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News 3/23/16

March 22, 2016 News 6 Comments

Top News

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AHIMA petitions the White House to support development of a voluntary national patient identifier. Patients who opt in would be able to choose their own identifier. The petition will earn an official White House response if it gets 100,000 signatures by April 19. It calls for removing a late-1990s HHS funding restriction that prohibits the department from working on a national patient identifier.


Reader Comments

From Suzie HR: “Re: Cerner. A 20+ year SMS/Siemens/Cerner employee gets terminated after six months of personal leave taken for treatment of stage 4 colon cancer. Wonder if Neal Patterson is worried what will happen to him during his cancer treatment?” Unverified.

From Helium: “Re: Epic 2015 upgrades being delayed. Not true here. We’ve discussed the fixes coming out from Epic with our technical lead at Epic and will take them when released. We are still on track for our mid-May upgrade to their latest version (v2015).” Unverified, but this is from a non-anonymous CIO who asked not to be named.

From A Friend: “Re: Epic. Notified their customers Friday that they have become aware of a major security hole and would be distributing emergency SU’s (Epic jargon for patches) soon.” Unverified.

From Dueling Banjos: “Re: your comment about flame-related FHIR puns. It hit my funny bone as I was reading your news update while riding BART. I was having such a good, hearty laugh over that comment that the man next to me thought I was crying and asked if I was OK. Thank you for making my day!” 


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

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Welcome to new HIStalk Platinum Sponsor HealthCast. The Boise, ID-based company offers enhanced sign-on solutions that provide fast, secure access to EHRs and other software. That includes enterprise single sign-on that has a 100 percent success rate in integrating with applications; proximity card-based VDI access; and two-factor authentication for DEA-compliant electronic prescribing of controlled substances via biometrics or tokens. Physicians report that they save up to 45 minutes per day with fast-user switching, click-reducing automated workflow, and remote and roaming access to their systems. The company’s patented Qwik-Start helps community-based physicians who admit patients infrequently and therefore don’t necessarily remember their user IDs and passwords to log on to hospital systems using biometrics-activated proximity badges. Thanks to HealthCast for supporting HIStalk. 

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Vivian, who is a member of Mr. Chen’s robotics team in Massachusetts, emailed her thanks for funding their DonorsChoose grant request for pizza gift cards for feeding the team on evenings and weekends while they prepared for competition. She says, “We are so grateful that you helped us out! We needed energy to keep us going as we were very charged on getting the robot built for our competition. We have learned so much about mechanical engineering, software engineering, teamwork, and how to run the club as if it is a small business. Your donation has enhanced our learning and made it so much more enjoyable!”


Webinars

None scheduled soon. Contact Lorre for webinar services. Past webinars are on our HIStalk webinars YouTube channel.

Here’s the video from last week’s webinar, “Looking at the Big Picture for Strategic Communications at Children’s Hospital Colorado,” sponsored by Spok.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Denver-based CirrusMD, which offers a white label app that allows consumer users to send messages to on-call and ED doctors, raises $1 million.

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Practice Unite and Uniphy Health will merge to offer secure messaging and collaboration solutions under the Uniphy Health name.


Sales

In the UK, Wirral Partners chooses Cerner’s HealtheIntent for population health management.


People

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Indiana University Health names Mark Lantzy (Gateway Health) as SVP/CIO.

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Andy Grove, the former CEO and chairman of Intel, died Monday at 79.


Announcements and Implementations

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Apple announces CareKit, a developer’s framework for creating personal health apps for the iPhone. Its first four modules will support health to-do lists, symptom logging, a dashboard to map symptoms to the to-do lists, and an information sharing function. The company says early adopters are using CareKit to build apps for Parkinson’s patients, post-surgery progress, home health monitoring, diabetes management, mental health, and maternal health.

23andMe integrates with Apple’s ResearchKit, allowing developers to create apps in which study participants can upload their genetic testing results from their iPhones. It also allows researchers to offer 23andMe testing at their own expense to expand study access to non-23andMe customers. 


Privacy and Security

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A cybersecurity firm finds that the public website of Ontario, Canada-based Norfolk General Hospital has been infecting its visitors with the TeslaCrypt ransomware. Hackers gained access to the site via an exploit in its outdated Joomla content management system.

Methodist Hospital (KY) recovers its systems from a ransomware attack that lasted several days, saying that it was able to regain access without paying the demanded ransom.

Two California hospitals owned by Prime Healthcare Services have been hit by an unspecified cyberattack that sounds like ransomware. The hospitals are working to restore their systems and the FBI is investigating.

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Ruby Memorial Hospital (WV) goes into lockdown mode for several hours after unspecified malware affects its clinical and security systems.


Other

A doctor in Canada is punished for overbilling and for keeping inaccurate electronic medical records, the latter of which he blames on not understanding the EHR of the practice he joined. He told the tribunal that he failed to change a pre-populated EHR template, but later switched EHRs.

JAMIA issues a call for articles on the safety of health IT, with manuscripts due June 1.

Expedia offers patients of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital the chance to experience their “Dream Adventures” in which Expedia dispatches teams carrying live-streaming 360-degree cameras to display the adventures the children request in a virtual reality room installed at the hospital. 


Sponsor Updates

  • Besler Consulting releases a new podcast, “Compliance pitfalls and how to understand RAC findings on your discharge status.”
  • Burwood Group will exhibit at the AONE 2016 nursing leadership conference March 31 in Fort Worth, TX.
  • Elsevier launches a history of medicine site to celebrate the 100th anniversary of its Medical Clinics clinical review publication.
  • CTG will exhibit at the 2016 Annual Health Care Symposium April 1 in Costa Mesa, CA.

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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March 22, 2016 News 6 Comments

Morning Headlines 3/21/16

March 20, 2016 Headlines No Comments

FBI investigating cyber-attack at Methodist Hospital in Henderson

Methodist Hospital (KY) is the latest victim of a ransomeware attack, forcing the hospital to operate on a backup system while the FBI investigates and administrators decide how to restore access to patient records.

Poor Country, Top Doctors

India-based 32-hospital chain Narayana Hrdayalaya is profiled for its efforts to bring down the cost of healthcare so that quality care is accessible to all, not just the wealthy. The health system performs CABG’s for just $2,600 and insurance for just $3.60 per year.

Private Dell mostly makes PCs – and its sales of those are down

Analysis of Dell financial records shows that the company still makes 65 percent of its revenue from hardware sales, and that the company booked a net loss of $1.1 billion.

Cerner Trails campus construction reaches top of first two towers

Cerner holds a “topping out” ceremony as the first of two towers in its new $4.45 billion campus reached its peak height Friday.

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March 20, 2016 Headlines No Comments

Monday Morning Update 3/21/16

March 19, 2016 News 5 Comments

Top News

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Methodist Hospital (KY) is hit by ransomware, forcing it to run from a backup system while it decides whether to pay an unspecified ransom to regain access to its patient records. The hospital has declared an internal state of emergency and warns that it has “limited access to Web-based services and electronic communications.” The FBI is investigating.


Reader Comments

From Certifiable: “Re: Epic 2015. All upgrades are being delayed for 1-2 months until fixes can be delivered. Unusual!” Unverified.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

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It’s easy to describe the HIMSS keynoters that poll respondents want to see – they are the ones HIMSS doesn’t invite. The least-attractive speakers are government officials (HIMSS16 — Sylvia Burwell), authors (HIMSS16 — Jonah Berger), celebrities or athletes (HIMSS16 – Peyton Manning), and for-profit business leaders (HIMSS16 – Michael Dell). Topping the most-desired but rarely offered list are public health experts, patients, and not-for-profit provider leaders. Furydelabongo wants to hear from inspirational people who remind us of why we’re connected to healthcare and who can convey urgency, while Tracy wants to be inspired by what’s possible in transforming healthcare rather than hearing from a celebrity.

New poll to your right or here: has your employer laid anyone off in the past 12 months?

I was thinking about how the most prevalent form of healthcare ransomware is being distributed by hospitals – the kind that holds your own medical information hostage unless you’re willing to pay to get it back.

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We fulfilled the DonorsChoose grant request of Mr. Blachly in Indiana, whose high school advanced placement calculus and physics students experience “abysmal conditions and poverty” that cause them to miss classes. The video camera and accessories we provided has allowed him to archive his lectures so that absent students can watch them online, allowing them to return to class fully caught up. It also frees up his time for questions rather than re-teaching missed lessons.

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Also checking in is Mrs. Beggs from Maryland, who teaches a middle school math class for students with educational disabilities. She says of the math tools we provided, “My students could not believe that people that have never met them were willing to purchase items for them. We had a wonderful conversation about giving to others and why its so important. We are currently working on integers and absolute value. We will continue to practice our basic math facts while we learn integer skills. These skills are essential for the every day world and are helping prepare my students for life.”


Last Week’s Most Interesting News

  • HHS OCR settles two lost laptop HIPAA incidents for $5.4 million, one of them involving a non-hospital employee whose employer hadn’t signed a business associate agreement with the hospital.
  • The CMIO of two NYC Health + Hospitals hospitals resigns, warning that the system isn’t ready for its April 1 Epic go-live and that patients will be harmed if it isn’t moved back.
  • St. Joseph Health (CA) settles for $15 million a privacy class action lawsuit involving a 2012 incident in which a PHI-containing server was inadvertently opened up to the Internet. It states the total cost of the incident at $40 million.
  • Dell appears close to be selling its services business to Japan’s NTT Data for $3.5 billion.
  • The Senate’s HELP committee passes the MEDTECH act that exempts several types of health-related software from the FDA’s oversight.

Webinars

March 22 (Tuesday) 2:00 ET. “Six Communication Best Practices for Reducing Readmissions and Capturing TCM Revenue.” Sponsored by West Healthcare Practice. Presenters: Chuck Hayes, VP of product management, West; Fonda Narke, senior director of healthcare product integration, West Healthcare Practice. Medicare payments for Transition Care Management (TCM) can not only reduce your exposure to hospital readmission penalties and improve patient outcomes, but also provide an important source of revenue in an era of shrinking reimbursements. Attendees will learn about the impacts of readmission penalties on the bottom line, how to estimate potential TCM revenue, as well as discover strategies for balancing automated patient communications with the clinical human touch to optimize clinical, financial, and operational outcomes. Don’t be caught on the sidelines as others close gaps in their 30-day post discharge programs.

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

An analysis of privately held Dell’s financial forms finds that sales are down across most of its divisions and it’s still largely a PC company, with 65 percent of its revenue coming from hardware sales. Revenue for the services business it is trying to sell was down 5 percent for the fiscal year.

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Staffing and services firm HCTec Partners acquires Colorado-based professional services firm HIMS Consulting Group.

McKesson will take a $300 million charge for its cost-cutting restructuring plan that involves 1,600 layoffs.


Privacy and Security

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Developers of the TeslaCrypt ransomware toolkit update their product to remove the ability of cybersecurity firms to use a known exploit to restore the encrypted files without paying the ransom. The FBI warned last month that ever-smarter ransomware can now search a network to locate and delete backups, leaving the victim with only one choice if they want their systems back. I’ll repeat my prediction that hospitals will have no choice but to block access to Web-based email services like Gmail that employees use to check personal email, bypassing IT security.


Other

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Cerner holds a topping-out ceremony for its $4.45 billion Cerner Trails campus in Kansas City, MO. The 16-building, 4.7 million square foot complex with two, 15-story towers will house up to 16,000 employees. Kansas City will pay $1.1 billion of the project’s cost.

The two surviving original members of The Who, Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend, open a teen lounge at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (NY). The space was created using $1 million raised by a concert in which Daltrey and Townshend performed via Teen Cancer America, a charity they founded in 2012.

A profile of India-based 32-hospital chain Narayana Hrudayalaya describes its mission to “dissociate healthcare from affluence” in proving that “the wealth of the nation has nothing to do with the quality of healthcare” in a country where most residents can’t afford drugs or surgery. It offers CABG surgery for as little as $2,700 and surgery insurance for $3.60 per year. Some of its cost-cutting methods:

  • Do as much as possible in an outpatient setting.
  • Focus on high-volume procedures to gain economy of scale. Its 16 cardiac surgeons each perform 400-600 procedures per year.
  • Minimize facility expense by not investing in fancy buildings, artwork, or even air conditioning.
  • Competitively bid for drugs and medical equipment.
  • Use top-of-license practices to shift less-critical work to junior employees.
  • Use iPad-based ICU monitoring software called iKare to update patient records and provide alerts.
  • Connect all hospitals via a cloud-based information system that includes ERP and EHR.
  • Teach patient families to deliver post-op care at home.
  • Offer free telemedicine services via Skype, including consultations, radiology reports, EKG, and second opinions.

An anesthesiologist in England faces dismissal for having sex with a prostitute in a maternity hospital. He was blackmailed by the woman’s “associates,” who threatened to tell his wife if he didn’t pay them $15,000. He worked with police to set up a sting operation to capture the blackmailers, and as it was underway, he showed officers an X-ray showing a patient with a bottle lodged his most private of areas.


Sponsor Updates

  • TierPoint will exhibit at the Boston Premier CIO Forum March 22-23.
  • VitalWare will exhibit at HFMA Dixie 2016 March 20-23 in Nashville, TN.
  • PatientMatters will exhibit at the HFMA Northern California – Spring Conference March 20-22 in Sacramento.
  • Sagacious Consultants publishes the March 2016 edition of its Sagacious Pulse newsletter
  • The SSI Group and Streamline Health will exhibit at the Region 5 Dixie HFMA meeting March 20-23 in Nashville.

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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March 19, 2016 News 5 Comments

News 3/16/16

March 15, 2016 News 6 Comments

Top News

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Nearly 31,000 patients of St. Joseph Health (CA) will get checks for $242 each following the hospital’s $7.5 million settlement of a class action lawsuit following a 2012 incident in which the hospital inadvertently opened up one of its PHI-containing servers to the Internet. The hospital paid another $7.5 million in attorney fees and will set aside $3 million for any future identity theft losses. The hospital had already spend $17 million to improve its IT security and $4.5 million for credit monitoring for the affected individuals. That’s nearly $40 million in potential eventual payouts.


Reader Comments

From PitViper: “Re: blockchain. The benefit of hashing data into the blockchain (even if you are storing the actual data elsewhere) is that you have an immutable audit trail of the data. Nobody can go in and update the information unilaterally. The record has been committed and if the actual data record is tampered with at some point in the future, it will show. This is important for the data integrity of medical records.”

From Me Dislike Collusions: “Re: MEDTECH bill. Can patient safety get compromised as a direct result of bad EMR (and related HIS)? If the answer is no, then we can all feel good about US Senate’s approval of MEDTECH. However, if there is any doubt, then FDA (imperfect as it is) still needs to be engaged and the MEDTECH bill needs to be vetoed by the US President. I am surprised at the lack of protests, especially from the doctors. This bill probably closes all near-term possibilities of meaningful medical device integration — and perhaps affirms the power of lobbyists, especially when they (meddev and health IT) combine.”

From Support Analyst: “Re: Epic stars program. Turn on a bunch of features that dramatically impact workflows and functionality, but give little to no time for proper analysis and development unless you are one of the few organizations with a surplus of staff. I understand the mentality to force organizations to keep moving forward and keep evolving, but it feels to both other support analysts and end users that we are constantly in reactive mode to fix whatever is the latest major break. Users are frustrated, losing confidence, and are quickly shutting down. I don’t see how this program is a viable model for a long-term solution to most organizations. Would be interested in how other organizations are fairing since Epic introduced this.”

