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News 8/19/16

August 18, 2016 News 5 Comments

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The Federal Trade Commission resolves its patient privacy complaint against free EHR vendor Practice Fusion, which encouraged patients to fill out satisfaction surveys about doctors using its EHR and then posted those reviews on its Patient Fusion website, sometimes exposing confidential information without the reviewer’s knowledge.

The order requires Practice Fusion make its privacy and security policies clear to consumers and to stop posting patient reviews on the Internet. The company will also face ongoing monitoring with penalties for future violations.

Practice Fusion sent “How was your visit?” emails to patients under their doctor’s name, pre-checking the “keep this review anonymous” box (which still placed the review on Practice Fusion’s site, but with “anonymous” instead of their first name) and with a warning not to include personal information. Despite those notices, patients entered detailed information and questions about their medications and treatments in the free text review box, sometimes including their names and phone numbers in somehow becoming confused into thinking that they were communicating privately with the practice.

Practice Fusion now appears to not display comments at all on its Patient Fusion site, probably figuring it was too much work trying to sort through all the junk patients were entering. The company was also getting a lot of criticism from its doctor users, who were upset that Practice Fusion was contacting their patients en masse using the practice’s name.


Reader Comments

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From Balance Bill: “Re: balance billing judgment. Virtually all hospitals and medical practices have a confidential charge master. They also make patients sign an agreement saying they are responsible for charges, without being able to say what the charges will be and without being able to show the amounts of any potential charges. This Virginia Judge just ruled that its not a valid contract when one party refuses to share critical information (such as the charge master). I’m not a lawyer, but I think that one of the foundations of American healthcare billing is beginning to crumble. I am hoping so.” Providers should be required to offer cash-paying patients the lowest price they accept from anyone. They should also tell patients (both insured and not insured) what those prices are so they can make responsible decisions at the point of care. It is absurd that people can be forced into bankruptcy because of a hospital’s bill at full charge master price that nobody actually pays except those with cash and no insurance. Every other industry offers cash discounts, not cash penalties. This kind of pushback might change the dynamic of insurance companies that are forced to negotiate individually with health systems as they haggle over price and volume and instead of just deciding whether they are willing to pay a given hospital’s published charges.

From Maria M: “Re: balance billing judgment. I worked for a medical center where a couple of cardiologists canceled all their insurance contracts and referred their Medicare patients to other doctors. The amounts they were charging for cath procedures, stents, and angiograms were staggering. They didn’t balance bill the patients, but instead went after the insurance companies, sometimes in court. The amounts these insurances were paying was unbelievable. They went so far as to hire a hospitalist so when cardiac patients came into the ER they were the first ones notified. This practice still continues today.” I’ve likewise heard of profit hospitals that intentionally took their entire ED out of network so they could stick the insurance companies of patients traveling outside their local areas with higher bills. I struggle with the fact that no matter how egregiously health systems and practice behave, they are operating legally within this mess of a non-system that we’ve created. It’s like tax loopholes – legal even if shameful.

From The PACS Designer: “Re: wireless heart pump. Swiss scientists develop a wireless heart pump that does not make any contact with the blood that it’s augmenting. The next phase will be capturing the wireless information from the pump so it can be viewed along with other information sources to improve treatment options.” The pump is wireless but still invasive – it controls a set of rings placed around the aorta that contract sequentially to help move blood through. The advantage is portability, lack of triggered coagulation response, and a reduced risk of infection where the wires would otherwise penetrate the skin. It seems like this could work for swallowing disorders – if you’ve ever seen a dysphagia patient whose nervous system can’t coordinate swallowing contractions, it’s pretty horrible.

From Holding On: “Re: McKesson. Did you lose them as a sponsor of HIStalk?” Yes. I had to cancel RelayHealth, McKesson, and McKesson’s Paragon business as sponsors because their ever-churning marketing departments left us without a valid contact or anyone there who even knows what HIStalk is. Of those thankfully few sponsors who don’t continue, probably 30 percent are for this reason (nobody at the company has a clue or is empowered to make a decision following turnover), 40 percent are due to acquisition by a company that already sponsors, 20 percent are because the company doesn’t have the money, and 10 percent are because they don’t see the value, usually stated by a junior marketeer who adores social media while not paying attention to what real executives read for business (i.e., not Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram).

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From Gidget: “Re: DataBreaches.net. You mention them specifically in your security updates. Do you have a business arrangement with them?” No. I simply think they are doing fantastic work and it’s only fair to credit them as my source, even if they refer to a source of their own. I’m just about the only publication to give them credit, I’ve noticed. That’s pretty sleazy and self-serving for alleged journalists who are paranoid that their audience might realize how little actual reporting they do and therefore try to hide that fact by passing off someone else’s legwork as something they sleuthed out themselves. It bugs me that plenty of sites get their story ideas from HIStalk without giving credit, so I won’t do it to someone else. I use only original sources (never other health IT sites since all they do is summarize press releases and journal articles while adding no value) and I always provide a link.

From Marquis Stanley: “Re: KLAS. How they are allowed to continue on without any kind of question or reproach is remarkable. They’re as direct a beneficiary of the billions of federally infused HITECH dollars as any vendor, with no scrutiny or oversight. To Mr. H’s point, the overall lack of transparency related to survey and analysis processes and vendor relationships is curious at best – especially with KLAS being linked to the VA and DoD procurements.” There’s no second-guessing their success as long as the market for their services continues to exist.

From PM_From_Haities: “Re: KLAS. It’s better than the alternatives. Empirical evidence of good evaluations of good products aside, vendors that are not deemed Best of KLAS are of course going to grumble. I’ve never heard anyone raving about help they received by Black Book or any of the other ratings. Some of the small samples are the best you can do as some HIT software is only installed in select locations. KLAS is one data point in a good vendor evaluation. The move to MU should add commodity features that people will come to appreciate as certified vendors will have to meet some minimum bar.” I’ll be interested to see what Vince and Elise say in future installments of their “Rating the Ratings” series, which draws from responses to my own recent survey.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

This week on HIStalk Practice: Aledade opens a new ACO in Arkansas. Modernizing Medicine announces California expansion plans. VITL partners with OhMD to offer Vermont MDs secure texting. Medicaid hassles prompt some independent practices to throw in the towel. Hello Health’s Krista Sultan offers advice on making CCM work for your practice. GE Healthcare reports on EHR use in Rio. Medina Innovation Holdings rebrands, creates new telemed subsidiary. YMCA’s Matt Longjohn, MD outlines the ways in which healthcare technology are enabling the Y’s Diabetes Prevention Program. Signature Medical Group and Heritage Medical Systems form new population health management venture.

Listening: new from long-time Nick Cave collaborator Mick Harvey, who released the third album in which he translates the work of long-dead French musician Serge Gainsbourg. You would expect something that weird from one of the always-intense Bad Seeds, which to me were like a resurrection of the dark but strangely alluring poetry of The Doors. One might logically jump from there to the little-known, baritone-led Tindersticks.


Webinars

August 24 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET. “Surviving the OCR Cybersecurity & Privacy Pre-Audit: Are You Truly Prepared?” Sponsored by HIStalk. Presenter: John Gomez, CEO, Sensato. Many healthcare organizations are not prepared for an OCR pre-audit of their privacy and security policies. This webinar will provide a roadmap, tools, and tactics that will help balance policies and budgets in adopting an OCR-friendly strategy that will allow passing with flying colors.

Contact Lorre for webinar services. Past webinars are on our HIStalk webinars YouTube channel.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Data breach and identity fraud protection firm ID Experts recapitalizes itself in bringing in two private equity firms for $27.5 million in funding and cashing out unnamed current owners. The deal values the 88-employee Tigard, OR company at $50 million.

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Pregnancy wearable and tracking app vendor Bloomlife raises $4 million in a seed funding round with investors that include Salesforce founder Marc Benioff. The company’s Belli app monitors contractions during the third trimester at a price of $29 per week.

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Denver-based patient engagement app vendor NextHealth Technologies closes $8.5 million in Series A funding, increasing its total to $9.5 million. CEO Eric Grossman came from TriZetto.

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Nuance acquires radiology data mining analytics provider Montage Healthcare Solutions, a former Nuance partner. William Boonn, MD and Woojin Kim, MD of Montage have updated their LinkedIn profiles with titles of CMIO at Nuance.


Sales

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The state of Kansas awards a $215 million Medicaid claims system contract to HP Enterprise, which will bring in Cerner’s HealtheEDW data warehouse and population health management tool to allow care managers to optimize the treatment of Medicaid patients in near real time.


People

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University Hospital (OH) names Joy Grosser (UnityPoint health) as CIO, replacing interim CIO Sue Schade.


Announcements and Implementations

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A new Peer60 report covers HCAHPS data collection and analysis vendors, finding that the just-acquired Press Ganey dominates, while PRC and JL Morgan also score well in satisfaction.

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Extension Healthcare announces Extension Mobile 5.0 as an enhancement to Extension Engage, which is in production at Parkland Memorial Hospital (TX).

Salesforce announces a two-way video chat telehealth solution for Salesforce Health Cloud that also automatically displays the patient’s medical profile to providers. 

Sunquest announces GA of Vue 1.0, a diagnostic workstation that integrates clinical and anatomic pathology information for pathologists.

The HIMSS-SIIM Enterprise Imaging Workgroup releases another white paper, this one titled “Workflow Challenges of Enterprise Imaging.”


