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August 4, 2016 News 2 Comments

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Advocate Health Care Network (IL) will pay $5.55 million to settle HIPAA charges involving three 2013 breaches in its medical group. OCR found that Advocate failed to perform risk assessments, didn’t limit access to its data center, and failed to encrypt a laptop that was stolen from an unlocked vehicle.

Advocate reported three breaches over just a few weeks in late 2013:

  • The theft of four desktops containing the PHI of 4 million people from an office building.
  • The breach of the network of business associate Blackhawk Consulting Group involving 2,000 patients.
  • The theft of an unencrypted containing the information of 2,000 patients.

Reader Comments

From Davadora: “Re: ER holiday shift coverage scam. My daughter was rushed to an in-network ED on Christmas morning. The doctor was not in in network and will not honor any discounts negotiated by my payer. A quick check finds that the provider accepts only one insurance and it’s not even a national one. Could it be a thing that doctors troll for holiday ER shifts to bill out of network?” It’s a patient-unfriendly healthcare system when doctors bill separately from the hospitals from which they provide services and where insurance companies penalize patients who don’t have a choice, leaving patients who by definition are unwell to sort it out instead of focusing on their own medical situation.

From FlyOnTheWall: “Re: Caradigm. Let 30 percent of their workforce go Wednesday.” Unverified. I’ve asked the company to comment but haven’t heard back.

HIStalk Announcements and Requests

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We funded the DonorsChoose grant request of Mrs. B from North Carolina, who asked for science activity tubs for her first graders. She reports, “The great thing about these kits is the simple fact that I can use them over and over for classes in the future. We are moving into landforms and characteristics of our Earth. It was great to get a solid foundation about what the Earth is made of. Thank you so much for supplying the funds needed to purchase the materials. I wish I could list everything we were able to do with them. Just know that your donation did not go to waste! You may have sparked a new generation of Earth Scientists.”

This week on HIStalk Practice: Anonymous administrator shares practice’s cybersecurity journey. Healthstar Physicians selects population health management services from Transcend. X-Ray Associates of New Mexico goes live on MedInformatix RIS. The nation’s second-largest school district pilots telemedicine technology. Astellas Pharma, Matter Chicago team up for cancer care innovation competition. Ohio launches $60 million+ CPC program. Stealth startup 98point6 raises $11 million. Nicole Hartung, MD of Minnesota Oncology shares best practices for engaging physicians in OCM-required care redesign.

This week on HIStalk Connect: PerfectServe CEO Terry Edwards weighs in on the Joint Commission’s waffling on texting of orders. Behavioral health company Big Health raises $12 million. Fitbit entices Adam Pelligrini away from Walgreens. IBeat secures $1.5 million.


August 10 (Wednesday) 1:30 ET. “Taming the Beast: CDS Knowledge Management.” Sponsored by LogicStream Health. Presenters: Luis Saldana, MD, MBA, CMIO, Texas Health Resources (THR); Maxine Ketcham, clinical decision support analyst, THR; Kanan Garg, senior applications analyst, THR; Patrick Yoder, CEO, LogicStream health. This presentation will review THR’s systematic process for managing clinical decision support assets, including identifying broken alerts, addressing technical and clinical issues, modifying order sets, and retiring tools that have outlived their usefulness. Attendees will learn how THR uses a robust knowledge management platform to better understand how clinicians are interacting with their clinical content to maintain their order sets and reduce the number of alerts fired.

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

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock


Video visit provider Teladoc reports Q2 results: revenue up 45 percent, EPS $0.38 vs. –$7.20, exceeding earnings expectations but falling short on revenue. TDOC shares dropped sharply on the announcement and have shed 47 percent since the company’s first-day IPO close in July 2015.


Analytics vendor Inovalon reports Q2 results: revenue up 5 percent, adjusted EPS $0.14 vs. $0.18, meeting earnings expectations but falling short on revenue.  Shares dropped sharply Thursday and are down 25 percent in the past year, valuing the company at $2.25 billion.