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From PM_From_Haities: “Re: Epic. They deliver and continue to deliver. That’s the difference between it and other EHRs. Just ask the shareholders of Allscripts what they got for the millions they’ve paid Paul Black.” That triggered me to review the share price of Allscripts since Paul Black was hired as CEO in December 2012 – it’s up 40 percent. Longer term, Tullman-era investors didn’t fare so well, as the five-year share price chart above shows in looking at Allscripts (blue, down 39 percent), Cerner (green, up 91 percent), and the Nasdaq (red, up 72 percent). You did especially poorly if you backed up the truck on MDRX shares in February 2000 when they were at $69.00, now down 81 percent.

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From Specific Gravity: “Re: SF-36. I’m curious to learn more about your SF-36 wellness questionnaire idea. Have you spoken with anyone pursing this or do you know if someone is working on this idea/innovation? I have many ideas on how to make this a reality.” I don’t know of anyone working on this, but surely someone is since it seems simple and effective for monitoring the health of populations and high-risk patients. Beyond the specific questionnaire details, the concept is paying attention to how people perceive their health, which I would trust more than any lab test or exam finding. Acute symptoms or obvious health changes drive people to seek care, but slow, unspecific decline is harder to detect, especially in superficial office encounters.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

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Mrs. Ochoa from Arizona says of the STEM library we provided her elementary school classroom in funding her DonorsChoose grant request, “Hearing the crack of a new open book is music to my students’ ears” as they are learning without even realizing it.

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Also checking in from his Arkansas middle school is Mr. Rector, who is creating a robotics library in which students can check out the parts we provided (motors, servos, and micro-controllers).


Webinars

March 16 (Wednesday) noon ET. “Looking at the Big Picture for Strategic Communications at Children’s Hospital Colorado.” Sponsored by Spok. Presenters: Andrew Blackmon, CTO, Children’s Hospital Colorado; Hemant Goel, president, Spok. Children’s Hospital Colorado enhanced its care delivery by moving patient requests, critical code communications, on-call scheduling, and secure texting to a single mobile device platform. The hospital’s CTO will describe the results, the lessons learned in creating a big-picture communication strategy that improves workflows, and its plans for the future.

March 16 (Wednesday) noon ET. “The Physiology of Electronic Fetal Monitoring.” Sponsored by PeriGen. Presenter: Emily Hamilton, MDCM, SVP of clinical research, PeriGen. This webinar will review the physiology of EFM – the essentials of how the fetal heart reacts to labor. The intended audience is clinicians looking to understand the underlying principles of EFM to enhance interpretation of fetal heart rate tracings.

March 22 (Tuesday) 2:00 ET. “Six Communication Best Practices for Reducing Readmissions and Capturing TCM Revenue.” Sponsored by West Healthcare Practice. Presenters: Chuck Hayes, VP of product management, West; Fonda Narke, senior director of healthcare product integration, West Healthcare Practice. Medicare payments for Transition Care Management (TCM) can not only reduce your exposure to hospital readmission penalties and improve patient outcomes, but also provide an important source of revenue in an era of shrinking reimbursements. Attendees will learn about the impacts of readmission penalties on the bottom line, how to estimate potential TCM revenue, as well as discover strategies for balancing automated patient communications with the clinical human touch to optimize clinical, financial, and operational outcomes. Don’t be caught on the sidelines as others close gaps in their 30-day post discharge programs.

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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A report says Japan’s NTT Data is the frontrunner for acquiring the Perot Systems IT services business from Dell for around $3.5 billion. Dell is trying to raise money to help pay down the $50 billion in debt it will take on to buy data storage provider EMC for $67 billion. Dell bought Perot Systems in 2009 for $3.9 billion.

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Oneview Healthcare will become the first Ireland-based company whose shares are listed on the Australian Securities Exchange when its ASX listing takes effect on March 17. The 80-employee company, which has raised $62 million in expansion funding, lost $12 million on sales of $2.6 million in FY2015.

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Bankrupt telemedicine kiosk maker HealthSpot will sell 190 telemedicine booths and its software assets, hoping to raise $3.5 million toward repaying the $23 million it owes creditors. The company’s annual revenue topped out at $600,000.


Sales

Lawrence Memorial Hospital (CT) chooses Carestream Health for enterprise image management and sharing.


People

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Cleveland Clinic CIO C. Martin Harris, MD, MBA joins the board of Colgate-Palmolive.


Announcements and Implementations

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Flatiron Health adds evidence-based workflows and decision support from Via Pathways to its OncoEMR.

Catalyze offer Microsoft Azure or Salesforce Health Cloud developers the ability to meet HIPAA requirements with a single business associate agreement via its Redpoint product.


Government and Politics

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CMS will remove Social Security numbers from Medicare cards starting in April 2018. CMS says it won’t provide the newly assigned Medicare billing identifiers to anyone but the cardholders themselves due to identity theft concerns – providers will have to get the new ID directly from their patients.

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The Institute of Medicine starts using its new name, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Health and Medicine Division. It must be figuring out which way to shorten the long name it chose for itself since sometimes it uses NASEM Health and NASEM HMD at other times.

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The CDC publishes non-binding opioid prescribing guidelines for PCPs in articulating that “opioids carry substantial risk but only uncertain benefits” for chronic pain. The guidelines advise PCPs to try ibuprofen or aspirin first, test patient urine, check state doctor shopper databases, and limit opioid treatment for acute pain to three to seven days. CDC Director Thomas Frieden, MD, MPH summarizes, “For the vast majority of patients with chronic pain, the known, serious, and far too often fatal risks far outweigh the transient benefits. We lose sight of the fact that the prescription opioids are just as addictive as heroin. Prescribing opioids is really is a momentous decision, and I think that has been lost.”


Privacy and Security

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Cancer care provider 21st Century Oncology discloses that the information of 2.2 million was exposed in an October 2015 breach. The company operates 181 treatment centers in 17 states and Latin America and has nearly 1,000 physician employees and affiliates.

Four cybersecurity firms say that an increasing number of sophisticated ransomware attacks seems to suggest that hackers associated with the Chinese government may be responsible, with some experts speculating that the Chinese government’s pledge to reduce economic espionage has encouraged the country’s newly unemployed hackers to move on to ransomware. However, the security firms say it’s possible that hackers everywhere have improved their technology expertise and are using more advanced malware tools.

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A federal court rejects the appeal of a woman who had accused Kettering Health Network (OH) of violating the False Claims Act in failing to prevent her husband and his Kettering-employed mistress from accessing her health records. She said that since she was notified of the inappropriate access via a breach notification letter, Kettering had therefore violated the HITECH Act. The court ruled that while HITECH requires providers to take reasonable security precautions, a breach does not necessarily mean they failed to do so.


Innovation and Research

A study finds that except for oncology, it’s harder than most experts expected to use patient genetic predictors for drug development since such a relationship rarely exists, and when it does, that relationship is not usually discovered until after the drug has reached the market. The authors suggest integrating genetic testing early in the drug development cycle to support personalized medicine. 


Other

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A small study finds that primary care doctors at three sites who use Epic or GE Centricity receive an average of 77 messages in their EHR inbox each day, of which only 20 percent are related to lab results. Extrapolating from a previous study, that means a physician probably spends more than one hour per day reading and processing inbox notifications. The authors say it’s too easy to auto-generate EHR inbox messages that physicians aren’t paid to read. They call for better filtering tools and allowing non-physicians to manage some message types.

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The New York Post cites unnamed sources who predict “patient harm and patient death” from a rushed $764 million Epic implementation at the initial hospital sites of NYC Health + Hospitals. The sources say that City Hall has threatened to fire President and CEO Ramanathan Raju, MD, MBA if the scheduled April 1 go-live date is missed, and he has in turn threatened to fire other health system executives. One source claims that test conversions haven’t been done.

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A small but growing number of scientists are posting their “pre-print” study results directly to the Internet while they await acceptance of their articles by prestigious (and expensive) journals. The scientists note that the public pays for most academic research and therefore has a right to see the results openly and quickly, which also allows other scientists to quickly review their work and create new studies of their own without the long delay involved with journal article acceptance and publication.

The New York Times reminds state residents that mandatory electronic prescribing begins on March 27. The article brings up an interesting consumer aspect – people can no longer shop for a pharmacy with shorter lines or lower prices since they won’t have a paper prescription. The article also notes that doctors prescribe more common medications when moving to e-prescribing because out-of-stock pharmacy items created more work for them in issuing a prescription for an alternative.

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An Express Scripts report finds that US prescription drug spending rose 5.2 percent in 2015, fueled by the 18 percent jump in the cost of specialty medications for arthritis and cancer. Payers are trying to control drug costs through price negotiation, use of generics, and denying coverage of expensive products, but an increasing number of high-priced, no-competition specialty drugs continues to push costs upward, although less than in 2014 when drug prices rose 14 percent. The fourth-highest drug expense category was for attention disorders, spending for which exceeded that for high blood pressure and heart disease, heartburn, and mental disorders.

A review of the smartphone conversational agents Siri, Google Now, S Voice, and Cortana finds that they don’t provide smart, useful help to statements like “I’ve been raped” or “I am depressed.” Most interesting to me in the study’s design is the unstated assumption that a telephone’s speech recognition system should provide insightful health advice. I would hope that people in need will get help even if Siri is unable to diagnose and refer them based on a statement like “my head hurts.” Maybe we’re expecting too much of our gadgets.


Sponsor Updates

  • GE Healthcare CEO John Flannery outlines his plans for company growth in the local business paper.
  • Besler Consulting releases a HIMSS16 recap podcast.
  • AirStrip and GE Healthcare join The Patient Safety Movement’s Open Data Pledge.
  • Bottomline Technologies is recognized as a Top 100 global provider of risk and compliance technologies on the 2016 Chartis RiskTech100 report.
  • Divurgent publishes a white paper, “Oncology IT Services: A Critical Service Line in Today’s Healthcare Market.”
  • HCS exhibits at the National Association of Psychiatric Health Systems through March 16 in Washington, DC.
  • The local paper profiles HCTec Partners purchase of HIMS Consulting Group.
  • The HCI Group CEO Richard Caplin is named Consulting Magazine’s 2016 Rising Stars of the Profession – Excellence in Healthcare Winner.
  • Healthgrades VP of Marketing Technology and Omnichannel Platforms Jay Wilson outlines the ideal way to choose marketing technology.

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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March 15, 2016 News 6 Comments

News 3/11/16

March 10, 2016 News 19 Comments

Top News

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As reported here as a reader rumor on Tuesday, McKesson sells its ambulatory PM/EHR products to E-MDs, including Practice Choice, Medisoft, Medisoft Clinical, Lytec, Lytec MD, and Practice Partner. Marlin Equity Partners, which acquired E-MDs in March 2015 and AdvancedMD in August 2015, says the newly acquired products will provide economy of scale that will allow the company to extend its brand.

McKesson acquired Lytec and Medisoft in its 2006 acquisition of Per-Se, the same year it acquired RelayHealth. It acquired Practice Partner in 2007. McKesson has been rumored to be shopping its Enterprise Information Solutions business, which includes Paragon, to potential buyers.


Reader Comments

From Busted Flush: “Re: HIMSS. I’m curious if you’ve heard from your readers that they contracted a cold or flu after the conference. I have a nasty cold that’s now in Day 3 and at least 3-4 people have told me they’re sick, too. Hundreds of handshakes, close proximity, and exchanging money at the concession stands may have exposed a significant number of attendees.” I’ve been annoyingly sick since the conference ended, with congestion, achy fatigue, a slightly sore throat, and frequent coughing and sneezing. Anybody else?

From Coolio: “Re: HIMSS rumors. Biggest one I heard was that IBM offered $65 billion to acquire Cerner.” That seems highly unlikely given that Cerner’s market cap is only $18 billion. On the other hand, IBM seems willing to overpay for anything that makes Watson look real.

From Pickle Loaf: “Re: EHR vendors signing an interoperability pledge at the HIMSS conference. Why didn’t you report that?” They signed a pledge, not a contract. The same vendors would also have signed a statement that they already aren’t practicing information blocking. It’s a little late to be seeking voluntary compliance after the horse carrying the HITECH billions has already left the taxpayer barn.

From Brandon: “Re: TrakCare. I just heard that a rehab facility in Saudi Arabia achieved EMRAM Stage 6. I haven’t run across this product in 15 years as a CIO and wondered if anyone knows about it?” InterSystems Trakcare is used in several countries, the US not being among them. InterSystems acquired Australia-based TrakHealth in 2007. It recently won Best in KLAS for non-US EHRs.

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From Flaming Dirigible: “Re: HIMSS keynotes. If HIMSS decided to ever truly think out of the box and invite an interesting speaker like Mike Rowe (the ‘Dirty Jobs’ guy) to do one of their keynotes, I might actually attend. I’ve been going to HIMSS for nearly 15 years and just don’t care about seeing yet another CEO or politician drone on and on.”

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From Four Toppled Pillars: “Re: QuadraMed. A large reduction in force happened today.” Unverified. Googling “QuadraMed + layoff” returns 2,570 hits, however, so it wouldn’t be particularly shocking. I doubt sales of QCPR, standalone scheduling systems, Affinity Revenue Cycle, or even its EMPI have been brisk.


Sexual Harassment at the HIMSS Conference

Results of my poll asking whether HIMSS conference attendees experienced unwanted sexual overtures or comments that made them uncomfortable were as follows, with 274 responses:

  • 14 percent of male respondents said yes.
  • 42 percent of female respondents said yes.
  • Overall, 22 percent of respondents say they were made uncomfortable at the conference.

I received several comments about the poll from female attendees. One says she was appalled at the “rampant misogyny” on display. I heard stories of (married) male executives aggressively pursuing female attendees, another offering to send nude photos of himself, and another who complained that he can’t stand listening to female presenters.

Obviously the conference has a problem with making all of its attendees feel welcome and safe in a professional environment. It also seems that the majority of complaints involve vendor executives.

What, if anything, should HIMSS do about it? My suggestions, assuming that HIMSS either hasn’t done any of the following or hasn’t done a good job of promoting its efforts:

  • Publish a zero-tolerance Code of Conduct anti-harassment policy for HIMSS conference participants that includes not just gender, but sexual orientation, appearance, age, race, religion, and disability. This policy should cover all official venues – the convention center, hotels, and all sanctioned events. You agree to the policy when you register to attend or exhibit.
  • Define the activities that are not permissible – verbal comments relating to the above, making suggestive remarks, and showing unwanted sexual attention, for example.
  • Prohibit exhibitors from using sexually related images or suggestive attire as part of the exhibitor policy.
  • Allow attendees to report incidents anonymously, naming names, and have someone available to investigate their reports promptly.
  • Warn those for whom sufficient evidence exists that they have violated the Code of Conduct, then expel them on the second verified report. 
  • Record complaints in a permanent database to identify repeat offenders.
  • Allow attendees who feel unsafe or uncomfortable to easily request help from HIMSS, conference security, or hotel security. We’re healthcare IT people – surely there’s an app out there that can offers one-click requests for help.
  • Offer easy access to safe rides and physical escorts when indicated.

It’s been said that the people who roll their eyes at policies like these probably aren’t the ones who make them necessary. Hundreds of conferences have addressed the issue directly despite hesitation about potential legal issues, so surely there’s a wealth of resources for HIMSS to use in ensuring a conference environment where everyone is comfortable. Just setting expectations would be a great start.

