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July 21, 2015 News 11 Comments

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Physicians converge on a town-hall meeting hosted by the AMA and Medical Association of Georgia to express their dissatisfaction with EHRs and Meaningful Use. Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) and AMA President Steven Stack, MD hosted the 90-minute event, which they used to raise awareness of AMA’s Break the Red Tape campaign to delay finalization of MU Stage 3 regulations.


July 22 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET. “Achieve Your Quality Objectives Before 2018.” Sponsored by CitiusTech. Presenters: Jeffrey Springer, VP of product management, CitiusTech; Dennis Swarup, VP of corporate development, CitiusTech. The presenters will address best practices for building and managing CQMs and reports, especially as their complexity increases over time. They will also cover quality improvement initiatives that can help healthcare systems simplify their journey to value-based care. The webinar will conclude with an overview of how CitiusTech’s hosted BI-Clinical analytics platform, which supports over 600 regulatory and disease-specific CQMs, supports clients in their CQM strategies.

July 29 (Wednesday) 11:30 ET. “Earning Medicare’s New Chronic Care Management Payments: Five Steps to Take Now.” Sponsored by West Healthcare Practice. Presenters: Robert J. Dudzinski, PharmD, EVP, West Healthcare Practice; Colin Roberts, senior director of healthcare product integration, West Healthcare Practice. Medicare’s new monthly payments for Chronic Care Management (CCM) can improve not only patient outcomes and satisfaction, but provider financial viability and competitiveness as well. Attendees will learn how to estimate their potential CCM revenue, how to use technology and clinical resources to scale up CCM to reach more patients, and how to start delivering CCM benefits to patients and providers by taking five specific steps. Don’t be caught on the sidelines as others put their CCM programs in place.

July 30 (Thursday) 3:00 ET. “De-Silo Your Disparate IT Systems Around the Patient with VNA.” Sponsored by Lexmark. Presenters: Steven W. Campbell, manager of diagnostic applications and interfaces, Piedmont Healthcare; Larry Sitka, VNA evangelist, Lexmark. The entire patient record, including both DICOM and non-DICOM data, should be available at the point of need. Disparate, aging systems that hide data inside departmental silos won’t cut it, nor will IT systems that can’t integrate medical images meaningfully. Learn how Piedmont Healthcare used a vendor-neutral archive to quickly and easily migrate its images and refocus its systems around its patients.

Previous webinars are on the YouTube channel. Contact Lorre for webinar services including discounts for signing up by Labor Day.

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock


Act.md announces an $8.4 Million Series A funding round led by Rose Park Advisors. The Boston-based startup will use the funds to continue development of its cloud-based care coordination platform.


Baptist Health Corbin (KY) receives a $15,500 grant from AT&T that it will use to expand its mental health services to surrounding areas via the purchase of a telemedicine cart.

GE Foundation funds the Project ECHO initiative with a $14 million, three-year grant designed to help the project keep growing. Project ECHO is a Web-based forum that helps community providers address complex conditions in their local populations by connecting them with experts who provide disease management education sessions and patient-specific treatment advice.

Announcements and Implementations


The University of California-San Diego Moores Cancer Center implements the InfuSystem Express EHR connectivity solution from InfuSystem Holdings.


Bon Secours Richmond Health System (VA) rolls out Pro Charge Capture technology from MedAptus for adult hospitalist and pediatric hospitalist intensivist providers at St. Mary’s Hospital.

Western Colorado HIE Quality Health Network and eHealth Technologies partner to enable Aspen Valley Hospital to share diagnostic images with providers across the region.

The University of Virginia Health System partners with the nonprofit Mitre Corp. to develop improved health data analysis tools. As part of the agreement, Mitre will advise UVA on researching innovative bedside monitoring capabilities and optimizing a new computing system. UVA will in turn provide expertise on clinical analytics, complex data environments, and “smart” hospitals.


Bassett Healthcare Network (NY) selects StrataJazz Equipment Replacement technology from Strata Decision Technology.

Rite Aid installs HealthSpot telemedicine kiosks at 25 locations in Ohio. Patients will be able to connect to providers from Cleveland Clinic, Kettering Health Network, and University Hospitals.



John Glaser (Cerner) joins Aventura’s Board of Directors.


WellSpan Health (PA) promotes Thomas McGann, MD to executive vice president for clinical practice, a role in which he will oversee the health system’s Project One evaluation of EHRs.

