Home » News » Recent Articles:

News 6/16/17

June 15, 2017 News 8 Comments

Top News

image

Rumors related to Apple’s healthcare takeover abound, with CNBC reporting that the company is working behind the scenes to develop an Iphone-based repository of health data that users can share from at will. Lab results and allergy lists seem to be first on Apple’s pick list of data points to tackle. Tied in with that is the recommendation of a Citigroup analyst that Apple buy up Athenahealth in a move that would give it access to the EHR vendor’s 83 million patient records and its Epocrates physician end users and technology. Apple is certainly a force to be reckoned with when it comes the ubiquity of its mobile devices (though some have lately challenged that notion), but it seems the issue of interoperability with other competing platforms – as seen so often with healthcare – would raise its ugly head sooner rather than later. It would be fun to see how Apple fanboys would take to Jonathan Bush’s cult of personality.


Reader Comments

From First Fruits: “Re: App Orchard. Prices have gone up by $5,000 for the top two tiers effective May 25th from what I can tell. And they have taken away benefits, i.e. the number of included support hours, free app listings, and registrations to events. You don’t get any indication of available APIs until after you pay your annual fee. Does anyone consider this a pay-to-play interoperability?”

From Chip Hart: “Re: Larry Weed, MD. Larry passed away at the age of 93 earlier this month. Arguably the great-grandfather of EHRs, and certainly of the organized medical record. (He invented the SOAPM and POMR concepts.) His lectures are famous. I believe you’ve linked to them in the past. The stuff from the 70s is still relevant today. Here’s one.”


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

This week on HIStalk Practice: The FBI looks into Zoom’s falsified risk-adjustment payments. Community Health and Wellness Center of Greater Torrington leans on Stone Health Innovations for CCM expertise. Several cancer care practices select Flatiron Health software and support. Digital Noema Telehealth adds EazyScripts e-prescribing to virtual consult software. The Medical Society of the State of New York expands partnership with DrFirst. Spry Health raises $5.5 million. Dermatologist Stacia Poole, MD discusses the role health IT plays at a practice with older patients. Thanks for reading.


Webinars

June 22 (Thursday) 1:00 ET. “Social Determinants of Health.” Sponsored by Philips Wellcentive. Presenter: David Nash, MD, MBA, dean, Jefferson College of Population Health. One of the nation’s foremost experts on social determinants of health will explain the importance of these factors and how to make the best use of them.

June 29 (Thursday) 2:00 ET. “Be the First to See New Data on Why Patients Switch Healthcare Providers.” Sponsored by Solutionreach. As patients pay more for their care and have access to more data about cost and quality, their expectations for healthcare are changing. And as their expectations change, they are more likely to switch providers to get them met. In this free webinar, we’ll look at this new data on why patients switch and what makes them stay. Be one of the first to see the latest data on why patients leave and what you can do about it.

July 11 (Tuesday) 1:00 ET.  “Your Data Migration Questions Answered: Ask the Expert Q&A Panel.” Sponsored by Galen Healthcare Solutions. Presenters: Julia Snapp, manager of professional services, Galen Healthcare Solutions; Tyler Suacci, principal technical consultant, Galen Healthcare Solutions. This webcast will give attendees who are considering or in the process of replacing and/or transitioning EHRs the ability to ask questions of our experts. Our moderators have extensive experience in data migration efforts, having supported over 250+ projects, and migration of 40MM+ patient records and 7K+ providers. They will be available to answer questions surrounding changes in workflows, items to consider when migrating data, knowing what to migrate vs. archive, etc.

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

image

Omada Health raises $50 million in a round led by Cigna, which will offer the company’s digital chronic disease management technology to its members.

Cleveland Clinic and Oscar Health will offer co-branded insurance plans to people in northeastern Ohio. The move is a first for both organizations, marking Oscar’s entry into the state and the health system’s first time offering an insurance product bearing its name.

image

Weirton Medical Center (WV) sues Cerner and its Siemens subsidiary for their failure to provide adequate support and service related to a $30 million contract extension for Soarian in 2013. A trial by jury has been requested. WMC’s end goal appears to be termination of its contract with Cerner, and Cerner’s free-of-charge assistance in switching the hospital to a new vendor.

PokitDok acquires the software and pharmacy assets of Oration, a prescription management and savings app developer. PokitDok plans to make Oration’s commercial pharmacy benefit data available through its DokChain network.


Announcements and Implementations

image

JD McCarty Center for Children with Developmental Disabilities (OK) implements Evident’s Thrive EHR. The center enlisted the consulting services of TruBridge to assist with the roll out. Evident and TruBridge are both subsidiaries of CPSI.


Technology

Physician’s Computer Company adds FDB’s MedsTracker e-prescribing tool to its EHR for pediatricians.

MModal’s CAPD tools now support Epic’s NoteReader CDI module.

Salesforce adds new communications features to its Health Cloud CRM, enabling caregivers outside of the doctor’s office to communicate via mobile device, and to share care plans across different organizations.


Sales

image

Community Medical Centers (CA) will implement LogicStream Health’s Clinical Process Improvement solutions.

image

Neighbors Emergency Center selects Presidiohealth’s FSEC Foundation software, which combines T-System’s EDIS with Presidio’s PM technology.


People

image

Clinical Computer Systems, developer of the Obix Perinatal Data System, promotes Cindy Bell to VP of customer services.

image

Cambia Grove founder and executive director Nicole Bell will join Amazon Web Services as principal business development manager, serving as a healthcare industry liaison.

image

Erin Jospe, MD (PatientKeeper) joins Kyruus as CMO.

image

Citing closer proximity to family, Vancouver Island Health Authority President Brendan Carr, MD plans to step down to take over as president and CEO of the William Osler Health System in Ontario. His five-year tenure at Island Health has included oversight of the rocky rollout of the IHealth EHR, which still has physicians up in arms over its risk to patient safety. “I’ve learned immensely from that experience,” he explains, “sometimes painfully so. It’s been a challenging thing, and I think it’s something that will absolutely allow this organization to do great things in the future.”


Privacy and Security

image

Microsoft releases a bevy of security updates to protect users from WannaCry-like attacks. In addition to automatic updates, the company is making the updates available for manual download and installation for unsupported software versions including Windows XP and Windows Server 2003.

Sensato Cybersecurity Solutions will focus on the attacker’s perspective during its Hacking Healthcare Workshop, set to take place September 13-14 in Asbury Park, NJ.


Government and Politics

image

A GAO report finds that pharmacists at the VA have trouble accessing patient data via its pharmacy system, and often run into trouble when transferring or refilling prescriptions from non-VA facilities. Recommendations include updating the system and taking a deeper look at barriers to interoperability.


Innovation and Research

image

Colorado’s UCHealth launches the virtual Applied Decision Science Lab through its CARE Innovation Center to collaborate with entrepreneurs on healthcare technology. Researchers are particularly interested in using AI and machine learning to enhance EHR workflows and clinical decision support.


Other

image

Bloomberg reports that nearly half of the $2 billion raised on popular crowdfunding platforms like GoFundMe are being used to pay medical expenses. Facebook has gotten in on the action, adding a health category to a new feature that lets users set up fundraisers for personal causes.

image

A US District judge sentences Wilbert Veasey, Jr. to pay over $23 million to CMS and serve 17 years in prison for his part in what authorities call the biggest home health fraud in the history of Medicare and Medicaid. Veasey, along with four conspirators, convinced already vulnerable Medicare patients to sign up for unnecessary home health services, after which they then filed for reimbursements for via a number of shell companies. The racket ultimately ran up $374 million in fraudulent claims.

image

The Michigan Attorney General charges HHS Director Nick Lyon and Chief Medical Executive Eden Wells in the latest round of criminal charges related to the Flint water crisis in 2014 and 2015 that resulted in 12 deaths and dozens more sickened by contaminated drinking water. Lyon’s actions were particularly reprehensible. According to court documents, he “willfully disregarded the deadly nature of the Legionnaires’ disease outbreak, later saying he ‘can’t save everyone,’ and ‘everyone has to die of something.’”


Sponsor Updates

  • Meditech releases a new podcast, “Home Care & Population Health.”
  • Liaison Technologies will host an IT Leaders Forum on data strategy June 21 in London.
  • Meditech will host the 2017 Revenue Cycle Summit June 20-21 in Foxborough, MA.
  • Navicure will exhibit at the Florida MGMA 2017 Annual Conference June 21-22 in Orlando.
  • Experian Health publishes a new case study featuring Yale New Haven Health.
  • Health Catalyst adds Duncan Gallagher (Allina Health) to its Board of Directors.
  • The Medical Society of the State of New York will offer its members complimentary access to DrFirst’s e-prescribing and medication management app.
  • InterSystems customers Northwell Health and Mount Sinai Health System connect their private HIEs to the New York-based Healthix public HIE.
  • ROI Healthcare Solutions will present at Inforum 2017 July 10-12 in New York City.

Blog Posts


Contacts

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

125x125_2nd_Circle

News 6/14/17

June 13, 2017 News 4 Comments

Top News

image

An audit reveals that CMS may have paid out nearly $729 million in improper Meaningful Use incentives between 2011 and 2014. OIG auditors based their estimate on the review of 100 payments – 14 of which were made for incorrect reporting periods, or were based on incomplete verification documentation, and totaled just over $290,000. Auditors also found that CMS should not have paid out $2.3 million to providers who switched between Medicare and Medicaid incentive programs during that timeframe. OIG recommends that CMS recoup the money and undertake a more thorough review of all payments made.


Reader Comments

image

From OITNB: “Re: Athenahealth/Medhost deal. I think you may have it wrong or that Medhost may have multiple suitors. Allscripts CEO Paul Black was at the Medhost office on the executive floor a few weeks back.”


Webinars

June 22 (Thursday) 1:00 ET. “Social Determinants of Health.” Sponsored by Philips Wellcentive. Presenter: David Nash, MD, MBA, dean, Jefferson College of Population Health. One of the nation’s foremost experts on social determinants of health will explain the importance of these factors and how to make the best use of them.

June 29 (Thursday) 2:00 ET. “Be the First to See New Data on Why Patients Switch Healthcare Providers.” Sponsored by Solutionreach. As patients pay more for their care and have access to more data about cost and quality, their expectations for healthcare are changing. And as their expectations change, they are more likely to switch providers to get them met. In this free webinar, we’ll look at this new data on why patients switch and what makes them stay. Be one of the first to see the latest data on why patients leave and what you can do about it.

July 11 (Tuesday) 1:00 ET.  “Your Data Migration Questions Answered: Ask the Expert Q&A Panel.” Sponsored by Galen Healthcare Solutions. Presenters: Julia Snapp, manager of professional services, Galen Healthcare Solutions; Tyler Suacci, principal technical consultant, Galen Healthcare Solutions. This webcast will give attendees who are considering or in the process of replacing and/or transitioning EHRs the ability to ask questions of our experts. Our moderators have extensive experience in data migration efforts, having supported over 250+ projects, and migration of 40MM+ patient records and 7K+ providers. They will be available to answer questions surrounding changes in workflows, items to consider when migrating data, knowing what to migrate vs. archive, etc.

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


Announcements and Implementations

image

Torrance Memorial Medical Center (CA) rolls out Mobile Heartbeat’s smartphone-based clinical communications system to its 2,700 team members.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

image

Genetic testing company Invitae acquires Ommdom, developer of the CancerGene Connect risk assessment and family history analysis tool.

image

Cognizant plans to acquire TMG Health, a subsidiary of insurer Health Care Service Corp., later this year. TMG, which caters to government-sponsored health plans, will continue to provide IT and business process services to HCSC business units. Cognizant’s largest publicized acquisition was TriZetto in 2014 for $2.3 billion in cash.


People

image

Erin Trimble (Athenahealth) joins Redox as VP of business development.

image image

GE promotes healthcare lead John Flannery to CEO and chairman elect. GE Healthcare Life Sciences CEO Kieran Murphy will take over Flannery’s role. Murphy will likely devote much of his time to strengthening GE Healthcare’s technology with the relocation of hundreds of tech workers to its office in Boston, as well as with a planned $500 million software spend over the next several years.

image

Patientco hires Alan Nalle (Accenture Strategy) as chief strategy officer.

image image

The American Medical Association names New Mexico Oncology Hematology Consultants CEO Barbara McAneny, MD president-elect at its annual meeting. She will succeed newly sworn-in Mercy Clinic VP David Barbe, MD.

image

Tycene Fritcher (Solutionreach) joins health system-focused telemedicine company Avizia as CMO.


Sales

image

Greater Baltimore Medical Center (MD) selects Phynd’s Enterprise Provider Data Management solution tool to help it manage the data of 15,000 credentialed and referring providers.

Meditech signs up 16 hospitals in the first quarter of 2017.


Technology

image

Caradigm releases a trio of population health tools to help Medicare ACOs understand clinical and financial risk and utilization patterns, and to identify high-risk patients who may need clinical intervention.

Glytec integrates AgaMatrix’s wireless blood glucose monitoring app with its EGlycemic Management System, giving providers the ability to offer patients more mobile and tailored insulin dosing management between appointments.


Government and Politics

image

Vice President Pence stresses the president’s focus on repealing the Affordable Care Act during remarks to HHS employees. His main points focused on rising premiums, reduced coverage options due to payers leaving the exchanges, and the number of people dropping out of ACA insurance plans – figures that some have called into question. He emphasized that the Republican-crafted American Health Care Act quietly working its way through the Senate will “transition our healthcare economy away from the regulations and mandates and taxes of Obamacare to a patient-centered healthcare system built on personal responsibility, free-market competition, and state-based reform.”


Innovation and Research

image

A survey of just over 1,000 consumers finds that only 17 percent believe health-related industries are the most innovative compared to sectors like consumer electronics, telecommunications, and media. Respondents have high hopes for healthcare innovation, though; 70 percent believe health IT will eventually make the biggest impact on their personal health management. They cite wearables, robotics, 3D printing, smart home devices, and AI as technologies likely to make the most waves.

Vanderbilt University Medical Center (TN) researchers create an algorithm based on hospital admissions data that is “80-90 percent accurate when predicting whether someone will attempt suicide within the next two years, and 92-percent accurate in predicting whether someone will attempt suicide within the next week.”

image

Drones carrying defibrillators to the scenes of heart attacks arrive five minutes after launch – 12 minutes faster than local ambulance services, according to a study featured in JAMA. Drones were launched from a fire station within six miles of where previous cardiac arrests had occurred.


Other

image

The New York Times looks at the growing role the Dark Web plays in helping opioid-pushing drug dealers sell and ship their products. Thanks to increased potency and decreased size, “enough fentanyl to get nearly 50,000 people high can fit in a standard first-class envelope.”


Sponsor Updates

  • The Millenium Alliance advisory firm interviews Arcadia Healthcare Solutions VP Michael Meucci.
  • Besler Consulting releases a new podcast, “Completing your Medicare Occupational Mix Survey.”
  • CareSync publishes an infographic on annual wellness visits.
  • Docent Health will participate in Boston TechJam June 15.
  • EClinicalWorks will exhibit at The Private Healthcare Summit 2017 June 20 in London.
  • FormFast joins the Salesforce AppExchange.
  • HCS will exhibit at the Texas Hospital Association Behavioral Health Conference June 15-16 in Austin.
  • The HCI Group customer St. Luke’s University Health Network achieves HIMSS Analytics EMRAM Stage 7 status.
  • InterSystems will exhibit at the HIMSS NY Chapter Annual Conference June 20 in the Bronx.
  • Meditech South Africa celebrates 35 years.
  • InstaMed releases its Trends in Healthcare Payments Annual Report.

Blog Posts


Contacts

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

125x125_2nd_Circle

Monday Morning Update 6/12/17

June 11, 2017 News No Comments

Top News

image

Cork University Maternal Hospital and University Hospital Kerry in Ireland report significant added expense as a result of their implementations of the nation’s first Maternal and Newborn Clinical Management System. The initial $39.2 million price tag has increased by $785,000 in Deloitte consultancy fees, with millions more expected as 17 additional hospitals prepare to go live on the Cerner-powered system over the next several years. Ireland’s Health Service attributes the over-budget, delayed implementations to a lack of expertise on the part of its clinical and business staff.

image

Ireland experiences similar woes with its eHealth project, which is “not in a good place,” according to Chief Scientific Adviser Mark Ferguson, adding that the project is moving forward with several initial pilots to help alleviate patient concerns about  the digital storage of PHI. The project will ultimately include the launch of a nationwide EHR, unique identifiers for patients, and capacity for genome-sequencing.

image

Providers at University Hospital Limerick are particularly depressed with projections that eHealth implementation at their facility could take up to 10 years. The hospital uses a number of different data-sharing systems, and is still plagued by an inefficient paper record-keeping system. “We have many, many computer systems in the health service,” says the hospital’s founding president, Ed Walsh, “but they don’t talk to each other. [The health service is] consumed by inefficient bureaucracy, which is based on a Victorian paper system. And until we move that, we won’t be able to move the resources necessary to provide the healthcare that the patient requires.”


Reader Comments

image

From Kiwi: “Re: Orion Health’s financials. It seems to be letting an error by HCIT go uncorrected. Their Healthcare Informatics 100 listing cites $193 million in revenue in 2016, but reported financials show a different story (and the company is publicly traded). If my math is correct, the New Zealand dollar has moved between being worth about $.68 to $.74, making their earnings anywhere from $140M to $152M in 2016 and even less this for FY 2017.”


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

The anonymous vendor who donated $500 to my project to fund DonorsChoose teacher grant requests in return for mentioning a survey they’re interested in tells me they’ve almost hit the 100-response mark, which will trigger a second donation even bigger than the first. Providers, please click here and spend just a few minutes to help a classroom in need. Thank you.

image

Over 75 percent of survey takers would consider switching systems if their vendor became involved in a situation akin to that of EClinicalWorks. It’s All Good contends, however, that “the basis of the allegations/settlement is not a reason to switch. There were defects. They’ve been fixed. But …  a switch could be considered because such a settlement could force the company into insolvency. Or at least support and innovation will suffer as the company tightens its’ proverbial belt so it can pay the fine.” Ross Martin wonders if this will be the tip of the health IT iceberg – one that’s similar to finding out VW wasn’t the only carmaker to game the emissions compliance system. He suspects that, “in the context of the Great Meaningful Use Land Grab of 2009 and the spend-stimulus-fast development of certification criteria, we will find a good amount of fudging among the vendors. Even vendors who complied with the letter of the reg are nowhere near enabling the plug-and-play level of interoperability we need.”

New poll to your right or here: Do you take research studies into consideration when making health IT purchasing or clinical programming decisions? Given the Washington Post’s piece last week on the tendency of journalists to make headlines out of studies they don’t truly understand and/or that are poorly designed in the first place, I’ve been wondering if hospital executives look at them with the same skeptical eye that I do. Your comments, as always, are appreciated.

I decided early on to have only two HIStalk Founding Sponsors, spots held by Medicity and Nuance since around 2007 or so. Nuance’s new marketing crew has decided that sponsoring HIStalk doesn’t interest them, meaning that their Founding spot is therefore available to the first company who commits to taking it over. Contact me at mrhistalk@gmail.com to grab Nuance’s premiere ad position on the page along with the usual Platinum sponsor benefits. Thanks to Nuance for supporting HIStalk for 10 years.

image

Welcome to new HIStalk Gold Sponsor ZappRx. The Boston-based company solves the inefficient workflow and time drain involved with prescribing specialty drugs. Its platform modernizes the multi-step, manual prescribing process – often involving multiple platforms – to automatically populate prior authorization information, obtain digital patient consent, track prescriptions, and communicate bi-directionally with the specialty pharmacy, reducing administrative burden and improving team collaboration without resorting to phone calls. Patients get their critical therapy faster and more accurately with complete transparency. Practices can estimate their time savings using the company’s online calculator – the average prescription order requires just three minutes of provider time with ZappRX. Thanks to ZappRx for supporting HIStalk.


This Week in Health IT History

image

One year ago:

  • Connecture, a technology company that builds online health insurance marketplaces, acquires ConnectedHealth, a benefits technology platform that helps employers choose health plans.
  • Cerner launches a one-year pilot study that will help determine whether patient’s genetic data can play a motivating role in promoting behavior change.
  • The VA fires three more administrators within the Phoenix VA Health Care System for “negligent performance of duties and failure to provide effective oversight.”
  • In light of voided test results and potential CMS sanctions, Walgreens ends its relationship with Theranos, closing all 40 of its Theranos Wellness Centers in Arizona.
  • South Australia looks for a spokesperson to reassure the public that its over budget, behind schedule 80-hospital Allscripts EHR implementation is still a worthwhile investment.

