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July 23, 2015 News 2 Comments

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The local business paper dives into UMass Memorial Health Care’s expensive decision to transition from Soarian to Epic. In making the announcement to employees earlier this week, CEO Eric Dickson, MD noted that his decision came down to “one thing: hundreds of our caregivers tested the options available to us and they resoundingly selected Epic as the best system. We can’t expect you to make UMass Memorial Health Care the best place to give care and the best place to get care if we don’t give you the best electronic health record system available and so you will have it — Epic is coming.”

HIStalk Announcements and Requests

This week on HIStalk Practice: Ancestry.com gets into the digital health record business. The Federation of State Medical Boards receives grant funding to kick start the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact. Private equity firms get aggressive with Texas physicians. Ruby Raley considers solutions for physician frustration with EHRs. Dr. Gregg eavesdrops on an illuminating conversation between Dr. Happy and Dr. Mad. Bright.md raises $3.5 million. Modernizing Medicine acquires GMed. PCORnet project nets $142.5 million for patient-centered outcomes research.


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


The Florida Partnership for TeleHealth receives a $100,000 HRSA grant to establish telemedicine programs in North Florida including rural communities surrounding Tallahassee.


Patientco announces plans to move into larger office space at its current Atlanta headquarters and triple its workforce over the next 18 months.


Dallas-based Anthelio Healthcare Solutions acquires HIM and RCM vendor Pyramid Healthcare Solutions for an undisclosed sum.

Noridian Healthcare Solutions agrees to pay $45 million to Maryland to avoid legal action after failing to deliver a functional state health insurance exchange.

Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering licenses its bedside data-acquisition software to MediCollector, a startup spun out of the institute last year. MediCollector plans to integrate the technology, originally developed as part of a larger infant sleep apnea prevention program, into clinical alarm systems.

Announcements and Implementations


Hackensack University Medical Center strengthens its existing partnership with Infor, becoming a lead adopter in implementing FHIR DSTU 2 Patient Resources to communicate with mobile devices using Infor Cloverleaf technology.

NewYork-Presbyterian Medical Groups will implement Athenahealth’s EHR, PM, and patient engagement solutions via the NewYork-Presbyterian Physician Services Organization. On a related note, NewYork-Presbyterian CIO Aurelia Boyer and associate chief innovation officer and anesthesiologist Peter Fleischut, MD take to the Huffington Post to share the many ways in which healthcare IT is positively impacting the organization.


Massena Memorial Hospital installs two telehealth units through their affiliation with the North Country Initiative, an affiliation with five local hospitals that qualifies each for state funding and group-purchasing discounts.

Envision Healthcare offers telehealth services from InTouch Health to its network of physician-led companies including American Medical Response, EmCare, and Evolution Health. 


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HIMSS North America nominates several new members to its Board of Directors including Dana Alexander, RN (Divurgent) who joins as chair, and Fred Rachman, MD (Alliance of Chicago Community Health Services) who joins as vice chair.

Government and Politics


ONC’s new Clinical, Technical, Organization, and Financial Barriers to Interoperability Task Force meets for the first time to discuss organization and goals. Chaired by Paul Tang, MD from the Palo Alto Medical Foundation, the 10-member task force will meet 12 times over the next several months, and is scheduled to submit final recommendations in mid October.



ScImage adds secure image-sharing capability to its Picom365 enterprise PACS.


RightCare Solutions introduces the RightCare Touch app for post-discharge patient communication.


AHRQ unveils a new online tool that enables users to analyze 2014 hospital discharge information from 17 states and multiple payers, as well as the uninsured. The Fast Stats website includes data on categories of conditions such as surgical, mental health, maternal, injury, and medical.

Lexmark launches ICD-10-compliant Kofax Claims Agility software that automatically processes professional and institutional medical claims and supporting documents.

Cerner debuts an EHR-agnostic tool that, when combined with its fall-risk algorithm, improves fall-risk detection with a 90-percent accuracy rate. The news comes hot on the heels of Epic’s announcement that it is working on a clinical decision tool to help providers reduce the risk of falls in unsteady patients.

Privacy and Security


A McAfee Labs report finds that cybersecurity executives are not optimistic when it comes to their collective ability to stem the tide of security breaches. Seventy percent noted the number of threats against their organizations are increasing, while nearly half feel a serious attack "affecting critical services and causing a loss of life" is likely within three years. It’s worth noting that respondents cited user error as the number-one reason for successful attacks on critical infrastructure.


President Obama sits down with Jon Stewart on the Daily Show to discuss his time in office. Naturally, the conversation turns toward interoperability, the VA, and the government’s slow adoption of anything related to IT.


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

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Currently there are "2 comments" on this Article:

  1. Now down to 3 big insurers and the remaining NFP Blues that haven’t been picked off Anthem are growing quite worried.

    The most interesting thing I heard recently though is Kaiser is under financial stress too and expects to be acquired. Management views its position as not tenable in the long term. Give the source a very high reliability rating too.

  2. The statement by UMass’s CEO sounds like a sales pitch, hyperbole and all.

    Was at another large MA-based IDN this week that recently went live on Epic. Did not find one single person working there that was happy with the transition and schedules were running 1-2hrs behind schedule, and this was in the morning! Maybe in time they’ll get the kinks worked out…

    What cracked me up most though was that on virtually every single monitor there were these cute little tags with some positive, uplifting statement along with the common statement on all of them: “Have an epic day.”

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