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Morning Headlines 2/22/18

February 21, 2018 Headlines No Comments

Practice Fusion is scrapping free software model after agreeing to sell to Allscripts

Despite chief executive statements to the contrary, Practice Fusion will start charging customers $100 monthly subscription fees for its previously free EHR software.

Mayo Clinic sees big jump in 2017 earnings

Eight months after kicking off a $1.5 billion Epic implementation, Mayo Clinic officials report a 50-percent increase in earnings that they attribute to reduced Medicaid losses, greater philanthropy gains, increased efficiencies, and strong investment returns.

UVA Health System Notifies 1,882 Patients About Potential Privacy Issue

The University of Virginia Health System notifies nearly 2,000 patients of a malware attack that enabled a hacker to remotely view hospital settings, possibly including PHI, through breached devices.

Morning Headlines 2/21/18

February 20, 2018 Headlines No Comments

Time to Release Medicare Advantage Claims Data

A JAMA editorial calls for CMS to release Medicare Advantage encounter data to allow taxpayers to see how their money is being spent on its growing number of beneficiaries.

Electronic Health Records Don’t Reduce Administrative Costs

Researchers find that a large academic health system’s certified EHR significantly drives up administrative costs associated with billing and insurance activities.

Leaked Nokia memo says no path forward for ‘struggling’ digital health business

Less than a week after announcing a strategic review of its digital health business, Nokia Chief Strategy Officer Kathrin Buvac tells employees that it will most likely not be a “meaningful part” of the company’s future.

Morning Headlines 2/20/18

February 19, 2018 Headlines 2 Comments

21st Century Oncology’s new CEO seeks to rehab company image, expand operations

21st Century Oncology announces it will expand operations after emerging from bankruptcy and tackling legal issues related to a privacy breach of 2.2 million patient records and an investigation into improper Meaningful Use reporting.

There’s No Stopping the $50 Billion IPO With a Silly Name

Siemens confirms that the IPO of its Healthineers business will take place in the first half of this year.

Google AI can scan your eyes to predict heart disease

Verily researchers develop an early-stage algorithm that can evaluate retinal scans and, aided by machine learning, predict cardiovascular risk factors.

Partners HealthCare outsourcing coding jobs to India

Partners HealthCare (MA) will lay off 100 coders and outsource their jobs to India as part of a three-year plan to cut up to $800 million in costs.

Morning Headlines 2/19/18

February 18, 2018 Headlines No Comments

Holy Cross CEO covers payroll, seeks more cuts

Holy Cross Hospital (NM) says its financial problems are due to a problematic software rollout, its conversion to a critical access fee structure, Medicaid payment delays, and a lawsuit judgment that raised its malpractice insurance by $600,000.

US Department of Veterans Affairs Budget Request for Fiscal Year 2019

Last Thursday’s meeting of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs covered the VA’s FY2019 budget request, with much of the discussion focused on the cost and timing of the Cerner roll out.

MCH’s Cerner implementation showing progress

Texas-based Medical Center Health’s $47 million Cerner roll out suffers implementation problems that Cerner has attributed to hospital clinicians and administrators.

Morning Headlines 2/16/18

February 15, 2018 Headlines No Comments

Alphabet-backed Flatiron Health is being acquired by Roche

Drug maker Roche will acquire oncology EHR and personalized medicine vendor Flatiron Health for $1.9 billion in cash, giving the company a $2.1 billion valuation that includes Roche’s previous investment in it.

Allscripts to sell OneContent business to Hyland

Allscripts will sell the OneContent document management software business it acquired as part of McKesson EIS to Hyland Software for undisclosed terms.

Nokia announces strategic review of its Digital Health business

Nokia conducts a strategic review of its digital health business just two years after it created it by acquiring connected health hardware vendor Withings for $212 million.

Morning Headlines 2/15/18

February 14, 2018 Headlines No Comments

NJII, Dept. of Health hope to create info exchange

The New Jersey Innovation Institute will partner with the New Jersey Department of Health to develop the grant-funded New Jersey Health Information Network, an HIE that will initially go live in Newark and then expand to other parts of the state.

On-Screen, On-Demand, On-Time: The Future of Telemedicine at Penn Medicine

Penn Medicine (PA) brings its telemedicine initiatives under one roof at the new Center for Connected Care, creating one of the country’s largest telehealth hubs.

US can sue UnitedHealth in $1 billion Medicare case, judge rules

A federal judge rules that the DOJ can move forward with a lawsuit against UnitedHealth that claims the payer bilked Medicare out of $1.4 billion by submitting invalid diagnostic data for Medicare Advantage plan members.

Morning Headlines 2/14/18

February 13, 2018 Headlines No Comments

Fitbit buys Twine Health in bid to become a more serious health care tool

Fitbit acquires app-powered health coaching provider Twine Health, hoping to tie Fitbit’s wearables into the management of chronic conditions.

Hospital supplier shares dive as Amazon reportedly ramps up medical supply business

A Wall Street Journal report says Amazon will expand its Amazon Business program to sell medical supplies to hospitals and clinics, sending shares of McKesson and other wholesalers down sharply.