6-12-2012 9-34-40 PM

Five years ago:

  • Private equity firm TPG Growth acquires critical care systems vendor iMDsoft.
  • NIH and the National Cancer Institute announce grants to fund development of tools that empower consumers, patients, and/or their providers.
  • A CareFusion site from which medical equipment firmware updates are distributed is found to be loaded with malware, triggering a Department of Homeland Security investigation.
  • Steve Larsen, the federal government’s most powerful health insurance regulator responsible for consumer protection and insurance exchanges, quits to become EVP of Optum.

Ten years ago:

  • IBA is considering suing CSC and Connecting for Health after CSC blocked its bid to acquire ISoft.
  • The Northeastern Pennsylvania RHIO shuts down.
  • DoD’s AHLTA EMR system (formerly CHCS II) is running in 138 military treatment facilities.
  • Henry Schein tries to expand its medical software line with an offer for Australia’s Software of Excellence International.
  • The South Australian Department of Health launches big upgrades of its patient and nursing systems.

Weekly Anonymous Reader Question

image

Last week’s results: Would you recommend to someone that they switch careers to health IT?

image

This week’s survey: What characteristics made the worst doctor you’ve ever had so bad?


Last Week’s Most Interesting News

  • The VA announces it will shut down its VistA EHR and join the DoD in implementing Cerner Millennium.
  • HHS appoints Bruce Greenstein CTO.
  • Athenahealth acquires Praxify Technologies for $63 million.
  • The Health Care Industry Cybersecurity Task Force releases its report to Congress.
  • HHS alerts providers that the WannaCry ransomware attack is still causing problems for several US hospitals.

Webinars

June 22 (Thursday) 1:00 ET. “Social Determinants of Health.” Sponsored by Philips Wellcentive. Presenter: David Nash, MD, MBA, dean, Jefferson College of Population Health. One of the nation’s foremost experts on social determinants of health will explain the importance of these factors and how to make the best use of them.

June 29 (Thursday) 2:00 ET. “Be the First to See New Data on Why Patients Switch Healthcare Providers.” Sponsored by Solutionreach. As patients pay more for their care and have access to more data about cost and quality, their expectations for healthcare are changing. And as their expectations change, they are more likely to switch providers to get them met. In this free webinar, we’ll look at this new data on why patients switch and what makes them stay. Be one of the first to see the latest data on why patients leave and what you can do about it.

July 11 (Tuesday) 1:00 ET.  “Your Data Migration Questions Answered: Ask the Expert Q&A Panel.” Sponsored by Galen Healthcare Solutions. Presenters: Julia Snapp, manager of professional services, Galen Healthcare Solutions; Tyler Suacci, principal technical consultant, Galen Healthcare Solutions. This webcast will give attendees who are considering or in the process of replacing and/or transitioning EHRs the ability to ask questions of our experts. Our moderators have extensive experience in data migration efforts, having supported over 250+ projects, and migration of 40MM+ patient records and 7K+ providers. They will be available to answer questions surrounding changes in workflows, items to consider when migrating data, knowing what to migrate vs. archive, etc.

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


People

image

Michael Hyder, MD (Southcoast Health) joins Clearsense as president. He will also take on the role of EVP of healthcare delivery at sister company Optimum Healthcare IT.

image

Apple hires Sumbul Desai, MD (Stanford Center for Digital Health) to join its healthcare team in an unidentified role.

image

Arik Anderson (Terumo Cardiovascular Systems) joins smart inhaler company Adherium as CEO.


Government and Politics

image

In a first for the FDA, it asks Endo Pharmaceuticals to stop selling Opana ER – an opioid that has become a favorite among drug users who have taken to crushing it and injecting it or snorting it. If Endo fails to withdraw the drug voluntarily, the FDA will force its removal by revoking its market approval. “We will continue to take regulatory steps when we see situations where an opioid product’s risks outweigh its benefits,” says FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD “not only for its intended patient population but also in regard to its potential for misuse and abuse.”

image

The Secretary of the Navy recognizes Naval Hospital Bremerton (WA) sailors for the parts they played in an ongoing process-improvement program that has so far reduced the Patient Administration Medical Records Division workload by 40 percent, and saved $156,400 and 7,300 man hours a year. In their downtime and with little prior coding know-how, the sailors developed a Medical Records Data Automation Program that now automates the daily operations of the hospital’s medical records department. MRDAP will soon serve as a transition program between the hospital’s Composite Health Care System and the forthcoming Cerner-powered MHS Genesis system. Cmdr. Robert McMahon, Director for Administration, refreshingly adds:

“What is most impressive is these young sailors had no fear of failure and despite no personal or monetary gain they continued to capture the ideas of their coworkers to improve workflows in their department that benefited everyone. Promoting innovation is like growing grass. Sometimes you already have the soil, water and sun. All that is needed is a safe and supportive environment to grow.”


Technology

Healthcare app development company Medable creates Synapse, a cloud-based tool that enables providers to launch CareKit apps for their care teams.


Privacy and Security

image

After Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center (NY) and its contractor IHealth sent threatening cease-and-desist letters to the author of DataBreaches.net (who let them know that their PHI was exposed due to an improperly configured server), the hospital tucks tail and asks her to go through the 500 mb of data she used in her original investigation to let them know which patients were affected. The audacity of the request, which did not come with an apology and with which she refuses to comply, prompts her to offer this advice:

  • Don’t rush to send legal threat letters. What your mother taught you about catching more flies with honey than vinegar appears true here, too.
  • If you wouldn’t send a legal threat to the New York Times over their reporting, don’t send one to me. This site may be small, under-funded, under-staffed, and under-appreciated, but with the support of great law firms like Covington & Burling, this site will always fight back against attempts to erode press freedom or chill speech.

Decisions

  • St. Mary Corwin Medical Center (CO) switched From Meditech to Epic in April 2017.
  • Perry Memorial Hospital (OK) will switch from Evident to Athenahealth in August 2017.
  • Jefferson Regional Medical Center (PA) is switching from Omnicell to BD Automated Dispensing Cabinets. The conversion process started last month.

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


Innovation and Research

image

A survey of executives from 104 healthcare organizations points to AI as the next big thing when it comes to transforming the way the industry interacts with patients: 84 percent believe AI will “revolutionize” their encounters with healthcare consumers, while 72 percent report already using virtual assistants. Their interest in AI will likely fuel their near-term efforts to better understand what consumers want even before they articulate it. Eighty-one percent feel organizations should shape digital health tools based on patient preference rather than their own. A similar percentage believe those that understand the motivations behind consumer behavior will ultimately win the day.


Other

image

image

McKesson CEO John Hammergren drops the price of his $22 million compound in San Francisco by $6 million after watching it sit on the market for a year. The solar-powered estate consists of a main house with six bedrooms and 10 bathrooms; a sports complex with tennis, bocce, racquetball, and squash courts, plus a gym, rock climbing wall, steam room, sauna, yoga center, and spa; and a carriage house with a five-car garage, car wash station, and banquet hall. The accompanying pool and spa have their own pool house.


Sponsor Updates

  • QuadraMed, a division of Harris Healthcare, will exhibit at the MaHIMA Annual Conference June 11-13 in Boston.
  • Salesforce publishes its “2017 Connected Patient Report.”
  • Kyruus wins the “Best Healthcare Big Data Platform” Award from MedTech Breakthrough.
  • CRN names Impact Advisors to its 2017 Solution Provider 500 list.
  • Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) helps to christen Conduent’s new global headquarters in New Jersey.
  • Gartner names AdvancedMD a leader in its FrontRunners for Mental Health Quadrant.
  • Encore publishes a new white paper discussing the role of data governance in the shift to value-based care.

Blog Posts


Contacts

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

125x125_2nd_Circle

News 6/9/17

June 8, 2017 News 3 Comments

Top News

image

Athenahealth acquires EHR optimization vendor Praxify Technologies for $63 million. The six year-old company employs 80 at its office in Palo Alto, CA and maintains a development presence in India. Athenahealth CTO Prakash Khot is enthusiastic about the benefits Praxify’s machine learning and natural language-processing capabilities will bring to the company’s cloud-based products. Praxify is perhaps best known for its Mira voice-enabled charting technology.


Reader Comments

From AirStrip Technologies CEO Alan Portela: “Re: Rumored NantHealth acquisition. AirStrip has not been acquired and continues to gain momentum in the industry. AirStrip has formed a strategic alliance and commercial agreement with NantHealth that leverages synergies between the AirStrip One mobile interoperability platform and the Nant platform, particularly in the areas of data aggregation, normalization, real-time data streaming and visualization. Our alliance will focus initially on supporting clinical workflows in acute-care settings, with a gradual move toward post-acute and community-based care settings.”

From GraySky: “Re: Athenahealth/Medhost deal. Athenahealth is in due diligence conversations to acquire all or part of the Medhost products. It’s looking to get access to the small community and rural hospital market that Medhost has access to with its inpatient and ED solutions. Cerner officially passed up Medhost late last year after doing due diligence. Valuation was too high in the area of $200M-$400M. Shrinking customer base that includes only a few large customers that are evaluating conversion to Cerner or Epic. Aging product suite.” Athenahealth declined to confirm or deny.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

This week on HIStalk Practice: Siemens Healthineers finalizes its acquisition of Medicalis. Merritt Hawkins releases its annual physician recruitment/salary report. Mindcotine hopes to use virtual reality to help smokers kick the habit. Brad Boyd outlines ways to leverage MACRA to support long-term strategic goals in the Consultant’s Corner. Plaintiff dismisses lawsuit against MDLive. Hematology-Oncology Associates of Central New York nearly suffers a $250k loss due to clerical error. Salus Telehealth finds an untapped telemedicine market in summer music tours. EClinicalWorks adds telemedicine capabilities to its app. Thanks for reading.


Webinars

June 22 (Thursday) 1:00 ET. “Social Determinants of Health.” Sponsored by Philips Wellcentive. Presenter: David Nash, MD, MBA, dean, Jefferson College of Population Health. One of the nation’s foremost experts on social determinants of health will explain the importance of these factors and how to make the best use of them.

June 29 (Thursday) 2:00 ET. “Be the First to See New Data on Why Patients Switch Healthcare Providers.” Sponsored by Solutionreach. As patients pay more for their care and have access to more data about cost and quality, their expectations for healthcare are changing. And as their expectations change, they are more likely to switch providers to get them met. In this free webinar, we’ll look at this new data on why patients switch and what makes them stay. Be one of the first to see the latest data on why patients leave and what you can do about it.

July 11 (Tuesday) 1:00 ET.  “Your Data Migration Questions Answered: Ask the Expert Q&A Panel.” Sponsored by Galen Healthcare Solutions. Presenters: Julia Snapp, manager of professional services, Galen Healthcare Solutions; Tyler Suacci, principal technical consultant, Galen Healthcare Solutions. This webcast will give attendees who are considering or in the process of replacing and/or transitioning EHRs the ability to ask questions of our experts. Our moderators have extensive experience in data migration efforts, having supported over 250+ projects, and migration of 40MM+ patient records and 7K+ providers. They will be available to answer questions surrounding changes in workflows, items to consider when migrating data, knowing what to migrate vs. archive, etc.

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


People

image

Former CMS Chief Data Officer Niall Brennan joins the Health Care Cost Institute as president and executive director.

image image

Digital diagnostics services company Analyte Health appoints Kevin Weinstein (Valence Health) CEO. Former CEO Frank Cockerill, MD will take on the position of CMO.


Announcements and Implementations

image

Einstein Healthcare Network (PA) selects Teladoc to help it jumpstart a telemedicine program that will initially focus on the health system’s 8,500 employees.

image

Rush University Medical Center (IL) starts a three-month pilot of Proteus Digital Health’s Discover smart pill sensor, one that is added directly into traditional pills. The sensor detects when the pill has been ingested via a patch worn on the patient’s stomach, and then sends a signal updating an app with medication adherence data.

image

Humber River Hospital in Toronto works with GE Healthcare to build a 4,500 square-foot digital command center that will aggregate and analyze real-time data from systems across the hospital to help improve staff workflows and patient care.


Technology

Meditech adds MModal’s Fluency Direct speech-recognition dictation capabilities to its Web EHR.

image

Apple updates the ResearchKit app to include new tests related to range of motion, and selective and visual attention.

Cerner will integrate CareVive’s care planning software with its PowerChart Oncology EHR.

image

Nuance adds PowerScribe Workflow Orchestration and PowerScribe Lung Cancer Screening to its line of screening program tools for radiologists.

image

Nuance seems to have quietly acquired San Mateo, CA-based radiology solutions company Primordial, its partner in developing the aforementioned technologies.


Privacy and Security

image

From DataBreaches.net:

  • Southwest Community Health Center (CT) notifies patients of a potential data breach resulting from two separate break-ins during which burglars took several computers. No mention is made of whether or not the devices were encrypted. The center is offering affected individuals free identity monitoring and restoration services.
  • Mississippi’s Medicaid Division alerts 5,220 people of potential PHI exposure stemming from six online forms managed by a third party that were sent to staff via unencrypted emails for nearly three years.
  • Public school guidance counselor and West Carolina Counseling Services owner Joseph Korzelius admits to using information from his sessions with elementary students to file $450,000 worth of false Medicaid claims. He faces up to 10 years in jail and a $250,000 fine.

Innovation and Research

image

A team of researchers from MIT and Harvard develop a proof-of-concept tattoo ink that changes color based on metabolism changes in the body, allowing the tattoo to act as a low glucose or dehydration indicator.

image

Healthcare researchers call out the tendency of journalists to create headlines out of health studies that are “deeply flawed,” citing several articles related to the tenuous (and later debunked) claim that EHRs do in fact lead to improved outcomes. “Health care already consumes almost a fifth of America’s GDP — two or three times every other nations’ costs despite our often inferior outcomes,” they write in their conclusion. “It is vital that all stakeholders — journalists, scientists, policymakers, editors and the public — have a better understanding of basic research design and data interpretation. During this unusual moment in history, when politicians seek out whichever facts suit their ideology, the role of good science — and good reporting — could not be more vital.”

image

A Black Book survey finds that an overwhelming majority of hospital executives and managers will ultimately look to population health management-focused IT as patient accounting systems as they continue to shift their organizations to value-based care. Allscripts, Cerner, and Epic seem to have the most mindshare of those surveyed.


Government and Politics

image

President Trump decides to keep Francis Collins, MD on as head of NIH, a position he has held since 2009.

A VA spokesman confirms that Cerner will replace only the agency’s EHR, and that Epic’s $624 million contract to implement an appointment scheduling program for the VA is not in jeopardy.

image

HHS appoints Bruce Greenstein CTO. Greenstein was most recently president of behavioral health tech company Quartet Health, and served under Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal as secretary of the Dept. of Health and Hospitals.


Other

image

The Government of Nova Scotia narrows the field of contenders for a “One Person, One Record Clinical Information System” to Allscripts and Cerner. Based on the procurement listing sent over by HITGeek, it looks like they beat out Evident, Harris Healthcare, and Meditech in preceding rounds that began last December.

image

In other northern health IT news, the provincial auditor of Saskatchewan recommends the Ministry of Health replace its 50 year-old IT system with one that can better screen the billing activity of physicians that are still paid on a fee-for-service basis. The auditor also recommends the development of standard criteria to more efficiently identify physicians whose billing practices should be investigated.

E-prescribing of controlled substances increased year over year by 256 percent, according to the latest progress report out from Surescripts. Nearly 75 percent of prescriptions in 2016 were electronic, totaling 1.6 billion.


Sponsor Updates

  • Meditech customers lead lists of five-star and double five-star hospitals.
  • Liaison Technologies will exhibit at the Cerner North Atlantic Regional User Group June 12-14 in Springfield, MA.
  • MedData will exhibit at the Ohio Hospital Association Annual Meeting June 12-14 in Columbus.
  • Medecision, NTT Data, RelayHealth, Surescripts, and ZeOmega will exhibit at AHIP Institute & Expo June 7-9 in Austin, TX.
  • Meditech releases the latest installment of its video series, “EHealth Partnership Unites Ontario Hospitals on Meditech.”
  • Frost & Sullivan recognizes Medicomp Systems with the 2017 Enabling Technology Leadership Award.
  • National Decision Support Co. adds Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging Appropriate Use Criteria to its CareSelect Imaging system.
  • Navicure will exhibit at the NJ MGMA conference June 14-16 in Atlantic City.
  • Experian Health will present at the HIMSS Brand IT Marketing Conference June 15 in Las Vegas.
  • YourStory.com profiles GE Healthcare’s efforts to bring healthcare accessibility and skills to rural areas in India.

Blog Posts


Contacts

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

125x125_2nd_Circle

News 6/7/17

June 6, 2017 News 6 Comments

Top News

image

VA Secretary David Shulkin, MD announces the VA will shut down its VistA EHR and join the DoD in implementing Cerner Millennium, explaining, “The VA’s adoption of the same EHR system as DoD will ultimately result in all patient data residing in one common system and enable seamless care between the Departments without the manual and electronic exchange and reconciliation of data between two separate systems.”

image

HIStalk readers (who predicted the Cerner decision in a reader survey earlier this year) didn’t waste time weighing in once the news crossed the wire yesterday – nearly a month before Shulkin’s self-imposed decision deadline. VA Worker says, “Here we go again. VA wants to replace VistA with Cerner but will never be able to afford it.” USA First? points out that, for all the Trump Administration’s efforts to keep American jobs on American soil, they’ve chosen a vendor that has sent 3,000 software jobs overseas.

Epic also shared its reaction via a presumably non-marketing rep: “As the largest electronic health record vendor in the United States, covering two-thirds of the nation’s patients, we are proud to serve our veterans both through the VA scheduling project and through our customers that care for millions of veterans across America. These customers are the top health systems in America and we stand with them, committed and eager to ensure veterans get the very best medical care regardless of where they receive it.” 

image

My thoughts are these: Cerner was the only reasonable choice since the DoD had already selected it, but it’s still surprising they went without bidding and named Cerner before negotiation with them began (that’s more of how Epic customers buy software). The company will presumably have more control over naming its price than it did with DoD, where it was a subcontractor under Leidos, and it may be that Cerner gets to keep all the money this time. It’s also to the company’s strong negotiating advantage that both Congress and the President have publicly cheered the VA’s choice of Cerner, making it unlikely that the VA wants to rule out Cerner over price negotiations. The VA has previously suggested that its price tag will be multiples of the DoD’s, perhaps well over $10 billion to $12 billion.

The systems will be theoretically interoperable, but there’s still a lot of work to be done to standardize terminology and functionality to make even the same system talk to another user whose workflows and use cases are different. There’s probably still a lot of consulting work required. It will be interesting to see which firms attempt to feed at the trough of this contract, as well as whether or not the VA and DoD will truly work as a single customer. Will Cerner and the inevitable consultants get stuck trying to broker agreements on major decisions so they don’t end up creating dissimilar systems?

It’s also worth noting that project timelines will need to be synched to avoid temporary interfaces to the legacy systems. Ironically, having the same system may require more VA-DoD cooperation than running separate ones. On the flip side, it’s also important to recognize that the VA and DoD have vastly different needs, and that in the case of the VA (unlike the DoD), its VistA system contains a lot of VA-specific non-clinical functionality, such as management modules for departments that aren’t involved in patient care. VistA is not just an EHR.


Reader Comments

image

From Mighty Med: “Re: Walnut Hill Medical Center closure. The self-touted hospital of the future abruptly shuts its doors after being open for less than three years. It’s just another example of healthcare disruption gone awry.” The $100 million, 100-bed Dallas hospital did indeed cease operations as of June 1, citing only it’s decision to no longer participate in the Medicare program. A former employee wrote a Facebook farewell message (later taken down) praising his colleagues for working without the “unlimited resources” of traditional hospitals, implying that it was struggling in some way. Officials touted the facility as being designed “completely from the patient’s perspective to create a stress-free atmosphere for healthy recovery.“

image

From Just Wondering: “Re: John Fleming’s desire for a single unified EHR. Is he as stupid as he sounds?” Hardly. The former Louisiana representative, businessman, and MD has done stints at the Navy Regional Medical Center (CA) and in private practice. He implemented his first EHR in 1997 and went fully paperless two years later. Fleming’s belief that “every American should have a single, unified electronic health record system that resides in the cloud and is under full control of the patient, of the individual, of the American” is the same pipe dream that dozens, if not hundreds, of health IT companies and venture capital firms have been throwing millions of dollars at for years. As the new deputy secretary of health technology reform, he’s becoming privy to the many public- and private-sector interests that will keep that pie-in-the-sky patient record from being developed anytime soon.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

image

An anonymous vendor has graciously donated $500 to my project to fund DonorsChoose teacher grant requests in return for mentioning a survey they’re interested in. They’ll also donate a bunch more money if the survey gets at least 100 responses. Providers, please click here and spend a handful of minutes and together we’ll to help a classroom in need. Thanks.


