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Morning Headlines 12/24/19

December 23, 2019 Headlines No Comments

Electronic Health Records Creating A ‘New Era’ Of Health Care Fraud

Kaiser Health News covers fraud by hospitals and medical practices in receiving Meaningful Use payments, by vendors that overstated their MU compliance, and in false claims settlements by Greenway Health and EClinical Works, with experts concluding that the MU program was poorly conceived and that most of the money was handed out too early in the program when providers were paid for doing little beyond agreeing to participate.

Health documents reveal patient harm linked to Queensland’s new medical record system

In Australia, a TV news department’s Right to Information request finds that 95 cases of patient harm have been attributed to Queensland Health’s Cerner IEMR system in just over a year, with 45 incidents being caused by user error and 32 by poor usability.

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and Evident Partner to Improve Patient Outcomes in Canada

CPSI’s Evident business unit and Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre announce plans to develop a Canada-specific hospital information system that will combine the health center’s Sunnycare system with the Evident EHR.

Besler acquires majority ownership in Panacea Healthcare Solutions Inc.

Reimbursement solutions vendor Besler acquires a majority ownership position in Panacea Healthcare Solutions, which offers physician revenue cycle services and technology. 

For Her Head Cold, Insurer Coughed Up $25,865

A woman’s insurer pays $26,000 for a PCP visit in which she received only a throat swab and blood test, with much of the expense being the exotic DNA tests – all of which were negative – the doctor sent off to an out-of-network lab whose price was 20 times higher than average in her area. The lab is apparently owned by the doctor. 

New FDA Commissioner Takes Over Predecessor’s Twitter, Deletes All Previous Tweets

New FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn, MD converts the @SGottliebFDA twitter account to @SteveFDA to keep his predecessor’s 44,000 followers for “maximum exposure,” but also deletes all of Gottlieb’s tweets and public comments, which some some experts say raises ethical concerns.

Morning Headlines 12/23/19

December 22, 2019 Headlines No Comments

Australians shun My Health Record with only 9 per cent ever logging in

Government health officials in Australia admit that while 23 million people have a My Health Record online health account, 91% of them have never logged in and most of those who did log in have not returned.

Abbott Labs kills free tool that lets you own the blood-sugar data from your glucose monitor, saying it violates copyright law

Drug maker Abbott Labs issues a takedown notice to a diabetes support group that told users how to extract their own blood sugar readings from the company’s continuous glucose monitor and monitor them on a free software tool.

New Software Targets ICU Delirium

Epic works with Vanderbilt University Medical Center (TN) to release workflows that prevent ICU delirium.

Morning Headlines 12/20/19

December 19, 2019 Headlines No Comments

NCPDP & Experian Health Announce 100% of the U.S. Population Has a Universal Patient Identifier, Powered by Experian Health UIM and NCPDP Standards™

Standards developer NCPDP and Experian Health announce that they have assigned a Universal Patient Identifier to all 328 million Americans.

Hospital execs say they are getting flooded with requests for your health data

Hospitals report that they are being inundated with requests to sell patient information to technology companies, many of them well-funded Silicon Valley startups that need to train their newly developed AI systems.

Mass General team detects Alzheimer’s early using electronic health records

Massachusetts General Hospital scientists say they can predict dementia by scanning their EHR data for a list of cognitive-related terms using natural language processing.

Morning Headlines 12/19/19

December 18, 2019 Headlines No Comments

Streamline Health(R) Announces Signing of Definitive Agreement to Sell Enterprise Content Management (ECM) Business to Hyland

RCM vendor Streamline Health will sell its enterprise content management business to Hyland.

Blue Button 2.0 API Update

CMS temporarily shuts down the Blue Button 2.0 system after a developer notifies the agency of a bug that may have improperly exposed Medicare beneficiary data.

NTT DATA Services to Acquire NETE, Expanding Digital Transformation Capabilities in the Federal Healthcare Sector

NTT Data Services will acquire 300-employee NETE, which provides digital services including analytics and cybersecurity to NIH, CMS, and HRSA.