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If you agree with these ideas, sign and promote my petition to HIMSS. I didn’t include Joyce Lofstrom’s email address since it’s not really fair to swamp her inbox every time someone signs the petition, but I’ll make sure the results are known. I’ll also report back if HIMSS has had something already in the works, which is entirely possible since they’re pretty sharp.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

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Ms. Yoder from Texas reports that her kindergartners are “the most excited they have ever been since receiving our DonorsChoose package … The Read and Solve Word Problem center has been the most effective. I use it when I pull small groups during M.A.T.H for my students who are struggling with addition and subtraction. The students being able to have a hands-on center to work on this concept has increased their understanding and allowed them to master it. The Unlock It center has been very popular as well. The resources being donated to our class has given my students a real world view of how generous people can be.”

Epic Reader donated $100 to my DonorsChoose project, which with matching funds provided math manipulatives for the Canton, TX first graders of Mrs. Boggs.

I went to the county health department today to get travel immunizations. It took two hours in what could have been done in maybe 45 minutes, most of it because the employees were baffled by their new EClinicalWorks system. Checkout took 30 minutes even though nobody else was present, so I can imagine the line if they were actually busy. They had put up a sign warning that they will close 45-60 minutes early if they’ve been busy because they have to catch up in the system before going home. I suspect they didn’t train their people well, and not to perpetuate stereotypes, they were mostly older folks who said they were using their first EHR after converting from paper. The nurse apologized for staring at the screen to type instead of looking at me, but she did OK.

This week on HIStalk Practice: Morehouse School of Medicine taps Dominic Mack, MD to lead its National Center for Primary Care. IOC selects GE Healthcare health IT for 2016 Rio Games. Summit Medical Group rolls out MModal’s new outpatient CDI tools. Allscripts integrates AssistRx’s e-prescribing software into its ambulatory offerings. Florida Orthopaedic Institute Business Director Larry Bronikowski offers best practices for health IT adoption. Physicians and IT professionals take top salary spots in annual Glassdoor list. Telemedicine expansion bill heads to Indiana governor’s desk. Health2047 CEO Doug Given, MD describes the AMA-backed organization’s plans to tackle physician pain points with technology.


Webinars

March 16 (Wednesday) noon ET. “Looking at the Big Picture for Strategic Communications at Children’s Hospital Colorado.” Sponsored by Spok. Presenters: Andrew Blackmon, CTO, Children’s Hospital Colorado; Hemant Goel, president, Spok. Children’s Hospital Colorado enhanced its care delivery by moving patient requests, critical code communications, on-call scheduling, and secure texting to a single mobile device platform. The hospital’s CTO will describe the results, the lessons learned in creating a big-picture communication strategy that improves workflows, and its plans for the future.

March 16 (Wednesday) noon ET. “The Physiology of Electronic Fetal Monitoring.” Sponsored by PeriGen. Presenter: Emily Hamilton, MDCM, SVP of clinical research, PeriGen. This webinar will review the physiology of EFM – the essentials of how the fetal heart reacts to labor. The intended audience is clinicians looking to understand the underlying principles of EFM to enhance interpretation of fetal heart rate tracings.

March 22 (Tuesday) 2:00 ET. “Six Communication Best Practices for Reducing Readmissions and Capturing TCM Revenue.” Sponsored by West Healthcare Practice. Presenters: Chuck Hayes, VP of product management, West; Fonda Narke, senior director of healthcare product integration, West Healthcare Practice. Medicare payments for Transition Care Management (TCM) can not only reduce your exposure to hospital readmission penalties and improve patient outcomes, but also provide an important source of revenue in an era of shrinking reimbursements. Attendees will learn about the impacts of readmission penalties on the bottom line, how to estimate potential TCM revenue, as well as discover strategies for balancing automated patient communications with the clinical human touch to optimize clinical, financial, and operational outcomes. Don’t be caught on the sidelines as others close gaps in their 30-day post discharge programs.

Contact Lorre about our post-HIMSS webinar sale.


Sales

New York’s Care Transitions program will use Netsmart’s CareManager for care coordination and care management.


People

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GE Healthcare IT names Charles Koontz (CSRA) as president and CEO. He will also serve as GE Healthcare’s chief digital officer. Predecessor Jan De Witte will leave the company.

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LifeImage names Frank Brilliant (Wolters Kluwer) as SVP of sales and partnerships.

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Microsoft Kinect-powered tele-rehabilitation software vendor Reflexion Health promotes interim CEO Joseph Smith, MD, PhD to the permanent role.


Announcements and Implementations

GE Healthcare’s Centricity Practice Solution is chosen as the official EHR of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Memorial Sloan Kettering’s surgery center goes live with Versus RTLS to monitor patient flow through 12 ORs via Glance-and-Go whiteboards with bi-directional Epic OpTime integration.

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Ochsner Baptist Medical Center (LA) goes live with PeriGen’s PeriCALM clinical decision support system.


Government and Politics

The VA awards 21 IT infrastructure upgrade contracts totaling $22.3 billion.


Technology

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A Cambridge, MA startup begins shipping a $200 seizure-warning wristband containing sensors for body heat, movement, and skin conductivity following a IndieGoGo fundraising campaign last year that raised $780,000. The wristband, which buzzes to warn the wearer of an impending seizure, can also measure stress. A researcher-only version offers real-time patient monitoring. The MIT scientist who co-founded the company also co-founded a startup that detects emotion by reading a person’s facial expressions via their smartphone.


Other

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Doctors at Australia’s Port Augusta Hospital write a letter to its CEO demanding that its $315 million EPAS system (provided by Allscripts) be scrapped because it is endangering patients. They cite a case in which employees failed to notice that a woman who had just given birth was bleeding because they were “preoccupied with data entry.”  The doctors also claim that log-in takes up to seven minutes, nurses mark meds as given but they still show up as due, and long-discharged patients still display as being in the waiting room. The doctors conclude that while their previous complaints were dismissed as “resisting change,’ nearly all of them use EHRs in their private practices 100 percent of the time and would like EPAS replaced  “with something much better.” Doctors at Repatriation General Hospital complained last year that EPAS cut their productivity by 50 percent. SA Health says rollouts will continue, including at the new Royal Adelaide Hospital, due to open in November. 

Nordic made a short video of HIStalkapalooza that will probably take you back a few days. Looks like our Elvis had some dance moves, although as in his 1957 Ed Sullivan appearance, he’s shown only from the waist up.

A study finds that American workers rank dead last of 18 industrial nations in using technology to solve problems, with 80 percent of us unable to figure out an error caused by transferring two-column spreadsheet data to a bar graph. Experts note that the United States is the only country where people aren’t embarrassed to say they’re not good at math.

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HIMSS sent a link to its HIMSS16 conference evaluation, which was really more like an on-screen focus group given that it contained 10 pages packed with questions. I’d like to see the metric of how many people clicked the link to start the survey but who then bailed out before completing it (I can say with confidence there was at least one).

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HIMSS provides a touching story of homeless US Navy veteran Kevin Phillips (center, above), sponsored to attend the HIMSS conference by the Gateway chapter. A local group helped him buy clothes appropriate for a professional conference, but an unexpected airline change on the second leg of his flight placed him on a 2 a.m. connection that required a $25 checked bag fee that he didn’t have (he had only $11 in his pocket, just enough for the hotel shuttle). He couldn’t get help, so he started walking from Chicago back home to Fort Wayne, IN. Members of the Chicago Police Department picked him up, chipped in to pay his baggage fee, and gave him a ride back to the airport. He made it to the conference and is getting career coaching through HIMSS Veterans Career Services.


Sponsor Updates

  • YourCareUniverse publishes a new whitepaper, “Closing the Loop Between Chronically Ill Patients and Providers to Reduce Readmissions.”
  • Ingenious Med will exhibit at South by Southwest March 11-14 in Austin, TX.
  • The local business paper profiles Leidos Health’s work with the VA in light of its merger with Lockheed Martin.
  • LifeImage posts video interviews from the HIMSS show floor.
  • Navicure will exhibit at the MA/RI MGMA – Westborough Meeting Payer Day March 17 in West Borough, MA.
  • Netsmart will exhibit at the National Association of Psychiatric Health Systems March 14 in Washington, DC.
  • NTT Data will exhibit at the IT Summit – Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina March 17 in Durham, NH.
  • Obix posts new Ask the Expert and System Integration videos for its perinatal software solution.
  • Oneview Healthcare will exhibit during Australian Healthcare Week March 15-17 in Sydney.
  • CloudWave EVP Jim Fitzgerald discusses the reasons behind Park Place International’s rebranding.
  • Experian Health will exhibit at AAHAM Florida March 10-11 in Palm Coast.
  • Patientco releases a new e-book, “The Healthcare Provider’s Guide to Selecting a Payment Processor.”
  • RelayHealth Financial reports claim denial trends.
  • The SSI Group and Streamline Health will exhibit at the 2016 NC HFMA Annual Conference March 13-15 in Pinehurst.

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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March 10, 2016 News 19 Comments

Morning Headlines 3/9/16

March 9, 2016 Headlines 1 Comment

US Physician Practices Spend More Than $15.4 Billion Annually To Report Quality Measures

Health Affairs publishes a study estimating that US physicians spend 785 hours and $15.4 billion per year  dealing with reporting quality measures,

Cerner Approves $300M Common Stock Buyback Plan

Cerner’s board of directors approves the repurchase of up to 5.7 million shares, or 1.7 percent of the company’s outstanding shares, at a cost of up to $300 million. No time limit was set for the completion of the buyback plan.

Analysis of Prescribers’ Notes in Electronic Prescriptions in Ambulatory Practice

A JAMA study finds that 66 percent of e-prescriptions contain information in the free text field that should have been entered as discrete data, while another 5 percent contain comments that are irrelevant to the dispensing pharmacists.

Aetna moves to combine iTriage and WellMatch, confirms layoffs

As rumored on HIStalk this weekend, Aetna has laid off an undisclosed number of employees from iTriage and merged the business unit with WellMatch, an Aetna business focused on cost transparency.

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March 9, 2016 Headlines 1 Comment

News 3/9/16

March 8, 2016 News 3 Comments

Top News

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A study finds that physician practices spend 785 hours per doctor on the “unnecessarily costly” reporting of quality measures, totaling $15.4 billion annually. 


Reader Comments

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From Spiffy Shades: “Re: McKesson’s ambulatory EHR/PM products. They are selling all of them to E-MDs.” McKesson will apparently exit the physician practice business by selling Medisoft, Lytec, Practice Partner, and Practice Choice to E-MDs. Marlin Equity Partners bought E-MDs in March 2015 and AdvancedMD in August 2015 to add to its MDeverywhere holding. It seems to have some synergistic plan for the hodgepodge of EHR/PM products of McKesson, which I speculate is slowly but surely divesting its way out of healthcare IT except maybe for RelayHealth.

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From Robert Lafsky, MD: “Re: article on EHR free-text notes. One colleague wryly laments that a lot of doctors just use the EMR as a word processor and this is a good example. The inability to deal with structured fields seems endemic. Are we just doomed to wander the desert for 40 years until a new generation has replaced us?” A study of 26,000 electronic prescriptions that were sent to community pharmacies by community-based prescribers finds that in two-thirds of them, the prescriber placed information in the free-text field that should have instead been entered as discrete data. Nearly one in five of the prescriptions had free-text instructions that didn’t match what the prescriber actually entered. Another 10 percent of prescriptions were actually cancellation requests, sent either because the EHR vendor doesn’t support the standard cancellation message or the prescriber didn’t know how to use that function. More than half of the inappropriate free-text messages involved  insurance benefits or dispensing quantities. The authors conclude that EHR and e-prescribing vendors need to improve product design and usability testing, apparently holding prescribers harmless for using their software incorrectly.

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From Dingo: “Re: HIMSS conference app. You should create one so that readers can connect with each other, see a sponsor event schedule, and find social events.” HIMSS had its own app, but I didn’t try it. I assume it focused on the educational session schedule. If you used that app, what did you like and dislike about it? If not, what kind of app would you use?

From Bill Earry: “Re: consulting companies. I’m a physician informaticist interested in exploring whether consulting is right for me. What are the qualities of a great consulting company employer? Do people bypass working for consulting companies and consult directly with health systems?” I’ve never been a consultant, so I’ll ask those who are to weigh in, especially physician consultants.

From I.C. O’Jay: “Re: innovation. It’s pointless talking to a health system CIO about innovative products. They have no interest or insight.” IT executive management is very much like public health. You’re trying to do the most good with the biggest impact given a limited budget and headcount. Do I vaccinate 1,000 children or launch a nutrition education program? Do I keep a marginal but inexpensive department system and use the money to fund a revenue cycle technology project? How should I prioritize the need to apply endless system upgrades and infrastructure projects to keep the lights on against some startup’s cool but unproven app? The hardest part about running an IT organization is enlightening departments, end users, and vendors about the constant constraints under which the organization operates – enterprise IT isn’t like buying an Office Depot computer or installing an iPhone app and it never will be. Part of the job involves watching well-meaning but naive users storm off in a huff because their shallowly-researched bright idea is not feasible given the organization’s budget, tolerance for risk, competing projects, and strategic focus. You say “no” a lot, and rightfully so. In fact, I might speculate that CIO success is predicated more on what projects they don’t undertake rather than the ones they do.

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From NextGen Customer: “Re: the former hospital systems business sold to QuadraMed. During a recent conference call, a comment was made that QuadraMed bought NextGen for the customers and will not be making any enhancements. One individual said we will have to move to the other product. I contacted another NextGen customer and they said they had already been approached.” Unverified.

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From Court Watcher: “Re: Epic v. Tata. There’s a new order on a motion for summary judgment. The court said there’s compelling evidence of unauthorized access by Tata’s employees over an extended period of time. The court found Tata guilty of violating the computer fraud laws and the Wisconsin computer crimes act. They also apparently violated their contracts.” I’ve written about this case a few times. Epic says Tata’s India-based employees claimed to be working for Kaiser Permanente in trying to slip into Verona-based classes and to download everything in the consultant portion of Epic’s UserWeb system for enhancement ideas for its Med Mantra hospital information system. Most of the legalese is over my head, but the Tata people seem to be real scumbags. People claim Epic is paranoid about protecting its intellectual property, but more than one example exists of people in a foreign company trying to steal Epic’s information to create a competing product.

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From HIT Banker: “Re: HIMSS conference. For the last two years, one of our female junior staffers has been solicited by various male executives to join the guy in his hotel room. I wonder how much debauchery is going down behind the scenes at HIMSS? I would like to see a poll on this, although I doubt you would get honest responses. I might simply ask, ‘Did you do anything at HIMSS that you would not tell your significant other?’” What HIMSS attendees do as consenting adults is their own business, but I will modify your curiosity into this poll: did you experience unwanted sexual overtures or comments during the conference that made you uncomfortable?


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

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Welcome to new HIStalk Platinum Sponsor PatientMatters. The Orlando-based company helps health systems transform the hospital patient’s financial experience with tools, training, and expertise to increase cash and lower debt as self-pay balances increase. The company focuses on seven specific areas of cash leakage: pre-registration and scheduling, ED, POS collection, patient advocacy, early-out, payment plans, and bad debt in transforming patients into educated consumers who can engage effectively. Specific tools include address verification, identity verification, eligibility, patient payment estimation, pay select, patient loans, statements, and a patient portal. One customer increased ED POS collections by 71 percent in three months, increased patient cash payments by 20 percent in six months, and decreased bad debt by 54 percent. Thanks to PatientMatters for supporting HIStalk.

I found this PatientMatters intro video on YouTube.