Webinars

June 22 (Thursday) 1:00 ET. “Social Determinants of Health.” Sponsored by Philips Wellcentive. Presenter: David Nash, MD, MBA, dean, Jefferson College of Population Health. One of the nation’s foremost experts on social determinants of health will explain the importance of these factors and how to make the best use of them.

June 29 (Thursday) 2:00 ET. “Be the First to See New Data on Why Patients Switch Healthcare Providers.” Sponsored by Solutionreach. As patients pay more for their care and have access to more data about cost and quality, their expectations for healthcare are changing. And as their expectations change, they are more likely to switch providers to get them met. In this free webinar, we’ll look at this new data on why patients switch and what makes them stay. Be one of the first to see the latest data on why patients leave and what you can do about it.

July 11 (Tuesday) 1:00 ET.  “Your Data Migration Questions Answered: Ask the Expert Q&A Panel.” Sponsored by Galen Healthcare Solutions. Presenters: Julia Snapp, manager of professional services, Galen Healthcare Solutions; Tyler Suacci, principal technical consultant, Galen Healthcare Solutions. This webcast will give attendees who are considering or in the process of replacing and/or transitioning EHRs the ability to ask questions of our experts. Our moderators have extensive experience in data migration efforts, having supported over 250+ projects, and migration of 40MM+ patient records and 7K+ providers. They will be available to answer questions surrounding changes in workflows, items to consider when migrating data, knowing what to migrate vs. archive, etc.

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

image

Learning management systems vendor Relias Learning acquires WhiteCloud Analytics for an undisclosed sum. Reliance has been on a bit of a spending spree since March of last year, acquiring six other companies including analytics firm Care Management Technologies.

image

Aegis Health merges with digital marketing firm Clariture to form Trilliant Health. The companies will retain their brands as separate business units.


Announcements and Implementations

image

Mayo Clinic (MN) will use 2bPrecise’s clinical genomics solution to add genomic information into its Epic EHR. The organizations will also work together to research and develop genomics-based care protocols, particularly for patients with cardiovascular genetic disease.

Aprima announces record growth for the fiscal year, including revenue, customer retention rate, and the relocation and expansion of its headquarters.


Technology

image

Apple announces new devices and features at its developers conference – none of which are all that earth-shattering and only some of which are relevant to healthcare. The company will attempt to keep up with the virtual assistant Joneses with the introduction of a Siri-powered HomePod. It has added AI capabilities to its Watch, giving it the ability to serve up motivational fitness messages when steps are down. Users will also be able to link their devices to Dexcom’s glucose sensor via a new API. Perhaps the most potentially life-saving enhancement is the Iphone’s forthcoming “do not disturb while driving” feature, which shuts off all distracting notifications when the phone is connected to your car.

image

Casenet develops a prior authorization submission and tracking tool.

PointClickCare adds Ability Network’s claims management capabilities to its EHR for long-term and post-acute care providers.

image

Safety Net Connect releases an enterprise version of its Converge referral and care coordination technology that brings together behavioral and physical health, and social services.

ICare adds order sets and care plans from Zynx Health to its EHR for acute care providers and SNFs.


Government and Politics

ONC announces the winners of its Privacy Policy Snapshot Challenge, the aim of which escapes me as the number of these contests seems to increase in direct correlation to the market-worthy usefulness of their winning ideas.


Sales

image

Tufts Medical Center (MA) chooses ZappRx to automate the ordering of specialty drugs, expecting to reduce the average prescribing time from 20 minutes to three minutes.

image

Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin selects CRM software from Healthgrades.


Privacy and Security

image

HHS alerts providers to the “significant” challenges two unnamed multi-state hospital systems are still experiencing as a result of WannaCry malware, noting that the virus can live on a machine that has been patched, and that its repeated attempts to scan can disrupt Windows operating systems.


Innovation and Research

Early performance data on IBM Watson for Oncology shows that Watson-generated treatment plans for 362 cancer cases were found to be in line with oncologist recommendations in 96 percent of lung, 81 percent of colon, and 93 percent of rectal cancer cases.


People

image

Michael Caponetto (West Health) joins government healthcare program services company SynerMed as CFO.


Other

image

The New York Times addresses the “virtual velvet rope” creeping into healthcare – one that is moving beyond celebrities and sheikhs taking over hospital wings and turning the more mundane world of direct primary care into one of ultra high-end concierge practices. Private Medical, for instance, charges between $40,000 and $80,000 per year per family for round-the-clock physician access and near-immediate access to specialists and hospitals across the country. Launched by HealthLoop founder Jordan Shlain, MD in 2002, the company has almost no Web presence, gaining new patients almost exclusively through word of mouth.


Sponsor Updates

image

  • Direct Consulting Associates donates fabric and stuffed animal kits to help middle-school students make stuffed animals, blankets, and pillows for local charities.
  • ClinicalArchitecture partners with OpenAirWare to more easily integrate patient data from standard clinical information exchange formats with its Advanced Clinical Awareness Suite.
  • Software Advice names AdvancedMD a 2017 Mental Health FrontRunners Quadrant Leader.
  • Agfa HealthCare successfully completes the recertification audit cycle for its information security management system.
  • Aprima Medical Software will exhibit at the NJ MGMA meeting June 14-16 in Atlantic City.
  • Bernoulli Health will exhibit at AAMI Conference and Expo June 9-12 in Austin, TX.
  • Besler Consulting releases a new podcast, “Looking at price data on local healthcare markets across the United States.”
  • Kyruus will host its ATLAS Conference on patient access September 19-20 in Boston.
  • Casenet, Cumberland Consulting Group, EClinicalWorks, InstaMed, and InterSystems will exhibit at AHIP Institute & Expo June 7-9 in Austin, TX.
  • Dimensional Insight remains a top performer in the Wisdom of Crowds 2017 Business Intelligence Market Study.
  • Casenet clients and employees donate gift bags to children at CHA Cambridge Hospital (MA).
  • ECG Management Consultants will present at the 2017 Science of Team Science Annual Conference June 13 in Clearwater, FL.
  • Glytec will exhibit at the American Diabetes Association Scientific Sessions June 9-13 in San Diego.
  • Healthwise will exhibit at the Cerner North Atlantic Regional User Group June 12-14 in Springfield, MA.
  • Iatric Systems will exhibit at the NCHICA AMC Security & Privacy Conference June 12-14 in Chapel Hill, NC.
  • The Atlanta Business Chronicle names Ingenious Med a “Pacesetter” for the fifth consecutive year.
  • Kyruus will exhibit at the Annual Conference of Healthcare Call Centers June 7-9 in Salt Lake City.
  • Inc. Magazine includes PMD on its list of best places to work.
  • Definitive Healthcare CEO Jason Krantz is named a finalist for E&Y’s Entrepreneur Of The Year 2017 New England Award.
  • Imprivata releases a new report, “High-value, complex clinical workflows require enhanced communications capabilities.”

Blog Posts


Contacts

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

125x125_2nd_Circle

Monday Morning Update 6/5/17

June 4, 2017 News 2 Comments

Top News

image

The Health Care Industry Cybersecurity Task Force releases its slightly overdue report to Congress, detailing six high-level directives over the course of 88 pages:

  • Define and streamline leadership, governance, and expectations.
  • Increase the security and resilience of medical devices and health IT.
  • Develop the workforce capacity necessary to prioritize and ensure cybersecurity awareness and technical capabilities.
  • Increase industry readiness through improved cybersecurity awareness and education.
  • Identify mechanisms to protect R&D efforts and intellectual property from attacks or exposure.
  • Improve information sharing of industry threats, risks, and mitigations.

image

CHIME has published a far less intimidating 11-page summary of the report’s 100-plus recommendations. HHS officials have thus far been mum on the forthcoming HHS cybersecurity center’s role in fleshing out the recommendations.


Reader Comments

image

From Jet Blue: “Re: AirStrip Technologies. I met with a prominent venture capital firm today, and we discussed the many high-flying digital health companies that have been funded over the last few years. I learned that AirStrip Technologies has been acquired by Patrick Soon-Shiong, MD. He intends to combine AirStrip with his other companies such as ISirona and Harris CareFx. Apparently the deal is being kept under wraps.” Unverified. ISirona and Harris are among the eight companies NantHealth has acquired over the last six years. AirStrip has flown fairly under the radar this year, and issued just a handful of press releases in 2016. I interviewed President Matt Patterson, MD last March.

From HIT Apostle: “Re: Integration. We are exploring different options for how to best integrate EHR data into our analytics product suite. This would include becoming HIPAA compliant, hiring an ETL team, and adding data processes to our operating model. Have you ever asked your readers what a ballpark figure cost is for this? Are there more cost efficient options, like working with an integration vendor, such as Redox?” I don’t believe I have, so I’ll invite readers to comment with advice and experiences.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

image

A HIStalk sponsor and Donors Choose supporter asked me to share this survey on EHR services. They plan to double their already sizable donation once they reach 100 responses.

image

It’s almost an even split when it comes to the benefits readers believe CommonWell brings to patients, a stat that MC calls into question: “Something very funny happened with this poll. When there were about 80 to 100 responses it was OVERWHELMINGLY leaning towards LESS THAN EXPECTED. Now it is 244 to 252?” April isn’t crazy about how the poll was worded: “Voting ‘less than expected’ (regardless of whether your expectations were very high) leaves the poll results looking like CW isn’t doing anything to benefit patients. ‘More than expected’ indicates you didn’t expect it to do much to begin with. I like the fact that CW is showing steady progress in addressing some of the hardest issues in interoperability. I also like the fact that they opened up the ability for patients to initiate their own record search earlier this year.”

New poll to your right or here: Would you consider switching EHRs if your vendor was involved in a legal situation similar to that of EClinicalWorks? Feel free to add write-in commentary regarding what vendor(s) you would put at the top of your shopping list and how much weight certification would carry.


This Week in Health IT History

image

One year ago:

  • Rumors surface – again – that McKesson is considering selling or merging its McKesson Technology Solutions business unit in the face of drug pricing pressures.
  • Intermountain Healthcare, Stanford Cancer Institute, and Providence Health & Services launch a genomic data-sharing network.
  • Vice President Biden forms the Genomic Data Commons, an open-access cancer database that will help researchers collaborate and share information, as part of his Cancer Moonshot.
  • Practice Fusion settles with the FTC over charges that it misled consumers by asking for reviews of their physicians without adequately disclosing that those reviews would be posted publicly online.
  • The House passes the Helping Hospitals Improve Patient Care Act, exempting ambulatory surgical centers from MU and MIPS penalties.

6-7-2012 8-44-30 PM

Five years ago:

  • Microsoft and GE Healthcare complete the formation of their 50-50 join venture Caradigm.
  • Allscripts nominates a three-member board slate to settle a lawsuit and proxy fight brought by key shareholder HealthCor Partners.
  • Kaiser’s Oakland hospital gets hit with a $75K Department of Health fine for a 2010 incident in which nurses ignored a telemetry patient’s tachycardia alarms.
  • Data analytics vendor MedAssurant changes its name to Inovalon.
  • In the UK, Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust is fined $500,000 when hard drives containing the medical information of patients were sold on eBay.

Ten years ago:

  • Healthcare management company MED3OOO becomes a major stakeholder in Scottsdale-based InteGreat Concepts.
  • Allscripts and NaviMedix announce an agreement to provide Allscript’s eRx NOW ePrescribing solution to NaviMedix’s network of more than 190,000 physician customers.
  • David Brailer launches a $700 million private equity fund, Health Evolution Partners.
  • Walgreens licenses kiosk and EMR software from Ethidium Health Systems for use in its Take Care Health Systems retail clinics.
  • Duke Clinical Research Institute concludes that extra pay does not improve hospital performance.

Weekly Anonymous Reader Question

image

Last week’s results were slim, indicating that either I asked for too much or that readers don’t have much experience with mentor/mentee relationships (which I doubt given the interest in our webinar on that very topic several weeks ago). Here are the responses I received:

  • I work in a company full of people who are almost all fantastic at their jobs. I try to identify the strongest skills in the people I work with most often, and then I emulate them when in relevant situations. As my assignments change, the people and skills I’m exposed to change, so I continue to develop further.
  • They listen when I have a complaint – about life or work, they listen. Occasionally some wisdom comes back, but they mostly know just to listen and let me be heard.

image

This week’s survey: Would you recommend to a relative or colleague that they switch careers to health IT? Why or why not?


Last Week’s Most Interesting News

  • EClinicalWorks will pay $155 million to settle DOJ False Claims Act allegations.
  • Tablet-based patient education and pharmaceutical advertising vendor Outcome Health raises $500 million.
  • Ascension-owned Seton Healthcare (TX) goes back to paper after detecting suspicious activity on its network.
  • 21st Century Oncology (FL) files chapter 11 bankruptcy.
  • The VA’s IT budget is reduced as it grapples with the decision to either modernize VistA or implement a commercial EHR.

Webinars

June 22 (Thursday) 1:00 ET. “Social Determinants of Health.” Sponsored by Philips Wellcentive. Presenter: David Nash, MD, MBA, dean, Jefferson College of Population Health. One of the nation’s foremost experts on social determinants of health will explain the importance of these factors and how to make the best use of them.

June 29 (Thursday) 2:00 ET. “Be the First to See New Data on Why Patients Switch Healthcare Providers.” Sponsored by Solutionreach. As patients pay more for their care and have access to more data about cost and quality, their expectations for healthcare are changing. And as their expectations change, they are more likely to switch providers to get them met. In this free webinar, we’ll look at this new data on why patients switch and what makes them stay. Be one of the first to see the latest data on why patients leave and what you can do about it.

July 11 (Tuesday) 1:00 ET.  “Your Data Migration Questions Answered: Ask the Expert Q&A Panel.” Sponsored by Galen Healthcare Solutions. Presenters: Julia Snapp, manager of professional services, Galen Healthcare Solutions; Tyler Suacci, principal technical consultant, Galen Healthcare Solutions. This webcast will give attendees who are considering or in the process of replacing and/or transitioning EHRs the ability to ask questions of our experts. Our moderators have extensive experience in data migration efforts, having supported over 250+ projects, and migration of 40MM+ patient records and 7K+ providers. They will be available to answer questions surrounding changes in workflows, items to consider when migrating data, knowing what to migrate vs. archive, etc.

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


People

image image image

Aviacode hires David Fong (Gebbs Healthcare Solutions) as VP of marketing and communications, and Jordan Stannard (IMedx) and Byron Triplett (Gebbs Healthcare Solutions) as regional sales executives.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

image

Health insurance startup Bright Health raises $160 million in a Series B round led by Greenspring Associates. Co-founded by former UnitedHealthcare CEO Bob Sheehy, the Minneapolis-based company works with health systems looking to package insurance plans with their clinical services.


Decisions

  • The University Of South Alabama Health System (AL) plans To switch from Siemens Soarian to a new Cerner EHR.
  • Buchanan County Health Center (IA) switched from Meditech to Epic in March.
  • Girard Medical Center (KS) outpatient clinics will go live with the Prognosis Ambulatory EHR in Q3 2017.
  • Platte Valley Medical Center (CO) will switch from Siemens Soarian to Epic on May 30.

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

image

Reaction Data publishes a new report on the UK imaging market. Carestream, Sectra, and Agfa Healthcare have the best foothold on enterprise business across the pond.

image

Hackensack Meridian Health (NJ) will add Cota Healthcare’s precision medicine technology to its five-month pilot of IBM Watson as a clinical decision support tool for oncologists. The trial will involve 10 physicians and up to 500 patients.


Sales

image

Memorial Hospital (IL) will convert from Meditech to Cerner early next year.

image

Lewis County General Hospital (NY) considers upgrading to Meditech 6.1. Director of Information Systems Robert Uttendorfsky anticipates that transition will cost at least $1.5 million and take 18 months.

image

St. Luke’s Health System (ID) will deploy Voalte’s communications technology across its eight hospitals.

image

The Queen’s Health Systems (HI) will integrate Recondo Technology’s ClaimStatusPlus with Epic. The organization got its start in 1859, when Queen Emma and King Kamehameha IV went on a door-knocking tour to raise funds for what would become The Queen’s Medical Center. It is the first (and perhaps only) health system in the US to be founded by royalty.


Government and Politics

image

HHS Inspector General Daniel Levinson releases OIG’s semi-annual report to Congress, highlighting challenges related to protecting the privacy and security of the data it collects and maintains, as well as “effectively using data to detect and prevent improper payments and to ensure safety and quality of care for program beneficiaries.”


Privacy and Security

image

From DataBreaches.net:

  • Appthority dubs a new backend data exposure risk HospitalGown, outlining in the cheekily titled report above the havoc it could wreak in enterprise environments.
  • Identity management system company OneLogin experiences a data breach, putting the information of the Stanford School of Medicine (one of its biggest customers) at risk.
  • An unspecified IT issue at The Cosmetic Institute in Australia causes a private index of patient data – including pre- and post-surgery photos, Medicare numbers, and other intimate patient details –  to become publicly accessible via the surgery’s website.

Innovation and Research

image

MIT Technology Review reports on 23andMe’s decision earlier this month to ask its customers for help in conducting research on pain tolerance. The consumer-friendly genetics company aims to enroll 20,000 people to take surveys on pain tolerance and pain history; 10,000 of those will conduct at-home cold pressor tests, where subjects stick their hand in ice for up to three minutes. The data will likely be used to inform studies on personalized pain medication.


Other

image

Doctors of BC President Alan Ruddiman, MD cites a “broken culture” at Island Health and its Nanaimo Regional General Hospital as one of the main reasons for continued physician dissatisfaction with the Vancouver health authority’s $135 million Cerner implementation. According to Ruddiman, such discontent has led to physician burnout and resignations – a state of affairs that will not only affect patient care, but the community, too. “If the medical personnel are hurting and they are uncoupling from this hospital then it’s only a matter of time where this gets known as a community that’s not an attractive place to live and work and that hurts everybody …” he added.

image

The local paper casts Judy Faulkner-like aspirations onto VitusVet founder Mark Olcott, an entrepreneurial veterinarian working to make pet health records interoperable, and appointments and prescriptions easier to fill. Focusing on practices with four or more vets, the company hopes to pass the $1 million revenue mark this year after grossing a quarter of that in 2016.


Sponsor Updates

  • LogicWorks develops a new set of DevOps tools for running applications on the AWS cloud.
  • Inc. Magazine includes Nordic in its list of “Best Workplaces 2017.”
  • NTT Data Services wins the “Deal of the Year” award for its acquisition of Dell Services.
  • Clinical Computer Systems, developer of the Obix Perinatal Data System, PatientKeeper, and Wellsoft will exhibit at EHealth Canada June 4-7 in Toronto.
  • Experian Health will host its Connect Health Conference June 6 in Chicago.
  • The SSI Group will host a regional user group meeting June 6-7 in New York City.
  • Surescripts and ZeOmega will exhibit at the AHIP Institute & Expo June 7-9 in Austin, TX.
  • TransUnion publishes “No More Surprises: Increase POS Collections with Pre-Care Cost Estimates.”
  • Versus Technology will host an open house at its new Bayside Education & Visitor Center June 7 in Traverse City, MI.
  • Huron releases a video, Transforming Healthcare, featuring Harvard Business professor and author Clayton Christensen.
  • ZirMed publishes a new e-book, “Leveraging Predictive Analytics to Ensure Professional Revenue Integrity.”
  • Diameter Health publishes a new video featuring Chief Strategy Officer John D’Amore and Kansas Health Information Network Executive Director Laura McCrary.
  • Encore, a Quintiles company, outlines what providers need to become Advanced APMs under MACRA in this white paper.

 

Blog Posts


Contacts

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

125x125_2nd_Circle

News 6/2/17

June 1, 2017 News 9 Comments

Top News

SNAGHTML88a4609

Doctor office advertising and patient education technology company Outcome Health raises $500 million in funding, valuing the Chicago-based company at $5 billion.

image

Forbes estimates that the 31-year-old co-founder Rishi Shah owns 80 percent of the company’s shares, giving him a paper net worth of $3.6 billion.

Forbes also estimates that the company’s annual revenue is $200 million and it’s growing 100 percent per year, with most of the money coming from drug companies anxious to get their message in front of patients at an opportune time.

image

Vivek Kundra, the first US CIO, is a company EVP.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

Tuesday’s HIStalk page views exceeded 10,000, which isn’t a record or even all that much higher than the usual daily traffic, but it’s the highest count during a non-HIMSS week other than June 28, 2016 (when McKesson announced that it would divest its Technology Solutions business) and July 30, 2015 (when the DoD awarded Leidos/Cerner its EHR contract).

