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News 6/20/18

June 19, 2018 News No Comments

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Walmart patents a system for storing a patient’s vital medical information in blockchain database housed in a wearable device.


Reader Comments

From Uncle Carbuncle: “Re: IT department names. I’ve seen it go from DP to MIS to IT and now sometimes to technology services.” I would add “information services” to your list. I once worked in a health system’s IT department that used that name, I had a pretty great office in the executive building near the flagship hospital’s entrance. Many early mornings a patient or a visitor would exit confused from the elevator and follow the light to my door (since I was usually the first one in the office suite). They had seen the “information services” sign on the sidewalk close to the hospital’s entrance and were looking for directions. I actually enjoyed riding back down the elevator with them and walking them to the front door, especially since I’m sure some of them were nervous. I also knew that their way-finding challenges were just beginning since we had a remarkably unhelpful system of colored floor lines, puzzlingly named zones, and signage that failed to overcome user-unfriendly hallways created by constantly tinkering with the available space in ways that left even employees lost at times.

From Electric Avenue: “Re: your list of sponsors that are leaving. Did you insult them with something you wrote or failed to write?” Never, as far as I know, since my sponsors understand that they don’t get editorial control or the option to post fluff pieces on HIStalk like other sites offer. The most common reasons for dropping are: (a) the company’s low-level marketing person who was assigned to deal with us leaves and nobody left knows anything; (b) the company is acquired; (c) they’re out of money; or (d) a new marketing VP is trying to score points by cancelling any relationships they didn’t personally initiate. The first reason is by far the most common – turnover in vendor marketing departments, especially among the less-senior folks, is apparently astronomical. 


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

I forgot to mention another gratifying aspect of my unplanned urgent care visit this past weekend that happened while taking a mini-vacation way out in the sticks. I was worried whether my problem required an ED visit and recalled that my new concierge service includes having the personal cell number of my solo practice PCP. I reluctantly called him just after dawn on Saturday morning. My doc was perfectly caring, thoughtful, and supportive in suggesting a plan of action. I told him how much I hated waking him up and he reassured me with, “that’s what I’m here for.” It’s an amazing deal for an all-inclusive price of $60 per month, which includes many lab tests, imaging procedures, minor surgical procedures, and at-cost prescriptions. He treats me like a valued customer with whom he has a long-term relationship that benefits us both. I only hope he doesn’t go broke in hesitating to price his services more reasonably.


Webinars

June 21 (Thursday) noon ET. “Operationalizing Data Science Models in Healthcare.” Sponsor: CitiusTech. Presenters: Yugal Sharma, PhD, VP of data science, CitiusTech; Vinil Menon, VP of enterprise applications proficiency, CitiusTech. As healthcare organizations are becoming more adept at developing models, building the skills required to manage, validate, and deploy these models efficiently remains a challenging task. We define operationalization as the process of managing, validating, and deploying models within an organization. Several industry best practices, along with frameworks and technology solutions, exist to address this challenge. An understanding of this space and current state of the art is crucial to ensure efficient use and consumption of these models for relevant stakeholders in the organization. This webinar will give an introduction and overview of these key areas, along with examples and case studies to demonstrate the value of various best practices in the healthcare industry.

Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre for information.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Appleton-WI-based healthcare provider management and network access technology vendor Quest Analytics acquires provider management system vendor BetterDoctor.


Sales

Christus Health will implement Vyne Medical’s Trace voice recording and quality assurance platform to identify discrepancies or confusion about the information given to patients.


Announcements and Implementations

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Ascension’s shared services subsidiary launches Agilify, which will offer help with intelligent process automation.

A Change Healthcare payer study finds that value-based care is reducing healthcare costs more than expected and now account for two-thirds of payments.

UK-based Medicalchain will explore the potential benefits of blockchain in healthcare with Mayo Clinic. 

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A new KLAS report on cybersecurity services (advisory, technical, and managed) finds that CynergisTek leads in breadth of services and number of engagements for advisory and technical services, while Fortified Health Security has the highest number of managed services engagements. The most commonly requested services are performing risk assessments and security program assessments. 


Government and Politics

An HHS law judge upholds HHS OCR’s $4.3 million HIPAA fine against MD Anderson Cancer Center for losing two unencrypted USB drives in violation of its own policies that require encryption.

The pre-existing conditions political football has generated interesting debate, including the Republican argument that guaranteeing coverage and the same premium prices to those who are either sick or well tests well in voter polls … until the question is reformulated to ask whether it’s OK for sick people to pay the same premiums as healthy ones, in which case even many Democratic voters say no. It’s an interesting exercise trying to educate healthcare-uninformed voters exactly how insurance works, who pays and who profits, and how risk pools work to calculate premiums.


Privacy and Security

Washington Health System (PA) suspends at least 12 employees who are suspected of looking at the medical records of a co-worker who was killed when a driver lost control of his car and ran into a WHS building.


Other

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An Indiana doctor sues Apple for interrupting his medical practice with the “devious trick” of forcing IOS updates without the user’s approval as a requirement for its further use. He sent Apple a bill for the $200 time he claims he lost and demanded that his phone be returned to the previous IOS version, then filed the lawsuit after Apple declined to do either.

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Bloomberg profiles – with an embarrassingly click-baiting headline – the outcome-predicting Medical Brain project of Google. It notes (barely) the failure of IBM Watson Health to accomplish the same goals of reducing cost or improving outcomes. The author’s analysis must have been superficial in failing to note that Google has already tried and failed to “break into the healthcare business” with its miserable, short-term Google Health project.

I missed this article until someone tweeted it out: “Why Doctors are Running Out of Empathy,” a physician’s bleak look at what our healthcare “system” has turned into with some interesting insights:

If we take the word “healthcare” to mean the mishmash of hospitals, doctors, insurance companies, and vendors that profit from our physical and mental maladies, then perhaps it would be more accurate to call [our healthcare system] “sickness-billing” … Government food policies … resulted in a massive increase in calorie-dense, nutrient-poor, and highly processed “foods” in our diet …led to dramatic increases in obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and autoimmune disorder rates in the United States. The costs borne by Medicare and insurance companies consequently swelled, producing a strained “system” unprepared to handle the increasing need for preventive care. In response to rapidly rising costs, Medicare (to which most insurance companies look for guidance) created a growing number of obstacles to reimbursing doctors and hospitals, and all payers followed suit. These obstacles started as documentation-focused rules, requiring doctors to record a certain number of data points for each medical visit, otherwise reducing reimbursement. This is why your doctor, during your visit for an ankle sprain, may ask if you have had any constipation, vaginal bleeding, or ringing in your ears … EMRs dramatically reduced physician productivity. This was primarily because the EMR companies got away with designing software with horrendous user interfaces and user workflows .. . the Internet buzzed with stories of Epic bullying anybody who criticized its software. Can you imagine the backlash if Microsoft or Google tried to place gag orders to prevent criticism of their software?
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This says a lot about US healthcare. UK-based drug company Indivior will seek an injunction to halt FDA’s approval of a generic to its opioid addiction drug that generates 80 percent of its $1.1 billion revenue and $320 million profit. It also obtains a restraining order against an India-based competitor that was preparing to launch the generic. Indivior says it will introduce a generic of its own for some reason and will cut its operational costs, Shares dropped 23 percent on the FDA news.

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A McKinsey analysis of claims data finds that opioid prescribing patterns vary wildly among doctors:

  • Opioid prescribing is widespread and not just the result of clinician outliers
  • Geography plays a significant role
  • Much of the prescribing resulted from a surgery rather than acute medical care, with up to 70 percent of the patients who underwent specific procedures being given opiate prescriptions
  • Prescribing was inconsistent even within a single medical practice, varying by the condition being treated
  • Doctors often prescribe opiates to patients who have known risk factors, such as having a history of non-opioid substance abuse, having two or more behavioral health issues, or using more than four doctors or pharmacies to obtain opioid prescriptions in the preceding six months
  • Most prescriptions are written by a clinician who isn’t the “quarterback” for managing the patient’s primary problem
  • EDs issue relatively few opioid prescriptions

WHO adds “gaming disorder” to ICD-11, saying that it is similar to drug addiction because it can take precedence over the patient’s other activities, they can’t stop playing even after they experience negative consequences, and their sleep, diet, and work performance suffer.  


