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News 6/2/23

June 1, 2023 News 4 Comments

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CMS announces that Medicare Part B will cover the use of FDA-approved monoclonal antibodies to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, but will require doctors to populate patient registries for real-world tracking of the performance of those treatments.

The Alzheimer’s Association says that requiring patient registries for coverage should be reconsidered because of the clinician data entry workload that is required. The association wants to know more about how data will be submitted, how the CMS-facilitated portal or other registries will work, and how patients and physicians can enroll.


Reader Comments

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From Zippydoodle: “Re: non-existent HIPAA certifications. HIPAA compliance is a process, not an event, and there is no single body that certifies a company as being HIPAA compliant. Startups in particular that should be saying ‘we will sign BAAs’ instead declare that they are HIPAA compliant or HIPAA certified.” Companies need to be HIPAA compliant, not HIPAA certified,  and HHS has been clear that it requires the former and doesn’t recognize the latter. 

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From Austin Keeping Weird: “Re: Founder Wellness and Blood Draw Party. Some influencer who isn’t affiliated with healthcare is promoting a digital health startup event. So many things wrong: the free blood draw panel for folks who are likely amply insured while much of Texas isn’t, the IV bar that has nothing to do with wellness, and the ice baths that create images of attendees in Speedos. Digital health companies who attend will soon discover that their sustainability is associated with payers or prescribers, not vanity faux medicine.” Maybe the unnamed company should launch a TikTok challenge.

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From Laff Riot: “Re: Florida patient data law. I’m surprised that few comments have been made given the number of health IT companies that use offshore resources for support, development, or billing services. Florida providers and their vendors have little time to review or modify contracts to ensure that offshore resources do not have access to PHI.” The newly modified Florida Electronic Health Records Exchange Act, which takes effect July 1, prohibits providers from storing patient records offshore or allowing access to US-stored data to anyone who is outside the US or Canada. Providers must also ensure that patient data that is stored in the cloud is physically housed in the US.  A couple of websites mentioned of the law a few days after reading about it on HIStalk, but otherwise it has drawn little attention. Given that compliance will be far from universal by the due date, it’s all about enforcement and penalties.

From Billie Gene: “Re: gene editing to reverse/stop a hereditary condition. Laudable R&D to advance precision medicine or another over-reach by pharma?” Genetic telehealth provider Genome Medical will offer genetic counseling to participants in a company’s clinical trial of a gene editing process for treating sickle cell disease. Much of medical research isn’t laudable since profit is the intention and the reward, but I would have good feelings about the company if their treatment alleviated my SCD symptoms.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

Are you Rockies-bound next week for MUSE Inspire? Some of my sponsors are, and here’s what they will be doing there.

I have some very slightly overlapping background with someone I was interviewing today and they asked if I knew Brad Dodge. I instantly said yes, recalling that his company back in the day, Dodge Communications and specifically Brian Parrish, designed the HIStalk logo you see at the top of this page that has served me well for more than 10 years (I am obviously from the “ain’t broke” school of rebranding). Thanks to Brad and Brian for volunteering to create what turned out to be a long-lasting graphic.

Listening: WITCH (We Intend To Cause Havoc), a Zamrock band from 1970s Zambia, where bands emulated the psychedelic sounds they heard from the US. The band’s (and the country’s) rough history left it with just one surviving member, 72-year-old Emmanuel “Jagari” Chanda, whose day job is gemstone miner. They are releasing a new album this week and are on a long US tour.

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HIStalk turns 20 years old this week. I was bored over the Memorial Day weekend of 2003 and decided to jot down a few temporary thoughts about my health system IT job to help me keep things straight in my head. I didn’t expect or necessarily even want anyone to read it, and given my limited attention span and lack of interest in hobbies in general, I definitely didn’t plan to still be doing it 20 years later.


Webinars

None scheduled soon. Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre to present or promote your own.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

BJC HealthCare and Saint Luke’s Health System will merge to form a 28-hospital system with $10 billion in annual revenue.


