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Morning Headlines 3/9/17

March 8, 2017 Headlines 1 Comment

Investor sues Soon-Shiong for alleged securities violations after STAT report

NantHealth stock is down 35 percent following a scathing STAT investigative report on questionable charitable donations. In response, a NantHealth investor files suit against the company, claiming that it artificially inflated the market price of its stock and  reserving the right to expand the complaint  into a class action suit.

Price breaks public silence on health IT policy

HHS Secretary Tom Price lays out his position on health IT in a written response to questions from Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), saying one way to improve care and reduce costs would be “for the federal government to continue to promote the growth of health information technology and electronic health records.”

Ron DePinho resigning MD Anderson Cancer Center presidency

MD Anderson Cancer Center President Ron DePinho resigns. He reflects on his time at the helm as one that brought positive change, but acknowledges that “there was a cost for that change, and I have added to that cost.” He says the organization needs a new president that will bring “a sharp operational focus on navigating the tectonic changes in healthcare delivery and economics.”

How Republican opposition to healthcare reform is taking shape

The Guardian analyzes the likelihood of passage for the American Health Care Act (AHCA), the Republican ACA repeal and replace bill.

Morning Headlines 3/8/17

March 7, 2017 Headlines 1 Comment

Direct-To-Consumer Telehealth May Increase Access To Care But Does Not Decrease Spending

Telehealth services are linked to higher overall healthcare spending in a Health Affairs study that concludes that only 12 percent of virtual visits replaced a traditional office or emergency room visit, while 88 percent represented new utilization.

Allscripts accepted onto NHS London Procurement Partnership’s Clinical and Digital Information Systems (CDIS) Framework

In England, Allscripts reports that its software has been accepted into the NHS London Procurement Partnership for Clinical and Digital Information Systems for the EHR, Population Health software, and Innovation categories.

Have a Health-Related Question? WebMD Will Provide the Answer — Just Ask Alexa

Amazon Alexa will begin answering consumer health questions with clinical content provided through a partnership with WebMD.

Morning Headlines 3/7/17

March 6, 2017 Headlines No Comments

House GOP Releases Plan to Repeal, Replace Obamacare

House Republicans release a detailed ACA repeal and replace plan that would eliminate the individual mandate and replace subsidies with a new tax credit tied to an individual’s age and income level.

The HCI Group to Expand Its Technology Offerings

Mumbai, India-based IT services firm Tech Mahindra will acquire Jacksonville, Fla-based The HCI Group for $110 million.

How the world’s richest doctor gave away millions — then steered the cash back to his company

NantHealth stocks fall 23 percent following a STAT investigative report that found CEO Patrick Soon-Shiong publically donated $12 million to the University of Utah for a genetics research project, but mandated within the grant’s contract that $10 million be funneled directly back to NantHealth.

Missouri drug monitoring would combat abuse

Following increased pressure from neighboring state legislators, the Missouri state Senate passes a bill establishing a prescription drug monitoring program.

Delivery System Innovation

Health Affairs dedicates its March issue to innovation in care delivery, including a more than a dozen papers on the net benefits associated with specific delivery system innovations.

Morning Headlines 3/6/17

March 5, 2017 Headlines No Comments

Elliott Settles With Advisory Board as Strategic Review Continues

The Advisory Board Company settles with activist investor Paul Singer to delay his efforts to launch a director-election proxy fight.

ePA National Adoption Scorecard

CoverMyMeds publishes data on the availability of electronic prior authorization functionality in EHR systems, noting that vendors in control of 70 percent of the EHR market have committed to implementing electronic prior authorization functionality, while 54 percent already offer it.

NHS’ Salford Royal Trust Partners with Validic on New Integrated Care Model with Personal Health Data

In England, Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust will begin integrating patient-generated data into its EHR from wearables and medical devices.

Jonathan Bush talks Trump and problems with health care tech

Athenahealth CEO Jonathan Bush discusses his favorable opinion of HHS Tom Price, his lingering concerns with President Trump, and he sees the political changes will impact the EHR market.

