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Monday Morning Update 10/16/17

October 15, 2017 News 2 Comments

Top News

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President Trump continues the dismantling of his predecessor’s programs without Congressional involvement by signing an executive order that would prohibit HHS from paying legally required (but also legally challenged) premium-lowering payments to insurers.

A CBO report from August predicted that such an order would increase premiums 20 percent immediately and increase the federal deficit by $194 billion over ten years, but would not significantly increase the number of people without insurance.

The immediate effect on the open enrollment period that starts in just over two weeks will vary by insurer and state. Some insurers built the expected action into their new premium prices, others advised insurers to assume the payments would be made in setting their prices, and the timing of the executive order makes it unlikely that insurers can get re-filed rates approved before enrollment begins, raising the possibility that they will pull out of the market.

Eighteen states have sued the White House over the executive order.

HHS Acting Secretary Eric Hargan and CMS Administrator Seema Verma release a statement supporting the order and criticizing the laws they swore to uphold, saying that “Obamacare is bad policy” and that cost-sharing reduction payments were authorized in an unlawful “unconstitutional executive action” (which is arguably true and the subject of the legal challenge).


Reader Comments

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From Faith-Based Hill: “Re: Outcome Health. Overstating claims and fudging numbers will get you hundreds of millions in investment that you can use to buy time to hopefully turn things around. Too often the poor schmucks who try to build legitimate, ethical business get no such boost. The VC/PE world is ripe for such perverse incentives. A $5.5B valuation for putting TVs in doctors’ offices so Rx companies can prey on (cough, cough) I mean advertise to patients? How is this innovative? How is this going to actually benefit patients, lower costs, and (as their name ironically suggests) really improve outcomes? Sorry for ranting, but these Theranos-esque shysters make EHR vendors look like friggin’ Mother Teresa by comparison.” I’ll be interested to see how Outcome Health, as a privately held company, proceeds and how investors and customers react. Companies usually fire a few mid-level executive serving as scapegoats (giving them big go-away money and an ironclad NDA to prevent them from saying what really happened); apologize; and claim that the public penance marks a new chapter in the newly reinvented company’s inevitable destiny. The worst thing about Outcome’s business model of promoting drugs to patients at their vulnerable moments is that it works – doctors naively think they are immune from pharma propaganda and irrational patient pressure, but prescribing data proves otherwise. The most important “outcome” is boosting pharma’s bottom line. It’s distasteful to be reminded constantly that healthcare is like all other industries in being driven almost exclusively by profits, which was inevitable going back to the 1960s, when Medicare made the potential economic scale interesting to investors.

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From Desperado: “Re: Cerner. Next CEO is … Zane Burke.” Unverified, but hardly shocking if true. CERN shares appeared (from my quick graph look) to have hit an all-time high after a nice run-up last, week, closing Friday at $73.57 as the company’s market cap approaches $25 billion. I’m happy that Burke at least earned an advanced degree (MBA) since so many healthcare executives rose through the sales ranks where graduate education is seen as a waste of time.

From ImageEnabler: “Re: Philips. Now requiring customers migrating away from their iSite PACS solution to use their third-party migration vendor of choice. Who owns the data again?” Unverified.

From Dr. Trump: “Re: ACA. Will Trump’s repeal of the health insurance subsidies and encouraging cheap individual health plans benefit Oscar Health, Joshua Kushner’s startup?” I expect so. The struggling Oscar was on the wrong side of Trump’s ACA wrath when he was elected since the company sold ACA plans, but it announced in April that it would start selling the kind of individual plans that will probably gain business from the executive order.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

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Incumbent HHS Secretary “None of the above” remains the favored candidate of poll respondents, although readers expressed tepid enthusiasm for having HUD Secretary Ben Carson swap chairs.

New poll to your right or here: what is the clinical and healthcare business impact of not having a national patient identifier?


This Week in Health IT History

One year ago:

  • Allscripts acquires CarePort.
  • AHIMA announces its plans to offer a health informatics certificate.
  • The Internet goes dark in many parts of the country when hackers hit DNS routing company Dyn.

Five years ago:

  • Wolters Kluwer announces that it will acquire Health Language.
  • NYC H+H’s board minutes explain why it chose Epic to replace QuadraMed CPR, a decision that led Allscripts to sue the health system for giving Epic the bid in what it claimed was improper procurement.
  • Google shares drop sharply when its financial printing firm releases the company’s SEC Form 8K in the middle of the day instead of after hours.
  • An IOM report finds that a health system co-managed by the DoD and VA s is spending an extra $700,000 per year for pharmacists to enter prescription data, required because their separate EHRs cannot create a sequential prescription number.

Ten years ago:

  • Medsphere settles its $50 million trade secrets and contract breach lawsuit brought against founding brothers Scott and Steve Shreeve.
  • Eclipsys announces plans to move its headquarters from Boca Raton, FL to Atlanta.
  • A Misys report concludes that doctors don’t use EMRs because they are expensive and hard to use.

Last Week’s Most Interesting News

  • A Wall Street Journal report says that waiting room digital advertising company Outcome Health misled investors about its advertising performance as fresh investment sent its valuation soaring to $5 billion.
  • President Trump signed an executive order that allows people to sidestep exchanges to buy less-expensive but less-comprehensive policies, a move that threatens to further destabilize ACA insurer risk pools.
  • Express Scripts announces plans to acquire EviCore Healthcare for $3.6 billion.

Webinars

October 19 (Thursday) noon ET. “Understanding Enterprise Health Clouds with Forrester:  What can they do for you, and how do you choose the right one?” Sponsored by: Salesforce. Presenters: Joshua Newman, MD, chief medical officer, Salesforce; Kate McCarthy, senior analyst, Forrester. McCarthy will demystify industry solutions while offering insights from her recent Forrester report on enterprise health clouds. Newman and customers from leading healthcare organizations will share insights on how they drive efficiencies, manage patient and member journeys, and connect the entire healthcare ecosystem on the Salesforce platform.

October 24 (Tuesday) 1:00 ET. “Improve Care and Save Clinician Time by Streamlining Specialty Drug Prescribing.” Sponsored by: ZappRx. Presenter: Jeremy Feldman, MD, director, pulmonary hypertension and advanced lung disease program and medical director of research, Arizona Pulmonary Specialists. Clinicians spend an average of 20 minutes to prescribe a single specialty drug and untold extra hours each month completing prior authorization (PA) paperwork to get patients the medications they need. This webinar will describe how Arizona Pulmonary Specialists automated the inefficient specialty drug ordering process to improve patient care while saving its clinicians time.

October 25 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET. “Delivering the Healthcare Pricing Transparency that Consumers are Demanding.” Sponsored by: Health Catalyst. Presenter: Gene Thompson, director, Health City Cayman Islands. Health systems are unlike every other major consumer category in not providing upfront pricing information. Learn how one health system has developed predictable, transparent bundled pricing for most major specialties. Attendees will gain insight into the importance of their quality measures and their use of actual daily procedure costing rather than allocated costs. They will also learn about the strategic risk of other market participants competing with single bundled pricing. The organization’s director will expand how its years-long process is enabling healthcare delivery reform.

October 26 (Thursday) 2:00 ET. “Is your EHR limiting your success in value-based care?” Sponsored by: Philips Wellcentive. Presenters: Lindsey Bates, market director of compliance, Philips Wellcentive; Greg Fulton, industry and public policy lead, Philips Wellcentive. No single technology solution will solve every problem, so ensuring you select the ones most aligned to meet your strategic goals can be the difference between thriving or merely surviving. From quality reporting to analytics to measures building, developing a comprehensive healthcare strategy that will support your journey in population health and value-base care programs is the foundation of success. Join Philips Wellcentive for our upcoming interactive webinar, where we’ll help you evolve ahead of the industry, setting the right strategic goals and getting the most out of your technology solutions.

November 8 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET. “How Clinically Integrated Networks Can Overcome the Technical Challenges to Data-Sharing.” Sponsored by: Liaison Technologies. Presenters: Dominick Mack, MD, executive medical director, Georgia Health Information Technology Extension Center and Georgia Health Connect, director, National Center for Primary Care, and associate professor, Morehouse School of Medicine;  Gary Palgon, VP of  healthcare and life sciences solutions, Liaison Technologies. This webinar will describe how Georgia Heath Connect connects clinically integrated networks to hospitals and small and rural practices, helping providers in medically underserved communities meet MACRA requirements by providing technology, technology support, and education that accelerates regulatory compliance and improves outcomes.

Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre for information.


Sales

Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services (MI) chooses Epic.


People

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Former CMS Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt joins growth equity firm General Atlantic as special advisor, focusing on healthcare investments in underserved populations. HIStalk readers are cited in General Atlantic’s announcement for voting Slavitt as their “Healthcare IT Industry Figure of the Year” for 2016.


Announcements and Implementations

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Hospital operator Mercy’s IT organization and device maker Medtronic will work together to capture de-identified data from heart failure patients to analyze their response to cardiac resynchronization therapy. Medtronic, based in Ireland after a controversial 2015 move of its US headquarters to Dublin to dodge US taxes, sells an implantable device that offers that therapy.


Government and Politics

Two senators write to President Trump to inquire why he declared on August 10, 2017 that “the opioid crisis is an emergency and I’m saying officially right now it is an emergency” without following through on the legal rather than the rhetorical declaration that is required to take federal action.


Privacy and Security

A Microsoft executive says that the government of North Korea was responsible for using stolen NSA tools to create the WannaCry malware that hit hospitals hard earlier this year.


Other

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A 28-year-old New York man and self-described “serial data tracker” says his two-year-old Apple Watch saved his life by alerting him that his heart rate had jumped, which turned out to be a symptom of a pulmonary embolism that was successfully treated.

An 85-year-old New Hampshire pediatrician says the state is shutting her practice down for not using an EHR and therefore not checking the state’s doctor-shopper database before prescribing, although she fails to note that she willfully signed an agreement to close the practice after an investigation into poor documentation and questionable decision-making. The Poland-trained doctor claims that New London Hospital, with which she is affiliated, is trying to steal her patients. She doesn’t believe in technology:

I cannot practice medicine because the system practices with electronics. The computer is giving the diagnosis and telling them what medicine to prescribe. They practice medicine, and I practice medical art. They manage the patient, and I treat the patient … It’s fine if you are with the system. If you are not, you are an enemy of the system.”

Patients in England report that their doctors are ridiculing and threatening patients who research their issues on the Internet before a visit.

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CNN finds that drug companies are making hundreds of millions of dollars each year – much of it paid by Medicare – on Nuedexta, intended for treating a relatively rare condition that causes laughing and crying in multiple sclerosis patients, but being aggressively marketed by salespeople for dementia patients in nursing homes. Its manufacturer has also paid many millions to doctors in honoraria and consulting fees, with doctors who have received those payments being responsible for nearly half of the Medicare claims paid for the drug. Nuedexta, which costs over $9,000 per year, contains two ancient, dirt-cheap drugs – dextromethorphan (in over-the-counter cough syrups) and quinidine sulfate (a bark-derived heart drug that’s so old that nobody can remember when it was first used). The unfortunately not-rare condition it causes rather than cures is excessive pharma laughing all the way to the bank.

A visitor is stabbed to death in his son’s hospital room at Johns Hopkins Hospital (MD), with police investigating a domestic issue trying to determine whether it was murder or suicide.

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In India, a bystander captures on video a hospital dumping its medical waste into a river.

Weird News Andy is singing “Sole Man” while failing to identify a good ICD-10 code after reading this story. A man in England goes into cardiac arrest after swallowing a six-inch Dover sole, saved by a first responder who was able to remove the fish after six tries. The man claimed that the fish spontaneously leaped from the water into his mouth, but a friend told the first responder that the intrepid angler was fooling around by putting the just-caught fish over his mouth, only to be rendered speechless when it wriggled down his throat.


Sponsor Updates

  • Harris Healthcare will exhibit at AHAAM’s Annual National Institute Conference October 18-22 in Nashville.
  • Vocera will exhibit at the ANIA DFW Clinical Informatics Academy October 18 in Grand Prairie, TX.
  • Black Book ranks ZeOmega number one for care management workflow applications, and includes it on its list of Top 50 Disruptive Health IT Companies.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Mr. H, Lorre, Jenn, Dr. Jayne, Lt. Dan.
Get HIStalk updates. Send news or rumors.
Contact us.

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Events and Updates

October 14, 2017 News No Comments

Upcoming Webinars


Recorded Webinars

Sponsor Announcements

Events

Jobs

News 10/13/17

October 12, 2017 News 5 Comments

Top News

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A Wall Street Journal report says that Chicago-based waiting room digital advertising company Outcome Health overcharged drug company advertisers by intentionally claiming an inflated number of screens in use, manipulating third-party ad performance analyses, and creating phony ad campaign screen shots.

The company, formerly known as ContextMedia Health, has placed three employees on paid leave pending an investigation.

A former executive who confronted co-founder and CEO Rishi Shah about questionable business practices lasted only two weeks, joining the seven executives who have left the company so far this year.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel helped dedicate a 29-story building that was renamed Outcome Tower in late September, the same day the company finalized plans to lay off 76 of its 600 employees.

Drug companies had previously obtained refunds from the company after their reps noticed that claimed devices in medical practices weren’t actually there. Outcome has also been accused of altering prescribing data from QuintilesIMS to make its campaigns look more successful, which earned Outcome a scolding from IMS.

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Outcome Health’s last fund-raise valued it at $5 billion, making co-founders Rishi Shah and Shradha Agarwal, aged 31 and 32, respectively, paper billionaires.


Reader Comments

From Kyle vs. Givenchy: “Re: Athenahealth. Per the KLAS report, 13 of 28 Athenahealth customers have delayed or cancelled go-lives, not the 20 claimed. Seven of eight reported pharmacy-related issues, while end users are less enthusiastic than executives.” Unverified. I don’t see KLAS reports since they quit sending them to me, so I’ll take your word for what it found.

From Jake Asp: “Re: telemedicine. I didn’t see this news item mentioned.” I rarely mention telemedicine news because it has nearly zero to do with health IT. Talking to a doctor over a video connection is no different than calling them up on the telephone and that’s not going to get health IT geeks excited. I’m puzzled by health IT sites fawn over virtual visit news or proposed telehealth regulatory changes, maybe because those topics are easy for inexperienced people to write about. I go off-topic only (sometimes wildly) when I read something that I think will interest my peers and even then it’s only a tiny blurb rather than a padded-out article.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

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Welcome to new HIStalk Platinum Sponsor Change Healthcare. The new, Nashville-based, 15,000-employee Change Healthcare — one of the largest independent technology companies in the US — includes most of the former McKesson Technology Solutions as well as the former Emdeon, which was renamed Change Healthcare when Emdeon acquired that company in September 2015. The company serves payers (Intelligent Healthcare Network for financial and administrative transaction processing); providers (eligibility, claims, productivity, imaging, clinical workflow, and value-based care); and consumers (True View Health Shopping Platform). The company just announced healthcare’s first enterprise blockchain solution. Thanks to Change Healthcare for supporting HIStalk.

Listening: new from the amazing Michigan-based hip-hop artist NF (born Nathan Feuerstein), whose hard-hitting yet non-explicit lyrics allow focusing on the anger and self-doubt he describes rather than the usual vapid, misogynistic swagger. The 26-year-old wrote about his mother’s drug overdose death in “How Could You Leave Us?”: “I don’t get it mom, don’t you want to watch your babies grow?; I guess that pills are more important, all you have to say is no; But you won’t do it, will you? You gon’ keep popping ’til those pills kill you; I know you gone but I can still feel you.” His long tour that starts in January includes a lot of stops in health IT centers like Nashville, Atlanta, Raleigh, Boston, Madison, and Kansas City. I’m also enjoying questionably named but inarguably talented Wales-based hard rockers Catfish and the Bottlemen.

This week on HIStalk Practice: Lightbeam Health Solutions will provide population health management solutions to American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians. In the Consultant’s Corner, Brad Boyd offers tips to help practice administrators proactively address physician burnout. Azalea Health merges with Prognosis Innovation Healthcare. Vermont physicians face criticism as medical marijuana clinics attempt to take off. ZDoggMD brings the house down at MGMA. Follow-up study shows PCP antibiotic overprescribing habits could benefit from “nudges.” Hope Orthopedics of Oregon kicks off patient-reported outcomes program. Formativ Health helps independent MDs in Pennsylvania transition to value-based care.


Webinars

October 19 (Thursday) noon ET. “Understanding Enterprise Health Clouds with Forrester:  What can they do for you, and how do you choose the right one?” Sponsored by: Salesforce. Presenters: Joshua Newman, MD, chief medical officer, Salesforce; Kate McCarthy, senior analyst, Forrester. McCarthy will demystify industry solutions while offering insights from her recent Forrester report on enterprise health clouds. Newman and customers from leading healthcare organizations will share insights on how they drive efficiencies, manage patient and member journeys, and connect the entire healthcare ecosystem on the Salesforce platform.

October 24 (Tuesday) 1:00 ET. “Improve Care and Save Clinician Time by Streamlining Specialty Drug Prescribing.” Sponsored by: ZappRx. Presenter: Jeremy Feldman, MD, director, pulmonary hypertension and advanced lung disease program and medical director of research, Arizona Pulmonary Specialists. Clinicians spend an average of 20 minutes to prescribe a single specialty drug and untold extra hours each month completing prior authorization (PA) paperwork to get patients the medications they need. This webinar will describe how Arizona Pulmonary Specialists automated the inefficient specialty drug ordering process to improve patient care while saving its clinicians time.

October 25 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET. “Delivering the Healthcare Pricing Transparency that Consumers are Demanding.” Sponsored by: Health Catalyst. Presenter: Gene Thompson, director, Health City Cayman Islands. Health systems are unlike every other major consumer category in not providing upfront pricing information. Learn how one health system has developed predictable, transparent bundled pricing for most major specialties. Attendees will gain insight into the importance of their quality measures and their use of actual daily procedure costing rather than allocated costs. They will also learn about the strategic risk of other market participants competing with single bundled pricing. The organization’s director will expand how its years-long process is enabling healthcare delivery reform.

October 26 (Thursday) 2:00 ET. “Is your EHR limiting your success in value-based care?” Sponsored by: Philips Wellcentive. Presenters: Lindsey Bates, market director of compliance, Philips Wellcentive; Greg Fulton, industry and public policy lead, Philips Wellcentive. No single technology solution will solve every problem, so ensuring you select the ones most aligned to meet your strategic goals can be the difference between thriving or merely surviving. From quality reporting to analytics to measures building, developing a comprehensive healthcare strategy that will support your journey in population health and value-base care programs is the foundation of success. Join Philips Wellcentive for our upcoming interactive webinar, where we’ll help you evolve ahead of the industry, setting the right strategic goals and getting the most out of your technology solutions.

November 8 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET. “How Clinically Integrated Networks Can Overcome the Technical Challenges to Data-Sharing.” Sponsored by: Liaison Technologies. Presenters: Dominick Mack, MD, executive medical director, Georgia Health Information Technology Extension Center and Georgia Health Connect, director, National Center for Primary Care, and associate professor, Morehouse School of Medicine;  Gary Palgon, VP of  healthcare and life sciences solutions, Liaison Technologies. This webinar will describe how Georgia Heath Connect connects clinically integrated networks to hospitals and small and rural practices, helping providers in medically underserved communities meet MACRA requirements by providing technology, technology support, and education that accelerates regulatory compliance and improves outcomes.

Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre for information.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Atlanta-based ambulatory EHR/PM vendor Azalea Health acquires community hospital EHR vendor Prognosis Innovation Healthcare, which was known as Prognosis Health Information Systems until it was renamed in 2014 by its new private equity owners. I interviewed Ramsey Evans, then CEO of Prognosis, way back in September 2010. He left the company in 2013 to return to Keais Records Retrieval as CFO and board chair – the Houston-based company offers electronic medical records retrieval for attorneys.

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Consumer health benefits and wellness technology vendor Welltok acquires Tea Leaves Health, which offers consumer and physician relationship management systems. Ziff Davis, which bought 60-employee, Atlanta-based Tea Leaves for $30 million in 2015, sold it to Welltok for $83 million. Ziff Davis is owned by Internet company J2 Global, which also owns Everyday Health (MedPage Today, KevinMD.com and MayoClinic.org). ZD said in February 2017 that Tea Leaves might never make a profit.

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The private equity owner of revenue cycle technology vendor Practice Insight sells the business to an unnamed buyer.

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Wellness app vendor StayWell, a subsidiary of drug maker Merck, acquires MedHelp’s health engagement platform. Meanwhile, health shopping site operator Vitals buys MedHelp’s online health communities business.


Sales

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North Carolina Hospital Association chooses PatientPing to offer statewide, real-time care coordination.


Announcements and Implementations

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Cerner tells its user group attendees that it will continue to offer free CommonWell services through 2020.

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Flirtey, which uses drones to deliver emergency medical supplies, will send automated external defibrillators in response to 911 cardiac arrest calls received by northern Nevada emergency medical provider REMSA. 

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Summit Healthcare chooses system integrator Speedum Technologies Health Solutions to resell its integration platform, scripting tool, and downtime reporting system.

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EClinicalWorks will partner with clinical data registry and analytics vendor FIGmd to offer its EHR users connectivity to specialty registries.


Government and Politics

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President Trump takes another step to kill the Affordable Care Act by signing an executive order that will make it easier for small businesses and perhaps even individuals to band together to buy health insurance across state lines (which is already legal but rarely done since it’s hard for insurers to create networks in new states and such sales require state-by-state approval). The order will also again allow the sale of short-term policies that don’t cover pre-existing conditions, which the ACA halted. Critics worry that cheap but low-quality plans will draw healthy people away from ACA plans, driving up premiums as sicker people are left without alternatives. Health systems will be watching the change in their patient bases closely. ACA expert Charles Gaba’s expert analysis is sobering and is a reminder that “slicing up the risk pool does absolutely nothing to lower the total cost of healthcare.” HHS will be responsible for setting definitions in drafting the legislation, which will likely take several months if the order survives the inevitable legal challenges.


Privacy and Security

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A security researcher finds that the website of Equifax – fresh off its massive breach that exposed the information of 146 million people – was hacked this week, with visitors being tricked into installing an adware-pushing app posing as an update to Adobe Flash.


Other

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Paul Purcell, administrator of STEP Pediatrics (TX), reports that Memorial Hermann some doctors are going back to paper after a nine-day performance problem caused by an EClinicalWorks upgrade.

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An interesting review by Pew Charitable Trusts finds that a remarkable number of Americans use life-sustaining technologies in their homes and are thus vulnerable to storm-related power outages. HHS mined its Medicare claims database to create a map of people who had received government-provided medical equipment to help health officials locate them in an emergency.

