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News 9/27/17

September 26, 2017 News No Comments

Top News

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


Reader Comments

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


Webinars

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

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

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

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


Announcements and Implementations

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

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

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

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

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

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


People

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

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

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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

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

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

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


Government and Politics

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


Sales

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

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

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

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

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


Technology

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

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

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

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


Innovation and Research

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


Other

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

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


Sponsor Updates

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

Blog Posts


Contacts

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

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Morning Headlines 9/26/17

September 25, 2017 Headlines No Comments

3 GOP Senators Oppose Graham-Cassidy, Effectively Blocking Health Care Bill

The Graham-Cassidy ACA repeal bill appears to be dead as three GOP Senators come out as firm ‘no’ votes. Senators Susan Collins (R- ME), John McCain (R-AZ), and  Rand Paul (R-KY) have all come out against the bill.

Guest Commentary: Value-based care’s success hinges on attention to social determinants

Former HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt and former National Coordinator Karen DeSalvo, MD co-author an article in Modern Healthcare urging leaders and legislators working to overhaul the US healthcare delivery system not to overlook the social determinants that are associated with poor population health.

Microsoft launches new healthcare division based on artificial intelligence software

In England, Microsoft is following in Google’s footsteps as it launches an AI business unit focused on developing tools to alert providers of undetected patient problems.

Pfizer spends billions to develop new drugs. It’s not satisfied. So it’s launching a startup

Pfizer launches a six-person startup tasked with pursuing drug research that Pfizer is too busy to complete. The startup, called SpringWorks Therapeutics, has raised $103 million in early investments and will focus on pushing four Pfizer invented therapies through the remainder of their development cycles and into the market.

 

Curbside Consult with Dr. Jayne 9/25/17

September 25, 2017 Dr. Jayne 1 Comment

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One of the more useful clerkships I completed during Medical School was one in Occupational Health. It provided me the opportunity to visit a variety of different workplaces and to learn about the health-related challenges faced by different types of workers. I worked with employees at a zinc refinery, a radiation-contaminated EPA Superfund site, at our affiliated health system’s laundry facility, a soap manufacturing plant, and several other locations. One of the workplace types we didn’t visit was the typical office setting. Although we learned about the repetitive motion injuries common in decorative butter-ball rollers, we didn’t learn much about health conditions caused or aggravated by computer use.

Since then, we’ve heard more about carpal tunnel syndrome and repetitive motion injuries. In addition to hand-related conditions, those of us who spend the majority of our days in front of a computer can encounter complications of decreased mobility along with symptoms such as numbness and tingling of arms and legs. Headaches, neck pain, and back pain are also common. Although many of those symptoms can be combated by ergonomic interventions, many companies lack the knowledge or resources to pursue special positioning devices, supplemental hardware, or new work areas. I have several colleagues with standing desks and those can make a difference with the mobility issues, but sometimes introduce additional problems when individuals embark on an activity plan that is different than what they have done previously.

The American Optometric Association also notes issues with what they call “computer vision syndrome,” which is a cluster of visual problems resulting from prolonged use of computers, tablets, cell phones, or e-reader devices. Symptoms can include blurry or double vision, eye burning, itching, and red eyes. It extends a little farther than the “eye strain” of old, and is also more prevalent due to the large number of workers exposed to computer work throughout the day. Some estimates cite a figure of up to 70 million workers who are at risk. The journal Medical Practice and Reviews recently published a paper on the condition, explaining some of the physiology behind the symptoms. Prior to reading it, I hadn’t really thought about the fact that computer work is known to reduce the frequency of blinking, leading to dry eyes and irritation. Although the paper specifically looked at the condition in Africa, it cites computer vision syndrome (CVS) as “an emerging global epidemic, which if not clearly understood and appropriate interventions designed, may have negative impact on productivity and economic development.”

Risk factors for CVS include working with a monitor that is too close (20 to 28 inches is ideal) or monitor height that is too high. Placing the monitor in a lower line of vision causes the eyelids to be open a smaller distance, which reduces the frequency of dry eye symptoms because less of the surface of the eye is exposed to the air. Having a slightly lower monitor is also supposed to promote neck relaxation. Anti-glare filters are also recommended when glare is an issue. Since computer use is a major risk factor on its own, the authors note that due to the increased use of computers among students and children, symptoms are also present in that population.

