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Morning Headlines 2/23/24

February 22, 2024 Headlines No Comments

Dario and Twill Join Forces to Shape the Future of Digital Health

DarioHealth, which offers digital solutions for the management of chronic conditions, will acquire mental health and wellness app company Twill.

CPSI To Rebrand as TruBridge Inc.

CPSI will rebrand to TruBridge, the RCM, business management, consulting, and managed IT services subsidiary it created in 2017.

HHS’ Office for Civil Rights Settles Second Ever Ransomware Cyber-Attack

Greenridge Behavioral Health will pay $40,000 and implement a corrective action plan to settle HIPAA-related charges stemming from a 2019 ransomware attack on the practice that exposed the PHI of 14,000 patients.

News 2/23/24

February 22, 2024 News No Comments

Top News

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Change Healthcare disconnects its systems after detecting a cybersecurity issue early Wednesday that has since compromised the ability of military and retail pharmacies nationwide to process prescription payments through insurance. Athenahealth customers are also reportedly affected, given that Athena’s electronic data interchange is supported by Change Healthcare technology.

The company’s latest status update says the disruption will last at least through Thursday, February 22.

UnitedHealth Group’s Optum acquired Change Healthcare in 2022.


Reader Comments

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From Lanman: “Well, Oracle Health (aka mostly Cerner) has a new logo. It is just as focused as Oracle is with what they are doing with the ex-Cerner stuff. BTW, this was supposed to be secret, so shhh …”


Webinars

None scheduled soon. Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre to present or promote your own.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

CPSI will rebrand to TruBridge, the RCM, business management, consulting, and managed IT services subsidiary it created in 2017. CPSI has made strategic changes to its business over the last several years, acquiring Health Resource Group in 2022 and selling American HealthTech to PointClickCare earlier this year.

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Fabric raises $60 million in a Series A funding round. The company offers AI-powered healthcare enablement software for virtual and in-person visits. It acquired AI-based virtual assistant business Gyant earlier this month.

Teladoc Health’s quarterly earnings send its stock plummeting 25%. The virtual visit company’s revenue grew 4% to $660.5 million, but missed analyst expectations. Its Q1 2024 revenue is also expected to miss Wall Street estimates, reflecting an industry-wide slow down in telehealth appointments.

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HealthSnap, a remote patient monitoring and chronic care management company based in Miami, raises $25 million in a funding round led by Sands Capital.


Sales

  • Tufts Medicine (MA) selects Clearstep’s digital triage and care navigation software.
  • Sentara Health (VA) will roll out predictive and generative AI software from RhythmX AI to its primary care physicians.
  • Kettering Health Hamilton (OH) will implement Regard’s AI-based clinical task automation technology.

People

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Amwell promotes Cynthia Horner, MD to chief medical officer and president of Amwell Medical Group.


Announcements and Implementations

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Tidelands Health in South Carolina will implement Epic next month.

Particle Health announces GA of its new Patient Monitoring Solution, featuring ADT and EHR system integration, referral management, and care journey mapping capabilities.


Other

A Black Book Research survey determines that 66% of providers are relying on advisory firms to help them navigate value-based care models.


Sponsor Updates

  • Pivot Point Consulting names Brian Beinborn managing director of enterprise solutions, Kathy Krypel managing director of enterprise applications, and MJ Stojak managing director of analytics and AI.
  • Surescripts Health Information Network advances to the candidate phase in its process to become a QHIN.
  • Meditech releases its redesigned Expanse Pathology solution for its Expanse EHR.
  • Netsmart supports whole-person care provisions in the 42 CFR Part 2 Final Rule.
  • Trualta joins the PointClickCare Marketplace of integrated solutions.
  • Impact Advisors joins Epic’s new Rev Cycle Partners program.
  • AGS Health names Conrad Coopersmith (AccuReg Software) general manager of coding automation.
  • FinThrive will exhibit and present at the HFMA Revenue Cycle Conference February 28-1 March 1 in San Diego.
  • Fortified Health Security hires John Lockhart III (Pentera) as enterprise regional director.
  • Health Data Movers names Bob Coman (Vitas Healthcare) sales director.
  • Lumeon announces that Panda Health has designated it as a Panda Partner.
  • Net Health publishes the results of the 2024 Skilled Nursing Outlook Survey.