Sponsor Updates

  • Formativ Health will exhibit at HFMA’s annual conference June 24-26 in Las Vegas.
  • PeriGen will demonstrate its AI-powered Vigilance fetal and maternal early warning solution at AWHONN Connection June 23-27 in Tampa.
  • North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust goes live with Agfa Healthcare’s enterprise imaging for merged Peterborough City, Stamford, and Hinchingbrooke Hospitals.
  • Boston Software Systems signs a multi-year contract with a national health system for RPA, EHR, and data optimization services.
  • Chief Executive profiles CarePort Health CEO Lissy Hu, MD.
  • The Tech Tribune includes CareSync in its list of “10 Best Tech Startups in Florida.”
  • Kyruus will host its Fifth Annual Thought Leadership on Access Symposium (ATLAS) in Boston October 15-17.
  • CenTrak reports significant growth in its hand hygiene business and an increase in hospital compliance rates.
  • Change Healthcare publishes a new payer study, “Finding the Value: The State of Value-Based Care in 2018.”
  • CoverMyMeds will exhibit at the ASAP Mid-Year Conference June 20-22 in Palm Beach, FL.
  • The Cleveland Plain Dealer recognizes Direct Companies, the parent company of Direct Consulting Associates, as a Top Workplace in Northeast Ohio for 2018.
  • Divurgent publishes a new health system case study, “Success Story: Windows 10 Upgrade.”

Blog Posts


Contacts

Mr. H, Lorre, Jenn, Dr. Jayne.
Get HIStalk updates. Send news or rumors.
Contact us.

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Monday Morning Update 6/18/18

June 16, 2018 News 12 Comments

Top News

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The US Attorney indicts Theranos founder and CEO Elizabeth Holmes and former President and COO Sunny Balwani for fraud, charging that as Theranos executives, they knew that the company’s blood testing technology was unreliable and was not competitive with conventional lab testing.

Holmes resigned as Theranos CEO just before the charges were announced Friday. She will remain on the company’s board, for whatever that’s worth when the company in question is on its last legs.

Holmes and Balwani face up to 20 years in prison plus fines and restitution payments. 


Reader Comments

From Portal in the Storm: “Re: patient portals. My EClinicalWorks patient portal still lists the prep for my year-ago colonoscopy on my current medication list. I asked the doctor’s nurse to fix it, so she changed it to ‘not taking,’ but it was still listed on my portal as a current med. I mentioned it to my doctor, who discontinued it, but it still shows up on my current medication list. ECW’s My PHR shows the status as ‘not taking.’ Also, my poor doctor sees all meds, both taking and not taking, in a single current medication list with no option to sort or filter to show just the active meds. When folks complain about usability, I always assume it’s some advanced review these systems need, when in fact it’s obvious things any new user could point out.” Unverified.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

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A slight majority of poll respondents think Athenahealth will be a lesser company without Jonathan Bush. Some respondents worry that the finance guys will take over from the visionary and cultural leader and instead of fixating on customers and product delivery, will jack up prices and hack at costs to improve the bottom line. Others say that without his dogged determination in focusing on long-term objectives, the bean counters will stifle innovation by just delivering what short-sighted customers say they want. One respondent said directly, “Steve Jobs was a douche, but I don’t think Apple is better off today.”

New poll to your right or here: has your employer had layoffs or other workforce reductions so far in 2018?

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Thanks to respondents who provided honest, painful thoughts about how suicide has affected them.

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This week’s question involves co-worker relationships.

Welcome to new HIStalk Platinum Sponsor Goliath Technologies. The Philadelphia-based company’s technology improves EHR user experience by helping IT departments anticipate, troubleshoot, and prevent issues related to slow log-in and application performance. It brings application monitoring for Cerner, Epic, Meditech, and other EHRs and business applications into a single console with real-time performance data, covering everything from endpoint to Citrix or VMware Horizon delivery infrastructure. Universal Health Services uses the system to monitor performance of its hosted Cerner system deployed nationally, where it logs into several Cerner applications every 30 minutes using a user’s exact keystrokes and network access to identify failures or slowdowns so they can be fixed quickly. That monitoring allowed UHS to pinpoint WiFi problems in a specific hospital. The company offers a demo and a 30-day free trial. I interviewed CEO Thomas Charlton a couple of weeks ago just because he sounded interesting and the company then decided to become a sponsor as a result. Thanks to Goliath Technologies for supporting HIStalk.

Here’s a video I found on YouTube describing Goliath’s Cerner monitoring system.

I had a good experience this weekend with an independent urgent care center in a tiny, remote town whose physician assistant recently treated my minor injury. The place was well staffed but empty, so I didn’t have to wait. They don’t accept my insurance but they charge just a fixed $75 (which in my case included a lidocaine injection, a bunch of silver nitrate sticks, and the usual odds and ends) and they used the insurance card information to retrieve my meds and problem lists, which they verified with me at the start of the visit. I received an email immediately afterward containing a link to sign up for the practice’s Athenahealth patient portal, and that went painlessly in simply entering the numeric code that was texted to my telephone number on file. I really worried about being forced to some hospital’s ED with the strong likelihood of getting stuck with out-of-network charges, so being quoted $75 made me happy, even more so when they treated and streeted me quickly.


Webinars

June 21 (Thursday) noon ET. “Operationalizing Data Science Models in Healthcare.” Sponsor: CitiusTech. Presenters: Yugal Sharma, PhD, VP of data science, CitiusTech; Vinil Menon, VP of enterprise applications proficiency, CitiusTech. As healthcare organizations are becoming more adept at developing models, building the skills required to manage, validate, and deploy these models efficiently remains a challenging task. We define operationalization as the process of managing, validating, and deploying models within an organization. Several industry best practices, along with frameworks and technology solutions, exist to address this challenge. An understanding of this space and current state of the art is crucial to ensure efficient use and consumption of these models for relevant stakeholders in the organization. This webinar will give an introduction and overview of these key areas, along with examples and case studies to demonstrate the value of various best practices in the healthcare industry.

Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre for information.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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IBM Watson Health executives tell employees that the company will scale back its hospital pay-for-performance tools business.

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Former Cleveland Clinic President and CEO Toby Cosgrove, MD joins the board of Denver-based prescription decision support vendor RxRevu. The company’s board chair, Stephen McHale, was founder, CEO, and board chair of Cleveland Clinic spinoff Explorys,  which was acquired by IBM in 2015 and rolled into Watson Health.

Google is hiring for its Brain division, apparently for a research project called Medical Digital Assist that will use AI and speech recognition to create physician documentation. It may be a continuation of its Stanford Medicine digital scribe study from last year.


Announcements and Implementations

The AMA weighs in on augmented intelligence in a policy approved at its annual meeting, insisting in its own involvement to set direction, ensure physician friendliness, and integrate it with medical practice. AMA used the term AI to describe “augmented intelligence,” with the subtle difference being important – “augmented” means that AMA considers AI’s role as offering recommendations to doctors who are free to use them or not.


Sponsor Updates

  • Vocera will exhibit at the Cleveland Clinic Patient Experience Summit June 18 in Cleveland.
  • In the Netherlands, The Princess Maxima Center for Pediatric Oncology implements Wolter Kluwer’s UptoDate and Lexicomp solutions.
  • ZappRx expands its partnership with prior authorization services company PARx Solutions to include all treatment areas on the ZappRx platform.

Blog Posts


HIStalk Sponsors Named to the HCI 100

#4 Change Healthcare
#5 Philips
#9 Leidos
#17 Nuance
#20 Ciox Health
#21 Wolters Kluwer Health
#23 Roper Technologies
#26 InterSystems
#30 EClinicalWorks
#31 Meditech
#41 Experian Health
#43 MModal
#44 Netsmart
#47 Waystar
#52 Hyland
#56 Nordic
#58 Spok
#59 Elsevier
#60 Harris Healhcare
#61 Vocera
#62 CSI Healthcare IT
#65 Optimum Healthcare IT
#66 Imprivata
#67 Medhost
#68 Agfa Healthcare
#72 HCTec
#73 The HCI Group
#82 Cumberland Consulting Group
#87 AdvancedMD
#89 Impact Advisors
#90 Medecision
#93 The SSI Group
#97 WebPT


Contacts

Mr. H, Lorre, Jenn, Dr. Jayne.
Get HIStalk updates. Send news or rumors.
Contact us.

