Unfortunately, I can't disagree with anything you wrote. It is important that they get this right for so many reasons,…
EHNAC (Electronic Healthcare Network Accreditation Commission) will merge with DirectTrust on January 4, 2023, giving DirectTrust access to EHNAC’s accreditation programs.
From Dr. X: “Re: NEJM telemedicine article. It is classic that in the US, (a) we figure out that we need to do something — in this case, that further research is advocated — long after we actually implement something, and (b) because of our strange way of paying for healthcare (insurance and Medicare covers most costs), we feel that we need to research something that clearly has huge benefits (and some drawbacks), when in all other industries, market forces provide the answers.” The NEJM article, titled “Informing the Debate about Telemedicine Reimbursement – What Do We Need to Know?” says that we still don’t know whether telemedicine costs are additive to existing costs (some studies say yes) or whether its use improves outcomes. The authors conclude that permanent telehealth payment policies could include (a) higher co-payments for lower-value services to encourage clinicians to limit the use of telehealth; (b) implementation of bundled programs that put the usage controls on payers; and (c) paying for audio-only visits only if the clinician attests that they offer video visits that the patient declined.
From Informatics Daktari: “Re: HLTH. There was very little work being done there. I thought it was one of the most low-value conferences I’ve been to in a long time. Very much ‘see and be seen’ and felt like it was all startups looking for money.” I think the definition of “low value” is the key here. I’m not sure patients, taxpayers, or insurance-paying employers got anything except another set of expenses with HLTH’s promise of “solving the world’s biggest health challenges” (especially the unprofitable ones), but “value” to some is “catching up” (i.e., hanging out in Las Vegas bars) and pretending that the lyrics of featured performer Ludacris’s “Move Bitch” are profound rather than profane.
From Brought the Bug Home: “Re: HLTH. I should have known better than to attend a conference that has no vaccination or testing requirements. I tested positive upon arriving back home.” I’m curious about others, although I acknowledge that much of the exposure would have been in airports and on public transportation.
From CC Charges: “Re: Cleveland Clinic charging for some MyChart message responses. For or against?” I’m cautiously “for” since, like other professionals, clinicians should be paid for their time regardless of the form in which their customer requests it (your lawyer and accountant aren’t likely offering free advice just because they type it into email). On the other hand, I’m curious whether those providers get paid for the extra time spent. And for that matter, why providers who waste the time of patients through their own inefficiency don’t give them a discount for the inconvenience.
HIStalk Announcements and Requests
I excise verbal crutches from my interview transcripts, which I’m certain the interviewee doesn’t realize they are using. Most common are verbal tics that are intended to communicate emphasis or authenticity – a recent 20-minute conversation included 33 uses of “really” and 16 of “very” that I omitted from the final version.
HLTH recaps and photos I’ve seen look like quite the glad-handing party for health IT glitterati. I’ve seen nothing to challenge my assertion that conference attendance is driven mostly by mid-level provider executives – of which there are sufficient number to lure exhibitors – who demand that their employer prove their undying love by underwriting their ROI-free mini-vacation. If HIMSS is a boat show, HLTH a glamper-only, investor-focused Burning Man. Meanwhile, Axios opines that HLTH is “eating the conference world” with 9,000 attendees and the possibility of taking some folks away from JP Morgan and HIMSS, although it also notes that the conference’s wagon is hitched to bull market investor glory days that are rapidly becoming a faint memory. I’m pretty sure that quite a few companies blew the last of their investor-donated wads on a HLTH Hail Mary and won’t exist in a year.
Last chance – new HIStalk sponsors who start before December 31 get their 12 months at pre-increase 2022 rates, the same as existing sponsors pay. Lorre has welcomed several new sponsors in the past few weeks.
Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock
FDA and Mitre publish an updated “Medical Device Cybersecurity Regional Incident Preparedness and Response Playbook.”
Genomic testing company Sema4 will exit the reproductive testing business and lay off 500 of its 1,600 employees following a $78 million Q3 loss.