In a PR move that always strikes me as a self-serving form of cost-shifting, at least one Las Vegas hospital and two ambulance services announce that they will not charge victims of the recent mass shooting for the services they received. Other patients whose circumstances were judged as less meaningful will have to cover the cost of the non-profit largesse, which would ring truer if the organizations just did it without crowing.

A Harvard Business Review article by two Bain & Company’s healthcare partners cites surveys suggesting that doctors understand that the cost of drugs and clinical care are too high, but that nobody’s inviting them to the table to figure out how to control costs, improve performance, or move to new reimbursement models.

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Analysis finds that dialysis operator DaVita makes more than half its profit from patients who receive charity help to pay their insurance premiums, with 13 percent of its patients receiving help from the American Kidney Fund to which DaVita makes tax-free donations. The company benefits because private insurance pays more than Medicare or Medicaid, with charity-funded insured patients contributing $540 million to the company’s annual profit.

The hospitals in Ontario’s largest network are reviewing five million electronic patient records after a patient-reported error leads them to discover a few incorrect records.

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Count me in for a comprehensive $3,300 report on the “HER” market, as it’s referred to 25 times in the announcement without the sharp-eyed editors noticing their mistake. Adding to my interest is that the company’s address from which a wide variety of crappy reports emanate is — like the addresses of some of its 25 associated publishers — a house in a residential neighborhood. The report description is loaded with fractured English as a second language, but I’ll focus on “till,” best used as a synonym for “cash register” or as a verb referring to “plow” rather than a sloppy substitute for “until.”

Ross Martin, MD and his The American College of Medical Informatimusicology debuts his new song “DigituRN” at the Tri-State Health Informatics Summit this week. The term refers to transforming the nursing profession through informatics and digital innovation.  

Weird News Andy likes that several animation studios worked with the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation for free to create short videos explaining procedures and conditions to children, a project they call Imaginary Friend Society.


Sponsor Updates

  • MedData and Experian Health will exhibit at the TAHFA & HFMA South Texas Fall Symposium October 15-17 in San Antonio.
  • Meditech will host the 2017 Physician and CIO Forum October 18-19 in Foxborough, MA.
  • Navicure will exhibit at the Raintree User Conference October 16-18 in San Antonio.
  • Health Catalyst is named as the 17th fastest-growing company in Utah, with sales growing 1,700 percent in five years.
  • National Decision Support Co. and Parallon Technology Solutions will exhibit at the Meditech 2017 Physician and CIO Forum October 18-19 in Foxborough, MA.
  • Netsmart will exhibit at the National Association for Home Care and Hospice Conference October 15 in Long Beach, CA.
  • Clinical Computer Systems, developer of the Obix Perinatal Data System, will exhibit at the Washington State AWHONN Conference October 15-17 in Lake Chelan, WA.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Mr. H, Lorre, Jenn, Dr. Jayne, Lt. Dan.
Get HIStalk updates. Send news or rumors.
Contact us.

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News 10/11/17

October 10, 2017 News 4 Comments

Top News

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Pharmacy benefits manager Express Scripts will acquire care management vendor EviCore Healthcare for $3.6 billion.

Private equity firm General Atlantic formed EviCore in 2014 in merging its acquisitions CareCore (acquired in January 2014 for an undisclosed price) and MedSolutions (acquired in November 2014 for a reported $1 billion). The company renamed itself to EviCore in June 2015. 

EviCore was rumored to be seeking a buyer in May 2017 in hoping for a valuation of more than $4 billion, but was simultaneously planning an IPO in case no acceptable offers were made.

EviCore Chairman and CEO John Arlotta has worked for General Atlantic and was previously president of Express Scripts competitor Caremark RX (now CVS Caremark).


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

Every October Lorre offers a deal for new HIStalk sponsors – sign up now and get the rest of 2017 free. Contact her if you want in before the usual pre-HIMSS rush that, shockingly, will be here before we know it.

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I wanted to buy a baby monitor for some relatives who are new parents and ran across this IP-based camera that was so cool I had to get myself one afterward. The TenVis HD camera features two-way audio, rotation, night vision with 32-foot range, a micro SD card slot for recording, optional emailing of a snapshot or a telephone alert when it detects movement, and an app that allows viewing real-time video from anywhere. That’s a lot of technology in a $40 device. Setup was nearly instantaneous over WiFi, although I had to throttle back my router to 2.4 GHz for configuration and then switch it back to 5 GHz afterward because of some quirk. I don’t need to monitor babies, but it’s fun to check out what’s happening in the living room from anywhere in the house or anywhere in the world, while other Amazon reviewers love it for keeping an eye on elderly parents or driving their dogs crazy by talking to them from afar. My gift recipients report an added benefit that I hadn’t thought of – they’ve given the far-away grandparents access so they can take a wistful look at the little one whenever they want.


Webinars

October 17 (Tuesday) noon ET. “Improve Care and Save Clinician Time by Streamlining Specialty Drug Prescribing.” Sponsored by: ZappRx. Presenter: Jeremy Feldman, MD, director, pulmonary hypertension and advanced lung disease program and medical director of research, Arizona Pulmonary Specialists. Clinicians spend an average of 20 minutes to prescribe a single specialty drug and untold extra hours each month completing prior authorization (PA) paperwork to get patients the medications they need. This webinar will describe how Arizona Pulmonary Specialists automated the inefficient specialty drug ordering process to improve patient care while saving its clinicians time.

October 19 (Thursday) noon ET. “Understanding Enterprise Health Clouds with Forrester:  What can they do for you, and how do you choose the right one?” Sponsored by: Salesforce. Presenters: Joshua Newman, MD, chief medical officer, Salesforce; Kate McCarthy, senior analyst, Forrester. McCarthy will demystify industry solutions while offering insights from her recent Forrester report on enterprise health clouds. Newman and customers from leading healthcare organizations will share insights on how they drive efficiencies, manage patient and member journeys, and connect the entire healthcare ecosystem on the Salesforce platform.

October 26 (Thursday) 2:00 ET. “Is your EHR limiting your success in value-based care?” Sponsored by: Philips Wellcentive. Presenters: Lindsey Bates, market director of compliance, Philips Wellcentive; Greg Fulton, industry and public policy lead, Philips Wellcentive. No single technology solution will solve every problem, so ensuring you select the ones most aligned to meet your strategic goals can be the difference between thriving or merely surviving. From quality reporting to analytics to measures building, developing a comprehensive healthcare strategy that will support your journey in population health and value-base care programs is the foundation of success. Join Philips Wellcentive for our upcoming interactive webinar, where we’ll help you evolve ahead of the industry, setting the right strategic goals and getting the most out of your technology solutions.

November 8 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET. “How Clinically Integrated Networks Can Overcome the Technical Challenges to Data-Sharing.” Sponsored by: Liaison Technologies. Presenters: Dominick Mack, MD, executive medical director, Georgia Health Information Technology Extension Center and Georgia Health Connect, director, National Center for Primary Care, and associate professor, Morehouse School of Medicine;  Gary Palgon, VP of  healthcare and life sciences solutions, Liaison Technologies. This webinar will describe how Georgia Heath Connect connects clinically integrated networks to hospitals and small and rural practices, helping providers in medically underserved communities meet MACRA requirements by providing technology, technology support, and education that accelerates regulatory compliance and improves outcomes.

Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre for information.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Telahealth technology vendor Avizia acquires Seattle-based virtual clinic operator Carena.

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Pittsburgh-based AI vendor Petuum — which  is developing  products for several industries including an EHR-powered disease and treatment module — receives a $93 million investment, increasing its total to $108 million. Two of the three founders earned PhDs from Carnegie Mellon University in computer science and machine learning, respectively.


Sales

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Aetna selects Stanson Health to automate its clinical prior authorization process by integrating with provider EHRs to collect both discrete and free-text information.

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Southwestern Health Resources (TX) chooses Phynd’s provider management system that will integrate with its Epic and credentialing systems, managing 50,000 providers in 31 hospitals.


People

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Chris Mathia (Hyland) joins Innara Health as EVP of sales.


Announcements and Implementations

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Clinical Architecture releases version 2.0 of its Symedical enterprise terminology management platform.

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EClinicalWorks announces that its EHR now supports the OpenNotes initiative in allowing clinicians to share visit notes with patients via its patient portal.

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Nokia will cease development of its $45,000, 360-degree Ozo virtual reality camera for filmmakers, saying that the VR market is developing more slowly than the company expected. Nokia will focus on digital health, enabled by its June 2016 acquisition of France-based consumer medical gadget vendor Withings for $191 million.

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HIMSS Analytics launches a mobile version of its Logic database, giving health IT salespeople access to information about provider organizations and their technology-related activities.

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Switzerland-based Ascom releases Digistat Vitals, which allows bedside EHR entry of vital signs and clinical scores in eliminating double entry and paper transcription.

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PatientKeeper announces a hosted version of its physician charge capture solution.


Government and Politics

A study finds that the FDA‘s requirement that direct-to-consumer drug advertisements list side effects paradoxically increases sales of potentially dangerous drugs. The “argument dilution effect” leads consumers to assume that the mandatory long list of possible side effects – some of them included because of frequency of occurrence rather than severity – misleads them into thinking a drug isn’t likely to harm them.

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A former Missouri nursing home company CEO is sentenced to 41 months in prison and ordered to pay $667,000 in restitution for using Medicaid payments to pay for strippers, casinos, and country clubs as residents of his facilities were given clear broth as meals and did not receive their meds because the company failed to pay its pharmacy provider.


Privacy and Security

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Security researchers find an unsecured Amazon Web Services S3 file containing the medical information of 150,000 people, apparently patients of anticoagulant monitoring company Patient Home Monitoring Corporation.

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In a related item, another security firm finds four unsecured, Accenture-owned AWS S3 buckets holding customer decryption keys, passwords, and certificates. Ironically, the exposed information includes software for Accenture Cloud Platform, the company’s enterprise cloud offering.


Technology

A Wall Street Journal review of scientific studies confirms my suspicion that smartphones make their users stupider. Not only do phones distract people from real-world tasks (the average phone user whips theirs out 80 times per day), keeping a phone “nearby and in sight” diminishes the ability to learn, reason, and solve problems even as users suffer from “delusions of intelligence” in confusing what they actually know vs. what they can look up on their phones. The article notes,

It isn’t just our reasoning that takes a hit when phones are around. Social skills and relationships seem to suffer as well. Because smartphones serve as constant reminders of all the friends we could be chatting with electronically, they pull at our minds when we’re talking with people in person, leaving our conversations shallower and less satisfying … The evidence that our phones can get inside our heads so forcefully is unsettling. It suggests that our thoughts and feelings, far from being sequestered in our skulls, can be skewed by external forces we’re not even aware of … A quarter-century ago, when we first started going online, we took it on faith that the web would make us smarter: More information would breed sharper thinking. We now know it isn’t that simple. The way a media device is designed and used exerts at least as much influence over our minds as does the information that the device unlocks.

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In England, the local paper covers the use by King George Hospital of Vitalpac, an iPad-based vital signs documentation system from System C Healthcare that has reduced hourly rounding time by 75 percent. McKesson bought England-based System C for $140 million in 2011, then sold it to private equity form Symphony Technology Group in 2014 as McKesson began its health IT exit.


Other

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Two Northern California hospitals – Santa Rosa Memorial and Queen of the Valley Medical Center — evacuate patients after Wine Country wildfires spread to 100,000 acres, burning down 1,500 buildings and killing a least 11 people. If there’s such a thing as wine futures, now would be a great time to load up.

A. James Bender, MD, medical director for clinical informatics at Virginia Mason (WA) and his Virginia Mason Center for Health Care Solutions co-author write in Harvard Business Review that the EHR is increasing innovation, with these examples:

  • Alerting clinicians about possible omissions in care based on evidence.
  • Adding transparency to patient and family engagement with ICU electronic patient scoreboards to prevent blood clots.
  • Providing intelligence, such as auto-ordering of labs when specific drugs are ordered.
  • Blocking orders for high-cost imaging studies that are not supported by evidence.

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The local paper reports that three-hospital Maui Health System (HI) has experienced a few technology problems in the first 100 days of turning over operation of the to Kaiser Permanente. Community-based doctors say they don’t automatically receive faxed information about the hospital visits of their patients like they used to, causing billing delays.

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The Salt Lake City, UT police chief fires the detective who handcuffed an ED nurse who refused to allow him to draw a blood sample from a patient without obtaining a warrant as hospital policy requires.

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The work of Richard Thaler, who just won the economics Nobel  prize, has healthcare implications. His specialty is behavioral economics, which studies why people act irrationally when it comes to money, why they fail to stick with their plans, and how they choose whether to act selfishly or selflessly. He says people segregate money in mental accounts and it’s easier for them to spend someone else’s money. He also urges organizations and government to nudge people to help them make good decisions, which would make his observations on the US healthcare system interesting. He said previously that employer healthcare insurance sites are too complicated, such as displaying deductibles as a full-year sum while pricing premiums by the paycheck. One of his significant contributions involved 2006 federal retirement savings plan changes that encouraged employers to make participation opt-out rather than opt-in, which doubled participation, although he’s disappointed that companies encourage under-contribution by setting the default contribution at the minimum amount instead of escalating it over time.

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A woman in Japan posts Instagram-worthy photos of the hospital meals she was served following the birth of her child, making it obvious that they do things differently there. 


Sponsor Updates

  • Colquitt Regional Medical Center (GA) describes the benefits it has seen from its summer 2016 go-live on Meditech 6.1.
  • Fortified Health Security President Dan Dodson will present “Out of the Dark: Seeing and Securing Network-Connected Medical Devices” at the Raleigh Health IT Summit on October 20.
  • Aprima will exhibit at the American Academy of Home Care Medicine Annual Meeting October 13-14 in Rosemont, IL.
  • Besler Consulting will present at the SC HFMA Fall Institute October 12 in Greenville.
  • Black Book publishes the results of its annual outsourced coding and HIM market client experience surveys.
  • CoverMyMeds partners with Pelotonia to raise over $100,000 for cancer research.
  • CTG will exhibit at the Northwest Arkansas Technology Summit October 17 in Rogers.
  • Direct Consulting Associates, Imprivata, and InterSystems will exhibit at the Health Connect Partners Hospital & Healthcare IT Conference October 18-20 in Chicago.
  • Dimensional Insight will exhibit at the HFMA Region 2 meeting October 18 in Verona, NY.
  • FormFast will exhibit at the ASHRM Annual Conference & Exhibition October 15-18 in Seattle.
  • Healthwise will exhibit at Philips Connect2Care October 16-18 in Los Angeles.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Mr. H, Lorre, Jenn, Dr. Jayne, Lt. Dan.
Get HIStalk updates. Send news or rumors.
Contact us.

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Monday Morning Update 10/9/17

October 8, 2017 News 6 Comments

Top News

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EClinicalWorks says at its annual user conference in Grapevine, TX that it had Q3 revenue of $130 million. The company notes that its EHR is the second-most widely used in the US.

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ECW’s migration statistics for 2017 to date show that the EHRs it most often replaces are those of Greenway (by far), Allscripts, and Athenahealth.

EClinicalWorks also announces December 2017 availability of an interoperability development platform that allows developers to connect to ECW’s API-enabled EHR.

Also announced: a voice-powered Virtual Assistant called Eva, Healow Virtual Room for telemedicine, and v11 of the company’s core product.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

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Two-thirds of poll respondents think customers that are featured in a vendor’s product sale announcement should be required to indicate whether they hold a financial interest in that vendor. The “required” part of that assertion is the problem, of course, since the obvious remaining issue is, “Required by whom?” Still, the idea that a provider’s purchase of a product wasn’t made using purely objective criteria is troubling to some since the announcement may influence others, especially in health IT-land where “I’ll have what he’s having” purchasing behavior is not uncommon.

New poll to your right or here: who among the rumored candidates would you like to see appointed HHS secretary? I can’t say I’m enthused about any of them except at least they aren’t Tom Price.

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Welcome to new HIStalk Gold Sponsor CenTrak. The Newtown, PA-based company’s real-time location system has been installed in 850 healthcare facilities, with its Clinical Grade-Visibility providing certainty-based location accuracy; rapid location and condition updates; easy installation without requiring patient rooms to be closed; and an open location platform that can be integrated with EHRs, nurse call, and other systems. Its app is available for both iOS and Android devices. CenTrak is KLAS’s 2017 Category Leader for Real-Time Location Systems, receiving the highest performance score among ranked RTLS vendors. The company offers a free Enterprise Location Services Handbook and an RTLS RFP template. Thanks to CenTrak for supporting HIStalk. 

I found this video describing how CenTrak is used at Our Lady of Lourdes Regional Medical Center (LA).

Thanks to the following companies that have recently supported HIStalk. Click a logo for more information.

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Listening: the amazing alt-acoustic Jamestown Story, which I’ve mentioned before since it’s a project of independent singer-songwriter Dane Schmidt, whose dad Mark is a consultant with Navin, Haffty & Associates. Mark reports that his other son Jordan is one of the top songwriters in country music and has three songs on the charts right now. I’m also listening to former Porcupine Tree singer and guitarist Steven Wilson, justifiably recommended by a reader who also suggests Wilson’s older work with the tragically underappreciated Porcupine Tree as a “modern Pink Floyd.” I’m tracking Porcupine Tree while I’m writing HIStalk today and it is stunningly perfect, even in live recordings. Video from Wilson’s live 2013 performance gives me prog chills, to the point that I just now bought tickets for his US tour that starts in April, where I’ll be silently thanking the reader who showed great insight in recommending Wilson’s music.


This Week in Health IT History

One year ago:

  • Theranos announces that it will close all of its clinical labs and lay off half of its employees in pivoting from running labs to commercializing its MiniLab testing system.
  • ICU monitoring technology vendor Sotera Wireless files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
  • Xerox, preparing to split itself into two publicly traded companies, chooses Conduent as the name of the business process services segment.
  • HHS publishes the final MACRA rule.

Five years ago:

  • Allscripts offers MyWay EHR customers a free upgrade to Professional as it begins the product’s retirement.
  • Allscripts files a protest against New York City’s hospital system for choosing Epic.
  • The developer of Nashville Medical Mart shuts down the project for lack of leasing interest.

Ten years ago:

  • Misys Healthcare re-forms under new private equity owner Vista Equity Partners and returns to its old name of Sunquest Information Systems, with Richard Atkin as president and CEO.
  • Microsoft’s healthcare head predicts that the company’s HealthVault personal health record and Azyxxi data aggregation platform will generate a billion dollars in annual revenue.
  • Word leaks out that Epic is developing its own PHR called Lucy.
  • Sage fires its North American executives as the company’s US performance continues to lag.

Last Week’s Most Interesting News

  • France-based IT consulting firm Atos acquires three US EHR-focused consulting companies.
  • The US Supreme Court hears arguments on the legality of Epic’s requirement that employees agree to arbitration rather than lawsuits to settle employment issues.
  • Several names are floated as possible replacements for fired HHS Secretary Tom Price.
  • A Wisconsin court reduces the $940 million awarded to Epic in its intellectual project lawsuit against Tata Consultancy to $420 million.
  • Canada’s Alberta Health chooses Epic.

Webinars

October 17 (Tuesday) noon ET. “Improve Care and Save Clinician Time by Streamlining Specialty Drug Prescribing.” Sponsored by: ZappRx. Presenter: Jeremy Feldman, MD, director, pulmonary hypertension and advanced lung disease program and medical director of research, Arizona Pulmonary Specialists. Clinicians who treat pulmonary arterial hypertension can spend an average of 20 minutes to prescribe a single specialty drug and untold extra hours each month completing prior authorization (PA) paperwork to get patients the medications they need. This webinar will describe how Arizona Pulmonary Specialists automated the inefficient specialty drug ordering process to improve patient care while saving its clinicians time.

October 19 (Thursday) noon ET. “Understanding Enterprise Health Clouds with Forrester:  What can they do for you, and how do you choose the right one?” Sponsored by: Salesforce. Presenters: Joshua Newman, MD, chief medical officer, Salesforce; Kate McCarthy, senior analyst, Forrester. McCarthy will demystify industry solutions while offering insights from her recent Forrester report on enterprise health clouds. Newman and customers from leading healthcare organizations will share insights on how they drive efficiencies, manage patient and member journeys, and connect the entire healthcare ecosystem on the Salesforce platform.

October 26 (Thursday) 2:00 ET. “Is your EHR limiting your success in value-based care?” Sponsored by: Philips Wellcentive. Presenters: Lindsey Bates, market director of compliance, Philips Wellcentive; Greg Fulton, industry and public policy lead, Philips Wellcentive. No single technology solution will solve every problem, so ensuring you select the ones most aligned to meet your strategic goals can be the difference between thriving or merely surviving. From quality reporting to analytics to measures building, developing a comprehensive healthcare strategy that will support your journey in population health and value-base care programs is the foundation of success. Join Philips Wellcentive for our upcoming interactive webinar, where we’ll help you evolve ahead of the industry, setting the right strategic goals and getting the most out of your technology solutions.

November 8 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET. “How Clinically Integrated Networks Can Overcome the Technical Challenges to Data-Sharing.” Sponsored by: Liaison Technologies. Presenters: Dominick Mack, MD, executive medical director, Georgia Health Information Technology Extension Center and Georgia Health Connect, director, National Center for Primary Care, and associate professor, Morehouse School of Medicine;  Gary Palgon, VP of  healthcare and life sciences solutions, Liaison Technologies. This webinar will describe how Georgia Heath Connect connects clinically integrated networks to hospitals and small and rural practices, helping providers in medically underserved communities meet MACRA requirements by providing technology, technology support, and education that accelerates regulatory compliance and improves outcomes.

Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre for informat


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Medecision acquires 58 client contracts of AxisPoint Health’s retired CCMS and Vital software platforms, making it the largest independent provider of care management applications in the country. AxisPoint Health has retained its services business. 

