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News 6/21/17

June 20, 2017 News No Comments

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Teladoc will acquire Best Doctors, a global company that provides virtual medical consult services to employers and payers, for $375 million in cash and $65 million in common stock.

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From Ex-Epic: “Re: Epic billing services. Not sure if this has already been announced publicly. It looks like Epic is starting a Billing Services team: ‘Epic is seeking bright, motivated individuals to join our new Billing Services team as we enter the world of medical billing. Our goal is to simplify the payment process by helping Epic organizations with the complexities of submitting claims and posting payments. Attention to detail is vital as you’ll be posting payments and denials; reconciling payment files, claims, and statements; resolving posting errors; and calling payors to follow up on outstanding or unpaid claims.’”


From Ex-McK: “Re: McKesson’s ranking. The Fortune 500 issue was not too kind to the Pharma division of McK and it’s difficult to fathom how John Hammergren can bring in an average of $60M+ per year over the last 10 years. As one of those who was ‘released’ from my employment I find it galling, but that’s probably just me.” Fortune’s annual list puts McKesson at number five, just ahead of UnitedHealth and CVS Health. I didn’t care to dig any deeper into the list given its obnoxious interface and floating auto-play ads that took too long to recognize my many attempts to stop them.


June 22 (Thursday) 1:00 ET. “Social Determinants of Health.” Sponsored by Philips Wellcentive. Presenter: David Nash, MD, MBA, dean, Jefferson College of Population Health. One of the nation’s foremost experts on social determinants of health will explain the importance of these factors and how to make the best use of them.

June 29 (Thursday) 2:00 ET. “Be the First to See New Data on Why Patients Switch Healthcare Providers.” Sponsored by Solutionreach. As patients pay more for their care and have access to more data about cost and quality, their expectations for healthcare are changing. And as their expectations change, they are more likely to switch providers to get them met. In this free webinar, we’ll look at this new data on why patients switch and what makes them stay. Be one of the first to see the latest data on why patients leave and what you can do about it.

July 11 (Tuesday) 1:00 ET.  “Your Data Migration Questions Answered: Ask the Expert Q&A Panel.” Sponsored by Galen Healthcare Solutions. Presenters: Julia Snapp, manager of professional services, Galen Healthcare Solutions; Tyler Suacci, principal technical consultant, Galen Healthcare Solutions. This webcast will give attendees who are considering or in the process of replacing and/or transitioning EHRs the ability to ask questions of our experts. Our moderators have extensive experience in data migration efforts, having supported over 250+ projects, and migration of 40MM+ patient records and 7K+ providers. They will be available to answer questions surrounding changes in workflows, items to consider when migrating data, knowing what to migrate vs. archive, etc.

Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre for information on webinar services.

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

LTC EHR vendor MatrixCare acquires competitor SigmaCare for an undisclosed amount.

The SSI Group expands its reseller agreement with Cerner, offering its RCM services to Cerner Millenium end users.



Robin Hackney (Greenway Health) joins Ingenious Med as CMO.


After just one year on the job, Memorial Hermann Health System (TX) CEO Benjamin Chu, MD resigns without providing a reason beyond his desire to pursue his “passion in health and public policy.” Charles Stokes, EVP and COO, has been named interim CEO.


Ability Network hires Jamison Rice (BCBSMN) as EVP and CFO.

Announcements and Implementations


Woman’s Hospital (LA) deploys electronic patient signature and eForms technology from Access.

HIE operator Vermont Information Technology Leaders implements Wolters Kluwer’s Health Language Enterprise Terminology Management solution.


University of Toledo Medical Center’s multispecialty physician group (OH) rolls out PatientKeeper’s Charge Capture technology to streamline billing at UTMC and affiliated SNFs.



Health Catalyst develops new technology to help providers better understand costs of care as they relate to patient outcomes.

Apple is reportedly working with digital health startup Health Gorilla in its efforts to turn the iPhone into a personal health data storage device. CNBC reports they are working to add integration points that will allow iOS to import results from hospitals and lab-testing companies like Quest Diagnostic and LabCorp.


Payment technology vendor Patientco announces enhanced integration with Epic.

Modernizing Medicine adds electronic prior authorization capabilities from CoverMyMeds to its EMA specialty-focused EHR.

SCI Solutions adds new scheduling and worklist management features for multi-location providers to its Schedule Maximizer software.


Recondo Technology adds payment collection capabilities from HealthPay24 to its RCM offering.



Auburn Community Hospital (NY) selects analytics and 340B drug discount program solutions from Sentry Data Systems.


Hartford HealthCare (CT) will implement Stanson Health’s analytics and clinical decision support software.

Privacy and Security

Citing last year’s ransomware attack on MedStar (MD), the Wall Street Journal reports that some hospital executives avoid reporting ransomware breaches because HHS rules say hospitals only need to report attacks that result in exposure of medical or financial information, while ransomware attacks encrypt the information, but don’t necessarily expose it.