Government and Politics

Kaiser Permanente, unlike most of the for-profit insurers bailing out on the ACA exchange business, says it won’t do the same and is actually making a small profit on that business. CEO Bernard Tyson says,“The idea that I would turn my back on a segment of the American population who really needs the coverage and the care—I’m in for the long haul. The discussion is interesting, as big insurers claim they’re getting hit hard financially by sicker-than-expected customers who unfairly use special enrollment periods to sign up for insurance only when they’re getting sicker, while others say ACA markets are doing exactly what they should in weeding out higher-priced insurers who lose business to more aggressive competitors (the national insurers who are dropping out were nearly always are getting beaten on price). ACA business could be shored up quite a bit by stiffening the penalties for people who fail to buy insurance (just like for car insurance), clamping down on people who buy or change insurance mid-year for questionably documented reasons, and extending insurer and consumer commitments beyond today’s one-year period to settle the market down. Perhaps the biggest unexpected event that hurt the exchange insurance business is that companies didn’t stop offering health insurance to their employees as experts predicted, making the ACA marketplace smaller and riskier.

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New, expensive cholesterol-lowering drugs will add up to $120 billion per year to US healthcare costs, an economic analysis finds, as the healthcare economics debate will be fueled by insurers who refuse to pay for widespread use of drugs they say are unproven. One of the drugs, Praluent, costs $15,000 per year and must be taken for life by the millions of Americans who could be clinically eligible to receive it. Cost-effective drugs are defined as costing no more than $100,000 per year of life saved, which is how Praluent is priced in Europe (a fraction of the US price) since the governments there are allowed to negotiate drug prices. That brings up an unstated philosophical argument – if a patient could live 20 more years if they take Drug A, should the rest of us happily pay $2 million to fuel the profits of drug companies whose price will always be the maximum the market supports?


Privacy and Security

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Security firm FireEye notes a rapid uptick in email campaigns attempting to spread Locky ransomware, with US healthcare systems leading the number of affected sites. The latest variant uses Microsoft Word .DOCM attachments (often labeled as invoices or images) that launch macros when opened. Locky can also encrypt Microsoft OneDrive files and unmapped network shares.

From DataBreaches.net:

  • A recent district court opinion in a healthcare breach case serves as a reminder that while big breaches spawn a lot of class action lawsuits from those whose information was exposed, courts are not usually sympathetic unless those filing the suit can prove that their data was used in a way that harmed them.
  • The Center for Neurosurgical and Spinal Disorders (LA) notifies several hundred patients that it found a hacker-installed keylogger program its office manager’s PC that was capturing keystrokes and taking scheduled screen shots. The practice quickly and commendably responded: it notified the FBI, sent notification letters, hired a forensics firm to analyze the hard drive, notified consumer credit reporting companies, and offered free identity theft and restoration services to those affected. It also announced plans to report the breach to OCR. Congratulations to the unnamed in-house IT person who figured out what was happening and addressed it.
  • A California dentist notifies patients that unencrypted hard drives containing backups from his practice’s system were stolen from his car. The dentist downplayed the exposure in his notification letter, telling affected patients that the information was unlikely to be usable. However, a security expert says the system he appears to use employees the MySQL database, which can be easily accessed given a physical copy. The dentist responded that he’s not worried after talking to the software vendor because their product is “HIPPA compliant.” There’s usually a lesson to be learned from a breach and here’s this one – if you run MySQL databases (which many or most websites and web apps do), get an expert to check its security settings. 

Technology

A Wall Street Journal article notes that patients are receiving false-positive warnings from genetic testing because older studies that found genetic correlation with disease states had non-diverse participants, making those correlations inconsistent to the population as a whole.


Other

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The former CFO  of Sonoma West Medical Center (CA) joins the hospital’s former CNO in suing the hospital for wrongful termination, both claiming they were fired for complaining about the hospital’s EHR. The hospital uses EHR software developed and marketed by one of its physician executives in partnership with the hospital’s board chair. The hospital, whose average inpatient census is 13, is the only US user of the software, which has no paying customers among six non-US sites that are piloting it. Both executives say the software mixed up patient records, miscalculated medication schedules, failed to update quickly, and delayed billing.

In Denmark, the doctor’s union says rollout of a new EHR in Copenhagen’s busiest hospital should be delayed until problems with its communication with the Danish health card are fixed. Previous go-lives at other hospitals in Denmark in May and June caused medication errors and treatment delays, according to doctors there.

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A JAMA editorial by three Stanford doctors says EHRs haven’t kept up with the technologies used by other industries. The authors say that billing-focused EHRs distract doctors, adding that “de-implementing the EHR could actively enhance care in many clinical scenarios” (although the authors fail to note how many of those enhanced practices would shut their doors within a year in the absence of EHR-powered billing). EHR shortcomings include:

  • They haven’t integrated predictive algorithms into offering treatment suggestions based on patient parameters.
  • They don’t use insurer-developed algorithms that identify high-risk patients to support the delivery of preventive care.
  • They can’t identify a patients similar to the one being treated to suggest treatments based on past experience.
  • They don’t  triage alerts well to prevent fatigue and workflow interruptions.
  • They don’t take advantage of graphical data display that could help doctors make faster decisions and communicate to families better.
  • They don’t capture social and behavioral factors from patients themselves, i.e. the “patient story,” in limiting themselves to medical data.

Weird News Andy says he likes this “alot.” A grammar-persnickety blogger that reminds WNA of me soothes her frustration created by the grammar mistakes of others in picturing a mythical creature called an “alot” when someone writes things like, “I watch alot of TV.”


Sponsor Updates

  • Intelligent Medical Objects will exhibit at HIMSS Asia-Pac August 23-26 in Bangkok.
  • Meditech will exhibit at the Mid-South Critical Access Hospital Conference August 19-21 in Nashville.
  • The local business paper profiles Netsmart’s general manager of Netsmart Homecare, Dawn Iddings.
  • Obix Perinatal Data System will exhibit at AWHONN August 21-23 in Jekyll Island, GA.
  • Experian Health will exhibit at HFMA Region 8-MASI August 24-26 in Minneapolis.
  • PMD makes the 2016 Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing private companies in America for the fifth year in a row.
  • The SSI Group will exhibit at CAHAM 2016 August 28-29 in La Jolla, CA.
  • SyTrue will present “A Data Refinement Framework for Fueling Health Innovation” at South Georgia Radiology Associates August 27.
  • The Chartis Group creates the Chartis Physician Leadership Institute.
  • Direct Consulting Associates is recognized as one of the best places to work in Ohio.

Blog Posts


Contacts

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

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August 18, 2016 News 5 Comments

EPtalk by Dr. Jayne 8/18/16

August 18, 2016 Dr. Jayne No Comments

As a consulting CMIO, I often get asked to help organizations develop or refine their provider adoption strategies. Convincing people to do things that they don’t want to do can be tricky, especially if they’re not being incented to do so.

Creating incentives for employed physicians is fairly easy. Usually they are under contract and expectations regarding EHR use can be added to that framework. Creating incentives for independent members of the hospital medical staff can be challenging. Often we’re asking them to use new process that may add to efficiency for the hospital, but will lower their personal efficiency.

I’m working with a hospital that thought they could drive physician adoption strictly by saying use of the EHR was required. They had implemented various pieces of an EHR over the last decade, but use has always been optional. Physicians were allowed to continue writing paper notes that were scanned and they were allowed to continue writing paper orders that were entered by nursing staff or unit secretaries.

Because use of the systems (plural) was optional, the hospital never put the time and effort into ensuring that physicians had the training and support they needed to be successful. It was a vicious cycle of non-use costing them tens of thousands of dollars each year, so hospital administration simply decided that using it would be required.

You can imagine the revolt that immediately occurred with the medical staff. Physicians threatened to take their elective procedure business elsewhere, and did. High-dollar specialists left in droves. Now the hospital is trying to woo them back, having let some members of the administrative team go following the aftermath of their poor decisions.

I know the CMO from medical school, so he invited me in to work with them on a strategy to get things back on the rails. It was no surprise that simply “requiring” use of the systems drove providers away. Physicians weren’t presented with a compelling reason for the requirement; nor was it clear whether they were going to be retrained, supported, or left on their own to figure out how to document in the systems. Having been on the receiving end of bad policy decisions previously, they assumed the latter.

One of the first things I recommended was that we analyze their medical staff makeup, identifying what percentage of the physicians are using the systems as desired, and of non-users, how many were actually on staff when the various systems were originally deployed. Institutional memories can sometimes be short, and people were surprised to learn that the vast majority of medical staff members had joined long after implementation and training of the key systems was complete.

With that data, we were able to persuade the administration that we needed to essentially re-implement the systems. Rather than trying to target individual physicians, we’d do it over and do it right.

The VP of nursing was immediately on board since her staff had grown increasingly frustrated by having to support multiple workflows and data sources depending on the behavior of admitting physicians. The CIO was also on board, having had a sneaking suspicion that if physician adoption wasn’t achieved, leadership might decide that his systems were at fault and demand a replacement initiative. Another interesting result of the data analysis was that there was a small group of proficient users who could be leveraged to help move provider adoption in the right direction.

The CMO and I have been working together to use those power users as physician champions, helping their peers understand that fully using the electronic systems can actually make their rounding more efficient and reduce phone calls and interruptions for them. The excitement around re-implementing the system has allowed him to build a small clinical informatics team, so that the hospital has knowledgeable and trusted resources to not only help the physicians through the transition, but to carry them forward through all the changes that healthcare reform will surely throw in their direction.

Of those power users, we identified one with formal informatics training, who happened to be a community-based admitting physician. He had done a fellowship thinking he was going to go into academics, but personal circumstances put him in a small city where he didn’t think he’d get to use his expertise. He has been fun to work with, since he really gets it as far as what we’re trying to do and what else the hospital will need to accomplish over the next several years. He’s been a great help with the change management piece as we convince the physicians that this is the right thing to do for a variety of reasons, none of them being because someone said it was required. He’ll make an excellent CMIO if he’s ever willing to reduce his clinical commitments.