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A fascinating profile of the richest man in Florida — an immigrant from Hungary who made his many billions from the electronic stock brokerage he created — contains his deceptively simple business strategy: “My strategy has always been to try to focus in on a product or service where you can create a dollar of value for 20 cents and sell it for 40 cents. The only way to do that is to use technology that has not been used before in producing that product or service. If I can create that dollar, then I’m already ahead 20 cents of earnings, and I’m going to keep way way way ahead.” Thomas Peterffy said when he introduced hand-held computers to Wall Street trading floors in the 1980s, “I think the way a CEO runs his company is a reflection of his background. Business is a collection of processes, and my job is to automate those processes so that they can be done with the greatest amount of efficiency.” Some other quotes that may be applicable to healthcare IT:

  • “Some traders still think that a computer could not trade as well as they can.”
  • “I always preferred computer programmers because I knew how to talk to them. I never knew how to talk to salesmen because I never believed them.”
  • “I moved to a commodity trading firm and my job was to figure out how to price options. That was a very, very interesting job because in those days people were trading options by the seat of their pants because nobody understood the mathematics. And after a very long period of ruminating and running simulations on my computer, I eventually came up with a model that is very similar to what today is known as the Black-Scholes formula. Given the fact that I was the only one at the time who had that formula, I saved my money. I bought a seat at the American Stock Exchange and I became a market maker.”
  • “Given that the market is very complex and our strategy is to give our customers an advantage over the customers of other brokers, we cannot do that with just a simple system, so unfortunately the system has to be complex. The only way we can do that is to provide a facility just like your Apple iPhone. People who only use it to make phone calls and send texts don’t know about all the other things that it can do … As to onboarding, that’s been a hassle forever … The regulators tell us that we have to know our customer rules. We have to know many things about our customers to make sure that they will not do certain trades, because even though we don’t give any recommendations, we are liable. We have to make sure that they do not do trades that they are not fit for. I don’t really know how to judge that.”

Decisions

  • Palmetto Health (SC) will switch from McKesson Star to Cerner revenue cycle management in October 2018.
  • Cape Fear Valley Health System (NC) will replace Cerner revenue cycle management with that of an undecided company.

These provider-reported updates are supplied by Definitive Healthcare, which offers a free trial of its powerful intelligence on hospitals, physicians, and healthcare providers.


People

Health Catalyst promotes Patrick Nelli to CFO. He replaces Dan Strong who, unlike his replacement, has experience taking companies public.


Announcements and Implementations

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PatientKeeper announces Charge-Note Reconciliation, which automates the reconciliation of clinical notes and inpatient charges to find the 15-20 percent of typically unsubmitted professional charges. It’s available immediately in the company’s charge capture solution.


Other

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NPR covers the three-fourths of Puerto Rico hospitals that are still running on emergency power and no air conditioning. An Arecibo hospital’s cardiac unit registered 112 degrees, requiring patients to be moved by HHS’s Disaster Medical Assistance Team to air-conditioned tents. 

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Eric Topol, MD posted this about patients owning their data.

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A terminal cancer patient expresses frustration with feel-good healthcare marketing that spreads false hope of miraculous recoveries with endless pink ribbons and catchwords like “thrive” and “smile out,” with the implication that people like herself who are dying maybe just aren’t being positive enough. Experts say that hospitals market themselves against their competitors by tugging at emotions, while drug companies are prohibited by FDA from running “this is where miracles happen” type messages that aren’t backed by rigorous studies or outcomes results.

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Arizona funeral homes are left unable to bury their customers due to problems with the state’s new death certificate processing system that went live October 2. Bodies can’t be buried or cremated until doctors have acknowledged the cause of death and many doctors didn’t sign up for the new system, requiring some funeral homes to go back to paper.

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In England, West Suffolk Hospital stops using discharge letters after doctors complain that they contain errors in medication doses, a problem the hospital blames on a Cerner software bug. One doctor says a patient collapsed after following the incorrect dose listed in the letter.

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Congratulations to the 10 people (out of 252) who scored a perfect 100 percent in Dean Sittig’s informatics terminology quiz. The mean score was 68 percent, with the most-missed terms being “structural alignment” and “syncytium.” Biomedical informatics professor Dean just published “Clinical Informatics Literacy: 5,000 Concepts That Every Informatician Should Know.”

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Bizarre in mass hysteria, sad current events sort of way, especially if you thought you were the only one sick of the fall “pumpkin everywhere” craze. A Baltimore high school is evacuated, dozens of students are triaged by Hazmat teams, and five students and adults are hospitalized for breathing problems after reports of a strange smell. Firefighters discovered the cause in a classroom – someone had plugged in a pumpkin spice air freshener.

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In England, a hospital’s power goes off during electrical system testing, leaving the delivery suite in darkness just as midwives are cutting the new mom’s umbilical cord. Her mother whips out her smartphone and turns on its light to allow the delivery to be completed. The new mom reports, “There was just no dignity because I had people pointing their phones at me. It was so surreal. I was thinking, what is my mum doing? Is she filming this?”


Sponsor Updates

  • LifeImage and National Decision Support Co., Experian Health, the SSI Group, Summit Healthcare, Surescripts, and ZirMed will exhibit at the Cerner Health Conference October 9-12 in Kansas City, MO.
  • LogicStream Health will host a reception during the Cerner Health Conference October 10 from 5:30-7:30 at Cleaver & Cork in Kansas City, MO.
  • Meditech releases a video on its Sepsis Management Toolkit featuring Capital Region Medical Center Clinical Analyst Marlene Stiefermann, RN.
  • Navicure will exhibit at the US Women’s Health Alliance October 12-14 in San Antonio.
  • Clinical Computer Systems, developer of the Obix Perinatal Data System, will exhibit at the National Association of Neonatal Nurses October 11-13 in Providence, RI.
  • Harris Healthcare and Versus Technology will exhibit at the ANCC Magnet Conference October 11-13 in Houston.
  • Qpid Health will host “Artificial Intelligence (and More) in Healthcare” at its offices in Boston October 11.
  • Consulting Magazine includes Huron in the top 10 of its 2017 list of best firms to work for.
  • ZeOmega will exhibit at the California Association of Health Plans Annual Conference October 9-11 in Huntington Beach.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Mr. H, Lorre, Jenn, Dr. Jayne, Lt. Dan.
Get HIStalk updates. Send news or rumors.
Contact us.

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News 10/6/17

October 5, 2017 News 2 Comments

Top News

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France-based IT consulting firm Atos acquires three US healthcare consulting firms that focus on EHRs: Pursuit Healthcare Advisors, Conduent’s Healthcare Provider Consulting, and Conduent’s Breakaway Group.

The acquisition gives Atos 400 new consultants. The company expects its healthcare revenue to increase to $1.2 billion.

Atos acquired Anthelio Healthcare Solutions a year ago for $275 million in cash.


Reader Comments

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From Kyle Armbrester: “Re: Givenchy’s rumor report from Tuesday. The statement that ‘about 20 hospitals are cancelling scheduled go-lives’ is false. It’s unfortunate that a few, CPSI in particular, persist in seeding and spreading misinformation about Athenahealth and our in-market momentum and success. Some facts: Earlier this year, KLAS reported that only three vendors achieved net gains in the hospital space—Cerner, Epic, and Athenahealth. Our clients are realizing improved financial and clinical results; four out of five of executives who we work with are seeing real positive impact on bottom lines (KLAS). We have plenty who would love to do a Q&A for HIStalk. We are building true partnerships across the community hospital space which are directly attributed to addressing the needs of an underserved segment. We offer low up-front costs, no maintenance fees, and aligned incentives. It’s our cloud-based, results-oriented platform model that gives us our edge and sets us apart from traditional software players that now seem to be kicking-up some in-market desperate and unsavory behavior. Givenchy, would love to talk further.” Kyle is chief product officer at Athenahealth. Givenchy also named three specific (but still unverified) hospitals that have returned to CPSI, not including Jackson Medical Center (AL), which a CPSI-issued press release says went back to Evident Thrive after its collections dropped 75 percent after a few months running Athenahealth. I’m happy to talk to folks from hospitals that have either gone live on Athenahealth in the past 6-12 months or that have returned to CPSI after trying Athenahealth, which is about as fair and direct as I can make it.

From Cheap Seater: “Re: cavorting on the UGM stage. What about so-called journalists who make the mistake of letting vendors court them at user meetings and conferences?” I think that happens only rarely since most of those folks don’t have a lot of influence to be worth courting, but I do picture most industry writers as introverted, inexperienced with frontline healthcare or IT, and easily swayed by token vendor executive attention, so I agree that their reporting might be suspect at times. It’s like reading an online review from Yelp or elsewhere – be wary of starry-eyed accounts that don’t contain at least one negative observation. I like staying anonymous because that removes even the possibility of vendors trying to apply schmooze in return for positive commentary. It’s like fake news – the problem isn’t that it exists, it’s that Facebook users aren’t smart enough to recognize it or are so anxious to validate their beliefs that they suspend whatever objectivity they once had.

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From Lazy Crazy AZ Days of Summer: “Re: Banner Health. Went big bang in replacing Epic at the former University of Arizona Health Network on October 1. A colleague says ED lab turnaround is six hours and they had to divert patients.” I reached out to Banner, whose PR contact said the hospital was briefly on diversion for some ED patients, but remained open for trauma and walk-ins. They are now off diversion.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

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Welcome to new HIStalk Platinum Sponsor CarePort. The Boston-based company – acquired by Allscripts a year ago – offers a care coordination platform that bridges acute and post-acute EHRs, providing visibility into the care that patients receive across post-acute settings so that all providers and payers can efficiently and effectively coordinate patient care. Starting at discharge, CarePort Guide enables patients to choose the best next level of care based post-acute quality scores, services, and geography. Post-discharge, CarePort Connect helps the care team to track patients as they move through the continuum by pulling real-time data from acute and post-acute EHRs. Finally, CarePort Insight aggregates data across providers to deliver the insights needed to manage a high-performing post-acute network. A spokesperson from customer Cleveland Clinic says, “We are giving patients all the information they need to make an informed decision that best suits their needs and preferences.” Co-founder and CEO Lissy Hu – who earned her MD and MBA degrees from Harvard – previously worked on a Medicare demonstration project involving transitions in care for complex patients. Thanks to CarePort for supporting HIStalk. 

Listening: a new live album from The Magpie Salute, which carries some Black Crowes DNA in offering straight-ahead rock. They’ll play in Madison next week and Kansas City the week after.

Music I won’t listen to: young female singers who start every vocal phrase with a dramatically loud intake of breath even though it’s obvious they’re using vocal improvement software that could have removed even trendy extraneous bodily noises. You would not enjoy hearing most of those musically enhanced warblers on “MTV Unplugged,” which is probably why that program went away.

I know little about guns (even though I have a satisfyingly hefty .357 Magnum revolver that I used to love shooting at the range) and was curious about the inexpensive and entirely legal “bump stock” used by the Las Vegas shooter to turn a semi-automatic rifle into a poor man’s machine gun, turning up this video that illustrates a product that is either ingenious or terrifying depending on which end of it you expect to be on. I was amused only by the portion showing the product’s schematic in which the gun is throbbing in a phallic-like manner in time with heavy metal music that suggests a stereotypically swaggering target audience (notwithstanding this unfortunately accented female customer). The device is likely to be banned quickly because it’s made by a small family business (it shut down all competitors via copycat lawsuits) rather than a big gun manufacturer. The company owner should go out rich, though, since sales have gone off the charts since the massacre.

This week on HIStalk Practice: California IPAs merge as they expand Epic utilization. DuPage Medical Group fills physician pipeline with new resident incentive program. WebPT acquires Strive Labs. CareCloud launches patient intake, payment system. Practices outpacehospitals on healthcare pricing transparency. Former US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, MD highlights loneliness epidemic. EHR investment makes up good chunk of Q3 digital health funding. MGMA President and CEO Halee Fischer-Wright, MD previews upcoming annual conference, addresses role companies outside of healthcare will play in EHR development. HIStalk’s Must-See Exhibitors Guide for MGMA 2017 goes live.


Webinars

October 17 (Tuesday) noon ET. “Improve Care and Save Clinician Time by Streamlining Specialty Drug Prescribing.” Sponsored by: ZappRx. Presenter: Jeremy Feldman, MD, director, pulmonary hypertension and advanced lung disease program and medical director of research, Arizona Pulmonary Specialists. Clinicians who treat pulmonary arterial hypertension can spend an average of 20 minutes to prescribe a single specialty drug and untold extra hours each month completing prior authorization (PA) paperwork to get patients the medications they need. This webinar will describe how Arizona Pulmonary Specialists automated the inefficient specialty drug ordering process to improve patient care while saving its clinicians time.

October 19 (Thursday) noon ET. “Understanding Enterprise Health Clouds with Forrester:  What can they do for you, and how do you choose the right one?” Sponsored by: Salesforce. Presenters: Joshua Newman, MD, chief medical officer, Salesforce; Kate McCarthy, senior analyst, Forrester. McCarthy will demystify industry solutions while offering insights from her recent Forrester report on enterprise health clouds. Newman and customers from leading healthcare organizations will share insights on how they drive efficiencies, manage patient and member journeys, and connect the entire healthcare ecosystem on the Salesforce platform.

October 26 (Thursday) 2:00 ET. “Is your EHR limiting your success in value-based care?” Sponsored by: Philips Wellcentive. Presenters: Lindsey Bates, market director of compliance, Philips Wellcentive; Greg Fulton, industry and public policy lead, Philips Wellcentive. No single technology solution will solve every problem, so ensuring you select the ones most aligned to meet your strategic goals can be the difference between thriving or merely surviving. From quality reporting to analytics to measures building, developing a comprehensive healthcare strategy that will support your journey in population health and value-base care programs is the foundation of success. Join Philips Wellcentive for our upcoming interactive webinar, where we’ll help you evolve ahead of the industry, setting the right strategic goals and getting the most out of your technology solutions.

November 8 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET. “How Clinically Integrated Networks Can Overcome the Technical Challenges to Data-Sharing.” Sponsored by: Liaison Technologies. Presenters: Dominick Mack, MD, executive medical director, Georgia Health Information Technology Extension Center and Georgia Health Connect, director, National Center for Primary Care, and associate professor, Morehouse School of Medicine;  Gary Palgon, VP of  healthcare and life sciences solutions, Liaison Technologies. This webinar will describe how Georgia Heath Connect connects clinically integrated networks to hospitals and small and rural practices, helping providers in medically underserved communities meet MACRA requirements by providing technology, technology support, and education that accelerates regulatory compliance and improves outcomes.

Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre for information on webinar services.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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ECG artificial intelligence analysis vendor Cardiologs raises $6.4 million in a Series A round, increasing its total to $10 million. The company’s ECG analysis platform earned FDA clearance in July 2017. Cardiologists upload a digital ECG from a Holter monitor, smart watch, or personal monitoring device and the system reviews the often-long recordings to alert the doctor if it finds one of 10 types of cardiac events, most of them related to atrial fibrillation.


Sales

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The board of Hiawatha Hospital Association (KS) approves the replacement of Allscripts/McKesson Paragon with Athenahealth.

Seven Hills Foundation (MA) chooses Netsmart as the care coordination and population health management provider for the Massachusetts Care Coordination Network.


People

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James Murray, MS (CVS/Minute Clinic) joins Culbert Healthcare Solutions as CIO.


Announcements and Implementations

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IVantage Health Analytics, part of The Chartis Group, launches Performance Manager, which allows health systems to benchmark performance, identify opportunities for improvement, manage initiatives, and share best practices in a peer-to-peer community.


Government and Politics

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Stat reports that IBM is using its lobbying clout to shield its Watson system from medical scrutiny. A former IBM executive (Janet Marchibroda) helped draft legislation that removed some kinds of health software from the FDA’s oversight; IBM hosted an event to introduce Watson to high-powered members of Congress; and the company has deployed lobbyists to argue that Watson should be exempt from medical device law. It’s an interesting piece, but it seems obvious that IBM Watson Health, like most other clinical decision support or medical knowledge systems, does not fall under FDA regulation because it is not a closed-loop system since the clinician is free to accept or reject the advice it offers. The real scrutiny should come from Watson’s customers and I’ve seen little positive commentary in that regard.

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An Oracle executive applauds the federal government’s move to the cloud, its data security efforts, and IT service consolidation in a letter to the White House’s American Technology Council and Jared Kushner, but makes these observations:

  • The federal government should emulate the best practices of Fortune 50 customers rather than Silicon Valley vendors that often fail even though they know how to deploy products at scale.
  • The government should focus on procurement and program management, not IT development, a lesson long since learned by large companies. It says that the most important CIO skills are choosing commercial products, implementing them efficiently, and maintaining those systems to prevent cyberattack.
  • The federal government should focus on open data instead of open source software development in recognizing that nothing requires the federal government to give citizens systems it builds or buys for free.
  • The most important driver of cost and complexity is customization, with code written by 18F, USDS, and other agencies creating a support tail that drives unbudgeted costs.
  • The government should modernize its processes across agencies since government-specific processes drive IT cost overruns.
  • The government is using technology preferences and vendor-favoring standards instead of competition, which “places the government at substantial risk of failing to acquire the best, most secure and cost effective technology, even if those de facto standards are proposed by well-meaning government employee who ‘came from the private sector.’”

Privacy and Security

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Brilliant satire – as usual – from The Onion. Substitute “hospital employee” for “mom.”


Innovation and Research

The NIH issues a $2.3 million grant to the chief epidemiologist at Maryland’s VA system to study why physicians overuse lab tests in believing they are more useful than evidence suggests.


Technology

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Major League Baseball – which prohibits the use of Internet-capable devices in the dugout during games because of concerns about stealing or relaying signs — launches an investigation as to why a Diamondbacks coach was captured in a photo taken during a Wednesday wild-card game wearing a smart watch.


Other

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Western Australia’s coroner blames Fiona Stanley Hospital’s lack of follow-up for the death of a 41-year-old patient who died of septic shock on March 2015 after being ordered a contraindicated drug. The patient had inflammatory bowel disease and was prescribed mercaptopurine after clinicians failed to notice a red-flag lab result on his electronic chart. The coroner noted that the hospital now watches patients who are ordered the drug more closely and has developed new requirements for reporting abnormal results, but also recommends that the hospital install better patient tracking systems and send lab results to the physicians overseeing treatment.

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The chief cardiologist of Willis-Knighton Hospital System (LA) resigns as part of a no-confidence vote in the hospital’s CEO, who has run the hospital for a record 52 years. Critics say he has been too slow in making changes and refuses to upgrade the hospital’s computer systems. The system wasn’t mentioned, but Googling suggests that the hospital has run Meditech and Siemens/Cerner Soarian in the past.

A Utah neurology clinic that was previously sued for unpaid wages and investor fraud leaves patients without access to their MRI results when it shuts down without notice. The owner blames the clinic’s closure on an electrical surge that damaged its computers, but says he sent its electronic records to Salt Lake Regional Medical Center (UT), which was able to recover those of a patient quoted in the newspaper article.

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A jury finds that a hospital’s collection agency isn’t meeting legal notification requirements when it sends a collection letter via a secure PDF email link since, unlike reliable postal mail,  there’s no strong likelihood hat the intended recipient will read the letter. The collection company’s own software proved that the intended recipient did not open the letter. The judge summarized, “She was required to open an email and then click through over the Internet to an unknown web browser inviting her to then open a ‘Secure Package’ … modern consumer practices are not conducted this way. Although a consumer may regularly open e-mails from persons and companies she knows and to which she has given her email address for communications (like a recognized email from the utility company or the bank one does business with), there is no evidence that Ms. Lavallee should have recognized as safe an email from Med-1 Solutions.”

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This is fascinating: one of 12 companies that were awarded medical marijuana growing permits by Pennsylvania’s Department of Health in June is offering the never-used permit and its 47,000 square foot cultivation facility for sale at $20 million. The company, run by a former candidate for governor, wants to obtain an even more lucrative clinical research (CR) license that would allow it to investigate the medical benefits of marijuana in partnering with a teaching hospital, which would also let it open another growing facility and to operate six storefront dispensaries. Six of the eight Pennsylvania CR permit holders have already signed research agreements with medical schools —  Penn, Drexel, Thomas Jefferson, Temple, UPMC, and Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine. The company’s chief medical officer is the recently retired president of MedStar’s medical group.


Sponsor Updates

  • Influence Health announces its 2017 EHealth Excellence Award winners.
  • The Chartis Group publishes a white paper titled “Solving the IT Investment Paradox.”
  • Black Book names Nuance as the leading vendor for end-to-end healthcare coding, clinical documentation improvement, transcription, and speech recognition technology.
  • McLaren Flint (MI) implements an RTLS-smart pump interface between Versus and B. Braun, allowing clinicians to see on a real-time floor plan where pumps are located and whether they are actively infusing to improve re-distribution. 
  • A Health 2.0 conference demo shows how FDB’s Meducation solution, previously available only to providers, can now be viewed and shared by a patient-controlled app.
  • EClinicalWorks will exhibit at the Louisiana Primary Care Continuing Education Conference October 10-12 in Lake Charles.
  • FormFast and Iatric Systems will exhibit at AHIMA October 7-11 in Los Angeles.
  • Healthwise, Image Stream Medical, and Imprivata, and Intelligent Medical Objects will exhibit at the Cerner Health Conference October 9-12 in Kansas City, MO.
  • Influence Health announces its 2017 EHealth Excellence Award Winners.
  • ConnectiveRx will exhibit at the IPatientCare’s national user conference October 6-7 in New York City.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Mr. H, Lorre, Jenn, Dr. Jayne, Lt. Dan.
Get HIStalk updates. Send news or rumors.
Contact us.

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News 10/4/17

October 3, 2017 News 4 Comments

Top News

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The Supreme Court in it its first day of the new 2017 term hears opening arguments over companies that require employees to sign away their right to sue them over employment issues and force them into arbitration instead. Epic was one of three companies whose attorneys argued their positions Monday.

Liberal justices expressed concern that allowing such agreements rolls back employee rights by decades and discourages expensive individual employee lawsuits, while the court’s conservative members opined that mandatory arbitration clauses are legal and that employees can as a group hire the same attorney to reduce litigation cost.

The Obama White House had initially asked the Court to hear the case in support of the NLRA, but the new administration now sides with the employers as represented in the proceedings by its Deputy Solicitor General.

The main issue is whether arbitration agreements are legal under the Nation Labor Relations Act, which gives employees the right to take collection action. The attorney representing the companies argues that the NLRA guarantees the right of employees to have a forum convened, but once that has happened, employers can present defenses that include previously signed arbitration agreements, an argument to which one justice took exception in interpreting NLRA as covering all workplace issues.

A decision in favor of the employees would invalidate the employment agreements of up to 60 million Americans. Two courts have ruled that Epic’s arbitration clauses are illegal, while another ruled that they are legal.

The court will render its decision later in the term.