Morning Headlines 3/3/17

March 2, 2017 Headlines No Comments

McKesson and Change Healthcare Complete the Creation of New Healthcare Information Technology Company

McKesson’s Technology Solutions business unit and Change Healthcare Holdings’ analytics business unit finalize their planned merger, creating 15,000 employee Change Healthcare.

InterSystems wins multi-million pound Liverpool joint-EPR tender

In England, InterSystems is selected as the next EHR vendor for three major Liverpool NHS hospitals: Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust, Liverpool Women’s NHS Foundation Trust, and Aintree University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

Judge Certifies Overtime Case Against Cerner As Class Action

A group of Cerner systems analysts and delivery consultants have won the right to file a class action suit against the company, arguing that overtime wages had been improperly withheld.

CVS Health to Adopt Epic Electronic Health Record System for CVS Specialty Care Management Programs

CVS will implement Epic across its CVS Specialty care management programs.

Morning Headlines 3/1/17

February 28, 2017 Headlines 1 Comment

Mayo Clinic: Consolidated Financial Statement

Mayo Clinic’s will spend $1 billion for its five-year Epic implementation, according to its annual financial statement.

Shulkin proposes eliminating 40-mile, 30-day rule for non-VA care

Speaking at the Disabled American Veterans annual conference, VA Secretary David Shulkin proposes eliminating a policy that limits veterans from receiving private-sector care.

Hospital illegally overcharged patients for medical records: suit

New York-Presbyterian Columbia University Medical Center is sued after charging a patient $3,000 for a copy of their medical record.

The 21st Century Cures Act: Implications for Research and Drug Development

A panel discussion hosted by Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health covers the expected implications 21st Century Cures Act will have on the pharmaceutical industry.

Morning Headlines 2/28/17

February 27, 2017 Headlines 4 Comments

Vanderbilt hospital employees breached patient records

An EHR audit at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (TN) finds that two patient transporters inappropriately accessed more than 3,000 medical records between May 2015 and December 2016. A spokesperson for the hospital reports that the transporters were disciplined, but additional details were not disclosed.

From Machine-Readable Provider Directories, A Preview Of A Revolution

Health Affairs reports on the potential benefit machine-readable provider directories could have for researchers and regulators working to improve healthcare access.

Top 25 Women In Healthcare 2017

Modern Healthcare publishes its annual list of top women in healthcare, with Epic CEO Judy Faulkner and IBM Watson Health General Manager Deborah DiSanzo representing health IT.

VA data show low rate of discipline for drug loss, theft

An AP investigation finds that while there were more than 11,000 reported incidents of drug loss or theft at federal hospitals last year, only 3 percent of those incidents resulted in disciplinary action.

Morning Headlines 2/27/17

February 26, 2017 Headlines No Comments

Message is from Island Health President and CEO Dr. Brendan Carr

In Canada, Nanaimo Regional General Hospital shuts down its Cerner CPOE system, responding to safety concerns raised by the medical staff.

In Missouri, a Showdown Over Creating an Opioid Database

Political pressure mounts for Missouri state lawmakers to establish a prescription tracking database as the state becomes a tourist attraction to drug seekers.

Excessive computer use by doctors has negative impact on patient care: study

A study of three US hospitals finds ICU staff spend an average of 49 percent of their shift on a computer.

At 95, the doctor may be out, but never forgotten

A local paper covers the career of 95 year old Woodrow Batten, MD who helped found Johnston Memorial Hospital (NC) 60 years ago and continued to work there, even earning his Epic certification, until his recently announced retirement.

Morning Headlines 2/24/17

February 23, 2017 Headlines 4 Comments

Screening for medication errors using an outlier detection system

A JAMIA study evaluates the effectiveness of using outlier detection software to identify potential medication errors.  5 years worth of EHR data was screened using the system to detect potential medication errors, and 75 percent of flagged charts had confirmed medication errors.

Letter to HHS Secretary Thomas Price, M.D

CHIME, MGMA, and 14 other medical societies co-sign a letter to HHS Secretary Thomas Price, MD lobbying for an indefinite delay of Meaningful Use Stage 3.

