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January 22, 2020 Headlines 6 Comments

Epic’s CEO is urging hospital customers to oppose rules that would make it easier to share medical info

Judy Faulkner urges CEOs at some of Epic’s largest hospital customers to sign a letter to HHS Secretary Alex Azar protesting the proposed interoperability rule published last year.

Gentem raises $3.7 million to fund future growth

San Francisco-based Gentem raises $3.7 million in a seed funding round that will help the company scale its RCM technology for physician practices.

DoctorLogic Secures $7 Million Series A Financing From Unbundled Capital

Medical marketing software and services vendor DoctorLogic raises $7 million in a Series A round.

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Currently there are "6 comments" on this Article:

  1. Android permissions are a good example of one software provider using imprecise permission definitions to screw over consumers and other software makers. For example, I’m trying to copy a person’s name into an app on my phone. The app wants access to my contacts to do so; it might even request that access when I install the app. Many Android app vendors use this permission to vacuum up your whole contact list and sell it to others. You and the software developer that makes your contact list application can’t do anything about this without denying access to application data.

    We need to prevent a similar situation with regards to health care data. Imagine you are trying to copy a lab to a telehealth app so that you can get a second opinion. The app requests access to your Mychart; you click Accept. It pulls all of your health information, labs, provider notes, tests, genetic information, etc. The telehealth company then sells this data to IMS. IMS has a breach and your health data floats around the internet.

    HHS does not have the skills necessary to define this type of access or permission system. Certainly the proposed rules do not mitigate the dangers of the above scenario. If HHS can’t get a healthcare data security policy properly defined and enforced, what are they doing trying to force providers to share their application data with others?

  2. Think about it – the big 2-3 EHR vendors are going to use the ‘security’ (fear/doubt) angle for ever to try and keep the oligopoly and ‘money printer’ they have today. This is a very expected play. They also know the architecture of what they’ve built is archaic and if the market opens up, apps/innovation will take over the provider and even patient user experience pretty rapidly. Just do a google search and look at the 1990s user interfaces that the big 2-3 still use today! Btw, the gigabytes of data we voluntarily expose each day is significantly more than the amount of healthcare data we obsessively try and protect.

  3. The arguments against the upcoming HHS regulation are sad. Citing regulations as the reason EHRs suck/you haven’t spent a dime on real innovation, then turning around and saying that changes to regulations will hurt and we should keep things the same now that they’ve already got Meaningful Use money in their pockets is sad. It’s also amazing to me that a private for profit company can be so bold as to say that we should just trust them to do the right thing, and not pay attention to bi-partisan agreement on regulations or patient advocates that have been calling for this a long time.

    Make no mistake it’s always about the money. This grousing about patient privacy is ridiculous. I once listened to Judy tell an auditorium of Epic faithful that a hospital CIO told her “Epic prints money”, essentially by playing existing fee for service rules and she’d repeat it like it was an amazing thing. Epic was waiting with arms wide open when our government gave billions to EHR vendors, and we as citizens haven’t seen any ROI on that, other than perhaps a couple extra Harry Potter campuses in the fields of Wisconsin.

    Epic is afraid of competition, simply put. They know that their software doesn’t add the value it should/they’ve claimed, so once the barriers to system switching come down and integration is mandated lots of institutions will switch from Epic. Their whole bundled strategy is built around high switching costs.

    • ” once the barriers to system switching come down”

      If you think the main barrier to switching is the open API, you’re completely misinformed. You can already do migration with interfaces that already exist. The biggest barriers will be sunk money, new training money and effort, complaints from users used to the system, extensive custom build, etc. Those barriers are orders of magnitude larger than open APIs. Now if you could somehow mandate a standard UI/build/etc., that every certified EHR would have to support you might have something. Good luck getting that done though.

  4. I was in the same audience as MDLJ above. She was quoting a CIO who had told her about the money they saved putting epic in place of other chunky systems (including lots of paper back then). ALSO they were able to get bills out for the care they provided. I’ve got no particular love for epic, but the comment is just disingenuous.

    • I recall that meeting, too. You are correct and I have worked with the organization in question. The CIO was talking about how Epic printed money for them, not for Epic. I first heard the story while on-site at that organization while they were showing us the awards they had received.

      While I don’t disagree with the stuff about lack of disruption (though that seems to be the last thing healthcare organizations want), MDLJ’s historical accounting is a bit off. Maybe they were too busy on their phone during the meeting?



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