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November 17, 2015 News 2 Comments

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The Certified Technology Comparison Task Force of ONC’s HITPC held its kickoff meeting Tuesday. The task force is charged with developing a Consumer Reports-type EHR comparison tool.

Reader Comments


From IsIT True: “Re: Daniel Barchi, CIO of Yale New Haven Health System. He will succeed Aurelia Boyer, CIO at New York-Presbyterian, when she retires this year.” I asked Daniel, who verifies that he will be leaving YNHHS and the Yale School of Medicine at the end of this month, joining New York-Presbyterian as CIO in December.


From Repurposed Turkey: “Re: Southern Illinois Healthcare. Has selected Epic to replace Meditech, NextGen, and McKesson Practice Partner. Epic jobs have been posted.”

HIStalk Announcements and Requests


Welcome to new HIStalk Platinum Sponsor National Decision Support Company, the exclusive distributor of ACR Select, the American College of Radiology’s Appropriateness Criteria (ACR AC) that supports value-based imaging. It offers integration-ready Web services  that allow healthcare organizations to present evidence-based ACR AC guidelines to ensure that the right patient gets the right scan for the right indication. Up to 10 percent of the rapidly growing number of diagnostic imaging orders are medically unjustified or duplicated, causing needless expense and excessive patient radiation exposure. National Decision Support Company provides physicians with guidance as they enter orders, presenting an appropriateness score for the selected modality and indications and prompts them to consult a radiologist when appropriate. The score can also be silently recorded to help health systems understand and manage quality improvement opportunities. Medicare will in 2017 require ordering physicians to prove that they have reviewed Appropriate Use Criteria when ordering MRI, CT, nuclear medicine, and PET. Thanks to National Decision Support Company for supporting HIStalk.

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Mrs. Buscho from Colorado sent photos of her English as a Second Language students using the tablet and keyboard we provided via DonorsChoose, saying they use it to look up photos and words to boost their vocabularies. Ms. Cassidy says her class of students with autism is using the set of 22 instructional CDs we bought for interactive circle time, with non-verbal students now able to point at the screen to answer questions and remain part of the group.


I ran across 100Kin10, a New York non-profit whose goal is to train and place 100,000 new STEM teachers by 2021. It has 230 public and private partners and has placed 28,000 teachers so far since it was formed in 2011 in response to President Obama’s challenge. Teacher candidates from all walks of life complete a nine-month program.


November 18 (Wednesday) 2:00 ET. “Making VDI Secure and Simple for Healthcare.” Sponsored by Park Place International. Presenters: James Millington, group product line marketing manager, VMware; Erick Marshall, senior systems engineer of virtual desktop infrastructure, Park Place International. Deployment of a virtual solution can optimize the experience of clinician users. Attendees will learn how to address the evolving demands of security and mobility in clinician workflow to improve the quality of care.

November 20 (Friday) 2:00 ET. “The Athenahealth Leadership Institute Presents: Dr. John Halamka Interviewed by Jonathan Bush.” Sponsored by Athenahealth. Presenters: John Halamka, MD, MS, CIO, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center; Jonathan Bush, CEO, Athenahealth. Providers are fed up with interface fees and the lengthy, fragmented narratives we’re exchanging today. But what is the right course of action to help deliver better care across the continuum? Bring your questions as we join Dr.Halamka and Jonathan Bush to discuss the current state of healthcare and how we can improve care coordination and interoperability.

December 2 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET. “The Patient is In, But the Doctor is Out: How Metro Health Enabled Informed Decision-Making with Remote Access to PHI.” Sponsored by Vmware. Presenters: Josh Wilda, VP of IT, Metro Health; James Millington, group product line manager, VMware. Most industries are ahead of healthcare in providing remote access to applications and information. Some health systems, however, have transformed how, when, and where their providers access patient information. Metro Health in Grand Rapids, MI offers doctors fast bedside access to information and lets them review patient information on any device (including their TVs during football weekends!) saving them 30 minutes per day and reducing costs by $2.75 million.