Rather than implementing the systems separately as has been done in the past, they’re treating it like a big-bang go-live, which I think is wise. That brings a lot more visibility to the project and allows us to have a greater number of support resources available for the providers – saturating them for the first few weeks rather than having fewer support liaisons for each of multiple system go-lives. The advantage for adoption this time around also includes the fact that the nursing staff has been live on the system for years, so they’ll be able to assist with some of the workflows that are common between nurses and providers.

Instead of only offering classroom training, we offered multiple methodologies including Web-based didactic, Web-based interactive, scenario-based training, classroom, and one-on-one. Over the last 10 years I’ve seen much more recognition of the different ways that people learn, and for those that have difficulty absorbing information, we scheduled the offerings so that providers could take advantage of multiple types of training if they found that what they selected didn’t work for them. Using this type of approach isn’t cheap, but when you look at how much they had been spending to run a fragmented, double-entry approach, it will pay for itself in short order.

I’m on site with them for the next few days, getting the command center ready for Monday and tidying up loose ends with provider preferences and favorites in the production system. We’re actually going live at midnight for in-house physicians and will be in full swing when the community physicians arrive for morning rounds. It’s been a while since I staffed a go-live like this and I had forgotten how exciting they can be. They can also be exhausting, and I’m sure by the end of next week I’ll be more than ready to head home.

Although it’s not a traditional go-live given the time the software has been in place, I’m sure having greater numbers of users doing many different workflows will still yield a number of bugs and issues that we’ll have to track down. Seeing this organization grow over the last several months gives me hope that they’ve arrived at a place where their technology and transformation efforts will be sustainable. It’s been a good recharge for me as well, since this type of work is where I got started. I’ll be on site next week and will let you know how it goes.

Email Dr. Jayne.

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August 18, 2016 Dr. Jayne No Comments

Morning Headlines 8/18/16

August 17, 2016 Headlines 1 Comment

FTC Approves Final Order in Practice Fusion Privacy Case

The FTC finalizes its privacy case settlement with Practice Fusion. The company’s trouble with the FTC stems from a 2013 incident in which it solicited doctor reviews from patients without disclosing that the reviews would be publicly posted on the Internet. The settlement, which was published in a draft version in June, prevents the company from using the illegally collected reviews, and authorizes the FTC to conduct privacy audits on the company for the next 20 years.

Points for pills: Walgreens hopes gamelike program will make taking meds easier

Walgreens expands its mobile health app to include gamification strategies and Walgreens rewards points to improve medication adherence.

Aetna Warned it Would Withdraw From Exchanges if Humana Deal Was Blocked

In July, Aetna warned the Justice Department that if its antitrust officials sued to block its Humana acquisition, it would reduce its presence on ACA public health insurance exchanges.

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August 17, 2016 Headlines 1 Comment

CIO Unplugged 8/17/16

August 17, 2016 Ed Marx 2 Comments

The views and opinions expressed are mine personally and are not necessarily representative of current or former employers.

Re-Igniting Passion

For the past year, I have had the privilege of serving the City of New York. During the week, I live in lower Manhattan in the heart of the financial district. Each morning, my 15-minute walk to the office takes me down Wall and Broad Streets.

As I pass Federal Hall and head toward the New York Stock Exchange, crowds of tourists scramble across the brick-floored plaza to take selfies and purchase concessions. Sometimes I get aggravated as I navigate through the crowd, but soon my grimace turns to a smile.

It’s easy to determine tourist from businessperson, and it’s not always the clothes. The tourists are excited and have a sense of wonderment on their faces. Their eyes are wide as they view the Exchange and the nearby Statue of Liberty for the first time.

For me and other locals, the sights are routine. We’ve long since lost the feeling of awe and passion we initially possessed when we were new to the sights. It made me ask myself, how do we maintain that initial passion in all we do, especially in relationships and work?

We are all uniquely wired and there is no single answer. Some people are chronically unhappy and passion has long withered. Some require a consistent encouraging word or gentle reminder. Others benefit from education and understanding themselves so they can discover and actualize their fire. Some benefit from embracing vision. I fall into the gentle reminder camp.

As leaders, I believe our energy is best served encouraging passion in those who show capacity and interest. We should seek to inspire, not motivate. At the end of the day, most of us want to be able to look forward to getting up and going to work. We covet those expressions of awe and wonderment as if it were our first day discovering a new city or kindling a new relationship. A couple of ideas:

  • Office in a patient care setting. Over the last few years, I ended up with a corporate office far away from patient care settings. Now, I have to be intentional about getting back out there so I can connect with patients and clinicians.
  • Answer the question– why healthcare? You can practice IT in any industry. Why did you choose healthcare? If it is altruistic, write it on your heart. You will need to re-center there often.
  • Figure out your mission and write it down. I have written about this more than once because it’s a message that deserves repeating. It’s not so much the written words you end up with, but the deep introspection required to better understand yourself.
  • Accountability. Find a friend or partner who will remind you now and again to find that smile and confidence that comes from having a sense of purpose. They can remind you to act like those wide-eyed tourists and be joyful for your opportunity.
  • Thankfulness. I really think there is a correlation between active thankfulness and personal and professional fulfillment. If you can’t find anything to be thankful for, then you will never be fulfilled. If thankfulness is hard, then simply practice it and the attitude will follow. I am even thankful for the hard stuff I have been through.
  • Calling. This is similar to mission, but with a spiritual bent for those so inclined. I feel strongly that I know my identity and that my sense of purpose has been revealed to me through reading scripture, meditation, discourse, and prayer. I believe there is a calling for everyone, but it is up to each of us to seek and find.
  • Humility. If you can’t admit you need help with keeping passion alive, then you probably have a pride issue—and pride will kill passion time and again. Pride is a temporary salve for pain you carry and it’s a vicious cycle from which it is hard to escape.

Having passion does not guarantee success or that you are immune from the trauma of life. My passion has served me well over the years, but it has not sheltered me from harm, lapses of judgment, or damage. However, I think it goes a long long way toward a satisfying career and a meaningful life.

How do you keep passion lit in your career?



Ed encourages your interaction by clicking the comments link below. You can also connect with Ed directly on
LinkedIn and Facebook and follow him on Twitter.

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August 17, 2016 Ed Marx 2 Comments

Morning Headlines 8/17/16

August 16, 2016 Headlines 2 Comments

Leidos Announces Closing Of  the Merger With Lockheed Martin’s IS&GS Business and Election Of Three New Directors

Leidos completes its merger with Lockheed Martin’s Information Systems & Global Solutions, adding three new members to its board of directors in the process.

The Bahamian Ministry of Health and Public Hospitals Authority select Allscripts Sunrise

The Bahamian Ministry of Health and the Public Hospitals Authority will implement Allscripts across three hospitals and more than one hundred clinics as the health system moves to integrate care delivery under a single software platform.

Aetna to Narrow Individual Public Exchange Participation

Aetna will scale its participation in health insurance exchanges back to just four states in 2017, citing $430 million in pretax losses since January 2014.

Xerox Research Finds Patients and Healthcare Professionals Divided on Responsibility and Cost in Healthcare

A Xerox study measuring perceptions of responsibility of consumers’ health finds that 90 percent of payers and providers say patients need encouragement and help to make living a healthier lifestyle a priority, but only 55 percent of patients say they need such encouragement.

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August 16, 2016 Headlines 2 Comments

News 8/17/16

August 16, 2016 News 3 Comments

Top News

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Leidos closes its merger with Lockheed Martin’s Information Systems & Global Solutions business and adds several executives to its Board of Directors, including Gregory Dahlberg (Lockheed Martin), Surya Mohaptra (Quest Diagnostics), and Susan Stalnecker (DuPont). Originally announced in January, the merger will give Leidos an additional $5 billion in revenue thanks to legacy LM customers that include HHS, Homeland Security, and the Social Security Administration.


Webinars

August 24 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET. “Surviving the OCR Cybersecurity & Privacy Pre-Audit: Are You Truly Prepared?” Sponsored by HIStalk. Presenter: John Gomez, CEO, Sensato. Many healthcare organizations are not prepared for an OCR pre-audit of their privacy and security policies. This webinar will provide a roadmap, tools, and tactics that will help balance policies and budgets in adopting an OCR-friendly strategy that will allow passing with flying colors.

Contact Lorre for webinar services. Past webinars are on our HIStalk webinars YouTube channel.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Citing an increasingly out-of-balance risk pool, Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini announces the company will reduce its public health insurance exchange coverage from 15 states to four next year. Humana and UnitedHealth have made similar announcements in the last several months.

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Less than a week after announcing its $70 million Series E, Plymouth Meeting, PA-based Accolade announces plans to hire additional staff at its new office in Prague. It expanded to the Czech Republic last month, after opening a second office in Seattle in February.


People

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Sensei promotes Ashley Reynolds to COO.

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Verisk Health appoints Emad Rizk, MD (Accretive Health) CEO and board director.

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I2I Population Health names Jennifer Windrow (ICA) SVP of client delivery, and Jennifer Calohan, RN (Patient Engagement Advisors) VP of client success.

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Nick van Terheyden, MD (Dell Services)and Jessica Federer (Bayer) join the MedicAlert Foundation Board of Directors.


Announcements and Implementations

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Providers in California, Minnesota, Texas, and Virginia go live on The Sequoia Project’s Carequality Interoperability Framework. Early adopters include customers of Athenahealth, EClinicalWorks, Epic, HIETexas, NextGen, and Surescripts.

Surescripts increases its year-over-year processing of secure health data transactions by 48 percent, facilitating 9.7 billion transactions in 2015. Last year also saw a 10-percent increase in the company’s digital prescription transactions – a figure no doubt aided by state-based e-prescribing mandates.