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News 6/15/18

June 14, 2018 News 2 Comments

Top News

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Cancer informatics technology vendor Inspirata acquires Caradigm from GE Healthcare. Imprivata bought Caradigm’s identity management business in October 2017. Microsoft, originally a 50-50 Caradigm joint venture investor with GE Healthcare to which it contributed its Amalga data platform, sold its share to GE Healthcare in April 2016.


Reader Comments

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From Witty Lad: "Re: Techsoft’s MDRhythm. We are considering their EHR for a volunteer-run clinic. I can’t tell if they’re still in business, but I want to give them the benefit of the doubt with[out] embarrassing them if they indeed are. Wondering if you know anyone who is a current or former client?" Not off the top of my head, so I’ll invite readers to weigh in. I discovered they are indeed still in business after a quick phone call to the company (answered promptly by the helpful Maria once I navigated through the automated phone tree), though their website is woefully out of date.

From Pampered Poodle: “Significant layoffs at Ascension Information Systems today. Ascension has been in financial strife and is in the process of a major reorganization of IT services.” I assume PP means Ascension Information Services, the IT shop out of the similarly named St. Louis-based health system. Unverified, though in line with a reader’s comment shared in April.


Webinars

June 21 (Thursday) noon ET. “Operationalizing Data Science Models in Healthcare.” Sponsor: CitiusTech. Presenters: Yugal Sharma, PhD, VP of data science, CitiusTech; Vinil Menon, VP of enterprise applications proficiency, CitiusTech. As healthcare organizations are becoming more adept at developing models, building the skills required to manage, validate, and deploy these models efficiently remains a challenging task. We define operationalization as the process of managing, validating, and deploying models within an organization. Several industry best practices, along with frameworks and technology solutions, exist to address this challenge. An understanding of this space and current state of the art is crucial to ensure efficient use and consumption of these models for relevant stakeholders in the organization. This webinar will give an introduction and overview of these key areas, along with examples and case studies to demonstrate the value of various best practices in the healthcare industry.

Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre for information.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Cardinal Health sells a majority stake in post-acute care services and analytics company NaviHealth to private investment firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice for an undisclosed amount. Cardinal acquired the private equity-backed company in 2015 for $290 million.

Google looks to grow its Medical Digital Assist project, which seems to be toying around with physician note transcription using the company’s AI-powered Home and Assistant technology. Project team members have been working with Stanford Medicine (CA) on a digital scribe study that will conclude in August. Stanford physician and Google project liaison Steven Lin, MD admits training AI-powered speech recognition software to extract meaningful data to add to an EHR is “more of a complicated, hard problem than we originally thought.”

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Text-based telemedicine app company Medici raises $22 million in a Series A funding round.

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Strategic Management Consultants acquires Digital Reasoning’s anesthesiology-focused Shareable Forms (fka Shareable Ink) clinical documentation technology.

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Hackensack Meridian Health (NJ) dips into its $25 million innovation investment fund to finance Pillo Health’s digital home health companion. Hackensack and Pillo will work to launch a medication management pilot using the device with an eye towards eventual commercialization.


People

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Nick Martin (Optum International) joins DuPage Medical Group (IL) as CTO.

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The American Medical Association names psychiatrist Patrice Harris, MD president-elect at its annual meeting. She will succeed newly sworn-in New Mexico Oncology Hematology Consultants CEO Barbara McAneny, MD.

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Cantata Health hires Wesley Brown (SQLWatchmen) as VP of development.

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Outcome Health picks up the pieces with the appointment of Matt McNally (Publicis Health) as CEO. The waiting room media company has spent the last several months settling lawsuits stemming from allegations that it misled advertisers and investors, shuffling CEO Rishi Shah and President Shradha Agarwal to less visible positions, and watching its $5.5 billion valuation take a beating in the press. Publicis Health was an Outcome Health advertiser, having pulled out pending the results of a third-party verification of Outcome Health’s audience – the results of which haven’t yet been released.


Sales

  • The HealtheConnect Alaska HIE will implement NextGate’s Enterprise Master Patient Index.
  • Nantucket Cottage Hospital (MA) selects bedside patient engagement software from Aceso.
  • Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare (FL) chooses Voalte’s clinical communication and alert notification system.
  • The New Jersey Hospital Association and its Health Research and Educational Trust will offer Collective Medical’s opioid tracking tool to EDs across the state.

Announcements and Implementations

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SoutheastHealth (MO) develops a virtual ICU program with technology from Avera ECare.

Cohealo develops cloud-based software that uses EHR data to help hospitals better manage and utilize medical equipment.


Other

The Cardiovascular Research Consortium will leverage TriNetX’s data aggregation capabilities and analytics to give its biopharma partners access to clinical data.

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I can’t decide whether this article is a disturbing look at the sleazy means some plastic surgeons will use to puff up their already inflated egos, hopefully gaining new patients in the process, or an accurate portrayal of the way surgeons and their savvy marketing teams use social media to get the word out about their services.


Sponsor Updates

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  • The PatientKeeper team volunteers at The Giving Factory and donates over $5,000 to its Cradles to Crayons program.
  • Adventist Health System (FL) expands its use of Stanson Health’s clinical decision support software across its 46 hospital campuses.
  • Liaison Technologies and Aberdeen release the results of a new survey, “Enterprise Data in 2018: The State of Privacy and Security Compliance.”
  • Navicure/Waystar will exhibit at Florida MGMA June 20-22 in Orlando.
  • Nordic will exhibit at the Healthcare Industry User Group meeting June 17-20 in Phoenix.
  • Recondo Technology signs a large IDN, several major universities and an affiliated large physician group, helping it close $5 million in new contracts so far this year.
  • Experian Health achieves HITRUST CSF Certification and EHNAC Healthcare Network Accreditation.
  • To improve care coordination, the Wisconsin Statewide Health Information Network will offer participating providers and payers access to PatientPing’s real-time patient notifications.
  • Pivot Point Consulting hires Jenn Bula, RN (MedSys) as director, advisory services.
  • EClinicalWorks will exhibit at the North Carolina Primary Care Conference June 14-16 in Charlotte, NC.
  • HBI Solutions will exhibit at the Minnesota Dept. of Health E-Health Summit June 14 in Brooklyn Center.
  • Healthfinch will present at the AMDIS Physician Computer Connection Symposium June 18-22 in Ojai, CA.
  • Ciox Health Chief Digital Officer Florian Quarre joins the Forbes Technology Council.
  • Image Stream Medical parent company Olympus partners with accelerator MedTech Innovator.
  • InterSystems will exhibit at HL7 FHIR DevDays 2018 June 19-21 in Boston.
  • Intelligent Medical Objects will exhibit at the AMDIS Physician Computer Connection Symposium June 18-22 in Ojai, CA.
  • Kyruus will exhibit at the Cleveland Clinic Patient Experience Summit June 18-20 in Cleveland.
  • Patientco adds AccessOne financing products to its SmartFinance patient financing feature.
  • ChartLogic publishes a new white paper, “The True Value of Using Revenue Cycle Management.”
  • KLAS recognizes TransUnion Healthcare’s EScan Insurance Discovery solution with an an overall score of 89.4 out of 100 for Coverage Discovery in its latest software and services report.
  • HBI Solutions announces that two customers have implemented its predictive suicide risk model.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Mr. H, Lorre, Jenn, Dr. Jayne.
Get HIStalk updates. Send news or rumors.
Contact us.

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News 6/13/18

June 12, 2018 News 3 Comments

Top News

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An Axios report says that private equity firms love buying healthcare provider companies that wield a lot of market power, especially physician and ED staffing groups and air and ground ambulance companies. Those businesses make money when their providers are forced on hospital inpatients (often at out-of-network rates) or during moments when the patient has no choice.

Part of the company’s high margins come from the “surprise” portion of bills that insurance doesn’t cover.

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The article was triggered by news of KKR’s planned acquisition of Envision Healthcare Corporation for $9.9 billion.

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Envision provides ED doctors, hospitalists, anesthesiologists, radiology, and children’s services in 1,800 clinical departments in 45 states. It also operates a freestanding surgery center.