I thought it would be interesting to look at the percentage of females serving on the executive teams of the top five healthcare IT companies by revenue as listed on the new Healthcare Informatics 100, which might bring to mind the old Doors song “Five to One”:

  • Optum – 25 percent
  • Cerner – 18 percent
  • Cognizant – 16 percent
  • McKesson – 25 percent
  • Philips – 17 percent

This week on HIStalk Practice: Allergy Partners opts for Medfusion technology. Rhode Island practices unite as Brown Physicians Inc. Outcome Health raises $500 million in a quest to assist 70 percent of practices. Practice Fusion’s Matthew Douglass argues that America’s doctors need net neutrality. HealthTap expands to New Zealand, while Heal heads to Washington, DC. EVisit raises $2 million. US HealthWorks taps AmericanWell to power its new telemedicine service for employers.


Thoughts on the $155 Million DOJ Settlement of EClinicalWorks

image

I had these reactions when writing about the company’s settlement.

  • I was curious about how many EPs have attested to Meaningful Use using EClinicalWorks. ONC’s Health IT Dashboard shows around 25,000, making it the #3 EHR vendor (behind Epic and Allscripts).
  • The settlement amount represents 35 percent of the company’s annual revenue of $440 million.
  • The settlement could be only the beginning of ECW’s problems, as it now has to deal with potential customer defections, the inevitable drop-off in sales, and potential class action provider lawsuits. It could possibly be sued by its certifying body, Drummond Group, plus it is required by the settlement terms to implement internal and external review programs.
  • I assume the value of the settlement was based on the MU payments that were made to ECW-using EPs, which I’ll also assume means that HHS won’t go after the EPs individually. The complaint says the federal government is entitled to recover triple the value of fraudulent claims (presumably the MU incentives paid) plus a percentage of the company’s profits that represented “undue enrichment.” Still, as reader Debtor points out, ECW-using EPs could have been paid around $2 billion in Meaningful Use incentives, so as he or she says, “that the DOJ settling for pennies on the dollar and no criminal prosecution is unbelievable.”
  • Does Drummond Group, which certified ECW’s EHR, bear any responsibility (legal or otherwise) for failing to detect that ECW was – according to the complaint – rigging its test results? On the other hand, it could argued that since the certification testing scenarios are public and static, the certification body has no easy way to detect fraud in observing only the desired scenario outputs. Certification testing is not dynamic nor comprehensive – it’s following a script to see if the expected outputs are produced.
  • The $30 million whistleblower payment will surely encourage others to report any similar problems with other vendors.
  • Clearly DOJ was not happy that ECW apparently charged customers for software updates, made it hard and/or expensive for them to migrate from ECW to other EHRs, and did not make it easy for its customers to exchange information with other practices.
  • The kickback portion of the complaint arose from ECW giving users a $500 maintenance credit to refer a prospect who eventually signed on as a customer (those payments totaled $144,000), paying users to host site visits ($249,000), compensating customers to provide good product references, and providing consulting fees, honoraria, and gifts to influential users who pitched its product, with one unnamed doctor earning “tens of thousands of dollars in ‘consulting’ fees.” The complaint makes it clear that manufacturers can’t pay any kind of remuneration to encourage use of their products for which the federal government pays via Medicare and Medicaid. 
  • It’s not clear how the settlement affects ECW-using EPs who could continue attesting under the Medicaid part of Meaningful Use for several more years. Apparently not at all since the product’s certification remains intact.
  • Two ECW technical employees will pay relatively small settlement amounts over the product’s inability to process RxNorm terminology for e-prescribing. One of those employees was the developer in charge of the RxNorm software functionality and the other submitted ECW’s final certification application. The complaint says the certification body certified the product in 2013, heard afterward from ECW employees that the software didn’t really process RxNorm codes, and then re-tested the product with the same protocol in 2015, which ECW passed only because it hard-coded the expected 16 RxNorm codes.
  • The complaint says ECW’s EHR did not use LOINC or SNOMED CT terminology.
  • The complaint says ECW released software without adequate testing, relied on customers to report problems, allowed critical problems to remain unresolved for months or years, and reintroduced previously fixed bugs because its software version control was not reliable.
  • The company’s October 6-9 user group meeting should be interesting.

image

The whistleblower in the case was Brendan Delaney, who was a New York City employee implementing ECW at Rikers Island for prisoner healthcare when he noticed software problems. He has also worked on ECW projects for Arcadia Solutions, HSM Consulting, and as a self-employed contractor. His LinkedIn says he’s revenue cycle manager at NYU Langone Medical Center, or at least was before he learned he’ll be pocketing $30 million (but unfortunately for him, whistleblower windfalls are taxed as ordinary income).

image

Interesting points from the five-year Corporate Integrity Agreement the company signed with HHS OIG:

  • ECW is required to implement a quality assurance program to oversee software defects, usability problems, and any other issues that affect patient safety or product certification and to post known software problems on its portal.
  • The company is required to create usability and patient safety advisory teams, consisting of at least a doctor, pharmacist, and nurse.
  • ECW is prohibited from using contract language that prohibits customers from disclosing patient safety concerns and agrees that it won’t enforce that requirement in existing contracts.
  • The company must help customers who want to migrate to other EHRs and can’t charge them any fees, penalties, or service charges.
  • ECW is required to contact every customer with an email subject line of “Important information about your EHR software and services. You have new options free of charge to you.” The communication must start with a statement indicating that ECW has settled with HHS OIG to offer them free upgrades to the latest production version.
  • The company must track any payments made to existing customers for marketing purposes and must list all of payments it makes to providers on its website.

image

What other vendors should do based on the settlement:

  • Review the certification process to make sure nothing is being faked, talking to the technical people rather than managers anxious to avoid becoming the shot messenger.
  • Don’t provide any kind of incentives for customers or their employees to help make new sales.
  • Make sure customers are notified quickly of software problems that endanger patients or that can cause billing mistakes or certification shortcomings.

image

Meanwhile, the law firm that represented the whistleblower in the lawsuit adds a few points:

  • The firm filed Brandon Delaney’s lawsuit against ECW in 2015.
  • The firm’s website includes archived copies of advisories ECW sent to its customers that warned of software problems.
  • Brandon Delaney provided this statement: “I was profoundly saddened and disappointed by the indifference of senior health department officials and investigators for New York City when I provided detailed information about serious flaws in the EHR software that could endanger patients. I am grateful that Phillips & Cohen and federal government attorneys recognized the seriousness of my charges and dug into the matter quickly and thoroughly.”

The Letter EClinicalWorks Sent to its Customers Thursday

Dear Customer:

Yesterday we announced a settlement with the government. As part of the settlement, eClinicalWorks paid $155 million and agreed to bolster its compliance program. The inquiry leading to the settlement primarily centered on technical aspects of the Meaningful Use program and allegations that eClinicalWorks software had technical non-conformities related to some of the criteria, all of which have since been addressed.

eClinicalWorks cooperated fully with the government. We have not admitted any fault or wrongdoing, and our goal as a company is to always make sure we are doing the right thing. We have decided to put this matter behind us and concentrate all of our efforts on our customers and continued innovations to enhance patient care delivery. Importantly, our software remains fully certified under the Meaningful Use program.

One of the technical non-conformities alleged by the government involved the use of RxNorm codes in electronic prescriptions. From 2014 to August 2016, electronic prescriptions sent by eClinicalWorks users included NDC codes rather than RxNorm codes.  During this time period, more than 500 million prescriptions were successfully transmitted and filled, and most major pharmacies did not support RxNorm codes. The failure to include RxNorm codes in electronic prescriptions was completely inadvertent on the part of eClinicalWorks, as our software used RxNorm codes in other parts of the system, such as in C-CDAs. We gained nothing by not including the codes, which are available for free from the National Library of Medicine. We resolved this issue as soon as we learned of it.

Another technical non-conformity identified by the government involved data portability. The 2014 Edition certification criteria require EHR software to “batch export” patient records. There was confusion about the meaning of this requirement, however, prompting ONC in 2015 to issue a clarifying FAQ. When eClinicalWorks was tested for certification in 2013, its authorized certification body (ACB) at the time, CCHIT, determined that our software satisfied this requirement. In 2015, our new ACB, Drummond Group, disagreed and identified this as a non-conformity. eClinicalWorks resolved the non-conformity in 2015, and our software meets all MU Stage 2 data portability requirements.

Historically, technical non-conformities with the MU Program were addressed through an administrative rather than a legal process (visit the ONC’s Certified Health IT Product List (CHPL) website for a list of EHR vendors with non-conformities: https://chpl.healthit.gov/#/search). eClinicalWorks chose to settle this matter to avoid the uncertainty of a prolonged legal dispute which could have been disruptive to our customers, our employees and our company.     

The government also alleged that eClinicalWorks’ customer referral program violated the federal Anti-Kickback statute. Under this program, called “Refer a Friend.”eClinicalWorks granted a credit, typically in the amount of $500, against existing users’ support and maintenance fees. Between 2011 and 2016, eClinicalWorks paid $392,000 to users under this and related programs. While referral programs like this are common in the industry, and while HHS-OIG has provided no guidance regarding them, the government took the position that the payments were improper. We disagreed but have nevertheless discontinued the program.     

There is a silver lining to this settlement. Today, eClinicalWorks has a more robust compliance program, and we continue to invest our resources and energy into making sure the products and services we deliver serve our customers well in the long run. We paid the settlement amount using cash on hand and have the resources to continue to grow and innovate.

It is our privilege to serve you. I am committed to enhancing our products and services. We will be releasing V11 later this year as planned and seeking certification for Meaningful Use Stage 3.   

We founded this company 17 years ago with the mission of improving healthcare together. The settlement does not change that.

Sincerely,

Girish Navani, CEO


Webinars

June 22 (Thursday) 1:00 ET. “Social Determinants of Health.” Sponsored by Philips Wellcentive. Presenter: David Nash, MD, MBA, dean, Jefferson College of Population Health. One of the nation’s foremost experts on social determinants of health will explain the importance of these factors and how to make the best use of them.

June 29 (Thursday) 2:00 ET. “Be the First to See New Data on Why Patients Switch Healthcare Providers.” Sponsored by Solutionreach. As patients pay more for their care and have access to more data about cost and quality, their expectations for healthcare are changing. And as their expectations change, they are more likely to switch providers to get them met. In this free webinar, we’ll look at this new data on why patients switch and what makes them stay. Be one of the first to see the latest data on why patients leave and what you can do about it.

July 11 (Tuesday) 1:00 ET.  “Your Data Migration Questions Answered: Ask the Expert Q&A Panel.” Sponsored by Galen Healthcare Solutions. Presenters: Julia Snapp, manager of professional services, Galen Healthcare Solutions; Tyler Suacci, principal technical consultant, Galen Healthcare Solutions. This webcast will give attendees who are considering or in the process of replacing and/or transitioning EHRs the ability to ask questions of our experts. Our moderators have extensive experience in data migration efforts, having supported over 250+ projects, and migration of 40MM+ patient records and 7K+ providers. They will be available to answer questions surrounding changes in workflows, items to consider when migrating data, knowing what to migrate vs. archive, etc.

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

image

Medical image viewing system vendor TeraRecon acquires machine learning vendor McCoy Medical Technologies and creates a new company that will distribute trained machine learning algorithms for clinical decision support, also offering researchers and hospitals an easy way to distribute their algorithms for research or commercialization.

image

Accenture will acquire 250-employee laboratory informatics consulting firm LabAnswer, which it will fold into the newly created Accenture Scientific Informatics Services. 


Sales

image

Carilion Clinic (VA) chooses Influence Health’s directory listings management system to monitor its online presence, provide accurate online location listings, and call out unofficial social media pages.

image

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (NY) and Intermountain Healthcare (UT) will use the genomics platform of Philips for cancer research and treatment.


People

image

Children’s of Alabama (AL) hires Bob Sarnecki (ClearData) as interim CIO.

image

In England, Beverly Bryant (NHS Digital) will join System C as COO.

image

SurveyVitals, which offers digital patient experience surveys, hires Robert Harrington, Jr., MD (Reliant Post-Acute Care Solutions) as chief medical officer.

image

Rob Bart, MD (LA County Department of Health Services) joins UPMC as CMIO.


Announcements and Implementations

An Ellis and Adams research report reviewing the impact of hospital acquisitions on quality finds that the average quality score of an acquired hospital slipped 5 percentage points in the first year.

DrFirst launches new solutions for Meditech users – SmartSig to manage free text prescription instructions and integration with prescription drug monitoring program databases.


Privacy and Security

The medical records (including photos) of 15,000 patients of a Los Angeles plastic surgery clinic – some of them celebrities – have been stolen by a fired employee.

In India, the Mumbai health department’s online birth and death registry is taken offline following complaints that its lack of security was allowing anyone to look up random names and print their birth or death certificates. A government official complains that only the medical health officer is now allowed to use the system and “he cannot keep printing certificates for everyone” in keeping up with the city’s daily workload of 400 births and 200 deaths.

Australia’s health department decides that the records of people who opt out of its My Health Record system won’t be deleted, but rather hidden from providers, allowing those who opt out to change their minds later.


Other

image

Australia’s Digital Health Agency issues a request for tender for developing a plan to connect all health-related systems over 5-10 years.

image

A five-sentence letter published in NEJM in 1980 concluding – without much evidence – that opiates aren’t addicting when prescribed for chronic pain has been cited more than 600 times since, with references to the article spiking after OxyContin was brought to market in 1995. The authors note that most of the citations misinterpreted the information or mischaracterized the letter’s conclusions in encouraging doctors to use long-term opiate therapy that contributed heavily to today’s national addiction, leading to their recommendation that authors cite previous studies carefully.

image

Facebook is hosting an invitation-only meeting next week to court drug companies as advertisers.


Sponsor Updates

  • ECG Management Consultants publishes its “2017 Thought Leadership Compendium.”
  • EClinicalWorks will exhibit at the California Primary Care Association Region IX Clinical Excellence Conference June 4-6 in Lahaina, HI.
  • FormFast and Imprivata will exhibit at EHealth Canada June 4-7 in Toronto.
  • Aprima wins Frost & Sullivan’s product leadership award for its RCM platform.
  • HBI Solutions publishes a new white paper, “Turn Data Science into Value: The Four Key Requirements.”
  • The Atlanta Business Chronicle profiles CFO of the Year finalist and Ingenious Med Chief Compliance Officer and CFO David Lamm.
  • InterSystems’ TrakCare tops global EHR deployments, according to a new KLAS report.

Blog Posts

HIStalk sponsors were listed in the Healthcare Informatics 100 highest-revenue healthcare IT companies, representing 38 of the vendors named:


Contacts

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

125x125_2nd_Circle

EClinicalWorks Will Pay $155 Million to Settle DOJ False Claims Act Allegations

May 31, 2017 News 31 Comments

image 

EClinicalWorks will pay $155 million to settle a federal False Claims lawsuit alleging that ECW misrepresented its EHR product and paid customers kickbacks for promoting it, the Department of Justice announced today.

image

The government claims that ECW fraudulently obtained certification for its EHR by hard coding some of the testing elements as provided to its certifying entity. It also says ECW’s software did not accurately maintain a user audit log, did not reliably record diagnostic imaging orders, failed to perform drug interaction checks, and failed to meet interoperability requirements, thus causing false claims for HITECH incentive payments to be paid by HHS.

According to ONC’s Certified Health IT Product List, ECW’s Authorized Certification Body is Drummond Group.

The company and three of its founders will pay the $155 million settlement.

ECW also entered into a five-year HHS OIG Corporate Integrity Agreement that requires the company to have its software quality control systems externally audited and reported to HHS OIG. The company also agreed to provide prompt notice to customers of any EHR-related safety issues, to make software updates available at no cost, and to assist customers in migrating to other EHRs without charging them. ECW is also required to hire an Independent Review Organization to certify that the company’s agreements with providers comply with anti-kickback laws.

The whistleblower lawsuit was filed by Brendan Delaney, a software technician with New York City Division of Health Care Access and Improvement, who will receive $30 million of the settlement.

I’ve run several reader-provided rumors about the Department of Justice investigation, going all the way back to late 2015.

News 5/31/17

May 30, 2017 News 5 Comments

Top News

image11

An internal UCSF study finds that 82 percent of the text in a typical Epic progress note comes from copying/pasting or importing from other sources. Clinicians physically enter only 18 percent of the note.

Several hundred of the 24,000 notes reviewed contained no human-entered text at all.

The study is especially interesting because it used a new text analysis tool – apparently provided by Epic – to determine the source of every character of text in the note.


Reader Comments

image25

From Jack Fruit: “Re: CommonWell. Who were the original members?” CommonWell Health Alliance was founded in March 2013 by Cerner, McKesson, Athenahealth, Greenway, and RelayHealth (which is also owned by McKesson) as the Epic fears of the publicly traded competitors intensified to the point that they cooperated (and pony up a rumored $2 million each) to have something to announce at HIMSS13. Since then, McKesson has mostly pulled out of healthcare IT by spinning off Change Healthcare and looking for a buyer for its enterprise business and Greenway Medical Technologies was taken private by Vista Equity Partners a few months after the CommonWell announcement. Athenahealth shares are up 38 percent since the announcement, those of Allscripts are down 10 percent, and Cerner shares have risen 41 percent as all the founding companies have tried to diversify themselves out of a HITECH-free EHR market. CommonWell later added CPSI (now Evident) and Sunquest as founding members in mid-2013, but Sunquest is no longer listed as such on its site even though Sunquest’s site still says it’s a member.

image31

From Kathy: “Re: CommonWell survey. It would be most accurate for me to vote that it performed exactly as I expected – which was very little. CommonWell was never going to work. It was a political and business tactic.” Above are the early poll results.

From Tammy: “Re: CommonWell. I work for RelayHealth supporting the CommonWell network. CommonWell is not one EHR, it’s a network. It brings together multiple health IT systems and helps to solve the challenge of connecting disparate software run by different companies, using different technology. People’s definitions of numbers are different depending on what and how they count. What really is important is that we are all working towards helping providers and people get access to important health data that they previously couldn’t. CommonWell is definitely moving the meter in the right direction on this. What is different about what CommonWell is doing is that providers don’t have to search for records and guess where they might be located. They also don’t have to download and store every document for their patients – we’re about making it more efficient to get the data that is most valuable to the provider when they need it. Providers can query and view what documents are available, similar to a search engine, and only download those they need. I have seen 2x the volume of query and retrieval growth in the past year.”

From David McCallie (Cerner): “Re: CommonWell. It seems like a case of apples to oranges – it would be bad math to compare numbers that aren’t measuring the same thing. For Cerner, CommonWell queries are a small (but important) fraction of Cerner’s overall document exchange interoperability. We don’t know exactly what counts as a ‘record’ or gets included in Epic’s CareEverywhere statistics, but for Cerner, document exchange includes not only CommonWell, but also many existing point-to-point query interfaces (via Cerner Resonance, including many connections to Epic clients) as well as local HIE-based document queries, and data routed to providers through the ‘Cerner Hub’ services.  Cerner also supports a growing Direct-based document exchange.  To the clinician, these are all equally available sources for external documents and data. In general, the user interface does not distinguish the means of transport. CommonWell in many ways represents a national-scale ‘back stop’ for data that can’t be found via local queries. Now that CommonWell and Carequality have committed to mutual interchange, we expect that the number of CommonWell-mediated transactions will grow, since CommonWell will provide a common gateway to both its own network as well as any requested Carequality sites. CommonWell automatically bundles an MPI and a national Record Locator Service, so the clinician does not need to spend time deciding where to look for documents that aren’t local. Don’t count CW out … the network is growing, and any numbers they report represent a very high quality of interoperability use case.”

image_thumb10

From Spiker: “Re: health IT writing. Biggest problem is advertiser-friendly puffery. And mistakes like this one.” I disagree. The biggest problem is writer naiveté even in the absence of advertiser bias (unintentional or otherwise). Gushy, “world peace” kinds of health IT articles are always written by folks who have never actually worked in a health IT or clinical leadership role and thus have not learned from hard-won experience to distrust vendors, politicians, and health system executives until they provide a reason to believe otherwise. They’re also scared of being called out for lack of knowledge, so their writings tend to be harmless little bubbles floating aimlessly above the fierce, patient-impacting HIT battles being fought. The bar I set for everything I read regularly (especially if it expresses editorial opinion) is:

  • Does the writer enough knowledge and experience to be trusted?
  • Does the article tell me something I didn’t already know?
  • Can I really use the information?
  • Does the writer present the information clearly, concisely, and at my level, without time-wasting padding or distractingly unskilled writing?
  • Am I entertained, amused, or emotionally motivated in a positive way that makes me want to read more by the same writer?
  • And for the specific user-provided example above, make sure the author knows the difference between “pared down” and “parsed down” and doesn’t misstate “rev cycle” as “rest cycle.”

image15

From FlyOnTheWall: “Re: Mary Piepenbrink, RN. Joined a startup called Pieces Technologies as SVP of sales. What do you know about them?” I’ve heard of the Dallas predictive analytics company, but only barely. They’re a Parkland Health spinoff as I recall. Founder and CEO Ruben Amarashingham, MD, MBA has good credentials in informatics. The company raised $21.6 million in a single Series A round just over a year ago and apparently has earned a couple of customers.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

The web hosting company is migrating the site to a bigger server, so let me know if you see anything weird, other than the fact that I’m posting this later than usual to accommodate the switch.