Shamrock Solutions develops a cloud-based, automated EOB reconciliation tool for enterprise content management systems from the likes of Lexmark and Hyland.

Get Real Health adds the MyDirectives health crisis care-planning tool to its InstaPHR.


Technology

Translational Software develops a FHIR-based pharmacogenomics API to help providers, labs, and vendors create apps that can improve prescription ordering workflows, alert prescribers to potential interactions and adverse drug events, and suggest different medications.

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FormFast launches FormFast Capture, a paper-to-digital records conversion service that automatically archives forms within the EHR.

Champ Software adds Direct messaging capabilities from Secure Exchange Solutions to its Nightingale Notes EHR for community and public healthcare agencies, home health agencies, and schools of nursing.


Sales

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University Health Care System (GA) integrates Right Patient’s photo biometric patient identification system with its Epic EHR.

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The Bahamian Ministry of Health and the Public Hospitals Authority will install Allscripts Sunrise at its three hospitals and 100-plus clinics. The health system is embarking on a complete overhaul that includes upgrading existing facilities, building several new ones, and extending clinic hours.

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University of Utah Health Care implements Imprivata’s PatientSecure identification technology in hopes of reducing duplicate medical records and improving patient safety at its hospitals and clinics.

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Franciscan Alliance (IN) selects unified provider management services from Phynd Technologies.

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University Health Shreveport/Louisiana State University Health implement TelePreop’s telemedicine software to better coordinate pre- and post-operative care.


Research and Innovation

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A JAMIA study finds that patient data obtained from an HIE is available faster and is more frequently reviewed by clinicians than data obtained via fax or telephone. The study also suggests that access to HIE data reduced ER visit length by one hour, reduced the likelihood of admission by 2.4 percent, and reduced the average cost of care for the visit by $1200.

A Xerox survey of 761 insured consumers reveals that providers and payers don’t seem to give them enough credit when it comes to managing their own care. Fifty percent of those surveyed believe they take complete responsibility for their health, but only 6 percent of providers and payers agree. Adding insult to injury, 90 percent of healthcare professionals take a rather paternalistic attitude in their belief that consumers need their help and encouragement to prioritize healthy living, while only 55 percent of consumers concur. A similar disconnect was seen between consumer and provider/payer sentiment around comparison shopping for healthcare


Sponsor Updates

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  • The CoverMyMeds team contributed more than 45 new automated toys and modified 30 of those so that they can be used by kids with disabilities as part of a Replay for Kids workshop.
  • AdvancedMD will host its annual user’s conference October 11-13 in Salt Lake City.
  • Attendees share why they love AirWatch’s Connect Atlanta conference.
  • Besler Consulting and HCS will exhibit at the HFMA Region 3 Inaugural Summit August 21-23 in Wilkes-Barre, PA.
  • Meditech publishes a new case study, “Avera Health Reduces Sepsis Mortality with Help from Meditech’s EHR.”
  • FormFast offers the “Top 4 Reasons to Modernize Your Patient Access Department.”
  • Aprima showcases MACRA/MIPS readiness at its 2016 user conference.

Blog Posts


Contacts

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

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August 16, 2016 News 3 Comments

Morning Headlines 8/16/16

August 15, 2016 Headlines No Comments

Health information exchange associated with improved emergency department care through faster accessing of patient information from outside organization

A JAMIA study finds that patient data obtained from an HIE is available faster and is more frequently reviewed by clinicians than data obtained via fax or telephone. The study also suggests that access to HIE data reduced ER visit length by one hour, reduced the likelihood of admission by 2.4 percent, and reduced the average cost of care for the visit by $1200.

Hospitals Are Partnering With Uber to Get Patients to Checkups

The Atlantic reports that health systems and payers are now turning to Uber or Lyft to help ensure that patients get to their medical appointments.

The healing power of AI

In A TechCrunch article, intellectual property attorney Erik Birkeneder discusses the growing role artificial intelligence may one day play in healthcare.

Chance Collaboration Yields an Advance in Cancer Treatment

The Wall Street Journal tells the story of an immunologist helping his stepmother fight cancer and the oncologist who treated her. The two discovered a unique immune-system cell that “robustly” predicts whether patients will respond to immunotherapy cancer treatments.

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August 15, 2016 Headlines No Comments

Readers Write: Why Reverse Mentoring is Beneficial for HIT Employees

August 15, 2016 Readers Write 2 Comments

Why Reverse Mentoring is Beneficial for HIT Employees
By Frank Myeroff

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Reverse mentoring is when seasoned HIT professionals are paired with and mentored by the younger Millennial generation for the reasons of being extremely tech savvy, fast to adopt new technology, and not afraid of trying new things. In addition, it helps to bridge the gap between generations.

Reverse mentoring was introduced in the 1990s by Jack Welch, chairman and CEO of General Electric at that time. While it’s not exactly new, it’s gaining popularity fast. More and more organizations are recognizing the value of reverse mentoring and are developing formalized programs to ensure best practices in order to yield success. They believe that Millennials are well suited as mentors to help maximize HIT use and adoption in order to move organizations forward in this digital age.

Additionally, with the ever-changing landscape of technology and tools used in the HIT field, reverse mentorship can be extremely beneficial:

  • Young, fresh talent has a chance to share their skills, knowledge, and fresh perspectives with more senior employees. Hospitals and health systems often look for their HIT professionals to use technology to improve patient care, lower costs, and increase efficiency. This means that the latest technology is routinely sought. Organizations know that tech savvy younger generations will catch on to this quickly, presenting an opportunity for them to share their knowledge with a different generation. Not only HIT systems, but also technology and platforms such as social media could be unique topics for Millennials to share information and ideas on.
  • Creates a way for separate generations to build working relationships with one another. Reverse mentorship can help junior HIT employees feel more needed, confident and comfortable communicating with higher-up employees working together on projects or even in meetings. Additionally, this could create more cohesion in the workplace and begin to break down perceived barriers and stereotypes of each generation.
  • Gives junior employees a higher sense of purpose in the organization. Implementing a reverse mentorship program gives young HIT professionals a sense of empowerment and the idea that they are making an impactful contribution to the company. This in turn, could help increase retention and help to shape future leaders in the organization.
  • Continues to provide ways for senior employees to share their knowledge as well. Although called reverse mentorship, this type of program offers a two-way street for employees of all ages to learn from one another. Experienced professionals in the HIT field are able to share their insights and knowledge, in addition to learning new things.

While reverse mentorship can be extremely beneficial in the HIT industry and especially any industry with a tech focus, there are several conditions this type of relationship depends upon:

  • Trust. Each person needs to trust the other and put effort into bettering both careers.
  • Open mindedness. In a reverse mentorship, both employees will act as a mentor and a mentee and need to show a willingness to teach, but also a willingness to learn.
  • Expectations and rules. It will be important for both parties in the mentorship to communicate what they are looking to get from the relationship as well as staying committed to the process.

Reverse mentorship is an innovative way to bring together generations of employees to share knowledge. In addition, today’s Millennial mentors will be tomorrow’s chief healthcare officers. We will depend on them to lead the IT department and create strategies on how to handle the growing amount of digital data for healthcare workers and new ways to support technologically advanced patient care modalities.

Frank Myeroff is president of Direct Consulting Associates of Cleveland, OH.

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August 15, 2016 Readers Write 2 Comments

Curbside Consult with Dr. Jayne 8/15/16

August 15, 2016 Dr. Jayne 4 Comments

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There are a lot of people in the clinical informatics field who have participated in vendor focus groups and other information-gathering activities. Those can be a lot of fun as well as a great way to meet other physicians in the field. They can also be a great opportunity to see the “next big thing” as it evolves and makes its way to market.

I’ve made some good friends in the marketing space. They’ve introduced me to other organizations that might be looking for some physician input on their product campaigns. Over the last year or two, I’ve had the opportunity to work in depth with a couple of organizations.

The first engaged me to assist with questions around their functionality. Although they had a strong development team, their clinical input was limited to a handful of informatics physicians and end users of their current product. This is fairly common with startups, who might not have the to put a physician on the payroll. Sometimes they do have the funding, but are spending it in areas other than clinical expertise, and it becomes my challenge to help them see the value that regular physician input might bring to their products and their development process. It’s much easier to have someone who can vet your designs immediately rather than having them get close to release and be shot down by a focus group because you missed the mark.

In addition to working with them on product development, they also engaged me to assist in marketing efforts and in ensuring that the script for their product demonstrations was both medically accurate and clinically relevant. I can’t understate the value of having solid clinical input in this area. There is nothing that causes a physician’s brain to shut off like being presented with a clinical scenario that makes no sense or is insultingly dumbed down. It’s one thing to use a straightforward scenario, like a visit for an acute illness, so that you can highlight the product’s abilities and not distract the user’s attention. But it’s another thing entirely to work through a scenario choosing nonsense data, explaining it away “because it doesn’t matter.” Especially where features such as clinical decision support are involved, the information needs to make sense for it to be believable.

They were also one of the more fun groups I worked with. They brought me back to do some product naming work, and although none of the names we came up with in our working session were ultimately chosen, it was exciting to be part of that process and to use the creative side of my brain. I was so proud when their product launched and every time I see it in the wild, it’s fun to know I had a hand in it.

My next adventure was with a startup EHR company. One of the founding partners fully realized that they needed physician input to ensure they were spending their clinical development resources wisely. Unfortunately, the other founding partner was not completely with the program. They were more interested in bells, whistles, and flash than they were in creating a product that could meet the needs for complex documentation, and what they ultimately produced could be described as Franken-EHR. Parts of it were beautiful and glossy, but lacked the clinical functionality that physicians want these days, such as the ability to link scanned images to open orders. Other parts of it were intended to allow robust documentation with plenty of discrete data, but ended up being a complete and total click-fest. Yet another piece of it looked as if it had been clearly lifted from another vendor where a third founder had once worked. I realized a bit later that it had – when I went to remove some of their code from my laptop, I found that one of the embedded components had a license linked to another vendor. Oops!

