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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.

Morning Headlines 1/30/18

January 29, 2018 Headlines 1 Comment

Landmark Health Explores Possible Sale

Home healthcare company Landmark Health considers a full or partial sale, possibly giving CEO and shareholder Adam Boehler the opportunity to take on a leadership position at the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation.

Congress inspects Coast Guard EHR fiasco

The House Transportation Committee will try to get to the bottom of why the Coast Guard canceled a $14 million contract with Epic two years ago – a decision that has sent medical personnel back to paper records.

Tyto Care Raises $25M Led by Ping An Global Voyager Fund

Israel-based telemedicine hardware and software vendor Tyto Care raises $25 million with support from China-based Ping An Insurance Group.

Trump wants US Health Secretary to get tough on drug prices, opioids

President Trump and Vice President Pence swear in Alex Azar as HHS Secretary.

Morning Headlines 1/29/18

January 28, 2018 Headlines No Comments

Outcome Health’s Update to our Customers

Outcome Health co-founders Rishi Shah and Shradha Agarwal step down from their management roles as part of a settlement with investors who had claimed that the company misled them about its performance.

Allscripts says all services restored after ransomware attack; lawsuit filed over outage

Allscripts says it has restored all systems after its January 18 SamSam ransomware attack. Meanwhile, Surfside Non-Surgical Orthopedics (FL) files a class action complaint against Allscripts, saying the outage caused it to lose revenue and spend money coordinating with patients.

Google is using 46 billion data points to predict the medical outcomes of hospital patients

Google AI researchers publish their work on extracting full EHR data from 215,000 hospitalized patients to successfully predict in-hospital deaths, unplanned readmissions, prolonged stays, and discharge diagnoses.

Morning Headlines 1/26/18

January 25, 2018 Headlines No Comments

Utah’s Intermountain Healthcare is shedding thousands of workers in scheduling and billing, saying it will save $70 million

Intermountain Healthcare will transfer 2,300 billing employees to its revenue cycle vendor R1 RCM, expecting to save $70 million in the next three years.

Lenexa health software company acquires Medicare claims business

Mediware Information Systems acquires RCM company MedTranDirect for an undisclosed sum.

The Cyber Attack – From the POV of the CEO

Hancock Health (IN) President and CEO Steve Long breaks down its recent ransomware attack.

Governor Cuomo Announces Transformation of the Health Care System in Brooklyn

One Brooklyn Health (NY) will use a $700 million investment from the state for technology and facility improvements to its three hospitals, plus the creation of a 32-facility ambulatory network.

Morning Headlines 1/25/18

January 24, 2018 Headlines No Comments

Change Healthcare and WebMD Settle Data Licensing Litigation

Change Healthcare retains the exclusive right to license commercial data to WebMD.

Former Drug Industry Executive Will Lead Dept. Of Health And Human Services

The Senate confirms Alex Azar as HHS Secretary.

Apple will let you keep your medical records on your iPhone or Apple Watch

Apple will launch the beta version of a new service in its Health app that gives users the ability to view their medical records. A dozen hospitals and a handful of EHR vendors have signed up to participate.

Morning Headlines 1/24/18

January 23, 2018 Headlines 1 Comment

New Novant Health MyChart Collaboration Improves Access to Health Records for Triad Patients

In Winston-Salem, NC, Novant and Wake Forest Baptist Health go live on “Happy Together,” in which the Epic MyChart instances of the respective systems are combined into a single patient view.

Employees at Practice Fusion expected IPO riches, but got nothing as execs pocketed millions

CNBC dissects the sizeable differences predicted in Practice Fusion employee payouts once the company’s sale to Allscripts is finalized.

VA, Health and Human Services Announce Partnership to Strengthen Prevention of Fraud, Waste and Abuse Efforts

The VA will lean on the data, analytics, technology, and best practices of CMS to combat fraud and abuse within its programs.

Morning Headlines 1/23/18

January 22, 2018 Headlines No Comments

Protenus Raises $11M from F-Prime Capital, Kaiser Permanente Ventures

Baltimore-based Protenus, a developer of AI-powered EHR security tools, raises $11 million in a Series B round that brings its total funding to $19.4 million.

Microsoft to drop its HealthVault Insights apps

Microsoft announces it will pull apps associated with its HealthVault Insights research project from app stores. User-generated data will be available via the HealthVault website.

Health Intelligence Company, Springbuk, Announces $20 Million Series B Round

Employer-focused health analytics company Springbuk raises $20 million in a funding round led by HealthQuest Capital and Echo Health Ventures.