Black Book’s list of top, physician-rated small hospital health IT vendors includes the following HIStalk sponsors:

  • Meditech Expanse – EHR, rural inpatient care
  • Waystar – RCM platforms/rural end-to-end software systems
  • CereCore – helpdesk support outsourcing
  • Spok – clinical communications and secure messaging
  • QGenda – workforce management
  • Inovalon – data analytics

Blog Posts


Contacts

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

EPtalk by Dr. Jayne 2/22/24

February 22, 2024 Dr. Jayne No Comments

Many parts of the US are starting to emerge from winter weather, and the healthcare IT folks are starting to emerge from their relative slumber to head into spring conference season. ViVE kicks off in Los Angeles this weekend, and if you didn’t register as an early bird you’ll be shelling out $2,995 for registration. Compared to that, HIMSS looks like a bargain at $1,675, although the ViVE people will remind you that their registration also includes breakfast and lunch plus its “Industry Night” celebration, although I haven’t yet seen mention of the headliner for that event.

Conferences have gotten expensive, and even the non-flashy ones will cost you a decent chunk of change. I’ll be attending a more academic/professional-focused conference later this spring, and when you add up all the costs – registration, travel, lodging, and meals – I’ll be spending at least $2,500 to attend, not to mention the cost of the time away from work. Sure, I’ll be getting some continuing medical education credits, catching up with friends, and doing some networking, but even if your employer is willing to subsidize your attendance at conferences, it’s hard for physician leaders to justify going to more than one per year. One of my local health systems still has a so-called “travel ban” in place, mostly due to finances rather than concern about infection control or staffing. Seems to me like just one more thing being attributed to the “new normal” post-COVID.

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Nearly everyone around the virtual water cooler today was talking about Teladoc Health’s stock tanking Wednesday. The company released its financial results after the close of the market Tuesday, and the market provided its answer as the stock slipped lower. Like every company, Teladoc has had its ups and downs, but growth has slowed over the last three years despite a rise in consumer demand for virtual care services. As is the case with many companies, the combination of bad investments and bad management are difficult to overcome. Telehealth is a tough business to be in, especially when you’re trying to meet not only the regulations of 50+ US states and territories but also those of an international market. We’ll just have to see what the next couple of quarters brings for this company and whether its future can be salvaged.

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For organizations participating in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) Quality Payment Program (QPP), the data submission portal is now open for the 2023 performance year. Eligible clinicians have until April 1 at 8pm ET to submit their data via the Quality Payment Program sign-in page. If you don’t already have your login information, I’d recommend starting that process now even if you don’t have your data ready for submission, as it can take a couple of weeks to get access sorted out. For those of you submitting, I’d be interested to hear how the process of data preparation is going. If you’re relying on vendors to help you get the data ready, when do they project you’ll have it? Or are you having to do the entire lift yourself? Feel free to send your anonymous feedback about the process and we’ll share it with readers.

A movie that has stuck with me over time is “Up In the Air” starring George Clooney. For those who may not have seen it, Clooney’s character Ryan Bingham works for an organization that helps companies outsource corporate layoffs. He has a variety of ways to help label what is happening to impacted employees, along the lines of “making you available to the workforce.” A reader shared a couple of examples from recent layoffs: Citi recently referred to the loss of 20,000 jobs as helping to create “a simplified operating model” and UPS described 12,000 layoffs as trying to “fit our organization to our strategy.” Other bad phrases I’ve heard include “involuntary career event” and of course the dreaded “rightsizing.” The worst I heard recently was when American Airlines labeled their January call center layoff as a way to “better serve our customers.” Anyone who has ever waited in the interminable phone queue understands what an oxymoron that is.

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Here’s another solution in search of a problem: The American Board of Family Medicine has created a new Digital Credential program, designed to provide physicians with a way to share their board certification status “through a live online platform” targeted for social media, email signatures, websites, and more. It also offers the option to add the credential to mobile wallets, “allowing you to quickly share your board-certified status on the go.” The number of times that anyone other than a Credentials Verification Organization has requested proof of my board certification is zero, so I’m not sure physicians were clamoring for this. I tried to use the system’s functionality to automatically add the credential to LinkedIn, only to have it try to add my board certification with today’s date rather than the actual issuance date many years ago. I’m still shaking my head and wonder how much our professional organization spent on this.

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Baptist Health South Florida is using the fact that February is American Heart Month to offer “special pricing” on CT Calcium Scoring tests. Patients without insurance (or those who have insurance that does not consider the test a covered service) can have the test for $49 as long as they have a physician order. For those of you who have insurance and have not met your deductible, you’re on your own to figure out how much it will cost. I’m in favor of making healthcare accessible to all, but I don’t like the idea of a hospital organization using this as a loss leader to attract patients who might potentially need more costly services. These are people’s lives – not a rack of rotisserie chickens at Costco.

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Many of the patients I see are struggling financially, so I’m always looking for free resources that will help support their health goals. I stumbled upon this video from the National Health Service in the UK and was immediately drawn in since it promotes belly dancing as an aerobic workout that can help improve flexibility and core strength. It also advertises mood-building benefits through music and exercise. If you’ve got 45 minutes to spend on your health, it’s worth checking out. The video does include a disclaimer that the program is “suitable for most people in good health with a reasonable level of fitness” and that you should get advice from a healthcare professional before trying it if you’re not sure about your current level of fitness or if you’ve had recent injuries or health conditions such as a heart attack or operation.

