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Morning Headlines 4/5/17

April 4, 2017 Headlines No Comments

VA’s most important 2017 decision

Speaking at a conference Monday, VA CIO Rob Thomas confirms the agency is on track to make a decision by July 1 on whether to replace Vista with a commercial EHR vendor.

Q1 2017: Business as usual for digital health

Rock Health publishes its Q1 report on VC investments in the digital health startup space, noting that 2017 investment activity is keeping pace with 2015 and 2016 levels despite the uncertainty around ACA repeal.

Electronic Health Record Logs Indicate That Physicians Split Time Evenly Between Seeing Patients And Desktop Medicine

A Health Affairs study that analyzed the EHR activity logs of physicians found that they appear to split their day between computer work and patient care.

Why the Orion Health Group Ltd share price was slammed today

New Zealand-based Orion Health Group fall seven percent after announcing stalled growth and a full-year net loss between $22 million and $26 million.

Morning Headlines 4/4/17

April 3, 2017 Headlines No Comments

CMS readies insurance market stabilization rule as insurers wait nervously

CMS sends rules designed to stabilize the individual insurance markets to the Office of Management and Budget for final review as insurers wait decide whether to offer plans on the exchanges in 2018.

Soon-Shiong made ‘implicit threat’ to spur investment in NantHealth, media company says

A media company that Patrick Soon-Shiong recently rescued from a hostile takeover attempt with a $70 million investment is claiming that its CEO was forced to personally invest $10 million in NantHealth’s initial round in exchange for the help.

Clinic venture arm hopes to assist innovation work

Cleveland Clinic is launching an investment business, called Cleveland Clinic Ventures, that will work with its innovation department to turn new medical breakthroughs into funded spin off companies.

Wellness Apps Evade the FDA, Only to Land In Court

Wired Magazine covers the legal accountability of health apps that make misleading claims and the effect those court decisions might have on a market that has largely escaped FDA oversight.

Political battles are a ‘distraction’ for health-care business, CEO says

Athenahealth CEO Jonathan Bush discusses the ACA and AHCA, and comments on how healthcare-related political battles affect providers.

Morning Headlines 4/3/17

April 2, 2017 Headlines No Comments

NantHealth (NH) Tops Q4 EPS by 1c

NantHealth reports Q4 results: revenue climbed 18 percent to $24 million, falling short of analyst estimates, EPS –$0.19 vs. -$0.10.

Former Siemens exec to head ONC

Former CMO of Siemens Healthcare, Donald Rucker, MD, MBA, MS is named as the next National Coordinator for Health IT.

Kaiser campaign slashes opioid prescriptions

Kaiser Permanente’s home-grown opiod prescription drug monitoring program is the subject of a local public radio article.

GPB Capital acquires healthcare software assets from NTT DATA – New company to be named Cantata Health, LLC

PE firm GPB Capital acquires the hospital and long term care software assets of NTT Data, creating a new company called Cantada Health in the process.

Morning Headlines 3/31/17

March 30, 2017 Headlines No Comments

IBM X-Force Finds Historic Number Of Records Leaked And Vulnerabilities Disclosed In 2016

An IBM cybersecurity report finds that the healthcare industry fared better in 2016 than it did in 2015, with only 12 million records exposed to cyberattacks throughout the year, compared to more than 100 million in 2015, representing an 88 percent decrease.

WHO Launches Global Effort to Halve Medication-Related Errors in 5 Years

The World Health Organization announces the Global Patient Safety Challenge, an initiative to aimed at reducing avoidable medication errors in all countries by 50 percent over the next five years.

Ontario Hospitals Join Partnership to Deliver Seamless Patient Care with MEDITECH’s Web EHR

In Ontario, Markham Stouffville Hospital, Southlake Regional Health Centre, and Stevenson Memorial Hospital will partner to implement Meditech’s 6.1 Web EHR.

Alexander, Corker Introduce Bill To Rescue Americans With No Options For Insurance

Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Bob Corker (R-TN) introduce legislation that will allow consumers living in counties where no ACA insurance plans are offered to use the federal subsidies they qualify for to buy insurance from any company willing to sell it to them.

Morning Headlines 3/30/17

March 29, 2017 Headlines No Comments

AI versus MD  

Pulitzer prize-winning oncologist Siddhartha Mukherjee, MD describes recent advances in AI-based image recognition algorithms and their potential use as a diagnostic tool for future radiologists.

