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April 14, 2016 News 3 Comments

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Yet another scathing letter from CMS to Theranos comes to light. Federal regulators propose banning company founder and CEO Elizabeth Holmes from the blood-testing business for two years after her company failed to correct serious problems discovered at its California lab. The news surfaces a week after Theranos bolstered its Scientific and Medical Advisory Board (perhaps in a last-ditch attempt to rescue what’s left of its reputation) with representatives from CDC, American Association For Clinical Chemistry, and several academic medical centers and hospitals across the country.

HIStalk Announcements and Requests

This week on HIStalk Practice: Western New York’s HealtheLink welcomes new physician practices. GA-HITEC reaches MU goals with Georgia-based physicians. HealthTap offers free consults via Facebook’s Messenger app. Spotify highlights the favorite tunes of healthcare IT legislators. ("The Ties That Bind" never seemed more apropos.) ONC highlights the successes of the REC program – in 124 pages. Buffalo Cardiology & Pulmonary Associates closes its doors after 40 years, citing a "new era of health care." Bill Moreau, MD details the impact healthcare technology will have on Team USA during the 2016 Summer Games in Rio.


None scheduled soon. Contact Lorre for webinar services. Past webinars are on our HIStalk webinars YouTube channel.

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

Athenahealth acquires physician scheduling startup and More Disruption Please accelerator program graduate Arsenal Health (fka Smart Scheduling) for an undisclosed sum.


OSF Healthcare (IL) formally launches OSF Ventures, a $75 million venture fund that will invest in four to six businesses a year focused on reducing healthcare costs or improving patient experiences and outcomes. OSF clinicians will serve as willing guinea pigs for the fund’s companies, which already include Health Catalyst and Pieces Technologies.


GSI Healthcare relocates its headquarters to the BNY Mellon Center in Philadelphia’s City Center. The company, which offers care coordination technologies for ACOs and Medicaid Health Home programs, plans on growing its employee base by 60 percent this year, largely in technical positions like software engineering.



Orion Health signs contracts with two hospitals in London for its EHR and patient engagement software, and one with NHS Fife in Scotland for an integrated health and social care record for adult services.


MultiCare Health System (WA) expands its relationship with Health Catalyst, signing an enterprise-wide technology subscription agreement and professional services agreement. Health Catalyst will tie a portion of the professional services contract to achieving MultiCare’s annual $25 million improvement goal. The health system participated in the company’s $70 million Series E round of financing in February.



Specialists On Call names Sean Banerjee (Evolent Health) CTO and Ann Kessinger (The Advisory Board) executive vice president of sales and marketing.


California-based Stanford Health Care’s Board of Directors appoints David Entwistle (University of Utah Hospitals & Clinics) president and CEO.

Announcements and Implementations

Ensocare offers Dell Services customers access to its discharge management and care transition technology.

CVS MinuteClinic partners with American Well to offer its Ohio-based patients access to Cleveland Clinic physicians via a new Express Care Online program.


Mobile podiatry provider KG Health Partners teams with VAR ClinicAnywhere to implement HealthFusion’s MediTouch EHR and PM software for long-term care.


Navicure develops Navicure Perform, an analytics solution that helps providers identify and rectify cash-flow bottlenecks from within the company’s claims management software.

Panacea Healthcare Solutions incorporates a Web-based charge management solution from Holliday & Associates into its CDMauditing coding and compliance technology.

Government and Politics


California announces a $179 million settlement with Xerox stemming from a failed computer modernization of its Med-Cal claims processing system.

Louisiana’s Administration for Community Living awards nonprofit population health management company EQ Health Solutions a three-year grant to help Medicare beneficiaries recognize and prevent healthcare fraud.

Reports surface that the VA is looking to implement its own scheduling software rather than spend the $624 million promised to Lockheed Martin and Epic as part of last year’s highly sought after, seven-year-contract win. The agency is reportedly testing a homegrown solution at 10 pilot sites.