Allscripts reports Q2 results: revenue up 10 percent, EPS –$0.05 vs. $0.01, meeting earnings expectations but falling short on revenue.


From the Cerner earnings call:

  • President Zane Burke reports that 34 percent of sales came from outside the Millennium client base, which he attributes to an active replacement market and success against Epic.
  • The HealtheIntent population health management solution has been purchased by more than 100 clients.
  • Burke says of Cerner’s small-hospital CommunityWorks service in apparently calling out Athenahealth, “A recent noteworthy win for CommunityWorks was the displacement of a failed attempted go-live by a cloud-based vendor that has been making a push in recent years to expand from the ambulatory market to hospitals. We have several active opportunities to displace this same competitor in both ambulatory and small-hospital settings, suggesting their approach of spending about three times as much on much sales and marketing as they do on research and development may not be the most effective approach for their clients.”
  • The company sold two PHM deals of over $5 million.
  • A new children’s hospital in Dubai was scheduled to implement Epic, but moved to Cerner because of the ITWorks IT management service.
  • CFO Mark Naughton says of clients who had already notified Siemens that they were dropping their systems before Cerner acquired the company, “Every one of those is still writing me their monthly check or owes me their monthly check for their contract duration, which can extend anywhere from three to five more years.”
  • Only 25 percent of customers have bought Revenue Cycle, which the company sees as an ongoing opportunity.


In Australia, software vendor Global Health settles its lawsuits with SA Health over the health department’s continued use of its 1980-era Chiron patient management software as its last remaining user. SA Health will pay $3.8 million for a five-year license, about the same annual fee it was paying before Global Health refused to extend its support agreement in insisting that the product was dead. SA Health wants to keep using the system due to delays in the EPAS Allscripts Sunrise Clinical Manager rollout at Royal Adelaide Hospital.


Elation Health, which offers a $299 per provider per month EHR, raises $15 million.


Wake Radiology (NC) chooses the Vitality IQ imaging practice management tools from Vital Images.

OptumCare signs a 10-year deal to deploy Allscripts Touchworks to its physician practices.



Ray Wolf (Redirect Health) joins Lumeris as SVP of architecture and innovation.

Announcements and Implementations


Peer60’s new report, “Health System Brand Reputation,” looks at which health systems C-level healthcare executives recognize most for quality, innovation, and overall brand reputation. Mayo Clinic and Kaiser Permanente scored highest on public presence, but Johns Hopkins and Cleveland Clinic have the best overall reputations.

Athenahealth alerts its Miami-area customers that 1,800 of their patients are at risk for Zika virus infection based on CDC guidelines, most of them at a single health care center. 

In Australia, SA Health wins a government innovation award for its use of healthcare integration technology from InterSystems.

IDS will incorporate SyTrue’s NLP OS natural language processing system into its Voice2Dox speech-powered clinical reporting platform.

The Sequoia Project validates ZeOmega’s Jive HIE Connect for use on the eHealth Exchange.

Privacy and Security


Banner Health (AZ) notifies 3.7 million people that its food and beverage systems were breached by a hacker in June, exposing patient and credit card information.

A former clerk of Tampa General Hospital (FL) is sentenced to three years in prison for using the computer information of 644 patients to file false tax returns that earned her refunds totaling $77,000. She also sold some of the information to others.

Innovation and Research


Drone delivery vendor Zipline announces plans to begin delivery of medical supplies to remote areas of Maryland, Nevada, and Washington within a year. The company’s 22-pound, GPS-directed drones can carry three pounds of blood products and supplies that hospitals order via text message, with delivery within 30 minutes by parachute drop.

A study finds that hospitals that send the most heart attack and heart failure patients to the ICU have lower quality and worse outcomes, suggesting that the purpose of ICUs is ill-defined and may be driven by non-clinical factors.