Many of us in healthcare are highly focused on conditions that inject the most cost (and most comorbidity) into the healthcare system, such as diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and chronic pulmonary diseases. I was surprised to read that the estimated expenditure on eye diseases in the US is $16 billion each year, more than twice spent on breast cancer when you look at another disease to place it in proportion. In addition to the ergonomic recommendations, experts also recommend simple preventive steps, such as taking a break every 20 minutes to stare at an object at least 20 feet away. This recommendation poses a challenge for those of us doing close-up work in an exam room, which is rarely larger than 10×10 feet in many offices. It’s not clear whether switching back and forth between the screen and the patient adds to or helps eye symptoms. Workers with dry eye symptoms can also use moisturizing eye drops.

Eye symptoms and musculoskeletal issues aren’t the only things we have to worry about in the modern workplace, especially those of us that bring work home with us or work on highly flexible schedules. It’s been suggested over the last several years that exposure to artificial light at night may be linked to depression. One study in the journal Molecular Psychiatry showed that hamsters exposed to dim light at night over a four-week period had changes in brain chemistry that were linked to depression. The good news is that the effects could be reversed by returning the hamsters to a normal light-dark cycle for a couple of weeks. The fact that the study was done with hamsters made me think about the fact that many of us feel like we’re on a hamster wheel on a daily basis, so perhaps the results are more relevant than we might think.

CDC, through its National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, lists additional challenges in the office environment – temperature, humidity, light, noise, task design, and psychological factors such as personal interactions, work pace, and job control. In the world of healthcare IT, I definitely hear about the latter three. CDC also mentions that “job stress that results when the requirements of the job do not match the capabilities or resources of the worker may also result in illness.” In the world of ever leaner workplaces and job consolidation, there is no shortage of that type of stress.

I’d be interested to hear from readers in various sectors about how their employers are or are not addressing occupational health issues. Does your employer encourage you to check your bags so you don’t have to hoist them in the overhead bin? Are you allowed to relax while traveling or are you expected to work with your laptop balanced on your knees because it won’t fit between the tray table and the seat in front of you? Do home-based employees get a budget for ergonomic workstations or at least comfy chairs? Is it better in academia versus industry? Email me.

Email Dr. Jayne.

Morning Headlines 9/25/17

September 24, 2017 Headlines 2 Comments

Tom Price to halt taxpayer-funded travel on private jets

HHS Secretary Tom Price, MD confirms that he will no longer charter taxpayer-funded private jets to travel for business, explaining “We’ve heard the criticism. We’ve heard the concerns. We take that very seriously and have taken it to heart.” A recent Politico investigation found that Price has spent $400,000 chartering private jets since May.

Plan to shut Obamacare site during open enrollment draws critics

The Trump administration will shut down Healthcare.gov for 12 hours every Sunday and overnight on the first day of open enrollment during the upcoming enrollment period, claiming the outages are for routine maintenance. The decision has drawn criticism from consumer advocates that say the administration is intentionally undermining the exchanges.

Kaiser Permanente CEO: Health Care Must Mean More Than Coverage

Kaiser Permanente CEO Bernard Tyson, MD writes a TIME article discussing the path the US took to arrive at employer-based health insurance coverage as the standard, the role CMS and ACA play in expanding coverage beyond the working class, and the way that technology will be used to deliver care in the future. In his summary, he explains “Delivering better health for all means transforming an industry so when someone needs health care, it is delivered in a 21st century way that combines technology with the personal touch.”