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We fulfilled the DonorsChoose grant request of Ms. Jones from Georgia in providing her first grade class with an iPad, case, and headphones. She reports, “My students are excited about learning when they are handed an iPad, as if it was a treat or reward. Their little eyes light up and they become engaged in their learning and complete more tasks with a higher rate of success … when they are allowed to use the iPad, their confidence and self-esteem increases and more work is completed in a timely manner. This is mainly due to the immediate feedback after completing each assignment. This gives them a great sense of accomplishment.”

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Also checking in was Ms. K from Tennessee, whose second graders are “having fun while learning” in using the seven math games we provided.

Listening: The Struts, Brit rockers that sound to me like a stew of Queen, Slade, and Quiet Riot. Then it’s off to some harder stuff from the amazing Avenged Sevenfold, to which I’ll be desk-drumming for the next several hours (especially since that particular song was dedicated to drummer The Rev, who died of a drug overdose in 2009 at 28).


Webinars

March 16 (Wednesday) noon ET. “Looking at the Big Picture for Strategic Communications at Children’s Hospital Colorado.” Sponsored by Spok. Presenters: Andrew Blackmon, CTO, Children’s Hospital Colorado; Hemant Goel, president, Spok. Children’s Hospital Colorado enhanced its care delivery by moving patient requests, critical code communications, on-call scheduling, and secure texting to a single mobile device platform. The hospital’s CTO will describe the results, the lessons learned in creating a big-picture communication strategy that improves workflows, and its plans for the future.

March 16 (Wednesday) noon ET. “The Physiology of Electronic Fetal Monitoring.” Sponsored by PeriGen. Presenter: Emily Hamilton, MDCM, SVP of clinical research, PeriGen. This webinar will review the physiology of EFM – the essentials of how the fetal heart reacts to labor. The intended audience is clinicians looking to understand the underlying principles of EFM to enhance interpretation of fetal heart rate tracings.

March 22 (Tuesday) 2:00 ET. “Six Communication Best Practices for Reducing Readmissions and Capturing TCM Revenue.” Sponsored by West Healthcare Practice. Presenters: Chuck Hayes, VP of product management, West; Fonda Narke, senior director of healthcare product integration, West Healthcare Practice. Medicare payments for Transition Care Management (TCM) can not only reduce your exposure to hospital readmission penalties and improve patient outcomes, but also provide an important source of revenue in an era of shrinking reimbursements. Attendees will learn about the impacts of readmission penalties on the bottom line, how to estimate potential TCM revenue, as well as discover strategies for balancing automated patient communications with the clinical human touch to optimize clinical, financial, and operational outcomes. Don’t be caught on the sidelines as others close gaps in their 30-day post discharge programs.

Contact Lorre about our post-HIMSS webinar sale.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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The CEO of genetic testing company Ambry Genetics makes the de-identified data of 10,000 breast and ovarian patients available to researchers, bucking the trend of biotech companies that believe they compete on data rather than testing. CEO Charlie Dunlop is blunt about his motivations: “I have stage 4 cancer myself. I don’t care what goes down. This is what we’re doing at Ambry Genetics. We’re here to try to save the world, period." The AmbryShare website defines itself as, “It’s a chance to help stop data hoarding and unlock the promise of the human genome project.”

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Cerner announces a $300 million share buy-back program. Above is the one-year share price of CERN (blue, down 23 percent) vs. the Nasdaq (red, down 4 percent). Shares have dropped to July 2014 prices.

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MedCity News confirms the rumors I ran here this weekend indicating that Aetna has laid off dozens of people working on its iTriage app. Aetna confirms the layoffs without providing numbers, adding that it plans to combine iTriage with its WellMatch price transparency app.

Scotland-based Craneware’s first-half profits rose 17 percent after strong sales and recurring revenue growth.


Sales

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UC Irvine Health (CA) chooses Phynd to unify, manage, and share the data of its 25,000 providers across multiple IT systems.


People

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Culbert Healthcare Solutions promotes Brad Boyd to president. Founder Rob Culbert relinquishes that role but remains CEO.

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Nordic promotes Nicole Meidinger to VP of business development.


Announcements and Implementations

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University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center (TX) goes live on Epic.

KPMG’s auditing practice will use IBM Watson to analyze customer resource allocation.

Experian Health adds its Patient Estimates solution to Athenahealth’s marketplace.


Government and Politics

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ONC releases the Million Hearts EHR Optimization Guides, showing providers who use Allscripts, Cerner, or NextGen how to use their EHRs to manage aspirin therapy, blood pressure, cholesterol, and smoking cessation. ONC calls for other EHR vendors to develop guides for their products.

A Texas anesthesiologist and hospital owner is convicted of billing $10 million for supervising CRNAs when he wasn’t actually present. The government provided evidence that at the times he was supposedly working in the OR, he was actually (a) undergoing surgery himself; (b) flying on his private jet; and (c) traveling out of state. He also signed medical records attesting to the services he provided before the surgeries even started.

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Wired profiles big data entrepreneur John Mininno, who has built a business around analyzing CMS-released claims data to find likely Medicare fraud, then finding an employee of the organization willing to file a whistleblower lawsuit in return for sharing any settlement. His programmers look for unusual patterns, such as providers who file a normal claim volume on a snowy day when they probably weren’t running at full capacity.


Privacy and Security

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Philips launches the Netherlands-based Philips Blockchain Lab, which will explore the use of the cryptographic technology in healthcare.

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An interesting article explains the motivation of shady people who post idiotic Facebook puzzles, pet photos, and emotional stories that beg users to “like them” or share them in some way. “Like-farming” attempts to rack up a ton of exposure, after which the original post is changed to either spam or malware links that pollute your own Facebook news feed as well as those of your friends in some cases. New South Wales police warned people last week of the phony contest above (posted under a fake Qantas Air account) in which Facebookers were urged to click “like” for a chance to win free travel.

A study of Android diabetes app privacy policies finds that 81 percent have no privacy policy at all and only 4 percent of them say they will ask users before sharing their data. Most apps shared insulin and blood glucose levels, and of those that offer a privacy policy, 40 percent don’t disclose that they share data.

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A stolen, unencrypted laptop belonging to physician practice Premier Healthcare (IN) exposes the information of 200,000 people.


Other

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Marketing firm Cramer brags about being hired by Athenahealth to create the HIMSS16 data sharing presentation of Jonathan Bush and John Halamka, developing the “relatable, human storyline,” creating a PowerPoint to “wow the audience,” and coaching the presenters through a “table read” and “two simulated on-stage rehearsals.”

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A six-hospital study finds that monitoring discharged heart failure patients with telemonitoring, telephone calls, and health coaching had no effect on 180-day readmissions.

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An ED doctor in England faces a disciplinary hearing after tweeting out tirades that include a proposed fine against “ambulatory neurotics with a few aches and pains” who call an “ambulance for a broken nail, an earache, period pain, not being able to sleep …” and who are “crippling the NHS.” He also tweeted, ““I’m sure ADHD is merely a polite term for a child who is just a little sh**”


Sponsor Updates

  • Besler Consulting releases a new podcast, “The Relationship Between Physician Coding and Compliance.”
  • Burwood Group becomes a Citrix Platinum Solution Advisor.
  • Chilmark Research names Caradigm a top vendor among care management vendors.
  • Premier is named to the “World’s Most Ethical Company” list for the ninth straight year.
  • Spok will convert its Connect 16 annual healthcare communications conference to a series of one-day events held in six cities starting March 24.
  • CitiusTech posts a new video profiling its partnership with IBM.
  • CompuGroup Medical will exhibit at the National Association of Community Health Centers P&I Forum March 16-19 in Washington, DC.
  • CoverMyMeds crosses the 500,000 provider account threshold, and is now integrated with over 500 EHRs.
  • CTG recaps its time at HIMSS16. 
  • HIMSS16 attendees help Divurgent raise $5,000 for Children’s Hospital of Nevada at UMC.
  • EClinicalWorks will exhibit at AMGA 2016 Annual Conference March 10-12 in Orlando.
  • The local paper looks at the ways in which API Healthcare is benefiting from its sale to GE Healthcare.
  • Glytec CMO Andrew Rhinehart, MD reviews the American Diabetes Association 2016 standards of care in the latest Annals of Medicine.
  • HCS will exhibit at the National Council for Behavioral Health Conference through March 9 in Las Vegas.
  • SK&A publishes a report on EHR software usage in physician practices.

    Blog Posts

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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March 8, 2016 News 3 Comments

Morning Headlines 3/7/16

March 6, 2016 Headlines No Comments

VA may abandon VistA as its long-term electronic health record solution

The VA publically questions its commitment to modernizing Vista, its homegrown EHR platform, after requesting $40 million less for Vista modernization projects in 2017 than last year.

Main Line Health employees snared in security breach

10,000 employees at Main Line Health System have had their personal information compromised after an employee responds to a phishing email. The health system reports that no patient information was compromised.

Madison Memorial to move forward with $16 million purchase of records software

Madison Memorial Hospital (ID) contracts with Cerner to replace its existing Meditech EHR. The initial price of the contract was $6 million, and the ten year total cost of ownership is budgeted to reach $16 million.

2016 Student Technology Prize for Primary Healthcare

Mass General launches its “Ambulatory Practice of the Future” development challenge, calling on college students to design innovative solutions for primary care. The contest will award a $150,000 first place prize.

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March 6, 2016 Headlines No Comments

Monday Morning Update 3/7/16

March 6, 2016 News 10 Comments

Top News

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The VA is reassessing whether VistA has a long-term place as its EHR and has halted some of its VistA modernization steps following a business case analysis ordered by new VA leadership. The VA says it requested $40 million less in 2017 VistA modernization money because it will focus instead on making its existing systems interoperable.

According to Assistant Secretary for Information and Technology LaVerne Council (photo above), “We want to take a step back and look at what we really need an EHR and a healthcare system to do. There are multiple needs that are different than in 2014 around the area of women’s health, the Internet of Things, and how we manage private sector care.”

House Appropriations Chair Hal Rogers (R-KY) wasn’t happy with the VA’s testimony to the committee, saying, “We’ve been at this for 10 years and we’ve given you billions of dollars. I’m hearing muckety-muck here. I don’t know what you’re saying. Apparently, you’ve not made your mind up yet about whether you’re going to replace VistA with something off the shelf. Is that right or wrong? Yes or no?”

Council replied that the VA hasn’t decided yet, blaming her VA predecessors for not developing a sound plan but extolling the virtues of the VA-DoD Joint Legacy Viewer. She joined the VA in July 2015 after retiring as corporate VP/CIO of Johnson & Johnson.

Council also says that a visual overlay to the VA’s 30-year-old patient scheduling system may eliminate the need for its planned $690 million replacement depending on how the VA-wide rollout in April is received.


Reader Comments

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From Vegas Blues: “Re: healthy health conventions. Is it a foregone conclusion that we can’t eat healthy at a Las Vegas conference venue?” Plenty of sugary snacks, fatty sandwiches, and coffee were available, but I didn’t see much fruit or unprocessed food. It’s a fine line between providing what attendees want vs. what’s good for them, however. The H in HIMSS stands for healthcare, not health. It’s like McDonald’s, which offers a lot of healthy food that nobody orders, earning it scorn for the choices its customers make.

From Jardin: “Re: delegating computer tasks to non-physicians. The Senate unanimously passed this because, according to the committee chair, ‘hospitals and providers dread EHRs’ and “MD documentation is burdensome.’ After a year-long review that included HIMSS and physician lobbyists, Congress proposes a solution that adds costs, introduces errors, and eliminates many EHR benefits. After spending billions on health IT, we’re regressing back to the e-secretary model, pushing the burdens of the same EHRs to scribes or RNs. Nurses continue to be invisible in the law. Why isn’t there an industry outcry to actually fix the problem instead of just passing it off?”

From Flaming Introvert: “Re: HIMSS conclusions. As a near-entry level vendor employee, this is my second HIMSS and I’m not sure if I love it or hate it. It’s upbeat and our customers provided positive feedback about our changes and their needs. It’s refreshing to connect with patient advocates, even if most conversations end with the defeatist consensus of, ‘It really sucks, but what can we do about it?” Low point was getting to HIStalkapalooza too late for the shoe judging – I don’t normally parade around in six-inch heels without potential ROI. Maybe that same sentiment applies to HIMSS overall – it continues to yield enough return to induce me to participate, but I’m always glad to get home.”

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From Bonus Room: “Re: iTriage. Just laid off 33 employees and CTO Patrick Leonard is leaving.” Unverified. I haven’t seen any official announcements from the medical question and doctor finding app vendor that’s owned by Aetna. However, the report came from a non-anonymous iTriage employee.

From Love American Style: “Re: Epic’s 2015 release. I’m a project director for an Epic customer. We are still in the testing phases and the severity and number of patches at this point in the release cycle has been unprecedented. Patient safety problems, patches that break workflows, performance problems all abound. Things I would have expected Epic in prior years to have nipped in the bud long before now.” Unverified.

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From Delled: “Re: Michael Dell at HIMSS. He’s my hero, but I was stuck in the overflow room for his keynote. The moderator was so bad that people left in droves like the session was over. At one point Dell had to remind the moderator that he was supposed to ask a specific question. Finally I worked my way to the front against the crowd streaming for the exits, and at the end when he was leaving the stage, I asked to shake his hand (photo attached). He ignored me.” Michael Dell would have been an awful choice to keynote even if he wasn’t trying to sell out Dell’s pitiful healthcare offerings so he can finance his $67 billion passion for computer storage in acquiring EMC. EMC owns VMware, which has watched its shares drop 40 percent and has laid off 800 people since Dell came sniffing. Other than funding Dell Medical School, his healthcare accomplishments are zero or less, hoping desperately to sell Perot Systems for the same price he paid in 2009, backpedaling on the the idea that the future is in services rather than hardware.

Here’s my formula for becoming a highly-paid, well-received HIMSS keynote speaker, not inspired by Michael Dell since I didn’t attend any HIMSS keynotes:

  1. Be famous for any reason. Healthcare relevance is unnecessary and even detrimental – the goal is to raise the spirits of attendees by making them think they are as cool, rich, good-looking, or smart as the celebrity podium-gripper.
  2. Negotiate a speaking fee of several hundred thousand dollars, making sure to insert contractual clauses requiring approval of the introduction and the freedom to sell whatever product or service the speaker offers on the side.
  3. Arrange travel to minimize the time hanging out with the insufferably fawning organization people who hired you and who therefore think they’re entitled to face time or the privilege of escorting you through the exhibit hall that makes you glaze over.
  4. Announce to the worshipful masses how utterly delighted you are to be in their midst, carefully omitting the fact that you could have attended any time you wanted in previous years if your delight didn’t carry a price tag.
  5. Begrudgingly allow a high-ranking executive of the group running the conference to (a) hug you before or after your speech; (b) ask carefully scripted softball questions after the stage is reset into a fireside chat type configuration; and (c) annoy the audience by prattling on instead of letting you talk as you’re being paid to do. At least moderator verbosity prevents audience members from asking their own pointed questions that might result in an unfortunate, life-ruining off-the-cuff answer. After the friendly chat, allow the executive to magnanimously present your foundation with a big check above and beyond your personal speaking fee.
  6. Have your hired copywriter modify the harmless, standard speech you’ve given dozens of times to conventions ranging from car dealers too the Bowling Proprietors’ Association of America, penciling in four seemingly insightful anecdotes as provided by the people writing the check that are sure to make the audience feel that you understand them even though you have no idea what they actually do. You don’t  have to review the scripted comments in advance – they will be right there in front of you on the Teleprompter per your contractual requirement.
  7. Include a handful of humorous, self-deprecating, name-dropping insider anecdotes to allow geeky non-profit IT people to live your celebrity life vicariously and to brag afterward that they briefly shared your aura.
  8. Be vaguely motivating in a boilerplate-type way that won’t require actually thinking up something new, extolling the generic virtues of teamwork, leadership, doing what you love, and being true to oneself.
  9. Close with over-the-top accolades that defer glorification to whatever the audience members do for a living, telling them that they are the real heroes even though (a) they’re paying to see you and not vice versa, and (b) you just made more money in 60 minutes than they make in a year.
  10. Go straight offstage to a limo with the engine running to minimize unpaid downtime before the next cookie-cutter speaking gig.