This Is How Bipartisan Health Care Reform Could Actually Happen

In a Time Magazine op-ed, Former National Coordinator for Health IT Farzad Mostashari, MD discusses various health reform options that could win bipartisan support.

Rupert Murdoch reportedly sold $125 million in Theranos stock for just $1

Rupert Murdoch walks away from his $125 million stake in Theranos, selling his shares for $1. Meanwhile, Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes has agreed to give existing investors more shares from her personal stock if they agree not to sue the company.

The Patent Battle Over Revolutionary CRISPR Gene-Editing Tech Just Went Global

While the US Patent Office awarded CRISPR rights to researchers from the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard University, the European Patent Office just issued the same patent to UC Berkley, setting the stage for another round of patent disputes between the two organizations.

Trump taps Chris Christie to lead fight against nation’s opioid addiction crisis

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is selected by President Trump to lead a commission combating drug addition and the nation’s growing opioid addition.

Morning Headlines 3/29/17

March 28, 2017 Headlines No Comments

Cyber Criminals Targeting FTP Servers to Compromise Protected Health Information

The FBI’s cyber division issues an alert warning healthcare organizations that hackers are targeting FTP servers operating in anonymous mode to access PHI and launch ransomware attacks.

Virtual System Works in Managing Diabetes for Hospital Patients

UCSF researchers piloting a centralized dashboard designed to help diabetes specialists monitor the glucose levels of hospitalized diabetes patients find that the new system led to a 39 percent decrease in hyperglycemic patients and decreased the number of hypoglycemic events from 40 to 15 over a 12 month period.

Putting Patients First by Reducing Administrative Tasks in Health Care: A Position Paper of the American College of Physicians

The American College of Physicians, written by ACP’s Medical Practice and Quality Committee discusses the need to reduce administrative burden being placed on physicians.

Leading Wisely: Better Executive Decision Support

Health Catalyst launches Leading Wisely, a near real-time executive decision support dashboard for healthcare leaders.

Morning Headlines 3/28/17

March 27, 2017 Headlines No Comments

Trump taps Kushner to lead a SWAT team to fix government with business ideas

Jared Kushner, son-in-law and senior advisor to President Trump, will lead the newly created White House Office of American Innovation, which will borrow ideas from the business world to help solve national issues, including improving care for veterans and fighting the opioid crisis.

Ransomware attack on Urology Austin compromises patient info

Urology Austin (TX) is alerting 200,000 patients that their information was exposed to hackers after ransomware attack on January 22. Officials from the practice report that no ransom was paid to the hackers and that access to patient information was restored from a backup.

Soon-Shiong’s promotion of ‘breakthrough’ cancer therapy raises questions

A STAT article questions whether pharmaceutical billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong violated FDA regulations when he tweeted a promotional video about a cancer therapy his company is developing that does not yet have FDA approval. A spokesperson for Soon-Shiong responded, saying the video was not intended to be promotional, calling it an educational tool for patients.

Cota Healthcare Announces Major Multi-Year Collaboration With Global Pharmaceutical Leader To Advance Innovative Therapies For Breast Cancer Patients

Novartis signs a multi-year deal to use Cota Healthcare’s data analytics software to help it develop targeted therapies for breast cancer.

Morning Headlines 3/24/17

March 23, 2017 Headlines No Comments

Mortality and morbidity in the 21st century

A study on mortality and morbidity among middle-aged, white non-Hispanic Americans finds that mortality rates are decreasing for those with a college degree, but are increasing for those without, leading authors to conclude that poor job prospects and low levels of education are driving up drug overdoses, suicide rates, and alcohol-related liver mortalities, or in the authors words “deaths of despair.”

Information Blocking: Is It Occurring and What Policy Strategies Can Address It?

Results from a survey on information blocking find that half of respondents report that EHR vendors routinely engage in information blocking, while 25 percent of respondents report that hospitals and health systems also do.

FHIR Release 3 Posted

HL7 releases FHIR 3.0 which adds support for key clinical workflows, clinical decision support, and CQMs.

GE to Invest $500 Million in Healthcare Unit

GE Healthcare plans to invest $500 million over the next three years, hiring 5,000 additional software developers.

Morning Headlines 3/23/17

March 22, 2017 Headlines No Comments

GOP Leaders Search for Health-Care Bill Votes

The Wall Street Journal reports that House Republicans do not appear to have enough votes to pass AHCA during its scheduled voting session Thursday.

Latest draft of AHCA still doesn’t measure up

AMA President Andrew Gurman, MD voices concerns with the revised AHCA, saying that the tax-credit structure will not maintain health coverage gains achieved in recent years.