What’s the best you’ve seen as far as free tools for health promotion? Is belly dancing your new breaktime activity? Leave a comment or email me.

Email Dr. Jayne.

Morning Headlines 2/22/24

February 21, 2024 Headlines No Comments

Fabric announces $60M Series A led by General Catalyst

AI-powered healthcare enablement software vendor Fabric raises $60 million in a Series A funding round.

US health tech giant Change Healthcare hit by cyberattack

Change Healthcare works to recover from an unspecified cybersecurity issue that has compromised the ability of some pharmacies to fill prescriptions.

Elektra Health seeded $3M for virtual menopause care

Virtual menopause care company Elektra Health announces $3.3 million in extended seed funding, with UPMC Enterprises leading the round.

HealthSnap Closes $25 Million Series B Funding Amidst Continued Triple Digit Growth of Remote Patient Monitoring and Chronic Care Management Platform

HealthSnap, a remote patient monitoring and chronic care management company based in Miami, raises $25 million in a funding round led by Sands Capital.

Healthcare AI News 2/21/24

February 21, 2024 News No Comments

News

Tufts Medicine (MA) launches its Virtual-First AI initiative with a new digital assistant available through its MyTuftsMed app. The health system will add on-demand chat capabilities later this year.

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Authenticx develops a generative AI tool that summarizes healthcare consumer conversations from multiple sources to offer insights into emerging issues and overall customer experiences.


Business

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Fabric raises $60 million in a Series A funding round. The company offers AI-powered healthcare enablement software for virtual and in-person visits. It acquired AI-based virtual assistant business Gyant earlier this month.

UnityAI, an AI-powered hospital bed management software startup, raises $4 million in seed funding.

Automated medical coding and documentation software startup RapidClaims launches with $3.1 million in funding. Beta users say they’ve reduced claim denials related to coding errors by 70%.

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ChatGPT developer OpenAI reportedly completes a deal that values it at $80 billion.

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ChatGPT users, meanwhile, were left scratching their heads for several hours Tuesday night as the AI tool generated nonsensical responses well into the night.


Research

New research out of UPMC’s Center for Connected Medicine finds that very few health systems have formal policies in place regarding AI, and even fewer have frameworks in place for the use of generative AI. Seventy percent say they plan on adopting AI solutions offered by their EHR vendors, with improving efficiencies, automating repetitive tasks, and bringing more visibility to clinical decision-making noted as top reasons for implementation.


Other

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Hartford Healthcare (CT) debuts its Center for AI Innovation. Through collaboration with teams from MIT and the University of Oxford in England, the center will focus on research, innovation, education, and invention. Current projects include using AI to predict length of stay and patient deterioration, as well as to optimize nurse scheduling and surgical efficiency.


Contacts

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

Morning Headlines 2/21/24

February 20, 2024 Headlines No Comments

UnityAI Secures $4 Million in Seed Funding to Revolutionize Hospital Flow

UnityAI, an AI-powered hospital bed management software startup, raises $4 million in seed funding.

US and UK Disrupt LockBit Ransomware Variant

The DoJ and international law enforcement partner agencies announce they have effectively taken down the LockBit ransomware group, which has targeted numerous healthcare organizations since surfacing in 2019.

9amHealth raises $9.5M extension for virtual metabolic care

9amHealth extends its $16 million Series A funding round with the addition of a $9.5 million investment from The Cigna Group Ventures.

News 2/21/24

February 20, 2024 News No Comments

Top News

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The DoJ and international law enforcement partner agencies announce they have effectively taken down the LockBit ransomware group. The gang, which first surfaced in 2019, has targeted 2,000 victims including hospitals and healthcare software companies and received $120 million in ransom payments.


Webinars

None scheduled soon. Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre to present or promote your own.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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UnityAI, an AI-powered hospital bed management software startup, raises $4 million in seed funding.


Sales

  • OSF HealthCare (IL) will leverage healthcare technology and services from GE Healthcare and Pointcore, an OSF affiliate, across its nuclear medicine, oncology, and radiology departments.

People

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Lisa Jordan (University of Utah Pivot Center) joins St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital as its first SVP of tech commercialization.


Announcements and Implementations

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Coastal Medical (RI) goes live on Epic as part of parent system Lifespan Health’s implementation.

Healthcare compliance company Abyde announces GA of HIPAA for Business Associates software.


Other

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Eighty-seven percent of administrators at small hospitals say that, as of Q1 2024, they have been unable to afford new or replacement technology, according to a recent Black Book Research survey of 1,657 hospital executives. A similar percentage of IT managers at similar facilities say they’ll lean on their EHR and RCM vendors to help get the most out of current technology investments in an effort to avoid spending money on system replacements.