LifeLabs users wise to worry about fraud, ID theft after mass data breach say experts

Canada’s largest laboratory testing company notifies patients of an October ransomware attack that compromised a server used for online appointment bookings.

Morning Headlines 12/18/19

December 17, 2019 Headlines No Comments

Announcing ICD-10-CM and RxNorm Ontology Linking for Amazon Comprehend Medical

Amazon Web Services adds ICD-10 and RXNorm linking to its Amazon Comprehend Medical natural language processing service.

Nashville executive lands head job at CMS innovation center

Aspire Health co-founder Brad Smith will become the new head of the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation.

Fujifilm to buy Hitachi’s diagnostic imaging business

Fujifilm will reportedly buy Hitachi’s diagnostic imaging business for $1.5 billion to improve its competitive position against Siemens, GE, and Philips.

Tidelands Health network impacted by malware attack

Computer systems of three-hospital Tidelands Health (SC) are apparently still down following a malware attack of an unspecified nature last Thursday.

1-800 Contacts Enters Agreement to Acquire Revolutionary Vision Start-Up 6over6 Vision

1-800 Contacts acquires 6over6 Vision, whose smartphone app allows consumers in certain non-US countries (including Canada) to perform their own eye exams.

Morning Headlines 12/17/19

December 16, 2019 Headlines No Comments

Bankrupt uBiome preliminarily sells patents for 1% of the poop-testing startup’s original valuation

Once valued at $600 million, bankrupt microbiome-testing startup UBiome auctions off its patents and intellectual property for $7 million to a consumer DNA testing company.

CMS Made an Estimated $93.6 Million in Incorrect Medicare Electronic Health Record Incentive Payments to Acute-Care Hospitals, or Less Than 1 Percent of $10.8 Billion in Total Incentive Payments

An OIG audit finds that, because of inaccurate hospital calculations, CMS paid out $93.6 million in incorrect Medicare EHR incentive payments to acute-care hospitals between 2013 and 2017.

Evaluating Improvements and Shortcomings in Clinician Satisfaction With Electronic Health Record Usability

A study of 70 EHR vendors with the most Meaningful Use attestations finds that physician satisfaction with EHRs is diminishing for nearly half of the products.

Morning Headlines 12/16/19

December 15, 2019 Headlines No Comments

NJ’s largest hospital system forced to pay ransom in cyber attack

Hackensack Meridian Health, New Jersey’s largest health system, admits that it has paid a ransomware hacker to regain access to its computer systems.

GV Backs Kindbody As The Company Expands Employer Benefits Offering

Fertility clinic and technology company Kindbody secures financing from the former Google Ventures, bringing its total funding to $32 million and enabling it to further scale its direct-to-employer service.

US health insurance firm Cigna is using AI to check if patients are taking their medications but experts fear the controversial scheme may be used to cancel policies or avoid paying out

Privacy experts are concerned that Cigna’s new AI-powered medication adherence monitoring program will be used for the benefit of the payer’s bottom line rather than improved patient care.

VirTrial Acquires SnapMD and Bolsters Virtual Care Management Platform

Virtual clinical trial company VirTrial acquires telehealth vendor SnapMD.

Morning Headlines 12/13/19

December 12, 2019 Headlines 1 Comment

Partners HealthCare Launches Digital Health Initiative

Partners HealthCare (MA) will spend $100 million on a five-year digital health initiative focused on developing self-service technologies for patients.

Senate confirms Trump’s nominee to lead FDA

The Senate confirms MD Anderson Chief Medical Executive Stephen Hahn, MD to lead the FDA.

Caresyntax to Acquire Operating Room Analytics Provider, Syus

Surgical automation and software vendor Caresyntax acquires OR analytics company Syus alongside a $45 million funding round.

BJC outsources IT services, cuts 200 jobs

BJC HealthCare (MO) lays off 200 employees as it outsources some IT services to an unnamed managed service provider.