Privacy and Security


Intermountain Healthcare VP/CIO Marc Probst announces during a World Health Care Congress presentation that the health system will partner with the University of Utah and several other organizations to create a joint security center focused on thwarting cybersecurity attacks. Probst noted in a HIStalk interview earlier this year that security would be top of mind for him while strolling the show floor at HIMSS. You can read the interview here.

Innovation and Research


A study published in Nature describes a neuroprosthetic breakthrough called electronic “neural bypass” that has restored a quadriplegic man’s ability to move his hand.


A JAMIA study comparing patient data recorded in a typical EHR with corresponding data from insurance claims finds the EHR data to be fragmented and incomplete a majority of the time. Researchers looked specifically at mental healthcare and found outpatient care records for patients with bipolar disorder and depression missing an average of 57 percent of the time, and record of acute psychiatric services missing 89 percent of the time. The findings prompted researchers to suggest that “priorities for further investment in health IT will need thoughtful consideration.”

A survey of 82 health system executives shows that healthcare IT is still a top area for capital spend, and the need for interoperability is greater than ever. Nearly 70 percent of respondents feel their organizations successfully access ambulatory data from employed physician networks, while just 38 percent feel as successful with affiliated or non-affiliated networks.



NY Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall visits Silicon Valley to test the tech waters for the mental healthcare nonprofit he co-founded with his wife, Michi. Project 375 has partnered with Chicago Public Schools to offer behavioral health services to students, and has committed to investing $1 million to McLean Hospital, where Marshall received treatment for borderline personality disorder. He sees great potential in artificial intelligence like X2AI’s Tess bot and the impact it could have on psychotherapy.

Sponsor Updates

  • The Black Book 2016 Research Report recognizes Medicity as the top vendor in public/government and agency HIE systems.
  • The local paper highlights the success UK Healthcare (KY) has had with GetWellNetwork’s patient engagement technology.
  • Health Catalyst receives the 2016 Gallup Great Workplace Award.
  • Iatric Systems will exhibit at the HCCA 2016 Compliance Institute April 17-20 in Las Vegas.
  • Influence Health will host its Influence Client Congress April 24-27 in Phoenix.
  • InterSystems will exhibit at the Healthcare Payers Transformation Assembly April 19-21 in Houston.
  • Intelligent Medical Objects and Navicure will exhibit at the EClinicalWorks 2016 Enterprise Summit April 19-21 in Boston.
  • PDR will exhibit at Direct to Consumer National April 19-21 in Boston.
  • LifePoint Informatics releases a white paper, “Why Access to Lab & Diagnostic Data is Important to Providers, Payers and Patients.”
  • LiveProcess will exhibit at the 2016 Preparedness Summit April 19-22 in Dallas.
  • Netsmart will exhibit at the New York State Public Health Association annual conference April 21 in Cooperstown.
  • Nordic posts a new video, “Large EHR Implementations: Two critical success factors.”
  • Obix Perinatal Data System will exhibit at the AWHONN Virginia Conference April 23 in Virginia Beach.

Blog Posts


Mr. H, Lorre, Jennifer, Dr. Jayne, Lt. Dan.
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Currently there are "3 comments" on this Article:

  1. All things considered – this is pretty funny:

    Nordic posts a new video, “Large HER Implementations: Two critical success factors.”

  2. Re: JAMIA study. This study isn’t worth publication in a journal, let alone being echoed by HIStalk. The study was done in 2009! Maybe interoperability isn’t where we want it to be, but we won’t learn anything from studying data that predates the release of the first iPad.

  3. I’m not sure how to read the JAMIA article, but I think all it’s telling us is that patients seek mental health services outside their PCP’s network. As Charlie Harris points out, there was certainly no way to integrate full encounters from other EHRs at that time, and I don’t see them mention anywhere that most mental health service providers fall outside of Meaningful Use, and therefore were not part of the incentive program and probably didn’t even have an EHR at that point (and probably still don’t).

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  • richie: The poll for interoperabilty should be taken down, made a secret, and never mentioned again as it's embarrassing. Anyone...
  • Don Ellis: I agree about the writing, but as someone who was trained as an engineer and married to an English major, I also get the...
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  • Kallie: As a former EHR implementer, specifically into physician practices, your article is honestly depressing. These are the E...
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