KHN covers private equity’s takeover of the profitable parts of healthcare, which has been sometimes accompanied by patient-endangering profit maximization. Most of the acquisitions – which often involve eye care clinics, dental management chains, physician practices, and hospices – are not subject to regulatory scrutiny since they fall under the $101 million threshold. Another new KHN piece observes that hospitals push vulnerable, confused patients into payment plans, run by big banks and private equity firms, that charge high interest rates. A patient whose hysterectomy forced her to borrow money at 11.5% interest concludes, “Hospitals have found yet another way to monetize our illnesses and our need for medical help,” as many have ended their traditional no-interest payment plans and refer patients to third-party lenders in return for an upfront commission.
My health IT employee advice as a Twitter implosion observer: (a) it’s time look for a new job when richly compensated executives can’t up with a better strategy to fix the problems their strategic misfires caused than to demand that the galley slaves row harder; and (b) no matter how deserving your boss is of correction or criticism, you don’t want to be the person delivering it (“free speech” is like “HIPAA” in that it doesn’t mean what 99% of people think it does, and criticizing the boss or airing company dirty laundry publicly will rightfully get you fired almost everywhere). Imagine asking Elon to pay your way to attend HLTH.
- Community Bridges, Inc. chooses Netsmart CareFabric.
JTG Consulting Group hires Philip Garrott (WellSky) as VP of sales.
Announcements and Implementations
Hackensack Meridian Health will run Epic on Google Cloud.
Healthcare Growth Partners publishes a white paper titled “Prepare and Prevent Common Due Diligence Issues in Health IT Transactions.”
Bamboo Health launches a care gap solution for its Smart Signals network
A new KLAS report finds that provider burnout leveled in 2022 at 34%, with the main factors being time required to complete bureaucratic tasks, after-hours workload, and efficiency-sapping EHRs and other IT tools.
Government and Politics
A federal grand jury indicts five former employees of Methodist Hospital for selling the names and phone numbers of auto accident victims to a person who then resold them to personal injury attorneys and chiropractors.
Privacy and Security
A review of 12 healthcare websites that focus on substance abuse finds that 11 use tracking cookies, four use session recordings, six use Meta Pixel, and all 12 sent data to advertising companies.
- GHX hosts its annual Turkey Trot 5K and food drive.
- Clearsense publishes an infographic on how to shorten the time to building a data platform
- Nuance publishes a white paper, “Nuance and NVIDIA: Bridging the gap from medical imaging AI development to clinical adoption quickly, safely, and effectively.”
- AdvancedMD releases its fall update, adding 35 features.
- Net Health expands its utilization of Kno2’s Communication API to help rehab therapists meet demands for care coordination.
- Juniper Networks recognizes Sentara Healthcare with an Elevate Award in the early adoption category.
- Meditech and Google Health advance their search and summarization collaboration to the next phase, with DCH Health System and Mile Bluff Medical Center signing on as early adopters of their integrated solution.
- Oracle Cerner posts a podcast titled “Evolution of the pager: Creating more effective care team communication.”
- Get the Latest Changes to E/M Coding Guidelines (Experity)
- 5 Things to Expect from Managed Services Training Support (Optimum Healthcare IT)
- Veterans Supporting Veterans: Get Well Salutes Our Military Heroes (Get Well)
- Anatomy of Effective Landing Pages (Healthwise)
- OASIS-E Implementation: An overview for home health providers (Intelligent Medical Objects)
- Marking National Rural Health Day: The Recovery of Lakeland Community Hospital (Medhost)
- Innovation in action – 4 success stories from Meditech customers (Meditech)
- Prior Authorization Your Nemesis? Superhero Strategies for Vanquishing Delays & Denials (Myndshft)
- Pulling the RUGs Out: States Must Transition to PDPM Next October (Net Health)
- Uplifting our Veterans in the Workforce (Netsmart)