NextGen Healthcare Announces Agreement to Acquire OTTO Health

NextGen acquires telemedicine vendor Otto Health.

Morning Headlines 12/12/19

December 11, 2019 Headlines No Comments

Bridge Connector Increases Total Financing to $25 Million with Investment From Jeff Vinik & Axioma Ventures

Bridge Connector will use its $25 million in financing to help scale a new integration platform-as-a-service that connects health data systems without the need for code.

Proteus Digital Health plans hundreds of job cuts, facilities closures

Proteus Digital Health’s previously announced restructuring will include eliminating 292 jobs and closing several facilities by January 18.

U.S. Justice Department to review Google’s deal for Fitbit: source

The DoJ will look into Google’s $2.1 billion acquisition of Fitbit for possible antitrust violations.

Morning Headlines 12/11/19

December 10, 2019 Headlines No Comments

Google snaps up chief medical officer of health device maker AliveCor, weeks after buying Fitbit

Former AliveCor CMO Jacqueline Shreibati, MD joins Google Health’s clinical research team.

McKesson Appoints Nancy Flores as Executive Vice President, Chief Information and Chief Technology Officer

McKesson names Nancy Flores (Johnson Controls) EVP, CIO, and CTO.

ESO Acquires Clinical Data Management to Extend Product Portfolio in Trauma Registry Market

Emergency medical services technology company ESO acquires trauma registry software vendors Clinical Data Management, Lancet Technology, and Digital Innovation.

CommonWell Health Alliances Announces New Executive Director

Former Philips VP Paul Wilder joins CommonWell Health Alliance as executive director.

Morning Headlines 12/10/19

December 9, 2019 Headlines No Comments

etectRx Announces U.S. FDA Clearance of Novel Ingestible Event Marker

EtectRx’s smart pill system receives FDA clearance after news breaks of competitor Proteus facing financial difficulties.

Alleged billion-dollar fraud scheme leads to guilty plea by former Outcome Health exec

Former Outcome Health EVP Ashik Desai pleads guilty to wire fraud and agrees to cooperate with prosecutors.

For Concussion, MS, Other Neurologic Disorders, Telemedicine May Be as Effective as Office Visit

A retrospective analysis of 101 telemedicine studies finds virtual visits may be just as effective as in-person visits for several neurological conditions.

Morning Headlines 12/9/19

December 8, 2019 Headlines No Comments

Hackensack Meridian’s ‘core clinical systems’ back online after week-long disruptions

Hackensack Meridian Health (NJ) brings its clinical systems back online after a downtime of several days, rumored to be the result of a ransomware attack.

Partners reports stellar financial results as it preps for rebrand

Partners HealthCare, soon to be renamed to Mass General Brigham, cites Epic’s more accurate coding as part of the reason it took in $484 million of operating income in its most recent fiscal year.

Digital health start-up once worth $1.5 billion is racing to keep lights on as investors flee

Once valued at $1.5 billion, “smart pill” medication management company Proteus struggles to stay afloat after a $100 million funding round falls through.

NHS gives Amazon free use of health data under Alexa advice deal

In England, NHS gives Amazon the option to use its clinical content in the development of future products and services as part of its contract for an Alexa skill that offers medical advice culled from the NHS website.

Morning Headlines 12/6/19

December 5, 2019 Headlines No Comments

Premier considers sale with banks

Premier is reportedly arranging talks with several potential acquirers in seeking a sale of the company.

Stephanie Reel to retire as chief information officer of university, health system

Stephanie Reel, CIO/vice provost for IT at Johns Hopkins University and SVP/CIO of Johns Hopkins Medicine, will retire on July 1, 2020 after a 30-year Hopkins career.

Former Outcome Health employees plead not guilty to felony charges in alleged $1 billion scheme to defraud pharma clients

Two former Outcome Health analysts plead not guilty to charges of felony conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

VA launches National Artificial Intelligence

The VA establishes the National Artificial Intelligence Institute to research and develop AI solutions that will improve healthcare for veterans.