 

Monday Morning Update 9/25/17

September 24, 2017 News 2 Comments

Top News

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


Reader Comments

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

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


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

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

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


This Week in Health IT History

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One year ago:

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

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Five years ago:

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

Ten years ago:

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

Last Week’s Most Interesting News

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

Webinars

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

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

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

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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

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


People

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

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


Announcements and Implementations

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


Decisions

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

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


Government and Politics

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

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

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

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


Innovation and Research

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

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


Other

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

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


Sponsor Updates

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

Blog Posts


Contacts

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

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Morning Headlines 9/22/17

September 21, 2017 Headlines 1 Comment

Certification Program Updates to Support Efficiency & Reduce Burden

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

Letter to HHS Secretary Thomas Price, MD

Representatives Greg Walden (R-OR) and Tim Murphy (R-PA) send a letter to HHS Secretary Thomas Price asking for an update on HHS plan to address cyberthreats to the healthcare sector after learning that the “NotPetya” malware attack is causing lingering delays in availability of certain Merck products.

VA CIO Rob Thomas retiring from government

The Department of Veterans Affairs’ acting CIO, Rob Thomas, will retire from government service in October. VA Interim Deputy Secretary Scott Blackburn will replace him.

VA Removes Former D.C. Medical Center Director

The VA has fired the medical director of the D.C. Medical Center for sending sensitive VA information from his work email to unsecured private email accounts.

News 9/22/17

September 21, 2017 News 9 Comments

Top News

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

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


Reader Comments

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


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

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

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


Webinars

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

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

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

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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

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

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


Sales

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


People

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

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PeraHealth names LeAnne Hester (Premier) chief commercial officer.

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


Announcements and Implementations

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

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


Technology

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

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

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

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

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

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


Privacy and Security

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


Government and Politics

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

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

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


Other

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

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


Sponsor Updates

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

Blog Posts


Contacts

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

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EPtalk by Dr. Jayne 9/21/17

September 21, 2017 Dr. Jayne 1 Comment

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I took time out from consulting this week to attend the first-ever Smartsheet user conference, held in Seattle. I’ve been a user of Smartsheet for some time, primarily because it makes it easy to share project plans and documents with clients in a way that I can control without having to deal with versioning issues. I like the ways people can collaborate and it just feels easier to me to use than other Web-based collaboration tools. When I heard a few months ago that they decided to host a client conference, I jumped at the chance to see what it looks like when a company decides to make that happen. I’ve heard plenty of tales from the EHR world about clients who attended the first user group for a given vendor, many of which take the "bunch of guys and a couple of cases of beer" story form.

I suspected Smartsheet had progressed well beyond that narrative based on the agenda, which included a wide variety of sessions and social events. The conference kicked off on Monday with a meet-and-greet at The Parlor in Bellevue, just a hop, skip, and a jump from the conference hotel. Pool tables and ping-pong competed for attention with Monday Night Football, along with a variety of snacks and drinks. For those of us who are perpetually jet lagged, it was a nice way to start a conference. The conference went into full swing on Tuesday with over 1,000 people in the audience for the keynote session. They brought in local DJ Darek Mazzone to introduce the crowd to the Seattle music scene and it definitely set the tone for the morning. Prior to the conference, I didn’t know anything about the company’s leadership, but found them engaging and passionate about the work they’re doing. Based on the staging and lighting budget, it was clear they had spared no expense in aiming for a first-class entry into the user conference space.

The company used the event to launch several new features, some of which were literally rolled out immediately prior to the conference kickoff. I hadn’t been aware of their mobile app before they discussed it at the keynote (not sure how I missed that little tidbit) but quickly downloaded and started testing it. After the pumped-up buzz of the keynote, everyone headed out to breakout sessions. The halls were crowded, which was a testament to the sold-out status of the conference, which seemed a little large for its surroundings. The first few breaks between sessions were crowded with videographers trying to capture footage of the crowd along with client interviews. I took advantage of one of the breaks to talk to one of the mobile developers, who was very interested in hearing what users think of his product and who didn’t give me any sass about the fact that I didn’t even know it existed until a few hours prior.

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Breaks were also prime time to continue on the "swag journey," which drew participants to various booths highlighting different product features. The swag was outstanding, with a high-quality messenger bag for everyone (although I was surprised that it didn’t have a Smartsheet logo). I bypassed some of it but did snag the conference survival kit with its band-aids and mints along with a tech case with some headphones that my teenage house-sitter will like. I took a pass on the fidget cube and tattoo stickers. The swag hunt punch-cards led to some jokes among attendees who had difficulty figuring out which booth had which swag (or whether a booth had swag at all) until they learned to "follow the hole punch crumbs." We’ll see if that gets changed out for next year.