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OSF Healthcare’s Innovation Studio digitizes its homegrown Device Table, previously an 80-page document laminated and attached to surgery carts that listed implantable medical devices and the procedures needed to disconnect them before surgeries. The initially two-page spreadsheet was developed several years ago by surgery nurses at OSF HealthCare Saint Francis Medical Center (IL) to help prevent surgery cancellations. The nurses have launched OpenSurg to commercialize the software, which now includes data on 1,200 devices used in outpatient procedures.


Sponsor Updates

  • EClinicalWorks publishes a new customer success story, “Boosting Wellness Visits & Incentive Revenue in Healthcare.”
  • Agfa HealthCare welcomes RedSalud Chile to its enterprise imaging network.
  • Artera publishes a new case study, “Dayton Children’s Hospital – Self-Service Analytics.”
  • Availity publishes the company’s Responsible Artificial Intelligence Principles.
  • The Inspiring Women Podcast features Bamboo Health Chief Clinical Officer Nishi Rawat, MD, MBA.
  • Ellkay will exhibit at the PointClickCare Summit February 26-28 in New Orleans.

Blog Posts


Contacts

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

Morning Headlines 2/20/24

February 19, 2024 Headlines No Comments

To Avoid Bankruptcy, EMR Firm Settles Lawsuit for $4M

Connexin Software, parent company of pediatric health IT vendor Office Practicum, agrees to settle a series of class-action lawsuits related to a 2022 data breach for $4 million.

The doctor will see you now: Auburn’s Rural Health Initiative provides innovative health care access

Auburn University’s Rural Health Initiative will use a USDA telemedicine grant to install telemedicine carts at 14 locations across Alabama.

Omni Family Health experiences ‘attempted cybersecurity incident,’ says no data stolen

Omni Family Health (CA) works to bring its NextGen EHR and other internal systems back online after an attempted cyberattack forced it to downtime procedures last week.

Curbside Consult with Dr. Jayne 2/19/24

February 19, 2024 Dr. Jayne 3 Comments

For the past 20 years or so, I’ve volunteered to work on Super Bowl Sunday so that my colleagues who are die-hard football fans or longstanding party hosts can do their thing. If I’m working in a low-acuity emergency department or in an urgent care, the day is usually slow, although more patients present as soon as the game ends. Back when I was doing my training, I spent one Super Bowl Sunday covering a busy Labor and Delivery unit. It was eerily slow until the end of the half time show, and then things became wild as women headed in after realizing that sheer will power wasn’t going to keep their babies from arriving. Sometimes it’s slow enough to catch at least some of the commercials, but usually I end up reading after the fact about which ones caused the most conversation.

This year, I was surprised to see how many people were talking about healthcare-related commercials. Although most of them were local or regional, at least one ran nationally and received plenty of coverage. Patient advocacy organization Power to the Patients aired a public service announcement featuring rapper Jelly Roll, country performer Lainey Wilson, and singer-songwriter Valerie June. It called for healthcare price transparency and specifically called upon the US Congress to pass laws to support it. Points made during the ad include that 100 million people in the US are “drowning in medical debt” and that the greed of hospitals and insurers is “destroying the American dream.” Reports indicated that the campaign also had planes flying banners through the skies above Las Vegas.

Other organizations making a Super Bowl spend included:

  • Connecticut’s Hartford HealthCare and Yale New Haven Health with competing ads.
  • New York’s Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center.
  • Wisconsin’s Bellin Health.
  • Tennessee’s Niswonger Children’s Network (part of Ballad Health) and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
  • Pennsylvania’s OSS Health.

I understand how organizations want to toot their own proverbial horn, but even the cheapest Super Bowl ad represents a lot of dollars that could be used to do things like provide patient care, support staff, improve facilities, and more. The reality is that organizations spend a tremendous amount of money on advertising. Case in point: A recent article noted that Atrium Health is paying $1.5 million over five years for naming rights at an amphitheater in Macon, GA, stating that “music is a great way to bring people together, and we know that strong social relationships have been associated with improved physical and mental health.” Atrium also paid to name a local minor league stadium in Kannapolis, NC, after the health system. They’re four years into a 10-year deal, so I wonder what kind of return they’re getting on their investment. It seems like an enduring presence at a local facility will get more attention than a fleeting Super Bowl ad.

Hospitals weren’t the only healthcare players getting in on the advertising game. Pfizer had an ad featuring the music of Queen that focused on its vision for the future of cancer care. Astellas Pharma promoted a menopause treatment that retails for $660 per month. MangoRx added an ad for its erectile dysfunction treatments to round out the health-related content. The United States is one of the only developed nations where direct-to-consumer advertising is allowed, and most physicians I talk to wish such campaigns would go away. In my experience, nearly all of the patients who follow the advice to “ask your doctor if drug X is right for you” would benefit from other (usually less expensive) treatments than the one that was featured in a glitzy marketing campaign.