Reader Comments

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From Stella Overdrive: “Re: Allscripts. Black Book’s survey finds that 96 percent of McKesson Paragon customers are optimistic that Allscripts will improve their satisfaction, but it reads like an Allscripts commercial. Similar studies by Reaction and KLAS found high levels of skepticism among Paragon customers, with KLAS reporting that only 29 percent were favorable and Reaction saying that the acquisition would actually be a deterrent to attracting new customers. Do you know if Allscripts underwrote the Black Book study, and if so, was there appropriate disclosure? Seems like it might have been commissioned as damage control given negative market reaction to the acquisition.” A Black Book spokesperson says the company did not break from its strong stance against allowing vendors to participate or influence the survey  process – no company or payment was involved in the Paragon user survey. I read the more detailed survey notes and came up with these points:

  • The survey response rate was 23 percent, with 280 respondents representing 66 facilities. I don’t know how many hospitals are running Paragon to know if that’s a significant percentage of sites.
  • Black Book wisely focused on hospital decision-makers rather than end users.
  • The survey found that none of the respondents have developed new plans to replace Paragon, although that’s not surprising since the acquisition was announced only a few weeks ago.
  • The report says that 96 percent of boards are “confidently optimistic” (I would have expected “cautiously optimistic”) that Allscripts will do a better job than McKesson, which might not be a high bar to clear. There’s also the question of how knowledgeable board members would be on IT topics.
  • Two-thirds of the hospitals say they don’t have the money to replace Paragon in the next two years and will instead focus on revenue cycle management, population health management, and analytics. That’s probably the most important finding of the survey. 
  • Eight-one percent of IT leaders representing 58 facilities say they are receptive to the Allscripts takeover.

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From Gideon: “Re: Allscripts. Layoffs in the former McKesson’s professional services area on the day the merger was finalized – PMs, tech, and interface resources. The words used in the termination letter were, ‘’Unfortunately, the new organization structure doesn’t include your position.’” Unverified, but reported by several readers. Layoffs by either company are, unfortunately, hardly newsworthy, and certainly an acquiring company will nearly always – immediately or eventually – start trimming costs involving any assumed redundancy to help pay for the acquisition’s cost.

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From Givenchy: “Re: Athenahealth. Hospitals are retreating. Following the failed implementation at Jackson Medical (AL), about 20 hospitals are cancelling scheduled go-lives. At least three have returned to their previous systems after collection and cash flow issues and clinician dissatisfaction. Veterans Memorial Hospital (Waukon, IA), Kimball Health Services (Kimball, NE), and Appleton Municipal Hospital (Appleton, MN) have returned to CPSI owned-products.” Unverified. 

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From Publius Tullius: “Re: KLAS at Epic’s UGM. In the ‘photo is worth 1,000 words’ category, KLAS’s VP in wizard garb. I can’t think of worse optics for two organizations that are already intrinsically linked amidst concerns of bias. People in the industry joke that KLAS is Epic’s marketing arm and this doesn’t help.”

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From Corny Collins: “Re: NYC H+H. NYC tax dollars hard at work as officials played dress-up with Epic employees at UGM.” I disagree. Their attendance (I’ve blurred their ID since it felt creepy otherwise) is reasonable and taxpayer accountability doesn’t require frostiness with their vendor. I agree, however, that healthcare people attend a lot of questionable conferences and thereby increase patient costs questionably, although a vendor’s user group meeting when you are spending hundreds of million dollars to implement their product doesn’t spring to mind as an obvious excess. Those of us with health system experience struggle with appeasing valuable employees whose self-worth is defined by running around like a big shot at conferences of questionable ROI, but the employer has to set the parameters and assess the value they receive in return for the cost and out-of-office time. A better target is the HIMSS conference, where people who clearly have no good reason to attend dutifully pack the exhibit hall because they like the attention and networking and can convince their employer to foot the bill. Meanwhile, NYC H+C may need some wizardry as it says it’s down to 18 days of cash on hand.

From Journomaniac: “Re: HIStalk. You must have had partnership or acquisition interest that you haven’t mentioned but should in the interest of full disclosure since you criticize other sites.” Three health IT sites (that I recall – maybe there were more over the years that I’ve forgotten — have approached me unsolicited wanting me to partner with them, sell out to them, or go to work for them. All three said they would render HIStalk obsolete because of their superior technology, deeper corporate pockets, or more insightful approach, thus leaving me no choice but to throw in with them. I dismissed their inquiries quickly because I like working alone in a way I can be proud of. All three of those sites have folded up their health IT tents while I’m still here doing what I’ve been doing since 2003. That’s all I have to disclose. I’d rather quit than let someone else tell me what to do.

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From Abraxas: “Re: VistA. The Indian Health Service uses the VA’s product at no charge. With the VA’s move to Cerner, they haven’t been told whether they will continue to get free access and they have no budget for a replacement EMR. I wonder what will happen to other VistA users once Cerner replaces it in the VA?” I would expect VistA to become an orphan product now that the VA’s attention has been diverted to the Cerner shiny, no-bid object, leaving VistA’s other users without access to the VA’s expensive development. VistA is used by hospitals all over the world as a free public domain product, although some of those are supported by third-party companies like Medsphere and WorldVistA. I invite those with more knowledge about VistA than I have to weigh in on its future outside the VA. Above is part of a 2015 slide I found from the VistA Software Alliance listing VistA’s users.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

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Welcome to new HIStalk Platinum Sponsor ChartLogic, a division of Medsphere. The Salt Lake City, UT-based company, founded in 1994, offers a complete ambulatory EHR solution (EHR, PM, RCM, ERX, patient portal). Providers can create a complete patient note in less than 90 seconds, supported by intelligent voice commands, specialty-specific content (vocabularies, templates, flowsheets, and macros) and a single-page layout. Its practice management system includes a preference-based appointment scheduler, eligibility checking, an automated Collection Center, and quick claims entry and one-click payment posting that reduces claims rejections to less than 5 percent. The company’s browser-agnostic patient portal offers appointment scheduling, mobile intake forms, SMS patient reminders, and online payments to improve patient engagement and experience. ChartLogic also offers services for billing, revenue cycle management, and managed IT and service desk. The Department of Defense recognized the company a few weeks ago for its support of the National Guard and Reserve, a program led by ChartLogic EVP and former Army Ranger Chris Langehaug. Thanks to ChartLogic for supporting HIStalk. 

I found this ChartLogic EHR overview on YouTube.


Webinars

October 17 (Tuesday) noon ET. “Improve Care and Save Clinician Time by Streamlining Specialty Drug Prescribing.” Sponsored by: ZappRx. Presenter: Jeremy Feldman, MD, director, pulmonary hypertension and advanced lung disease program and medical director of research, Arizona Pulmonary Specialists. Clinicians who treat pulmonary arterial hypertension can spend an average of 20 minutes to prescribe a single specialty drug and untold extra hours each month completing prior authorization (PA) paperwork to get patients the medications they need. This webinar will describe how Arizona Pulmonary Specialists automated the inefficient specialty drug ordering process to improve patient care while saving its clinicians time.

October 19 (Thursday) noon ET. “Understanding Enterprise Health Clouds with Forrester:  What can they do for you, and how do you choose the right one?” Sponsored by: Salesforce. Presenters: Joshua Newman, MD, chief medical officer, Salesforce; Kate McCarthy, senior analyst, Forrester. McCarthy will demystify industry solutions while offering insights from her recent Forrester report on enterprise health clouds. Newman and customers from leading healthcare organizations will share insights on how they drive efficiencies, manage patient and member journeys, and connect the entire healthcare ecosystem on the Salesforce platform.

October 26 (Thursday) 2:00 ET. “Is your EHR limiting your success in value-based care?” Sponsored by: Philips Wellcentive. Presenters: Lindsey Bates, market director of compliance, Philips Wellcentive; Greg Fulton, industry and public policy lead, Philips Wellcentive. No single technology solution will solve every problem, so ensuring you select the ones most aligned to meet your strategic goals can be the difference between thriving or merely surviving. From quality reporting to analytics to measures building, developing a comprehensive healthcare strategy that will support your journey in population health and value-base care programs is the foundation of success. Join Philips Wellcentive for our upcoming interactive webinar, where we’ll help you evolve ahead of the industry, setting the right strategic goals and getting the most out of your technology solutions.

November 8 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET. “How Clinically Integrated Networks Can Overcome the Technical Challenges to Data-Sharing.” Sponsored by: Liaison Technologies. Presenters: Dominick Mack, MD, executive medical director, Georgia Health Information Technology Extension Center and Georgia Health Connect, director, National Center for Primary Care, and associate professor, Morehouse School of Medicine;  Gary Palgon, VP of  healthcare and life sciences solutions, Liaison Technologies. This webinar will describe how Georgia Heath Connect connects clinically integrated networks to hospitals and small and rural practices, helping providers in medically underserved communities meet MACRA requirements by providing technology, technology support, and education that accelerates regulatory compliance and improves outcomes.

Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre for information on webinar services.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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First responder software vendor ESO Solutions acquires the Firehouse emergency management software business of Conduent Government Solutions.

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Kiio — whose platform screens for low back pain, joint replacement, and rehabilitation and offers exercise guidance — raises $1 million from Wisconsin-based not-for-profit insurer WEA Trust.


Sales

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Olmsted Medical Center (MN) chooses Epic to replace the former McKesson (I think they were on Series, but I’m not positive). UPDATE: readers say Olmsted was using Cerner CommunityWorks for inpatient, with which it has reached HIMSS EMRAM Stage 6, and McKesson for ambulatory despite undated information I saw mentioning that it was running McKesson Series and McKesson-acquired MED3OOO.


People

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Robert Barras (The Advisory Board Company) rejoins CTG as VP of healthcare sales.

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Seattle Children’s (WA) hires Zafar Chaudry, MD, MSC, MIS, MBA (Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust)  as SVP/CIO.

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Senior living community software vendor Caremerge (Merge Healthcare) hires Nancy Koenig as CEO. She replaces founder Asif Khan, who remains as board chair.

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Larry Wolf (Strategic Health Network) joins MatrixCare as chief transformation officer.

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MedeAnalytics hires Tyler Downs (TriZetto) as CTO.

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Julie Mann (Optum Analytics) joins Holon Solutions as SVP of sales.

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ViTel Net hires Richard Bakalar, MD (KPMG) as VP/chief strategy officer.


Announcements and Implementations

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A new Reaction report on telemedicine finds that physicians overwhelmingly support the use of telemedicine to replace the 20-30 percent of visits that don’t require physical examination. A surprising two-thirds of respondents either contract as a telemedicine provider or have considered such moonlighting. Hospitals are mostly using telemedicine for population management or follow-up care rather than for primary care visits as only 14 percent say such services have boosted their revenue. The biggest telemedicine platform vendor by far is “homegrown.”

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Sidewalk Labs, an urban innovation group within Google parent Alphabet, announces Cityblock, which will offer residents of low-income communities who are covered by Medicare or Medicaid a care team that provides doctors, coaches, technology tools, and a health plan. The service will launch next year.

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HIMSS Analytics adds the former CapSite vendor contracts database to its Logic platform, renaming it Logic Source.

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EClinicalWorks adds a self-service option for customers to connect with CommonWell and Carequality.

A Black Book survey finds that while hospitals and medical practices are increasing their IT outsourcing and like the prospect of increased efficiency at a lower cost, their satisfaction with outsourcing companies is decreasing. Most of that dissatisfaction involved IT managers who are forced to manage an inexperienced health IT outsourcing vendor. The top-scoring EHR vendors were Cerner, Meditech, and Allscripts.

A small Dimensional Insight hospital CIO/CMIO survey concludes that less than half of hospitals have implemented enterprise-wide data governance, causing problems with data integrity and access.

Infor launches Cloverleaf Consolidator for data aggregation and exchange in a multi-EHR environment.

JAMA will launch a broad-topic, open access journal in early 2018. 

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Fujitsu announces a new palm vein biometrics sensor for its PalmSecure F-Pro Suite authentication solution.


Government and Politics

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HIMSS asks Congress to:

  • Elevate the HHS chief information security officer role to be equivalent to its CIO and make that position responsible for creating a cybersecurity plan.
  • Pass the CONNECT act that would remove geographic restrictions for telemedicine.
  • Increase funding for rural healthcare broadband coverage discounts and adopt CDC electronic information flow for case reporting, lab reporting, disease surveillance, and death reporting.

Technology

A home care provider in Australia launches a “holographic doctor” in which physicians can participate in a home nurse consultation via mixed reality technology that uses Microsoft HoloLens. Both doctor and patient wear a virtual reality headset that allows them to see each other in real time along with the patient’s healthcare data.


Other

A Health Affairs article finds that hospital interoperability didn’t improve much from 2014 to 2015 as less than 20 percent of them reporting that they “often” use outside patient information to make clinical decisions.

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A hospital in Scotland cancels surgeries after going back to paper following flooding of its basement data center.

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Ohio National Guard Captain Michael Barnes develops a veteran suicide prevention program as part of his coursework at The Ohio State University to attain a master’s degree in nursing.


Sponsor Updates

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  • Employees of The Chartis Group held a community service event at its annual retreat in New Orleans, supporting Boys Town, Covenant House, Raintree, Salvation Army, and YMCA.
  • A Spok case study describes the use of Care Connect by Union Hospital of Cecil County (MD) to reduce communication breakdown.
  • Casenet will exhibit at the Change Healthcare Inspire Conference in Philadelphia this week.
  • Ability Network is named a finalist in the Tekne Awards that recognizes technology innovation in Minnesota.
  • Nordic posts a podcast titled “How do I plan for a successful EHR go-live?”
  • AdvancedMD will exhibit at the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery October 5-8 in Chicago.
  • Aprima will exhibit at the American Osteopathic Association Conference & Exhibition October 7-9 in Philadelphia.
  • Datica publishes a new report, “Public and Private Cloud Computing within Healthcare.”
  • Besler Consulting will exhibit at AHIMA October 7-11 in Los Angeles.
  • Carevive and Crossings Healthcare Solutions will exhibit at the Cerner Health Conference October 9-12 in Kansas City, MO.
  • CoverMyMeds will exhibit at the American Association of Medical Assistants Annual Conference October 6-9 in Cincinnati.
  • The Nashville Business Journal includes Cumberland Consulting Group on its Fast 50 list for the third consecutive year.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Mr. H, Lorre, Jenn, Dr. Jayne, Lt. Dan.
Get HIStalk updates. Send news or rumors.
Contact us.

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Monday Morning Update 10/2/17

October 1, 2017 News 3 Comments

Top News

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President Trump fires HHS Secretary Tom Price – not for his questionably legal stock trades, for serving as a political lapdog in trying but failing to torpedo the laws he swore to uphold, or even for squandering hundreds of taxpayer dollars on unnecessary charter and military flights — but rather for embarrassing the President in the press coverage about the flights, admitting his wrongdoing, and offering only partial taxpayer reimbursement.

The only regret the former Tea Party member expressed in his resignation letter is that he “created a distraction.”

Price also didn’t mention the $19 million Republicans spent to keep his former seat in the most expensive House race in history. A Republican PAC executive director obviously wasn’t thrilled with Price’s short stay in Washington: “While it was certainly fun destroying [Democratic nominee] Jon Ossoff and attacking Nancy Pelosi for three months, I am hopeful Dr. Price will use his newfound fame and leisure time to jet around the country and help make up for some of the $7 million we spent on the Georgia special election.”

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Appointed as interim HHS secretary is Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health Don Wright, MD, MPH, an HHS long-timer who replaced Karen DeSalvo, MD, MPH in the January 2017 administration change. The permanent replacement will almost assuredly, like Price, have credentials that are more political than clinical.

Politico’s list of rumored candidates includes some current and former members of Congress, Dr. Oz, CMS Administrator Seema Verma, Florida Governor Rick Scott, the VA’s David Shulkin, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, former Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal, HUD Secretary Ben Carson, and Don Wright himself.


Reader Comments

From The Basics: “Re: SSN. Yesterday I visited my local hospital to review a bill. I was shocked to see my whole Social Security number on an employee’s computer screen. She said she didn’t know why it was there since she doesn’t use it. It only takes one dishonest person to steal the identity of patients.”


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

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A bunch of us have had our information exposed in Equifax’s breach, although nearly as many of poll respondents have lost interest reading about the breach du jour. Some respondents expressed optimism that “the big one” may force companies to get their security act together, while several others said they’ve placed an indefinite freeze on their credit accounts with the belief that the hassle of unfreezing them as needed is still better than cleaning up the post-breach mess.

New poll to your right or here: should a vendor’s newly announced customer be required to attest that they hold no financial interest in the company?


This Week in Health IT History

One year ago:

  • PeriGen acquires Hill-Rom’s WatchChild fetal monitoring system.
  • The local paper spotlights the refusal of the Texas Department of State Health Services to release pregnancy and maternal death statistics to reporters interested in why death rates doubled in one year.
  • PE firm Warburg Pincus announces plans to acquire Intelligent Medical Objects.
  • Former President Bill Clinton, stumping for his wife’s presidential campaign, calls the Affordable Care Act “the craziest thing in the world” because of risk pool limitations.

Five years ago:

  • The UK’s Department of Health admits that its contract with CSC requires it to turn custom-developed NHS software back to the company after NPfIT was shut down.
  • McKesson announces that it will acquire MED3OOO.
  • HIMSS acquires CapSite.
  • Patrick Soon-Shiong’s NantHealth announces that the company will work on personalized medicine with Blue Shield of California and St. John’s Health Center. 

Ten years ago:

  • A KLAS report on how well clinical systems work for nurses gives all vendors a grade of ‘D’ or below.
  • Quovadx acquires Healthvision.
  • Microsoft announces its HealthVault PHR.
  • MD Anderson redesigns its ClinicStation EMR and CIO Lynn Vogel joins Partners (John Glaser) Vanderbilt (Bill Stead), and Marshfield Clinic (Justin Starren) in an AMIA conference session on homegrown development.
  • CMS awards AHIMA a $10 million contract to evaluate the possible change from ICD-9 to ICD-10.

Last Week’s Most Interesting News

  • Epic opens the first group of App Orchard products to public access.
  • A VA OIG report finds that the DoD is not sharing attempted suicide information with the VA despite a 2014 federal mandate.
  • The American College of Radiology and SIIM hold a session and a conference, respectively, on use of artificial intelligence in medical imaging.
  • Senate Republicans fail to bring the Graham-Cassidy bill to a vote.
  • FDA chooses the digital health software vendors that will participate in its software precertification program.

Webinars

October 17 (Tuesday) noon ET. “Improve Care and Save Clinician Time by Streamlining Specialty Drug Prescribing.” Sponsored by: ZappRx. Presenter: Jeremy Feldman, MD, director, pulmonary hypertension and advanced lung disease program and medical director of research, Arizona Pulmonary Specialists. Clinicians who treat pulmonary arterial hypertension can spend an average of 20 minutes to prescribe a single specialty drug and untold extra hours each month completing prior authorization (PA) paperwork to get patients the medications they need. This webinar will describe how Arizona Pulmonary Specialists automated the inefficient specialty drug ordering process to improve patient care while saving its clinicians time.

October 19 (Thursday) noon ET. “Understanding Enterprise Health Clouds with Forrester: What can they do for you, and how do you choose the right one?” Sponsored by: Salesforce. Presenters: Joshua Newman, MD, chief medical officer, Salesforce; Kate McCarthy, senior analyst, Forrester. McCarthy will demystify industry solutions while offering insights from her recent Forrester report on enterprise health clouds. Newman and customers from leading healthcare organizations will share insights on how they drive efficiencies, manage patient and member journeys, and connect the entire healthcare ecosystem on the Salesforce platform.

November 8 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET. “How Clinically Integrated Networks Can Overcome the Technical Challenges to Data-Sharing.” Sponsored by: Liaison Technologies. Presenters: Dominick Mack, MD, executive medical director, Georgia Health Information Technology Extension Center and Georgia Health Connect, director, National Center for Primary Care, and associate professor, Morehouse School of Medicine;  Gary Palgon, VP of  healthcare and life sciences solutions, Liaison Technologies. This webinar will describe how Georgia Heath Connect connects clinically integrated networks to hospitals and small and rural practices, helping providers in medically underserved communities meet MACRA requirements by providing technology, technology support, and education that accelerates regulatory compliance and improves outcomes.

Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre for information on webinar services.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Medication risk management technology vendor Tabula Rasa HealthCare acquires University of Arizona medication therapy management spinoff SinfoniaRx for $35 million in cash.

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A Wisconsin court reduces the $940 million awarded to Epic in its intellectual property lawsuit against Tata Consultancy Services to $420 million. The original judgment violated Wisconsin law, which limits punitive damages to twice the compensatory damages, causing Epic to suggest a lower figure of $720 million. Epic says Tata employees working as Kaiser Permanente consultants stole thousands of company documents to help Tata create a competing system, but Tata says its lawyers believe the award can be set aside completely on appeal since Tata did not benefit from the information.


Sales

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In Canada, Alberta Health Services signs a $368 million contract to implement Epic. It will replace 1,300 systems that it claims will cover most of the project’s overall $1.2 billion cost, although the province’s auditor is skeptical.

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Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare (TN) will implement the PatientTouch communication and clinical workflow platform from PatientSafe Solutions.


Decisions

  • Mammoth Hospital (CA) will go live on Cerner Millennium in October 2017.
  • Osceola Medical Center (WI) will switch from Evident to Athenahealth in January 2018.
  • Jersey Shore Hospital (NJ) will replace Meditech with Epic in April 2018.
  • Memorial Hospital (IL) will switch from Evident to Epic in November 2017.
  • St. Francis Memorial (NE) Hospital will replace McKesson with Cerner in 2018.

These provider-reported updates are supplied by Definitive Healthcare, which offers a free trial of its powerful intelligence on hospitals, physicians, and healthcare.


People

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Don Woodlock (GE Healthcare) joins InterSystems as VP of HealthShare.

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OurHealth hires Brian Norris, MBA, RN (Aledade) as VP of analytics.


Announcements and Implementations

Black Book names its 50 health IT disrupters and challengers.

UMass Memorial Health Care was scheduled to go live on its $700 million Epic project this past weekend, replacing Siemes/Cerner Soarian. 


Government and Politics

The VA gives Congress the required notice that it plans to sign a no-bid contract with Cerner within the next 30 days. Secretary David Shulkin also announces that the VA will end work on 240 of its 299 open software projects, many of them floundering, to shift resources to the Cerner implementation. Shulkin urged private sector employees to join the VA’s Cerner implementation “because we need the A team on this.”

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Meanwhile, the VA’s Shulkin has his own Tom Price-like problems to deal with as the Washington Post discovers that a taxpayer-paid trip to Europe included, in addition to discussions with officials in Denmark and England initiated by the VA, attendance at the Wimbledon championship and a cruise on the Thames that also included his wife, four other travelers, and six-person security detail. He took the trip, about half of which didn’t involve government business, less than two weeks after demanding that VA executives approve only essential travel.

The US Supreme Court will hear arguments Monday in a federal labor case that involves Epic and two other companies, a key issue being Epic’s requirement that employees sign away their rights to sue the company over labor issues and instead submit to arbitration.


Other

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Performer Cher sues Patrick Soon-Shiong for stock sale fraud, claiming that a drug company convinced her to sell back her shares cheaply and then sold the company for a higher per-share price to Soon-Shiong’s NantCell. The suit says Soon-Shiong paid $15 million for the company that is now worth $1 billion.