You’ll see some inarguably huge news related to a Meaningful Use-related EHR vendor settlement coming out, possibly as early as later today. The financial terms are mind-boggling. More to come once the Justice Department’s announcement is released.

Listening: The Stanfields, Nova Scotia-based hard-working rockers who wrap thoughtful, lyrically rich biographical stories with searing guitar (and mandolin) riffs. like AC/DC covering an Irish pub’s house band. It’s sonically spectacular poetry. You’re a poser rather a musician if you can’t play and sing acoustically in a bare room, to which I submit the amazing “Vermilion River.”


Webinars

June 22 (Thursday) 1:00 ET. “Social Determinants of Health.” Sponsored by Philips Wellcentive. Presenter: David Nash, MD, MBA, dean, Jefferson College of Population Health. One of the nation’s foremost experts on social determinants of health will explain the importance of these factors and how to make the best use of them.

June 29 (Thursday) 2:00 ET. “Be the First to See New Data on Why Patients Switch Healthcare Providers.” Sponsored by Solutionreach. As patients pay more for their care and have access to more data about cost and quality, their expectations for healthcare are changing. And as their expectations change, they are more likely to switch providers to get them met. In this free webinar, we’ll look at this new data on why patients switch and what makes them stay. Be one of the first to see the latest data on why patients leave and what you can do about it.

July 11 (Tuesday) 1:00 ET.  “Your Data Migration Questions Answered: Ask the Expert Q&A Panel.” Sponsored by Galen Healthcare Solutions. Presenters: Julia Snapp, manager of professional services, Galen Healthcare Solutions; Tyler Suacci, principal technical consultant, Galen Healthcare Solutions. This webcast will give attendees who are considering or in the process of replacing and/or transitioning EHRs the ability to ask questions of our experts. Our moderators have extensive experience in data migration efforts, having supported over 250+ projects, and migration of 40MM+ patient records and 7K+ providers. They will be available to answer questions surrounding changes in workflows, items to consider when migrating data, knowing what to migrate vs. archive, etc.

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

image5[1]

Health management software vendor Mediware Information Systems acquires Kinnser Software, which offers home health and hospice systems.

image

Two former Theranos board members – former US Navy Admiral Gary Roughead and former US Secretary of State George Shultz – say they didn’t ask founder Elizabeth Holmes about media reports stating that the company wasn’t running many tests on its proprietary Nanotainer finger stick technology but instead was using commercially available analyzers. Legal experts question whether the company’s board failed to meet their responsibilities in providing checks and balances to Holmes, who controls 98.3 percent of voting shares. To paraphrase “Animal House” in work-friendly terms, “You messed up … you trusted us.”

image

Consumer health information site Sharecare, founded in 2010 by Dr. Oz and WebMD founder Jeff Arnold, receives an unspecified investment from Summit Partners, increasing its total to more than $300 million.


Announcements and Implementations

Google launches the free Data Gif Maker, a data illustration tool aimed primarily at journalists who need to tell data-driven stories but potentially useful to a wider social media audience. 

Medisolv chooses CloudWave’s OpSus Healthcare Cloud for making its quality management system available to customers as a SaaS offering.

Nordic announces that it has grown to 700 consultants serving 200 clients.

image37

Reaction Data publishes a new report on patient referrals and self-scheduling.


Government and Politics

The CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield North Carolina says that the ACA marketplace is stabilizing in price, utilization, and risk to the point that an 8.8 percent premium hike would have sufficed for 2018, but instead the company has filed for a 22.9 percent increase because the White House keeps saying that it may not continue paying the premium subsidies that have been challenged legally. “The information we’ve seen coming from the administration actually creates more uncertainty,” the CEO says.


Privacy and Security

Ascension-owned Seton Healthcare (TX) says it has identified “suspicious activity within our network,” but provided no details, although it sounds like a ransomware attack. Meanwhile, patients report to the local TV station that the hospital has gone back to paper after warning employees to shut down the computers.

Other

A study finds that hospital EDs charge an average of 3.4 times the Medicare-paid rate for services they provide, providing as an example EKG interpretation, for which Medicare pays a median of $16 but for which hospital EDs charge other patients anywhere from $18 to $317, averaging $95. The highest-charging hospitals are for-profit, mostly in the South and Midwest, and serve more uninsured and minority patients.

USA-based Syria medical aid group UOSSM launches Syria Solar, a project to install solar power systems in the country’s hospitals, which run generators that use erratically available diesel fuel. Much of Syria’s electrical grid has been destroyed by bombing, leaving already struggling hospitals to deal with power outages for incubators, dialysis machines, and other vital equipment. 

image10

Rapidly rising drug prices are hitting seniors hard with higher co-pays even as Medicare’s share of the Part D cost has become its fastest-growing expense.  Novartis AG has raised the price of cancer drug Gleevec 77 percent in the past five years, increasing Medicare’s annual cost from $500 million to $1.23 billion and leaving the average Medicare patient paying $4,400 per year out of pocket.

I’ve read that Europe has become even more overrun with summer tourists in the past few years because huge-population countries like China and India are moving up the economic food chain and their now-wealthier citizens are joining the lines in Rome, Paris, and London. A New York Times article says that’s also true in healthcare, as frustrated, affluent citizens of China are bypassing the country’s overloaded hospital system and paying cash for care in the US and other countries despite the inevitable problems with transoceanic care coordination.

A Wall Street Journal article questions whether towns should continue operating tax-supported nursing homes, seven percent of which are government-owned. Their financial losses are increasing due to a glut of Baby Boomer residents, a high proportion of Medicaid residents as those with more assets seek out tonier facilities, and the White House’s proposal to cut Medicaid by nearly a trillion dollars. Cities are selling their nursing homes to private operators with mixed experience. The article profiles the city-owned, 45-bed nursing home in Cape Cod’s Nantucket, MA, which is losing $3 million per year, needs major repairs as the city grapples with other huge infrastructure upgrades, and attracts only the financially struggling year-round residents who would have to move out if the city’s only nursing home shuts down or raises rates.


Sponsor Updates

  • AdvancedMD publishes a MIPS Improvement Activities fact sheet.
  • Aprima will exhibit at the Associated Professional Sleep Societies Annual Meeting June 5-7 in Boston.
  • Audacious Inquiry publishes a series of white papers on what HIOs need to know about the 21st Century Cures Act.
  • Bernoulli publishes a new case study, “Achieving medical device connectivity across a multiple-hospital enterprise.”
  • Datica will present at the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference June 6-7 in Madison.
  • Carevive Systems will exhibit at the ASCO Annual Meeting June 2-6 in Chicago.
  • Casenet will exhibit at AHIP Institute & Expo June 7-9 in Austin, TX.
  • Docent Health is featured in Redox’s “Digital Health Done Right” series.
  • The Jacksonville Business Journal includes CSI Healthcare IT in its list of “Best Places to Work 2017.”
  • Dimensional Insight will host its annual User Conference June 5-8 in Boston.

Blog Posts


Contacts

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

125x125_2nd_Circle

Monday Morning Update 5/29/17

May 28, 2017 News 6 Comments

Top News

image

In Canada, a report by Alberta’s auditor general says the government’s $1.2 billion proposed project to replace the clinical and administrative systems of Alberta Health Services with a single system is not likely to generate the expected $900 million in cost savings because it doesn’t include primary care practices.

The project, announced a year ago, would replace 1,300 individual AHS systems.

image

The report notes that Albertans pay the highest healthcare costs of all provinces in Canada, yet the quality and integration recommendations of previous reports have been mostly ignored. It observes that despite claims of how good healthcare is in Canada, it’s almost as bad as in the US, which finishes dead last among 11 developed countries despite spending far more than any of them.

The Auditor General also notes that fee-for-service payments have hampered accountability and integration. It also says that health leader turnover is high due to political cycles, with the average AHS hospital CEO lasting just 1.2 years.

Province physicians use at least 12 incompatible EHRs. Canada-wide, 94 percent of hospitals use IT only for administrative tasks.

The report observes that if banks used IT like Alberta Health Services:

  • Each branch bank would have its own systems that can’t communicate with other branches.
  • Systems at some branches would be so prone to failure that paper files would be kept ready.
  • Tellers, mortgage officers, and investment specialists wouldn’t be able to access each other’s information.
  • The only access to banking information would be via faxing.
  • Customers would be required each time they visit a branch to fill out the same form asking for name, address, employment information, and financial history.
  • Traveling customers could not withdraw money without opening an account first because the branch would not know who they are.
  • Applying for a mortgage would require visiting each prospective lender individually and completing their proprietary application package.
  • Online banking would not exist.
  • Obtaining an account balance would require making a written request and waiting two weeks for the mailed information to arrive.
  • Bank managers would not have enough information to understand the performance of individual branches.
  • The banks would spend $600 million per year to maintain IT systems but without a plan to standardize them and keep them up to date.

Reader Comments

image

From More Math: “Re: CommonWell’s 60,000 documents downloaded. Looking at the latest from Epic’s website, it appears that Care Everywhere hits CommonWell’s lifetime exchange number every 15 minutes. Sounds like Epic is willing and able. Bigger question is whether the CommonWell is drying up.” CommonWell’s March 2017 fact sheet says that 5,100 provider sites have gone live and have generated 85 million queries, although I don’t know how “queries” translates into “documents.” The quoted figure of 60,000 documents retrieved doesn’t indicate the time frame involved, but if that’s all of them since CommonWell’s beginning in 2013, that’s a pretty anemic number. Cerner said in a HIMSS16 presentation that it had 4,000 providers live on CommonWell, which suggests that almost all live CommonWell members are Cerner users; that those providers enrolled only an average of 50 patients each; and that only eight documents per provider were actually retrieved. EHR vendors pay a per-transaction cost to CommonWell and providers don’t really like sharing their patient information with competitors, so there’s not a lot of economic incentive for anyone other than the patient to use CommonWell’s services.

image

From Laura Palmer: “Re: Cure Forward. Has shut down, according to its site.” The Boston startup offered a platform that matched patients with clinical trials, although previous announcements suggest that its system may never have graduated from beta testing status. The company raised $19 million in a June 2015 investment and nothing since. Sole investor Apple Tree Partners has expunged Cure Forward from its website, omitting the company from its “legacy investments” section and removing previous Cure Forward press releases (thereby practicing the investing world’s legendary 20-20 hindsight). Cure Forward founder Martin Naley, who launched the company as a entrepreneur in residence at Apple Tree Partners, says on his LinkedIn profile that the company “ceased operations at the end of May 2017 due to financing difficulty.”


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

image image

Readers funded the DonorsChoose grant request of Mrs. M in Ohio, who requested math fluency games and fitness-related “brain breaks.” 

image

Two-thirds of the 247 poll respondents who say they have certification or fellowship credentials don’t list them on their business cards or in their email signatures. KG says credentials should be listed only on CVs other than for practicing clinicians, while Sue says her earned credentials are important to her work and her clients use them as well. John opines that healthcare people deploy “a fruit salad of acronyms” such that the more of them someone lists, the less he believes what they say.

New poll to your right or here: to what extent has CommonWell benefited patients since its 2013 founding? I appreciate your vote and, even more so, your comments explaining it.

Gregg Allman died Saturday at 69, leaving zero of the two brothers who founded the Allman Brothers Band in 1969 still alive (also making Cher the ex-wife of two deceased celebrities). I’m not a fan at all of the retired band’s music since I really dislike Southern boogie and country music even when it’s bluesy (other than Lynyrd Skynyrd, anyway), but it’s apparent that hard living took its toll on the founding members — Duane Allman died at 24 in 1971 in a motorcycle accident, bass player Berry Oakley died a year later in the same manner and location, and drummer Butch Trucks killed himself earlier this year. That leaves guitarist Dickey Betts (73) and drummer Jaimoe Johanson (72).

I’ve had problems for years where I leave the laptop running and Firefox is open to pages that refresh (like Twitter or news sites) – Firefox gets sluggish and Windows Task Manager shows it eating up a huge amount of memory and CPU, requiring me to hard-cancel it. The solution – I finally switched to Chrome for everything browser related, which makes even more sense now that I’m using a Chromebook and an Android phone. My only non-Google technology is an iPad Mini and the Windows laptop, both of which will move to a Google platform when it’s time to replace them.


image

In Flanders Fields
By John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.


This Week in Health IT History

image

One year ago:

  • Forbes revises its estimate of the net worth of Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes from $4.5 billion to zero.
  • An ONC study finds that 84 percent of US hospitals are using at least a Basic EHR, a nine-fold increase since HITECH’s adoption in 2009.
  • DrFirst acquires Meditech-focused consulting firm The IN Group.
  • CHIME awards $30,000 each to the two finalists in the concept round of its national patient ID challenge, with those contestants moving to the final $1 million round.

SNAGHTML46f03fcd

Five years ago:

  • Allscripts caves in to a proxy fight and adds three new board members advocated by key shareholder HealthCor Partners, which had publicly called for Allscripts to fire CEO Glen Tullman.
  • Three-fourths of respondents to my poll disagree with Neal Patterson’s assertion that Cerner and Epic will end up being the only hospital EHR survivors.
  • Fired HCA doctors say the hospital chain hired huge numbers of physicians to prepare for an ACO environment, then terminated those whose practices weren’t profitable.

image

Ten years ago:

  • A research article finds that few hospitals are using bedside barcode-checking of medications and that nurses bypass those systems frequently.
  • An article describing problems with Kaiser Permanente’s shuttered kidney transplant program blames information management problems and its paper-based systems.
  • A rumor suggests that Misys is trying to sell its hospital systems.
  • Former National Coordinator David Brailer launches the $700 million private equity fund Health Evolution Partners.
  • MED3OOO takes a majority ownership position in InteGreat.

Weekly Anonymous Reader Question

image

Last week’s results: job promotion factors.

image

This week’s survey: what is the role of the person you most value as a mentor and/or professional peer, how did you connect with them, and how do you maintain the relationship?


Last Week’s Most Interesting News

  • The Wall Street Journal notes that uncertainty surrounding the Affordable Care Act has forced some health IT startups to change their strategies.
  • Five hospitals in Australia experience an IT incident cause by applying security patches to protect against WannaCry ransomware.
  • Apple acquires sleep monitoring sensor and app vendor Beddit.
  • The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the Affordable Health Care Act would increase the number of uninsured Americans by 23 million by 2026 in reducing the deficit by $119 billion.
  • The Bipartisan Policy Center calls for private-public efforts to improve health IT safety, but does not mention ONC’s proposed EHR safety center.
  • The director of Denmark’s equivalent of the FDA warns that big US tech companies like Google and Apple are rolling out health apps without demonstrating their efficacy and safety and that those companies are gaining permanent access to patient data.
  • The local paper says that Erie County Medical Center’s ransomware infection is still affecting the hospital six weeks after the hospital decided not to pay the demanded $44,000 ransom, also running a screenshot provided by a hospital employee that suggests that the culprit was Samas, the same malware that took down MedStar Health in 2016. 

Webinars

June 22 (Thursday) 1:00 ET. “Social Determinants of Health.” Sponsored by Philips Wellcentive. Presenter: David Nash, MD, MBA, dean, Jefferson College of Population Health. One of the nation’s foremost experts on social determinants of health will explain the importance of these factors and how to make the best use of them.

June 29 (Thursday) 2:00 ET. “Be the First to See New Data on Why Patients Switch Healthcare Providers.” Sponsored by Solutionreach. As patients pay more for their care and have access to more data about cost and quality, their expectations for healthcare are changing. And as their expectations change, they are more likely to switch providers to get them met. In this free webinar, we’ll look at this new data on why patients switch and what makes them stay. Be one of the first to see the latest data on why patients leave and what you can do about it.

July 11 (Tuesday) 1:00 ET.  “Your Data Migration Questions Answered: Ask the Expert Q&A Panel.” Sponsored by Galen Healthcare Solutions. Presenters: Julia Snapp, manager of professional services, Galen Healthcare Solutions; Tyler Suacci, principal technical consultant, Galen Healthcare Solutions. This webcast will give attendees who are considering or in the process of replacing and/or transitioning EHRs the ability to ask questions of our experts. Our moderators have extensive experience in data migration efforts, having supported over 250+ projects, and migration of 40MM+ patient records and 7K+ providers. They will be available to answer questions surrounding changes in workflows, items to consider when migrating data, knowing what to migrate vs. archive, etc.

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

image

Debt-ridden Florida-based clinic operator 21st Century Oncology – which was breached by hackers in 2016 in exposing the records of 2.2 million patients and resulting in at least 13 federal class action lawsuits – files Chapter 11 bankruptcy. As companies tend to do, 21st Century calls the bankruptcy a “positive development,” brags that it is “fundamentally strong and profitable,” and claims that “very little, if anything, should change during the Chapter 11 process,” calling into question either the credibility of the company or of the US bankruptcy process that is often used as a shrewd corporate strategy to legally screw employees and creditors for the benefit of executives.


Decisions

  • Fitzgibbon Hospital (MO) will replace Meditech and GE Healthcare with Cerner in November 2017.
  • Pinnacle Hospital  (IN) will go live with Prognosis Innovation Healthcare in June 2017.
  • Illinois Valley Community Hospital (IL) will implement Athenahealth’s EHR in November 2017, replacing McKesson.
  • Pioneers Medical Center (CO) will go live with Athenahealth in 2017.
  • Riverside Tappahannock Hospital (VA) will replace Siemens with Epic in June 2017.

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

image

Vanderbilt LifeFlight develops an Uber-like app to allow first responders to request a helicopter, sending the service an the GPS coordinates and and requestor information while giving the emergency responder a real-time flight map and estimated arrival time.


Other

A co-founder of startup Iodine — which published patient-submitted experience with medications — says his company, as well as other digital health startups, were naive in thinking that their technology could create a healthcare revolution. Iodine quietly sold itself off to drug discount coupon publisher GoodRx a few months ago. Thomas Goetz says not only did disruption not happen, it probably never will, because:

  • Healthcare regulation hinders rapid transformation.
  • Entrenched players are huge and have their hands in multiple aspects of healthcare.
  • Nobody cares about better-faster-cheaper in healthcare.
  • There’s no ability to shop prices.
  • The government is the biggest customer.
  • Incentives are misaligned.

image

The Columbus, OH paper profiles prescription prior authorization system vendor CoverMyMeds, the first local startup to sell itself for at least $1 billion (to McKesson in January of this year for $1.1 billion, this case). CEO Matt Scantland says the company’s formula for success was, “Start with a big problem and solve it not by disrupting anything, but by finding a way that everyone wins,” adding that it wasn’t the first company to tackle the problem, but rather the first to develop a scalable solution. The article notes that CoverMyMeds has over 500 Columbus-based employees who get a free gourmet lunch each day and have a virtual reality room to play video games with peers in its Cleveland office. I interviewed Matt in September 2014 when the company had just 73 employees and $19 million in revenue, but he was predicting bigger things:

Prior authorization seems like a very niche thing. It kind of is, but at the same time, it’s also right at the intersection where a doctor is making a decision about the tradeoffs between the cost of a treatment and its efficacy. We think that that’s a fundamental problem in healthcare. We have built both the network and the connectivity and then also the relationships with pharma, payers, pharmacies, and providers. We think we can help doctors make more intelligent consumption decisions. We think is a very large opportunity, starting with drug, but helping to get to more personalized medicine in terms of prescribing, and then also other procedures as well. Because of the growth of the size now, we have a lot of interest from the financial and strategic partners. We’re always willing to listen. We think this is a very big standalone company on its own.

image

He went down, under. In Australia, a member of Parliament laughs so hard while watching the US TV show “Veep” that he chokes on his sushi, passes out, and stumbles through his house before falling face-down unconscious into his granite kitchen island, leaving him with a black eye, three stiches, and a get-well tweet from star Julia Louis-Dreyfus.


Sponsor Updates

  • Encore, A Quintiles Company publishes a white paper titled “Care Management Framework – The Critical Path to Implementing a Care Management Strategy.”
  • QuadraMed, a Harris Healthcare company, will exhibit at the NYHIMA Annual Conference June 4-7 in Rochester.
  • Salesforce announces strategic agreement with Dell Technologies.
  • Solutionreach expands leadership team with new promotions.
  • Summit Healthcare and Access will exhibit at the 2017 International MUSE Conference May 30-June 2 in Dallas.