LabCorp buying Spokane-based PAML

LabCorp announces it will acquire Pathology Associates Medical Laboratories, a national medical reference lab co-owned by Providence Health & Services and Catholic Health Initiatives.

Republican-Led States Push to Reshape Their Medicaid Programs

More than half-dozen states are seeking federal permission to reshape state Medicaid programs to impose coverage restrictions as ACA reform efforts stagnate.

Morning Headlines 2/23/17

February 22, 2017 Headlines No Comments

Epic’s new app program tries to connect EHR networks

Epic moves forward with its FHIR-based app store, Orchard.

Soon-Shiong’s new cancer vaccine is the “culmination” of NantWorks’ science

NantHealth CEO Patrick Soon-Shiong announces at HIMSS that his company has received FDA clearance to move forward with a “Cancer Vaccine” that he says will isolate the mutations that define a tumor and then prepare the patient’s immune system to fight back with four vaccine components administered over a 14-day cycle.

The Price of Health Records: Electronic Healthcare Data In the Underground

A Trend Micro cybersecurity report analyzes the dark web value of a stolen EHR database.

Obamacare launched a new wave of startups. Now they’re bracing for what’s next.

The Chicago Tribune profiles Stride Health in a piece on the uncertain future of digital health startups that proliferated under ACA.

Morning Headlines 2/22/17

February 21, 2017 Headlines No Comments

One in Four US Consumers Have Had Their Healthcare Data Breached, Accenture Survey Reveals

Accenture publishes a report concluding that 26 percent of US consumers have had their personal medical information stolen from technology systems. The report says that half of those impacted went on to become victims of medical identity theft.

Swedish CEO resigns in wake of Seattle Times investigation

Swedish Health Services CEO Tony Armada resigns following a Seattle Times investigative report exposing internal pressures to increase patient volumes and a deference to unnecessarily complex procedures that appears to be taking a toll on patient care.

athenahealth Partners with Specialty Medical Societies to Roll Out Network Medicine Health Campaigns

Athena will work with a series of medical specialty societies to create patient registries for various diseases that will be used by Athena to develop search algorithms capable of scanning the Athenahealth network, identifying at risk patients, and alerting their care providers of the risk.

EHR and Clinical Documentation Effectiveness

Nuance announces survey results from hospital IT and clinical leaders, finding that only 37 percent are confident that their organization will be able to realize the intended benefits of their EHR.

Morning Headlines 2/21/17

February 20, 2017 Headlines No Comments

Salesforce builds out ecosystem for Health Cloud, adds better patient targeting, risk scoring

Salesforce improves its healthcare-focused CRM product line, adding risk stratification and population segmentation tools.

NantHealth to Showcase New Oncology Solution Suite at HIMSS 2017 Annual Conference

NantHealth reports that it will be demonstrating its suite of oncology, medication adherence, and device connectivity tools at HIMSS.

HIMSS Analytics Launches LOGIC Discover Chrome Extension for Quick Visibility into Technologies Used by Healthcare Organizations

HIMSS introduces a new Chrome extension designed for vendor sales staff that, when viewing a healthcare organizations webpage, presents users with an overview of installed installed vendor products, hospital revenue and bed size, and physical location.

Conservatives See Obamacare Repeal Slipping Away

Efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare are moving slower than some GOP leaders had hoped as replacement bills in the Senate and House struggle to gain a consensus in either chamber.

Morning Headlines 2/20/17

February 19, 2017 Headlines 4 Comments

Opening Keynote: The Art of Deception: How Hackers and Con Artists Manipulate You and What You Can Do About It

HIMSS17 kicks off as white coat hacker Kevin Mitnick takes the stage to discuss emerging cybersecurity threats and how to detect and defend against them.

Touted IBM supercomputer project at MD Anderson on hold after audit finds spending issues

Auditors find that MD Anderson Cancer Center’s now stalled effort to employ IBM Watson in the fight against cancer was paid for with funds that were secured by hospital executives that intentionally sidestepped purchasing rules.

$5.5 million HIPAA settlement shines light on the importance of audit controls

Memorial Healthcare Systems (FL) pays $5.5 million to settle HIPAA violations after discovering that a former employee continued to use his login credentials to access more than 80,000 patient records without permission.