Elizabeth Rosenthal, author of last year’s bestseller “An American Sickness” and editor of Kaiser Health News, tweeted out in response her book’s rules of our medical market.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

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This week’s question has generated quite a few heart-wrenching but sometimes uplifting recaps. I didn’t explain well why I solicited stories that are in ample supply elsewhere — these are coming from health IT peers and might resonate more strongly with struggling folks who work in our industry.

My least-favorite word of the moment: “seasoned,” a self-descriptive adjective used mostly by executives but sometimes companies who feel their experience needs its own laudatory designator. The mental picture it always creates for me is either (a) someone getting salted and peppered, or (b) a person or company as a stack of firewood that has dried up and is ready to go up in flames. It’s kind of like “innovative,” “nimble,” “entrepreneurial,” and “successful” in being self-congratulatory, yet conveniently unquantifiable.

Listening, only because it immediately caught my ear as played on a pirate sort of anti-corporate streaming radio station: Kevin Ayers, whose 1969 “Lady Rachel” was new to me (as was he himself, in fact). He was an original member of Soft Machine in the mid-1960s and played in the prog subtype of Canterbury Sound, which can range from whimsical to psychedelic, but always melodic (Soft Machine shared bills with Pink Floyd). Kevin died in 2013 at 68 with his Soft Machine heyday long passed. The lyrics and the voice he sings them in are kind of creepy: “Then she unwraps the parcel, And discovers a castle inside, The drawbridge is open, And a voice from the water, Says welcome my daughter, We’ve all been expecting you to come. She climbs…” His life’s finale was 2007’s “The Unfairground,” recorded with members of then-popular bands such as Teenage Fanclub and Roxy Music. 


Webinars

June 21 (Thursday) noon ET. “Operationalizing Data Science Models in Healthcare.” Sponsor: CitiusTech. Presenters: Yugal Sharma, PhD, VP of data science, CitiusTech; Vinil Menon, VP of enterprise applications proficiency, CitiusTech. As healthcare organizations are becoming more adept at developing models, building the skills required to manage, validate, and deploy these models efficiently remains a challenging task. We define operationalization as the process of managing, validating, and deploying models within an organization. Several industry best practices, along with frameworks and technology solutions, exist to address this challenge. An understanding of this space and current state of the art is crucial to ensure efficient use and consumption of these models for relevant stakeholders in the organization. This webinar will give an introduction and overview of these key areas, along with examples and case studies to demonstrate the value of various best practices in the healthcare industry.

Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre for information.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Billionaire doctor Patrick Soon-Shiong says that despite the poor stock performance and heavy criticism of his two publicly traded companies NantHealth and NantKwest, he will IPO a new chemotherapy development company later this year. Investors might want to proceed cautiously – shares in NantHealth and NantKwest have dropped 77 percent and 46 percent since their respective IPOs.

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Private equity firm GPB Capital acquires Maryland-based RCM/EHR vendor Health Prime International. Among GPB’s other holdings are dozens of car dealerships, several garbage collection companies, a concert video streaming service, life sciences firms, and health IT vendors Cantata Health, ITelagen Healthcare, MDS Medical, and Meta Healthcare IT Solutions.

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Inova’s healthcare accelerator invests in CoverMyTest, which automates prior authorization workflow for genetic and genomic testing. The company name seems like it would be legally challengeable by McKesson-owned CoverMyMeds, which offers the same type of PA service for medications.

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Sentry Data Systems, which sells 340B hospital drug subsidy program software, wins the first round in its antitrust lawsuit against CVS, which bought its own 340B administrator and required that its hospital and clinic customers use that company exclusively.

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Moody’s downgrades the credit rating of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center parent CareGroup, citing concerns about its $534 million BIDMC expansion project and significantly lower margins at Mount Auburn Hospital following its $110 million FY2017 implementation of Epic. Moody’s also worries about planned Meditech upgrades at three CareGroup community hospitals. However, the ratings firm says a proposed merger with Lahey Health would create economy of scale and market share that could make CareGroup competitive with Partners HealthCare in the Boston area.


People

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John Elms (Connexall USA) joins nurse call system vendor Critical Alert Systems as CEO.


Announcements and Implementations

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A Cincinnati Children’s study that is really small in sample size and scope finds that TempTraq’s Bluetooth-powered continuous temperature monitoring patch detects early fevers better than the usual episodic methods. The company says it can be integrated into central monitoring and EHR systems.TempTraq is part of Blue Spark Technologies, which makes flexible printed batteries similar to the temp-monitoring patch.

The Concord newspaper profiles former medical software technologist Chris Stakutis, who is working on a skill for Amazon Alexa for elderly people that reads news and emails aloud, allows creating messages, and asks questions about their health.


Other

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In Australia, doctor finder and appointment scheduling service HealthEngine is caught modifying more than half of patient-submitted practice reviews to make them sound more positive, with the local paper somehow tinkering with the site’s HTML to obtain before-and-after images. The company says it “has never intended to be a traditional ratings and review site” since its goal is to “celebrate high-performing practices” by publishing only positive reviews and sending negative ones privately to the practice (which is the real story that the paper mostly missed). Hopefully it takes fewer liberties with its medication management app. Meanwhile, it has removed the reviews from its site as it contemplates its future.

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A new KLAS report on digital rounding technologies – which includes rounding by nurses as well as non-clinical employees – finds the market to be immature, with few use cases and low customer expectations beyond replacing paper-based systems. Most of the vendors had too few customer responses to assure data validity.

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Spok’s annual mobile strategies report, derived from a smallish survey of 300 hospital employees, finds that 57 percent of hospitals have a mobile strategy, a decrease from 2017. Half said their strategy addresses communications needs, with 25 percent each saying it’s either a clinical or a technology initiative. The survey found that clinicians are increasingly involved in developing mobile policies, mostly to offer input on technology selection and to improve adoption rates. In-house Wi-Fi and cellular coverage remains the biggest problem, reported by more than half of respondents.

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Weird News Andy gets this potty started by filing this breaking news item under Porta-Jong. A North Korean defector who served in the military says that Kim Jong-un always travels with his own private restroom, including one that’s installed in an armored black limousine for motorcading. WNA assumes that if Western intelligence agencies gained access to his leavings, it might lead to a serious data dump about his health, although he acknowledges that the rumor was leaked by a stool pigeon. 


Sponsor Updates

  • ChartLogic’s ambulatory EHR earns ONC’s 2015 Edition certification, with the company noting that 100 percent of its clients who participated in its 2017 MIPS program attested successfully.
  • Memorial Medical Center (TX) is featured in a video testimonial about its use of the hosted version of the Obix Perinatal Data System.
  • Santa Rosa Consulting publishes a white paper titled “Utilizing Lean Management Principles During a Meditech 6.1 Implementation.”
  • Meditech posts a podcast titled “Rural Healthcare and the Role of the CIO,” featuring Methodist Hospital CIO and 2017 Gall CIO of the Year winner Randy McCleese.
  • In Ireland, Aut Even Hospital moves to an integrated radiology department with Agfa HealthCare’s enterprise imaging.
  • A new customer study shows that medical practices using Aprima’s EHR with Kno2 saved 103 hours per provider annually.
  • AssessURHealth publishes a new customer success story featuring Mark Weissman, MD of GMS Florida West Coast.
  • Burwood Group accelerates its cloud management practice with the adoption of HyperGrid’s HyperCloud platform.
  • Change Healthcare will exhibit at the AMDIS 2018 Physician-Computer Connection Symposium June 18-23 in Ojai, CA.
  • Divurgent publishes a new white paper, “Blockchain: The Challenges and Opportunities in Healthcare.”

Blog Posts


Contacts

Mr. H, Lorre, Jenn, Dr. Jayne.
Get HIStalk updates. Send news or rumors.
Contact us.

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Monday Morning Update 6/11/18

June 10, 2018 News 2 Comments

Top News

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UMass Amherst nursing professor Rachel Walker, PhD, RN is named to the American Association for the Advancement of Scientists.

Walker says doctors are too often credited with innovations that were actually invented by nurses, such as feeding tubes, hospice care, and hand sanitizer.

Walker’s own inventions include glasses that measure fatigue in cancer patients, a machine that turns water into IV fluid in disaster zones, and a device that measures chemotherapy toxicity. Her background includes working as a rural EMT, volunteering with the Peace Corps, and oncology nurse certification.

She serves on the steering committee of Center for Personalized Health Monitoring, with her interest being using smartphone-connected wearable sensors rural areas that don’t have broadband access.