One conference element that I hope does get changed out is their preregistration and attendance scheme. Attendees had to preregister for sessions and then have their badges scanned for admittance to a session. If you were one of the unlucky attendees like me who didn’t receive the preregistration email, you had no idea you had to preregister for sessions, and were consigned to a second-class "standby" lane just outside the meeting room. Others who did preregister weren’t showing a green light when scanned, and were sent to the end of the standby line. The way it was handled at some sessions was less than customer-friendly, and I hoped that after a couple of rounds of this silliness the conference organizers would have tried something different. It continued throughout however, with room monitors ranging from just letting people in regardless of whether they scanned green or not, to being belligerent with attendees. I resigned myself to the standby line but was able to get into every session I wanted to attend. The bottom line though, is that for a company that talks a lot of about reducing wasted time and streamlining work, they added some major inconvenience (and dissatisfaction) for their attendees. Pro tip: Have people pre-register to get a feel for the room size you need for each session, then bump that by X percent and just let everyone in without a bunch of silly lines.

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Some sessions featured a sketch artist creating story boards during the sessions, which was fascinating to watch if you were lucky enough to get a seat in the front. My favorite session was one on collaborative work, led by Margo Visitacion of Forrester Research. She addressed a lot of issues that I cover in some of my change leadership courses, including helping people understand the new ways that work is done today and how knowledge workers operate compared to traditional work methods. My second favorite session featured Amy Sovereign from the City of Detroit discussing how their Program Management Office uses Smartsheet in their Lean Six Sigma efforts. The presentation format was more of a fireside chat, but with vibrant photos of the city projected on the big screen as they talked. They’ve done some interesting things with the technology including end-of-shift debriefing surveys when they deployed body cameras to the police department. She got several chuckles from the audience, talking about people who are "allergic to Lean Six Sigma" and how much people love their paper. I also enjoyed her comments about making sure that you have buy-in before deploying new solutions, because you "don’t want to put technology in a catapult." It’s vivid images like those that can captivate an audience.

I was less-than-captivated by another session where the male panelist was introduced with all of his credentials and accomplishments, and the female panelist was introduced as "the lovely Miss Jane Doe." I’ve never heard a man in a professional setting introduced as "the handsome Mr. John Doe" so I’m not sure why that is acceptable, and I wasn’t the only person it grated on. This phenomenon has actually been studied before, and I would encourage presenters and moderators to take a gander at the paper before preparing your next set of introductions. The session was also marred by horrible feedback between the speakers and the microphones and a constant humming, so I didn’t get much out of it. Speaking of ruining the audience experience, I’m not sure why people still think it’s OK to answer phone calls in the middle of the session and talk all the way down the aisle and out the door. Nor do I understand why someone would do a conference call in the hallway on speakerphone and not with headphones, but I saw that at least twice.

The lunch breaks were designed to be networking sessions, and on Tuesday I wound up at a project management-themed table with people from all kinds of companies. I don’t want to unmask my secret identity by saying who I sat with, but people I met at various points were from Target, Centene, Oregon Health & Science University, Comcast, MGM Hotels and Resorts, health systems, hospitals, EHR vendors, Microsoft, DocuScan, local school districts, municipalities, Salesforce, and more. It was a great conversation and very gratifying to hear about the way some of these groups were solving the same problems I run into with my clients. Of course, explaining my vague-sounding consulting firm always garnered some interesting looks.

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Tuesday’s client event was at the Chihuly Garden, and on the hour-long bus ride (love that rainy rush hour Seattle traffic!) I met some fun people who had some great advice for doing different things with Smartsheet. The event featured not only the glass, but food and drink from various local vendors along with seafood, pasta, and an all-potato buffet with parmesan French fries, tater tots, kettle chips, potato skins, and a baked potato bar. The dessert tables had been picked clean by the time I figured out they were in a separate little greenhouse area, so I missed out on the eclairs. The featured cocktail included moonshine from 2Bar Spirits, but I steered clear.