A NEJM opinion piece by Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) on the contentious issue of requiring researchers to share their study data calls for more openness. She recommends:

  • Medical journals should require researchers to share the de-identified patient they used along with their article submission.
  • The government should enforce FDA’s requirement that researchers register their clinical trials via ClinicalTrials.gov.
  • Researchers should include their plans for sharing data when registering their study.
  • Clinical trial sponsors should mandate data-sharing in their contracts, with the grant recipient being responsible for covering the costs from their award.
  • The medical community should find ways to share results from failed trials, which can have significant scientific impact yet are rarely published. 


Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems lays off 35 of the IT department’s 300 employees as the department tries to cut its budget by $3 million.  The department eliminated 43 jobs in 2014.

In England, Burton’s Queen’s Hospital takes six years to finally go live on an unnamed, $2 million patient records system.


GE CEO Jeff Immelt makes some refreshingly frank comments in an interview with Vanity Fair:

  • He says the company’s diversification strategy made sense in the 1980s and 1990s when GDP growth was 4 percent, but now, “If I would go out today and say, ‘Guess what? I have a great idea. We’re going to buy a media company,’ I’d get shot. Or if I were to say to you, ‘Hey, look, I was really great at picking jet engines and picking TV shows’—that’s complete bull, really.”
  • He says GE will apply Internet of Things information to improve industrial operations in ways software companies can’t.
  • Immelt says every new GE employee will “learn to code …  whether they join in finance or IT or marketing, they’re going to code.” He’s hoping to create programming and data scientist jobs for employees who have an associate’s degree only.
  • Asked about GE’s succession planning, he says, “In some ways, we are working on succession all the time. You don’t become CEO for what you know. You become CEO for how fast we think you can learn. There’s a whole bunch of things that go into it. How fast can they learn? How resilient are they? How competitive are they? Those are things that really put you in good stead.”


A study of users of the free digital advance planning tool MyDirectives finds that people can do a better job specifying their own wishes via an electronic interview rather than checking off items on a paper form. The stored advance directives can be looked up by doctors and hospitals and users can even add a video statement via the company’s mobile app. The company makes money by charging health plans for storing the emergency care plans of their members, charging providers and health IT vendors to access the database, and selling de-identified data to third parties.


The CNN journalism cesspool doesn’t appreciate the irony of placing a story about Facebook’s crackdown on clickbait headlines among its own non-newsworthy clickbait headlines.

Sponsor Updates

  • Intelligent Medical Objects and Obix Perinatal Data Systems will exhibit at the Allscripts Client Experience August 9-11 in Las Vegas.
  • PDR and Navicure will exhibit at the Greenway Engage user conference August 10-13 in Atlanta.
  • MedData VP of Human Resources Barb Astler is named a finalist for the Crain’s Archer HR Executive of the Year award.
  • Netsmart will exhibit at the MHCAR Annual BH Institute August 9 in Hot Springs, AR.
  • Nordic will sponsor the Collaboration of Revenue Cycle Epic Users Conference August 10-12 in Portland.
  • Elsevier Clinical Solutions, Galen Healthcare Solutions, and Healthwise will exhibit at the Allscripts Client Experience August 9-11 in Las Vegas.
  • Ninety-nine FormFast customers are named to the 2016 Most Wired list.
  • GE Healthcare President and CEO John Flannery continues his LinkedIn series on “The Top 10 Reasons Transformation is the New Normal for Healthcare.”
  • Healthfinch CEO and co-founder Jonathan Baran joins the Young Entrepreneur Council.

Blog Posts


Mr. H, Lorre, Jennifer, Dr. Jayne, Lt. Dan.
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Currently there are "2 comments" on this Article:

  1. I thought it would be fun to compare peer60’s findings with the latest round of stats on the CMS Hospital Compare site: Mayo Clinic and Kaiser Permanente, which scored highest on public presence, both received an average of three stars from CMS. Cleveland Clinic, which scored highest on overall reputation, achieved four stars. A CMS star rating for Johns Hopkins, also leading for best overall reputation in peer60’s report, was not available.

  2. @Davadora

    When an out of network doctor seeks detail of the in network copay and deductible $ obligations from the patients’ insurance carrier in order to bill that amount, the carrier refuses to divulge.

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