I would be interested to see some industry data that shows how much the average hospital or health system is spending on marketing efforts and what they believe is their return on that investment. For example, we’ve all seen so many renaming and rebranding efforts that it feels like it’s impossible to remember who is who. One of our local hospitals spent a ridiculous amount of money putting a new light-up sign on the top floor of the hospital, replacing the existing light-up sign. This one is 50-percent larger and is borderline distracting when you’re on the freeway, and offers no other redeeming value – not even a conversion to more energy efficient LED lighting.

I continue to see hospitals that are penny wise but pound foolish. One local facility has a significant problem with employee turnover. Nurses are jumping ship because pay isn’t keeping up with local competitors. Instead, nurses are bouncing from hospital to hospital every 12 to 18 months in search of better pay and benefits. The lowest-paying hospital is losing tons of money due to the turnover costs, not to mention the loss of institutional knowledge and community reputation as nurses don’t hesitate to tell friends and family how “cheap” hospital administration is. Sure, administrators have controlled salary costs in the short term, but at what long-term cost? It seems that doesn’t really matter, since there is churn at the administrator level as well and people leave when there are too many questions. Still, the hospital supports various local sports teams, but it’s a sad day when it can’t prioritize reduction in nursing turnover. Another local hospital ended hot food service for overnight workers, which I suspect isn’t going to be a real satisfier for those who are on the night shift.

I’d be interested to hear from anyone who works for one of the institutions who made a Super Bowl ad purchase, or who is a consumer of healthcare in their region. Are you proud that your organization showcased its expertise or are you left scratching your head because you know they’re claiming financial hardships that should exclude a Super Bowl ad from the budget? Even if you don’t have an institutional connection, what do you think about healthcare organizations advertising in general? Leave a comment or email me.

Email Dr. Jayne.

Morning Headlines 2/19/24

February 18, 2024 Headlines No Comments

Dina Raises $7 Million to Expand Digital Care-at-Home Platform and Network

Virtual and in-home care software vendor Dina raises $7 million in a Series A funding round led by Osage Venture Partners.

Independent pediatricians who can’t bill patients during Lurie Children’s outage can apply for loans

Lurie Children’s is offering community pediatric practices emergency loans to help see them through any billing gaps that might occur as a result of the cyberattack that has forced Lurie’s Epic system offline since January 31.

Twin Cities hospital data company hit with cyber attack

Consulting Radiologists says it thwarted a cyberattack last weekend that temporarily interrupted some imaging services at several hospitals.

Monday Morning Update 2/19/24

February 18, 2024 News No Comments

Top News

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Virtual and in-home care software vendor Dina raises $7 million. Osage Venture Partners led the Series A funding round, bringing Chicago-based Dina’s total funding to $11 million.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

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Most poll respondents own shares or equity in a health-IT related company, typically one that they’ve had a professional connection to. Demo Chic is of that majority, commenting that, “I have equity in multiple startups where I’ve worked, but zero hopes of actually realizing anything from the blood, sweat, and tears contributed. Maybe a nice-to-have boost in retirement but doubt they will ever amount to anything.”

New poll to your right or here: In light of ViVE kicking off next week in Los Angeles, what do you hope to gain by attending conferences like ViVE and HIMSS? My list of reasons doesn’t encompass every possibility for every type of attendee, so please share your particular goals by leaving a comment.


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Welcome to new HIStalk Platinum Sponsor Altera Digital Health. A global healthcare IT leader, Altera Digital Health develops and elevates technology to connect and inspire healthier communities. Altera’s approach to our clinical, financial, and interoperability solutions is changing the way healthcare is delivered. Altera designs digital health services that lead healthcare to a higher place, while we guide those we partner with, all along the way. Together, with our clients, we’re bringing next-level healthcare within reach. Thanks to Altera Digital Health for supporting HIStalk.


Webinars

None scheduled soon. Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre to present or promote your own.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Amwell reports Q4 revenue of $71 million, with annual revenue of $259 million. An annual net loss of $679 million, plus end-of-year layoffs, were also mentioned in the company’s latest earnings announcement. Amwell is ramping up organizational efforts to begin work on the $180 million Defense Health Agency virtual care contract it was jointly awarded with Leidos back in October.


Sales

  • Virtua Health (NJ) will implement Care.ai’s virtual care technologies across its acute care facilities, beginning with Virtua Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital.
  • Appalachian Regional Healthcare selects the I-Pass clinical care transition bundle as part of the Kentucky Hospital Association Transitions and Communication in Hospitals Program.