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Temple University Health System (PA) attributes its $23 million budget shortfall primarily on the implementation of Epic, mostly due to high-than-expected staffing costs and its impact on operations improvement goals.

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The president of Erlanger Health System (TN) says its 67 percent drop in net income from operations in the fiscal year is mostly due to its Epic implementation costs, as the health system paid Epic $33 million this year. However, revenue exceeded budget, also due to Epic.

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Dean Sittig, PhD, biomedical informatics and bioengineering professor at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, just published a new book on informatics terms. Not sure if you need it? Take this 10-question multiple choice informatics terminology quiz that Dean created at my suggestion, check your score at the end, and then let Dean help you do better if needed. 

Here’s Vince’s latest 30-year look-back on the health IT industry, which addresses the DoD’s 1987 EHR bid and the birth of HL7.

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Weird News Andy calls this DWI – driving while immature. Rady Children’s Hospital rolls out (no pun intended) little cars that peds patients can “drive” (they’re actually controlled remotely) to the OR to help them relax before their procedure. The kids – like their surgeons with their larger equivalents – can choose from among a BMW, Mercedes, or Lamborghini.


Sponsor Updates

  • QuadraMed, a Harris Healthcare company, and T-System will exhibit at AHIMA October 7-11 in Los Angeles.
  • Salesforce announces $50 million donation and 1 million volunteer hours to further computer science education.
  • The SSI Group will exhibit at the NJ HFMA Annual Institute October 4 in Atlantic City.
  • Surescripts will exhibit at the EClinicalWorks 2017 National Conference October 6-9 in Grapevine, TX.
  • Versus Technology will exhibit at MD Expo October 5-7 in Orlando.
  • Boston Magazine includes ZappRx CEO Zoe Barry on its list of Bright Young Things.
  • ZeOmega will exhibit at Change Healthcare’s Inspire Change Healthcare Solutions Conference October 2-5 in Philadelphia.
  • Lightbeam Health Solutions and Experian Health will exhibit at the NAACOS Fall Conference October 4-6 in Washington, DC.
  • Logicworks earns PCI DSS Level 1 Certification for the sixth straight year.
  • Navicure will exhibit at the EClinicalWorks National Conference October 6-9 in Grapevine, TX.
  • Netsmart will exhibit at the CBHC Annual Behavioral Health Conference October 4 in Breckenridge, CO.
  • Clinical Computer Systems, developer of the Obix Perinatal Data system, will exhibit at the University of Iowa Health Care Children’s & Women’s Services Fall Nursing Conference October 2-3 in Coralville.
  • PatientSafe Solutions will exhibit at the 2017 IntegraTe 2017 South Florida HIMSS event October 4 in Davie, FL.
  • The Metro Atlanta Chamber selects Patientco as one of seven companies to join its first cohort of Backed by ATL businesses.
  • PokitDok will present at Health 2.0 October 3 in Santa Clara, CA.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Mr. H, Lorre, Jenn, Dr. Jayne, Lt. Dan.
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News 9/29/17

September 28, 2017 News 8 Comments

Top News

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Epic announces at UGM go-live of its App Orchard, offering software from:

  • American Joint Committee on Cancer (cancer staging forms)
  • Aunt Bertha (connecting patients to social services)
  • Cedars-Sinai Health System (personal device data flowsheets)
  • DocASAP (patient scheduling)
  • Doctella (patient education)
  • HealthDecision (shared decision-making)
  • Healthfinch (patient visit planning, prescription refill processing)
  • ImageMoverMD (EHR image integration)
  • Impathiq (chest pain protocols)
  • Northwestern University (patient outcomes monitoring)
  • Parachute Health (durable medical equipment ordering)
  • PeraHealth (at-risk patient identification)
  • StayWell (patient education)
  • Tissue Analytics (wound documentation)

Epic actually rolled out the App Orchard site early this year, but this is the first public access to the apps it contains.

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Epic’s 1.5-day App Orchard Conference will be held November 9-10 at its Verona, WI campus.


Reader Comments

From Kim Wisconsin: “Re: Epic UGM. Clients watched KLAS VP Taylor Davis and Judy Faulkner prance together in wizard costumes on stage. Needless spending on top of what it cost Epic to attain Best in KLAS?” Unverified. Epic’s UGM involves a lot of voluntary whimsy and I’m OK with that, but I’m always skeptical of KLAS’s objectivity and having one of its executive participate in a vendor’s user group meeting skit does little to allay my concerns. Imagine a Consumer Reports editor cavorting on stage at a Ford PR event, although that’s unfair since KLAS is light-years away from the objectivity and science behind Consumer Reports despite the inevitable industry comparisons. Still, customers of both Epic and KLAS make their own informed decisions, so they know what they’re buying and it’s nobody else’s business.

From George St. Short: “Re: executive attributes. What is your observation about strengths and weaknesses and how it affects companies?” That’s a broad topic, but I will summarize thusly. Most of us know our strengths. We don’t, however, know our weaknesses, and that’s where we stumble. Just ask the people you work with to list what you’re bad at. Try to improve, get someone else to handle that function, or both.

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From The PACS Designer: “Re: digital pathology. The era of digital pathology is upon us and can be seen through this digital pathology sample. You will see the digital pathology records in your EHR when vendors begin to add them to their EHR systems in the years to come.”

From OnlyForGiggles: “Re: national EHR procurement in Singapore. It’s been four years in the running and Allscripts and Epic are the finalists. Cerner didn’t even bother showing up at this month’s HIMSS Asia. Accenture is running the procurement with Oracle as a partner and only Allscripts runs Oracle. The Ministry of Health CIO is a former Accenture partner and has now installed himself also as CEO of the IT arm of the Ministry of Health. He is partial to awarding contracts to his former employer, so both companies would do well to sidle up to Accenture. We see this kind of drama in the US and UK and Singapore, alas, is no exception.”

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From The Mechanic: “Re: Athenahealth. One of its 35-bed inpatient sites is already leaving them and returning to CPSI.” Jackson Medical Center (AL) says collections dropped 75 percent after they implemented Athenahealth, so they’ve gone back to the Thrive EHR solution offered by CPSI subsidiary Evident in what they call a fairly easy transition. 

From Super Bee: “Re: EClinicalWorks. Cold call emails cite an ‘AmericanEHR’ survey that finds EHR tops at many categories. It would be more impactful if they actually provided the study, but in addition, ECW isn’t on any of that site’s Top 10 lists.” That site doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence with outdated information and no recent news items. It was developed by the American College of Physicians to sell reports and to charge EHR vendors to create profiles on its site or to run ads. Its top five EHRs by user satisfaction are CattailsMD (which I thought was long gone or at least renamed, but maybe not), Praxis, Waiting Room Solutions, ABELMed, and Sevocity.

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From Beefy Goodness: “Re: ONC’s inpatient EHR certification stats. Epic has overtaken Cerner for the #1 spot in data updated through July.” The chart is above, although it also list hospitals using Siemens Medical Solutions that might be reasonably added to Cerner’s total to keep it on top. Epic is the only vendor that has customers using 2015 certified technology. Also note that while the data source was updated in July 2017, the graphic depicts only participation through the 2016 program year.

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From Spacemen Collection: “Re: Sunquest. President Matt Hawkins is leaving, to be replaced by Mike Epplen, who has been president of fellow Roper acquisitions Data Innovations and Atlas Medical.” Unverified, although the non-anonymous source is solid. UPDATE: Hawkins will become CEO of the combined Navicure-ZirMed when that merger is completed in early November.

From Frank Sumatra: “Re: MyWay. Physicians are telling me that Allscripts will shut off the hosted version within five weeks, but can’t get them their data for 12 weeks. Practices will also have to pay $5,000.” Unverified. I invited the Allscripts media contact to comment but haven’t heard back. MyWay was retired several years ago as I recall to avoid adding ICD-10 support, so practices have had five years to seek an alternative. MyWay is disproportionately represented among the many embarrassing points in the company’s history (search HIStalk for a fond look back).


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

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Welcome to new HIStalk Platinum Sponsor Vocera. The San Jose, CA-based company offers the leading platform for clinical communication and workflow, with 1,400 hospital and health system customers around the world using smartphone-based secure texting or making hands-free calls using the Vocera Badge. Vocera interoperates with 120 clinical systems to reduce alarm fatigue, reduces staff response time, and improves patient care, safety, and experience. Vocera ensures that critical information reaches the right person at the right time on the right device, or as Halifax Health VP/CIO Tom Stafford says, “There is no other communication solution I’m aware of that can send a notification as closely and instantly to a nurse than the Vocera system.” Hospitals use the system to increase ED and OR throughput, prioritize clinical alerts, optimize patient placement, improve collaboration, strengthen patient communication, and reduce care team burnout. Halifax Health just implemented a real-time sepsis surveillance program by integrating Wolters Kluwer Health’s POC Advisor with its Vocera technology to quickly alert clinicians of a potential sepsis case, while Dayton Children’s Hospital (OH) connects pediatric patients to nurses by connecting Hill-Rom’s nurse call system with :Star Trek”-like Vocera badges to alert them when the child presses buttons for “pain” or “potty.” Gartner’s Hype Cycle report names Vocera as an example of a technology vendor with offerings in several categories of the real-time health system. Thanks to Vocera for supporting HIStalk.

I found this new YouTube video that describes Halifax Health’s use of Vocera in its ED.

This week on HIStalk Practice: Volunteers in Medicine Clinic Executive Director Raymond Cox, MD discusses the role data access plays in caring for the underserved. PeakMed Direct Primary Care founder and CMO Mark Tomasulo, DO shares his thoughts on the ways attempts at health insurance reform are driving the DPC business model. Deadline extended: HIStalk sponsors, submit your MGMA details for inclusion in our annual must-see vendor’s guide over at HIStalk Practice.


Webinars

October 17 (Tuesday) noon ET. “Improve Care and Save Clinician Time by Streamlining Specialty Drug Prescribing.” Sponsored by: ZappRX. Presenter: Jeremy Feldman, MD, director, pulmonary hypertension and advanced lung disease program and medical director of research, Arizona Pulmonary Specialists. Physicians who treat pulmonary arterial hypertension can spend an average of 20 minutes to prescribe a single specialty drug and untold extra hours each month completing prior authorization (PA) paperwork to get patients the medications they need. This webinar will describe how Arizona Pulmonary Associates automated the inefficient specialty drug ordering process to improve patient care while saving its clinicians time.

October 19 (Thursday) noon ET. “Understanding Enterprise Health Clouds with Forrester: What can they do for you, and how do you choose the right one?” Sponsored by: Salesforce. Presenters: Joshua Newman, MD, chief medical officer, Salesforce; Kate McCarthy, senior analyst, Forrester. McCarthy will demystify industry solutions while offering insights from her recent Forrester report on enterprise health clouds. Newman and customers from leading healthcare organizations will share insights on how they drive efficiencies, manage patient and member journeys, and connect the entire healthcare ecosystem on the Salesforce platform.

November 8 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET. “How Clinically Integrated Networks Can Overcome the Technical Challenges to Data-Sharing.” Sponsored by: Liaison Technologies. Presenters: Dominick Mack, MD, executive medical director, Georgia Health Information Technology Extension Center and Georgia Health Connect, director, National Center for Primary Care, and associate professor, Morehouse School of Medicine;  Gary Palgon, VP of  healthcare and life sciences solutions, Liaison Technologies. This webinar will describe how Georgia Heath Connect connects clinically integrated networks to hospitals and small and rural practices, helping providers in medically underserved communities meet MACRA requirements by providing technology, technology support, and education that accelerates regulatory compliance and improves outcomes.

Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre for information on webinar services.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Leerink Transformation Partners forms its first healthcare IT growth equity fund with $313 million in assets under management, led by managing partners Todd Cozzens (Marquette Medical, Picis, Optum) and Jared Kesselheim, MD, MBA, both previously with Sequoia Capital and Bain Capital Ventures. The fund’s initial investments are Outcome Health, Scientist.com, Vera Whole Health, PatientPing, Health Catalyst, and Kyruus. 

IBM, which has laid off a significant part of its US workforce, now employs more people in India than in the USA, supporting the theory that low-cost overseas labor moves up the food chain from hardware assemblers to knowledge workers. 


Sales

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Emory Healthcare (GA) chooses Kyruus’s provider data management and patient access solutions.

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South Africa’s Areta Health will implement Medsphere’s subscription-licensed, cloud-hosted healthcare IT solutions in its Specialist Day Hospital system.


People

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UW Medicine (WA) hires Joy Grosser (University Hospitals) as CIO. She had been CIO of University Hospitals for just over a year.

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Ed Gaudet (Iboss Cybersecurity) joins Censio as CEO.

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CheckedUp hires Jim Decker (AMD Group) as VP.

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Seattle Children’s (WA) promotes Eric Tham, MD, MS to VP and associate CIO over research IT, clinical applications, and analytics.


Announcements and Implementations

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The American College of Radiology’s newly formed Data Science Institute hosts its first meeting in its Reston, VA headquarters, convening an international group of artificial intelligence experts, device vendors, and physicians to discuss the use of algorithms in clinical workflows. ACR DSI is building consensus around a vendor-neutral framework to apply AI to patient care that will include developing imaging use cases, setting interoperability standards, testing algorithms, and addressing regulatory issues. 

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Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine holds its second conference on using machine intelligence in medical imaging (SIIM C-MIMI) at Johns Hopkins Medicine, with keynotes offered by presenters from Google Cloud and the FDA.

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Allscripts will integrate medical reference and patient education information from Merck Manuals into its EHRs via an HL7-compliant Infobutton.

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Nuance releases Dragon Medical Virtual Assistant, which applies voice biometrics and text-to-speech via a smart speaker conversational user interface to automate high-value EHR clinical workflows.

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Lightbeam Health Solutions will integrate AI technology from DocSynk into its population health management platform to improve identification and targeting of patient groups.

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Ability Network announces the Ability Insight Medicare revenue cycle analytics and benchmarking application for SNFs, home health agencies, and other LTPAC organizations.

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Talent management solutions vendor HealthcareSource launches a healthcare job search site that is integrated with its Position Manager applicant tracking system. The company’s CEO is industry long-timer J.P. Fingado (API Healthcare, Cerner, Dynamic Healthcare Technologies). HealthcareSource says it has 3,000 healthcare customers of its Quality Talent Suite.

Healthcare Growth Partners posts the first in a six-part series on due diligence in health IT transactions, this installment covering accounting and tax considerations.


Government and Politics

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The Department of Justice charges several executives of for-profit hospital operator Tenet Healthcare with Medicaid fraud, claiming that some of its Atlanta-based facilities paid $12 million in kickbacks to a medical clinic that serves pregnant women who are in the US illegally, steering them to Tenet hospitals for their deliveries that were then billed to Medicaid for $400 million.

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A report on veteran suicide by the VA OIG finds that despite federal mandates going back to 2014, the Department of Defense still does not share attempted suicide information from its DOD Suicide Event Report system with the VA. The report also notes that 11 percent of the patients identified by the VA as being high risk for suicide did not have a suicide prevention safety plan in their EHR record and that the VA’s use of EHR suicide risk flags could be improved. A previous report found that veterans have a 21 percent higher suicide risk compared to civilians, with 20 of them killing themselves each day, 30 percent of those after recent VA visits.

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Former HHS CIO Frank Baitman says he doesn’t understand why Healthcare.gov needs to go offline for 12 hours every Sunday (including the first day of open enrollment period) as announced by HHS. The system was down less than 1 percent in previous years vs. a scheduled 6.6 percent this year, triggering several letters from senators to CMS Administrator Seema Verma questioning whether the impetus is political rather than technical. The open enrollment period has already been reduced from 12 weeks to six and outreach programs for signups have been cut almost entirely.

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HHS Secretary Tom Price apologizes for the $400,000 worth of chartered plane flights he has taken – some for questionable purposes and five in a single week —  in the past few months in potential violations of federal travel laws, declaring that he won’t take any more charters and that “taxpayers won’t pay a dime for my seat on those planes.” He will repay the $52,000 portion represented by his own seat, but taxpayers remain on the hook for the additional $350,000 Price spent to bring HHS employees along for the ride. Meanwhile, a Politico investigation finds that fiscal hawk Price and his wife also took global trips on military aircraft that raises his total since May to more than $1 million, but HHS says Price reimbursed the government for his wife’s travel. Price, his wife, and eight HHS employees took a private jet from Berlin to Geneva at a cost of $16,000 for the flight offered by several commercial airlines for between $60 and $260. Price railed about Democrats flying charters when he was a Congressman, citing “fiscal irresponsibility run amok in Congress.”


Technology

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Fujitsu develops a wearable, hands-free speech translation device that can identify the voices of two speakers and translate their speech into the other’s language. The company claims 95 percent accuracy in a typical hospital setting. It was developed to help hospitals in Japan converse with their patients who don’t speak Japanese.


Other

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From Epic’s user group meeting:

  • CEO Judy Faulkner talks up Epic’s new Share Everywhere, which allows any provider (even those who don’t use an EHR) to view a patient’s records via C-CDA.
  • Faulkner advocates eliminated the term “electronic medical record” in favor of the “comprehensive medical record,” which of course why the term “electronic health record” was created to describe systems that manage information extending beyond the four walls (at least for that term’s first five minutes of life, after which overzealous and often crappy EHR vendors misappropriated the term to describe their unchanged systems to sound sexier).
  • Epic demonstrated the use of consumer technology such as Google Home and Amazon Echo that can allow patients to connect to MyChart to request prescription refills.
  • The company announced Payment Guardian for reimbursement.
  • Epic is working on using artificial intelligence to assist clinician users, with Epic being noted this week in Microsoft’s Ignite Vision keynote speech by CEO Satya Nadella as an AI-first healthcare leader.

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CVS joins the opioid abuse fight in a puzzling manner, limiting new opiate patients who are covered by insurance to a seven-day prescription supply, limiting the number of doses its pharmacists will dispense based on product strength, and declining to dispense extended-release opiates until immediate-release products have been tried. It’s interesting that a drugstore chain – which has limited access to a patient’s medical history – feels it needs to override physician prescriptions, although certainly state medical boards, pharmacy boards, and other overseers haven’t made much of a dent in questionable opiate prescribing.

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This might be a good early warning. Doctors performing a bronchoscopy on a long-term smoker find that his lung mass isn’t cancer, but instead is an easily removed plastic play set traffic cone he swallowed as a child, which caused no symptoms until 40 years later.


Sponsor Updates

  • Boston Software System publishes “Simplifying Legacy System Decommissioning.”
  • Parallon Technology Solutions publishes a white paper for CIOs and chief medical officers titled “Upgrading to Integrated Meditech 6.16.”
  • Robert Lord, co-founder and president of Protenus, is chosen as a New America Cybersecurity Policy Fellow, where he will focus on defining the program’s next-generation healthcare cybersecurity efforts.
  • Datica CEO Travis Good, MD will moderate a panel event at the Health 2.0 conference next week titled “What does the success of digital health look like?”
  • Lightbeam Health Solutions publishes a case study describing Princeton HealthCare System’s 15 percent reduction in inpatient admissions after implementing the company’s population health management platform.
  • The Chartis Group publishes a white paper titled “The Shift to Value: Understanding Market Dynamics to Inform Your Strategic Course.”
  • Meditech AVP Cathy Turner, MBA, RN will serve on a panel at Northeastern University’s Nurse Innovation and Entrepreneurship Summit this week.
  • EClinicalWorks will exhibit at Health 2.0 October 1-4 in Santa Clara, CA.
  • Iatric Systems will exhibit at the HCCA Regional Conference September 29 in Indianapolis.
  • Boston Voyager profiles Image Stream Medical CEO Eddie Mitchell.
  • InterSystems will exhibit at the CompuGroup Medical User Conference October 3-5 in Las Vegas.
  • Intelligent Medical Objects Senior Software Engineer Yunwei Wang becomes the first to successfully complete the Health Level Seven International inaugural HL7 Proficiency Exam.
  • Kyruus will exhibit at the Boston Bar Association’s Life Sciences Conference October 3 in Cambridge, MA.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Mr. H, Lorre, Jenn, Dr. Jayne, Lt. Dan.
Get HIStalk updates. Send news or rumors.
Contact us.

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News 9/27/17

September 26, 2017 News No Comments

Top News

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After culling through the applications of over 100 interested companies, the FDA selects Apple, Fitbit, Johnson & Johnson, Pear Therapeutics, Phosphorus, Roche, Samsung, Tidepool, and Verily to participate in its Pre-Cert pilot program. Announced in late July, the pilot will help the FDA better understand how the fast-tracking of pre-certified companies could impact the market. The nine companies have agreed to give the FDA access to measures related to their software development, testing, and maintenance; and to participate in FDA site visits.


Reader Comments

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From Agnes Scott: “Re: Agensian HealthCare (WI) files suit against Cerner for $16 million in lost revenue as a result of a messy changeover from McKesson in 2015. The health system claims it’s still losing $200,000 a month because of coding and billing errors. Cerner claims it fixed the problems in 2016.” 


Webinars

September 28 (Thursday) 2:00 ET. “Leverage the Psychology of Waiting to Boost Patient Satisfaction.” Sponsored by: DocuTap. Presenter: Mike Burke, founder and CEO, Clockwise.MD. Did you know that the experience of waiting is determined less by the overall length of the wait and more by the patient’s perception of the wait? In the world of on-demand healthcare where waiting is generally expected, giving patients more ways to control their wait time can be an effective way to attract new customers—and keep them. In this webinar, attendees will learn how to increase patient satisfaction by giving patients control over their own waiting process. (Hint: it’s not as scary as it sounds!)

October 19 (Thursday) 12:00 ET. “Understanding Enterprise Health Clouds with Forrester: What can they do for you, and how do you choose the right one?” Sponsored by: Salesforce. Presenters: Joshua Newman, MD CMO, Salesforce; and Kate McCarthy, senior analyst, Forrester. McCarthy will demystify industry solutions while offering insights from her recent Forrester report on enterprise health clouds. Newman and customers from leading healthcare organizations will share insights on how they drive efficiencies, manage patient and member journeys, and connect the entire healthcare ecosystem on the Salesforce platform.

November 8 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET. “How Clinically Integrated Networks Can Overcome the Technical Challenges to Data-Sharing.” Sponsored by: Liaison Technologies. Presenters: Dominick Mack, MD executive medical director, Georgia Health Information Technology Extension Center and Georgia Health Connect; director, National Center for Primary Care; and associate professor, Morehouse School of Medicine; and Gary Palgon, VP, healthcare and life sciences solutions, Liaison Technologies. This webinar will describe how Georgia Heath Connect connects clinically integrated networks to hospitals and small and rural practices, helping providers in medically underserved communities meet MACRA requirements by providing technology, technology support, and education that accelerates regulatory compliance and improves outcomes.

Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre for information on webinar services.