StayWell Acquires Provata Health

Population health management and patient education technology vendor StayWell acquires Provata Health, which offers lifestyle and chronic disease management apps.

Morning Headlines 2/13/18

February 12, 2018 Headlines No Comments

VA wants new budget line for commercial health record

In his 2019 budget proposal, President Trump earmarks $1.2 billion for the VA’s new EHR, including $675 million for the contract with Cerner, $412 million for infrastructure support, and $120 million for program management.

HealthStream Announces Divestiture of its Patient Experience (PX) Business to Press Ganey Associates

Healthcare learning and performance improvement systems vendor HealthStream decides to sell its patient experience business to Press Ganey for $65.5 million in cash.

Congressional Budget Pact Includes Telehealth Sweetener

President Trump signs into law a funding bill that will expand telemedicine access for ACOs and Medicare Advantage plans, and allow for reimbursement of telestroke care and home dialysis.

Banner Health ‘underestimated’ scope of computer conversion in Tucson

State officials in Arizona look into patient complaints about Banner Health’s conversion from Epic to Cerner at its Tucson hospitals, including delays with patient processing and prescriptions.

Morning Headlines 2/12/18

February 11, 2018 Headlines No Comments

HealthInsight and Qualis Health Announce Intent to Merge

Medicare and Medicaid-focused population health management companies HealthInsight and Qualis Health will merge later this spring.

AAFP Outlines Steps to Reduce Administrative Burden

American Academy of Family Physicians asks HHS and ONC to reduce the health IT burden of clinicians with a series of recommendations it plans to reiterate during a meeting with CMS later this month as part of the Patients over Paperwork Initiative.

MD settles with computer contractor over Medicaid failures

Computer Sciences Corp. pays an $81 million settlement to the state of Maryland for its failure to build a new computer system for the state’s Medicaid program per its 2012 contract.

Morning Headlines 2/9/18

February 8, 2018 Headlines No Comments

Cryptomining Software Discovered on Tennessee Hospital’s EMR Server

Decatur County General Hospital (TN) notifies patients of a September data breach in which an unknown hacker installed cryptocurrency mining software on its vendor-maintained EHR server.

The Apple Watch can detect diabetes with an 85% accuracy, Cardiogram study says

A study of 14,000 Apple Watch users finds that the device’s heart rate sensor is capable of detecting diabetes in users already diagnosed with the disease.

Atrium Health and Navicent Health Announce Plans to Form Strategic Combination to Serve Communities in Central and South Georgia

Carolinas HealthCare System announces one day after renaming itself to Atrium Health that it will merge with Navicent Health (GA).

Morning Headlines 2/8/18

February 7, 2018 Headlines No Comments

Immelt’s Life After GE Leads to Health Firm Targeted by Activist

Athenahealth continues its leadership restructuring with the appointment of Jeff Immelt as chairman – a position previously held by CEO Jonathan Bush.

US Judge Dismisses Whistleblower Claim Against Epic

A US District Court Judge tosses out a 2015 lawsuit claiming Epic’s anesthesia module enabled hospitals to overbill Medicare and Medicaid.

Cerner will boost Kansas City workforce by 600

Cerner will use reinvested tax break money to hire 600 workers at its headquarters in Kansas City, MO.

Morning Headlines 2/7/18

February 6, 2018 Headlines 4 Comments

Strange Bedfellows? Group Unites Old Foes in Hunt for Health Fix

Former CMS Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt joins several luminaries to launch a nonprofit, nonpartisan group that will push for federal healthcare policies its members believe are nearly universally supported despite political differences.

Cerner posts record bookings of new business after stumbling three months ago

Cerner’s Q4 results in a mixed bag of record bookings and disappointing profits.

Computer problems in the NHS could be blamed for hundreds of deaths, experts say

British academics call for a public inquiry into the state of NHS hospital software after combing through clinical negligence claims related to old, low-quality computers.

Morning Headlines 2/6/18

February 5, 2018 Headlines 4 Comments

Beneficiary Engagement and Incentives: Direct Decision Support (DDS) Model

Three months after cancelling its Shared Decision-Making Model, CMS scraps the Direct Decision Support Model, which would have encouraged non-provider organizations to involve beneficiaries in care decision making using tools like digital health apps. 

Malware incident discovered in May, 2017 affected 2,600 patients: Partners HealthCare System

Partners HealthCare (MA) reveals a May 2017 data breach that may have exposed the information of 2,600 patients.

Agility Health Announces Definitive Agreement to sell US-Based Operations

Alliance Physical Therapy Management will acquire outpatient rehab and PM software company Agility Health’s US operations for $45 million.

International Olympic Committee and GE Healthcare Launch Analytics Tool to Help Drive Precision Health at the Olympic Winter Games

GE Healthcare develops an Athlete Management Solution for the upcoming Olympic Winter and Summer Games that will offer athletes personalized medicine using aggregated data, dashboards, and analytics.