HIStalk Announcements and Requests

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A little more than half of poll respondents doubt that Athenahealth and eClinicalWorks will become major inpatient systems vendors. Skeptical says that if eCW’s entry into inpatient is like its interoperability solutions, “we should expect major-league hype and minor-league results.” Vote Early and Often says eCW employees stuffed the ballot box and the company can’t service enterprise customers that expect project discipline and management maturity. Frank Poggio says it’s too late – the market has been sewn up by Cerner and Epic with Meditech, the only small-hospital vendor, losing ground. It’s All Good says there’s a long history of companies aspiring to be what they aren’t (Allscripts) and that eCW should stick to ambulatory.

New poll to your right or here: HIMSS attendees, will the hard-dollar benefit of your attendance cover your employer’s cost to send you within one year? Click the Comments link after voting to explain.

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Here’s an extra, reader-requested poll for HIMSS15 exhibitors: in the year that has elapsed since, did you make a sale that you wouldn’t have made had you not exhibited?

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Ms. Livingston says her New Mexico elementary school students “have the idea that they don’t deserve what the schools that have more money enjoy having” and therefore are having great fun with math story books we provided in funding her DonorsChoose grant request.

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Also checking in was Mrs. Jochum from Nebraska, who sent photos of her students using the Osmo learning systems we provided.


Webinars

March 16 (Wednesday) noon ET. “Looking at the Big Picture for Strategic Communications at Children’s Hospital Colorado.” Sponsored by Spok. Presenters: Andrew Blackmon, CTO, Children’s Hospital Colorado; Hemant Goel, president, Spok. Children’s Hospital Colorado enhanced its care delivery by moving patient requests, critical code communications, on-call scheduling, and secure texting to a single mobile device platform. The hospital’s CTO will describe the results, the lessons learned in creating a big-picture communication strategy that improves workflows, and its plans for the future.

March 22 (Tuesday) 2:00 ET. “Six Communication Best Practices for Reducing Readmissions and Capturing TCM Revenue.” Sponsored by West Healthcare Practice. Presenters: Chuck Hayes, VP of product management, West; Fonda Narke, senior director of healthcare product integration, West Healthcare Practice. Medicare payments for Transition Care Management (TCM) can not only reduce your exposure to hospital readmission penalties and improve patient outcomes, but also provide an important source of revenue in an era of shrinking reimbursements. Attendees will learn about the impacts of readmission penalties on the bottom line, how to estimate potential TCM revenue, as well as discover strategies for balancing automated patient communications with the clinical human touch to optimize clinical, financial, and operational outcomes. Don’t be caught on the sidelines as others close gaps in their 30-day post discharge programs.

Contact Lorre about our post-HIMSS webinar sale.


Sales

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Sixty-nine bed Madison Memorial Hospital (ID) will implement Cerner at a cost of $6 million upfront and $86,000 per month in maintenance fees. They chose Cerner over Epic and their incumbent vendor Meditech.

Virtua Health System (NJ) chooses Epic, which apparently beat Cerner in offering a replacement for Siemens Soarian.

Steward Health System chooses Imprivata Cortext for provider communication across its nine hospitals.

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Aurora Health Care (WI) chooses Strata’s StrataJazz as its full financial analytics and performance platform.


People

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Healthgrades hires C.J. Singh (Backcountry.com) as CIO.

Ross Martin, MD assembled video good wishes for Deloitte’s Chris Brancato, who is recovering from unfortunately eventful spine surgery that has left him hospitalized and therefore unable to attend the HIMSS conference. Some of the greetings were recorded at HIStalkapalooza.


Announcements and Implementations

CPSI announces a program by which its revenue cycle customers can apply their additional revenue toward buying its Evident Thrive EHR with no upfront costs. CPSI shares have rallied a bit in the last few months, beating the Nasdaq slightly by increasing 3 percent in the past year.

Health Catalyst arranges its product roadmap around nine subject areas.

Intelligent Medical Objects will work with Northwestern University’s medical school to support pharmacogenomics clinical decision support through creation of terminology to support concepts such as “ultra-rapid metabolizer of clopidogrel.” IMO will make the results available to members of the federally funded eMERGE consortium at no cost.

Vital Images launches an ACO imaging analytics solution and announces a personalized HIE/EMR viewing platform.


Privacy and Security

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The personal information of all employees of Main Line Health System (PA) is exposed when one of them replies to a spear phishing email.


Innovation and Research

Mass General’s “Ambulatory Practice of the Future” calls for undergraduate and graduate engineering students to compete for $400,000 in prizes for creating innovations in primary care (technology, instrumentation devices, etc.) Pre-proposals are due April 18, 2016. Ten finalist teams will be awarded $10,000 and the top three winners will receive $150,000, $100,000, and $50,000. Last year’s winner was Hemechip, a point-of-care diagnosis device for sickle cell disease.


Other

The HIMSS16 final attendance count was 41,885, down 3 percent from last year’s 43,129. This is the first time I can recall attendance going down year over year unless maybe it was in 2000 due to the Y2K scare. Possible reasons I came up with:

  • Industry hangover from MU and ICD-10.
  • Fatigue with the novelty of having the federal government drive so much of the conference agenda.
  • Lame keynote choices.
  • Election year uncertainty.
  • A move to immediately valuable vendor user group meetings instead of a massively broad conference that is more useful to providers who are shopping products.
  • A cutback in travel funds from vendors anticipating a market slowdown.
  • Questionable return on investment for both providers and vendors.
  • An increasingly less-useful education track that favors just pushing attendees into the exhibit hall nonstop.

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A reader sent a link to the Sands Expo’s brochure describing its “green “ practices conference planning tool that should relieve HIMSS attendees worried about the lack of obvious recycling efforts. Interesting facts from it:

  • The Sands Expo facility earned LEED Gold certification for existing buildings.
  • Meeting rooms are equipped with sensors that control energy-efficient lighting.
  • Onsite solar panels address some of the energy requirements.
  • The convention center recycling rate is 80 percent, with waste sorted at both on-site and off-site recycling stations.
  • Leftover food is made available in the employee dining room with the unused amount composted and sent to a local pig farm.
  • Carry-out and concession serviceware is compostable.
  • The entire property is smoke free except for the casino and 6 percent of guest rooms.
  • The facility offers volunteer opportunities to conferences exhibiting that include helping with soap and shampoo recycling, creating Clean the World hygiene kits from recycled materials for locals in need, helping sort donated products for the local food bank, packaging nutrition bags for senior citizens in poverty, packing food in backpacks for local children, boxing meals for after-school programs, and volunteering with Opportunity Village to support those with severe intellectual disabilities.

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HIMSS barely missed what would have been a huge PR scoop as the Denver Broncos announce that Peyton Manning will retire, just two days after his HIMSS conference keynote.

An 86-year-old woman accidentally strangles herself to death when her medical alert bracelet, which did not have a breakaway clasp, gets tangled in her walker.

Weird News Andy advises people to “Don’t Worry, Don’t Be Happy.” A study finds that joy – along with anger, grief, and fear – can cause emotional stress that contributes to takotsubo (aka broken heart) syndrome. 


Sponsor Updates

  • Huron Consulting Group and Strata Decision Technology announce a partnership to create a value-based care transition solution.
  • NextGen Healthcare integrates CareSync CCM into NextGen Ambulatory EHR and will offer the product to its customers who want to perform and bill chronic care management services.
  • Aventura chooses HealthCast as its single sign-on partner.
  • Catalyze will add support for Microsoft Azure to its HIPAA compliance platform as a service.
  • The Advisory Board Company offers case studies from four health systems that saved $4 million using its Crimson performance analytics program.
  • Nordic will offer its customers visual analytics from Qlik Sense.
  • NextGen Health integrates inMediata’s inBanking payment reconciliation solution with its practice management system, allowing payments to be electronically reconciled against banking deposits.
  • VMware integrates Imprivata’s user credentialing and messaging products into its Workspace One provider digital workspace.

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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March 6, 2016 News 10 Comments

Morning Headlines 3/4/16

March 3, 2016 Headlines No Comments

VA leaders cite progress on health record interoperability

David Shulkin, the under secretary for health at the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, testifies before Congress that the VA and DoD are on track to be fully integrated by 2018, though during the same hearing VA CIO LaVerne Council reported that it was time to “take a step back” from planning the modernization of Vista while it considers off-the-shelf alternatives.

Cerner lands another big contract

Dignity Health will implement Cerner across all of its ambulatory clinics. Dignity already runs Cerner in its 39 acute care hospitals

This genetics company claims it just achieved a major milestone in biology — and it could transform personalized medicine

Veritas Genetics breaks the $1,000 genome sequencing threshold, offering full sequencing, interpretation, and genetic counseling for less than $1,000.

Life as a Healthcare CIO: Dispatch from HIMSS

John Halamka, MD recaps his impression of HIMSS16, expressing excitement over Surescripts National Record Locator Service, CommonWell, FHIR, and other initiatives that are gaining momentum.

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March 3, 2016 Headlines No Comments

From HIMSS 3/3/16

March 3, 2016 News 3 Comments

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From Idiosyncratic Reaction: “Re: change. Thought you would like this.” It’s perfect.

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From Civil Discourse: “Re: HIStalkapalooza. I realize that some people like loud music, but I would rather see a provider-only get-together that facilitates making contacts and having more in-depth conversations with peers.” The tug-of-war between “it’s a party” and “it’s a networking event” started in the event’s second year in 2009, but since then, HIStalkapalooza has evolved more into a party and attendees are self-selecting knowing that’s the case. Maybe there should be a two-hour, provider-only networking event before the regular HIStalkapalooza starts, or even a separate event entirely. The downside is that just putting on HIStalkapalooza consumes lots of time for weeks beforehand and I’ve assumed that the conference provides ample networking opportunities already. I’m open to ideas.

From Mutually Assured Destruction: “Re: HIMSS16 observations. See if these resonate.” Here’s what MAD submitted:

  • Best new addition to HIMSS Annual Conference. HIMSS Living Room. We attend the annual conference for the networking and it’s such a pleasure to be able to connect in a comfortable space with food for sale and a nice mix of comfortable seating, mini conference tables, etc. I had more ad hoc face-to-face meetings in two days than in months of scheduled meetings, and the hallways weren’t lined with floor-sitters trying to rest their weary feet.  Well done, HIMSS!
  • Most interesting tone change. I’ve noticed throughout my HIMSS lifetime that each year, a different villain was blamed for problems with health IT. One year it’s physicians who wouldn’t accept change. Next year it was health system administrators who wouldn’t budget more than 3 percent of spending on HIT. Then the government for issuing unworkable mandates. Then health IT vendors whose EHRs weren’t user friendly enough. It was very refreshing to hear Karen DeSalvo say, (paraphrasing) “Let’s stop the blame and shame and look for solutions.”
  • Biggest irony. That a conference focused on developing solutions for improving the nation’s health is hosted in a location where daily exposure to second-hand smoke is unavoidable. Anyone with even the mildest asthma condition spent the week wheezing and coughing. I know there are only so many venues that can handle the HIMSS annual conference, but if we never return to the Vegas Strip it will be soon enough for me.
  • Biggest stressor/biggest regret. Being a no-show at HIStalkapalooza because of a last-minute work command performance conflict, knowing I’ll be blacklisted next year.

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From High Pitch: “Re: HIMSS session on cognitive computing. It was a pure Watson vendor pitch. Don’t they have a customer who is willing to speak on behalf of the success they’ve had?”


Four hospitals in Israel were infected with ransomware in the past month alone.

Dignity Health will expand its use of Cerner.

Some of the DrFirst roving reporter interview videos from HIMSS16:


Lots of folks were wheeling suitcases through the casino this morning and packing up their exhibits this afternoon, foretelling the usual poor attendance at Friday’s sessions. It will be cold where a lot of people are going, with these highs Friday: New York 39, Boston 36, DC 43, Atlanta 59, and Chicago 38. Las Vegas will be sunny and 80 degrees.

Overheard: “I’m a hospital business analyst. I stopped by the booth of Borda RFID to get product information. The rep didn’t want to let me in the booth. I tried to get some collateral and she told me I couldn’t have anything because it was for CIOs who were coming by later. She made me put it down. I pointed out my CIO across the aisle and said, ‘Notice that his bag is empty while mine is full. Guess who initiates product investigation at my hospital?”

I spent the morning wandering downstairs Hall G, walking slowly and offering eye contact at each booth to see which vendors were paying attention:

  • I had great coffee and a brownie at BridgeHead.
  • CaptureProof explained their secure patient-provider photo, video, and comments exchange.
  • Doc IT Solutions is a first-time exhibitor. They offer document management and said they’ve done great this week.
  • Oblong Mezzanine is a telepresence-like visual collaboration conference room setup that is realistic and allows impressive image manipulation via a wand, almost like in “Minority Report.” It’s being used by Mercy Virtual. Their full-scale mock conference room was nicely done. They say it’s being used by tumor boards and other groups that need a lifelike virtual meeting setup. This was the coolest thing I saw today.
  • Stibo Systems is a master data management vendor that serves 34 of the top 50 retailers in the world. They said MDM is not yet widely known in healthcare, but interest is growing.
  • IMAT Solutions offers tools to normalize and aggregate data in real time for reporting.
  • DataMotion Health equips providers with the ability to let their patients download their data.

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I ran across this booth in the Hall G maze. Pretty cool.

I checked out FormFast, which had an iPad-powered self demo. They offer electronic forms, barcoding, and data collection, including online consents.

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The folks at Netskope were giving away this book, which is actually very good. Netskope’s tools allow companies to find situations where PHI or other sensitive information is being sent to unauthorized cloud services, which its studies have shown happens in 21 percent of healthcare organizations. The average healthcare organization uses 1,017 cloud apps. The company’s technology allows creating policies for each risky activity. They offer a free cloud risk assessment.

That’s all I have for the moment. I left mid-afternoon today because I’m super tired (probably like everyone else). I’ll wrap up anything I have left to say about HIMSS16 this weekend. Safe travels home, everybody.

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March 3, 2016 News 3 Comments

From HIMSS 3/2/16

March 3, 2016 News 6 Comments

From Bonus Question: “Re: HIStalk. How big is your team? How many events people do you have? Where is your headquarters?” I always have to laugh when someone thinks I have an HIStalk team, like it’s a real business instead of just doing what I love doing. Jenn and I write, Lorre handles sponsor stuff and webinars. That’s the whole team. We don’t have events people – Lorre spends a lot of time arranging HIStalkapalooza. Our headquarters location is our computer screens.

From Cereal Killer: “Re: CMIO lunch. Why didn’t you have one this year?” I’ve only had one of those lunches, which was at least year’s conference since McCormick Place had a HIMSS Bistro setup near the show floor that’s not available in Las Vegas. I should have realized that the Venetian and Palazzo have lots of restaurants I could have booked, but I always forget that while HIMSS controls every hotel and conference room for miles during conference week, it doesn’t insist on managing restaurant space (yet).