Sales

  • Ardent Health Services will deploy Loyal’s consumer engagement solutions.

People

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Leadership Development Worldwide hires Shane Danaher, MBA (Divurgent) as COO.


Government and Politics

President Biden will reportedly choose Aledade executive and former North Carolina health secretary Mandy Cohen, MD, MPH as director of the CDC.


Other

UnitedHealth cancels its plan to require prior authorizations for colonoscopies, instead requiring physicians to submit patient information before performing a procedure to quality for a “gold card” expedited approval process that will be rolled out next year. Three provider groups say the new plan is just as laborious for practices as the PA process would have been.

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A New York Times report says that doctors at the “wealth nonprofit” Allina Health System aren’t allowed to see patients who have unpaid medical bills. Reporters found a document in which employees were told to cancel appointments for patients who own $4,500 or more and to lock their EHR records so that appointments can’t be scheduled. Doctors say they are used to seeing EHR messages that a patient “will no longer be eligible to receive care because of unpaid medical balances.” Patients with unpaid bills can continue to be seen only if they obtain a loan from the hospital or file bankruptcy.


Sponsor Updates

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  • Careport Health staff volunteer with Cradles to Crayon, which provides children with the resources they need to thrive.
  • University Health (TX) upgrades to Agfa Healthcare’s Enterprise Imaging 8.2, and adds Enterprise Imaging for Cardiology.
  • Arrive Health publishes a new whitepaper, “The Terrifying Truth About America’s Healthcare Affordability Crisis.”
  • Baker Tilly releases a new Healthy Outcomes Podcast, “Key insights for not-for-profit leaders in behavioral health.”
  • ChartSpan partners with HAPevolve, a subsidiary of The Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania, to offer preventative care programs to Medicare patients.
  • CHIME launches its Trailblazers Podcast, with the first episode focused on “Developing the HIT Leaders of Tomorrow.”
  • Divurgent releases a new episode of The Vurge Podcast, “Tips for Managing Cyber Risks in Healthcare.”
  • Azara Healthcare releases a resource and strategy guide titled “Leveraging Social Drivers of Health Data to Promote Health Equity Advancement.”
  • Ellkay will exhibit at AHIP June 13-15 in Portland, OR.
  • The VA’s Veterans Data Integration and Federation Enterprise Platform, which supports longitudinal patient records using InterSystems HealthShare, wins a 2023 Forum Innovation Award.
  • Rhapsody publishes a new case study, “From data ingestion to production in less than 30 days: How Zephyr AI uses Rhapsody Semantic to create precise AI models at scale.”

Blog Posts


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Currently there are "4 comments" on this Article:

  1. Happy Birthday, Mr. HIStalk. You done good! I’ve continued to enjoy the blog all these years and learned so much. Thank you!

  2. HAPPY BIRTHDAY HISTalk!

    Your consistent dedication to real information is as relevant now as it was pre-twitter. We observe people taking issue with your honesty, which is just reinforcement that you are doing something right. So so much has changed in this industry since 2003. I can honestly say HISTalk is the only relevant constant. What you deliver is so valuable to so many segments (clinicians, providers, developers, supply chain, CFOs, CIOs, etc etc), but you filled a void that didn’t exist in giving provider clients a resource to validate vendors. You have contributed more to reducing waste, spend and vaporware than any CFO audit team could dream of.
    And in an era of over saturated “Personal Brands” and over-the-top egos, your focus on substance over self-recognition is almost a foreign concept. Bravo. Much obliged.

  3. HIStalk turns 20 years old this week.

    Congratulations! I will buy it a beer next year when it’s legal!

  4. Wow, I can’t believe it’s been 20 years! As a loyal reader (and booster) from the beginning, I know how important HISTalk has been in keeping the community informed. Thank you for keeping it going. When will you unveil your true identity?

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