Cleveland Clinic’s financial results worse than predicted

Cleveland Clinic reports a 2016 operating income of $139.4 million, a 71 percent drop from 2015’s year end numbers. In February, CEO Toby Cosgrove said during a “state of the clinic” address to staff that operating income for the year would be $243 million, but that was prior to audits.

Science sting exposes how corrupt some journal publishers are

A investigation of pay-for-publication “predatory journals” finds that 48 questionable journals accepted a fictional researcher onto their own editorial boards based on a fake CV.

Morning Headlines 3/22/17

March 21, 2017 Headlines 1 Comment

Former Louisiana Rep. John Fleming to join HHS under Trump

President Trump appoints former House Representative John Fleming (R-LA) to the newly created position as deputy assistant secretary for health technology within HHS.

A 40-year ‘conspiracy’ at the VA

Politico recounts the history of the VA’s homegrown VistaA EHR, as it moves forward with plans to replace the 40-year-old with a commercial system.

Patient Mortality During Unannounced Accreditation Surveys at US Hospitals

A JAMA study finds that patients admitted to the hospital during Joint Commission inspections have significantly lower mortality rates than those admitted during the three weeks prior, or after, the inspection.

The World’s Billionaires

Forbes releases its list of the richest people in the world, with Epic’s Judy Faulkner listed at  number #867 with $2.4 billion, and Cerner’s Neal Patterson listed at #1376 with $1.5 billion.

Morning Headlines 3/21/17

March 20, 2017 Headlines No Comments

Common Blood Tests Can Help Predict Chronic Disease Risk

Researchers at Intermountain Health report that a risk stratification algorithm they developed can predict whether someone would be diagnosed with diabetes, kidney failure, coronary artery disease, or dementia in the next three years with a 78 percent accuracy by analyzing the results of two common lab tests: a comprehensive metabolic profile and a complete blood count.

IBM launches enterprise-ready blockchain service

IBM announces that developers building enterprise applications on its cloud service can now use blockchain technology within their applications.

Google DeepMind and healthcare in an age of algorithms

In England, a Cambridge University law professor and an Economist journalist co-author an academic paper in Health and Technology arguing Google’s DeepMind partnership with the Royal Free Hospital has suffered from “a lack of clarity and openness, with issues of privacy and power emerging” in response to public privacy concerns.

iPads In Every Hospital: Apple’s Plan To Crack The $3 Trillion Health Care Sector

Fast Company profiles Apple’s continued effort to enter the enterprise healthcare market.

Morning Headlines 3/20/17

March 19, 2017 Headlines No Comments

Medication Errors Attributed to Health Information Technology

Analysis of a Pennsylvania medical error reporting database that allows submitting agencies to indicate when health IT was a contributing factor finds that system downtime and incorrectly entered patient weight are both contributing to medical errors.

Developing and Evaluating an Automated All-Cause Harm Trigger System

A review of Adventist Health System’s use of IHI’s Global Trigger search algorithms to find possible medical errors in EHR data turns up far more potential errors than manual chart audits.

Stratasys and VA hospitals create first hospital 3-D printing network

Five VA hospitals are working together to incorporate 3D printing into care delivery, allowing doctors to make customized prosthetic and orthotic devices for veterans.

Doctor’s lawsuit against hospital turns on care v. market share

The former chairman of the surgery and cardiovascular departments at Memorial Hermann hospital (TX) is suing the hospital for defamation, arguing that after he told executives he planned to leave the hospital to work for Houston Methodist Hospital, his former employees began distributing manipulated outcomes data questioning the quality of his care.

Morning Headlines 3/17/17

March 16, 2017 Headlines No Comments

HHS Should Assess the Effectiveness of Its Efforts to Enhance Patient Access to and Use of Electronic Health Information

A GAO report investigating why so few patients access patient portals despite widespread availability concludes that having different portals for each provider, with no longitudinal view of data, combined with poor user interface designs, limits the consumer appeal.

The man who helped save HealthCare.gov wants a bipartisan solution to health care

Andy Slavitt, former acting administrator for CMS, has accepted a position as a senior advisor with the Bipartisan Policy Center.

AliveCor raises $30 million for its credit card-sized heart monitor and app

EKG app vendor AliveCor raises $30 million to hire AI engineers and expand the platforms ability to analyze and interpret EKG waveforms.