December 2 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET. “Tackling Data Governance: Doctors Hospital at Renaissance’s Strategy for Consistent Analysis.” Sponsored by Premier, Inc. Presenters: Kassie Wu, director of application services, Doctors Hospital at Renaissance; Alex Eastman, senior director of enterprise solutions, Premier, Inc. How many definitions of “complications” (or “cost” or “length of stay”…) do you have? Doctors Hospital at Renaissance understood that inconsistent use of data and definitions was creating inconsistent and untrusted analysis. Join us to hear about their journey towards analytics maturity, including a strategy to drive consistency in the way they use, calculate, and communicate insights across departments.

December 3 (Thursday) 2:00 ET. “501(r) Regulations – What You Need to Know for Success in 2016.” Sponsored by TransUnion. Presenter: Jonathan Wiik, principal consultant, TransUnion Healthcare Solutions. Complex IRS rules take effect on January 1 that will dictate how providers ensure access, provide charity assistance, and collect uncompensated care. This in-depth webinar will cover tools and workflows that can help smooth the transition, including where to focus compliance efforts in the revenue cycle and a review of the documentation elements required.

December 9 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET. “The Health Care Payment Evolution: Maximizing Value Through Technology.” Sponsored by Medicity. Presenter: Charles D. Kennedy, MD, chief population health officer, Healthagen. This presentation will provide a brief history of the ACO Pioneer and MSSP programs and will discuss current market trends and drivers and the federal government’s response to them. Learn what’s coming in the next generation of programs such as the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and the role technology plays in driving the evolution of a new healthcare marketplace.

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

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock


Real-time ADT notifications vendor PatientPing raises $9.6 million from investors that include Google Ventures. The Boston-based company was founded by David Berkowicz, MBChB (Massachusetts General Hospital), Jay Desai (Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation), and Lara Sinicropi-Yao (Kyruus). 


Medical scribe provider ScribeAmerica acquires Essia Health, the third competitor the company has absorbed this year.



Gifford Medical Center (VT) chooses Medhost’s EDIS.

An unnamed “large German government hospital” selects the Visage 7 Enterprise Imaging Platform.

An unnamed Texas ACO chooses ZeOmega’s Jiva population health management solution.


Anne Arundel Medical Center (MD) selects receiving dock software from Jump Technologies. The company is fully confident that everyone who reads its press release already knows or doesn’t care that the hospital is in Annapolis, MD since it failed to mention that fact in its announcement.



Shannon Epps joins Divurgent as VP of activation management.

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Fujifilm Medical Systems names Johann Fernando, PhD (Accuray) as COO and promotes Diku Mandavia, MD to chief medical officer.


Paul Kleeberg, MD (Stratis Health) joins Aledade as medical director.

Announcements and Implementations

Spok chooses Guthrie Clinic (PA) as winner of its innovation award for having OR nurses text updates to patient families using the company’s Spok Mobile secure texting app.

Nuance announces PowerScribe 360 version 3.5, which includes multimedia reports with embedded PACS images, advanced lung cancer screening registry reporting, and enhanced quality guidance content for radiologists at the point of documentation. The company will demonstrate the product at RSNA.

HealthMyne integrates Epic EHR information into its quantitative imaging analytics platform.

Inspira Health Network (NJ) announces a 26 percent increase in HCAHPS scores for hospital quietness at one of its hospitals that deployed Practice Unite’s communications solution to reduce overhead pages at night.

Privacy and Security

Microsoft announces formation of a 24×7 Cyber Defense Operations Center to detect and respond to threats.


A survey finds that most people don’t mind sharing their health information with their physician and their family, but the percentage expressing a willingness to share drops off considerably after those two. Patients don’t want the government seeing their information, perhaps unaware that CMS knows just about everything about those on Medicare unless they choose to pay cash instead.


A federal judge dismisses an action brought against lab testing firm LabMD by the Federal Trade Commission, which claimed that consumers were injured in two old data security incidents. The first incident was reported by Tiversa, a security vendor who was trying to sell its services to LabMD. A former Tiversa sales manager said its warning to LabMD was “the usual sales pitch” and said no breach actually occurred. The second involved documents recovered in an identity theft investigation. The judge ruled that any consumer risk was theoretical and scolded the FTC for relying on Tiversa’s “unreliable” claims. It appears that Tiversa is still in business selling peer-to-peer cyberintelligence services, while LabMD shut down after being buried in court costs and customer defection due to the now-dismissed charges. LabMD was never charged with a HIPAA violation, only with deceptive trade practices, which seems to make little sense in this case (as the judge validated).