Another group engaged me to help recruit clinical participants for a focus group. I’m also working with them to gather materials to use when the group meets. The project is primarily around selecting images for a redesigned website and some marketing slicks. I’ve been visiting quite a few competitor websites to identify potential points that might resonate with physicians so that we can present them to the group. In the course of that project, I’ve stumbled on some great marketing efforts and also on some that are truly awful. One made me question whether the vendor (who happens to be large and very successful) even had marketing professionals involved in the creation of their materials, or whether they just threw some stuff together.

In putting together stats about the clinical representations – whether they showed the physician practicing, with a patient actor, or in home/leisure pursuits – I was struck by how much stereotyping I saw in some of the ads. The majority of the physicians represented were white males, with leisure pursuits of golf and skiing represented. One did have a physician testimonial showing him having more time for his grandchildren, which was a nice change. In the majority of campaigns I’ve viewed, women are largely featured in supporting roles as are non-white males. That certainly doesn’t look like the medical world I practice in. I was surprised at how often I saw those patterns.

My absolute favorite marketing piece (in the humor category) was all around being able to see your schedule from anywhere. This was primarily funny because pretty much every single product these days has that feature, so it’s hardly a market differentiator, yet the company had latched onto that idea and featured it prominently on their home page. It was even more funny because they included an embedded animation with a clinician at the gym, lifting weights. He stops in the middle of a set, grabs his phone, makes a couple of taps, then does some kind of smile/chuckle thing.

I don’t know about the rest of the clinicians out there, but it’s rare that I look at my patient care schedule and chuckle. It looked more like he was seeing an inbound text or a witty Facebook post, and the whole “multitasking at the gym” thing just felt a bit off-putting. We’ll see what the focus group says, because we’re going to include similar content to see what the participants think. If they’re anything like the physicians I talk to regularly, they’re more likely to be checking their schedule while they’re in the carpool line trying to drop off their kids at school, or while trying to hustle to the hospital to round on patients over lunch. Either way, once a feature becomes commonplace, I’m not sure why you’d market around it, but at least we’re going to find out if we do want to market a time-saving feature, what the best scenarios might be.

With the consolidation in the EHR market and the boom in add-on solutions, there is plenty of marketing out there. I’d be interested to hear from readers what kind of marketing they feel hits the mark, and what should be sent to the hall of shame.

Got marketing stories? Email me.

Email Dr. Jayne.

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August 15, 2016 Dr. Jayne 4 Comments

Morning Headlines 8/15/16

August 14, 2016 Headlines No Comments

655,000 Bon Secours patients exposed to data breach

Bon Secours (VA) reports a 655,000 patient record breach after one of its business associates, R-C Healthcare Management, inadvertently left files containing patient information accessible on the internet.

Cerner’s Neal Patterson collects payday 21 years in the making

Cerner CEO Neal Patterson cashes in on a 25-year old stock option, netting him $26.9 million.

Athens Orthopedic won’t pay for extended credit monitoring in data breach

Athens Orthopedic Clinic (GA), which has refused to pay a ransom to hacker the Dark Overlord over 200,000 compromised records, is now also refusing to provide effected patients with credit monitoring services.

Strike preparations cost Brigham $24 million

Partners HealthCare reports a $33 million operating loss due to costs associated with an anticipated nursing strike, in addition to Epic-related implementation costs, and higher than usual real estate expenses.

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Monday Morning Update 8/15/16

August 14, 2016 News 4 Comments

Top News

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Bon Secours Health System (VA) notifies 665,000 patients that their information was freely discoverable on the Internet due to a mistake made by Phoenix-based revenue cycle optimization vendor R-C Healthcare Management.


Reader Comments

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From Skip O’Frenia: “Re: KLAS. A colleague of mine got this email a while back when he spoke with KLAS. Is KLAS so desperate for input that they have to bribe participants with dinner?” It also offers to pair up respondents with vendor executives, which would seem to be a no-no if you’re claiming impartiality and transparency. I’m really uncomfortable with the way KLAS – as a vendor – friendlies up to the other vendors that provide its profit in ways that provider participants don’t see. I’m also recalling that I challenged the KLAS folks in an interview years ago to submit their survey and analysis process for independent verification of statistical validity and that hasn’t happened.

From Nice Threads: “Re: balance billing. I don’t remember seeing this on HIStalk.” A Virginia judge takes exception with a for-profit hospital that made a heart attack patient sign a financial responsibility agreement in the ED. The hospital billed $111,000 for a two-day stay and stent surgery. His insurance covered only $27,000 since the ambulance took him to a hospital that was not in his insurance network, so the hospital demanded that the patient pay the non-discounted difference based on its charge master prices. The judge said the contract was not binding, the hospital’s refusal to disclose its CDM pricing made them guilty of withholding a crucial contract element, and that a hospital willing to accept an insurance company’s payment in full should not then go after the patient for even more money. The judge ruled that the patient owed only another $500 to cover the value of the care he received. His attorney says it’s the first time balance billing has been challenged in court and his firm will go after other hospitals since secret CDM rates are just bargaining chips used to extract payment from individual patients.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

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Two-thirds of poll respondents expect hospital and medical practice consolidation to harm rather than help cost and quality. New poll to your right or here: what is your reaction when reading about the expensive campuses of Cerner and Epic? (or any other vendor with comparable offices, assuming of course there are others).


Last Week’s Most Interesting News

  • Karen DeSalvo, MD, MPH steps down as National Coordinator to focus full time on her job as HHS Assistant Secretary for Health, with Principal Deputy National Coordinator Vindell Washington, MD taking over as National Coordinator.
  • CPSI announces poor quarterly results, acknowledging during the earnings call that Cerner’s hosting services has made it a small-hospital competitor but discounting Athenahealth’s claims of growing small-hospital inpatient momentum.
  • Apple publishes several healthcare-related patents as CEO Tim Cook makes unspecific but firm commitments to expand the company’s healthcare offerings.
  • Press Ganey sells itself to a Swedish private equity firm for $2.35 billion.
  • The FDA issues draft guidance on when medical device manufacturers must file for new 510(k) approval, specifically excluding security-related software updates.
  • Newkirk Products, which prints customer ID cards for several insurance companies, announces that hackers breached its systems and thus exposed the information of 3.3 cardholders.

Webinars

August 24 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET. “Surviving the OCR Cybersecurity & Privacy Pre-Audit: Are You Truly Prepared?” Sponsored by HIStalk. Presenter: John Gomez, CEO, Sensato. Many healthcare organizations are not prepared for an OCR pre-audit of their privacy and security policies. This webinar will provide a roadmap, tools, and tactics that will help balance policies and budgets in adopting an OCR-friendly strategy that will allow passing with flying colors.

Contact Lorre for webinar services. Past webinars are on our HIStalk webinars YouTube channel.

Our “summer doldrums” webinar services sale ends Labor Day, September 5. Thanks to the several companies who have signed up for the always-busy fall webinar season.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Analytics vendor Innovaccer, which offers products for healthcare and other segments, raises $15.6 million in a Series A funding round.

Cerner Chairman and CEO Neal Patterson cashes in stock options going all the way back to 1995, collecting $50 million and netting $27 million after costs and taxes. Experts say holding options for longer than 10 years is almost unheard of and Cerner doesn’t offer options with that long of a term now, but that arrangement back in the 1990s was apparently intended to keep Patterson on board. President Zane Burke also sold shares worth $10 million last week.


People

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Brian Moyer (Gaffey Healthcare) is named CEO of the Nashville Technology Council.

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Jess Jacobs, patient advocate and director of innovation labs at Aetna, died Saturday.


Announcements and Implementations

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The US Navy recognizes the IT departments of Naval Hospital Bremerton (WA) and Naval Hospital Oak Harbor (WA) for their preliminary work in preparing infrastructure for the implementation of MHS Genesis, the Department of Defense’s Cerner EHR project.

Health engagement solutions vendor StayWell chooses Validic for integration of digital health services and apps.


Privacy and Security

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Athens Orthopedic Clinic (GA), which refused to pay the extortion demands of hacker The Dark Overlord after the records of 200,000 of its patients were stolen, says it can’t afford to provide free credit monitoring for those patients. The clinic’s CEO said in a statement, “We truly regret that we are unable to do so, as we are not able spend the many millions of dollars it would cost us to pay for credit monitoring for nearly 200,000 patients and keep Athens Orthopedic as a viable business. I recognize and am truly sorry for the position this puts our patients in.” The clinic also states that the breach occurred when the hacker used the log-in credentials of an unnamed HIM contractor.

From DataBreaches.net:

  • Valley Anesthesia and Pain Consultants (AZ) notifies nearly 900,000 patients plus all present and former employees that its systems were breached by a hacker.
  • Three breaches by The Dark Overlord are published by HHS, although with different counts of the individuals whose information was compromised. The practices and patient counts are Midwest Orthopedic Pain and Spine (29,000), Athens Orthopedic Clinic (201,000), and Prosthetic & Orthotic Care, Inc. (23,000).
  • A medical practice in England is fined $52,000 for giving information about a female patient to her estranged partner.

Technology

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Fitbit drops support for synching its fitness tracking data with MIcrosoft HealthVault. I had forgotten that HealthVault even exists and maybe Microsoft did too since its most recent app update was in January 2016. 


Other

Partners HealthCare (MA) loses $33 million in its most recent quarter, fueled by $24 million in costs to prepare for a nurses’ strike that was averted, expenses of its $1.2 billion Epic project, moving employees to a new headquarters building, and losses in its insurance arm.