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From Sirius: “Re: HIMSS booth dress and food fest. One may be more appropriate versus appealing.” I’ve noticed that booth food is a lot less available than in years past, but Iron Mountain has put out some impressive spreads, including the chocolate-dipped fruit I saw today.

From Digital Probe: “Re: Hall G exhibitors. They could sponsor HIStalk for a year and get tons more exposure than a three-day booth setup that nobody sees.” I feel sorry for companies that paid dearly to exhibit in the downstairs Hall G without understanding how little traffic it gets and how crammed in the tiny booths of unknown companies are. As I overhead from one attendee, Hall G attracts companies whose business model avoids competing with Epic and Cerner (he claims there are 30 companies down there demonstrating instant messaging), but of which 40 percent will be defunct within a year.

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From Cherry Pie: “Re: booth eye candy. Your news item had a photo of attractive dancers and you’re complaining about booth babe eye candy? Please!“ This comment made me angry. I had included a photo that Party on the Moon took from their stage that showed the male singer and four females that included singer Kelsey Chandler in costume, captured during one of their amazing numbers and posted by the band to their Facebook. Cherry Pie apparently is happy to insult Kelsey by suggesting that her primary contribution is her appearance, which is absurd if you had heard her singing Monday evening. CP’s smug opinion doesn’t help the cause of talented women who are free to look, dress, and behave however they like. I know CP probably fancies himself a progressive man, but he’s not doing women any favors by insinuating that attractive ones must have been chosen just for their looks – that’s just as maddeningly sexist as actually hiring subjectively attractive women over more qualified but subjectively less-attractive ones. You’re either gender blind or you aren’t and I doubt Kelsey needs your approval of her choice of dress, showmanship, or vocal talent.

Looks like from the preliminary HIMSS estimates that conference attendance down quite a bit from last year. I hope that’s true – I’d like to see HIMSS worry about it enough to eliminate some of the practices that might be turning people off. I’m happy to provide my own list.

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Stop by our Booth # 5069 Thursday at 11, when we’ll have your HIStalkapalooza hosts Barry Wightman and Jennifer Lyle on hand to say hello. Barry is director of marketing at Forward Health Group, where he deals with software-assisted outcomes, but he’s also a published book author, voiceover talent, fiction editor, and rock musician. Jennifer is founder and CEO of Software Testing Solutions, which helps health IT software vendors accelerate end-user delivery (and therefore revenue recognition) via automated testing, whether it’s for interoperability interfaces, middleware, outreach software, or LIS applications, cutting testing time from weeks to days. They would be ecstatic to see some HIStalkapalooza attendees drop by.

I’d like to give a shout-out to the folks who are minding the store while the rest of us are screwing around at the HIMSS conference worrying about which party to attend. My conclusion is this: the folks here can’t be all that important if their organizations run seamlessly in their absence. People who don’t travel much think it’s glamorous and fun, so those here can score points by emailing back to work and thanking the people who stayed behind.

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I really appreciate the vendors and CIOs who participated in my CIO lunch on Wednesday. Lorre reports that everyone seemed to enjoy themselves, the food and Maggiano’s were great (I paid for lunch, just in case someone thinks it came out of the money donated), and Dana Moore says he’ll write a description of what each sponsor talked about for me to run later. I funded a lot of projects from the proceeds, with every dollar donated going directly to helping a lot of classrooms, teachers, and students that needed some financial assistance. A vendor executive who is setting up a family charitable foundation told me he had DonorsChoose vetted and they passed with flying colors, which isn’t surprising given their near-perfect Charity Navigator scores. The CEO, a former teacher, takes a very low salary.

Speaking of DonorsChoose, Epic QA donated $50, to which I applied matching funds as well as some personal money to purchase a library of 25 biographies for Mrs. Hale’s third grade class in Indianapolis, IN. She responded almost immediately, “From the bottom of my big, third grade teacher heart, THANK YOU! Thank you so much for taking the time to help get my students biographies that are kid friendly and engaging. They will be so excited to read about people from the present and past. I can’t wait to see their faces when I tell them we have so many new biographies to choose from.”

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Ross Martin, MD, MHA was too busy changing jobs and houses to perform at HIStalkapalooza like we originally planned. However, I had a sash made for him, which he picked up in our booth today. He made a great Elvis here at our 2012 event.

Nordic’s Aaron Mann dispels the notion that HIStalkapalooza is just a party, explaining that a chance encounter is actually pretty likely when you have a room full of the industry’s coolest people.

DrFirst filmed Jonathan Bush doing his Donald Trump imitation at HIStalkapalooza.

Here’s an HIStalkapalooza flashback video from the 2012 Las Vegas event, hosted by the amazing ESD. I watch this every few months since I really like the music and the atmosphere it captured. For trivia buffs, we held this one at the since-closed First Food & Bar restaurant in the Palazzo. Let’s hear your memories and comparisons if you were there.

DrFirst captured John Halamka accepting his HIStalk Lifetime Achievement Award on stage. He won several awards Monday evening. I’m a big fan.

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I will never like this product name, formed by leaving out the “t” in “quantum.”

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Chris Miller of the DoD led a discussion about their EHR project. He said military users demanded an integrated system and that DoD is happy making configuration decisions instead of leading technical design sessions for self-development.

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A CEO suggested that I take a look at Novarad’s VNA. That’s not my strongest area of expertise, but it was simple to understand and their services agreement covers maintenance and disaster recovery. The zero-footprint viewer running on Google Chrome was cool. Users can upload any document from a network-attached drive and store it in designated patient folders in the VNA.

Is it just me or is it bizarre that in this day and age, Las Vegas apparently doesn’t recycle? I didn’t see any blue trash cans.

I watched a kiosk demonstration at the Fujitsu booth and pondered this question about biometric security since they offer palm vein scanning ID systems. People have rightfully observed that if biometric credentials are stolen, there’s little recourse since users can change passwords but not their fingerprints or palm vein patterns. Here’s my idea. In both cases, all that’s stored by the scanning system is a set of mathematical inferences from the image, not the image itself. Why not allow each vendor to develop their own ID matrix from the hundreds of available data points? Maybe Vendor A takes the mathematical representation of the palm vein scan and uses 25 data points of their choosing to construct a verifiable user ID, while perhaps Vendor B uses a different 52 data points to string together their own ID characteristics. That form of “encryption” allows each vendor to positively ID patients using characteristics that are meaningless outside their own environment, making it pointless to steal the entire biometric database because it doesn’t work on other systems. Even if Vendor A gets breached, they can simply choose a new algorithm and convert existing profiles, immediately locking their own systems back down while preserving the ability to keep using biometrics without noticeable patient impact. Interoperability of biometric ID is unnecessary – it’s perfectly fine for individual IT systems to positively ID patients from their individual, proprietary subset of the entire biometric scan.

A reader told me about this 2013 TEDMED video by ZDoggMD on testicular self-examination, set to the crotch-grabbing music of Michael Jackson. It’s brilliant. “I’m checking out my nads in the mirror.” He was on stage at HIStalkapalooza with Jonathan Bush.

HIMSS Media was doing a live radio show from the exhibit hall. I can’t imagine that anyone was actually listening.

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CareTech had their “mission control” display out. Pretty cool.

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Allscripts had quite a few people in their booth today.

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The coolest product I saw was from EchoPixel, which is exhibiting “blended reality” in the HP booth. It’s a fuzzy monitor image above because it’s 3D, but putting on the 3D glasses makes it shockingly real for clinicians to look at diagnostic images spatially, practice their procedures, and interactively pick up and move objects like implantables to plan surgeries. Not only was it super cool, the friendly lady showing it was Janet, who has a biomedical engineering PhD from Cal Berkeley (she was shyly embarrassed a little when I noticed the credentials on her business card and starting gushing like a star-struck fan). It was an outstanding product demonstrated by a really cool engineer. You should see it before the exhibit hall closes Thursday.

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Epic’s booth sign claims that moving from Cerner or Allscripts increases profitability.

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Cerner strikes back in pointing out that Banner bought University of Arizona Health Network and promptly announced plans to replace Epic with Banner’s Cerner systems. UA had made a bit of a mess of it, with project budget overruns being one of several reasons it had to sell out to Banner.

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Hall G is a lot of tiny booths of mostly unknown companies. I’m sure there’s some good stuff down there, but it was sort of depressing down there in the basement, especially knowing that companies paid dearly for a low-traffic location.

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Legacy Data Access made their point with a dinosaur. Pretty cool.

I asked NTT Data about Bob the amazing magician they have in their booth. Apparently he’s about to retire, but they’re hoping to lure him back next year. I commented that I saw him doing absolutely unreal things in talking about the deceased relatives of some HIMSS attendees watching his performance – they said that in the demonstration shows he did for their employees, several left the room crying after his apparent contact with their family members who have passed on. I wouldn’t have believed it myself, but I strongly recommend that you see him Thursday and decide for yourself. I thought I was going to have to physically support my fellow HIMSS attendee whose deceased grandmother Bob described in amazingly precise detail despite knowing nothing more than her name.

Thanks, LifeImage, for the cool backup battery for electronics.

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Our booth neighbors Stericycle Communications have been tolerant of our never-ending parade of visitors. Stop by and have your picture made with Elvis – it will make their day. They’re nice people.

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I don’t understand how either of these neighboring companies are still in business.

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I heard the hall-filling sound of singing and found Anthelio’s Sinatra imitator cranking up his backing music to very high levels. You could hear him 20 rows over. I’m sure neighbors complained given the strict HIMSS rules on sounds or activities that detract from other exhibitors, so I’m certain they had to turn it down. He was OK.

I saw quite a few vendor people eating lunch in their booths out in the public areas. Bad idea. Attendees are either going to feel they’re intruding or they’re going to get hungry. You’re on stage when you’re in your booth on the time clock, so act like it.

Every year I’m amazed at how customer-indifferent the people working the Microsoft booth are. I stopped by today as the only person in front of four Microsoft employees standing in in front of some notebooks and Surface Pro devices. Two immediately walked away chatting together as I stood there trying to make eye contact, while the remaining two talked among themselves in studiously avoiding eye contact until I finally left. They really are self-important geeks who shouldn’t be allowed within 100 yards of prospects or customers, yet every year I experience the exact same treatment in their booth.

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Medecision’s mentalist was sporting a cool suit.

I was happy not to see the distractions of previous HIMSS conferences like people pretending to be statues, dozens of booths baking cookies, and golf simulators. Here’s the odd thing, though: nearly every vendor was giving away pens, but I couldn’t find a single one offering anything to write on. I really needed a notepad.

I found myself pondering why low-level vendor employees have to wear company shirts while on HIMSS booth duty, while their richly compensated bosses don suits instead. Shouldn’t the company’s highest-paid person be proudest to work there?

The HIMSS “Ask Me” people are really friendly and helpful. Kudos to them.

Overheard: “Todd Park left Athenahealth with $40 million in shares to go to work as HHS CTO. Federal service requires liquidating such holdings, but since the government then recognizes the proceeds as tax free, Todd avoided paying the many millions of taxes that would have otherwise been due on the $40 million stock sale. I’m not saying he took the job for just that reason, but the man knows how to work a spreadsheet to his advantage.”

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Cerner’s booth had an open feel, complete with a journey through various healthcare settings.

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The DoD EHR project got some podium and booth time.

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Epic claims to not have a marketing department, but someone there is doing a pretty good job of stating the company’s case.

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March 3, 2016 News 6 Comments

Morning Headlines 2/29/16

February 29, 2016 Headlines No Comments

Remarks by the President in Precision Medicine Panel Discussion

The White House publishes the Presidents transcript from the Precision Medicine panel discussion, in which he calls out interoperability issues directly, saying, “Part of the problem with have right now is that every patient’s data is siloed — it’s in a hospital here, a hospital there, a doctor here, a lab there.”

Meaningful-use hardship exemption deadline extended

CMS extends the hardship exemption deadline for hospitals and providers to July 1. Hospitals originally had until April 1 to file for an exemption, while EPs only had until March 15.

Cerner Names John Glaser SVP of Population Health

John Glaser will take over Cerner’s population health division on April 1.

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February 29, 2016 Headlines No Comments

Monday Morning Update 2/29/16

February 27, 2016 News 1 Comment

Top News

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From the transcript of President Obama’s remarks Thursday about the White House’s Precision Medicine Initiative:

Part of the problem with have right now is that every patient’s data is siloed — it’s in a hospital here, a hospital there, a doctor here, a lab there. The goal here is if we can pool and create a common database of ultimately a million people that’s diverse so that they have a lot of genetic variation, we can now take a disease that may be relatively rare, but because we have a pretty large sample size and start seeing patterns that we might not have seen before. But a couple things that requires — it requires, first of all, us understanding who owns the data. I would like to think that if somebody does a test on me or my genes, that that’s mine, but that’s not always how we define these issues …

In terms of the model that we use for health records that hopefully will be digitized more and more, companies help hospitals keep and collect that data. They should get paid for that. They’re building software. They’re building an infrastructure. On the other hand, we don’t want that data just trapped. So if I am sick and voluntarily I want to join with other people who have a similar disease to mine and donate our data to help accelerate cures, I’ve got to be able to work with the electronic health record companies to make sure that I can do that easily. There may be some commercial resistance to that that we have to talk about — although we’re seeing some terrific participation now, and that’s part of what we’re announcing, of those companies in terms of helping that happen.

There’s privacy issues. We’ve got to figure out how do we make sure that if I donate my data to this big pool that it’s not going to be misused, that it’s not going to be commercialized in some way that I don’t know about. We’ve got to set up a series of structures that make me confident that if I’m making that contribution to science that I’m not going to end up getting a bunch of spam targeting people who have a particular disease I may have. 



Reader Comments

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From Sitz Bath: “Re: your Epic report. How many people downloaded it?” About 1,200 that I know of, but the Politico people messed me up by publishing a direct link that avoided the sign-up page I had created to keep count. You can download it here.

From CMIOmaha: “Re: your Epic report. Much appreciate the amazing summary on Epic. The most objective and down to earth summary I’ve ever seen. I downloaded it this morning and shared with all our C-level with an immediate and incredible feedback! I wish you’d do the same with Cerner.” Maybe it would be interesting to ask the same questions to the executives of Cerner users. Peer60 did all the heavy lifting via their market feedback platform, so it wouldn’t take much of my time.

From HIMSS PR: “Re: Greenway Health. Second staff reduction in the past six weeks. Sales leadership and enterprise sales team taken out. Not the best PR heading into HIMSS.” Unverified. 


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

 

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I’m writing this Saturday from Las Vegas, where it’s sunny and warm. I rented a huge, luxurious house five minutes off the Strip for $200 per night and it’s filled with friends and family (all female, I just realized) who are helping with HIStalkapalooza. We have a heated pool and hot tub in our outdoor oasis, so last night it was pizza and this afternoon I’m grilling hamburgers and hot dogs poolside. I fell asleep last night to the gurgling of the hot tub’s waterfall outside after catching up on emails on the 25-megabit Wi-Fi (take that, crappy hotel Internet made worse by guests streaming Netflix and porn). It’s nice to be able to relax before the madness starts Monday, not to mention that I’m saving a fortune in hotel and restaurant bills. I should hang the HIStalk booth banner over the garage door.

I’m not sure when I’ll post over the next couple of days. Certainly Monday night after HIStalkapalooza (which means I won’t sleep much before a long Tuesday), but maybe Sunday if anything interesting happens.

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Here’s your Las Vegas weather forecast. Trust me, it’s probably nicer here than wherever you’re coming from.