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Wednesday’s keynote included a panel of Smartsheet leaders taking audience questions, followed by Captain Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger, who I found riveting and one of the best of the many professional keynote speakers I’ve seen over the years. If you’re looking to be inspired to greater things such as duty, honor, dedication, and service, he’s your man. He had some great insights into how people and technology interact, along with the true nature of innovation – changing before you’re forced to. I do have to say though that watching the recap of Flight 1549’s journey at the beginning of the speech was haunting. I’ve made plenty of life or death decisions in very short timeframes with patients on the table in front of me, but I can’t imagine being in his seat with 155 passengers on board and figuring out a solution that saved everyone. He recounted how hearing the flight attendants shouting "Brace, Brace, Brace" to the passengers functioned in a sort of cheerleading capacity to help him through the situation. He highlighted the performance of his team during the incident and how everything in their careers before that helped prepare them for the situation. One of his statements really resonated with me as he discussed how 208 seconds has come to define his entire career as a pilot. I thought about that several times the rest of the day – if we had three minutes that would define our careers, what would that look like?

Overall, I was happy with my choice to attend, although the registration fee plus a couple of nights of Seattle-area hotel rates put a dent in my budget. Smartsheet did a great job with their inaugural client conference and I’m looking forward to seeing things grow. They’ve certainly come a long way from their startup in a little yellow house in Kirkland, WA.

Email Dr. Jayne.

Morning Headlines 9/21/17

September 20, 2017 Headlines No Comments

Medicare and Medicaid Need Innovation

CMS Administrator Seema Verma says in a Wall Street Journal op-ed that the agency will pivot its Innovation Center to offer providers new ways of delivering care, noting that value-based programs have resulted in market consolidation and reduced competition.

Cleveland Clinic CIO talks innovation, patient engagement and BYOD

In an interview with MedCity News, Cleveland Clinic CIO Ed Marx discusses his views on BYOD, and the various apps used by patients and clinicians at the Clinic.

To Foster Information Exchange, Revise HIPAA And HITECH

Niam Yaraghi, a fellow in the Brookings Institution’s Center for Technology Innovation, argues in a Health Affairs article that HITECH and HIPAA are as much at fault for the nation’s EHR interoperability problems as the vendors and providers that are being blamed.

Senate girds for final Obamacare repeal vote

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) will introduce the Graham-Cassidy bill for a vote by next week. The vote will likely be the GOP’s final opportunity to repeal ACA.

Morning Headlines 9/20/17

September 20, 2017 Headlines No Comments

Kaiser IT union members march for higher pay at company headquarters in Oakland

Kaiser Health union members are picketing in front of the company’s downtown Oakland headquarters, demanding better pay for a group of IT desktop support staff. The employees are making an average of $72,000 per year, which Kaiser executives say is typical for the local market, but union members disagree and are seeking considerably higher rates.

Some tax-exempt hospitals are lax at providing charity care and accountability

Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) publishes an opinion piece in STAT highlighting recent reports of not-for-profit hospitals refusing charity care under all but the most extreme cases.

Health care giant HCA may be in the mix for Tenet, analysts say

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

Health Benefits In 2017: Stable Coverage, Workers Faced Considerable Variation In Costs

A Kaiser Family Foundation study finds that employer-sponsored insurance plans rose four percent for single coverage, to $6,690, and three percent for family coverage, to $18,764.

News 9/20/17

September 19, 2017 News No Comments

Top News

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

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


Reader Comments

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


Webinars

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

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

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


People

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Welltok hires Chris Power (Paycor) as CFO.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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

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

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

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

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


Announcements and Implementations

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


Government and Politics

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

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


Privacy and Security

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


Technology

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

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


Sales

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


Innovation and Research

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


Other

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

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


Sponsor Updates

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

Blog Posts


Contacts

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

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Morning Headlines 9/19/17

September 18, 2017 Headlines No Comments

Solon man charged with defrauding the Cleveland Clinic out of $2.7 million

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

Transition to electronic records

The local paper on Joint Base Lewis-McChord (WA) covers the upcoming Cerner go-live at Madigan Army Medical Center, the first large, multi-branch hospital to go live under MHS Genesis.