Announcements and Implementations

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Singing River Health System (MS) deploys Nuance’s full line of computer-assisted physician documentation products.

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Ability Network develops a new analytics and benchmarking tool for home health agencies, SNFs, and LTPAC facilities.

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Halifax Health (FL) implements real-time clinical surveillance capabilities and analytics from Wolters Kluwer Health, along with mobile communications technology from Vocera, to more effectively diagnose and treat sepsis.

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University of Iowa Health Care adds Carestream’s Vue Motion enterprise viewer, lesion management, and mammography software to its Carestream clinical collaboration platform.

IVantage Health Analytics launches a market intelligence tool to assist hospitals and health systems with strategic planning.

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Allegheny Health Network deploys Appriss Health’s PMP Gateway to gives its prescribers access to the state’s PDMP from within Epic.


People

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Mount Sinai Health System genomics spin off Sema4 names Jamie Coffin (Source Medical Solutions) president and COO.

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Rebecca Farrington (McKesson) joins Healthcare Administrative Partners as chief revenue officer.

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Direct Consulting Associates hires Ranae Rousse (Encore) as VP of sales.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Availity announces an unspecified amount of funding from Francisco Partners and existing investors. The Jacksonville, FL-based company also secured a $200 million revolving credit facility two months ago.

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Digital patient education company Outcome Health will hire 2,000 employees by 2022 to help staff its new headquarters in Chicago.

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Tempus raises $70 million in a Series C round led by Revolution Growth and New Enterprise Associates. The precision cancer care technology company has raised $130 million since it was launched in 2015 by Groupon cofounders Eric Lefkofsky and Brad Keywell.

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PatientSafe Solutions raises $25 million in an investment round led by HighBar Partners, bringing its total raised to just over $141 million.


Government and Politics

TechCrunch reports that the CDC has organized a blockchain development team to assess the effectiveness of distributed ledger technology in the areas of population health and disaster relief.


Sales

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Capital Health in the United Arab Emirates will roll out the TrakCare HIS from InterSystems at its Specialized Rehabilitation Hospital and Health Shield Medical Center.

Affirmant Health Network (MI) signs on with Epic for its Constellation software for clinically integrated networks. Affirmant will roll out the “seven-figure” platform across its six health systems, including 26 hospitals.

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Vidant Health (NC) contracts with Premier for multi-year consulting, analytics, performance improvement, and supply chain services.

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Richland Medical Center (WI) will replace its 20 year-old legacy systems with EHR, PM, and RCM software and services from Aprima Medical Software.

Luxembourg’s federation of hospitals signs on with Agfa Healthcare for enterprise imaging across its 15 hospitals.


Technology

The nonprofit Carolinas Center incorporates Vynca’s advance care planning technology into its My Health Peace of Mind digital planning tool for its network of hospice and palliative care facilities.

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Change Healthcare works with The Hyperledger Project to develop a blockchain solution for claims processing and payment transactions.

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Healthcare CRM company Evariant develops a call center solution that incorporates appointment scheduling, referrals, marketing automation, event registration, and reminders.

In an effort to better identify at-risk patient populations like prediabetic and undiagnosed diabetic patients, Lightbeam Health Solutions adds AI technology developed by DocSynk to its population health management offering.


Innovation and Research

The charitable arm of the National Council for Prescription Drug Programs gives $40,000 to Johns Hopkin Medicine (MD) as part of a medication safety research project that will assess the effectiveness of adding CancelRx software to the hospital’s existing e-prescribing technology.


Other

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Point-of-Care Partners introduces ePrescribing State Law On-Demand to help e-prescribing and EHR vendors stay up to date with regulations in all 50 states.

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Epic’s annual user group meeting (and related traffic) kicks off, with Wizarding-themed sessions in high gear today. Closet to 17,000 people are expected to attend, with almost an even split between Epic employees and customers. If tweets are any indication, the company’s App Orchard website is now live.


Sponsor Updates

  • AdvancedMD will exhibit at the Ascend rehab therapy business summit September 29-30 in Washington, DC.
  • ClinicalArchitecture will exhibit at the Pop Health Forum October 2-3 in Chicago.
  • VentureOhio recognizes CoverMyMeds CEO Matt Scantland as Entrepreneur of the Year.
  • The Nashville Business Journal recognizes Cumberland Consulting Group as the 10th fastest-growing company in Middle Tennessee.
  • LogicStream Health will host a happy hour during Epic UGM September 27 from 6-8pm CT.
  • Imprivata partners with health data integrity and management firm Just Associates to enhance its PatientSecure patient identification solution.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Mr. H, Lorre, Jenn, Dr. Jayne, Lt. Dan.
Get HIStalk updates. Send news or rumors.
Contact us.

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Monday Morning Update 9/25/17

September 24, 2017 News 2 Comments

Top News

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HHS Secretary Tom Price, MD decides to cease traveling in chartered planes until after the agency’s inspector general conducts a full review and audit of his travel expenses and the procedures surrounding them. While a timeline has not been released for the review, Price has assured taxpayers that, “We welcome this review. We want to make certain that we have the full confidence of not just this administration, but the American people.”


Reader Comments

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From Mike: “Re: Cold call solicitations from ECW. Do you think they’re pressing as a result of the DoJ ruling, or do you see something like this as a best practice? ECW cites an “AmericanEHR” survey that finds the company to be best at many things like training, eRx, usability, satisfaction, population management, etc. This would be more impactful if the actual study was available via the e-mail. A quick skim of AmericanEHR’s website shows that ECW isn’t in any of their Top 10 lists.” I can’t speak to the cold calling, though I suppose it wouldn’t have surprised me in the heady days of HITECH. I’ll invite readers to weigh in with their experiences.

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From MJ: “Re: Jackson Medical Center (AL) implements Evident’s Thrive EHR. Not good for Athena from an inpatient perspective. One of their 35-bed sites is already leaving them and returning to CPSI. Surprised the hospital was willing to disclose the cash flow details they saw between the two systems.” I couldn’t find any record of an Athena implementation at JMC. The announcement from CPSI’s Evident subsidiary does mention that the center is returning to Evident due to a 75-percent drop in collections with their previous vendor.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

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Just as I suspected: The vast majority of last week’s poll-takers will not spend an absurd amount of money on the anniversary edition of the iPhone. Ganay laments that there was no third, “hell no” option, while Pushing the Limits believes that if “one wants to purchase a Cadillac and has the resources then one can afford to make that choice; most of us can’t or choose to be a little more fiscally responsible. This pricing will be a real stretch for some who will unfortunately feel they MUST go for it. It is getting out of control, however, if we, as the consumers, continue to fork over these type of dollars. Next year’s version will be even higher. Whatever the market will bear!!” Technology Fan plays devil’s advocate: “Why not buy an X (a good reader poll would be to see if your readers pronounce it iPhone ‘X’ or ‘Ten’)? I purchased a Dell desktop in 1995 for $4,000, which is $6,500 in today’s dollars, so spending $1,000 for a top-of-the line miniaturized computing device that is light years ahead of Windows 95 doesn’t seem so unreasonable.”

New poll to your right or here: Have you been affected by the Equifax breach? Before you respond, I’ll preface this by saying this question is really about how you’ve been affected, and what steps you’ve attempted to take to protect your credit – either through Equifax’s offerings or some other vendor, so please share your experience in the comments section.


This Week in Health IT History

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One year ago:

  • The GAO slams HHS in a report on cybersecurity preparedness in health IT.
  • InstaMed secures a $50 million investment from Carrick Capital Partners.
  • Former Tuomey Healthcare (SC) CEO Ralph Cox personally pays $1 million to settle allegations that he illegally compensated doctors in exchange for unnecessary patient referrals to the hospital.
  • HITRUST begins exchanging bi-directional cyber threat alerts with the Department of Homeland Security.
  • Hillary Clinton outlines her plans for improving healthcare, which includes improving the ACA, working to “integrate our fragmented healthcare delivery systems,” and helping to increase research and innovation.

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Five years ago:

  • McKesson acquires population and risk management solutions vendor MedVentive for an undisclosed sum.
  • HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and US Attorney General Eric Holder warn AHA and other hospital organizations that the government will take appropriate steps to pursue providers who misuse EHRs to defraud Medicare.
  • Nuance Communications acquires QuadraMed’s Quantim product line for health information management.
  • Nordic Consulting raises growth capital from SV Life Sciences, Health Enterprise Partners, and HLM Venture Partners.
  • Navigating Cancer raises $2.3 million to hire developers and integrate its patient portal into EMR applications.

Ten years ago:

  • Microsoft wants to buy 5 percent of Facebook for $500 million, thereby valuing the three-year-old, teen-heavy social networking site at $10 billion.
  • QuadraMed closes its Misys CPR acquisition.
  • Bassett Healthcare (NY) selects McKesson for additional products for its four hospitals and 23 community health centers.
  • The market for physician financial information systems is expected to grow from $3.5 billion in 2006 to an anticipated $6.22 billion by 2013.
  • Susquehanna Health (PA), the first facility to go live on both Soarian Clinicals and Financials, has signed on with Siemens for additional technology and service solutions.

Last Week’s Most Interesting News

  • HHS Secretary Tom Price, MD comes under fire for his use of private jets for job-related travel.
  • CMS Administrator Seema Verma announces that the agency will pivot its Innovation Center to offer providers new ways of delivering care.
  • Tenet Healthcare sale rumors heat up with HCA rumored as a frontrunner to acquire several Tenet hospitals.
  • British Colombia Health Minister Adrian Dix launches an independent review of Island Health’s $178 million Cerner Millennium implementation.
  • Equifax suffers fallout from its botched attempts to provide post-breach customer service.

Webinars

September 28 (Thursday) 2:00 ET. “Leverage the Psychology of Waiting to Boost Patient Satisfaction.” Sponsored by: DocuTap. Presenter: Mike Burke, founder and CEO, Clockwise.MD. Did you know that the experience of waiting is determined less by the overall length of the wait and more by the patient’s perception of the wait? In the world of on-demand healthcare where waiting is generally expected, giving patients more ways to control their wait time can be an effective way to attract new customers—and keep them. In this webinar, attendees will learn how to increase patient satisfaction by giving patients control over their own waiting process. (Hint: it’s not as scary as it sounds!)

October 19 (Thursday) 12:00 ET. “Understanding Enterprise Health Clouds with Forrester: What can they do for you, and how do you choose the right one?” Sponsored by: Salesforce. Presenters: Joshua Newman, MD CMO, Salesforce; and Kate McCarthy, senior analyst, Forrester. McCarthy will demystify industry solutions while offering insights from her recent Forrester report on enterprise health clouds. Newman and customers from leading healthcare organizations will share insights on how they drive efficiencies, manage patient and member journeys, and connect the entire healthcare ecosystem on the Salesforce platform.

November 8 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET. “How Clinically Integrated Networks Can Overcome the Technical Challenges to Data-Sharing.” Sponsored by: Liaison Technologies. Presenters: Dominick Mack, MD executive medical director, Georgia Health Information Technology Extension Center and Georgia Health Connect; director, National Center for Primary Care; and associate professor, Morehouse School of Medicine; and Gary Palgon, VP, healthcare and life sciences solutions, Liaison Technologies. This webinar will describe how Georgia Heath Connect connects clinically integrated networks to hospitals and small and rural practices, helping providers in medically underserved communities meet MACRA requirements by providing technology, technology support, and education that accelerates regulatory compliance and improves outcomes.

Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre for information on webinar services.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Leonardo DiCaprio invests in MindMaze, a Swiss startup that has developed virtual reality technology to help amputees and stroke victims regain movement. The company, which is looking to expand beyond healthcare into entertainment and media, seems to have found a fan in the actor, who has expressed interest in how its software can help make movies more interactive.

National Decision Support Co.’s CareSelect-powered clinical decision support products are now in use in all 50 states.


People

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ROI Healthcare Solutions promotes Stacy Bennett to VP of human resources.

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Zelis Healthcare names Timothy Wilde (UnityBPO) CTO, Thomas Kloster (Inovalon) CFO, and Edward Fargis (Personal Touch Home Care) chief compliance officer and general counsel.


Announcements and Implementations

NRC Health develops a hospital-focused consumer loyalty index to help providers attract and retain patients.


Decisions

  • Bluffton Regional Medical Center (IN) will switch from McKesson to Cerner in 2018.
  • Harney District Hospital (OR) will go live with Epic in April.
  • Mercy Hospital (IA) will switch from McKesson to Cerner in October.
  • Plains Memorial Hospital (TX) switched from TruCode to 3M Encoder last November.

These provider-reported updates are supplied by Definitive Healthcare, which offers a free trial of its powerful intelligence on hospitals, physicians, and healthcare providers.


Government and Politics

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ONC eases EHR Certification requirements for vendors in an effort to reduce regulatory burden on health IT developers. First, ONC has revised certification test procedures so that vendors can “self declare” that their products meet 30 of 55 certification criteria. Second, ONC plans to exercise “enforcement discretion” when it comes to conducting randomized surveillance of health IT products.

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HHS instructs employees to complete video training on the dangers of leaking information – a move also being carried out across the departments of education, commerce, and the EPA.

Colorado’s new Medicaid claims reimbursement system comes under fire when Colorado Hospital Association data reveals that it has yet to pay several hospitals and health systems $211 million. Operated by DXC Technology, the system has struggled since launching in March, rejecting claims from hundreds of providers due to what state officials have called operator error.

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HHS will shut down Healthcare.gov for maintenance from midnight to noon nearly every Saturday during open enrollment, plus during overnight hours on the first day of the enrollment period. Government officials contend the maintenance is routine, though several media outlets have pointed out it is in excess of what occurred during the Obama administration.


Innovation and Research

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Google profiles the ways in which biomechanical engineer Anne-Christine Hertz is using Google Street View to help dementia patients travel down memory lane.

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In England, Microsoft sets up an AI-focused healthcare department at its research facility in Cambridge that will focus on developing predictive analytics tools. Public health informatics professor Ian Buchan will head up the new department. 


Other

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Kaiser Permanente CEO Bernard Tyson points out that transforming healthcare involves individual choice just as much as insurance coverage and technology:

“We need people to change the way they think about their choices when it comes to their own health and to ask themselves: ‘What is my responsibility for eating healthy foods, sleeping enough hours and exercising each day to live a longer, healthier life?’ The future of health is a new frontier with technology, research and individual choice playing an important part. Delivering better health for all means transforming an industry so when someone needs health care, it is delivered in a 21st century way that combines technology with the personal touch.”


Sponsor Updates

  • LiveProcess will exhibit at the Indiana Healthcare Emergency Preparedness Symposium September 28-29 in Indianapolis.
  • The New York Times Corner Office features LogicWorks CEO Kenneth Ziegler.
  • Meditech releases a new case study, “Detecting the Undetected: Meditech’s Surveillance Identifies and Prevents Infections at Valley.”
  • National Decision Support Co. will exhibit at Epic UGM September 25-27 in Verona, WI.
  • Navicure will exhibit at PDSMED Mindshare 2017 September 27-28 in Kansas City, MO.
  • Clinical Computer Systems, developer of the Obix Perinatal Data System, will exhibit at the 8th Annual Nebraska Section AWHONN Fall Conference September 28-29 in Omaha.
  • Black Book recognizes Recondo as a leader in several RCM rankings for 2017.
  • Experian Health will present at the HFMA FL Fall Institute September 27-29 in Delray Beach, FL.
  • PatientPing is named a runner-up for best tech startup at the Timmy Awards.
  • Patientco will host a recruiting meet and greet September 28 in Atlanta.
  • The SSI Group will exhibit at the Alabama HFMA Fall Institute September 24 in Miramar Beach, FL.
  • SK&A publishes an updated report, “Historical and Current Rates of Physician Access.”
  • TriNetX will host Summit17 September 26-27 in Boston.
  • Wellsoft will exhibit at the NRHA Critical Access Hospital Conference September 27-29 in Kansas City, MO.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Mr. H, Lorre, Jenn, Dr. Jayne, Lt. Dan.
Get HIStalk updates. Send news or rumors.
Contact us.

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News 9/22/17

September 21, 2017 News 9 Comments

Top News

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Politico reports that HHS Secretary Tom Price, MD took five flights on private jets between September 13 and 15 “at a cost of tens of thousands of dollars more than commercial travel.” Price’s destinations included Athenahealth’s MDP event in Maine, the Goodwin Community Health Center in New Hampshire, and the Mirmont Treatment Center in Pennsylvania. Those organizations have confirmed that they did not cover Price’s travel costs. HHS spokeswoman Charmaine Yoest has said that those flights “were important for him to get outside of Washington, DC, talk to real people on the ground, and using the travel arrangements we did was the best way to get him there.”

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Other Trump administration officials have come under fire for their lack of fiscally responsible flying. Officials are reviewing travel expenses for Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, who used an Air Force jet to visit Kentucky in August and later requested a military flight for his honeymoon (allegedly for security reasons); and for EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, who has spent a considerable amount of money on commercial flights to his home in Oklahoma.


Reader Comments

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From Dave: “Re: Equifax post-breach customer service. From what I understand, if you go to the Equifax site and sign up for the free credit monitoring that they’re offering, the current terms and conditions that are agreed to by clicking through it, according to an attorney I was told about, say that you are hereby waiving any rights to participate in a class action suit. When the attorney called and asked Equifax about that, they told him not to worry and that it won’t apply in this case. Yet, they haven’t changed it and people are clicking on it. And it’s only there because of this very breach. Sounds fishy to me.”


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

This week on HIStalk Practice: KeyCare will implement I2I Population Health’s PHM technology across 16 community health centers. HRSA earmarks $200 million to help health centers expand mental health and substance abuse services. Bend Medical Clinic hopes to climb out of EHR-related financial troubles with help from Summit Health. Providers react to Jonathan Bush’s burning question. VillageMD launches in Georgia. CMS Innovation Center pursues new direction. Physician burnout becomes a vicious cycle. PRM Pro Jim Higgins emphasizes communication preferences in improving patient retention.

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Last call: HIStalk sponsors, submit your MGMA details for inclusion in our annual must-see vendor’s guide over at HIStalk Practice. Companies that are walking the show floor instead of exhibiting are also welcome to submit their information. The guide will publish the week of October 2.


Webinars

September 28 (Thursday) 2:00 ET. “Leverage the Psychology of Waiting to Boost Patient Satisfaction.” Sponsored by: DocuTap. Presenter: Mike Burke, founder and CEO, Clockwise.MD. Did you know that the experience of waiting is determined less by the overall length of the wait and more by the patient’s perception of the wait? In the world of on-demand healthcare where waiting is generally expected, giving patients more ways to control their wait time can be an effective way to attract new customers—and keep them. In this webinar, attendees will learn how to increase patient satisfaction by giving patients control over their own waiting process. (Hint: it’s not as scary as it sounds!)

October 19 (Thursday) 12:00 ET. “Understanding Enterprise Health Clouds with Forrester: What can they do for you, and how do you choose the right one?” Sponsored by: Salesforce. Presenters: Joshua Newman, MD CMO, Salesforce; and Kate McCarthy, senior analyst, Forrester. McCarthy will demystify industry solutions while offering insights from her recent Forrester report on enterprise health clouds. Newman and customers from leading healthcare organizations will share insights on how they drive efficiencies, manage patient and member journeys, and connect the entire healthcare ecosystem on the Salesforce platform.

November 8 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET. “How Clinically Integrated Networks Can Overcome the Technical Challenges to Data-Sharing.” Sponsored by: Liaison Technologies. Presenters: Dominick Mack, MD executive medical director, Georgia Health Information Technology Extension Center and Georgia Health Connect; director, National Center for Primary Care; and associate professor, Morehouse School of Medicine; and Gary Palgon, VP, healthcare and life sciences solutions, Liaison Technologies. This webinar will describe how Georgia Heath Connect connects clinically integrated networks to hospitals and small and rural practices, helping providers in medically underserved communities meet MACRA requirements by providing technology, technology support, and education that accelerates regulatory compliance and improves outcomes.

Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre for information on webinar services.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Video interpretation and telemedicine company Stratus Video opens a Center of Excellence in Dallas. The company expects to hire 200 employees from the area within the year.

Moffitt Cancer Center’s (FL) informatics subsidiary, M2Gen, will use an undisclosed amount of equity investment from Hearst to expand its cancer research efforts and data-sharing network.

The Dallas News cites unnamed analysts in an article claiming that HCA is a frontrunner to acquire some of Tenet Healthcare’s hospitals.


Sales

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Christus Health system (TX) selects Influence Health’s CRM software.


People

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Biomedical informaticist Neil Sarkar (Brown University) takes the editorial helm of AMIA’s new JAMIA Open publication.

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PeraHealth names LeAnne Hester (Premier) chief commercial officer.

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Great Lakes Health Connect Executive Director Doug Dietzman will also lead Making Choices Michigan, a nonprofit focused on advance care planning that became a wholly owned subsidiary of GLHC earlier this month.


Announcements and Implementations

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University of Kansas Health System rolls out speech-recognition software and EHR services from Nuance.

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Baptist Health Corbin (KY) implements tele-ICU services from Advanced ICU Care.


Technology

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Intelligent Contacts develops a service that helps hospital collections staff bypass lengthy hold times when trying to get in touch with payers.

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Providers can now access Doximity Dialer from within Epic’s Haiku mobile app. Dialer gives users the ability to call patients from their smart phones with one touch, while guarding the privacy of their personal phone numbers.

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Amazon looks to give recently revitalized Google Glass a run for its money with Alexa-enabled smart glasses, the company’s first wearable. Users will be able to hear Alexa courtesy of a wireless bone-conduction audio system, and could wirelessly tether to a smartphone. Google Glass founder Babak Parviz joined Amazon in 2014.

LiveData launches a cloud-based version of its PeriOp Manager technology.

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National Decision Support Co. works with Mayo Clinic (MN) to develop a real-time decision-support tool for laboratory testing available within the EHR via the company’s CareSelect software.

ClinicTracker end users gain lab connectivity via EHR integration with Change Healthcare’s Clinical Network. 


Privacy and Security

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In its latest monthly update, Protenus reports that healthcare organizations experienced 31 breaches affecting 673,934 patient records – stats in keeping with the preceding seven months. Hackers were responsible for 55 percent of breaches, while insiders racked up 27 percent, pointing to a continued need for cybersecurity training.


Government and Politics

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VA Interim Deputy Secretary Scott Blackburn will assume the role of acting CIO when Rob Thomas retires next month. Thomas took on the role in February after CIO LaVerne Council departed with the Obama administration.

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The CMS Innovation Center asks for stakeholder feedback as it considers a “new direction to promote patient-centered care and test market-driven reforms that empower beneficiaries as consumers, provide price transparency, increase choices and competition to drive quality, reduce costs, and improve outcomes.” CMS Administrator Seema Verma says in a Wall Street Journal op-ed that the agency will pivot its Innovation Center to offer providers new ways of delivering care, noting that value-based programs have resulted in market consolidation and reduced competition. Comments are due November 20.