Government and Politics

Retired U.S. Air Force Brigadier General and former CIO Thomas Verbeck takes to the local paper to urge citizens to demand a Congressional review of the DoD’s decision to spend $11 billion on a new EHR. “[T]he DoD’s plan will fail,” Verbeck explains. “That’s because most of today’s EHR systems, including the bidder finalists, are designed only to work within their own system. That allows them to charge physicians and hospitals outside their system for access to your data. DoD can demand a system that seamlessly connects health data with civilian hospitals – or the VA – but it has failed to do so. The solution is simple: DoD must delay this award pending a congressional review. Putting soldiers at the center of care and ensuring that clinicians have all the information needed must be a minimum requirement for any future expenditures on health IT systems.”



Healthfinch adds the Chirp automated patient communication tool to its Swoop prescription refill technology

Privacy and Security


St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center (MA) pays out $218,400 to settle HIPAA violations stemming from 2013 allegations that employees stored the PHI of nearly 500 patients without having performed an adequate security risk analysis.

Research and Innovation


London-based King’s College Hospital incorporate Oculus Rift virtual reality headsets and motion-tracking sensors into its VR lab to study the effects of immersing bipolar patients into certain environments like the London Underground.


Phoebe Putney Health System (GA) kicks off a six-month pilot program to offer employees at Phoebe Worth Medical Center and Phoebe Sumter Medical Center acute care via telemedicine. Once the pilot concludes, the organization will look at establishing additional telemedicine sites at various medical specialties across the region.


The Guardian provides a snapshot of a day in the life of NHS clinical coder Jordan Smith, who likens his job looking up ICD-10 and OPCS-4 codes to being a detective looking for clues in patient medical records. He also seems to be a frontline defense against potential fraud, explaining to a colleague looking for the biggest reimbursement that, “We code for information; finance is a by-product.” 


The Connected Health Group at Partners HealthCare announces the Connected Health ‘15 Pitch Off, a contest that invites providers and those in training to submit ideas on how emotion-sensing technologies can be used to improve healthcare. The contest will run through September, and winning ideas will be showcased at the annual Connected Health Symposium October 29-30 in Boston.


Mr. H, Lorre, Jennifer, Dr. Jayne, Dr. Gregg, Lt. Dan.

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Currently there are "11 comments" on this Article:

  1. “DoD must delay this award pending a congressional review. Putting soldiers at the center of care and ensuring that clinicians have all the information needed must be a minimum requirement for any future expenditures on health IT systems.” Is the DoD better off taking a wait and see approach to military medicine? Do you suggest the DoD stick with CHCS, AHLTA and pieces of paper rubberbanded to soldiers carrying diagnoses in hopes that it is accurate (and not too blood soaked) so correct limbs are operated on while on the front lines? The gov’t will never catch up to technology, but this is a step forward. Remember, COTS software systems can be updated/upgraded over time – quite different from the process to do so with a homegrown system.

  2. Can’t help but see Verbeck’s post as self serving in his role as a defense contractor.

    Status quo makes billions for many of these guys. If they could stop the procurement for any reason under the sun they would.

    Time for some forward progress. All of these systems could easily connect to VA if they get their house in order.

  3. The American Reinvestment and Recovery Act and the brain initiative are the worst scams ever perpetrated on the American people. Former U. S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin Warns: Biochips Hazardous to Your Health: Warning, biochips may cause behavioral changes and high suicide rates. State Attorney Generals are to revoke the licenses of doctors and dentists that implant chips in patients. Chip used illegally for GPS, tracking, organized crime, communication and torture. Virginia state police have been implanting citizens without their knowledge and consent for years and they are dying! Check out William and Mary’s site to see the torture enabled by the biochip and the Active Denial System. See Terrorism and Mental Health by Amin Gadit or A Note on Uberveillance by MG & Katina Michael or Safeguards in a World of Ambient Intelligence by Springer or Mind Control, Microchip Implants and Cybernetics. Check out the audio spotlight by Holosonics.

