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June 12, 2016 News No Comments

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In light of voided test results and potential CMS sanctions, Walgreens ends its relationship with Theranos, closing all 40 of its Theranos Wellness Centers in Arizona. Walgreens will redirect lab testing to third-party companies or to the certified Theranos lab in Phoenix.


June 28 (Tuesday) 2:00 ET. “Your Call Is Very Important.” Sponsored by West Healthcare Practice. Presenters: Cyndy Orrys, contact center director, Henry Ford Health System; Brian Cooper, SVP, West Interactive. The contact center is a key hub of patient engagement and a strategic lever for driving competitive advantage. Cyndy will share how her organization’s call center is using technologies and approaches that create effortless patient experiences in connecting them to the right information or resource. Brian will describe five key characteristics of a modern call center and suggest how to get started.

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

Last Week’s Most Interesting News

  • McKesson may sell its health IT business unit to focus efforts on its core drug distribution business.
  • Vice President Biden announces formation of the Genomic Data Commons, an open-access cancer database that will help researchers collaborate and share information, as part of the administration’s Cancer Moonshot.
  • Theranos says that less than one percent of its blood test results have been voided or corrected, a clarification on earlier reports that it would need to cancel or amend tens of thousands of results.
  • Practice Fusion settles FTC charges that it misled consumers by soliciting reviews for their doctors without disclosing that the information would be publicly posted on the Internet, leading to patients unknowingly publishing their own sensitive patient information.
  • The House passes the Helping Hospitals Improve Patient Care Act, exempting ambulatory surgical centers from MU and MIPS penalties.

Privacy and Security


UC San Diego (CA) halts plans to post physician reviews and star ratings on its website after realizing the surveys it sent to patients didn’t disclose that their comments could go public, potentially revealing their identities. The two-hospital system has postponed launching the reviews to redistribute surveys with appropriate disclosure language. While one healthcare executive believes the decision is based on physician pushback in the face of potentially damaging reviews, Practice Fusion’s recent settlement with the FTC over a similar situation lends UCSD’s decision some merit.


Twitter locks accounts and issues password resets after reports surface that 32 million passwords were leaked on the dark web. The company denies that its servers were hacked, instead attributing the leak to “combining information from other recent breaches, malware on victim machines that are stealing passwords for all sites, or a combination of both.”



The University of Iowa Health Alliance promotes Jennifer Vermeer to CEO.

Innovation and Research


A survey of 750 insured consumers reveals that they aren’t shopping around for healthcare services as much as industry insiders seem to hope they will. Just 30 percent of health plan members comparison shop, and only 30 percent of plans offer comparison-shopping tools. While 42 percent of those surveyed ranked such tools as “very important,” it’s hard to believe that importance would translate to more savvy shopping when a similar percentage believe the "cost is covered by my health plan, so it doesn’t matter."


NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital concludes its 10-week long InnovateNYP Pediatric App Challenge, awarding $40,000 to three finalists:

  • FhirStarters pediatric medication administration app, developed by Riley McKenna and Anees Merzi.
  • Teen Screen mental health screening and resource app, developed by Vikas Mandadi.
  • NYP Care Companion patient engagement app, developed by Ekaterina Chernetsova, Roman Makhnenko, Andrew Gluschenko, Dan Piekarz, Alexander Demura, Margarita Olshanskaya, Egor Kobelev, and Allan Wellenstein.

Government and Politics

Illinois-based Boyd Memorial Hospital, HSHS Holy Family Hospital, and Hillsboro Area Hospital will share a $155,000 USDA Learning and Telemedicine grant to expand stroke treatment, neonatal, and pediatric telemedicine programs.



Stan Larkin lives for 17 months without a heart by wearing a SynCardia Freedom Portable Driver. Powered by compressed air and worn in a backpack, the artificial heart allowed the 25 year-old – the first patient in Michigan to use the device – to live until he received a successful heart transplant in May.


South Australia Health hopes to hire a spin doctor for a six-month stint to convince the public that its highly criticized Enterprise Patient Administration System is worthwhile. The electronic records system is years behind schedule and over budget by over $200 million. Hospital physicians have formally complained that the system cut clinical activity by 50 percent, and have written a letter listing 37 major flaws and pleading for it to be shut down. SA Health named Allscripts as vendor of choice for the 80-hospital, $225 million project in November 2010 and signed the contract a year later.


The local paper looks at the hard time physicians often having locating end-of-life directives within EHRs, attributing the problem to a lack of training and/or intuitive field within the EHR. It holds up Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center (WI) as a forward-thinking organization when it comes to advance care planning documents. The hospital made digitizing such documents a priority when it implemented Epic in 2008.

Sponsor Updates

  • Valence Health makes the top 20 of Fastest Growing Companies in 2016 by Crain’s Chicago Business.
  • Verisk Health and ZeOmega will exhibit at AHIP June 15-17 in Las Vegas.
  • Huron Consulting Group will exhibit at Vital 2016 June 15-17 in Boston.
  • Zynx Health will exhibit at the Nurse and Home Care Forum June 15-17 in Foxborough, MA.
  • Black Book names E-MDs the top ambulatory EHR for thoracic and vascular surgery specialties.
  • The Chartis Group Director Jody Cervenak co-authors a chapter in the new second edition of the Oxford Textbook of Critical Care.
  • PokitDok attains Microsoft certification and is inducted into the Microsoft Azure Marketplace.

Blog Posts


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