Reader Comments

From Cosmos: “Re: pre-existing conditions. Please comment on this news item if you would be so kind.” The Trump administration says its Department of Justice will no longer legally defend the ACA requirement that insurers offer the same coverage and premium price to everyone regardless of their medical history, threatening the guaranteed insurance coverage of somewhere between 50 million and 130 million people with pre-existing conditions. The challenge of 20 conservative states isn’t likely to succeed since Congress explicitly retained the pre-existing requirements (probably because voters would have reacted negatively otherwise) and there’s also the tricky legal footing involved with the White House ordering DOJ to selectively defend and enforce only the laws it likes. Regardless of this announcement, it’s going to be a new financial world for providers as the rate of uninsured patients goes up because of ever-increasing premiums, lack of companies willing to sell policies to individuals or to those with a history of illness, the sale of junk policies riddled with coverage exclusions, and the realization by many people that they might as well drop their expensive insurance and go without because they don’t have the money to even hit their deductible before insurance starts helping. US healthcare just keeps getting uglier in its transition from charitable human endeavor to big business to political weapon.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

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Insurance companies were most identified by poll respondents as being responsible for high US healthcare costs, with drug and device vendors coming in second and health systems a distant third. Readers noted the lack of regulation over insurance companies, employer-provided insurance that separates patients from payments, aging Baby Boomers, poor lifestyle choices, and a society willing to spend big on delaying death.

New poll to your right or here: will Athenahealth be a better company without Jonathan Bush as CEO? Vote and then click the poll’s “comments” link to explain why you think so.

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I’ve been happy with the IPad Mini 2 that I bought in late 2015, but it had lost its snap in sometimes locking up on web pages full of crappy ads and videos and it was finicky about its WiFi connection, not to mention that it seemed to be shrinking the more I enviously saw people using larger ones with shockingly crisp displays. My decision was made when I ran across Apple’s GiveBack trade-in program, in which they gave me $90 toward the $329 cost of the 32GB IPad 9.7-inch model, which I can confidently say is the best value among all tablets for 95 percent of people. I’m happy in every respect so far, especially since the Mini originally cost me only $199 at Walmart. My Apple Store experience, unlike my last visit, was stellar – I was greeted quickly, my salesperson walked me through the transaction in a friendly and efficient manner, and I got to hang out with the cool kids at the “setup table” as they made sure my ICloud restore worked (which it did, flawlessly). I’m happy it uses the same Lightning connector and mini headphone jack so that I don’t need to buy anything else other than a case.

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I gained a new appreciation for marketing and PR folks after reading their responses to “What I Wish I’d Known Before … Working in Public Relations or Marketing,” which should be mandatory reading for C-level executives and salespeople.

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This week’s question will be more serious as I try to make sense of the death of Anthony Bourdain. Your responses are anonymous and may help someone.


Webinars

June 12 (Tuesday) 2:00 ET. “Blockchain in Healthcare: Why It Matters.” Sponsor: Quest Diagnostics. Presenter: Lidia Fonseca, CIO, Quest Diagnostics. Blockchain technology is gaining traction in many industries, including healthcare. It’s not only a hot topic, but is also showing promise with real-world applications. This webinar will share how blockchain may play a key role in the future of healthcare IT by helping to solve some of the industry’s challenges, distinguishing the hype from reality by discussing how it works, how it can impact healthcare providers, and its future application in healthcare IT.

June 21 (Thursday) noon ET. “Operationalizing Data Science Models in Healthcare.” Sponsor: CitiusTech. Presenters: Yugal Sharma, PhD, VP of data science, CitiusTech; Vinil Menon, VP of enterprise applications proficiency, CitiusTech. As healthcare organizations are becoming more adept at developing models, building the skills required to manage, validate, and deploy these models efficiently remains a challenging task. We define operationalization as the process of managing, validating, and deploying models within an organization. Several industry best practices, along with frameworks and technology solutions, exist to address this challenge. An understanding of this space and current state of the art is crucial to ensure efficient use and consumption of these models for relevant stakeholders in the organization. This webinar will give an introduction and overview of these key areas, along with examples and case studies to demonstrate the value of various best practices in the healthcare industry.

Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre for information.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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WJS reporter and “Bad Blood” author John Carreyrou provides a couple of new tidbits about Elizabeth Holmes. He says she believes Theranos employees were responsible for the company’s problems and that “she sees herself as sort of a Joan of Arc who is being persecuted.” Amazingly, Holmes is apparently pitching a new startup idea (hopefully not healthcare-related) to potential investors who must certainly be out of their minds to even listen.


Decisions

  • Garfield County Memorial Hospital (WA) will replace its NextGen ambulatory EHR with Athenahealth in September 2018.
  • Pickens County Medical Center (AL) will go live with Cerner by fall 2018.
  • Fillmore County Hospital (NE) will go live with Cerner in October 2018.

These provider-reported updates are supplied by Definitive Healthcare, which offers a free trial of its powerful intelligence on hospitals, physicians, and healthcare providers.


Announcements and Implementations

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William Hersh, MD and Robert Hoyt, MD publish the seventh edition of “Health Informatics: Practical Guide.”

Newly formed Lancaster, PA-based accelerator Smart Health Innovation Lab will offer a 12-week certification program for validating new healthcare technologies and integrating them into clinical workflows. 


Government and Politics

The VA will create a medical implant registry to allow it to notify patients about recalls, identify devices in emergencies, and track outcomes.


Other

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Vanderbilt University Medical Center fires Asian-American surgery resident Eugene Gu, MD three years into his five-year program after his social media criticism of President Trump, Republicans, gun culture, and the hospital itself. He was one of seven people who successfully sued President Trump for violating their First Amendment rights by blocking them on Twitter. Vanderbilt says it decided not to renew his contract because of unspecified work performance issues, adding that it has chosen not to address his “many claims over the past two-plus years.”

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A federal judge certifies as class action a 2012 lawsuit brought by a nurse practitioner against the VA that claims that NPs and physician assistants are required to work unpaid overtime to monitor its View Alerts patient updates system.

In England, Sandwell Hospital cancels 147 appointments and goes back to paper when an “unplanned internal update” takes several of its IT systems offline. They’re putting their planned go-live on their Unity project (which I believe is Cerner) on hold to catch up on the patient backlog and will freeze IT changes until after go-live.

North Carolina’s legislature considers giving police officers access to an individual’s records in the state’s controlled substances prescribing database when they are working an active case, raising privacy concerns. One of bill’s sponsors admits, “We are not going to arrest our way out of the addiction epidemic.”

NYU Langone Health is testing Amazon Business for allowing employees to order supplies directly. Amazon Global Healthcare Leader Chris Holt said in speaking at the hospital’s Health Tech Summit that location and past experience won’t be enough to attract patients to hospitals as telehealth takes over, adding, “”Probably in the next 10 years, I’m only going to interact with a person for the most acute care issues in my life. Everything else will be done digitally. You’re going to have reinvent your brand in a digital setting with a new type of customer.”

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Rhode Island Hospital will spend at least $1 million to improve its patient-order matching process following mistakes in which it performed three tests (a CT angiography, an angiogram, and a mammogram) on the wrong patients and operated on the wrong vertebra of another patient. Among the consent agreement’s requirements is that the hospital give the Department of Health a worksheet listing all of its EHR users and the number of patient records they can open, access, or edit simultaneously, suggesting that a contributing factor was charting orders on the wrong patient because of multiple open EHR windows.

A Massachusetts court rules that a pharmacist must alert both the prescribing doctor and the patient when a prescription requires prior authorization, triggered by the 2009 seizure death of a 19-year-old woman who went without her anticonvulsant  prescription when Walgreens didn’t send the PA forms to her doctor. A previous ruling had found that Walgreens isn’t responsible for serving as the intermediary between doctor and insurer.

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In India, five ICU patients die when the hospital’s air conditioning fails. Some families claim that the AC worked, but was turned on only when doctors were rounding. Daily temperature highs in Kanpur reach 105 to 110 degrees. 


