rather than an increase in patient volume.

Software ‘freeze’ after network failure at St George’s

In England, St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust freezes all ongoing software installs after aging computers and unreliable core software systems, like Microsoft XP, lead to a system-wide network outage.

One of the physicists behind the Higgs boson has made an algorithm to replace the pill

A physicist turned entrepreneur launches a birth control app that tracks the daily temperature of users with the impressive result of helping women avoid pregnancy 99.5 percent of the time, making it as effective as the pill or condoms.

Revised HIPAA Security Risk Assessment Tool Now Available

ONC updates its HIPAA Security Risk Assessment Tool, offering a 156-item questionnaire that evaluates HIPAA compliance by walking users through a series of questions about typical organizational activities.

Morning Headlines 10/13/16

October 12, 2016 Headlines 1 Comment

New DOD health record to go live in February

DoD announces that will bring four pilot sites live on Cerner in February 2017, and affirms that it still anticipates having all sites live by 2022.

Shareholder sues Tenet over $514M Medicaid settlement

Shareholders have filed a class-action suit against Tenet Healthcare following its decision to pay $514 million to settle kickback allegations.

Cerner names roads in its new south Kansas City office campus

Cerner renames the roads on its Kansas City Three Trails campus, honoring Jonas Salk, Alexander Fleming, Marie Curie, Louis Pasteur and other notable researchers in medicine. The two main roads through campus have been named Health Care and Information Technology.

Do Clinicians Have the Interoperability They Need

A KLAS survey on interoperability notes that only six percent of providers report that information accessed through an exchange from a different EHR vendor is being delivered in a way that facilitates improvement to patient care.

Morning Headlines 10/11/16

October 10, 2016 Headlines 1 Comment

More Than Half of Kaiser Permanente’s Patient Visits Are Done Virtually

Kaiser Permanente CEO Bernard Tyson reports that last year, 52 percent of the health systems 110 million patient interactions were done via smartphone, videoconference, kiosk, or other technology tool.

Major Investor Sues Theranos

San Francisco-based hedge fund Partner Fund Management sues Theranos, arguing that Elizabeth Holmes lied in order to secure nearly $100 million in investments from the firm.

Trade-Off or Turn-Off? The Privacy Dilemma

Joseph Kvedar, MD discusses common health data privacy concerns raised by the public and argues that providers need to address these concerns with patients because the potential benefits of data sharing outweighs the risks.

Physicians beat symptom checkers in test of diagnostic accuracy

A JAMA study measuring the accuracy of online symptom checkers concludes, not surprisingly, that doctors are still far more reliable diagnosticians.

Morning Headlines 10/7/16

October 6, 2016 Headlines No Comments

An Open Letter From Elizabeth Holmes

Theranos announces that it will close all of its clinical labs and wellness centers, and layoff the employees that work there, to focus its efforts on securing FDA clearance of its MiniLab.

This is how far phishers will go to make you click on a bogus link

In England, NHS Digital COO Rob Shaw discussed a situation in which hackers crafted a personalized phishing attack against an NHS employee, using his LinkedIn profile to learn about his background, and creating a fake email account in the name of one of his past colleagues. The extra effort paid off and the hackers managed to infiltrate the hospital’s network undetected for two weeks.

Chelsea and Westminster picks Cerner, and Jarrold as CIO

In England, 430-bed Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust will implement Cerner in partnership with fellow NHS trust Imperial College Healthcare.

Remarks by Andy Slavitt: Talking with the industry about the future of health care in America

CMS Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt discusses the transformation the health insurance industry is facing in a Wednesday speech.

Morning Headlines 10/6/16

October 5, 2016 Headlines No Comments

Scientist using big data against heart disease wins $75 million award

The American Heart Association, Verily Life Sciences, and AstraZeneca have awarded their $75 million “One Brave Idea” research award to a single researcher, Calum MacRae, MD, chief of cardiovascular medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (MA), who will work with MIT engineers to analyze data from the Framingham and Million Veterans studies to learn more about how heart disease begins.

Surgeon General sends warning to own staff: Your personal information may have been stolen

The Surgeon General’s office confirms that hackers have stolen the personal information of its staff, including 6,600 medical professionals that report to the Surgeon General.

Chinese billionaire says he’s not interested in buying CHS

After increasing his stake in CHS, Chinese billionaire Tianqiao Chen says that the health systems recently enacted ‘poison pill’ defense is unnecessary. A spokesperson states “We believe it is important to reiterate our previously stated position of being a passive investor in the company. We have no intention to influence or control the company and have communicated this to the company on various occasions.”

It pays to be kind at Geisinger

Geisinger Health System has paid out $400,000 in reimbursements as part of a money-back guarantee to patients who say that their experiences were not met with kindness and compassion.

Morning Headlines 10/5/16

October 4, 2016 Headlines No Comments

Warburg Pincus Private Equity XII, L.P.; Intelligent Medical Objects, Inc.

Clinical nomenclature vendor Intelligent Medical Objects will be acquired by PE firm Warburg Pincus.

Massive U.K. Brain-Mapping Project Releases First Results

UK researchers working to capture MRI scans of the brains of 100,000 people and then combine the data along with detailed health questionnaires from each person have released an early data set from the first 5,000 subjects to participate in the study.

WHO develops electronic solution to child, maternal deaths

The World Health Organization is developing an app to guide less skilled clinicians through labor-related clinical emergencies in sub-Saharan Africa in an effort to reduce child and maternal death rates.

Bill Clinton calls Obamacare ‘the craziest thing in the world,’ later tries to walk it back

While campaigning for his wife, Bill Clinton drew immediate attention when he described the ACA as a “crazy system where all of a sudden 25 million more people have health care and then the people who are out there busting it, sometimes 60 hours a week, wind up with their premiums doubled and their coverage cut in half. It’s the craziest thing in the world.” He went on to reiterate that “the people that are getting killed in this deal are small businesspeople and individuals who make just a little too much to get any of these subsidies.”

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