Forbes World’s Most Admired Companies

Cerner, CVS Health, St. Jude Medical Abbott Laboratories, and Aetna are named to Forbes Most Admired Companies list.

Morning Headlines 2/17/17

February 17, 2017 Headlines 1 Comment

City delays planned $764M record-keeping system at hospitals

NYC Health + Hospitals delays its $764 million Epic rollout after ending the year with a $779 million deficit. A hospital spokesman denies that the decision was financially motivated.

CommonWell Becomes First National Network to Use the Argonaut Project’s FHIR Specifications

CommonWell implements Project Argonaut’s FHIR specifications into its core services, allowing its customers to use FHIR-based outbound query and retrieval capabilities.

NHS Scotland Selects NextGate to Assign and Manage the Community Health Index (CHI) Unique Patient Identifier

NextGate is selected to implement a national master patient index system in Scotland.

Community Health Systems Announces Definitive Agreement to Divest Eight Hospitals

Steward Health Care (MA) acquires eight hospitals from Community Health Systems. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2017, following regulatory approvals.

Morning Headlines 2/16/17

February 15, 2017 Headlines No Comments

Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; Market Stabilization

CMS publishes a proposed rule aimed at stabilizing the individual and small group markets that would cut the open enrollment period in half.

Broad Institute wins bitter battle over CRISPR patents

MIT and Harvard’s Broad Institute wins its patent battle over CRISPR genome editing technology, likely the most valuable biotechnology patent ever filed.

Cybersecurity Actions Needed to Strengthen US Capabilities

A GAO report on federal information system cybersecurity readiness singles out EHRs and state insurance marketplaces as needing improvement to protect personally identifiable information from being compromised.

Anthem Files Suit Against Cigna Seeking a Temporary Restraining Order

After Cigna terminates its planned merger with Anthem and instead sues Anthem for nearly $15 billion, Anthem responds by filing its own lawsuit seeking a restraining order to prevent Cigna from terminating the merger.

Why you should donate your data (as well as your organs) when you die

Professors from the Universities of Cologne and Basel call for the development of a global system that would help patients donate their personal health data to research after their death in a way similar to the organ donor program.

Morning Headlines 2/15/17

February 14, 2017 Headlines No Comments

VA moves ahead with homegrown scheduling IT

The VA will move forward with its rollout of its Vista Scheduling Enhancement, an “Outlook-style interface that gives schedulers a dashboard view of appointments.”

Government drops target for ‘paperless NHS’ by 2018

In England, NHS Secretary Jeremy Hunt drops his call for a paperless NHS by 2018, blaming “weak hospital IT systems.”

Great Ormond Street picks Epic in potential £50m deal

Great Ormond Street NHS Foundation trust has selected Epic as its next EHR vendor, making it the fourth Trust in the UK to select Epic.

Senate easily confirms Trump pick of Shulkin as VA secretary

The Senate confirms David Shulkin as the next secretary of Veterans Affairs in a 100-0 vote, making him the first non-veteran to run the organization.

Morning Headlines 2/14/17

February 13, 2017 Headlines No Comments

DirectTrust Issues Recommendations to Significantly Improve Usability of EHRs and Health IT Applications Providing Secure Direct Messaging

DirectTrust issues a white paper containing recommendations to EHR vendors aimed at improving interoperability.

A millionaire’s mission: Stop hospitals from killing their patients by medical error

STAT profiles Joe Kiani, founder and CEO of medical technology company Masimo, focusing on his ongoing efforts to convince other medical technology vendors to make their systems more interoperable in the interest of patient safety.

Surrounding states push for Missouri to create prescription drug monitoring program

Neighboring states are lobbying for Missouri to implement a statewide drug monitoring program because it has become a magnet for “doctor shoppers.”

Ex-drug company CEO Martin Shkreli to speak at Harvard

While out on bail awaiting his federal securities fraud trial, Martin Shkreli will appear at Harvard to speak about healthcare an investing at an event being held by the Harvard Financial Analysts Club.

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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....
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