Blog Posts


Contacts

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

125x125_2nd_Circle

Reader Survey Results: Job Promotion Factors

May 27, 2017 News No Comments

image

I asked what factors affected a job promotion.


Being humble, but speaking up in meetings (especially with solution ideas for important problems).


Many factors worked together to promote me through three levels in five years. An ability and willingness to drive change and tackle challenges in areas traditionally labeled as “impossible” because they required revamping entrenched negative habits. An unflinching determination to get tasks done on time (with no short cuts) and work out compromises even with the most difficult stakeholders. The ability to get to the root cause of an issue and focus on how to avoid future snafus with education and documentation without dwelling on placing blame. Consistently keeping EVERYONE very well aware of a projects progress and problems – so everyone felt in the know. Taking copious and diligent notes so as to instill trust and confidence when making statements at meetings, allowing decision makers to move forward more quickly. It also didn’t hurt getting another master’s degree specializing in a key niche area! Never let your skills become stale or your attitude become obstinate.


Proving myself works in getting more responsibilities. Moving to a new company was required to get a promotion.


Paying attention. I don’t believe in random luck, I believe that if you keep your mind open, you will be able to see the opportunities that are all around you. Luck is the ability to see the doors that are already open, waiting for you to step through. Also, be kind and generous.


I do not seek a promotion as something to have, a title to add to my business card or resume. I do not seek a promotion as a reward for time served or deeds already done. I seek a promotion for the opportunity to connect with new people to share ideas, the ability to move forward with new kinds of projects, the ability to tap into new resources. If you can articulate your desire for promotion in the context of moving forward instead of looking backward (a reward) or appearance (new business cards), then your organization will see you as a part of their future as well.


Always doing what I think is the right thing,and the best things for my customers. Always be honest and when I see a problem or an opportunity for improvement, regardless if I am responsible for it or not, I try to identify a solution.


Not looking for the promotion and focusing on making my boss(es) look good. Supporting their ideas and approaches.


I’ve had three offers to get a significant bump in salary and/or role. Every time was when I threatened to quit.


Receiving offers from other companies willing to pay me more.


Job changes, willingness to take on new projects, show value and communicate it.


Building relationships and consistently delivering results.


Who you know and certifications. Also geographical location seems to be a factor — if the person who is doing the hiring is from the same area of the country as you, then that helps with a connection.


Being better at the job than all the other people around me.


I’m a white male. I am also smart, talented, and hard working. But judging from my colleagues, being a white male is often all that is needed to climb the ladder. Competency does not seem to be a requirement.


A good boss. There are ideas, and there is doing. Do. Prompt responses to your boss and your boss’s boss.


#1: Asking for them. Having competing offers (that helped with salary level). Having (at the time) a relatively unique background with IT and medical experience. Having the right networks of people who give your request credibility


Company laid off one-third of people. We all applied elsewhere, they begged us to stay. To stay, I requested improved salary, vacation, and title. They obliged.


Leaving.


Most of my promotions have occurred when I’m working for someone who gets things done and cares about my career. Lesson: Think about who you are aligned with professionally.


Self-sufficiency and a willingness to figure things out on my own.


The ability to lead others, even if not in an appointed leadership role. Last promotion to Lead Analyst role earned by demonstrating ability to assist new and current co-worker analysts to achieve positive results. Sometimes though one is born with an innate nature to lead and enjoy doing so (without be overbearing – i.e., “bossy”). One can always possess a technical ability to perform job duties, but needs guidance and mentoring to achieve success.


My ability to smile while professionally dealing with the jackasses that infest our fine HIT industry.


Being a woman. Just kidding!


My top 3: specific measureable business results from work. The ability to communicate effectively with both non-IT and IT people. Reasoned risk-taking.


Integrity, dedication to performing at the best of my ability, and respect for everyone’s role and contribution to delivering quality services.


Being in the right place at the right time. Having a track record of delivering results. Being helpful and useful. Thinking critically and anticipating my next action. Dressing nice, being well groomed and presentable, speaking clearly and confidently, having a sense of humor, and being able to relate to everyone, not just my peers.

News 5/26/17

May 25, 2017 News No Comments

Top News

image

The uncertain future of the Affordable Care Act is forcing some health IT startups – especially those that sell mostly to hospitals – to change their strategies, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

The political turmoil has also raised the funding bar as investors seek out companies with solid revenue and market validation, thereby putting their money into fewer but larger deals.

image

These companies are reported to have made changes due to ACA uncertainty:

  • Smart pill bottle maker Pillsy is refocusing its sales efforts on consumers rather than providers.
  • Diabetes management technology vendor Omada Health is increasing its sales emphasis on clinical evidence and return on investment.
  • Pregnancy tracker app vendor Babyscripts is concentrating on large health systems instead of physician practices.
  • Take Command Health, which helps people who can’t get employer-provided health insurance find coverage, is revamping its platform to target small businesses that reimburse employee healthcare costs.
  • Amino, whose tools target specialty care, raised $25 million after changing its platform to analyzing the cost of preventive services that may no longer be free with ACA changes.

Reader Comments

image

From Ex Epic: “Re: CommonWell. In the Madison consultant community, it’s pretty much understood that CommonWell is/was a Cerner marketing campaign to win the DoD. They tweeted these numbers at their collaboration forum last week, with quick math showing they have roughly one document retrieved per customer facility.”


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

This week on HIStalk Practice: Solutionreach’s Jim Higgins highlights the importance of patient relationship management in attracting and keeping millennial patients. Qliance Medical Management abruptly shuts down clinics amidst financial and legal difficulties. Lemonaid Health raises $11 million. Harbin Clinic adds PrecisionBI analytics to its Athenahealth tools. School nurses up in arms over incentivized telemedicine consent. Femwell Group Health will offer HealthGrid patient engagement tech. ClearHealth Quality Institute looks for telemedicine committee candidates.


Webinars

June 22 (Thursday) 1:00 ET. “Social Determinants of Health.” Sponsored by Philips Wellcentive. Presenter: David Nash, MD, MBA, dean, Jefferson College of Population Health. One of the nation’s foremost experts on social determinants of health will explain the importance of these factors and how to make the best use of them.

June 29 (Thursday) 2:00 ET. “Be the First to See New Data on Why Patients Switch Healthcare Providers.” Sponsored by Solutionreach. As patients pay more for their care and have access to more data about cost and quality, their expectations for healthcare are changing. And as their expectations change, they are more likely to switch providers to get them met. In this free webinar, we’ll look at this new data on why patients switch and what makes them stay. Be one of the first to see the latest data on why patients leave and what you can do about it.

July 11 (Tuesday) 1:00 ET.  “Your Data Migration Questions Answered: Ask the Expert Q&A Panel.” Sponsored by Galen Healthcare Solutions. Presenters: Julia Snapp, manager of professional services, Galen Healthcare Solutions; Tyler Suacci, principal technical consultant, Galen Healthcare Solutions. This webcast will give attendees who are considering or in the process of replacing and/or transitioning EHRs the ability to ask questions of our experts. Our moderators have extensive experience in data migration efforts, having supported over 250+ projects, and migration of 40MM+ patient records and 7K+ providers. They will be available to answer questions surrounding changes in workflows, items to consider when migrating data, knowing what to migrate vs. archive, etc.

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

image

Clinical trials software vendor Medrio receives a $30 million equity investment from Questa Capital Management.

image

Apple acquires Finland-based Beddit, which offers a sleep tracking app that uses mattress-attached flexible sensors.


People

image

Jessica Campbell (Leidos Health) joins Nordic as VP of client partnerships.


Announcements and Implementations

image

Elsevier will add its ClinicalKey clinical search engine to the World Health Organization’s Research4Life journal access program for developing countries. 

image

The DiamondView HIE of South Country Health Alliance (MN) goes live with Medicity Notify, which provides electronic notification services for population health management that will be rolled out across its 11 counties.


Government and Politics

image

ProPublica reports that some Republican lawmakers who are being called out on social media for their support of the American Health Care Act (and their sometimes incorrect statements about it as copied and pasted from White House talking points) are blocking their vocal constituents on social media after deleting their comments. An example is Congressman Peter King (R-NY), who not only appears to be censoring critical comments, but is also declining to conduct in-person town hall meetings because attendees scream at him.


Privacy and Security

In Australia, Queensland Health experiences a major EHR failure after applying WannaCry security patches from Microsoft, Cerner, and Citrix that slowed down systems and affected the ability of users to log on.  

A survey finds that only 9 percent of medical device manufacturers test the security of their products at least once a year, with nearly half saying they don’t perform security testing at all. One-third of both manufacturers and health systems say no single person is in charge of device security and half say they don’t follow the FDA’s guidance to reduce security-related risk.

image

A security researcher finds that medical claims processed by insurer Molina Healthcare were freely accessible over the Internet simply by changing the number at the end of any claim’s URL to bring up a different claim, with no authentication required. The company fixed the problem after being notified and has shut down its portal pending a security review.


Other

NantHealth CEO Patrick Soon-Shiong announces plans to open a cancer center, saying that the city has a great basketball team and newspaper (he owns a chunk of both), but not a great cancer center.

image

image

Slides from Cerner’s investor conference presentation show that Cerner and Epic (which Cerner references by name, which doesn’t happen often) each hold 24 percent of the acute EHR market. Cerner won decisions involving 109 hospitals in 2016 vs. Epic’s 91, although it was 69 vs. 66 when excluding existing customer add-ons. It also notes that 2,400 hospitals are using legacy systems that offer a replacement opportunity, with more than one-fourth of them running Meditech Magic or C/S.

SNAGHTML3c09acd7

A group from Kaiser Permanente writes a Harvard Business Review article about KP’s efforts to get surgery patients out of the hospital quicker by using standardized processes and team coordination. The authors honor Jess Jacobs, who at the time of her death in 2014 at 29 had measured that in her 20 ED visits, 54 inpatient days, and 56 outpatient visits, only 0.08 percent of her time was spent actually treating her medical problems.

The State of New Jersey temporarily suspends the medical license of a psychiatrist who had prescribed thousands of doses of oxycodone for a single patient, with the attorney general announcing, “Our message to these doctors is clear: if you are not checking the Prescription Monitoring Program database as required by the new law, we will take swift and punitive action against you.”

image

The Wall Street Journal profiles CVS Health EVP/CIO Stephen J. Gold, who says that 30 percent of the company’s pharmacy customers use its text messaging system for prescription refills. He mentions CVS’s Fast Mobile Prescription Pickup, which allows customers to pick up their refills at the counter or drive-through by scanning the barcode sent to their phones. The company is also using a proprietary health engagement engine to look for intervention opportunities, such as sending a message to patients who aren’t taking medications as prescribed or reminding diabetics to test their blood glucose. Another CVS digital tool allows patients to synchronize the refills of all of their prescriptions to save a trip and to improve adherence.

image

The State of Minnesota, admitting that it can’t keep up with complaints about nursing homes that mistreat their residents, warns nursing homes that they cannot harass families who install “granny cams” in the rooms of residents to document the care their loved one receives. The ruling came after a woman who had placed a $199 video camera in her mother’s room complained that nursing home employees frequently covered it with a towel, unplugged it, pressured her mother to remove it by refusing to speak to her when entering her room, and eventually seized it.

The US finishes in its customary back-of-the-pack spot in a new global health measure that looks at: (a) how well countries prevent deaths by applying known medical interventions; and (b) how health measures improve with increasing national wealth. The author says it’s “an embarrassment” that the US spends $9,000 per citizen annually on healthcare while failing to improve its lagging world health position.


Sponsor Updates

  • The Chartis Group publishes a white paper titled “Performance Transformation: An Undeniable Requirement in Uncertain Times.”
  • GE Healthcare previews its upcoming film, “Heroines of Health.”
  • Meditech announces that it sold systems to five customers representing 16 hospitals in Q1.
  • EClinicalWorks will exhibit at the 2017 MPHCA Annual Conference May 30-June 2 in Biloxi, MS.
  • FormFast, HealthCast, Iatric Systems, Imprivata, and Intelligent Medical Objects will exhibit at the 2017 International MUSE Conference May 30-June 2 in Dallas.
  • As of May 18, people have counted on Healthwise information 2 billion times.
  • DrFirst is sponsoring next week’s MUSE conference, where its executives will present seven medication management sessions.
  • InterSystems will exhibit at the DoD/VA and Gov Health IT Summit May 31-June 1 in Alexandria, VA.

Blog Posts


Contacts

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

125x125_2nd_Circle

News 5/24/17

May 23, 2017 News 8 Comments

Top News

image

The Bipartisan Policy Center calls for creating a public-private effort to set health IT safety priorities and to disseminate best practices.

The report recommends:

  • General patient safety efforts should incorporate the safety of health IT throughout its life cycle.
  • Health IT safety should be addressed via a non-punitive learning system similar to medical error reporting.
  • Voluntary and mandatory reporting systems should collect de-identified data about health IT safety issues that can drive creation of evidence-based practices and tools.

The report does not specifically address ONC’s proposed EHR safety center.  


Reader Comments

From Vaporware?: “Re: Cerner. How long do they get a free pass on selling interoperability without delivering? Beth Israel Deaconess Care Organization lists just six EHRS of the 40 its providers use – Cerner not among the six – that are willing and able to contribute information to its population health analytics system. Do the live MHS Genesis pilot sites have connectivity to outside EHRs?” I’ll invite readers with the firsthand experience with either project that I don’t have to comment anonymously.

From Chaste Kiss: “Re: this HIMSS-owned publication’s story. I’m embarrassed that I actually clicked the tweet to read more.” No wonder – you were cheated when a publication runs a story titled “Is a takeover of Athenahealth inevitable?” that doesn’t actually answer the question it poses (nor could it). It simply rewords a lazy Bloomberg opinion column in which those original authors speculated  –without using any sources or providing evidence of analytical thought — that maybe Cerner, IBM, UnitedHealthGroup, Aetna, or Epic might be interested in buying Athenahealth (the fact that Epic was named means the authors are clueless). The embarrassingly lazy source article wasn’t improved one iota by having the HIT publication improperly legitimize it by rephrasing its undisciplined conclusions. In both cases, the writers seemed desperate to fill their allotted space with whatever fizzy “news” they could make up with a minimum of expended effort.

image

From Greg: “Re: sepsis monitoring. The new Meditech 6.1 Surveillance product has a rules-based approach that looks at real-time EMR clinical data in the EMR. There the clinician can be notified and take appropriate action in an efficient and sometimes life-saving manner. These actions can include orders, medications, labs, documentation, problems, interventions, etc. I have personally not seen another EMR that is as far advanced with regards to surveillance.”

From SgtPerkins: “Re: John Brownstein’s tweet about Epic’s App Orchard developer terms. It is no longer available. $50 says he got a C&D from Epic to remove it. Even their awful legalese is intellectual property to them.” Unverified. My screenshot of his tweet from the Boston Children’s chief innovation officer is here. My experience is that such takedown requests often come from an individual’s employer rather than the subject of their comments, especially when the employer is a partner of the company mentioned (as I well know, having been threatened in my early, less-anonymous HIStalk days with being fired by my hospital employer for writing about one of our vendors even though it wasn’t inside information). Also, Epic’s App Orchard legal wording wasn’t really a secret anyway since it’s publicly available and, as other readers have noted, is similar to that of the Apple Store.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

image image

Readers funded the DonorsChoose grant request of Mrs. D in Arkansas, who asked for writing journals and math activity kits and games for her elementary school class. She reports, “These materials have allowed students to learn using a hands on approach. We love all of our games and our writing journals! Students are so proud to have their own journal to write in each day. You have made all the difference! Thanks again.”


Webinars

None scheduled soon. Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre for information on webinar services.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

image

Post-acute care software vendor Optima Healthcare Solutions acquires Hospicesoft, which offers hospice software.


Sales

image

Five Ontario hospitals add PatientKeeper CPOE and medication reconciliation to their existing system and will expand their use of the company’s physician documentation solution, providing an overlay to Meditech Magic and other systems. 

image

St. Joseph Health (CA) will expand its use of Clearsense analytics in implementing Inception for archiving, access, and visualization of its legacy Meditech data.

image

Harbin Clinic (GA) chooses analytics from PrecisionBI, a division of Meridian Medical Management.


People

image

A Philadelphia innovation organization recognizes Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia AVP/Chief Health Informatics Officer Bimal Desai, MD, MBI as its healthcare innovator of the year. He co-founded CHOP spinoff Haystack Informatics, which offers security technology that detects EHR snooping by learning normal staff behavior and calling out exceptions.

image

NantHealth hires Ron Louks (BlackBerry) as COO.


Announcements and Implementations

SNAGHTML32fd5041

Rush Health (IL) launches Rush Health Connect, which aggregates information from its Epic and Allscripts EHRS using InterSystems HealthShare to give clinicians patient information and real-time alerts and notifications.

image

Change Healthcare joins the Hyperledger open source blockchain project.

SNAGHTML31400f73

The Fresno paper covers the use by Community Medical Centers of RightPatient iris recognition at patient registration, which the article explains isn’t an infrared scan, but rather just a photo of the patient’s eye. It also notes that palm vein ID systems are an alternative. RightPatient can also analyze a patient’s general headshot to identify them going forward.

DrFirst will integrate prescription pricing information from GoodRx into its e-prescribing platform.


Government and Politics

A VA OIG suicide prevention report finds that around 20 percent of inspected VA facilities don’t perform the mandated five outreach events per month, haven’t developed suicide prevention safety plans that are documented in the EHR, and don’t flag high-risk patients in the EHR. More alarmingly, OIG found that while 84 percent of non-clinical hospital hires completed their mandatory suicide prevention training within 90 days, nearly half of newly hired clinicians did not do so.

image

The director of Denmark’s version of the FDA expresses concern that US tech companies like Google and Apple are rolling out medically-related fitness tools and devices that “have no requirements to demonstrate efficacy and safety, but we are forced into the direction of taking them seriously.” The finance minister warns that while patients are notified by email any time their Denmark-based interoperable electronic medical records are viewed, private services and apps offer no such protection, explaining, “We need to make our citizens aware that there is no free lunch with these big companies. People should make some more demands when they give their data away. These companies want to know what you want before you know it yourselves. We need to look into regulation. These private companies will have this patient data for eternity. Can we be sure they’ll always do good things with it?”

image

A report by HHS’s Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation blames the Affordable Care Act for the 105 percent jump in premiums from 2013 to 2017 in the 39 states participating in Healthcare.gov, as the average monthly premium increased from $224 to $476. The report, however, didn’t look at the increase in non-exchange sold individual plans and admits in its “Limitations” section that much of the premium increase is probably due to older, sicker people signing up in 2017 vs. 2013. The analysis also fails to note that pre-ACA policies (Healthcare.gov went live in 2013) were often full of coverage loopholes, exclusions, lack of coverage for pre-existing conditions, and lack of insurer experience with an uncertain risk pool.

image

HIMSS complains about President Trump’s proposed federal budget that calls for major funding cuts for ONC, CDC, CMS, and NIH along with zero money for AHRQ, which would likely be rolled into NIH. The proposal also calls for cutting Medicaid by $800 billion over 10 years.


Other

SNAGHTML31071d63

A Spok survey of 100 hospital CIOs finds that 40 percent of hospitals don’t discipline staff members who violate mobile policies, 30 percent say a significant portion of hospital data is shared insecurely, and more than half of doctors and nurses are unhappy with the communications methods available outside their EHR. Forty-one percent of hospitals don’t offer secure texting and those that do are equally split between providing it via the personal devices of employees vs. hospital-issued technology. Nearly one-third of clinical staff can’t receive clinical alerts or mobile messages from colleagues. CIOs say their hospitals are still using pagers because they are appropriate for some groups, are reliable, and are cheap and easily supported. More than half of the respondents say their biggest challenge in protecting hospital data is a lack of money and people.

image

A ProPublica investigative piece observes that the still-increasing US maternal death rate is the highest in the developed world and 60 percent of those fatalities are preventable, profiling NICU nurse Lauren Bloomstein, who died of preeclampsia shortly after giving birth in which hospital medical errors apparently contributed. Factors include women giving birth later in life when their medical histories are complex, the nearly half of US pregnancies that are unplanned, the complications of C-sections, and the fragmented health/insurance system that makes it hard to get prenatal care (likely to get worse with any cutbacks to Medicaid, which pays for nearly half of US births). The article notes that perhaps the healthcare system is focused so much on saving the lives of babies – which it has done well – that it isn’t paying enough attention to the health of the mother. A standardized approach to quickly reacting to possible preeclampsia reduced UK maternal deaths to just two in three years, while up to 70 US mothers die of it annually even as US hospitals push back on implementing evidence-based processes.

image

All you need to know about US health insurance is contained in this one story. An Army veteran whose wife requires pregnancy-related injections not covered by their medical insurance finds that they make $70 too much per month to quality for Medicaid, so they move from North Carolina to Alabama for a job that offers better insurance. He pays COBRA to cover the one-month lapse before their new insurance kicks in. The baby came in early, the NC insurance wouldn’t pay since Alabama is out of network, and the couple gets a bill for a two-week NICU stay for $178,000, of which neither insurance would pay a penny. They can’t get loans and he will lose his defense-related job if they file bankruptcy. They raised a few thousand dollars in a GoFundMe campaign and are hoping to work out a hospital payment plan for the balance that will probably last the rest of their lives.

image

Instead of the help desk tech term PEBCAK (problem exists between chair and keyboard), this was PEBCASW (steering wheel). In China, a car show model who is demonstrating Nissans’s emergency braking system by standing in front of the moving car is run over (with only minor injuries despite being thrown 10 feet) after the demo driver – who was not familiar with the system – pushes its button twice, turning it on and then off again.  