People

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Melissa Prusher (Avaap) joins Nordic Consulting as head of marketing.


Announcements and Implementations

Senior health management technology company Spectator Health adopts e-prescribing capabilities from Surescripts.


Privacy and Security

Lurie Children’s Pediatric Partners Clinically Integrated Network, owned in part by Chicago-based Lurie Children’s Hospital, is offering certain community pediatric practices short-term emergency loans to help see them through any billing gaps that might occur as a result of the cyberattack that has forced Lurie’s Epic system offline since January 31. The practices, many of which use Lurie’s system for billing, can apply for up to $50,000 per doctor.


Other

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New research from Linus Health finds that the Digital Clock and Recall assessment within its Core Cognitive Evaluation solution outperforms the most commonly used paper-based assessment in detecting early, mild cognitive impairment and dementia.

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Most digital health companies use standards-based APIs like FHIR when integrating with EHRs, according to research from ONC. Those that connect their apps or software with multiple EHRs use these APIs at higher rates than those that connect to just one. Barriers to adoption of standards-based APIs include high fees, a dearth of realistic clinical testing data, and data elements that are of little interest or value.


Sponsor Updates

  • AdvancedMD’s 2024 Winter Release gives private practices elevated levels of operational agility and more streamlined billing capabilities.
  • Ellkay congratulates customer CommonWell Health Alliance on its QHIN designation.
  • Experity announces the recipients of its Limelight Awards at its 2024 Urgent Care Connect Conference.
  • EClinicalWorks customer Be Well Primary Care Medicine (TX) reports that over 95% of its patients use Healow Sign for faster check-in during office visits.
  • Nym Health celebrates its sixth anniversary.
  • Sectra publishes a new whitepaper, “True SaaS or a Cloudy Promise? A guide to navigating SaaS and achieving imaging excellence.”

Blog Posts


Contacts

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

Morning Headlines 2/16/24

February 15, 2024 Headlines 8 Comments

250,000 VA Patients Are at Risk of Receiving Wrong Medication Due to Electronic Health Records Issue

The VA Office of the Inspector General reveals that patient medication histories are not transferring between the Oracle Health EHR used at five VA hospitals and the VistA system used at the VA’s other facilities, putting 250,000 veterans at risk of potential medication errors.

Revolutionizing the Emergency Department: MUSC Health’s new frontier in patient care

MUSC Health (SC) pilots a telehealth triage service at two of its emergency rooms in an effort to help patients get care more quickly, resulting in the rate of patients who leave without being seen dropping to almost zero.

Using AI to automate healthcare claims, RapidClaims launches with $3.1M

Automated medical coding and documentation software startup RapidClaims raises $3.1 million.

News 2/16/24

February 15, 2024 News 1 Comment

Top News

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Investment firm KKR acquires a co-ownership stake in healthcare payments and analytics vendor Cotiviti from Veritas Capital for $10.5 billion. Buzz about the deal with KKR began circulating several months ago.


Reader Comments

From Beltone: “Being a well-funded, SF-based start-up doesn’t guarantee success in healthcare. Former high flyer Medallion – SaaS provider credentialing – is facing financial challenges. Laid off their US-based provider enrollment team to outsource to India, creating HIPAA and security challenges. And didn’t tell their customers. CIOs and health systems probably deserve to be told that their provider data is moving offshore and back onshore. Health systems are demanding NCQA-certified provider enrollment staffs and going offshore isn’t going to make compliance leadership happy.” The company has raised $85 million since launching in 2020, with its last funding round in 2022. At least one comment on Glassdoor suggests that the company laid off some onshore staff without warning last month.


Webinars

None scheduled soon. Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre to present or promote your own.


Sales

  • St Vincent’s Health Australia Private Hospitals will implement Meditech Expanse at its 10 facilities in New South Wales, Queensland, and Victoria.
  • WellSpan Health (PA) selects remote patient management technology from Biofourmis.

Announcements and Implementations

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Benefis Health System (MT) will roll out Epic next month. Hospital staff say the year-long implementation project has been good for the local economy, generating 1,900 flights, 10,000 meals at restaurants, and 3,300 nights at hotels. The economic bump will continue through the first few weeks of March, when 600 consultants descend for go-live.

Nicklaus Children’s Health System (FL) implements Kyruus Connect online appointment scheduling software from Kyruus Health.

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Synthesis Health launches with GA of a cloud-native PACS with AI-based reporting module. CEO Murray Reicher, MD founded and led PACS vendor DR Systems for 22 years before selling it to IBM Watson Health in 2015.

Cleveland Clinic leverages technology from Palantir to create an AI-powered Virtual Command Center, the initial iteration of which offers an enterprise view of patient throughput and capacity forecasts, staffing needs, and OR utilization and scheduling opportunities.