Morning Headlines 12/5/19

December 4, 2019 Headlines 1 Comment

Waystar Acquires Recondo Technology, Gains Best in KLAS Patient Access and Business Office Technology

RCM vendor Waystar acquires Recondo Technology, which specializes in automated revenue cycle software and services.

Kalispell hospital sued over data breach

A former patient sues Kalispell Regional Healthcare (MT) for failing to adequately protect his PHI from a ransomware attack that occurred in May.

Houston virtual health care company receives investment from GE for its $13M series B

Virtual care monitoring company Decisio wraps up a $13 million Series B funding round with an investment from GE Healthcare.

ENT and Allergy Associates® Announces the Formation of QMMS USA, LLC

ENT and Allergy Associates (NY) launches QMMS USA to provide its 46 clinics and other practices with billing, practice management, and health IT, among other back-office services.

Morning Headlines 12/4/19

December 3, 2019 Headlines No Comments

Dr. John Halamka named president of Mayo Clinic Platform

John Halamka, MD will join Mayo Clinic as president of a new initiative that will use technology and data to improve care and extend the clinic’s global reach.

Health System Sues Software Co. For ‘NotPetya’ Cyberattack

Heritage Valley Health System (PA) sues Nuance for negligence that resulted in the system becoming the victim of a ransomware attack in the summer of 2017.

A letter from Larry and Sergey

Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin will step down from their respective roles within parent company Alphabet as part of management streamlining that will see Google CEO Sundar Pichai take on the additional role of Alphabet CEO.

Morning Headlines 12/3/19

December 2, 2019 Headlines No Comments

Amazon Transcribe Medical – Real-Time Automatic Speech Recognition for Healthcare Customers

AWS unveils a healthcare-focused version of its transcription service for cloud customers that converts dictated medical notes or multi-party conversations to text in real time.

Agfa-Gevaert Group enters into exclusive negotiations for the sale of a part of its HealthCare IT activities to Dedalus Holding S.p.A. – Regulated information

Italy-based Dedalus Holding will acquire Belgium-based Agfa’s health IT business, including its HIS and Integrated Care solutions, in Q2 2020.

Cerner Achieves 500th Patent With Voice-Assisted Technology

Cerner’s 500th patent pertains to voice-assisted technology that captures verbal interactions, then extracts relevant information and presents it on a physician’s mobile device.

Dexcom glitch kept parents of children with diabetes in the dark over their conditions this weekend

Blood glucose monitor maker Dexcom recovers from a server overload that has prevented updates and alerts from reaching users.

Morning Headlines 12/2/19

December 1, 2019 Headlines No Comments

Qld Health risks patient admin system failure after halting overhaul

In Australia, an auditor’s report warns that Queensland Health’s decision to push back replacement of its 30-year-old corporate information system places it at risk since the system hasn’t been vendor supported since 2015.

‘Black hole’ of medical records contributes to deaths, mistreatment at the border

The Department of Homeland Security’s inadequate software and sloppy paper record-keeping has caused treatment delays and lapses of care for migrants in its custody.

Doctors and techies are clashing at digital health companies, and one start-up exec is seeking a fix

A CNBC report finds that doctors working at digital health companies are sometimes seen as the unwelcome voice of reality in calling out product or company flaws that impact health.

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Reader Comments

  • Angela Jenkins: Thank you for always recognizing and paying tribute to our medical informatics pioneers. I am sharing the 2004 published...
  • David Lareau: The concepts in the graph database need to be mapped to the relevant vocabularies and code sets for the different domain...
  • Joe Magid: If you've not had a chance to watch Rachel Maddow on MSNBC, she had a pretty steady stream of video tales from the trenc...
  • nirvous: Sure, graph databases are hip. But how does reformulating a proprietary clinical vocabulary as a graph database solve th...
  • Brody Brodock (Adapttest): While I do agree that the current EHR schemas are not the best at categorization or enabling clinical decision making, I...

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