USDA Invests in e-Connectivity to Restore Rural Prosperity by Providing Training and Health Care Services

The USDA awards $23.6 million via its Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant Program to rural communities in need of broadband equipment.

Morning Headlines 1/22/18

January 21, 2018 Headlines No Comments

Allscripts Ransomware Update

In a ransomware update Sunday morning, Allscripts tells customers that Professional EHR and Allscripts PM are being brought back online on a rolling basis; users should plan for their systems to be down Monday. The company will let customers know what if any HIPAA breach reporting is required.

Amazon just hired a top Seattle doctor who ran a network of health clinics

Amazon hires Martin Levine, MD (Iora Health) for an unstated role.

Consent for Release of VA Medical Records

To ensure medical records are available at the point of care, the VA issues a proposed rule that would allow outside providers to access records through HIEs, bypassing the need for the VA to have a patient’s written consent in hand.

Morning Headlines 1/19/18

January 18, 2018 Headlines No Comments

Ransomware Attack Takes Down Some Allscripts Systems

Allscripts reports that a ransomware attack has taken down some of the applications that are hosted in its Raleigh and Charlotte, NC data centers.

State rejects challenge to UI’s decision on electronic-records contract

The Illinois Chief Procurement Office for Higher Education rejects Cerner’s protest of UI Health’s September 2017 decision to award Epic a $62 million contract.

Hacker Might Have Stolen the Healthcare Data for Half of Norway’s Population

A hospital management organization in Norway discloses a January 8 data breach that may have impacted the medical records of 2.9 million patients.

Change Healthcare acquires National Decision Support Company

Change Healthcare acquires medical guidelines technology vendor National Decision Support Company.

Morning Headlines 1/18/18

January 17, 2018 Headlines 1 Comment

Senator seeks answers on pause in VA’s Cerner deal

Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS), a member of the committee that must approve the VA’s request to move money to fund its Cerner project, expresses frustration with the VA’s contract signing delay, questioning whether the VA did its interoperability due diligence, asking if it is seeking contract changes or considering alternate solutions, and wondering if Cerner can reschedule 900 engineers that were supposed to start work on the project in the Pacific Northwest.

Elsevier Acquires Via Oncology, a Leading Provider of Clinical Decision Support Solutions for Oncology Professionals

The UPMC spinoff provides cancer care management best practices and decision support.

Senate panel endorses Trump’s pick for Health secretary

The nomination of former drug company executive Alex Azar for HHS secretary moves on to a Senate confirmation hearing.

Forget Diets, Weight Watchers Wants You for Life

Weight Watchers International attempts to reposition itself from short-term weight loss support to becoming a life-long wellness service.

Morning Headlines 1/17/18

January 16, 2018 Headlines 3 Comments

Hospital pays $55,000 ransom; no patient data stolen

Hancock Health (IN) pays a hacker’s demanded four bitcoin in ransom – worth $55,000 at the time of payment — to regain access to its systems.

Mounting Concerns About VA’s EHR Contract

The DoD decides to place its MHS Genesis Cerner project on hold for eight weeks because of a large number of open problem tickets and doctor complaints about poor workflows.

Nordic acquires The Claro Group’s revenue cycle transformation practice

Nordic expands beyond its traditional Epic consulting business with the acquisition of The Claro Group’s revenue cycle transformation practice.

Former Health Secretary Tom Price Gets a New Gig as Advisor

Former HHS Secretary Tom Price, MD joins Atlanta-based Jackson Healthcare’s advisory board.

VA CIO: Expect another 10 years of VistA in facilities during new EHR rollout

VA CIO Scott Blackburn points out that the VA will invest in and support VistA while the department implements its new Cerner system over the next decade.

Morning Headlines 1/16/18

January 15, 2018 Headlines No Comments

Memorial resumes regular operations following last week’s flooding

MaineHealth’s Memorial Hospital (NH) gets key IT systems – including its three EHRs – back up and running after last week’s plumbing-related flood.

CHIME and HIMSS Name Randy McCleese CIO of the Year

The boards of HIMSS and CHIME award Methodist Hospital (KY) CIO Randy McCleese the the 2017 John E. Gall Jr. CIO of the Year award.

State Requests Lawsuit Against 62 Hospitals Be Dismissed

Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill will not pursue litigation against 62 hospitals named in a lawsuit that contends they falsified records in order to qualify for Meaningful Use incentives of up to $300 million.

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