Sponsor Updates

  • Qventus will exhibit at the Lean Healthcare Transformation Summit June 14-15 in Chicago.
  • The SSI Group will exhibit at the Gulf States ASC Conference June 13 in Biloxi, MS.
  • Surescripts will host the 2018 Empowering Exceptional Care User Conference June 13-15 in Dallas.
  • Vocera’s Rounds solution wins the Best Overall Patient Engagement Solution Award from MedTech Breakthrough.
  • Philips Wellcentive will exhibit at the NG Healthcare Summit June 13-15 in Houston.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Mr. H, Lorre, Jenn, Dr. Jayne.
Get HIStalk updates. Send news or rumors.
Contact us.

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News 6/8/18

June 7, 2018 News 6 Comments

Top News

A survey of clinical trials participants finds that 93 percent are willing to share their clinical data with university scientists and 82 percent are OK with researchers from for-profit companies looking at their information.

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Participants mostly aren’t concerned with how their information is used, although around one-third worry that their data might reduce study participation, could be used for marketing, or might be stolen. They also don’t trust drug companies.

Previous studies involving biospecimens and EHR data found that patients were less willing to share, which is a seemingly contradictory finding since clinical trials data is a usually a superset of EHR data. The authors speculate that clinical trials participants trust researchers and are enthusiastic about contributing to their scientific efforts.


Reader Comments

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From Former Insider: “Re: University of Iowa Health Care. Never had any internal controls. The leaders were given $30 million to spend and spend it they did! Everyone is being let go. A tremendous waste of Iowa taxpayer dollars.” UIHC says it needs $7.5 million to exit the UI Health Alliance and dissolve its ACO, which is operated as a separate non-profit, UI Health System. Within UI Health Ventures is Community Connect, a 50-FTE operation that is implementing EHRs in seven critical access hospitals and clinics. A previous audit found that Community Connect had poor data controls, inaccurate patient scheduling and billing, and sloppy financial reporting, which the university still hadn’t corrected six months after the six-month deadline passed. Community Connect’s Epic implementation work will be transferred to UI Health Care’s IT department, which UI Health Care CIO Lee Carmen told me in November back when the decision was made.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

Wednesday was a busy day on the HIStalk server as I got the Athenahealth news out before anyone else, even the Boston Globe, meaning that over 500 folks were online simultaneously for a couple of hours but with no ill effect except some minor site slowdowns. Page views for the day ended up at over 12,000, which isn’t hugely higher than normal, but it’s the burst of activity that sometimes causes a “server not responding” error at the peak. I had some adjustments made a few weeks ago (after the VA contract news) and that might have helped. The all-time high remains at 17,327 page views on July 30, 2015 when the DoD announced its Cerner decision and even I couldn’t get in that day.

I missed listing some companies the other day who won’t be continuing their HIStalk sponsorship, so I’ll add some additional thanks and goodbyes to:

  • Logicworks
  • Learn on Demand Systems
  • Salesforce
  • Sutherland

Webinars

June 12 (Tuesday) 2:00 ET. “Blockchain in Healthcare: Why It Matters.” Sponsor: Quest Diagnostics. Presenter: Lidia Fonseca, CIO, Quest Diagnostics. Blockchain technology is gaining traction in many industries, including healthcare. It’s not only a hot topic, but is also showing promise with real-world applications. This webinar will share how blockchain may play a key role in the future of healthcare IT by helping to solve some of the industry’s challenges, distinguishing the hype from reality by discussing how it works, how it can impact healthcare providers, and its future application in healthcare IT.

June 21 (Thursday) noon ET. “Operationalizing Data Science Models in Healthcare.” Sponsor: CitiusTech. Presenters: Yugal Sharma, PhD, VP of data science, CitiusTech; Vinil Menon, VP of enterprise applications proficiency, CitiusTech. As healthcare organizations are becoming more adept at developing models, building the skills required to manage, validate, and deploy these models efficiently remains a challenging task. We define operationalization as the process of managing, validating, and deploying models within an organization. Several industry best practices, along with frameworks and technology solutions, exist to address this challenge. An understanding of this space and current state of the art is crucial to ensure efficient use and consumption of these models for relevant stakeholders in the organization. This webinar will give an introduction and overview of these key areas, along with examples and case studies to demonstrate the value of various best practices in the healthcare industry.

Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre for information.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Athenahealth shares took a sharp turn upward Wednesday on the news of Jonathan Bush’s resignation and the company’s plan to explore strategic alternatives. ATHN shares rose 4 percent Wednesday and another 1 percent Thursday.

HP will lay off between 4,500 and 5,000 employees by 2019 as part of its ongoing restructuring plans.

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Meditation app company Headspace launches a new subsidiary that will focus on developing FDA-approved, prescription-strength meditation apps targeted at specific medical conditions. Founder Andy Puddicombe became a Tibetan Buddhist monk and trained with the Moscow State Circus before starting the company in 2010.

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A New York bankruptcy court selects MTBC as the “stalking horse” primary bidder for the assets of Houston-based Orion HealthCorp, which offers revenue cycle services, practice management, and group purchasing. You might be appreciating the irony of a revenue cycle services vendor going bankrupt, but there’s more to the story – it was part of Constellation Healthcare Technologies, whose since-fired CEO Paul Parmar and his fellow executives have been charged by the DOJ for part in an elaborate $300 million fraud scheme involving phony acquisitions. He claims he earns $1 billion per year and he lives in a 39,000-square-foot mansion worth a few dozen million.


People

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Steve Wretling (DaVita) joins HIMSS in the new role of chief technology and innovation officer.

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Act.MD names Amy Vreeland (LifeImage) as chief commercial officer.

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Altruista Health appoints Brad Kuebler (Agiliko) VP of technology operations.

Berkshire Hathaway Chairman Warren Buffett tells CNBC that he and JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon have selected a CEO for their healthcare venture with Amazon and will name the individual within the next two weeks.


Sales

  • Regional physician network Georgia Health Select will implement population health management software from EQHealth Solutions.
  • Greater Ormond Street Hospital for Children in London contracts with Hyland Healthcare for its OnBase content management technology.
  • Landmark Hospitals (FL) chooses RCM software and services from HCS Interactant.
  • Ballad Health (TN) will implement Epic in a two-year process that will kick off in 2019.
  • In the UK, Royal Devon & Exeter NHS Foundation Trust officials sign off on an Epic implementation that will begin in September.

Announcements and Implementations

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Midland Health (TX) goes live on Cerner.

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Patientco adds customizable SmartFinance patient financing options to its line of payment technologies and services.

DrFirst adds pharmacogenomic test ordering to its Rcopia e-prescribing system.


Government and Politics

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The DOJ charges the CEO of a chain of Midwest pain clinics and laboratories, along with four doctors, for running a $200 million fraud scheme involving the prescribing of 4.2 million dosage units of medically unnecessary opiates to Medicare beneficiaries who were either addicted to the drugs or selling them on the street. DOJ says the doctors also required patients to consent to receiving the maximum number of injections that Medicare would pay for. CMS stopped payment to one clinic and a lab when it found that 100 percent of their claims were not eligible, after which it says the defendants created new shell companies and swapped out signs on the company doors so the billing could continue. Prosecutors say 37-year-old CEO Mashiyat Rashid lived in a $7 million mansion, drove a Lamborghini and Rolls Royce Ghost, and wore expensive designer clothes. Federal agents had him under surveillance last year when he withdrew $500,000 in 100-dollar bills from the bank, which his lawyer says is reasonable because he’s a venture capitalist. 


Privacy and Security

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A presumably independent security researcher alerts consumer DNA testing company MyHeritage to an October 2017 data breach involving 92 million customer email addresses and passwords stored on an unauthorized server. The company may soon face scrutiny from the FTC, which is investigating the data privacy practices of competitors Ancestry.com and 23andMe.


Other

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The Madison, WI hippie weekly says its time for Epic employees to unionize following the Supreme Court’s ruling that forcing employees into arbitration over labor issues and prohibiting them from filing class action lawsuits is legal. It adds that a union could also fight the company’s famous non-compete clause that prevents them from working at any Epic-using site, not just the company itself.

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Over half of the 4,000 patients surveyed by University of Michigan Medical School researchers report that a physician’s attire is important and one-third admit it influences their level of satisfaction. Most prefer a white coat no matter the care setting, professional role, or gender of the provider.

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Allscripts CEO Paul Black throws out the first pitch for the Healthcare Professionals Night at Wrigley Field for the Cubs vs. Phillies game. Not to be nitpicky, he’s not a healthcare professional even though Allscripts paid for the promotion. 