Embrace by Empatica is the world’s first smart watch to be cleared by FDA for use in Neurology

MIT Media Lab spin-off Empatica receives FDA clearance for its smart watch that has been shown to detect the onset of seizures in patients 100 percent of the time.

Morning Headlines 2/5/18

February 4, 2018 Headlines No Comments

A new sort of health app can do the job of drugs

The Economist reviews the number of prescription-only digital health apps that have earned FDA approval or could so more quickly under FDA’s new pre-certification program.

RCMP backlogged with access-to-information requests from its own staff

Canada’s Royal Canadian Mounted Police reverses its decision to require officers to file an Access to Information Act to get copies of their own medical records after being overwhelmed by requests and complaints about delays.

Nation’s first Virtual Living Room Telehealth Center brings unique care to Appalachian veterans

The VA Hospital (KY) embarks on a pilot project with the local telephone company to create a living room-like space at the public library for telemedicine services geared towards veterans.

JPMorgan plays down health care company to clients

JPMorgan reassures nervous clients that the healthcare company it will form with Berkshire Hathaway and Amazon will be more of a group purchasing organization than a competitive industry disruptor.

Morning Headlines 2/2/18

February 1, 2018 Headlines No Comments

Five breaches add up to millions in settlement costs for entity that failed to heed HIPAA’s risk analysis and risk management rules

Fresenius Medical Care North America will pay $3.5 million to settle HIPAA violations related to five separate breach incidents that happened in early 2012.

Advocate Health Care replaces Cerner and Allscripts with Epic

Advocate Health Care (IL) will replace Cerner and Allscripts with Epic as part of its merger with Epic-using Aurora Health Care, a move that will create the country’s 10th-largest health system.

Yale New Haven Hospital launches new Capacity Command Center

Yale New Haven Hospital (CT) works with Epic to design a Capacity Command Center that uses dashboards to display real-time insight into patient volume, staffing, and environmental services.

CDC director denies she resigned due to tobacco stock buy

Former CDC Director Brenda Fitzgerald, MD denies that she resigned because of newly uncovered tobacco stock sales and instead attributes her resignation to a tangled web of financial conflicts — including investments in Greenway Health – that she couldn’t get out of easily.

Morning Headlines 2/1/18

January 31, 2018 Headlines No Comments

Veterans Affairs Wasted Closer to $2 Billion On Failed IT Projects

Public and private audits reveal that the VA spent nearly $2 billion on three failed EHR projects between 2001 and 2016 – a sobering statistic in light of the department’s impending contract with Cerner, valued at $10 billion.

US public health chief quits over financial conflicts

CDC Director Brenda Fitzgerald, MD resigns after reports surface she purchased stocks in a Japanese tobacco company after taking the helm.

CHIME Kicks Off Opioid Task Force with Inaugural Meeting in DC

CHIME creates an opioid task force that will leverage the expertise of its members and their access to data to identify best practices and develop protocols to prevent, identify, and treat opioid abuse.

Morning Headlines 1/31/18

January 30, 2018 Headlines 1 Comment

Epic Interoperability Creates One Virtual System Worldwide

Epic announces new functionality that includes components called Come Together (gathering data), Happy Together (presenting data from multiple sites in MyChart), and Working Together (allowing users to take action across Epic-using organizations).

Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase & Co. to partner on US employee healthcare

Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JPMorgan will create an independent company to provide healthcare services to their 1.2 million employees that will be “free from profit-making incentives and constraints.”

Coast Guard considers EHR partnership with DoD, VA

After seven years and $60 million, Coast Guard officials announce they will consider moving medical documentation to Cerner-powered MHS Genesis after a botched attempt at implementing Epic.

Dell is considering a sale to VMware in what may be tech’s biggest deal ever

Dell may undertake a reverse merge with publicly traded VMware – of which it already owns 80 percent – to allow Dell to become publicly traded without running a separate IPO.

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Reader Comments

  • Sam Lawrence: Except in this case, coding = medical billing, not development. Though the same warning may be true...
  • BeenThere: Partners will find the savings from their cuts of coders as fools gold. There are a lot of hidden costs running an outs...
  • JC: If there is not there can be. VistA has a reference lab interface that can create the manifests/labeling and such as we...
  • Tom Cornwell: Great stuff from Dr. Jayne as usual. One small typo, last sentence of second-to-last paragraph: should be 'who's' not 'w...
  • HIT Observer: What I find most interesting here, is people defending their common practices rather than truly taking this as invaluabl...
  • Bob: There's no incentive for the provider to spend time doing a price comparison for the patient. Nor is it a good use of th...
  • Peppermint Patty: Veteran - can you clarify what was "fake "? Was something made up (definition of fake) or did you disagree with Vapo...
  • Pat Wolfram: Such a refreshing article. Thanks -- there really can be a simpler version of an acute HIT implementation. But I do ...
  • Woodstock Generation: Bravo to HIStalk's Weekender recaps and other news/opinions. I read it first thing on Monday mornings..................
  • Veteran: #fakenews...

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