Innovation and Research


Keith “Motorcycle Guy” Boone urges licensed providers to complete an HL7 survey that seeks to determine which data elements are needed to support continuity of care.



India-based Practo will offer Uber integration with its doctor search app in India, Singapore, Philippines, and Indonesia. It will give users a “call Uber” button along with their appointment reminder so they can get a ride.



Cerner protests the terms under which University of Missouri Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin accepted a demotion following student protests that also triggered the resignation of the president of the entire university system. The separation agreement between Loftin and the university says he will take a leadership role with the Tiger Institute for Health Innovation, which is a partnership of the university and Cerner. Cerner wants references to Cerner and the Tiger institute removed from the agreement, saying that Cerner as a partner should have been consulted or notified in advance before Loftin was promised that role.

Epic trademarks App Orchard as the name of its upcoming app store.


A Politico article recently claimed that Connecticut’s attorney general “has reportedly opened investigations into Epic Systems and hospital networks” for information blocking. I emailed the Connecticut AG and received the response above. That’s Strike 2 against Politico, which previously stirred up a lot of hot air about non-existent EHR gag clauses in a much-cited article that offered no proof whatsoever.

Michael Arambula, MD, PharmD, president of the Texas Medical Board, defends the board against the “continued widespread perception that Texas is behind the times and restricting access to healthcare when it comes to telemedicine.” He was responding to a previous editorial that criticized the board’s requirement that doctors conduct a face-to-face exam on a patient before treating them by video visit. Arambula says “there are very few telemedicine scenarios which are prohibited in Texas.”


AMA President Steven Stack, MD says physicians can’t be blamed for IT failures. By that logic, all automobile accidents, including those caused by careless or unskilled drivers, are the fault of car manufacturers.

In England, insiders at Cambridge University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust blame its struggling Epic implementation on an unrealistic budget, an overly aggressive timeline, and inadequate user training.

A judge will hear the case of two IT professionals who were fired from their jobs at the decommissioned Hanford nuclear power plant in Washington after they complained that the company’s EHR was not tracking medical restrictions correctly. OSHA had previously ordered contractor Computer Sciences Corporation to pay the pair $186,000 in back wages.


Weird News Andy notes that one of several failed insurance co-ops, New York’s Health Republic, may stick hospitals with the $160 million it owes them now that the state has shut it down. The failed insurance company owes physician practices “tens of millions of dollars” as well. The state has ordered the insurer to stop paying some claims even though providers are still contractually obligated to keep providing services to its policyholders. New York denied part of the insurer’s rate hike request earlier this year even though it knew it was failing financially.

Sponsor Updates

  • Medical staff scheduling system vendor Lightning Bolt Partners will integrate its product with Imprivata Cortext.
  • AdvancedMD reports a smooth ICD-10 transition for its independence practice customers and billing services partners, with 100 percent of them ready on October 1 and the first practice receiving ICD-10 payment seven days after.
  • Huntzinger Management Group is named as one of the consulting industry’s fastest-growing firms.
  • Premier posts a promotional video for PremierConnect Enterprise.
  • EClinicalWorks will exhibit at the New York Health Plan Association 2015 Annual Conference November 18-19 in Albany.
  • SyTrue’s natural language processing technology is featured in “Unlocking the Value in Unstructured Data.”
  • Healthcare Call Center Times features Healthfinch client Essentia Health’s efficiency gains.
  • Built in Colorado ranks Healthgrades ninth in its list of Top 100 Colorado Tech Companies.
  • Huntzinger Management Group ranks tenth in Consulting Magazine’s list of fastest growing firms.
  • Burwood Group is recognized as a Cisco TelePresence Video Master Authorized Technology Provider Partner.

Blog Posts


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

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Currently there are "2 comments" on this Article:

  1. Funny that ACR Select is still claiming that CMS will require consultation of appropriate use criteria in 2017, when CMS has published a timeline that it will be pushed back at least a year. ACR Select is not popular with the physicians at my hospital, adds a bunch of clicks.

  2. RE: Annapolis MD. You’re right that they should have been more specific about location. People in Seattle may have thought the hospital was named after the old Microsoft programmer they called Anne of rundll.

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Reader Comments

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