Here’s Part 2 of the “Rating the Ratings” series from Vince and Elise. It contains a nice nod to the pioneering market analysis businesses created by Sheldon Dorenfest and Ron Johnson all the way through touching on KLAS and Black Book.

I had to read Weird News Andy’s headline carefully to get his pun: “The quality? Fair.” Scientists modify a $40 cotton candy machine they got from Target to create artificial capillaries, possibly paving the way to one day creating artificial organs on a 3-D printer.


Sponsor Updates

  • Tierpoint will exhibit at the 2016 Tech Coast Conference August 17 in Jacksonville, FL.

Blog Posts


Contacts

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

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August 14, 2016 News 4 Comments

Headlines 8/12/16

August 11, 2016 Headlines No Comments

Thrilled to make the hand off to @VindellW

National Coordinator Karen DeSalvo, MD, MPH announces her resignation, effective Friday. She will be replaced by Principal Deputy National Coordinator Vindell Washington, MD, who joined ONC in January. DeSalvo will continue in her full-time role as HHS Assistant Secretary for Health.

Apple Invents a New Health Wearable Device that Measures Electrocardiographic Signals

Apple publishes a patent for an ECG monitoring device that can correct for sensor placement.

The World’s Five Richest Women In Tech In 2016

Forbes names Epic’s Judy Faulkner as #4 on the list, estimating her net worth at $2.7 billion.

Hospitalists and the Decline of Comprehensive Care

A NEJM op-ed piece says the use of hospitalists diminishes the physician-patient relationship, makes coordination challenging, and limits the effectiveness of those doctors who see only hospitalized patients.

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August 11, 2016 Headlines No Comments

News 8/12/16

August 11, 2016 News 3 Comments

Top News

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Karen DeSalvo, MD, MPH has resigned as National Coordinator, with her last day being Friday. She will be replaced by Principal Deputy National Coordinator Vindell Washington, MD, who joined ONC in January 2016.

DeSalvo will continue in her full-time role as Assistant Secretary for Health.


Reader Comments

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From HIT enthusiast: “Re: Anthelio Healthcare. Acquired by France-based ATOS in a private sale this week.” Unverified. I reached out to the company but haven’t heard back.

From Anointee: “Re: HSM. Have you heard how much Huron Consulting paid to acquire it?” I have not heard. Reports are welcome.

From One Mississippi: “Re: rating the ratings. While working on my masters, I had a class in surveying and research. The class was mostly automotive folks since it was in metro Detroit. The professor brought up KLAS as an example of a horrible surveyor. Their margin of error is huge since participants engage for a variety of unscientific reasons. He said, ‘Research should be conducted for research purposes only,’ while KLAS does research to meet pre-determined criteria for their vendor customers.”


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

Grammar peeves: saying “less” instead of “fewer” when referring to something that has a discrete quantity. A hospital does not have less nurses, although it might well have fewer nurses. I’m also annoyed by “should of” instead of “should have” and “6 a.m. in the morning.” I’m also alarmed at the increasingly common practice of starting a sentence with “So” like the author is telling an overly descriptive tale (“So I walk into this bar …”) I immediately stop reading when I see that.

This week on HIStalk Practice: Justin Barnes brings readers up to speed on life after Greenway, plus offers his take on how the new administration will handle health IT. Pathway Health adds Virtual Health PHM technology to its consulting services for the post-acute care market. Kinsa hopes its smart thermometer tech will help identify Zika Virus hot spots in Rio. PrecisionBI develops ACO module for TouchWorks users. MyHealthDirect integrates online appointment scheduling with Microsoft Office 365. Community Care Collaborative selects Vital Data Technology’s case management, care coordination tools. Navicure CEO Jim Denny offers advice to practices looking to get an analytics program off the ground. Government initiatives to combat the opioid epidemic take center stage this week.


Webinars

August 24 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET. “Surviving the OCR Cybersecurity & Privacy Pre-Audit: Are You Truly Prepared?” Sponsored by HIStalk. Presenter: John Gomez, CEO, Sensato. Many healthcare organizations are not prepared for an OCR pre-audit of their privacy and security policies. This webinar will provide a roadmap, tools, and tactics that will help balance policies and budgets in adopting an OCR-friendly strategy that will allow passing with flying colors.

Contact Lorre for webinar services. Past webinars are on our HIStalk webinars YouTube channel.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Plymouth Meeting, PA-based Accolade, which engages health plan members to encourage them to make cost-effective healthcare decisions, raises $70 million, increasing its total to $160 million.

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CPSI announces Q2 results: revenue up 45 percent, EPS $0.15 vs. $0.52. The company blames the poor results on hospitals taking longer to make decisions as well as lower add-on sales. Share price gapped down on the news and have dropped 37 percent in the past year. From the earnings call:

  • The company will no longer provide earnings and revenue guidance due to variability in subscription vs. license sales and challenges in forecasting the contribution of Healthland, which it acquired in November 2015 for $250 million.
  • Chairman David Dye said in the earnings call that traditional competitors have largely abandoned the community hospital EHR market and new entrants have fizzled.
  • Dye adds that Athenahealth’s claims of displacing incumbent vendors, including CPSI, with the former RazorInsights system reflects their hard-selling of contracts with no money down and a 90-day out clause, meaning the hospital may never even go live, adding that only one Evident customer has gone live on Athenahealth while CPSI has replaced Athenahealth at two sites.
  • Dye acknowledges that Athenahealth’s prices are lower and the company could become a formidable inpatient competitor, but adds that of the 23 RazorInsights hospitals that attested for Meaningful Use, three have moved to CPSI, another signed with CPSI this week, three have closed, and another three are converting to another non-CPSI system.
  • Dye says that CPSI rarely faces off against Epic, but Cerner’s hosting services and price reductions have allowed it to sell to even the smallest hospitals in competing with CPSI.

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Predictive analytics vendor CareSkore raises $4.3 million in its initial funding round. The company’s product analyzes EHR inpatient data to assess a patient’s clinical and financial risk.

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NantHealth announces Q2 results: revenue up 167 percent, adjusted EPS –$0.15. Shares are up around  8 percent since the announcement, but are still down 42 percent from their first-day close following the company’s June 2016 IPO.


Sales

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In Canada, Joseph Brant Hospital will implement Orion Health’s Rhapsody Integration Engine.


People

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Medicomp Systems promotes Jason Valore to GM of Asia/EMEA.


Announcements and Implementations

The HIMSS-SIIM Enterprise Imaging Workgroup publishes a white paper covering enterprise viewers, the fifth in a series that will be published in the Journal of Digital Imaging.

Forward Health Group and Leavitt Partners will collaborate to support practices and payers participating in CMC’s CPC+ payment initiative.


Government and Politics

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The VA issues an RFI for change management services related to its potential implementation of a commercial EHR product, with the VA indicating that it is especially interested in companies with prime contractor experience in large EHR conversions. Areas of interest include governance, change management, go-live planning, business continuity planning, testing, patient safety, cybersecurity, and interoperability.


Privacy and Security

From DataBreaches.net: a Virginia dermatology practice notifies 13,000 patients that their information was exposed when it fell victim to a ransomware attack. The practice’s statement did not say if it paid the ransom.


Technology

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Apple publishes another health-related patent, this one for a wearable ECG monitor.

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In other Apple news, the company rehires Evan Doll, who left his Apple iPhone software development job in 2009 to co-found the Flipboard magazine reading app, to develop healthcare-related software.


Other

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A Wall Street Journal report notes the 10-fold increase in Medicare payments for tests administered in physician offices over the past two years, although the total is still relatively paltry at $16.7 million. Four of the 10 fastest-growing Medicare service costs involve tests run on new in-office devices that the physician can bill for directly rather than referring them out. Examples include a sweat test device and the TearLab tear osmolarity test for dry eyes, which one “Accredited Dry Eye Center” ophthalmologist ran on 84 percent of his Medicare patients in 2014 for payment of $131,000.

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Forbes names Epic’s Judy Faulkner as one of the world’s five richest women in technology, estimating the value of her company ownership at $2.7 billion.

A NEJM op-ed piece by a medical school professor says the hospitalist model is good for hospitals, but unproven when it comes to patients and physicians as it diminishes the physician-patient relationship, introduces coordination challenges, and puts patients in the awkward position of having to trust someone they’ve never meet in times of critical need. It also notes that hospitalists who never see outpatients don’t understand what happens outside the hospital and thus can’t serve as advocates for comprehensive care. The author wonders how physician knowledge sharing and collegiality will suffer as the doctors’ lounge is “depopulated” as inpatient and outpatient physicians stick to their respective turfs. It also notes that hospitals market themselves as being more important than relationships with individual physicians but community engagement is compromised by the reduced role of community-based doctors. The article concludes that “medicine can be practiced without hospitals, but hospitals cannot function without physicians … the hospital itself is ultimately a tool … without which patients can still be given care.”

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Harvard-based Herald Health will pilot its customizable clinical alerting system at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, integrating with Epic to allow doctors to specify the conditions under which they want to be notified about new results.

An article in The Atlantic says people who go into cardiac arrest might fare better in a casino or on an airplane than in a hospital, where studies show that only two-thirds of providers would notice that a patient is not breathing and without a pulse. Laypeople are more likely to start resuscitation immediately, while clinicians spend time analyzing heart monitors or thinking about drugs to administer instead of starting compressions. The article mentions an algorithm developed by University of Chicago Medicine that analyzes vital signs in real time to predict which patients are likely to have cardiac arrest in the next 24 hours.

An MGMA survey finds that physician-owned multispecialty practices spent $32,500 per full-time doctor on IT in 2015.