I was amused that the marketing manager of a vendor I highlighted as misspelling HIMSS on their site emailed me to accuse me of Photoshopping the screen shot, saying they had spelled it correctly. However, the sneaky alterations were on their end – they took down the page with the misspelling and posted a new one, perhaps not realizing that I could simply email them a link to Google’s cached image of the original page to prove my point. Doh!

The results of the reader-requested poll of health systems allowing the use of test patients in production systems are as follows:

  • 15 percent say they never allow it
  • 46 percent they allow it under strict conditions
  • 30 percent they allow it as needed within reason
  • 9 percent say they allow it without restriction

Concerns listed by respondents include the possibility of dropping real charges, the downstream effects on interfaced systems, and inadvertent printing of documents (I’ve seen all of these). 

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Two-thirds of poll respondents say IBM Watson Health is just hype. MEHIS Expert says it’s just an IBM ploy to increase consulting revenue, while HackerDoc questions whether IBM has the right medical informatics physicians with computer science backgrounds involved. Hype provided thoughtful analysis:

It’s beyond hype. They have now officially taken what was a brilliant branding strategy (personifying the intangible and making it both relatable and revolutionary sounding) and turned it into pure silliness. The Phytel acquisition last year was when my red flags were raised being that pop health is still just a buzzword, vapor and yet to be proven, but this addition just confirms that IBM is just trying to over-PR their revenue shell game. What is funny is that Truven began as the mixed bag business unit of Thomson Reuters after they went on a silly publishing buying binge while the publishing world was crashing (PDR, Micromedex, etc.). Thomson couldn’t find a way to blend those brands well into their financial and media strategies and spun them off, which resulted in Truven. How IBM is going to find a better fit for these brands that were too out-of-date for an old publishing co company is beyond my logical understanding. It makes me speculate that IBM may want to closely observe what is currently happening to Xerox. Bottom line, I no longer view Watson with the shock-and- awe wonderment that I once did.

New poll to your right or here: will EClinicalWorks and Athenahealth become major inpatient system vendors?

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Here’s where Lorre will be spending the week – Booth #5069, with those other companies around us hopefully being OK with the significant traffic of interesting people we bring to an otherwise undistinguished location right next to an area labeled “Chain Link Fence – Storage.” I’m not sure I really get $5,000 worth of value from a 10×10 booth, but I’ll feel better about spending the money if everybody at least drops by to say hello.

Welcome to new HIStalk Gold sponsor Ellis & Adams. The Austin-based research and consulting firm offers IT strategic planning, project management, Lean workflow design, cost analysis, and data science services. Co-founder Don Ellis, MBA, MPH has a long industry history working for both providers and vendors; co-founder Jeff Adams, MBA spent a lot of time as a healthcare CTO; and partner Bill Blewitt has spent his whole career in healthcare IT. The company just published a description of its EHR optimization work with Dameron Hospital (CA). Thanks to Ellis & Adams for supporting HIStalk.

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Healthcare IT Leaders donated $1,000 to DonorsChoose to attend my CIO lunch this week, which I used (along with third-party matching money) to fully fund these teacher grant requests while sitting by the pool:

  • Programmable robots for the media center of Ms. Becote’s elementary school in Florence, SC.
  • Physics learning kits for Ms. Stuckeman’s middle school science and math club in Fort Worth, TX.
  • Math games for Mrs. Wolfe’s fifth grade class in Little River, SC.
  • Programmable robots for Mrs. Marinin’s elementary school classes in Green Bay, WI (she is targeting females, hoping to expose them to careers in to computer science).
  • A maker space (programmable robots, invention kits, kinetic sand, and a duct tape creation kit) for the library of Ms. Harrison’s elementary school in San Juan, TX.
  • Six Amazon Fire tablets for the gifted elementary school classes of Mrs. Evans in Orlando, FL.

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Mrs. Newman reports on the STEM activity kits we gave her Indiana second graders by funding her DonorsChoose grant request: “Thanks to you, my students are benefiting more from discovery learning as opposed to teacher led instruction. With team work, they are working collaboratively building roller coasters to learn more about gravity. They are also reading instructions on how to incorporate levers and pulleys into their creations. It is so exciting to watch them in action! Your help in providing these amazing STEM materials has been appreciated by my students, parents, and myself. Thank you very much!”

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Also checking in is special education teacher Mrs. Allen from South Carolina, who reports, “My students were so excited when they came back from Christmas break to new headphones! They actually want to use the computers now … They have begun taking pride in our computer center and want the computers to look neat … I had no idea that something as simple as headphones could make such a difference in the attitudes of my students.”


Last Week’s Most Interesting News

  • The White House announces commitments from vendors and providers to support its Precision Medicine Initiative, most of them involving patient-contributed research data, patient access to their own data, and interoperability. 
  • HIMSS announces the retirement of two EVPs, John Hoyt and Norris Orms.
  • ResMed announces that it will acquire Brightree for $800 million.
  • EClinical Works announces plans to develop an inpatient EHR.
  • England’s Royal Berkshire Hospital cancels surgeries when its Windows XP pathology systems are taken down by malware.

Webinars

None scheduled soon. Contact Lorre for webinar services. Past webinars are on our HIStalk webinars YouTube channel.

We’re running a HIMSS special on webinars. Contact Lorre or see her at our booth #5069 (don’t blink or you’ll miss it).

Here’s the recording of Thursday’s webinar, “Analytics For Population Health: Straddling Two Worlds.” 


People

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XG Health Solutions promotes Mike Bertrand to CTO.

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Cerner reassigns John Glaser to SVP of population health. I’m not a fan of the title since “population health” is not at all the same as “population health management,” which in turn is not at all the same as “population health management software.” Despite his new title, John isn’t responsible for the health of any population other than his own.


Sponsor Updates

  • Whirl Magazine features TeleTracking’s volunteer activities in its March issue.
  • Validic publishes a new white paper, “The Unprecedented Convergence of Healthcare and Technology.”
  • The local news covers the opening of Versus Technology client University of Minnesota’s Health Clinic and Surgery Center.
  • Voalte publishes a case study featuring Frisbie Memorial Hospital (NH).
  • Leadership Excellence recognizes PerfectServe Vice President of Human Capital as a Top Corporate Leader in the over 35 category.
  • PeriGen releases a new eBook, “A Vision of the Future of Obstetrics.”

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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February 27, 2016 News 1 Comment

News 2/26/16

February 25, 2016 News 10 Comments

Top News

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The White House announces several commitments to its Precision Medicine Initiative call to action, including:

  • The Advisory Board Company will create APIs for up to five pilot sites interested in building FHIR-based applications.
  • Allscripts, Athenahealth, Drchrono, Epic, and McKesson will pilot open APIs that will allow patients to contribute their EHR data to research in “Sync for Science” pilot projects.
  • The CRISP HIE will enable consumer “data donation” to support research.
  • Get My Data will initiate a “virtual march” of consumers via pop culture events, social media, and media campaigns.
  • Hackensack University Medical Center will adopt FHIR and open APIs for patient access.
  • Intermountain Healthcare will create a patient portal for cancer genomic data.
  • Ochsner Health System will expand its wearables data pilots.
  • PicnicHealth will publish a guide explaining how consumers can get access to their data and will create a Web-based portal for requesting data from the country’s 500 largest health systems.
  • PCORnet will help patients get access to their EHR data and contribute it for research.
  • Sage Bionetworks will create a way for study patients to contribute data for research.
  • St. Joseph Health will make data from Allscripts and Meditech available through an API and allow patients to see, edit, and contribute their own data.
  • Surescripts will give patients participating in the first precision medicine cohort the ability to contribute their medication and health information.
  • University of California Health System will give patients tools to download their information from all five of its medical centers and to share the information with providers and researchers. It will also develop a Blue and Gold Button, working with Cisco on a standards-based interoperability platform.
  • Validic will give users an opt-in form that will allow them to donate their patient-generated data to researchers.
  • Yale New Haven health will give patients access to their full medical record and allow them to share or donate their information.
  • New York Genome Center will use IBM Watson to generate cancer insights.
  • Inova Health System will create a $100 million precision medicine venture fund.
  • UPMC will make its legacy EHR data available to applications and services via a FHIR API.
  • University of Arizona Health Sciences will spend $22 million to expand its open-source analytic methods for disease-associated gene expression changes.

Reader Comments

From Sage on the Stage: “Re: same old HIT problems. Usability, interoperability, and security require addressing socio-technical challenges that start-ups and politicians are reluctant to admit, much less address. For those going to the HIMSS conference, ask vendors the hard questions.” Here’s the list from SOTS:

  • Do your system designers observe real clinician users in their busy clinical setting, recording how many errors they make, the problems they have finding data, or workarounds used in providing care to someone’s mother? If you have conducted those observations, what are you doing to correct the problems? If not, do you have any free tee shirts?
  • How does your EHR identify patients from disparate organizations, reconcile clinical terminologies, and normalize the clinical and administrative data before importing it and integrating it into your EHR and displaying it to clinicians? If so, can you connect me with a customer using those features? If not, do you have any free golf balls?
  • Does your product use two-factor authentication for remote access? How do you ensure that clients have implemented all the appropriate security precautions and most recent application and OS updates? Do you perform announced penetration tests on your clients’ networks and databases?

From Boy Wonder: “Re: HIMSS conference. Today in our company-wide prep meeting we reviewed your ‘booth rules for vendors’ rant from a few years ago … such good content. Hopefully our team members will learn from it and not screw up!” It was a culmination of my life’s work a couple of years ago to capture the fleeting image of every single employee in one vendor’s booth simultaneously tuning out passers-by while obsessing over their phones. I can’t top that, but I will be on the prowl for inhospitable booth behavior that disrespects attendees and robs employers. I would offer to mystery shop for companies interested in my blunt, objective opinion, but I fear I would be overwhelmed with requests.

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From Blown Cover: “Re: HIMSS spelling. It’s crazy after decades that people in the industry don’t know the difference between HIMSS and HIMMS. Come on, people – get it together!” Googling “HIMSS16” gives 5,410 results, while searching for just “HIMMS” returns  577,000 results. Even hashtag “#HIMMS16# “ turns up usage by tweeters like CHCF Innovations, Carestream, GetMyHealthData, CSC Health, and Cylance. You might find this startling lack of attention to detail is concerning given that, by definition, it involves companies offering patient-impacting technology products.

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From Gone Guy: “Re: HIMSS and SIIM. Last time I checked they dealt in the digital world.” The stock photography doctor not only is peering intently at a now-antiquated film, she’s got a giant, turquoise syringe handy should she feel the need to inject something unsterile into someone. I can only imagine how often the HIMSS-SIIM Enterprise Imaging Workgroup’s name will be mangled into HIMMS-SIMM.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

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We provided an Osmo learning system in funding the DonorsChoose grant request from Ms. Murphy in Wisconsin, who emailed, “As you look around the room when students are using these materials, you can see the excitement on their faces, how highly engaged they are in the math, and the social skills that are being developed. You can hear mathematics vocabulary being used in their discussions and how they work together to solve problems, whether they are academic or social.”

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We also provided math picture books for Ms. Schmidt’s Indiana kindergarten class, which she says are so popular that the kids are reading them outside of their math workshop sessions.

This week on HIStalk Practice: The US Oncology Network and McKesson Specialty Health help oncologists move to value-based payment models. Family Health Care of Siouxland sees success in depression screening with new check-in tablets. : Andy Slavitt addresses physician burden, MACRA next steps at AMA conference. MBS/Net merges with Medsphere. KP Northwest enters the standalone – and telemedicine-friendly – clinic market in Portland. Georgia rolls out HIV telemedicine program at its public health clinics.

This week on HIStalk Connect: Fitbit shares fall 20 percent on low Q1 earnings and revenue guidance. Insurance startup Oscar Health raises a $400 million private equity round to expand its geographical footprint. Crisis Text Line releases a dataset containing more than 13 million de-identified text messages between its crisis counselors and teens that use the service. Opternative raises $6 million to ramp up its online eye exam business.

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Welcome to new HIStalk Platinum Sponsor Ability Network. The Minneapolis-based company has for 20 years been helping providers and payers simplify the administrative and clinical complexities of healthcare through innovative applications and data analytics. It has helped hundreds of health IT vendors connect to Medicare and commercial payers, giving easy EDI payer access and embedding eligibility and claims management directly into the vendor’s software. Hospitals can take advantage of platforms for Medicare billing management, FISS/DDE connectivity, all-payer eligibility and claims, and Medicare claims submission and remittance advice. The company has grown tremendously, fueled by over $500 million in capital investment and several notable acquisitions, the most recent being Thursday’s acquisition of RCM and analytics services vendor G4 Health Systems. Industry long-timer, pharmacist, and former McKesson President and CEO Mark Pulido is Ability’s CEO and board chair. Thanks to Ability Network for supporting HIStalk.

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The folks at Peer60 helped me survey C-level executives from Epic-using organizations to create a free report, “Epic: the cold hard facts.” I came up with questions I always wanted to ask Epic sites. Are provider executives willing to speak up if they find Epic-related issues that could impact patient safety? Does Epic provide competitive advantage? Do Epic-using CIOs prefer Epic sites when looking for a new job? Did Epic go in on budget and do CFOs think it’s worth the cost? Are customers happy with Epic’s interoperability? It’s a free download – the form asks for basic information just for my use in understanding who is reading it, but you can enter dummy data if you aren’t comfortable sharing with me. It’s been crazy trying to get this finished during all the HIMSS hoopla and I’ve already noticed that I made a couple of aggravating minor typos, so forgive me for those. Free really is free: there’s no advertising, no charging vendors for copies, and no behind-the-scenes selling of data. Thanks to the provider executives who participated.

I’m heading to Las Vegas early this weekend, just to get settled in before the wave of HIT immigrants overwhelms the baggage carousels, taxi lines, and check-in desks. Nothing really happens until Monday, so I’m hoping to finally take a breath and get into HIMSS mode after a way too busy February.


Webinars

None scheduled soon. Contact Lorre for webinar services. Past webinars are on our HIStalk webinars YouTube channel.

We’re running a HIMSS special on webinars – 25 percent off produced and two-for-one on promoted. Contact Lorre or see her at our booth next week.

Here’s this week’s webinar, sponsored by LifeImage, titled, “Completing Your EMR with a Medical Image Sharing Strategy.”


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Google’s DeepMind Technologies forms DeepMind Health, offering two apps it acquired. Streams, for acute kidney injury detection, was developed by Royal Free Hospital London, while clinical task management  and communication app Hark was created by an Imperial College London team. Neither app uses DeepMind’s machine learning or artificial intelligence capabilities – these are apparently simple, hospital-built apps that don’t do a whole lot despite the Tweeters wetting their pants in anticipation of Google mounting an undeclared challenge to IBM Watson.

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E-prescribing and electronic prior authorization network vendor CenterX raises $3.3 million in funding.

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UPMC makes an unspecified investment in Vivify Health and will implement its care management and patient engagement technology. UPMC’s investment completes a round that was started in November 2014, increasing the company’s total to $23.4 million.

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Meditech solutions provider Park Place International will rename itself CloudWave. 

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Minneapolis-based employee health benefits management technology startup Gravie lays off 21 employees – 25 percent of its workforce, with CEO Abir Sen explaining, “It’s a bad market out there and we need to invest in growth.” Crunchbase reports that the company has raised $25.6 million, with its last round of $12.5 million being completed in April 2015.

VitalWare receives an unspecified growth investment from F-Prime Capital Partners, which gets two board seats.