Government and Politics

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The VA Office of the Inspector General reveals that patient medication histories are not transferring between the Oracle Health EHR used at five VA hospitals and the VistA system used at the VA’s other facilities, putting 250,000 veterans at risk of potential medication errors. Though the VA says no veterans have been harmed because of the problem, the OIG says at least one veteran wasn’t given critical medication in a timely manner due to the glitch, and that the VA hasn’t notified patients that their medication records may be incorrect.


Privacy and Security

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Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago restores external email capabilities and most of its phone lines two weeks after a cyberattack on its communication systems. Its Epic system is still offline.


Other

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Ozarks Community Hospital (MO) abruptly transitions its Evergreen Clinic to a telehealth assistance hub, three weeks ahead of the date originally given to clinic employees. Patients in the area can now see clinicians remotely via virtual visit at the clinic, or travel to other OCH facilities further afield.

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MUSC Health (SC) pilots a telehealth triage service at two of its emergency rooms in an effort to help patients get care more quickly, resulting in the rate of patients who leave without being seen dropping to almost zero. The health system plans to add secure messaging to the telehealth service so that ED patients can communicate directly with staff.


Sponsor Updates

  • CloudWave will partner with USI Insurance Services to provide cybersecurity and IT services for USI’s PrivaSafe service.
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EPtalk by Dr. Jayne 2/15/24

February 15, 2024 Dr. Jayne 1 Comment

I’m always amazed when people want to use EHRs to drive non-EHR behavior, almost forgetting the concept of free will. A friend reached out to me to ask if I knew how to configure Epic EHR tools to help her track how much time she spends using the EHR on her days off, which includes work done during weekends, holidays, and when on vacation. She said she felt “blown off” by the IT team after opening a help desk ticket since they are only tracking so-called “pajama time” on scheduled clinic days. She feels that tracking the data on weekends and non-clinic days would help motivate her to work less. I explained how IT teams manage their work and how they typically focus on system enhancements that would benefit large numbers of users and explained that she’s essentially asking for a one-off behavior modification program. I offered some options for free time-tracking software on her phone, which I think would be even better, since she will have to consciously decide that she’s going to start her timer and use the EHR versus “just popping in for a moment” as she has become used to doing.

In talking through it, she never thought about using any other way to track her time – such as an old-school notebook or even a time-tracking app. I also mentioned the importance of tracking other time-sucking ways she spends her day, including social media, random internet surfing, online shopping, and more. Sometimes we just need to take responsibility for our own choices, and it’s not always the IT team’s job to figure it out or the EHR’s responsibility to track it. Of course, I know that EHRs have a way of wasting a lot of clinician time, especially if their organizations don’t have policies and procedures in place that allow clinicians to work at the top level of their licensure. However, this particular physician also admits she brings her own laptop to work so she can do things that aren’t allowed on the office computers, so I suspect the problem is much larger than her ending up doing work on the weekends.

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I recently took over a new volunteer position and was given access to a shared drive full of documents and files with the advice that “everything you need is in there.” The extremely painful process of going through the folders reminded me of how spoiled I have become working for high-performing organizations where version control information is required to be clearly present on every document. Sure, you can access that information electronically from within the applications, but for long-standing documents, that can require a lot of digging. It’s also helpful to see who authored the document, the business reason for its creation, and a high-level overview of key changes that have happened along the way. You can bet that when I hand off the materials to the next person, the documentation will be a little stronger. I’m trying to dig through them with a glass of wine in hand, but I’m afraid my cellar will be empty before I get through all of the documentation.

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Happy 30th birthday to the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association. The publication launched in 1994 and has had significant growth during its lifespan. The journal’s 2023 statistics: 1574 submissions received with 254 accepted for publication. Here’s to the next decade of quality clinical informatics literature.

From Cube Dweller: “Jayne, I appreciate your ongoing coverage of the return to office situation. I’m one of those people who has enjoyed being in the office all along, mostly to get away from my children and have a bit of peace and quiet. Now that all these hybrid people are being forced back to the office, our management is making us have all kinds of forced fun to welcome them back. I wish they’d take a page from this article about how to not make it feel like a bad middle school mixer.” I appreciated the content of the article, which shared one company’s idea of a better way to get employees to connect. The employer profiled is Verkada, which provides security equipment. CFO Kameron Rezai created what they call the “3-3-3 program,” which offers a reimbursement of up to $30 each for employees who meet at local businesses in groups of three or more after 3pm. Rezai cited autonomy as one of the goals of the program, stating, “We trusted our employees to go out and make their own connections.”