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Researchers looking at food and exercise studies whose results conflict (are coffee and flossing good or bad?) say most of them contain invalid conclusions or are not reproducible because patients don’t provide good information and the large number of data element possibilities for diet, exercise, and health outcomes can be used to prove almost any desired point.  Some experts say that it’s a waste of time to conduct lifestyle studies because they are full of problems and they almost never prove anything useful.

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I guess this counts as tele-romance (or is it tele-cardiology?) A company launches a ring ($600 per pair for the basic model) that when tapped, connects to a love one’s counterpart ring via Bluetooth and smartphone to allow feeling each other’s heartbeat in real time. My initial reactions: (a) it’s huge; (b) it’s pointless given that the same smartphone it requires can already send text messages, voice calls, or video for free; (c) it’s yet another gadget that requires regular charging; (d) suspicions might be raised if the heart rate of the “working late” partner suddenly increases; and (e) someone’s going to panic when it can’t connect to the other person and they assume the worst.


Sponsor Updates

  • HCI Group offers a Jaguars vs. Packers weekend event September 9-11 in Jacksonville, FL for Epic-certified consultants that includes an open house, happy hour, a beach day, and a pre-game tailgate.
  • Twenty Meditech hospitals receive five-star ratings from CMS.
  • Navicure will exhibit at the Azalea Health Leaders Summit August 18-20 in Atlanta.
  • Netsmart will exhibit at the Mental Health Corp. of America Summer Conference August 16 in Portland.
  • Experian Health will exhibit at Florida AAHAM August 17-19 in Clearwater Beach, FL.
  • Patientco will sponsor the Decatur BBQ & Bluegrass Festival August 13 in Decatur, GA.
  • PatientMatters will exhibit at the HFMA Arkansas Summer Institute August 17-19 in Hot Springs.
  • SK&A publishes a complimentary report, “Top 25 Integrated Health Systems.”

Blog Posts


Contacts

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

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August 11, 2016 News 3 Comments

EPtalk by Dr. Jayne 8/11/16

August 11, 2016 Dr. Jayne No Comments

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It seems like every year I run into some kind of trouble with my HIMSS registration. I learned quickly that you have to make your hotel reservations early. When I went to make them this week, I quickly ran into an issue. It seemed like every hotel I looked at was sold out for Wednesday on. Mind you, the conference runs Sunday through Thursday.

No matter how far away from the convention center I looked, the blocks looked the same (except for a few of the pricier hotels). I looked on the hotel’s direct registration site as well, but it didn’t even appear as available on my desired dates. I went ahead and booked to depart Wednesday, since I didn’t feel like switching hotels.

I’m not sure what prompted me to do it, but today I went on the hotel website and tried to book for just Wednesday. Guess what? Rooms available, and lots of them! Apparently the HIMSS block only extends through Tuesday night, which seems pretty ridiculous for a conference that runs through Thursday. Needless to say, I have two reservations at the same hotel for adjacent dates. From experience, this will likely turn out fine, but it’s just one more needless aggravation. Especially for those of us paying out of pocket for the less-than-cheap experience, it’s doubly annoying.

Hot on the heels of my recent Curbside Consult addressing the gap for professional development for healthcare workers thrust into IT roles, ONC will host an informational webinar covering the Workforce Training Program available to healthcare IT professionals. It specifically says it will address new training programs available “to help health care workers and others stay current in the changing healthcare environment.” Training includes both online and in-person sessions and have been organized to address IT skills needed by various members of the care team. The webinar is on August 24 and registration is open. I’d love to hear from anyone who has firsthand knowledge of the Workforce Training Program.

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I had mentioned back in the spring that I was waiting for Ringly to release a silver version of its bracelet. They put one up for pre-order a couple of months ago, so I took the plunge. I knew they wouldn’t be available until fall, and with everything that has been going on for me recently, I somewhat forgot about it. I was happy today to see a sneak peek of their packaging, so at least they’re getting closer to shipment. I’ll definitely do a product review once I have it in hand (or on the hand, as the case may be).

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Speaking of fashion, Jenn alerted me this week to a recent statement by the American College of Surgeons regarding appropriate professional attire. Highlights include:

  • No dangling masks
  • Operating room scrubs worn outside the operating room should be covered with a clean lab coat or other “appropriate cover up”
  • No operating room scrubs outside the hospital proper
  • Operating room scrubs should have a distinctive color so violations of above are obvious
  • Soiled scrubs should be changed before speaking to family members
  • Scrubs should not be worn for encounters outside the operating room

I’m always horrified when I see people in surgical shoe covers outside the hospital because you can’t wear them back into the operating room and who knows what has been tracked out of the OR. I’d have liked to see something specific to that, although I bet they thought they implied shoe covers when they addressed scrubs.

There was a nice section on the wearing of the surgical skullcap as symbolic of the profession. It didn’t go into a debate on the use of the skullcap vs. the bouffant cap, which was a detailed topic of conversation during my surgical rotations as a student. The last surgeon I interacted with (as a family member agonizing in the waiting room) was wearing a Saints cap, which was appropriate given his recent fellowship training at Ochsner. I wasn’t that impressed, however, by his white rubber rain boots, into which he had tucked his scrub pants. It was a unique look that got more than a few funny looks by waiting loved ones.

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I also received some updates from the Aprima user conference, which was held last week in Dallas. Apparently they were sharing hotel space with a Mary Kay cosmetics conference, where some attendees sported beauty queen sashes and tiaras. My correspondent said it reminded her of HIStalkapalooza. Educational highlights included Chronic Care Management tools, Patient-Centered Medical Home pre-validation, and MACRA readiness. There was also a Casino Night social event as well as the opportunity to help make blankets for the Children’s Medical Center in Dallas. Sounds like a good time, even with the Texas heat.

The annual user group season is upon us. The Allscripts Client Experience is going on this week in Las Vegas including a party on the Mandalay Bay beach. Next, Epic will host their “An Adventure in Wonderland” event September 19-22. Anyone want to lay bets on Judy being costumed as Alice? NextGen is holding their annual event November 6-9 in Las Vegas, with attendees hopefully remembering to absentee vote since their client event is being held on election night. Cerner rounds out the fall with their meeting November 14-17.

What makes a user conference worthwhile for you to attend? What’s the best social event you’ve experienced? Email me.

Email Dr. Jayne.

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August 11, 2016 Dr. Jayne No Comments

Morning Headlines 8/11/16

August 10, 2016 Headlines 2 Comments

RFI – VHA supporting COTS EHR

In another sign that the VA will move to a commercial EHR, the agency publishes an RFI soliciting “industry feedback, guidance and recommendations on all aspects of the change management associated with a VHA COTS EHR acquisition and transition.”

Aetna-Humana merger challenge to be decided in January

In December, the District of Columbia US District Court will hear the antitrust challenge brought by the federal government to stop Aetna and Humana’s proposed $37 billion merger, with a decision excepted by January.

Banner Health cyberattack draws class-action suit

An Arizona physician is leading a class-action lawsuit against Banner Health following a cyberattack on the health system’s retail outlets that compromised the personal information of  3.7 million customers.

Cerner Interoperability

Cerner launches an interesting data visualization map showing real-time interoperability transactions being processed through its exchange suite.

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August 10, 2016 Headlines 2 Comments

Morning Headlines 8/10/16

August 9, 2016 News No Comments

Playing The Long Game Inside Tim Cook’s Apple

FastCompany interviews Apple CEO Tim Cook following a year in which the company saw 13 percent declines in revenue and 16 percent declines in iPhone sales. He remarks "We’ve gotten into the health arena and we started looking at wellness, that took us to pulling a string to thinking about research, pulling that string a little further took us to some patient-care stuff, and that pulled a string that’s taking us into some other stuff. When you look at most of the solutions, whether it’s devices, or things coming up out of Big Pharma, first and foremost, they are done to get the reimbursement, not thinking about what helps the patient. So if you don’t care about reimbursement, which we have the privilege of doing, that may even make the smartphone market look small."

FDA Outlines When New Clearances Are Needed for Existing Devices

The FDA moves to streamline cybersecurity related software updates for medical devices by explicitly stating that these types of software updates do not require new clearances.

Governor Wolf Announces Cerner Corporation Expansion to Create 250 New Jobs

Cerner will invest $75 million in facility improvements and add 250 new jobs at the former Siemens’ offices it has acquired.

Security flaw may be responsible for Laurel clinic data breach

A cybersecurity researcher who discovered that patient data belonging to Jefferson Medical Associates (MS) was openly available on the Internet is called a criminal by the hospital after he quietly informed them of the security flaw in their system.

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August 9, 2016 News No Comments

News 8/10/16

August 9, 2016 News 6 Comments

Top News

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Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks about the company’s healthcare aspirations, which he shared while literally leaving the room from a Fast Company interview focusing on whether Apple has stagnated:

We’ve gotten into the health arena. We started looking at wellness. That took us to pulling a string to thinking about research. Pulling that string a little further took us to some patient care stuff. That pulled a string that’s taking us into some other stuff. When you look at most of the solutions — whether it’s devices or things coming up out of big pharma — first and foremost, they are done to get the reimbursement, not thinking about what helps the patient. If you don’t care about reimbursement, which we have the privilege of doing, that may even make the smartphone market look small.

In a possibly related rumor, a Taiwan newspaper says Apple is finalizing suppliers for a new 2017 healthcare product that will capture the heart rate, blood sugar, and other information of users. The newspaper says the product will use new iPhone health sensors as well as Apple’s pressure-sensing technology.


Reader Comments

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From Limber Lob: “Re: cost of Epic’s campus. At a User Group Meeting a couple of years ago, Epic founder and CEO Judy Faulkner showed a pie chart of Epic’s costs: 80 percent people, 10 percent buildings, and 10 percent everything else. It would be interesting to see corresponding numbers for other EHR industry players.” Unverified.