Health Information Technology is Helping Treat and Manage HIV for Patients and Providers

On National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day, ONC CMO Thomas Mason, MD discusses various health IT projects that are improving care delivery for HIV patients.

The race is on as Senate factions vie to either fix or replace the ACA

Modern Healthcare covers several last minute efforts to repeal and replace ACA prior to September 30, when reconciliation rules, which allow passage of the bill with a simple majority vote, will expire.

Curbside Consult with Dr. Jayne 9/18/17

September 18, 2017 Dr. Jayne 4 Comments

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I recently spent some less-than-quality time at my local Department of Motor Vehicles office. Since the lines were long, I had the opportunity to observe many of the processes that were occurring, coming to the realization that some of the issues we are battling in healthcare IT aren’t unique to our industry.

The first thing I noticed was a confusing registration kiosk, which had been implemented since the last time I was there. There wasn’t any clear signage to direct people to the registration kiosk, so people came into the building and stood there looking for the old “take a number” dispenser without much luck. Eventually other waiting patrons would direct people to step up to the kiosk, and then you could see more confusion occur as they tried to figure out how to use it. When I approached the kiosk, I could see that it was designed to handle two different registration processes (titles and vehicle licenses vs. driver licenses) and the language on the screen was ambiguous, resulting in a post-it note at the bottom of the screen that provided additional instruction. Once you registered, it printed out a number slip, but the printer wasn’t anywhere near the kiosk; it was instead mounted around the corner on the half-wall supporting the service counter.

How many times in healthcare IT do we implement new technology but fail to change the physical space to maximize adoption? I have nightmarish visions of all the physicians I’ve watched juggling laptops on their actual laps, because they don’t have an adequate surface on which to use it while also facing the patient. Have you ever seen a computer on wheels that’s on a cart so big it barely fits through the doorway, leading nurses to leave it parked in the hall rather than bring it into the patient room? How often do we ask users to navigate a poorly designed system that requires external “job aids” and “cheat sheets” to know what to do because it’s not obvious from the screens?

I made it through the registration gauntlet, but then had to listen carefully to the numbers being called because they were using the same number series for both driver licenses and vehicle licenses. It wasn’t always clear whether they were calling “number 8 for titles and licenses” or “number 8 for driver licenses” and so on. As I tried to observe the flow, I was even more confused by the fact that the “titles and licenses” clerks were subdivided into those that only did vehicle and boat licenses, and those that could process vehicle licenses and titles but not boat licenses. It took me at least a couple cycles to figure out which staff members were working on which issues. It reminded me of situations I’ve seen in hospitals where patients have to visit with multiple registrars to get situated prior to a laboratory or radiology procedure, depending on what kinds of services they needed. As the patient, it makes one feel shuffled around and that your needs aren’t being met, and as a consumer at the DMV I didn’t feel any different.

I also had the opportunity to watch the clerks try to straighten out several customer service issues, where patrons didn’t quite have the right information they needed to complete their transactions. Several of them involved elderly individuals trying to obtain driver licenses in a new state of residence, who might be missing a critical form of ID such as a birth certificate or Social Security card. More than once I heard clerks asking customers if they had their “red, white, and blue” card with them, which I quickly figured out was the Medicare card. In the absence of a Social Security card or proof of SSN, they were accepting the Medicare card as a proxy. I couldn’t help but wonder if anyone was educating the DMV about the Social Security Number Replacement Initiative, which is now called the New Medicare Card initiative. Certainly DMV staff will need different scripting when the new Medicare cards hit the streets, and I’m sure there will be an uptick in customers making multiple visits to get their licenses squared away.

While waiting, I noticed that they had installed a video screen that was supposed to display helpful information about your visit, not unlike educational programming in a physician or hospital waiting room. However, they had the screens set to advance so quickly that it was difficult to read all the content on the screen, requiring multiple cycles through the information to be able to absorb it all. I’ve done similar work for medical practices, both in the waiting room context and with employee workstation screensavers. I’m pretty “DMV literate” but I still couldn’t follow all the information they were trying to impart. It got me thinking about whether organizations are adequately considering elements such as health literacy and accessibility when delivering this kind of information.