Sponsor Updates

image

  • Docent Health assembles bags and lunches for Boston-based charity Bridge Over Troubled Waters.
  • The American Association of Critical Care Nurses chooses Kathy Douglas, RN, MHA, chief clinical officer of Abililty Network’s ShiftHound, for its Pioneering Spirit award.
  • CSI Healthcare IT provides at-the-elbow support for MaineHealth’s Epic go-live.
  • Besler Consulting releases a new podcast, “Lessons learned from the introduction of a physician incentive compensation plan.”
  • CapsuleTech and Dimensional Insight will exhibit at the International MUSE Conference May 30-June 2 in Dallas.
  • Spok executives will speak at several industry events.
  • Direct Consulting Associates will exhibit at the SIIM Annual Meeting June 1-3 in Pittsburgh.
  • The American College of Radiology – a National Decision Support Co. partner – wins the ABIM Foundation Creating Value Challenge for its Radiology-Teaches initiative.

Blog Posts

Sponsors named to Modern Healthcare’s “Best Places to Work in Healthcare” 2017 list:

  • Cumberland Consulting Group
  • Divurgent
  • Encore, a Quintiles Company
  • Hayes Management Consulting
  • Healthfinch
  • Impact Advisors
  • Imprivata
  • Nordic
  • PMD
  • Santa Rosa Consulting
  • The Chartis Group

Contacts

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

125x125_2nd_Circle

Monday Morning Update 5/22/17

May 21, 2017 News No Comments

Top News

image

A Buffalo News report describes the ransomware infection of Erie County Medical Center (NY), from which the hospital has still not fully recovered six weeks later. The hospital declined to pay the $44,000 demanded because it had backups, users could look up patient information from the HealthLink HIE, and administrators worried that the hackers might not restore its files even if the hospital paid up.

The hospital thinks hackers used a brute force password attack to gain control of a hospital Web server a week before the attack, then manually logged on looking for files to encrypt. Clinical systems weren’t restored until a month later.

image

A hospital-provided screenshot of the ransomware message suggests that the malware is Samas, in which hackers use a variety of tools (including login-stealing malware) to gain credentials and install programs that use Active Directory to propagate the malware to all attached devices.

MedStar Health fell victim to Samas in March 2016 days after both Microsoft and the FBI issued public warnings of its threat. The malware requires online access to just one vulnerable server, often one that’s running unpatched Red Hat JBOSS middleware.


Reader Comments

image

From Identity Thief: “Re: CHIME’s patient ID challenge. Is anyone questioning its usefulness? The $1 million winner has to provide their solution to the market free of royalties, which means they can’t use any underlying technology that isn’t free. Also, the challenge is based on authentication rather than identity assurance. From NIST, ‘authentication’ implies confirmation of the patient’s presence using authentication factors, while ‘assurance’ means verifying that the person presenting those factors is in fact who they say they are. The solutions of the finalist appear to focus on using tokens (most likely biometric) to authenticate themselves. But before a token can be used, there is a need to identify the patient via inspection of their documents, verifying via a third party , or conducting KBA activities. The FY17 Omnibus legislation requires a strategy that is more than just the pervasive use of an authenticator. It requires a way to roll out a program nationally for all patients and to link a known patient to all of their records from any location in which they have received services. We should question whether a winning authentication solution truly solves the patient identity problem. In my opinion, it does not.” I agree that someone would need to physically verify a person’s identity in issuing their authentication token, but then there’s the question of how a different provider would connect to that information collected elsewhere (perhaps it would be self-contained, like a fingerprint profile stored on a smart card.) As you said, positive identification doesn’t necessarily imply data sharing, but that doesn’t seem to be part of the conversation despite the NIST definition. I would be happy with a solution that would (a) prevent identity fraud; and (b) give hospitals a single ID that would eliminate patient merges and that would link all of a patient’s information even just within that one organization’s systems.

image

From Arm Twister: “Re: Athenahealth. They say they have 35 MU attestations using their complete inpatient solution, but CMS shows only 17 inpatient attestations. Also, is it really Athena that’s being used to attest? HIMSS Analytics shows that most of Athena’s 25 sites are still running RazorInsights for registration, scheduling, and patient billing, so wouldn’t they also be running at least parts of the Razor clinical package, too?”

From Bushie: “Re: Athenahealth. Is it undervalued as the activist investor says?” Value is whatever the buyer thinks it is, but certainly the company has struggled to meet longstanding high-flying expectations as investors begin to question its slowed growth, management changes, forays into marginally related business lines that are defended by deeply entrenched competitors (inpatient), slowing post-HITECH EHR sales, and erratic investor guidance and resulting performance. I would also question, as I have from the day the company announced its IPO, if there’s too much of a Jonathan Bush cult of personality among fanboy equities analysts and whether Athenahealth is really a tech high-flyer vs. a boring business process outsourcer that just sends scanned paper to teams in India for manual entry. The stock price jumped after last week’s announcement that Elliott Management had acquired a 9.2 percent stake (and Wall Street firms predictably applied their impressive 20-20 hindsight to immediately upgrade their share price targets), but that’s probably more of a kneejerk reaction to the assumption that change is inevitable. Carving up the business into parts that are more valuable than the whole doesn’t seem likely and I don’t see opportunities to gain unmet synergy. I suspect the biggest fear out there is that JB will be pushed out and Athenahealth will be left as just another mature, sometimes struggling, not all that interesting industry player whose arc flattened out short of expectations. Quite a few EHR companies looked smart when the government was paying for EHRs in its $40 billion cash for clunkers program, but nearly all of them are scrambling frantically to pivot into population health, analytics, or revenue cycle to prop up their businesses that weren’t prepared for the inevitable scale-back required once the HITECH fired had been extinguished and doctors realized that the EHRs they hated pre-HITECH weren’t any more likable just because someone else (you and I) paid for them. I’ll turn to readers – is ATHN undervalued, what changes should it make, and what companies might like to buy some or all of it?

From Carry On: “Re: HIMSS. What are they paying Steve Lieber these days?” The newest IRS Form 990 I can find is for the fiscal year ending 6/30/15, when he made $1.1 million, a number that’s sure to swell dramatically this year as his retirement benefits are paid out. HIMSS paid more than $400K that year to Carla Smith, Norris Orms, John Hoyt, Jeremy Bonfini, and Alisa Ray. I would enjoy dissecting the HIMSS 2015 990 form if anyone has it – it’s apparently not online anywhere like the older ones.

image

From Lengua Taco: “Re: VIPs. I was surprised to read that hospitals treat VIPs differently.” You must never have worked in one. My first eye-opening experience was when, as a recent graduate turned hospital department head (unimpressively – it was a crappy, for-profit rural hospital) the awful second banana executive nearly lost his mind upon hearing that the mother of our big-money ophthalmologist was being admitted. He cleared all the rooms around hers, mobilized the dietary people to make special meals well beyond their culinary capabilities, and bossed around the nurses and techs to make sure they tiptoed about deferentially and didn’t screw up clinically (which as any hospital person knows actually makes mistakes more likely in replacing well-honed routines with new exceptions). In hospitals, everyone is treated the same in the ED, but once they are admitted and are found to have connections, money, or power, they are elevated from economy class to first (which, like the best table at McDonald’s, still isn’t that great). Wealthy, demanding local businesspeople and politicians don’t share semi-private rooms with the unwashed rest of us, nor do celebrities or Middle Eastern oil sheiks who might get their own entire floor. I doubt their clinical outcomes are any better, though, just their accommodations, a free pass to break hospital rules, and the endless middle management fawning over their magnificence.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

image

Nearly 40 percent of poll respondents say the most important factor in reducing US healthcare costs is to move to a single-payer system that eliminates middlemen, with the next top choices being to control prices and increase emphasis on prevention. Frank provided a thoughtful response in saying that consumerism has worked well with cosmetic surgical procedures, won’t work as well with routine outpatient care and non-emergent elective procedures, and won’t work at all with care in emergencies, with the aged, and involving terminal illness, at least without societal upheaval. He adds that, unfortunately, most of the cost is involved in those areas where consumerism isn’t effective. He also warns that medical technology is advancing in providing expensive treatments for more Baby Boomer conditions. Cosmos says the best use of federal money is for public goods that have not not been addressed by the free market, such as disease prevention, promoting access to care and insurance, and rewarding physicians who do the right thing. Cash payer says treatment costs should be standardized to allow consumers to shop effectively.

New poll to your right or here: does your business card or email signature list a certification or fellowship credential? That issue comes up sometimes in HIStalk, where people complain that I don’t list their FHIMSS, FACHE, CHCIO, etc. My policy is that I list only academic degrees above the US bachelor’s level, with one exception — the non-US MBBS, which technically is a bachelor’s degree but is equivalent to the US MD. I also don’t list licensure, but it gets fuzzy where someone’s practice requires only a bachelor’s degree, such as a nurse, where I wouldn’t ordinarily list either the BS or the RN but there’s otherwise no good way to indicate that the person is a nurse. Sometimes I omit even graduate “degrees” that LinkedIn shows came from unaccredited (and sometimes hilariously phony) schools or that were honorary rather than earned, thus upsetting the folks who are anxious to flaunt a pointless credential in hopes nobody will notice the source.

image image

Readers funded the DonorsChoose grant request of Mrs. A in California, who asked for a projector, document camera, USB camera, and laser printer for her middle school’s library, where she teaches math to 150 students. She reports, “The document camera and projector have improved the quality of my instruction. We will often show different strategies with different colors so that students understand that there is more than one way to solve a math problem. Lately, students have been going up and presenting their work under the doc cam, while other students ask them questions about their work. I also use the document camera and projector heavily for instruction. One particular student who has warmed to the doc cam and projector is Ramses. He loves presenting his work, and he was the first student to do so under the document camera in my 6th grade class. After he presented, students gave him ‘glows’ and ‘grows feedback about his presentation. Now other students present based on his model presentation and students are able to practice presenting their work proudly in front of their peers.”


This Week in Health IT History

image

One year ago:

  • Kansas Heart Hospital (KS) pays a hacker after a ransomware attack, but still doesn’t regain access to its systems.
  • Fired Practice Fusion founder and CEO Ryan Howard launches iBeat, which will offer a heart monitor and emergency notification watch.
  • Apple CEO Tim Cook says the company is focused on health and its entry point will be Apple Watch, which will have new sensors added.
  • HP announces plans to spin off its enterprise services business in a merger with CSC.
  • Paul Tang, MD joins IBM Watson Health as VP/chief health transformation officer.

SNAGHTML1d401305

Five years ago:

  • Cerner CEO Neal Patterson predicts that the company will hit $10 billion in annual revenue by 2020 and says he will probably retire before then.
  • Victoria, Australia ends its HealthSMART hospital software project that involves Cerner, CSC, and InterSystems after running over budget to $557 million.
  • HealthCor launches a proxy fight against Allscripts following the resignation of three Eclipsys-connected directors the previous month.
  • The VA announces plans to spend up to $5 billion to enhance VistA via the private sector and open source community.
  • US CTO Todd Park announces the Presidential Innovation Fellows Program.
  • The UK NHS announces plans to shut down its HealthSpace personal health record.

Weekly Anonymous Reader Question

I made last week’s question too specific, I think, given the small number of responses to the question of the most customer-unfriendly contract term or condition seen. I’ll just list those few responses here:

  • Charging maintenance fees for applications that just kicked off an implementation, as well as charging implementation and hosting fees! The ultimate double-dip rip-off.
  • Arrogant PeopleSoft VP refused to include any language protecting the customer should they be acquired, after all, “they are PeopleSoft”. Two years later, Oracle had them.
  • Non-compete clauses that inhibit people from their employment choices.
  • Having one vendor try to set the terms for who else I can engage with to optimize pieces of my organization. I have software I like to buy. And I have professionals I prefer to do business with for process improvements. When the software company tries to restrict my ability to engage with the professionals I trust, I view that as very unfriendly toward me.

image

This week’s reader-requested question: what factors have helped you attain job promotions?


Last Week’s Most Interesting News

  • Activist investor Elliott Management takes a 9.2 percent stake in Athenahealth.
  • Two highly-touted, well-funded, for-profit primary care clinic chains fail.
  • GQ exposes the efforts of fired Trump campaign manage Corey Lewandowski to sell access to the President, with Flow Health hiring the company hoping to reverse the VA’s termination of its data analysis contract.
  • Global impact of the WannaCry ransomware is muted when a security researcher finds and activates its kill switch.

Webinars

None scheduled soon. Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre for information on webinar services.


Decisions

  • Johnson Memorial Hospital (IN) will switch from Meditech  to Cerner in August 2017.
  • Marshall Medical Center (CA) will replace McKesson with Epic in November 2017.
  • St Michaels Medical Center (NJ) went live with Epic this year.

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

image

Melissa Bell (MedAssets) joins Inovalon as SVP of client success.

image

Jim Feen is promoted to SVP/CIO at Southcoast Health (MA).


Announcements and Implementations

SNAGHTML211f37b0

Messaging and patient engagement technology vendor Talksoft integrates its appointment reminder app with Uber, allowing patients to click an app button to call a car to take them to their appointment.

Teladoc will expand telemedicine services in Texas following the end of its six-year legal battle with the state over the now-eliminated requirement that patient-physician relationships begin with a face-to-face visit.


Other

image

Doctors at MUSC’s Medical University Hospital (SC) are reportedly “livid” that the hospital will start paying them based on the number of patients they see (RVUs) instead of based on the profits of their department. The CEO says that doctors who aren’t clinically productive “are going to have a tough time. Everyone has to be accountable to this clinical productivity.,” He adds that the current system is unfair to trauma surgeons who treat uninsured patients but benefits gastrointestinal surgeons who treat mostly Medicare patients. A patient safety advocate whose son died from a MUSC medical error says, “Paying doctors by RVUs is a terrible system and absolutely antithetical to patient safety, never mind workplace satisfaction. The doctors are right to be worried. I think this is a real comment on the priorities of the current MUSC leadership.”


Sponsor Updates

  • Encore publishes a white paper, “Enabling Value Based Care through IT.”
  • QuadraMed, a Harris Healthcare company, will exhibit at the Texas Regional HIMSS Conference May 25-26 in San Antonio.
  • Sphere3 CEO Kourtney Govro co-authors an article on business relationship management in health IT.
  • Sunquest Information Systems will exhibit at the API – Pathology Informatics Summit May 22-25 in Pittsburgh.
  • Frost & Sullivan features Agfa Healthcare in a new whitepaper, “Vision 2027: Enterprise Imaging.”
  • Visage Imaging will exhibit at ACR 2017 May 22-23 in Washington, DC.
  • Huron employees volunteer time on day of service to give back to 51 communities worldwide.

Blog Posts


Contacts

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

125x125_2nd_Circle

News 5/19/17

May 18, 2017 News 12 Comments

Top News

image

Activist hedge fund operator Elliott Management takes a 9.2 percent position in Athenahealth, sending ATHN shares soaring 22 percent Thursday.

The fund issued its standard language that refers to “operational and strategic opportunities” (often involving selling the company) and expresses its interest in engaging with Athenahealth’s board.

Elliott has pressured other healthcare-related companies to increase shareholder value, most recently The Advisory Board Company and Cognizant.


Reader Comments

From Justin Box: “Re: Mary Washington’s video ‘Right Hand Man.’ We’ve reposted it on YouTube.” Justin, who is SVP/CIO of Mary Washington Healthcare (VA), said the hospital initially pulled the unlisted video from YouTube after I mentioned it Tuesday since it was intended to be for an internal audience only, but has since decided to repost the original, unedited version, which is spectacular. The hospital’s marketing people did an amazing job putting it together and the hospital employees who appear in it were fantastic. This would win my HISsies Best Picture award if I had one. Here’s an even more impressive factoid from Justin – President and CEO Mike McDermott, MD, MBA came up with the Hamilton theme idea, wrote the lyrics, and took on the starring role. I’ve watched it at least 10 times so far today. In one of those IMDB-type “goofs,” listen for the Epic product name that is mispronounced.

image

From Aftab: “Re: Aspen Valley Health (CO). A failed Epic implementation caused a loss of millions of dollars and the RIF of dozens of long-term employees. The 20-something IT director brought in an inexperienced team with no healthcare background and farmed out the technical IT jobs to an Indian outsourcing company. There was open revolt from the hospital staff, coupled with the CEO and CIO leaving.” Unverified. The 25-bed hospital signed up for Epic at a cost of $5.4 million in October 2015, affiliating with UCHealth. I reviewed the online video minutes of the hospital’s recent board meetings to look for updates — in the March 2017 session, the board talked about choosing a new EHR from among Cerner, EClinicalWorks, and current vendor Meditech, focusing on a system that is “affordable and accessible to any practice.” The board also wants its own MPI that isn’t shared with another hospital and its own EHR build. The board also noted that Cerner and EClinicalWorks are cloud-based, while Meditech would require 50 hospital servers, but they want to make sure cloud-based systems are ready for prime time. They’ve issued an RFI and hope to be live by 2020.

SNAGHTML174fb8d1

From Publius: “Re: Health Gorilla. Have you heard of them? They’re seemingly a Web-based EMR that supports electronic lab ordering. Is it used by smaller private practices?” I’ve mentioned the company a few times, labeling them as a “medical record aggregator” and secure network that allows sharing records and placing electronic lab orders. Practice price ranges from free to $60 per month. The Silicon Valley-based company – formerly known as Informedika — has raised $4.4 million, none of it recently, and hasn’t issued a press release since October 2015.

From SugerHound: “Re: Apple Watch and glucose monitoring. The rumors are more substantial than are being reported. Chrissy Farr has a great report on CNBC that cites multiple sources.” The article says Apple’s team of biomedical engineers has been developing non-invasive blood glucose sensors for several years in a project originally envisioned by Steve Jobs. They are reportedly conducting feasibility trials and figuring out how to earn FDA approval, which probably won’t come easily or quickly.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

image image

Readers funded the DonorsChoose grant request of Ms. S in California, who asked for non-fiction books for her third graders, with an emphasis on the environment. She reports, “My students and I have become passionate about plants! Not just any plants, but native plants in particular. The chaparral biome which surrounds our school and community is thriving with plant and animal life. Using the books that you so generously donated, my students learned about the environment, and they started a close study of their backyard ecosystem: the chaparral. Caring for the plants and becoming experts of many of the living things in our ecosystem, my students are now serving as stewards for the environment. Without your generous donation, our project would not have been able to take off.”

My “Listening” selection from three weeks ago was the new solo release of Soundgarden and Audioslave front man Chris Cornell. He died by suicide Wednesday night after a Detroit performance of the reunited Soundgarden. His last song on stage was a cover of Led Zeppelin’s “In My Time of Dying.”

This week on HIStalk Practice: One Medical opens first practice in Seattle. Vivid Vision raises $2.2 million for VR-enabled vision disorder treatment technology. US HealthWorks develops telemedicine app. MD EMR Systems, Bridge Patient Portal work on Centricity integration. CMS allocates $30 million for medical societies interested in helping to develop MACRA measures, adds four regions to CPC+ program. Premise Health will roll out Epic over the next two years.


Webinars

None scheduled soon. Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre for information on webinar services.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

image

A Singapore-based private equity firm buys a majority position in supply chain technology vendor Global Healthcare Exchange from PE firm Thoma Bravo, which bought the business in February 2014 and will remain a minority owner.

image

Seattle-based primary care clinic Qliance Medical Management, which had raised $33 million from investors that included Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, shuts down. The two principal officers bought the company in March 2016 from its investors.

image

Clinical process improvement technology vendor LogicStream Health closes a $6 million Series B funding round.

image

Credentialing and compliance software vendor Symplr acquires Vistar Technologies, which offers a provider data management system.

image

Conversa, which offers doctor-patient conversation programs, raises $8 million in a Series A funding round led by the venture arm of Northwell Health (NY), which will also use the company’s systems.

image

UnitedHealthcare subsidiary Harken Health, launched in 2015 to offer health insurance combined with low co-pay visits in its Atlanta and Chicago health clinics, will shut down after extensive losses.