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I wrote about the tiny California town whose one-bed hospital would either be sold to the only private investor who wanted it or be closed. They voted to sell Surprise Valley Community Hospital to 34-year-old Beau Gertz (above, right), the owner of nutraceutical and lab companies who plans to run his lab and telemedicine bills from all over the country through the hospital to earn higher payment. The hospital tried that previously with another company that left them high and dry. Apparently the main claim to fame of Cedarville, CA is that it’s the last chance to gas  up on the way to Burning Man.

The New York eHealth Collaborative expands patient care alerts for hospital admittance, discharge, and transfer across the state’s eight regional HIEs via the Statewide Health Information Network for New York.


Sponsor Updates

  • Stanson Health’s Caden (Clinical Advisory Delivery Engine) goes live on Epic’s App Orchard.
  • Lightbeam Health Solutions publishes a new case study, “Princeton HealthCare System Reduces Inpatient Admissions 15% using Care Management.”
  • LiveProcess publishes a self-assessment quiz on the CMS Emergency Preparedness Rule.
  • LogicStream Health receives the 2018 MedTech Breakthrough Award for Clinical Efficiency Innovation.
  • Meditech will exhibit at the 2018 Nurse and Home Care Forum June 13-15 in Foxborough, MA.
  • Netsmart will exhibit at the I2I Center for Integrative Health Spring Policy Forum June 11 in Raleigh, NC.
  • DocuTap wins a MedTech Breakthrough Award for Best EHR Service; its Clockwise.MD technology wins in the Best Overall Patient Engagement Company category.
  • Kyruus wins a MedTech Breakthrough Award  for best patient scheduling solution.
  • Leidos Health will develop health IT for Maxim Healthcare Services and its post-acute care workforce.
  • Glytec incorporates Smart Meter’s iGlucose diabetes care solution with its Glucommander Outpatient software.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Mr. H, Lorre, Jenn, Dr. Jayne.
Get HIStalk updates. Send news or rumors.
Contact us.

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Jonathan Bush Resigns as Athenahealth CEO

June 6, 2018 News 27 Comments

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Athenahealth President and CEO Jonathan Bush has resigned, effective immediately.

Executive Chairman Jeff Immelt and CFO Marc Levine will assume responsibility for day-to-day operations. Board member Amy Abernethy, MD, PhD of Flatiron Health will advise the company on data strategy.

Bush was the subject of misconduct allegations and the pressure of activist investor Elliott Management.

Athenahealth’s board is exploring a sale, merger, or other transaction involving the company, but will also consider continuing as an independent company. It has opened a search for Bush’s replacement as CEO.

Bush said in the announcement, “I believe that working for something larger than yourself is the greatest thing a human can do. A family, a cause, a company, a country – these things give shape and purpose to an otherwise mechanical and brief human existence. Athenahealth is a near once-in-a-life time example of such a thing. With that lens on, it’s easy for me to see that the very things that made me useful to the company and cause in these past 21 years are now exactly the things that are in the way. I cannot imagine a single organization more loaded with potential to transform healthcare.”

Board Chair Jeff Immelt said, “Athenahealth is the most universally connected healthcare network in the country and we believe there remains significant, unrealized value in the company. To ensure Athenahealth maximizes shareholder value and is best positioned to realize the full potential of its premier healthcare technology platform, the board has authorized a thorough evaluation of strategic alternatives, including a potential sale or merger or continuing as an independent company under new leadership. We approach this process with an open mind and a commitment to continuing to strengthen the company – including its rich data asset, platform strategy, and culture of innovation. We are fully focused on serving the best interests of our shareholders, employees and clients.”

News 6/6/18

June 5, 2018 News 6 Comments

Top News

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Apple releases an API that allows developers to build apps connected to Apple Health Records.

Third-party developers can create IPhone apps that use medical information that is stored in Health Records and HealthKit, which Apple says can connect to 500 hospitals and clinics. Doctors can also integrate the stored patient information into their ResearchKit study apps to replace health questionnaires.

Apple says developers are creating apps for medication tracking, disease management, nutrition planning, and medical research.


Reader Comments

From Over Easy: “Re: Athenahealth. What are the odds that Elliott Management is behind the sudden surfacing of the old domestic news of Jonathan Bush?” I can’t speculate, but Googling turns up accusations that the hedge fund that’s pressuring the company has used shady tactics in the past hoping to discredit resistant CEOs, including hiring investigators to spy on their families and neighbors in hopes of turning up something salacious. The hedge fund denies that it has ever done that. However, the timing of the sudden interest in 12-year-old court documents certainly seems suspicious, especially since they involve divorce and custody proceedings rather than criminal activity.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

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Designer Kate Spade has died at 55 in an apparent suicide. I mention this only because I received an email from the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention asking media to report such events responsibly and to recommend that anyone who needs help call the 24/7 National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255, so it seems like a good time to get the word out, especially since we have a physician suicide problem in our own industry. 

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Here’s a reminder to answer this week’s question if you’re so inclined. It’s a little-understood profession onto which you might shine some light.


Webinars

June 12 (Tuesday) 2:00 ET. “Blockchain in Healthcare: Why It Matters.” Sponsor: Quest Diagnostics. Presenter: Lidia Fonseca, CIO, Quest Diagnostics. Blockchain technology is gaining traction in many industries, including healthcare. It’s not only a hot topic, but is also showing promise with real-world applications. This webinar will share how blockchain may play a key role in the future of healthcare IT by helping to solve some of the industry’s challenges, distinguishing the hype from reality by discussing how it works, how it can impact healthcare providers, and its future application in healthcare IT.

June 21 (Thursday) noon ET. “Operationalizing Data Science Models in Healthcare.” Sponsor: CitiusTech. Presenters: Yugal Sharma, PhD, VP of data science, CitiusTech; Vinil Menon, VP of enterprise applications proficiency, CitiusTech. As healthcare organizations are becoming more adept at developing models, building the skills required to manage, validate, and deploy these models efficiently remains a challenging task. We define operationalization as the process of managing, validating, and deploying models within an organization. Several industry best practices, along with frameworks and technology solutions, exist to address this challenge. An understanding of this space and current state of the art is crucial to ensure efficient use and consumption of these models for relevant stakeholders in the organization. This webinar will give an introduction and overview of these key areas, along with examples and case studies to demonstrate the value of various best practices in the healthcare industry.

Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre for information.

Here’s the recording of Tuesday’s webinar titled “Increase Referrals and Patient Satisfaction with a Smarter ‘Find a Doctor’ Web Search.”


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Microsoft acquires open source repository GitHub for $7.5 billion in stock. The company, whose income is generated by charging enterprise customers for private repositories, has never made a profit. Developers are apparently already fleeing the platform on rumors that Microsoft – which once called the open operating system Linux “a cancer” — was taking over. GitHub was valued at just $2 billion in 2015. VC Andreessen Horowitz will make over $1 billion on the sale from its $100 million investment in 2012.

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Teladoc acquires virtual visit provider Advance Medical for $352 million. The Westwood, MA-based Advance Medical is the leading virtual care provider outside the US.

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Teladoc shares are up 61 percent in the past year vs. the Nasdaq’s 22 percent rise, valuing the company at $3.4 billion despite increasing annual losses.


Sales

  • Advocare will replace GE Centricity with EClinicalWorks for its 600 providers in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
  • Estonia’s Tartu University Hospital joins the TriNetX global research network to expand its clinical trials population internationally.
  • North Mississippi Health Services selects Mercy Technology Services to install Epic’s ambulatory EHR.
  • Johns Hopkins Medicine will implement the Voalte Platform at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center and Sibley Memorial Hospital for voice calling, secure text messaging, and alarm management.
  • Children’s Hospital Colorado chooses Mediware’s blood management solutions.
  • Lawrence General Hospital (MA) selects Santa Rosa Consulting as its Meditech Expanse implementation partner.

People

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Adam McMullin (Voalte) joins pharmacy technology vendor FDS as CEO.

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Cantata Health promotes Jonathan Isaacs as CEO and hires Krista Endsley (Abila) as president.

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Columbia University nursing and biomedical informatics professor Suzanne Bakken, RN, PhD is named editor-in-chief of JAMIA.


Announcements and Implementations

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Penn State Health St. Joseph goes live on Cerner.