Dallas City Leaders, T-Mobile Vow to Find Solutions as 2nd Death is Publicly Connected to 911 ‘Ghost Calls’

A still unresolved bug unique to T-Mobile customers in Dallas is causing 911 phone lines to be flooded with hundreds of phony calls, leaving legitimate callers to wait on hold while dispatchers clear the lines. The issue has been a problem for months, but generated national attention when a six month old died while his babysitter waited on hold for more than 30 minutes.

Morning Headlines 3/16/17

March 15, 2017 Headlines No Comments

Health Insurance Marketplaces 2017 Open Enrollment Period Final Enrollment Report

CMS reports that this year’s final ACA enrollment total was 12.2 million individuals, half a million less than last year.

It’s Time to Adopt Electronic Prescriptions for Opioids

Atul Gawande, MD, MPH calls for greater use of electronic prescribing for opioid prescriptions in an Annals of Surgery article.

What Your Therapist Doesn’t Know

The Atlantic describes new algorithms being used to predict which patients are at risk of dropping out of therapy treatment.

CRISPR Could Change The World, But Right Now $90 Million Is Enough

Botox-maker Allergan will pay $90 million for exclusive rights to CRISPR-based treatments being developed by Editas Medicine that are targeting a rare form of blindness called Leber Congenital Amaurosis.

Morning Headlines 3/15/17

March 14, 2017 Headlines No Comments

Senate confirms Seema Verma to head Medicare and Medicaid

Healthcare consultant Seema Verma, an advisor to Vice President Pence when he was Governor of Indiana, is confirmed by the Senate as the next CMS administrator in a 55-43 vote.

Can a Machine Predict Your Death?

A Slate article discusses the use of data analytics in healthcare, including a project aimed at helping doctors more accurately predict life expectancy for terminally ill patients.

The Asthma Mobile Health Study, a large-scale clinical observational study using ResearchKit

A Nature study using an Apple ResearchKit-based mobile health app to conduct a large scale clinical study on asthma observes that while 40,000 participants downloaded the researcher’s app, only 8,000 went on to enroll in the study, and only 175 participants were still engaged at the 6-month period.

Institute for Healthcare Improvement and National Patient Safety Foundation Agree to Merger

The Institute for Healthcare Improvement announces plans to merge with the National Patient Safety Foundation, effective May 1.

Morning Headlines 3/14/17

March 13, 2017 Headlines 1 Comment

 ECRI Institute Names Top 10 Patient Safety Concerns for 2017

ECRI’s Top 10 Patient Safety Concerns for 2017 includes information management in EHRs and use of clinical decision support tools.

Trump chooses Gottlieb to run FDA; Pharma breathes sigh of relief

President Trump nominates industry favorite Scott Gottlieb, MD to lead the FDA.

HHS secretary expresses concern on bill allowing employers to demand genetic tests

HHS Secretary Tom Price voices concern over the a House bill that would grant employers access to employee genetic test results.

Former Vice President Joe Biden at SXSW 2017: ‘Your government’ is how curing cancer ‘gets done’

Joe Biden speaks about the Cancer Moonshot Task Force and its future with the new administration at SXSW.

Morning Headlines 3/10/17

March 9, 2017 Headlines No Comments

GOP Health Bill Clears 2 House Panels After Marathon Sessions

The AHCA bill passes votes in the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the House Ways and Means committee, leading up to a final House vote tentatively scheduled for the week of March 20.

Cerner, State and Local Leaders Commemorate Innovations With Ribbon-Cutting

Cerner opens the first of two towers at its new Innovation Campus.

Partners gets a fiscal health warning

Partners Healthcare (MA) has its credit outlook downgraded from stable to negative, with analysts noting that they are not concerned with the temporary bottom line hit from its Epic implementation.

Trust, confidence and Verifiable Data Audit

Google’s AI subsidiary DeepMind announces that it will build out a blockchain-like data audit tool for its healthcare customers.

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Reader Comments

  • Paul Kennedy: Great article, Dr Butler. You have always looked differently at the challenges of what we do in implementation of EHRs....
  • Mr. HIStalk: Ain't no U-Haul attached to the hearse. I'm the cheapest person I know and I'd still pay whatever I could muster (loan i...
  • Keith McItkin, PhD.: "...head for Mayo, Cleveland Clinic, etc. even if I had to pay out of pocket." Jees, your crops must be comin in pret...
  • Mr. HIStalk: Probably about the same. Amazon didn't offer to let me try the Moto G for one visit and then change if I didn't like it ...
  • ex-HHC: re: Moto G plus. How does the amount of time you spent researching your new phone compare to the amount you put into cho...

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