From The Stygian Gigawatt: “Re: HIStalk. You run too many unverified rumors.” My position on running reader-provided rumors is thus:

  • Rumors are like HIMSS hallway conversations except I’m filtering out some of the blatantly suspicious ones. Readers are free to read them or ignore them.
  • Reader-reported rumors are often accurate, even if inexact (a company had layoffs, but in smaller numbers than the rumor suggested).
  • Sometimes rumors I run force the hand of companies to publicly admit that they’ve done something they aren’t especially proud of.
  • I allow anyone to confirm or deny unverified rumors and will give those responses the same prominence as the original item.
  • Readers who don’t like reading rumors are massively outnumbered by those who do, according to responses to my annual reader survey.
  • Everybody likes rumors until I run something about their company. That’s when I get indignant emails lecturing me about the sudden need for responsible journalism.
  • HIStalk isn’t for everyone and I’m not offended when someone chooses not to read it. There are no teams, corporate overlords, or committees to pretty it up or dumb it down – it’s just me sitting in a spare bedroom. On the other hand, I am happy and frankly shocked that around 50,000 people do read it and I feel a lot of responsibility toward them. My goal from Day 1 (in June 2003) has been to make readers think and rumors help do that.

From The PACS Designer: “Re: ICD-10 decimal places. As we approach the launch of ICD-10 Procedure Codes (ICD-10-PCS) on October 1, thought it would be a good time to discuss some short cuts used previously in ICD-9-CM Clinical Modifications. Removing decimal places should be eliminated for ICD-10-CM as a practice when the Procedure Codes begin being used by institutions. ICD-10-CM uses decimal places and ICD-10-PCS does not use them. Granted, legacy data parameters still need to be mined for the missing decimal place data parameters, but future mining and error reductions should be top priority for everyone to be successful with the new combined coding scheme for both CM and PCS.”


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

I don’t like seeing companies whose entire executive roster is mostly made up of white men. Now I’m questioning another phenomenon I see a lot: American companies whose leadership team is nearly all men of Indian origin. Is that an positive example of diversity or a negative example of the lack of it?

I was having my teeth cleaned today and the hygienist recommend some sort of quick scaling procedure that my basic dental insurance doesn’t cover. She offered to charge me just the discounted price the insurance company would have paid, which I liked, but of course I was wondering as a patient whether I really needed the procedure at all (and all I got for my $144 was a few extra hygienist minutes of scraping around). My post-visit conclusion was that medical and dental practices make a lot of money turning routine maintenance work into an expected healthcare standard and then turning the actual work over to lower-licensed or even unlicensed employees who crank out the billables with no owner involvement. Dermatologists, for example, have figured out that they can make a lot of money selling super-expensive cosmetics, Botox injections, and aesthetic services, all of which require only the dermatologist’s presence, not involvement. American healthcare is bizarre.

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We provided two iPads in funding the DonorsChoose grant request of Ms. D in Texas, who says her students have become more engaged and can’t wait to do practice work on the iPads. I’m sorry to report that this is the last set of classroom photos I have since my last round of DonorsChoose funding was back around HIMSS time when I ran out of money, but I have another really large corporate donation that I’m ready to put to work. That will give me more teacher reports and pictures to share.


Webinars

August 10 (Wednesday) 1:30 ET. “Taming the Beast: CDS Knowledge Management.” Sponsored by LogicStream Health. Presenters: Luis Saldana, MD, MBA, CMIO, Texas Health Resources (THR); Maxine Ketcham, clinical decision support analyst, THR; Kanan Garg, senior applications analyst, THR; Patrick Yoder, CEO, LogicStream health. This presentation will review THR’s systematic process for managing clinical decision support assets, including identifying broken alerts, addressing technical and clinical issues, modifying order sets, and retiring tools that have outlived their usefulness. Attendees will learn how THR uses a robust knowledge management platform to better understand how clinicians are interacting with their clinical content to maintain their order sets and reduce the number of alerts fired.

August 24 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET. “Surviving the OCR Cybersecurity & Privacy Pre-Audit: Are You Truly Prepared?” Sponsored by HIStalk. Presenter: John Gomez, CEO, Sensato. Many healthcare organizations are not prepared for an OCR pre-audit of their privacy and security policies. This webinar will provide a roadmap, tools, and tactics that will help balance policies and budgets in adopting an OCR-friendly strategy that will allow passing with flying colors.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Virtual visit provider Aligned TeleHealth raises $12 million in Series A funding.

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Australia-based startup Brontech creates Cyph MD, a blockchain-powered patient information exchange platform that will work across countries.

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HealthStream acquires credentialing and privileging solutions vendor Morrissey Associates for $48 million in cash.

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Press Ganey Holdings has reached a deal to sell itself to a Sweden-based private equity firm for $2.35 billion. The company’s May 2015 IPO raised $233 million. Shares have risen 27 percent in the past 12 months. CEO Patrick Ryan, who joined the company in 2012, owns shares worth $37 million.

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Cerner will add 250 jobs and spend $75 million on facility upgrades at the former Siemens Medical Solutions Health Services offices in Malvern, PA.


Sales

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Memorial Hermann Health System (TX) chooses Valence Health to support the Medicaid health plan it is acquiring from Molina Healthcare.


People

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Netsmart hires Dawn Iddings (Garmin) as SVP/GM of its home care systems business.


Announcements and Implementations

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Stanford Medicine (CA) will develop its clinical genomics service using Google Could Platform for analytics.

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EHR/PM solutions vendor WRS Health adds electronic prior authorization functionality from CoverMyMeds to its EHR workflow.

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Biometric  authentication solutions vendor EyeLock announces an iris recognition technology that works from two feet away, through glasses, and in daylight.

National Institutes of Health will use the clinical genomics solution of Allscripts-owned 2bPrecise as an early adopter, integrating genomic information into its Sunrise EHR.

PatientPing will work on a data-sharing initiative with UMass Memorial Health Care (MA). 


Government and Politics

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An HHS OIG report finds that Arizona overpaid $14.8 million in Medicaid EHR incentives to hospitals. The state sent $219 million to Medicaid EHR users, of which 70 hospitals were hospitals that received $151 million. OIG suggests that the state repay the federal government, educate hospitals on how to calculate incentive payments, and review the documentation those hospitals to make sure they calculated correctly. Arizona reviewed OIG’s report and disagreed, saying hospitals provided OIG with different cost reporting data than the state used.

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The FDA seeks guidance on a new draft report that outlines when medical device vendors must obtain new 510(k) pre-market clearance following a software change. The proposed regulations would require device vendors to submit their product for safety and effectiveness review if the change involves either of those attributes, while those software updates that address cybersecurity only would not require new FDA approval.


Privacy and Security

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A hobbyist cybersecurity researcher who has warned several companies about flaws he found in their online security notifies Jefferson Medical Associates (MS) that their patient information is openly visible on the Internet via an unsecured database. The medical group shoots the messenger in having its legal counsel announce that he “accessed the information without our permission,” which of course is the whole point of nicely letting them know. They call his findings “criminal activity” and that he “unlawfully accessed” one of its databases, which is absurd since he didn’t do anything with the unsecured data he found. The practice also haughtily announces that it was already using an outside security contractor who concludes that, “Other than this one place that this individual found to get in, everything is secure.” I guess companies show indignation rather than appreciation since their screw-up requires reporting the incident to OCR and they have to throw someone under the bus to avoid looking stupid to the locals.


Other

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Telemedicine remains illegal in technology-obsessed South Korea after legalization efforts fail due to the opposition of medical professionals. Residents also fear that only the wealthy will be able to afford telemedicine, that their data could be exposed in breaches, and that insurance companies might use the information to discriminate against them. The country’s telephone company shut down its e-prescribing program last year after charges that it had sold prescription information to pharmacies. The Korean Medical Association refuses to participate in telemedicine trial projects and in 2014 went on a one-day strike to protest planned introduction of telemedicine and for-profit hospitals.

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Bruce Friedman, MD of Lab Soft News questions how conferences handle potential conflicts of interest in their selection of speakers, that discussion triggered by the AACC’s inclusion of Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes at its recent conference:

For me, the favoritism that the AACC leadership and planners of the annual meeting have shown toward Holmes is inexplicable. Although the incentive for the Holmes invitation could be attributed solely toward stimulating registration for the annual meeting … it’s possible that some member(s) of the organization may have had some "special" relationship with Theranos or that Theranos provided some financial remuneration to the AACC to pave the way for the Holmes invitation. I have no idea whether this is a the case, but the comments cited above do raise the question of what constitutes conflict-of-interest (COI) for members of professional societies when they participate in the selection of speakers for a conference.

A fascinating New York Times article describes what it’s like to be claustrophobic in the subway- and elevator-filled New York City.

People complain that Epic’s campus is unnecessarily lavish considering it was paid for by non-profit hospitals, so then there’s this: an investigation finds that the VA has 167 interior designers on its staff.


Sponsor Updates

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  • Aprima customers make over 150 blankets for the Children’s Medical Center in Dallas at its annual users conference.
  • GE Healthcare looks at how its Centricity technology is impacting Olympic athletes in Rio.
  • Healthgrades releases a new white paper, “How Better Information and Stronger Platforms Build Trust and Improve Healthcare for Consumers and Physicians.”
  • The Radicati Group recognizes AirWatch as a leader in its market quadrant for EMM.
  • Besler Consulting releases a new podcast, “The challenges of hospital and physician alignment.”
  • Boston Software Systems releases a new podcast, “Automating Medicare Patient Account Verification.”
  • The Nashville Business Journal names Cumberland Consulting Group to its 2016 Fast 50 honorees.
  • The Dallas Business Journal runs “Three Questions with … Michael Nissenbaum, CEO of Aprima Medical Software.”

Blog Posts


Contacts

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

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August 9, 2016 News 6 Comments

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