Since the program’s inception in April 2023, the company has had good uptake, spending more than a half-million dollars from a fund that formerly paid for structured events. As someone who has felt the pressure of trying to plan workplace events that have something for everyone, this feels like a win-win. Want to go hike with your coworkers and get a beer afterwards? Check. Want to visit a local tearoom or coffee shop? Check. Chill at the local gelato shop after a long day of meetings? Check. Staffers do have to post event snapshots before they file their expense reports, which I think would be great for helping others generate ideas. This would also potentially scale to remote workers, who could arrange delivery of snacks and drinks then hop on a virtual meet and greet together. Local businesses also benefit, so that’s another plus.

I’m mentoring a young clinical informaticist, and we have a lot of conversations about study-related concepts such as statistical power, correlation, and causation. There are so many studies out there that “link” different concepts or events together, which may have a tangled web of causes. My mentee brought up a recent Epic Research study that noted that for patients in the emergency department, there was a correlation between providers having access to outside records and a reduced risk of a “code blue” event. The article notes that previous research has shown a link between the presence of outside medical records information and patient outcomes such as visit length, tests and diagnostics that are ordered, admission rates, and even charges.

As someone who has spent a long time working in the emergency department, I understand that piece – having more information helps you better understand a patient’s current state and how their various health conditions have progressed. You can also see if they had recent testing that would reduce what you need to order today, or the presence of data can make a comparison easier. From a code blue standpoint, my experience is that those events are most closely tied to the patient’s current presenting problem: major trauma, heart attack, respiratory failure, etc., and are less closely tied to chronic conditions. As a scientist, it’s fun to find things that correspond, but the best studies are those that generate actionable data that can be used to improve patient outcomes. Maybe I’m missing something here, so if you’re seeing what I’m not, please clue me in.

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My mentee is also working on a public health project that looks at foodborne illness and came across what can only be described as an attention-grabbing title: The Great Michigan Pizza Funeral. The “ceremonial disposal” of nearly 30,000 frozen pizzas occurred in Ossineke, Michigan on March 5, 1973, following a recall due to concerns about botulism-causing bacteria in mushrooms used to top the pizzas. The pizzas were placed in an 18-foot deep grave with the governor of Michigan in attendance. Later testing revealed that the mushrooms were not indeed contaminated, and that laboratory mice found dead during the initial testing suffered from an unrelated infection.

What kind of pizza would you never eat, unless it was the only food left to sustain you? Which is best – thin crust, thick, or pan? Leave a comment or email me.

Email Dr. Jayne.

Morning Headlines 2/15/24

February 14, 2024 Headlines No Comments

KKR paying $10.5B for Cotiviti stake

Veritas Capital sells a co-ownership stake in healthcare payments and analytics vendor Cotiviti to investment firm KKR for $10.5 billion.

Lurie Children’s Hospital restores parts of communications network knocked offline by ‘criminal threat’

Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago restores external email capabilities and most of its phone lines two weeks after a ransomware attack on its communication systems.

Anatomy Unveils AI-Powered Financial Automation for Healthcare Organizations

AI-powered financial automation software vendor Anatomy Financial launches with $7.6 million in funding.

Healthcare AI News 2/14/24

February 14, 2024 News No Comments

News

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DeepScribe announces GA of its new Trust and Safety Suite, a set of solutions designed to give users greater visibility into the safety and reliability of its AI-powered medical scribe software.

Persistent Systems develops AI-powered population health management software that identifies social determinants of health based on EHR data and then recommends personalized care interventions.

CitiusTech develops the Gen AI Quality & Trust framework and support service to help healthcare software developers design, implement, and scale vetted AI solutions across enterprise environments.


Business

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Anatomy Financial launches with $7.6 million in funding. The San Francisco-based company has developed AI-powered financial automation software for medical and dental practices, and digital health and healthcare billing companies.

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Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles implements Vital’s AI-powered ERAdvisor software as a part of its MyVisit app.


Research

A series of studies presented at the annual meeting of American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons determine that the accuracy of musculoskeletal health information provided by chatbots used by ChatGPT, Google Bard, and BingAI is limited. The chatbots displayed especially significant limitations when asked to provide clinical management suggestions, omitting important steps such as ordering antibiotics before cultures.


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Send news or rumors.
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Morning Headlines 2/14/24

February 13, 2024 Headlines No Comments

OCH Evergreen Clinic transitions to telehealth hub; Employees say patients are in limbo

Ozarks Community Hospital (MO) abruptly transitions its Evergreen Clinic to a telehealth assistance hub.

Meridian Analytics Rebrands to Discern Health, Focused on Human-Centric Predictive Care

Predictive care analytics startup Meridian Analytics rebrands to Discern Health.

Revolutionary Nursing Practice TogetherTeam Virtual Connected Care comes to MercyOne Dubuque Medical Center

MercyOne rolls out its TogetherTeam Virtual Connected Care virtual nursing program at all five of its hospitals in Iowa.

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RECENT COMMENTS

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