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Niam Yaraghi, a fellow in the Brookings Institution’s Center for Technology Innovation, argues in a Health Affairs blog that HITECH and HIPAA are as much at fault for the nation’s EHR interoperability problems as the vendors and providers that are being blamed. He recommends enacting policies that would give providers and vendors the option of charging fees for the the exchange of medical data, a move that would “unleash the long-awaited incentives for information exchange in the healthcare industry and open the floodgates of medical data to allow patients to access, manage, and transmit their medical data as easily as their financial data.”


Other

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“Where are helicopter parents when you need them?” asks Weird News Andy after learning that doctors in Wales put a two year-old’s cast on the wrong leg. After taking the child back to the clinic a day later, the child’s mother says clinic workers were “making out as if it was my fault for not checking which leg it had been put on at the time. I told them that it wasn’t my duty to be aware of that and point out their mistake.”

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WNA shakes his head at the fact that Equifax linked to a fake customer support site that mocked the company’s breach follow-up for several days before realizing its mistake. The company’s Twitter account even got in on the action. Ars Technica reports that a security researcher developed the fake site to emphasize how easy it is to fool people into clicking on links and giving up personal details.


Sponsor Updates

  • EClinicalWorks will exhibit at the SFMGMA Annual Healthcare Symposium September 22 in Fort Lauderdale, FL.
  • Evariant makes the Marcum Tech Top 40 list of fastest growing technology companies in Connecticut.
  • Healthfinch, Imprivata, and Intelligent Medical Objects will exhibit at Epic UGM 2017 September 26-27 in Verona, WI.
  • Healthgrades will sponsor and present at Denver Startup Week September 26-27.
  • Consulting Magazine includes Impact Advisors on its list of best small firms to work for.
  • Kyruus will exhibit at SHSMD Connections September 24-27 in Orlando.
  • Inc. profiles NTT Data’s wearable technology relationship with IndyCar driver Tony Kanaan.
  • Black Book’s 2017 report ranks ZirMed first for end-to-end RCM for the seventh consecutive year.
  • Frost & Sullivan recognizes Sunquest Information Systems for its strides in precision medicine and patient-centered healthcare.
  • Forward Health Group will host the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce – HealthTech Capitol Views & Brews event September 24 in Madison, WI.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Mr. H, Lorre, Jenn, Dr. Jayne, Lt. Dan.
Get HIStalk updates. Send news or rumors.
Contact us.

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News 9/20/17

September 19, 2017 News No Comments

Top News

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The hole Equifax keeps digging for itself just keeps getting bigger and bigger. The company’s CIO and CISO (whom some have raked over the coals for her music degree) announced their immediate retirements last week as affected consumers continued to cry foul over its shoddy attempts to provide assistance in the wake of a now-infamous breach that involved the data of 143 million people. Not to be outdone by its own incompetence thus far, Equifax has also revealed that a data breach occurred in March, and may have been carried out by the same hackers.

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To top it all off (though this story seems very Theranos-like in that it just keeps on giving), the DoJ has launched a criminal investigation into Equifax officials that may have violated insider trading laws when they sold $1.8 million in company stock before the initial breach was revealed.


Reader Comments

From Kiwi: “Re: Orion Health’s Singapore project. Your initial statement of the Orion Singapore project is overstated. It’s really just an expansion of the work they have already done with Accenture as prime on a national EHR awarded in 2010. Its just a Rhapsody deployment, not a national EHR. So there is not not much net new revenue. Noting about that deal would contradict potential office closings in Singapore for a company tight on cash.” Per Kiwi’s digging, this announcement from 2010 does indeed name Accenture as the National EHR contractor, along with team members from Oracle, Orion Health, Initiate Systems, and HP.


Webinars

September 28 (Thursday) 2:00 ET. “Leverage the Psychology of Waiting to Boost Patient Satisfaction.” Sponsored by: DocuTap. Presenter: Mike Burke, founder and CEO, Clockwise.MD. Did you know that the experience of waiting is determined less by the overall length of the wait and more by the patient’s perception of the wait? In the world of on-demand healthcare where waiting is generally expected, giving patients more ways to control their wait time can be an effective way to attract new customers—and keep them. In this webinar, attendees will learn how to increase patient satisfaction by giving patients control over their own waiting process. (Hint: it’s not as scary as it sounds!)

October 19 (Thursday) 12:00 ET. “Understanding Enterprise Health Clouds with Forrester: What can they do for you, and how do you choose the right one?” Sponsored by: Salesforce. Presenters: Joshua Newman, MD CMO, Salesforce; and Kate McCarthy, senior analyst, Forrester. McCarthy will demystify industry solutions while offering insights from her recent Forrester report on enterprise health clouds. Newman and customers from leading healthcare organizations will share insights on how they drive efficiencies, manage patient and member journeys, and connect the entire healthcare ecosystem on the Salesforce platform.

Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre for information on webinar services.


People

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Welltok hires Chris Power (Paycor) as CFO.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Influence Health relocates to larger office space in Atlanta. The company, which has grown its Atlanta workforce to 48 employees since acquiring BrightWhistle in 2015, plans to hire an additional 60-70 over the next two years.

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Gary Fingerhut, former executive director of Cleveland Clinic Innovations, is charged with conspiracy to defraud the Cleveland Clinic out of $2.7 million. Fingerhut and an unnamed accomplice opened a shell company that Cleveland Clinic Innovations hired to develop medical charting software. The shell company was paid $2.7 million in total, but delivered no goods or services in return. Investigators found that $469,000 was funneled directly back to Fingerhut.

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Text-based telemedicine company CirrusMD will move into larger office space within Denver’s new health IT-focused Catalyst HTI development next spring. It plans to add another 25 employees within the next year.

IT workers in Southern California unionize and stage a demonstration for equal pay and benefits at Kaiser Permanente’s national headquarters in Oakland, CA. The group of desktop computer support employees has been has been haggling with Kaiser over an initial contract for two years. A KP spokesman explains that, “Their average wage is $34.97, or more than $72,000 annually. The union is demanding that these 60 employees be paid at a much higher rate, which would make them much more highly paid than similar workers in the same market. We have offered a generous increase but the union is demanding considerably more.”

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In an effort to emphasize its focus on AI, predictive analytics company Faros Healthcare changes its name to Raiven Healthcare.


Announcements and Implementations

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Jackson Medical Center (AL) implements Evident’s Thrive EHR.


Government and Politics

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Madigan Army Medical Center (WA) personnel prepare to go live on MHS Genesis next month. It will be the first multi-branch hospital to roll out Cerner’s EHR for the DoD.

Indiana partners with SAP to create a database and dashboards displaying the state’s information on “drug arrests, drug seizures, death records, pharmacy robberies, overdose-related ambulance calls, and the use of naloxone, an overdose-reversal drug.”


Privacy and Security

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Sixty-three percent of physicians and 41 percent of nurses use personal devices for work even when their hospital has a no-BYOD policy, according to a Spok survey of 350 healthcare personnel. Data security was cited as the main reason some hospitals prohibit BYOD programs. Top BYOD barriers include WiFi coverage, data security, and cellular coverage.


Technology

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Florida Hospital and Nemours Children’s Hospital (FL) see telemedicine utilization rates skyrocket after giving patients free access several days before Hurricane Irma hit. Nearly 2,700 patients downloaded Florida Hospital’s eCare app, while Nemours saw adoption of its CareConnect jump 554 percent. Over 100 people accessed Florida Hospital’s virtual care the Saturday before Irma – that’s 93 more than it sees on a typical Saturday.

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Innovaccer develops a Care Intelligence System that encompasses data integration, analytics, quality reporting, patient and provider engagement, and care coordination.


Sales

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Cuero Health System (TX) signs on with Revenue Maximization Group for practice management and RCM services.


Innovation and Research

A study finds that patients who rely on Glytec’s digital glucose therapy management software see rapid glucose control and more easily maintain long-term A1C reductions.


Other

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State and federal officials put the brakes on “DNA Day” at last weekend’s Baltimore Ravens game against the Cleveland Browns over privacy concerns. Fans were supposed to receive a DNA test kit from Orig3n that would let them test for four genes, but will now have to wait until the Boston-based company receives proper approval from the Maryland Dept. of Health.

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Intermountain Healthcare and University of Utah Health system personnel return from their post-Harvey relief efforts as part of the Utah Disaster Medical Assistance Team. The team initially set up a field hospital near the airport, then moved to helping evacuees at the George Brown Convention Center. “We were ready for anything,” says Scott Gardner, PA-C in Trauma Services at Intermountain Medical Center. “Some of our mission was to be available in 30 minutes to be able to go anywhere to set up a self-supporting medical treatment area. But fortunately for the people of south Texas, we weren’t needed for emergencies. It meant the first responders and hospitals were well-prepared and operational.”


Sponsor Updates

  • AdvancedMD will host its Evo17 User Conference September 20-24 in Nashville.
  • Besler Consulting releases a new podcast, “Caring for healthcare providers.”
  • Black Book highlights consolidations going on amongst several companies in its Top RCM Software & Services report.
  • CoverMyMeds will exhibit at the PCMA Annual Conference September 25-26 in Scottsdale, AZ.
  • Direct Consulting Associates will exhibit at the Ohio MGMA annual conference September 22 in Dublin.
  • Built in Boston profiles Docent Health CEO Paul Roscoe.
  • Lightbeam Health Solutions will provide population health management solutions to members of the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians.
  • Reaction Data publishes a new report covering UnitedHealth’s acquisition of The Advisory Board.
  • Meditech customer Frisbie Memorial Hospital (NH) rolls out the company’s patient portal app.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Mr. H, Lorre, Jenn, Dr. Jayne, Lt. Dan.
Get HIStalk updates. Send news or rumors.
Contact us.

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Monday Morning Update 9/18/17

September 17, 2017 News No Comments

Top News

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The British Columbia Ministry of Health in Canada launches an independent investigation (the second one in less than a year) into the Cerner-powered Island Health EHR – a $178 million system that has faced fierce physician criticism – including a return to paper-based records over patient safety concerns – at the two hospitals it has been deployed in. Ernst & Young will deliver a report outlining its costs, benefits, problems, and solutions later this fall. The report will likely determine the fate of IHealth, which was initially scheduled for province-wide deployment well before now.


Reader Comments

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From Kiwi: “Re: Orion Health. You can notch Ian McCrae’s net worth down even further. Orion was down to about $4 million in cash as of March 31 of this year, and had to raise funds through sale of stock in July. Fifty percent of that money raised was from insiders, including about $11 million from McCrae. That was actual cash he had to pony up. Last year the company lost $24 million on declining revenue of $144 million. Coupled with the unhappiness of some key customers like CalIndex and things are not looking good in the US either. All figures are USD. Lots of folks in HIT seem to make the mistake of not converting NZD like the piece Mr. H ran on June 12 about the folks at HCIT 100 not doing the math or their Top 100 vendors.” Things can’t be all bad for the New Zealand-based company. As first reported by Iknowaguy, Singapore’s health technology agency signed a five-year contract with the company for deployment of a nationwide EHR powered by Orion Health’s Rhapsody Integration Engine.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

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It’s a resounding “no” when it comes to readers whose healthcare has been affected by a lack of interoperability during and/or after natural disaster. I assume that only those who needed care answered the poll, but perhaps that was naive of me. In any case, Deb is decidedly in the “yes” camp, recounting the very different outcome that may have occurred had health data sharing been possible during her brush with Mother Nature: “Fourteen years ago, when a hurricane was approaching Florida, my daughter who has IIH (idiopathic intracranial hypertension) experienced severe symptoms as the barometric pressure dropped. We went to a hospital that was part of the network I was working for at the time. Her diagnostic and surgical records were in Illinois. The physician in the ER refused to believe her diagnosis even though she had the shunt and multiple surgical scars. I doubt that information sharing was an option at the time, but if it were, perhaps seeing her records from a major teaching institution would have allowed the physician to get past his own prejudices and actually treat her.”

New poll to your right or here: Will you purchase the $1,000 iPhone X when it arrives in stores? If your answer is “yes,” I’d appreciate you telling HIStalk readers why you’re prepared to spend that kind of money on a smart phone. I’m sure there are folks out there who feel it’s justified, but I just can’t wrap my head – or my wallet – around it.


This Week in Health IT History

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One year ago:

  • The DoJ and FTC back Teladoc in the telehealth vendor’s legal battles with the Texas Medical Board, saying that the board’s restrictive telemedicine rules are anticompetitive and were not appropriately reviewed.
  • France-based consulting firm Atos acquires Anthelio Health Solutions for $275 million.
  • Apple releases iOS 10, which includes HealthKit support for C-CDA, which will let patients download their medical records into HealthKit and share parts of that information with other apps.
  • Cleveland Clinic files plans to build a 205-bed private hospital in London’s upscale West End.
  • Appalachian Regional Healthcare brings the computer systems of its Kentucky and West Virginia hospitals, pharmacies, and clinics back online after nearly three weeks of downtime caused by an attack of unspecified malware.
  • HHS provides $87 million to 1,310 safety net health centers for purchasing or upgrading EHRs.

9-18-2012 10-03-17 PM

Five years ago:

  • Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary and its physician group pays HHS $1.5 million to settle potential HIPAA violations following the theft of a PHI-containing unencrypted laptop.
  • CMS awards HP a $43 million task order to continue providing IT services for the EHR incentive program and for maintaining the Integrated Data Repository database.
  • Nuance will purchase Ditech Networks, a provider of voice technologies and voice-to-text services, for $22.5 million.
  • The Forbes 400 list of richest Americans includes Epic’s Judy Faulkner (#285 with a net worth of $1.7 billion) and Cerner’s Neal Patterson (#391 at $1.12 billion).

Ten years ago:

  • Philips considers offering an EHR product in Europe.
  • Phreesia raises $10 million.
  • Demand pushes Athenahealth’s IPO price to over $35, making it the best first-day gain of 2007.
  • Craneware IPOs in London.

Last Week’s Most Interesting News

  • Navicure and ZirMed agree to merge their RCM capabilities, operating under both brand names in the near term.
  • Tenet Healthcare shares climb 13 percent following a Wall Street Journal report suggesting it is considering a sale of the company.
  • Equifax suffers major fall out from a data breach that affected 143 million customers, including ransomware demands, class action lawsuits, and impending Congressional hearings.
  • The American Red Cross announces plans to use a drone to assess damage and deliver aid in Houston following Hurricane Harvey.
  • Epic will give MyChart users the ability to share data with any provider with Internet access, even those without EHRs.

Webinars

September 28 (Thursday) 2:00 ET. “Leverage the Psychology of Waiting to Boost Patient Satisfaction.” Sponsored by: DocuTap. Presenter: Mike Burke, founder and CEO, Clockwise.MD. Did you know that the experience of waiting is determined less by the overall length of the wait and more by the patient’s perception of the wait? In the world of on-demand healthcare where waiting is generally expected, giving patients more ways to control their wait time can be an effective way to attract new customers—and keep them. In this webinar, attendees will learn how to increase patient satisfaction by giving patients control over their own waiting process. (Hint: it’s not as scary as it sounds!)

October 19 (Thursday) 12:00 ET. “Understanding Enterprise Health Clouds with Forrester: What can they do for you, and how do you choose the right one?” Sponsored by: Salesforce. Presenters: Joshua Newman, MD CMO, Salesforce; and Kate McCarthy, senior analyst, Forrester. McCarthy will demystify industry solutions while offering insights from her recent Forrester report on enterprise health clouds. Newman and customers from leading healthcare organizations will share insights on how they drive efficiencies, manage patient and member journeys, and connect the entire healthcare ecosystem on the Salesforce platform.

Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre for information on webinar services.


Decisions

  • Hillcrest Henryetta Medical Center (OK) will switch from McKesson to Epic on Feb 28, 2018.
  • Centra Health (VA) will switch from Sunquest to a Cerner laboratory information system by the end of this year.
  • Shannon Health (TX) will switch from McKesson to Epic next month.
  • Potomac Valley Hospital (WV) will switch from Evident to Epic on October 1.
  • Westerly Hospital (RI) switched from McKesson to Epic in January.

These provider-reported updates are supplied by Definitive Healthcare, which offers a free trial of its powerful intelligence on hospitals, physicians, and healthcare providers.


Announcements and Implementations

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Allscripts will work with vendors, payers, and pharmacy benefit managers to aggregate and embed real-time prescription prices into prescribing workflows.

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In Canada, the initial phase of Alberta Health’s Community Information Integration Program goes live at a primary care clinic using Orion Health’s cloud service. This first stage will give over 50,000 PCPs across the province the ability to share health data via Alberta’s Netcare EHR, which leverages Orion Health portal technology.


Sales

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Curae Health selects Medhost’s Physician Experience and Perioperative Information Management System for implementation at two of its hospitals in Mississippi.


Privacy and Security

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The Arkansas Department of Human Services discovers that a former employee mistakenly emailed spreadsheets with the Medicaid information of over 26,000 beneficiaries to her personal email address. The oversight was caught when attorneys for the department were preparing for a wrongful termination lawsuit later brought by the employee. The state hospital that hired her after she left DHS has fired her for her breach-related incompetence.


Technology

Mayo Clinic (MN) rolls out its Ask Mayo Clinic symptom assessment tool to Epic MyChart users.


Innovation and Research

A telemedicine study of 120 pediatric patients at Florida-based Nemours Children’s Health System’s sports medicine clinics finds that just one visit per year saved the health system $24 per patient. The virtual consults helped patients and their families save $50 in transportation costs and nearly an hour of waiting and visit time.


Other

Cigna’s “TV Doctors of America” return to encourage yearly physicals.


Sponsor Updates

  • Salesforce.org donates $12.2 million to San Francisco and Oakland school districts in support of computer science education.
  • The SSI Group will exhibit at the 2017 HFMA Tri-State Fall Institute September 20 in Cincinnati.
  • Surescripts will exhibit at the NASP Annual Meeting & Expo September 17-20 in Washington, DC.
  • T-System and Wellsoft will exhibit at the 2017 National Association of Freestanding Emergency Centers Conference September 19-21 in Washington, DC.
  • ZirMed will exhibit at the MedInformatix 2017 Annual User Group meeting September 19-22 in San Diego.
  • Bernoulli Health contributes to an AAMI study, “Continuous Surveillance of Sleep Apnea Patients in a Medical-Surgical Unit.”

Blog Posts


Contacts

Mr. H, Lorre, Jenn, Dr. Jayne, Lt. Dan.
Get HIStalk updates. Send news or rumors.
Contact us.

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News 9/15/17

September 14, 2017 News 4 Comments

Top News

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Navicure and ZirMed announce plans to merge, though Reuters reports it’s more of an acquisition by Navicure to the tune of $750 million. The combined RCM company will operate under both brands for the foreseeable future, maintaining offices in Georgia, Illinois, and Kentucky. The agreement comes about a year after Bain Capital Private Equity bought a majority interest in Duluth, GA-based Navicure. Louisville, KY-based ZirMed has been shedding assets over the last several months. It sold off its analytics business to Koan Health in May, and laid off 60 employees a few months before that.


Reader Comments

From ButIThoughtYouSaid: “Re: Orion Health. Orion is closing their Singapore office and letting all employees go. Fate of their Middle East operations remain to be seen. They recently decided to pull out of an EMR contract in the Gulf rather than deliver it. Ian McCrae is under tremendous pressure as share prices are just above $1 from $5 fifteen months ago. I feel for him.” I haven’t seen any news related to the company’s Singapore presence, though I did read that McCrae’s personal worth has plummeted from $225 million NZD to $125 million.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

This week on HIStalk Practice: Government agencies rescue dialysis patients in the wake of Hurricane Irma. Pennsylvania officials see reduced doctor shopping thanks to PDMP. MGMA calls for CMS to address "hidden" EFT fees. Macro-Eyes develops predictive patient scheduling tool. AAFP swears in new president during FMX conference. Summit Reinsurance Services enlists the population health assessment expertise of XG Health Solutions. Physician satisfaction improves during year-long trial with scribes. The Pitt County Health Dept. in North Carolina allocates $238,000 to implement Epic. Parents push back on telemedicine in Austin schools. HIStalk sponsors, submit your company’s details to the MGMA 2017 guide.


Webinars

September 28 (Thursday) 2:00 ET. “Leverage the Psychology of Waiting to Boost Patient Satisfaction.” Sponsored by: DocuTap. Presenter: Mike Burke, founder and CEO, Clockwise.MD. Did you know that the experience of waiting is determined less by the overall length of the wait and more by the patient’s perception of the wait? In the world of on-demand healthcare where waiting is generally expected, giving patients more ways to control their wait time can be an effective way to attract new customers—and keep them. In this webinar, attendees will learn how to increase patient satisfaction by giving patients control over their own waiting process. (Hint: it’s not as scary as it sounds!)

October 19 (Thursday) 12:00 ET. “Understanding Enterprise Health Clouds with Forrester: What can they do for you, and how do you choose the right one?” Sponsored by: Salesforce. Presenters: Joshua Newman, MD CMO, Salesforce; and Kate McCarthy, senior analyst, Forrester. McCarthy will demystify industry solutions while offering insights from her recent Forrester report on enterprise health clouds. Newman and customers from leading healthcare organizations will share insights on how they drive efficiencies, manage patient and member journeys, and connect the entire healthcare ecosystem on the Salesforce platform.

Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre for information on webinar services.


People

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Atlantic General Hospital names Jonathan Bauer (McKesson) VP and CIO.

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Precision medicine company Cota hires Andrew Norden, MD (IBM Watson Health) as CMO.

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Dan Watanapongse (Sterigenics International) joins Intelligent Medical Objects as EVP and CFO.

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Kaiser Permanente appoints Harvard Medical School pediatrics professor Mark Schuster, MD head of its new medical school in Pasadena, CA. The school will welcome its first group of students in the fall of 2019.

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Bruce Henderson (Navigant) joins consulting firm Navvis as president.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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23andMe raises $250 million in a round led by new investor Sequoia Capital, bringing its total funding to near $500 million and a reported valuation of $1.75 billion.

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Healthcare business development company Marketware secures $4.5 million in a Series B round led by Epic Ventures. Alex Obbard (Solutionreach) has joined the company as CEO.

Public and private payer Centene expands in New York via its $3.7 billion acquisition of Fidelis Care.

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Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare shares climb 13 percent following a Wall Street Journal report suggesting it is considering a sale of the company. Tenet shares are down 72 percent in the last three years in the face of ongoing activist investor pressures.


Announcements and Implementations

Allscripts and Surescripts offer pharmacists in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina complimentary access to patient medication history data as part of their hurricane relief efforts.