When I finally made it to the counter, I had some extensive back and forth with the clerk, who tried her best to try to convince me that I didn’t need to file the forms I was there to file. It reminded me of my recent journey through trying to get approval for a colonoscopy from my insurance, who couldn’t see past the fact that I am not yet at the “typical” age for the test. Both clerks were so stuck in policy and procedure that they couldn’t see the documentation being put before them so that they could do what was right for the patient/customer. In both cases a supervisor had to be called, with the information repeated multiple times to different staffers, only to ultimately accomplish what was asked for in the first place. How many times do we see this in healthcare, where rules often cost us efficiency and patient satisfaction?

Even though I had convinced the supervisor to file my paperwork, I still wasn’t convinced that the state would mail me what I needed in four to six weeks as promised. I wasn’t sure that the information I provided had been keyed in accurately or that it described my situation, and just had to hope for the best. It was like sitting and waiting for your Explanation of Benefits statement to see if your procedure was going to be covered after all or rejected. Barely a week later, I was pleasantly surprised to receive my finalized documentation in the mail, exactly as I had expected it. Much like healthcare, despite the barriers placed in front of us, we still get good outcomes. It’s just a shame there has to be so much chaos leading up to the end point.

What other parallels to healthcare do you see in other industries? Are they solving the problems better than we are? Email me.

Email Dr. Jayne.

Morning Headlines 9/18/17

September 17, 2017 Headlines No Comments

Second review launched into IHealth

In Canada, British Colombia’s Health Minister Adrian Dix, launches an independent review of Island Health’s $178 million Cerner Millennium implementation. Island Health has faced fierce resistance from its providers over complaints that Cerner is difficult to use and a risk to patient safety.

I’m the perfect person to price shop for an operation. But the process went terribly

A Massachusetts physician and price transparency researcher recounts the difficulties she had when trying to compare prices for a procedure her daughter was having.

Indiana, Reeling From Opioid Crisis, Arms Officials With Data

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

Ask Mayo Clinic online offers symptom assessment through Epic’s MyChart

Epic will integrate Mayo Clinic’s online symptom checker into its MyChart app.

Monday Morning Update 9/18/17

September 17, 2017 News No Comments

Top News

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


Reader Comments

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


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

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

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


This Week in Health IT History

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One year ago:

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

9-18-2012 10-03-17 PM

Five years ago:

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

Ten years ago:

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

Last Week’s Most Interesting News

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

Webinars

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

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

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


Decisions

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

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


Announcements and Implementations

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

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


Sales

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


Privacy and Security

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


Technology

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


Innovation and Research

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


Other

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


Sponsor Updates

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

Blog Posts


Contacts

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

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Morning Headlines 9/15/17

September 14, 2017 Headlines 3 Comments

Navicure and ZirMed Announce Plans to Merge

In a deal rumored to be worth $750 million, Navicure and ZirMed agree to merge their RCM capabilities, operating under both brand names in the near term.

Investors Put 23andMe Valuation at $1.75 Billion 

Consumer genetic testing and research company 23andMe raises $250 million in a round led by new investor Sequoia Capital, bringing its total funding to near $500 million.

Epic Announces “Worldwide Interoperability”

Epic will give MyChart users the ability to share data with any provider with Internet access, even those without EHRs.

Black Book Announces Top RCM Software & Technology Companies

Black Book releases findings from its latest hospital executive survey on RCM software, technology, and outsourcing.

News 9/15/17

September 14, 2017 News 4 Comments

Top News

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


Reader Comments

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


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

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


Webinars

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

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

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


People

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

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

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

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

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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

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

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

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


Announcements and Implementations

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

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

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


Government and Politics

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

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


Privacy and Security

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

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


Sales

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

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

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


Technology

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

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


Innovation and Research

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


Other

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

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


Sponsor Updates

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

Blog Posts


Contacts

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

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