    “Former Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) director and now Google Executive, Regina E. Dugan, has unveiled a super small, ingestible microchip that we can all be expected to swallow by 2017. “A means of authentication,” she calls it, also called an electronic tattoo, which takes NSA spying to whole new levels. She talks of the ‘mechanical mismatch problem between machines and humans,’ and specifically targets 10 – 20 year olds in her rant about the wonderful qualities of this new technology that can stretch in the human body and still be functional. Hailed as a ‘critical shift for research and medicine,’ these biochips would not only allow full access to insurance companies and government agencies to our pharmaceutical med-taking compliancy (or lack thereof), but also a host of other aspects of our lives which are truly none of their business, and certainly an extension of the removal of our freedoms and rights.” Google News

    The ARRA authorizes payments to the states in an effort to encourage Medicaid Providers to adopt and use “certified EHR technology” aka biochips. ARRA will match Medicaid $5 for every $1 a state provides. Hospitals are paid $2 million to create “crisis stabilization wards” (Gitmo’s) where state police torture people – even unto death. They stopped my heart 90 times in 6 hours. Virginia Beach EMT’s were called to the scene.
    Mary E. Schloendorff, v. The Society of New York Hospital 105 N. E. 92, 93 (N. Y. 1914) Justice Cardozo states, “every human being of adult years and sound mind has a right to determine what shall be done with his own body; and a surgeon who performs an operation without his patient’s consent, commits an assault, for which he is liable in damages. (Pratt v Davis, 224 Ill. 300; Mohr v Williams, 95 Minn. 261.)

    This case precedent requires police to falsely arrest you or kidnap you and call you a mental health patient in order to force the implant on you. You can also be forced to have a biochip if you have an infectious disease – like Eboli or Aids. Coalition of Justice vs the City of Hampton, VA settled a case out of court for $500,000 and removal of the biochip. Torture is punishable by $1,000 per day up to $2 million; Medical battery is worth $2.05 million.

    They told my family it was the brain initiative. This requires informed, knowledgeable consent. Mark Warner told me it was research with the Active Denial System by the College of William and Mary, the USAF, and state and local law enforcement. It is called IBEX and it is excruciating. If you are an organ donor, they volunteer you.

  4. Of course they should slow this down, this will be another failed government project. Over budget, and not on time…
    Of course most of you on this site want this to happen…you’ll make money off all of the contract work. Sad that patient care is not the motive for most on this site. $$$$$$$$$$$$$

  5. @G Gordon Liddie: I hope you’re using Gordon Liddy’s name ironically. His voice for a cautious approach when it comes to anything is at best checkered.

  6. Why don’t we see how many members of congress can write a “Hello world” program before we let them solve the problem of EHR interoperability? They seem to think there’s some magical mesh of healthcare information that the evil vendors are hoarding and blocking.

    @G Gordon Liddie – That’s quite a strawman you’ve got there. This is a classic example of letting perfect get in the way of good. Almost all the top healthcare organizations use EHRs. Or you could put your money where your mouth is and offer to have all your personal healthcare provided by DoD/VA. Would you feel like you’re in good hands?

  7. Maybe I’m naive, but whenever I hear “slow down” and “more congressional review,” I interpret them as code words for “continued inaction” and “lets maintain the status quo.”

    Haven’t we already ascertained that the government’s home grown systems are outdated and no longer up to the task of handling such a large population?

    Haven’t we already determined that the status quo is no good for our armed forces and veterans?

    Haven’t we already held numerous congressional panels evaluating the best go-forward option?

    Look at ICD-10, that has been slowed down and congresionally reviewed to death.

  8. Perhaps this is completely out of left field, but could Verbeck’s response on the DoD also have to do with the fact that the two main competitors, Cerner and Epic, are very successful without this contract. What I mean is that they are not dependent on Government deals, so the Government doesn’t have the same type of “pull” with them it may have with say a General Dynamics, where so much of their revenue depends on Gov’t Contracts?

    Our Government seems to like to “slow down” and “Congressional Review” contracts with vendors where they don’t hold all the cards….

  9. “COTS software systems can be updated/upgraded over time – quite different from the process to do so with a homegrown system”

    Not that I’m in favor of any particular path to this, but “home grown” systems don’t have any architectural limit on updating or upgrading that store-bought systems do. in fact, the historical argument is that the VA can move them in any direction at any time and specific to their needs and not have to wait for a vendor or be stuck with their decisions. That being said, the problem with government-built to date is one of execution, but the process is actually better controlled than COTS.

    Separate topic; is “break the red tape” the right metaphor for AMA here? Aren’t they in favor of “make the red tape”?

  10. @Jedi Knight You are quite right, but have you ever been through the process of getting approval and actually changing government software? Swift, nimble or agile are not terms that come to mind.

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