Amazon is considering entering the pharmacy market, according to reports, which could involve either selling drugs online (which it already does in Japan) or extending its in-house pharmacy benefits management program.

image

McKesson is basically out of the health IT business (or will be soon), but if anyone still cares, the company announces Q4 results: revenue up 5 percent, EPS $16.76 vs. $1.88, although that includes a pre-tax net gain of $3.9 billion related to the creation of Change Healthcare. MCK shares rose 6 percent in early after-hours trading Thursday, having beaten earnings expectations but falling short on revenue.


Sales

image

National non-profit behavioral health provider Compass Health Network chooses Netsmart’s EHR in a 10-year agreement.

image

The VA awards Document Storage Systems (DSS) a $19.6 million contract to implement its ForSite2020 patient self-scheduling system that integrates with VistA. DSS acquired the product in December 2016 with its $2 million purchase of Streamline Health’s Looking Glass patient scheduling and surgery management software, which Streamline had previously bought in its February 2014 acquisition of Unibased Systems Architecture.

image

Prime Healthcare will implement real-time sepsis surveillance systems from Hiteks Solutions, integrated with Meditech and Epic.


People

image

Robert Califf, MD — who served less than a year as FDA commissioner before the administration change — returns to Duke Health as vice chancellor for health data science and will also split time in a leadership role at Alphabet’s Verily Life Sciences, where he will work with turning health-related data into practical applications. Verily, formerly known as Google Life Sciences, has worked on continuous glucose monitors, smart contact lens, retinal imaging, and surgical robotics.


Announcements and Implementations

image

Visage Imaging releases its Visage 7 Open Archive solution of its enterprise imaging platform to customers in North America.

image

Athenahealth announces a Meaningful Use Stage 3 guarantee for its hospital customers. The company also opens San Francisco-based MDP Labs, an innovation program that offers workspace, mentorship, and exposure to potential investors, partners, and customers.

image

Healthgrades enhances its online scheduling system to allow health systems to display their nearby alternative providers when a given one is booked up.

image

Siemens Healthineers will integrate test results from its HbA1C and urinalysis diagnostic equipment with practice-based EHRs via technology from Scotland-based Relaymed, owned by Goodmark Medical of Longwood, FL.

CHIME announces the finalists in its patient ID technology challenge that will move to the prototype testing round:

  • Michael Braithwaite (multiple biometrics)
  • Bon Sy (behavior information, biometrics)
  • HarmonIQ Health Systems (blockchain, FHIR, encryption)
  • RightPatient (photos, biometrics, other data)

Government and Politics

image

The Justice Department files a civil fraud lawsuit against UnitedHealth Group, claiming that the insurer was overpaid at least $1 billion in Medicare Advantage payments after intentionally submitting inaccurate risk adjustment data. UHG says it tried to comply with CMS’s “unclear policies” and adds that the Justice Department either misunderstands or ignores how Medicare Advantage works.

image

Insurance company executives and state insurance regulators say the ACA insurance marketplaces aren’t collapsing under their own weight, but rather because of the Trump administration’s erratic management, vocal lack of support, and ongoing threats to stop payments, according to an LA Times article. In a remarkably partisan response for a federal department employee, 28-year-old Alleigh Marre — quoted as an HHS spokesperson but self-identified on her LinkedIn profile as a “Republican Communicator,” —  said, “Obamacare has failed. For this reason, Republicans are reforming healthcare so it delivers access to quality, affordable coverage to the American people.” The article also notes that CMS Administrator Seema Verma told insurance company executives that the White House would continue allowing the payment of cost-sharing reductions (premium subsidies, required by law to be paid unless a court rules otherwise) if insurance companies would in turn support the Republican ACA repeal bill, a puzzling offer (even for a near-shakedown political demand) since repeal would do away with the subsidies.


Privacy and Security

image

Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center (NY) and its contractor iHealth send threatening cease-and-desist letters to the author of DataBreaches.net after she let the hospital know that their patient information was exposed due to an improperly configured server, for which the hospital originally thanked her. They claim that the discovery of their apparent screw-up constitutes “hacking,” which happens often when companies are embarrassed and attempt to shoot the messenger.

image

Erie County Medical Center (NY) finally confirms that the April 9 cyberattack from which it is still recovering six weeks later was indeed ransomware, which had been widely speculated. The hospital declined to pay and was forced to move back to paper as its systems were slowly brought back online from backups. They don’t believe it was the WannaCry malware.


Technology

Google is applying machine learning to millions of de-identified patient records from major teaching hospitals to see if it can predict an individual’s medical events.

image

Google’s major announcements from its developer conference:

  • Google Lens, an app that can identify objects from a smartphone’s camera.
  • New Daydream virtual reality headsets.
  • Photo facial recognition that will suggest sharing images with people pictured in them and AI-powered removal of unwanted objects in photos.
  • A visual positioning system that will identify a precise location based on nearby objects, such as finding items on a store shelf.
  • The addition of calling and proactive information presentation to Google Home and the porting of Assistant to the iPhone.

SNAGHTML183d3e3c

In India, Aetna rolls out the first phase of its global launch of it subscription-based vHealth by Aetna, which offers unlimited PCP visits by video or telephone, diagnostic tests at home, home prescription delivery, and referrals. Patients can rate their doctor experience afterward.

image

FiercePharma profiles Israel-based MedAware, which uses aggregated prescription data and a patient’s own medical records to predict what drugs are likely to be ordered, improving patient safety in providing what it calls a “spell checker” for prescriptions. The CEO has astutely noted that all of that information is also attractive to drug companies that are interested in targeting their physician prospects, giving it an unexpected yet lucrative market.


Other

image

Boston Children’s Chief Innovation Officer John Brownstein weighs in on the language in Epic’s App Orchard agreement, which basically says that Epic can use any of the submitter’s information to develop a competing product and that Epic permanently owns any documentation that the applicant submits. In other words, it’s exactly opposite of the highly restrictive language contained in Epic’s customer contracts.

image

In an interesting twist on medical tourism, a nearly completed medical center in Jamaica plans to lure not only medical tourists to fly there for procedures at discounts of up to 40 percent, but also to recruit American doctors to perform the work while taking a Caribbean vacation. Critics point out that it’s been tried before, failing because doctors are too busy to interrupt their vacations and are not likely covered by their malpractice insurance when doing work outside the country.

SNAGHTML17367171 image

Bizarre: Michigan suspends a DO’s license after a patient complained that her liposuction surgery was performed in an unfinished pole barn, during which the doctor poured her removed fat down a sink drain.


Sponsor Updates

  • Medicity and Clinical Computer Systems, developer of the Obix Perinatal Data System, will exhibit at the Texas Regional HIMSS Conference May 25 in San Antonio.
  • Wavelink is named as the first Spok distributor in Australia.
  • Medecision presents its annual innovation awards at its Liberation 2017 conference in Austin, TX.
  • Definitive Healthcare is recognized by Boston Business Journal for its growth and work environment.
  • FormFast and Imprivata will exhibit at the 2017 Spring Hospital & Healthcare IT Conference May 22-24 in Atlanta.
  • Healthwise will exhibit at the Cognizant Healthcare Conference May 21-24 in San Antonio.
  • InstaMed will exhibit at the 2017 HFMA Florida Chapter Annual Spring Conference May 21-23 in St. Petersburg, FL.
  • InterSystems releases a statement on the WannaCry cyberattack.
  • Intelligent Medical Objects will exhibit at the Advanced Healthcare Analytics Summit May 24-25 in Boston.
  • Liaison Technologies will exhibit at the Bio-IT World Conference & Expo May 23-25 in Boston.
  • NEA Powered by Vyne announces the recipients of its 2016 NEA Dental Awards.
  • Meditech customer Beaufort Memorial Hospital receives an ‘A’ for safety from The Leapfrog Group.
  • Health Professional Radio features Medicomp Systems CEO Dave Lareau.
  • National Decision Support Co. will exhibit at ACR 2017 May 21-25 in Washington, DC.
  • Consulting Magazine names NTT Data’s Mandy Selmer a Top 25 Consultant.
  • Experian Health will exhibit at the HFMA Florida Spring Conference May 21-24 in St. Petersburg, FL.
  • Forbes Councils interviews PokitDok Chief People Officer Maria Goldsholl.

Blog Posts


Contacts

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

125x125_2nd_Circle

News 5/17/17

May 16, 2017 News 10 Comments

Top News

image

GQ publishes an article critical of fired Donald Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, who tried to parlay his connections to the President after his June 2016 dismissal into a lucrative lobbying business that includes a health IT connection.

image

Among the clients Lewandoski recruited was Flow Health (the former GroupMD), which hired Lewandowski’s firm in December 2016 to pressure the VA to reconsider its termination of Flow Health’s contract for AI-powered patient care systems.

image

GQ reports that Lewandowski’s partner (who managed Ben Carson’s presidential campaign) told Flow Health CEO Alex Meshkin that the lobbying firm could reverse the VA’s decision because he and Lewandowski were personally vetting Trump’s picks for VA secretary. He also promised that the firm would allow Flow Health’s CEO to submit a list of his preferred choices for role of VA CIO, overseer of the Flow Health decision.

image

The article says that Flow Health proposed an apparently illegal payment schedule of a flat payment of $250,000 if the VA reversed its decision by February 17 and $100,000 if it took an extra week, later amended to reword the payments as severance fees. None of that mattered, as it turned out, because Trump chose as VA secretary David Shulkin, who had co-written the letter that dismissed Flow Health in the first place.

image

GQ says Lewandowski then proposed that Flow Health do an end-run around the VA by either appealing to Trump directly or by using Lewandowski’s appearance on the Sean Hannity talk show to trash Shulkin in hopes of getting him fired.

Lewandowski quit the firm – for which he was serving as an unregistered lobbyist — two weeks ago after widespread questions about his efforts to sell access to the President, which he calls “fake news” and for which he blames his former partner. Flow Health’s VA contract remains terminated.

image

Googling “Alex Meshkin” turns up a fascinating Bloomberg story from 2005 about the then-24-year-old’s questionable background as he formed a Nascar racing team that quickly failed.


Reader Comments

image

From Athenahealth Spokesperson: “Re: Diego’s questions about Athenahealth’s inpatient customer MU attestations. All 35 hospitals referenced are using Athenahealth’s complete inpatient solution, including EHR, revenue cycle and financial management, care coordination, and patient engagement services. This past year, Athenahealth submitted Meaningful Use attestations on behalf of all of our hospital clients live on AthenaClinicals for Hospitals & Health Systems as of the end of 2016.”

image

From Cerner Observer: “Re: Mon Health, Morgantown, WV. Hearing that its Cerner go-live has been pushed back to 2019 and they’re exploring other options.” Unverified. I couldn’t find a contact there to ask for verification. I was, however, a bit annoyed to observe that the locals are so challenged to pronounce the name of the county in which they live (Monongalia) that the health system that lives in the shadow of Epic-using WVU Medicine felt the need to officially dumb down its name to “Mon Health,” giving me visions of those rainbow-colored (and uncomfortably stereotypical) Rastafarian dreadlock hats you see for sale on vacation in the Caribbean that say “Hey, Mon, we be jammin!”

From Second Responder: “Re: anniversary date. Isn’t HIStalk’s anniversary coming up soon? I remember it’s late spring.” I started writing HIStalk in June 2003, although I don’t recall the exact date.

From Judith R. Lin-Miranda: “Re: video. It’s now a common practice for new Epic customers to introduce themselves. Mary Washington Health Care just set the standard by which all others will be judged.”The elaborate video is indeed well done, including taking some digs at Siemens/Cerner Soarian that was “cobbled together” as they were “working with a third of what Soarian promised.” The video even lobs some shots at Epic’s high cost. President and CEO Mike McDermott, MD, MBA did an amazing job in the lead role. It’s better than anything ZDoggMD has done. I would give it my “Best Picture” award if I had one.

From Gory Details: “Re: press release. Here’s ours, which you probably won’t mention since we aren’t an HIStalk sponsor.” Not true. I mention every press release that I think is newsworthy to my C-level audience, which typically includes all sales and go-lives that: (a) involve a vendor, client, and event that are all significant; (b) would interest readers who don’t follow the company; and (c) contain a link to a timely press release that is well enough written that I can quickly figure out what it’s trying to say. Otherwise, readers outside the company usually aren’t interested in fluff pieces about partnerships, self-proclaimed market momentum, and minor personnel and funding events and I’ll nearly always skip those. I’ve learned over the years that every company executive thinks all of their announcements are anxiously awaited, which is nearly always not the case. Do something newsworthy and you’ll see it on this page.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

image image

HIStalk readers funded the DonorsChoose grant request of Ms. W, who asked for tablets and headphones for her California kindergarten class to extend their environmental studies. She reports, “The Fire tablets have been such a great learning resource for my students. They love using them to watch ‘Meet the Environmental Defenders.’ They love singing along to the song. You can hear them chanting quietly, ‘Reduce, reuse, recycle!’ They do this over and over again. Next thing you know, that tune is stuck in my head all day long!”

I’ve noticed a recent sneaky practice of call centers (both inbound and outbound) that place you on hold, but play pre-recorded keyboard clicking sounds so you think a human is on the line.

A reader offers a third punk band whose singer has a PhD (in addition to those I named, Bad Religion and The Offspring): The Descendents, which has been a major influence to untold bands that aren’t even punk for its 40 years of existence. Milo Aukerman left the band to complete his PhD in biology at UCSD and conducted post-doctoral research in biochemistry at UW-Madison. His nerdy caricature is the band’s mascot, rolled out in 1982 for the album “Milo Goes to College” that noted his temporary departure. Beyond all that academic talk, there’s a new hard-rocking album from Seether that’s worth a listen. 


Webinars

None scheduled soon. Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre for information on webinar services.

I asked John Gomez to put together a WannaCry malware webinar with only hours of lead time because his presentations are always outstanding and informative. This one he did Tuesday afternoon is no exception. I was attentive for the whole thing, which isn’t usual for me since I have a short attention span. Thanks to John for agreeing to help get information out quickly.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

Wisconsin startup IDAvatars, which develops healthcare avatars powered by IBM Watson, opens a funding round in hopes of raising $2 million.


Sales

image

Premise Health will implement Epic in its 500 work site health and wellness centers. It apparently replaces Greenway Health.

image

University of Miami Health System (FL) chooses Kyruus Provider Match and KyruusOne to connect patients with providers based on their clinical needs and preferences.

image

The Commonwealth of Virginia and Bayview Physicians Group will integrate Appriss Health’s prescription drug monitoring program analytics software into provider EHR workflow.


People

image

Mark Costanza (Nordic) joins Spok as SVP of professional services.


Announcements and Implementations

SNAGHTMLcf47a01

Memorial Hermann Memorial City Medical Center (TX) goes live with a digital wayfinding app powered by Connexient’s MediNav. 

National Decision Support Company adds appropriate use criteria for pediatric imaging to its ACR Select product.

CPSI’s TruBridge subsidiary announces its business intelligence dashboard at the company’s user conference.


Government and Politics

image

Social media outcry pressures Miss USA to walk back her comments from the Q&A portion of the competition in which she stated that healthcare is a privilege rather than a right, unconvincingly explaining that what she really meant is that she is “privileged” to have healthcare, but regardless, it’s a “right” for all.

Missouri’s lost its chance to stop being the only state that doesn’t have a doctor-shopper prescription database as legislation to authorize it failed Friday after the Senate added a mandatory prescriber participation clause, which was opposed by the state medical association.


Privacy and Security

HHS says in a ransomware update call that several medical devices have been infected with the WannaCry virus, but otherwise the US healthcare system seems mostly unaffected for now. Several hospitals around the world reported that they were attacked. Northwell Health (NY) initiated its incident command system Friday morning and patched 200 computers that were behind on Microsoft security updates.

image

In England, a leaked February letter from National Data Guardian Dame Fiona Caldicott to Royal Free Hospital’s medical director says the hospital should not have turned over the detailed records of 1.6 million patients to Google DeepMind for testing of its Streams application, saying it was not appropriate to send Google the information without patient permission since it was not related to their care.

image

Rutland Regional Medical Center (VT) becomes the latest in a long string of hospitals that have exposed patient information by sending a bulk email to patients using CC: instead of BCC:.

SNAGHTMLd726924

Marcus Hutchins — the 22-year-old security researcher who interrupted his vacation to stop the global spread of the WannaCry virus by discovering and activating its kill switch before it hit US hospitals – is awarded a $10,000 hacker’s bounty that he will donate to charities. He works from a spare bedroom in his house in England for US-based Kryptos Logic.


Other

image

Wired runs a lengthy piece describing the last creation of Steve Jobs, Apple’s $5 billion, 2.8 million square foot mother ship campus.

A graphic, moving blog post by ED physician Kristen Ott, MD explains that medical professionals use profane language outside of public spaces because they have to deal with the aftereffects of unspeakable atrocities that can’t really be described politely.

This should ring the cash registers of pharma lobbyists: three members of Congress introduce the Fair Drug Pricing Act, which would require drug companies to provide detailed cost and price records to HHS before increasing an expensive drug’s price more than 10 percent in one year or 25 percent over three years.

image

Australia-based surgeon Eric Levi, MBBS muses on the suicide of a Brisbane gastroenterologist, which triggered him to think about what factors lead him to his own “dark seasons” as a doctor:

  • Loss of control with extensive hospital call time and new physician-directed policies written by people who don’t see patients.
  • The impersonality of computer-assigned work, pressure to beat the timer that says tonsillectomies should take no more than 14 minutes of surgeon time, overbooked clinics, and never-ending telephone calls, all of which leave no time to reflect about life with colleagues or to spend time with friends and family. Doctors who ask for emotional support can be placed on restriction or labeled as underperforming.
  • Relentless administrative pressure that takes away meaningful patient engagement as medical practice transforms from a “meaningful pursuit” to a “tiresome industry” that has been “codified, sterilized, protocolized, industrialized, and regimented.”

Sponsor Updates

  • Point-of-Care Partners publishes a white paper titled “EPrescribing Information to Improve Medication Adherence.”
  • Arcadia Healthcare Solutions will speak at the HFMA Region 1 annual conference May 23 in Uncasville, CT.
  • CapsuleTech will exhibit at the National Teaching Institute & Critical Care Exposition May 21-25 in Houston.
  • Besler Consulting will exhibit at the HFMA Region 1 annual conference May 23 in Uncasville, CT.
  • CoverMyMeds will exhibit at the QS/1 Customer Conference May 17-19 in Atlanta.
  • Besler Consulting releases a new podcast, “Evaluating post-discharge cost and quality.”
  • CTG announces expanded portfolio management and help desk services in its Application Advantage program.
  • Cumberland Consulting Group will sponsor the ASO Opportunities Value Visit May 17-19 in Chicago.
  • Impact Advisors VP Lydon Neumann is named one of Consulting Magazine’s Top 25 Consultants of 2017.
  • The local business paper profiles Diameter Health and its ties to Connecticut Innovations.

Blog Posts


Contacts

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

125x125_2nd_Circle

WannaCry Ransomware Webinar Tuesday, May 16

May 15, 2017 News No Comments

image 

Sensato CEO and cybersecurity reseaercher John Gomez will present an HIStalk-sponsored free webinar on Tuesday, May 16 at 1:00 p.m. ET titled “WannaCry Threat Intelligence Briefing.”

John will provide an in-depth analysis of the current state of WannaCry as well as a technical review of how it operates and possible go-forward cybersecurity impacts. John will also present technical and regulatory counter-measures you should consider, specific to healthcare organizations.

Subscribe to Updates

Search


Loading

Text Ads


Report News and Rumors

No title

Anonymous online form
E-mail
Rumor line: 801.HIT.NEWS

Tweets

Archives

Founding Sponsors


 

Platinum Sponsors


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gold Sponsors


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reader Comments

  • meltoots: Let me get this straight, to improve efficiency and reduce burden on VENDORS they can self declare their cert EHR works....
  • Still doesn't make sense: Why would the tax payers have to charter a private jet for Secretary Price to go visit athenahealth? It smells bad in...
  • Sam: It's really not that funny (or hypocritical as I suspect you're trying to imply). First, if it were a similar story, was...
  • Tomhh: I think what is odious, is when the Obamas went on a a date night to NYC on Airforce One or when the Obamas would take...
  • Tom: RE: Equifax and waiving rights. A week ago, Equifax updated their incident website (https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com...

RSS Industry Events

  • An error has occurred, which probably means the feed is down. Try again later.

Sponsor Quick Links