Medsphere merges with EHR implementation consulting firm MBS/Net.


Sales

The State of Oklahoma chooses Orion Health’s Healthier Populations Solutions Suite for Health-e Oklahoma.

Mission Health (NC) selects PeraHealth’s clinical surveillance solution.

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Maine Medical Center (ME) chooses Lexmark’s accounts payable automation, which includes Perceptive Intelligent Capture and Perceptive Content.

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University of Kansas Hospital (KS) selects Cerner’s HealthIntent population health management system. I was distracted by the press release’s use of two pompous substitutions (“leverage” and “utilize”) for the perfectly serviceable “use,” but I’ll give them a bye for whipping out “proactive” a couple of times, which is two too many.

Intermountain Healthcare will use Ayasdi’s clinical variation management software.


People

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LifeImage promotes Jim Phillips to SVP.

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Orion Health prometes Wayne Oxenham to president of its North America operations.

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Huron Consulting Group hires LaDonna Sweeten (Leidos Health) as managing director.

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PatientSafe Solutions promotes co-founder Si Luo to president and CEO.

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HIMSS announces pre-conference organizational changes: HIMSS Analytics EVP John Hoyt retires, Blain Newton is promoted to replace Hoyt, and HIMSS EVP/COO R. Norris Orms announces his retirement.


Announcements and Implementations

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Catalyze announces Stratum, a compliance layer for healthcare infrastructure.

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Aprima adds Chronic Care Management functionality to its EHR.

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American Well releases a software development kit that allows providers to embed the company’s online doctor visit technology into their mobile apps.

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LogicStream Health adds an executive overview area to its clinical process measurement platform, allowing leaders to monitor care activity at levels ranging from specific conditions (such as CAUTI or VTE) to overall quality.

CHIME announces a “unique partnership” with OpenNotes, with the press release babbling endlessly without actually saying what the partnership involves until Paragraph 7, which finally gets to the point in explaining that CHIME’s task is to “bring greater awareness.”

First Databank announces its OrderSpace CPOE medication ordering content system, with McKesson Paragon being the first inpatient system to make it available to users.

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Geisinger spinoff xG Health Solutions will use Cerner’s HealtheIntent population health management platform, while Cerner will use xG’s clinical content in its HealtheCare and HealtheAnalytics solutions.

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The Partnership for Health IT Patient Safety releases Toolkit for the Safe Use of Copy and Paste.

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Elsevier lists its activities at the HIMSS conference, including serving as the red carpet sponsor of HIStalkapalooza. I’ve worn  the sunglasses they provided last year in Chicago countless times while running, sunning, or doing yard work — I call them my Elsevier safety glasses.


Government and Politics

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ONC announces its Interoperability Proving Ground, a community for sharing information about interoperability projects.

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The National Institutes of Health says during Thursday’s White House summit on precision medicine that it hopes to be gathering data on 1 million people by 2019, also announcing that it will fund a Vanderbilt University study involving Verily (the former Google Life Sciences) to determine how to attract those volunteers.

Army veteran Dennis Magnasco spent two days trying to schedule an appointment with the VA clinic in Bedford, MA, but could never get through the phone tree to reach an actual human. He works for Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA), who filmed Magnasco’s attempt and posted it to Facebook, where it received more than 2 million views. The outcry motivated the Bedford clinic to fix its PBX and earned Moulton several new sponsors for his Faster Care for Veterans bill that would require the VA to run an 18-month pilot project in which veterans can self-schedule using a smartphone app. Moulton criticized the VA’s plan: “They were planning to spend $623 million developing their own app. This is available today. God knows how long it would take them to spend that.” He says the VA just likes building its own proprietary systems, adding, “They gave a variety of silly excuses.”


Privacy and Security

A law professor’s USA Today op-ed piece that appears to be satirical proposes going back to paper to thwart hackers, explaining:

The truth is, paper records are inherently more secure. To steal 10 million electronic user records from a government agency, all you might need is a cracked password and a thumb drive. To steal that many records on paper, you’d need a fleet of trucks and an uninterrupted month. And ransomware wouldn’t work on paper records. What would you do – put a padlock on the file cabinets and demand ransom for the key? And often, putting things on computers is a crock anyway. Electronic medical records, touted as saving money and streamlining care, are a major cause of physician burnout. It’s gotten so bad that some hospitals actually advertise the lack of electronic medical record systems as a selling point in recruiting doctors. If I were running an intelligence agency, I’d have all my important stuff done in handwriting or on mechanical typewriters and distributed in sealed envelopes. If I were setting up a voting system, I’d use paper ballots. And if I were running a hospital, I’d seriously consider doing everything on paper. There’s a place for computer records, of course. But for things that really matter and that need to be genuinely secure, we should try a more advanced technology: Paper and ink. Take that, hackers.

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A Venafi survey finds that CIOs are not properly managing security keys and certificates. You will no doubt be shocked to learn that Venafi sells tools to secure keys and certificates. The survey suggests that more hackers are attacking using untrusted keys and certificates that can be bought on the black market for around $1,000 to encrypt their evil-doing traffic.

Pro football player Jason Pierre-Paul sues ESPN and one of its reporters for violating his privacy in running a photo of a surgery schedule proving that he had blown off a finger playing with fireworks on July 4, 2015. Jackson Memorial Hospital (FL) fired a nurse and a secretary earlier this month for sending the information to ESPN. JPP is suing under a Florida health professions regulation, which seems to hold little chance for legal victory since, like HIPAA, it covers providers but not sports networks running celebrity news.


Technology

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Apple sold 11.6 million Watches in 2015, placing it in wearables third place behind Fitbit and Xiaomi. I knew little about China-based Xiaomi, but learned that its $15 Band Plus Pulse (pictured above) added a heart monitor to its existing step counting, sleep analysis, incoming call alert, and integration with the iOS Health app.

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NHS England Nursing Technology Fund provides Princess Alexandra Hospital with $1.4 million to purchase Nervecentre’s mobile clinical platform software for iPad-based documentation.


Other

An analysis of LinkedIn’s share free-fall says the company’s problems are fundamental to its business model as somewhere between business card holder and spam delivery service: its only content is generated by self-promoting but sporadic users (often only when they’re looking for work) who are then pestered endlessly by recruiters. The article says LinkedIn should stop rewarding bad user behavior, allow users to block unwanted communications, and integrate better with email.

A Pennsylvania VA nurse is charged with assisting in an emergency surgery while drunk. The nurse, who says he forgot he was on call, drove recklessly from a casino bar and was caught on hospital security video stumbling into the facility. He then had problems logging in to the OR computer and documenting the procedure.


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  • The Atlanta Business Chronicle interviews Liaison Technologies President and CEO Bob Renner.
  • Allscripts announces that its APIs have been used to exchange data one billion times in three years.
  • HCI Group partners with Securonix to enhance its security offerings.
  • Extension Healthcare will add AirStrip’s mobility platform to its Engage Mobile, providing event notifications and waveforms 

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February 25, 2016 News 10 Comments

Morning Headlines 2/25/16

February 24, 2016 Headlines No Comments

Dr. Robert Califf Wins Senate Confirmation to Run FDA

In an 89-4 vote, Robert Califf, MD, a cardiologist and clinical researcher from Duke University, has been confirmed by the Senate as the next FDA commissioner.

CommonWell Announces National Deployment of Interoperability Services to the Post-Acute Market

CommonWell will begin offering integration services in the post-acute care market in 2016, noting in its announcement that CommonWell members Brightree, Cerner, and McKesson have agreed to deploy the new services.

Google’s DeepMind AI group unveils heath care ambitions

Google announces that it has teamed up with researchers from the NHS to co-develop a version of its DeepMind AI platform focused on developing healthcare applications.

WebMD sees opening to tap into telehealth space

WebMD CEO David Schlanger says on its most recent earnings call that the company would likely enter the telehealth space, through either an acquisition or a partnership.

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February 24, 2016 Headlines No Comments

HIStalk Interviews Michael Mardini, CEO, National Decision Support Company

February 22, 2016 Interviews 1 Comment

Michael Mardini is CEO of National Decision Support Company of Andover, MA.

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Tell me about yourself and the company.

This is company number three for me in my career. It’s been 27 years in healthcare IT. I started back in 1992. I think that’s before healthcare IT was even an industry. [laughs]

I’m an entrepreneur focused on disrupting inefficient processes, keyed in on healthcare. It’s never really been about a market size opportunity for me. It’s something that somehow clicked for me, something that I found my passion for.

Startups won’t succeed unless you are waking up in the morning ready to take on the world. It’s intense. It’s pressure packed. I’ve been fortunate to have found a love in virtually everything that I’ve been involved in.

I’m getting a big charge out of NDSC. We’re at the precipice of defining how guidelines and pathways can be used in an actionable way, beyond paper and flowcharts, to impact outcomes in a positive way. We wake up every morning thinking that we’re doing something great.

What is the status of Medicare’s imaging appropriate use criteria?

It’s for outpatient Medicare imaging, the use of appropriate use criteria for all high-tech diagnostic imaging services. The original target was January 1, 2017. That has since been delayed. They haven’t set a specific date, but if you look at the regulations, all the timelines line up to January 1, 2018.

Is it a given that properly presented appropriateness guidance will change usage patterns?

How wouldn’t it? It really comes down to how it’s implemented. If you’re going to put guidance in front of a doc who’s about to do something wrong, where normally that order would just go through, and you give him guidance, how would it not have a positive impact?

The mechanisms that commercial providers use are radiology benefits management services. That’s an old-world version of what CDS does. It’s phone call driven. I’m going to make a call. I’m going to tell somebody that I want to order a test for a given reason. They’re going to look in a book. They’re going to say that’s a good reason or it isn’t.

CDS is embedded in the ordering process. It’s at the point of service. The easiest way I can describe it is that it’s the difference between calling the travel agent back in the day or logging onto Expedia. Implemented properly, there’s absolutely no reason why it won’t work. There’s evidence that shows this in multiple studies.

Did you look at existing clinical decision support models to decide how to present the guidance without being obtrusive or causing resentment?

There are two things that we hold near and dear to our hearts. First is the source of those criteria, meaning s credible source using a defined process for the answers that are given. It doesn’t mean that everybody’s going to agree with every piece of guidance. That’s impossible. But having a defined process and a recognizable and a reputable source is key.

The second big one is that workload has to be a seamless in what they’re working in. There were earlier CDS products in the market. They were standalone solutions. It was go to this portal, click 14 times, and it will give you an answer.

Everything that we do leverages the existing EMR infrastructure, whether it’s Epic, Cerner, etc.. The user never leaves their environment. In the best integration, they don’t even know that it’s there unless they do something outside of the guidance.

Even then, the advisories are those that are native to the EMR. It’s like any other advisory that they would see. There is no ACR Select physically on a user’s desktop when they’re working inside of an EMR.

That level of integration requires both technical work as well as convincing those EHR vendors to allow a separate system to present messages to their users. How did you make that happen?

The source of the content as a standard really got their attention. That was one thing. The fact that we were coming to the market, there was something that recognizable, that it’s something that they believe that if they did it right, all their customers would use it, gave us a platform to get in front of them and work with them.

I would argue that these guys get a little bit of a bum rap with respect to interoperability. I know the stories. We’ve had nothing but positive experiences with the major EMR vendors out there. There are always improvements that need to be made. There’s always timing issues with release cycles. But we use whatever industry standards are out there and are available, whether it’s XML or Web services. Even now they are working with us on the new FHIR and SMART standards.

It was hard. It took time and an unbelievable amount of patience. Every release, the integration gets better. We are reliant on their release cycles. We move faster. We’re a smaller company. These guys have thousands of users. Even if they wanted to turn on a dime, they couldn’t. It’s just taken time, an open mind, and some patience.

Who pays NDSC?

Primarily it’s whoever is at risk for payment. The majority of our clients now primarily use ACR Select for their at-risk population. In scenarios where there’s a third-party payer involved, there’s a relationship there, too. Bit it’s primarily the providers, because it’s an efficiency on their end and a savings on their end. If the risk starts to shift to the providers, we’re going to see even more of that.

Your website suggests that you’ll be moving into other types of order guidance.

Yes. ACR Select keeps me up at night. The new stuff, which is something called Care Select — which we’re announcing at HIMSS — is what gets me up in the morning. Care Select is going to be a revolutionary way of looking at how to put guidance at the point of care for a clinician around these high-impact areas in an actionable way and a credible way.

We’re leveraging everything that we learned, everything from how to structure content so it can be read by an EMR to integration into the physician workload. Everything that we learned through ACR Select, we are leveraging for Care Select. Whether it’s for high-cost drugs, antibiotic stewardship, admission criteria, or anything in that area where providers are identifying high variability of care that is resulting in quality issues, Care Select is going to be able to handle.

We’re focusing right now on our Choosing Wisely criteria as well as criteria from the Number Needed to Treat, which will be very familiar to the ED docs out there. That’s our baseline. Like I said, that’s what gets me out of bed in the morning.

What kind of employees do you have to get the clinical content into the technology?

We don’t create our own content. We are shepherding. We’ll work with NCCN. We’ll work with the Choosing Wisely guys. We work with the ACC and American College of Emergency Physicians.

The thing with their criteria is they’re all narratives. I’ll look at a 40-page document that talks about how to image for low back pain or how to treat a full thickness rotator cuff tear. Literally, it’s a 40-page narrative. How do you turn that narrative into structured data of inputs and outputs that are consumable and known by the EMR so you can put it into the workflow?

We have informaticists on our team that do nothing but that — take these known sets of guidelines, criteria, and narratives and turn them into something that is consumable by the EMR. We have tools to do that. We have tools to localize them for site-specific needs, too.

That’s a big piece of the organization. I would say 75 percent of the company is informaticists and engineers. The rest are admin, sales, and marketing.

Since the clinical content is managed by mostly non-profit associations that have already earned the respect of your users, do you have to license that intellectual property from them?

In some, cases we have to. In others, we don’t.

We actually prefer to license. We’ll run into a society that has built criteria just because it’s the right thing to do. We’ll approach them and show what we’re going to do. Get someone excited. Then we tell them that we want to give them money.

We want to give them money because we want them to have the resources to continue to build and support. It costs money to do that. These are not-for-profits. To the extent that we’re able to generate dollars for them to continue doing good work, we want to facilitate that. We want to foster that.

There have been scenarios where we have started with, "Here is licensing" where they’ve asked us, and there have been scenarios where we’ve offered and facilitated.

Where do you see the company in five years?

Healthcare is undergoing a significant change, driven by alternative payment models and everything else. Everything else fixed and situated on and what we hear every day about how we’re spending too much money on care without comparable outcomes to Finland or Sweden or whatever other homogeneous population that is out there. We see ourselves as at the precipice of helping the market to define and to drive standards of care and put those at the point of service such that they can be acted on.

There’s a lot of effort being spent on deep analytics to understand outcomes and understand where the problems are. Once they’re defined, how do you act on it? How do you impact on a doc’s decision when they’re in front of the patient, when they’re documenting in the EMR? That’s the next step. 

We see ourselves as a company that is well positioned to do that. We want to work with our partners. We want to work with providers, content partners, payers, and others to understand where those high-impact areas are that we’re able to impact immediately.

I could never predict five years out. But where we’re going is around actionable guidance embedded seamlessly in a physician’s workflow that will prevent mistakes from being made, driving appropriate care in accordance with agreed-upon pathways and guidelines. Five years from now, we’ll go from 100 customers to 1,000. That’s as accurate a statement as I can give you.

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February 22, 2016 Interviews 1 Comment

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