From DataBreaches.net:


  • Torrance Memorial Medical Center (CA) notifies patients of an April email breach that may have exposed personal information. Hospital officials have hired a third-party forensics firm to assess the scope and impact of the phishing attack.
  • Daniel Devereux, a homeless computer hacker in the UK known as His Royal Gingerness, is jailed for his 2015 attacks on the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and Norwich International Airport.
  • Thanks to a proactive encryption strategy, Waverly Health Center (IA) experiences little to no disturbance from a June ransomware attack.

Government and Politics


Michigan Lt. State Governor Brian Calley with Henry Ford Health System and Appriss Health representatives to announce $2.1 million in funding to connect the Michigan Automated Prescription System with provider EHRs across the state. Calley hopes the integration, which will be aided by Appriss technology, will increase physician use of the PDMP from 28 to 80 percent.

The Office of the Chief Actuary of CMS forecasts a 13 million reduction in insured patients by 2026 if AHCA is passed, 10 million less than the CBO’s prediction. Reuters reports Senate Republicans will unveil their version of the bill on Thursday.


CMS releases the 2018 Quality Payment Program Proposed Rule. Health IT-related highlights of the 26-page summary include continuing to allow providers to use 2014 certified EHRs, and offering bonus points for using 2015 technology exclusively.

Innovation and Research

A West survey on patient experience finds that shorter wait times, upfront pricing, more communication options, and not feeling rushed during appointments are key to their satisfaction with providers. Nearly 80 percent claim they won’t hesitate to fire doctors that don’t meet their expectations.


Australia makes genome sequencing available to patients for $6,000 through Genome One and the Garvan Institute in Sydney. Should demand increase, the Australian Genomic Healthcare Alliance may look for a way to fund testing through the country’s Medicare program.

Babies in China, on the other hand, can have their genome sequenced for the bargain price of $1,500. Earlier this month, Boston-based DNA sequencing company Veritas Genetics – a spinoff of Harvard’s Personal Genome Project – launched full genome sequencing via MyBabyGenome. Its sequencing report addresses 950 inherited diseases, 200 genes connected to drug reactions, and 100 physical traits the child is likely to have.

Sponsor Updates

  • Besler Consulting releases a new podcast, “Working with the first CJR reconciliation report.”
  • CoverMyMeds will sponsor Startup Weekend Columbus – Maker Edition June 23-25 in Ohio.
  • The Cleveland Plain Dealer and WorkplaceDynamics include Direct Consulting Associates in its list of Top Workplaces for 2017.
  • Diameter Health supports the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Promise Ball Gala.
  • ECG Management Consultants will exhibit at the National Bundled Payment Summit June 26-28 in Arlington, VA.
  • EClinicalWorks, Hayes Management Consultants, Imprivata, and Kyruus will exhibit at the HFMA ANI conference June 25-28 in Orlando.
  • The Healthgrades award-winning internship program cultivates new talent to achieve excellence.
  • InterSystems will exhibit at the International Healthcare Summit June 26-27 in Kelowna, BC.
  • Solutionreach publishes a new white paper, “The Patient-Provider Relationship Study: The Ripple Effect Starts with Boomers.”
  • Mez Pharma Group selects the Liaison Technologies Alloy Platform for Healthcare.

Blog Posts


Mr. H, Lorre, Jenn, Dr. Jayne, Lt. Dan.
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Reader Comments

  • Bravo Code Jockey: Code Jockey - thanks a tonne for persisting and for your rational and informed responses to a lot of name calling and mi...
  • Bill O'Toole: Confirming first hand that Cape Cod Hospital was MEDITECH's first customer. My father, the Chief of Pathology, saw the i...
  • FormerCIO: Re JAMA article. How will access to my EHR data help me 'shop for high value health care services' and 'avoid the need t...
  • CommentsTwoWeeksLate: I'd be really disappointed if the "de-identified" data set contained full birth dates or zip codes. That doesn't seem t...
  • Code Jockey: Mr. H - this is a response to 'Really' but I'm not sure how to respond to his post. Also, this is a note for both you an...
  • Clarence: From my experience 7 years as an Epic employee and then 4+ years integrating 3rd party clinical content/software into EH...
  • meltoots: I take issue with one thing in this. The ACR AUC system is ridiculous for specialist physicians. I am a board certified ...
  • Really: Come on Code Junkie... Would any software company on the planet let you take their code, do a minor modification and ...
  • Code Jockey: Sigh.... Code Corrections - the origin of this conversation was a statement by someone that Epic clients were creating t...
  • WhatstheretoWonder: Fairly clear that the ambitions were crushed by unchecked capitalism and Republican waffling on doing the necessary chec...

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