Perficient redesigns the Colorado Center for Personalized Medicine’s data warehouse, moving it from University of Colorado hosting services to Google Cloud.

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FormFast debuts its Connect e-forms solution on the Salesforce AppExchange.


Government and Politics

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CMS previews the SSN-less Medicare cards it will begin mailing out next April.

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Irving Burton Associates signs a two-year, $11 million contract with the US Army Medical Research and Materiel Command to supply research, scientific, management, and technical support services for its Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center.


Privacy and Security

Fortified Health Security partners with IoT security software company ZingBox to develop a program that will help healthcare organizations monitor and manage connected medical devices and networks, as well as potential threats.

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Senator Al Franken (D-MN) asks Apple CEO Tim Cook for more details on the upcoming iPhone X’s use of facial recognition to unlock the phone, particularly in the areas of privacy and security. He points out that, “should a bad actor gain access to the faceprint data that Face ID requires, the ramifications could last forever, particularly if Apple’s biometric technology comes to be used in other devices and settings. Furthermore, Apple itself could use the data to benefit other sectors of its business, sell it to third parties for surveillance purposes, or receive law enforcement requests to access its facial recognition system – eventual uses that may not be contemplated by Apple customers.”


Sales

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Sutter Health (CA) selects advance care planning software from Vynca.

Christus Continuing Care (TX), Carespring Health Care Management (OH), Cornerstone Healthcare Group (TX), and Perimeter Healthcare (GA) contract with HCS for its Interactant EHR.

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Brigham Health (MA) selects Redox’s API services to consolidate and standardize EHR data for use with hospital apps.


Technology

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CoverMyMeds will develop e-referral technology for speedier electronic prior authorization of specialty medications.

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Epic announces “worldwide interoperability” with the November launch of Share Everywhere, which enables patients to give MyChart data access to any provider with an Internet connection, even those without an EHR. In turn, providers can send progress notes back to the patient’s care team.


Innovation and Research

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Optum360, Navicure, ZirMed, and Advisory Board take top client experience honors for software and technology in Black Book’s latest RCM survey, which also found that 74 percent of respondents are reprioritizing RCM ahead of projects related to population health, patient engagement, analytics, and physician practice acquisition and recruitment.


Other

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San Diego workers spray city streets with bleach in an attempt to stem an outbreak of hepatitis A that has killed 15 and infected 400 people, mostly homeless. City officials have declared a public health emergency, installed hand-washing stations and additional public toilets, launched city-wide vaccination campaigns, and passed out hygiene kits in an effort to keep the outbreak – largely spread by unwashed hands – at bay. 

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Eight senior citizens die from heat-related distress after The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills (FL) loses power during Hurricane Irma. Health officials evacuated 141 residents from the facility, sending them to local hospitals and prompting the inspection of other nursing home facilities, of which dozens are still without power.


Sponsor Updates

  • Medicity will host its annual client summit September 19-21 in Stone Mountain, GA.
  • Dimensional Insight publishes a new white paper, “Three cornerstones for healthcare analytics success.”
  • Voalte announces the speaker lineup for the Voalte User Experience conference set to take place October 11-13 in Sarasota, FL.
  • Consulting Magazine ranks Impact Advisors fourth on its list of best small firms to work for.
  • Over 225 Epic customers adopt National Decision Support Co.’s CareSelect Imaging Platform.
  • Dimensional Insight publishes a new resource guide, “How to create a winning business intelligence RFP.”
  • Allscripts certifies Elsevier’s Interactive Patient Education as part of its developer program.
  • Liaison Technologies begins accepting applications for its Data-Inspired Future Scholarship program.
  • LiveProcess will exhibit at California Hospital Association Disaster Planning 2017 September 18-20 in Sacramento, CA.
  • MedData will exhibit at the MRCA HFMA Fall Revenue Cycle Conference September 20-22 in Mt. Pleasant, MI.
  • Meditech will exhibit at the Wyoming Hospital Association Annual Meeting & Convention September 19-21 in Sheridan.
  • Clinical Computer Systems, developer of the Obix Perinatal Data System, will exhibit at the NC/SC Perinatal Partnership Conference September 17-19 in Concord, NC.
  • Experian Health will exhibit at the HFMA VA-DC event September 20-22 in Virginia Beach.
  • PatientKeeper will exhibit at the MUSE Community Peer Group – Ontario September 15 in Barrie, Ontario.
  • Liaison Technologies achieves Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard v3.2 certification and is included in the Visa Global Registry of Service Providers.
  • Black Book launches a redesigned website.
  • Nordic releases a new podcast, “Using the longitudinal plan of care to drive better outcomes.”
  • ZappRx will exhibit at the National Association of Specialty Pharmacy meeting and conference September 18-20 in Washington, DC.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Mr. H, Lorre, Jenn, Dr. Jayne, Lt. Dan.
Get HIStalk updates. Send news or rumors.
Contact us.

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News 9/13/17

September 12, 2017 News 7 Comments

Top News

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Equifax faces ransom demands from a pair of hackers claiming responsibility for the data breach of 143 million customers. The group, which some believe to be fake, wants $2.6 million in bitcoin by September 15 in exchange for not making the data publicly available. They have even gone so far as to tug at heartstrings: “We are two people trying to solve our lives and those of our families. We did not expect to get as much information as we did, nor do we want to affect any citizen. But we need to monetize the information as soon as possible.”

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Equifax has its hands full in terms of more legitimate fall-out from the breach. It reversed an earlier decision that forbid customers from joining a class action lawsuit in exchange for receiving a free year of credit monitoring after backlash from the National Consumers League and lawmakers in Washington, who are already calling for hearings. The company has also faced negative repercussions for the shoddy set up of a website for affected customers that some contend looks like a scam; not to mention three executives who sold $1.8 million in shares just a few days after breach was discovered.


Reader Comments

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From ACD_Fan: “Re: RAND cost-of-care study. A just released study by RAND Corp. shows the cost of hospital care in Indiana compared to Medicare payment rates. One hospital, Parkview Health, is singled out as having ‘exceptionally high prices.’ This hospital has the highest cost of any hospital in the state by a wide margin. This is the same organization that has paid $3 million to have its name plastered on the local minor league baseball stadium. I’m glad I’m out of the healthcare business. It’s hard to feel good about your mission when you have to explain away some of these excesses.”


Webinars

September 13 (Wednesday) 1:30 ET. “How Data Democratization Drives Enterprise-wide Clinical Process Improvement.” Sponsored by: LogicStream Health. Presenter: Katy Jones, program director of clinical support, Providence Health & Services. Providence is demonstrating positive measurable results in quality, outcomes, and efficiency by implementing clinical process improvement solutions in arming operational and clinical stakeholders with unlocked EHR data. Providence’s army of process engineers use their self-service access to answer questions immediately and gain an understanding of how their clinical care delivery is impacting outcomes. The presenter will describe practical applications that include antibiotic stewardship, hospital-acquired infections, and comprehensive knowledge management.

September 28 (Thursday) 2:00 ET. “Leverage the Psychology of Waiting to Boost Patient Satisfaction.” Sponsored by: DocuTap. Presenter: Mike Burke, founder and CEO, Clockwise.MD. Did you know that the experience of waiting is determined less by the overall length of the wait and more by the patient’s perception of the wait? In the world of on-demand healthcare where waiting is generally expected, giving patients more ways to control their wait time can be an effective way to attract new customers—and keep them. In this webinar, attendees will learn how to increase patient satisfaction by giving patients control over their own waiting process. (Hint: it’s not as scary as it sounds!)

October 19 (Thursday) 12:00 ET. “Understanding Enterprise Health Clouds with Forrester: What can they do for you, and how do you choose the right one?” Sponsored by: Salesforce. Presenters: Joshua Newman, MD CMO, Salesforce; and Kate McCarthy, senior analyst, Forrester. McCarthy will demystify industry solutions while offering insights from her recent Forrester report on enterprise health clouds. Newman and customers from leading healthcare organizations will share insights on how they drive efficiencies, manage patient and member journeys, and connect the entire healthcare ecosystem on the Salesforce platform.

Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre for information on webinar services.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Former CDC Director Tom Frieden, MD raises $225 million to launch a global health initiative that will tackle cardiovascular disease and epidemics. Backed by Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Resolve will aim to save 100 million lives over the next 30 years.

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Apple unveils its latest and greatest devices, including the iPhone 8, Apple Watch with wireless connectivity, and the iPhone X, which commemorates the company’s 10th launch of the phone and, at $1,000, its highest price point. The product updates follow on the heels of rumors (now confirmed) that the company is working with American Well and Stanford University to test the ability of the watch’s heart rate sensor to detect heart conditions.


People

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Englewood Hospital and Medical Center (NJ) appoints Ravi Koganti (New York-Presbyterian Hospital) CIO and VP of IT.

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Orchestrate Healthcare hires Ed Ricks (Beaufort Memorial Hospital) as VP of the Southeast.

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Dave Rodger (Spotify) joins PatientPing as head of product.


Sales

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University of Illinois officials agree to spend $62 million to implement Epic at UI Hospital in Chicago.

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Hospitalist group Adfinitas Health (MD) selects Continuum Health as its RCM partner ahead of a planned expansion beyond its Mid-Atlantic region of operation.

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HealtheConnections opts for data cleansing, quality analysis, and reporting tools from Diameter Health for its HIE participants across Central New York.


Announcements and Implementations

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Magnolia Regional Health Center (MS) integrates Nuance’s Dragon Medical One speech-recognition and CAPD technology with its Meditech EHR.

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In an effort to better coordinate care between local EMS services and its ED, PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center (WA) implements Pulsara’s PreHospital Alerting Package.


Technology

Medical Information Records USA adds automated vital sign documentation from Neximatic to its cloud-based anesthesia information management system.


Government and Politics

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Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt pledges to make app-based NHS medical record access, appointment scheduling, and prescription refills available to every patient in England by the end of 2018. The digital health initiative is part of the broader $5.6 billion 2020 program announced last year. Pilot programs of the new tools are already underway.

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Thus far, the digital efforts of NHS don’t seem to include getting rid of the 130,000 pages it uses to the tune of nearly $8 million in costs each year. The Guardian reports that replacing the devices could save the system $3.5 million annually.

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An ONC report on interoperability at skilled nursing facilities finds that 64 percent use EHRs, and 62 percent have interoperable networks in place that ensures electronic information is available from outside sources.

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Job seekers have until September 18 to submit their applications for Digital Health Advisor with the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health.

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HHS deploys its first team of federal responders to the Florida Keys, where it will establish a mobile medical unit and assist local providers with healthcare services. Local emergency officials estimate that at least 10,000 residents stayed on the islands during Category 4 Hurricane Irma.

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CMS threatens to end Medicare and Medicaid funding for Mercy Hospital Springfield (MO) after reports surface of a male nurse punching and tackling a combative patient, and of a female patient being held in seclusion – an area the hospital dubbed an “acute-care area” – for 15 days. A CMS investigation into patient safety practices at the hospital earlier this year found that it failed to follow up on patient grievances and to report abuse. The hospital recently fired 12 employees after their behavior in “highly tense situations” became a cause for concern. It is also bringing in an interim leadership team from other Mercy facilities.


Privacy and Security

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Children’s Hospital Colorado reports that a hacker has gained access to an employee email, resulting in the unauthorized exposure of the PHI of 3,400 patients. The unauthorized access did not affect patient health data. In a savvy marketing move, the hospital re-publicizes findings from a study earlier this year that show documentation in its Epic EHR has helped it achieve a 30-percent reduction in harm for HACs over the last five years.


Innovation and Research

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A JAMIA analysis of online consumer ratings of 78 physicians finds no association between a physician’s average consumer score and their specialty-specific quality scores or value-based care.


Sponsor Updates

  • Agfa Healthcare releases a new white paper, “Diagnosis – Communication – Care: Hardcopy technology for the digital age.”
  • Aprima will exhibit at the American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference & Exhibition September 16-18 in Chicago.
  • The Tampa Bay Business Journal includes AssesURHealth’s Tori Couch in its Up & Comers class of 2017.
  • Besler Consulting releases a new podcast, “Update on the Medicare appeals backlog.”
  • Cumberland Consulting Group will exhibit at the Healthcare Executive Group Annual Forum September 18-20 in Nashville.
  • Dimensional Insight will exhibit at the 2017 Women’s Leadership Council Conference September 14-15 in Washington, DC.
  • ECG Management Consultants and Intelligent Medical Objects will present at the 2017 IHA Leadership Summit September 13 in Lombard, IL.
  • Elsevier Senior Architect of Clinical Solutions Tyler Lynch showcases students building a tool to simplify prescription scheduling at MedHacks17.
  • EClinicalWorks will exhibit at AAP 2017 September 16-18 in Chicago.
  • FormFast publishes a new case study featuring Duncan Regional Hospital.
  • HCS will exhibit at the NALTH 2017 Fall Leadership Conference September 14-15 in Washington, DC.
  • Impact Advisors will present on MIPS and MACRA as part of the Scottsdale Institute Teleconference September 19.
  • EClinicalWorks publishes new case studies featuring CityMD and EssenMED House Calls.
  • PatientPing releases a new video on coordinating patient care.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Mr. H, Lorre, Jenn, Dr. Jayne, Lt. Dan.
Get HIStalk updates. Send news or rumors.
Contact us.

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Monday Morning Update 9/11/17

September 10, 2017 News No Comments

Top News

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HHS Secretary Tom Price, MD declares public health emergencies for Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina as Hurricane Irma surges through central Florida and the Tampa Bay area. Nearly 3.3 million homes and businesses in Florida are now without power. The storm marks the first time a tropical storm warning has ever been issued for Atlanta, which is expected to feel Irma’s windy and rainy aftershocks Monday.

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Vice President Mike Pence has assured state officials that the federal government will be ready to mobilize relief teams as soon as the storm has safely passed. Those teams include 300 healthcare personnel flown in Saturday by the Air Force to Orlando, where the hurricane is expected to hit early Monday morning.

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As is becoming the trend, several providers – including St. Vincent’s, Florida Hospital, Nemours Children’s Hospital, and Orlando Health in Florida – have stepped up to offer free virtual consults to victims of Irma. DrFirst has made its mobile iPrescribe prescription look-up tool free to select prescribers as well.

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Greenway Health CEO Scott Zimmerman cancels the company’s annual user group conference set to take place this weekend in Orlando. Verscend Technologies also made the similarly tough yet necessary choice to cancel its customer event in Miami.


Reader Comments

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From Van Helten: “Re: Data silos. Here’s an exclusive photo of one being installed at a hospital in Virginia.” 


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

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Cash seems to be king when it comes to why hospitals don’t freely exchange patient information. Over half of respondents believe hospitals don’t share information because the business case for sending patient health data to competitors is lacking. Print Geek contends, “There should an option here for ‘lack of government leadership and intervention supporting interoperability.’ As much as it pains me to put more of healthcare in the hands of the fed, the banking and travel businesses seemed to figure it out themselves. Healthcare’s inability to solve this themselves screams for government intervention.” Clustered points out that, “There is a business case *not* to use shared data. Facilities can bill for repeating a procedure/test, if they don’t have access to the results (e.g., if an MRI exam was performed elsewhere). They can’t bill for requesting and receiving prior medical records. While that may sound irresponsible to a clinician, it certainly makes sense to the CFO/CEO of a hospital. We’re in the business of facilitating information sharing and we see it all the time (‘yet another piece of software that will help me decrease revenues’ – sometimes we can almost see the thought bubble).” Anonymous asks, “Aren’t ‘insufficient demand by patients’ and ‘lack of a business case’ hugely overlapping? Patients need to create the business case. If we had a health system where patients felt empowered to own their data, instead of feeling like Elaine in the Seinfeld episode where she just wants to be treated for her rash, I think the business case would be obvious.”

New poll to your right or here: Has a lack of interoperability ever hindered your or a loved one’s ability to receive healthcare services in the midst of or after a natural disaster? I’m thinking especially about hurricane evacuees who’ve wound up away from their homes for weeks or months. Please leave a comment as to what happened and how you resolved the situation. Your experience may end up helping those struggling to jump through the hoops of finding post-Harvey and (eventually) post-Irma healthcare.


This Week in Health IT History

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One year ago:

  • The NHS names 12 health IT “global exemplars” that will receive $13 million in health IT funding to establish best practices and a new digital health academy.
  • The DoJ and FTC back Teladoc in the telehealth vendor’s legal battles with the Texas Medical Board, saying that the board’s restrictive telemedicine rules are anticompetitive and were not appropriately reviewed.
  • France-based consulting firm Atos will acquire Anthelio Health Solutions for $275 million.
  • Cleveland Clinic files plans to build a 205-bed private hospital in London’s upscale West End.
  • HHS will provide $87 million to 1,310 safety net health centers for purchasing or upgrading EHRs.

9-11-2012 6-15-21 PM

Five years ago:

  • ONC publishes a Health IT Dashboard that includes six views and 250 custom dashboards for states, ONC programs, and grantees.
  • The board of Allscripts approves a $1.9 million 2012 incentive for CEO Glen Tullman.
  • Elsevier acquires ExitCare, LLC, an enterprise-wide solution for patient education and discharge instructions.
  • PE firm Thoma Bravo acquires Mediware for $195 million.

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Ten years ago:

  • Google unveils an upgraded version of Google Health that includes a cleaner interface and more focus on wellness.
  • Stanford’s Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital appeals the $250,000 fine levied by the state’s health department when the hospital waited 11 days before reporting a stolen, PHI-containing laptop.
  • MyChart comes to iTunes.
  • Outpatient imaging center operator RadNet acquires Image Medical Corporation for $10.75 million in cash and notes.
  • EHealth Ontario signs a $46 million contract with Canada-based CGI Group to develop and manage a diabetes management portal.

Last Week’s Most Interesting News

  • STAT investigates IBM’s failure to develop Watson into a revolutionary technology for cancer care, highlighting the fact that its marketing blitz may have over-promised on the machine’s capabilities.
  • The FDA launches a Digital Health Entrepreneur-in-Residence program to help develop and launch its Software Precertification Pilot.
  • Equifax informs the public that a data breach discovered in late July could affect up to 143 million people.
  • Fidelity National Financial will acquire emergency department clinical documentation and coding vendor T-Systems for $200 million in cash.
  • Jeanne Lillig-Patterson, founder of the First Hand Foundation and wife of Cerner co-founder Neal Patterson, dies at the age of 59 after losing her battle with cancer.

Webinars

September 13 (Wednesday) 1:30 ET. “How Data Democratization Drives Enterprise-wide Clinical Process Improvement.” Sponsored by: LogicStream Health. Presenter: Katy Jones, program director of clinical support, Providence Health & Services. Providence is demonstrating positive measurable results in quality, outcomes, and efficiency by implementing clinical process improvement solutions in arming operational and clinical stakeholders with unlocked EHR data. Providence’s army of process engineers use their self-service access to answer questions immediately and gain an understanding of how their clinical care delivery is impacting outcomes. The presenter will describe practical applications that include antibiotic stewardship, hospital-acquired infections, and comprehensive knowledge management.

September 28 (Thursday) 2:00 ET. “Leverage the Psychology of Waiting to Boost Patient Satisfaction.” Sponsored by: DocuTap. Presenter: Mike Burke, founder and CEO, Clockwise.MD. Did you know that the experience of waiting is determined less by the overall length of the wait and more by the patient’s perception of the wait? In the world of on-demand healthcare where waiting is generally expected, giving patients more ways to control their wait time can be an effective way to attract new customers—and keep them. In this webinar, attendees will learn how to increase patient satisfaction by giving patients control over their own waiting process. (Hint: it’s not as scary as it sounds!)

Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre for information on webinar services.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Wellsoft enlists consulting firm MedProjects to help market and implement its EDIS at St. Luke’s Medical Center in the Philippines as part of a broader push into the region.


Technology

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With help from UPS, the Red Cross will begin test flights this week of a drone that will assess damage and potentially deliver aid to areas devastated by Hurricane Harvey. The deployment, which comes a year after the Federal Aviation Administration loosened up its restrictions on using drones for commercial activities, could lead to additional flights into areas affected by Hurricane Irma.

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Users of DexCom continuous glucose monitoring products will soon be able to track their CGM data on FitBit’s Ionic smartwatch.

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Navicure announces integration of its automated patient payment tool with Epic.

Smart Communications will integrate its communications management technology with Casenet’s TruCare population health and care management platform for payers.


Privacy and Security

University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Department of Family Medicine and Community Health notifies select patients that it violated HIPAA when it sent information about a quality improvement survey on a postcard rather than in a sealed envelope. The postcard referred to individual patient medications and family planning services.


Innovation and Research

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A Truven Health Analytics survey finds cost to be the top reason patients don’t fill their prescriptions. A third of those surveyed look at drug costs before filling their prescription – a practice that decreases with age. Looking for lower prices, twelve percent have taken to filling their prescriptions outside of the US. Strangely, those with higher incomes and levels of education are more likely to miss a dose.

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Henry Ford Macomb Hospital and the AMA see an increase in patient referrals to diabetes prevention programs six months into piloting a pre-diabetes registry developed with help from Epic.


Other

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The New York Times looks at the ways in which emergency relief procedures for Hurricane Harvey compare with those of Katrina, highlighting the work done by Congress and FEMA in the intervening years to make sure resources, strategies, and playbooks were in place and trusted by community leaders well before Harvey spun its way into Texas and Louisiana. The author also points out the work HHS has done to make sure hospitals and nursing homes are better equipped and trained to evacuate, with the ultimate goal of only having to move residents once.

Surgeon, author, and speaker Atul Gawande, MD places blame for the opioid epidemic squarely on the shoulders of physicians, attributing the propensity of physicians like himself to unknowingly overprescribe to medical training that encouraged such practices:

“The cause in the opioid epidemic starts with getting a prescription of opioids from physicians. We weren’t recognizing — I certainly wasn’t recognizing — the extent to which we were putting people at risk. I think the key thing that has stuck in my mind was that when you go in for an operation, and you give a supply of opioid pills, that if people are on those pills for 7 days they have an 8 percent chance of one year later still being on those narcotic pills. It is huge. It is startling. I had no idea. Basically, I was like more is better, take some.”


Sponsor Updates

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  • West Corp. volunteers pack 8,790 meals in under an hour for Omaha Against Hunger.
  • Bernard Tyson (Kaiser Permanente) joins Salesforce’s Board of Directors.
  • Surescripts will exhibit at the AAFP Family Medicine Experience September 12-16 in San Antonio.
  • Verego awards Sutherland its Corporate Social Responsibility certification.
  • Wellsoft will exhibit at HIMSS AsiaPac17 September 11-14 in Singapore.
  • ZirMed will exhibit at the CareVoyant User Group Conference September 13-15 in Schaumburg, IL.

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