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Ciox Health announces GA of HealthSource, a cloud-based clinical information-sharing platform that can extract information from disparate health records using artificial intelligence, optical character recognition, and natural language processing. Three modules were also announced: Clarity (release of information), Smart Chart (medical records aggregation into a longitudinal profile), and Vault (a patient- and provider-centric data repository). 

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InstaMed publishes its annual healthcare payments trends report, with these findings:

  • 75 percent of Americans question the value they receive from the nation’s $10,400 per capita cost of healthcare
  • 65 percent of consumers say they would change providers to obtain a better payments experience
  • 58 percent of providers rely on statements to collect patient money owed as “paper is the sandpaper of healthcare”
  • Consumer out-of-pocket spending is growing rapidly to a projected $608 billion as high-deductible health plans and ever-increasing deductibles become common
  • Annual health insurance premiums have risen to an average of nearly $19,000
  • Nearly three-fourths of consumers can’t make sense of EOBs or bills and only nine percent of them can define the basic health insurance concepts of premium, deductible, co-insurance, and out-of-pocket maximum
  • More people (40 percent) fear the cost of illness more than the illness itself
  • Only 21 percent of consumers regularly use their provider’s patient portal
  • 80 percent of consumers want to check in for provider visits on their phones and 65 percent would use a phone app to pay medical bills as mobile payments have increased to 24 percent of the total
  • The survey found strong increases in the use of online payments, digital wallets, and automatic payment plans

Imprivata launches Mobile Device Access for fast clinical mobile device authentication.

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Mary Meeker’s influential Internet trends report finds that:

  • Smartphone sales and Internet user growth have slowed as more than half the world is connected, but people are spending even more time online, with US adults averaging 5.9 hours per day
  • People are spending more on healthcare, which may drive improvements in office convenience, digitized transactions, and on-demand pharmacy services
  • The reach of digital payments is increasing
  • Data and data-driven personalization can be an important driver of customer satisfaction
  • Social media discovery is driving some product sales
  • Return on ad spending is going down, with “customer lifetime value” receiving more emphasis as a result
  • Household debt is at its highest historical level as consumers spend more on housing, insurance, and healthcare but less on food, entertainment, and clothing

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Florida Hospital will develop a clinical operations command center for its nine campuses using GE Healthcare’s AI-powered Wall of Analytics.

ZappRx expands its partnership with prior authorization services vendor PARx Solutions to cover gastroenterology, rheumatology, and neurology.


Government and Politics

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The Defense Department’s OIG is investigating allegations about White House physician and one-time VA secretary nominee Ronny Jackson, MD, who has been accused of improperly providing sleeping pills, drinking on the job, and violating the privacy of the wife of VP Mike Pence by sharing her medical information with other providers.

The Department of Justice charges two nurse practitioners and a surgery technician with opioid distribution after they allegedly sold prescriptions that they wrote on a doctor’s stolen prescription pad. DOJ also announces that a 65-year-old family practitioner in North Carolina who also ran an office-based opioid treatment has pleaded guilty to trading opiate prescriptions for sex with at least seven female patients, billing Medicare and Medicaid along the way for office visits that didn’t actually happen.

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An HHS OIG investigation finds that even though the number of Medicare Part D prescriptions for brand name drugs dropped 17 percent from 2011 to 2015, drug companies made 77 percent more money as they simply raised prices at six times the inflation rate, which then automatically raised Medicare’s cost since it is based as a percentage of list price.


Other

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The 514 residents of Surprise Valley, CA grapple with whether to sell the town’s one-bed, bankrupt hospital to the 34-year-old owner of nutraceutical companies who wants to use it for billing insurance companies for lab tests and telemedicine visits. He already loaned the hospital district $2.5 million to allow the hospital to buy one of his businesses, allowing him to advertise that it’s a wholly-owned subsidiary of the hospital and to keep 80 percent of the resulting lab billing profits. The bankrupt hospital tried a similar arrangement last year with EmpowerHMS, which it says abandoned the hospital after facilities it owned were accused of billing at least $175 million for lab services to patients who weren’t seen at those locations.

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A Stanford Medicine survey of 500 EHR-using primary care doctors finds that:

  • Two-thirds of them think EHRs have improved care and say they’re at least somewhat satisfied with their systems
  • 59 percent think EHRs should be overhauled
  • More than half say that using an EHR detracts from their satisfaction and clinical effectiveness
  • A 20-minute patient visit involves 12 minutes of interaction, eight minutes with the EHR, and another 11 minutes of after-visit EHR time
  • Suggested short-term improvements are EHR user interface redesign, shifting work to support staff, and using voice recorders as scribes
  • Suggested long-term improvements are improving interoperability, using predictive analytics, and integrating patient cost information into the EHR

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“Bad Blood” author and Wall Street Journal reporter John Carreyrou partially blames business-friendly Arizona for the “giant, unauthorized experiment” in which Theranos used its faulty technology to process blood samples collected from patients at Walgreens in the company’s original “wellness center” rollout in Phoenix, also noting that Theranos and its lobbyists convinced state legislators to pass a law that the company mostly wrote itself that allows patients to get blood tests performed without a doctor’s order.

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Blount Memorial Hospital (TN) says a “corrupted file” caused a three-day downtime of its physician group’s network in early May, requiring restoring from backups.

Examination of the work computer of former dean of Michigan State University’s School of Osteopathic Medicine – who retired after charges of sexual harassment and failing to oversee child sex abuser Larry Nassar — turns up pornographic images of women wearing MSU Spartan gear.

A consultant says that every state should develop an all-payer claims database to study healthcare trends and to allow building consumer transparency tools for cost and quality. Twenty states are working on them, but the author notes that California – which spends $367 billion per year on healthcare – has rolled out an incomplete system even though it would cost only around $20 million to do it right.

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Weird News Andy thinks this idea is dope. California is giving drug users free fentanyl test strips in hopes of reducing overdoses caused by the 40 percent of heroin that contains the powerful narcotic.The Canadian company that sells the $1 strips warns that they were designed to test urine, not drug products, and says the tests shouldn’t give users a false sense of security.


Sponsor Updates

  • Ready Computing offers an off-the-shelf solution that combined InterSystems HealthShare HIE and Clinical Architecture’s Symedical content management to give physicians a graphical view of test results, diagnoses, and treatments.
  • Impact Advisors is named to CRN’s 2018 Solution Provider 500 list.
  • Spok joins Zebra’s PartnerConnect channel partner program.
  • HBI Solutions contributes to a journal article titled “Assessing Statewide All-Cause Future One-Year Mortality: Prospective Study with Implications for Quality of Life, Resource Utilization, and Medical Futility” that features the work of its solutions staff and clients.
  • Change Healthcare, ACO Partner, and BCBS of Arizona announce successful results of a shared savings plan.
  • The Boston Business Journal ranks Definitive Healthcare the 11th fastest growing company in Massachusetts.
  • Nordic is named to Inc. Magazine’s “Best Workplaces” list.
  • AdvancedMD will exhibit at Masters in Ophthalmology June 8-10 in Orlando.
  • Aprima will exhibit at the NJMGMA Practice Management Conference June 6-8 in Atlantic City.
  • Arcadia will exhibit at the Millenium Alliance Healthcare Payers Transformation Assembly June 7 in Marana, AZ.
  • Bernoulli receives the Best Research Paper award from AAMI Journal Awards for the paper, “Continuous Surveillance of Sleep Apnea Patients in a Medical-Surgical Unit.”
  • Burwood Group will exhibit at the NCHICA Academic Medical Center Security & Privacy Conference June 11-12 in Chapel Hill.
  • Centrak will exhibit at APIC 2018 June 13-15 in Minneapolis.
  • EClinicalWorks will exhibit at the Value-Based Summit Series Telehealth 2018 June 7-8 in San Diego.
  • FormFast will exhibit at the AZHIMA Annual Meeting June 14-15 in Mesa.
  • Healthfinch will exhibit at the Healthcare Call Center Times event June 13-15 in Pittsburgh.
  • Huntzinger Management Group EVP and Partner William Reed will speak at the Investment and M&A Opportunities in Healthcare Conference June 6 in Nashville.
  • CRN names Impact Advisors to its 2018 Solution Provider 500 list.
  • Intelligent Medical Objects will exhibit at the NextGen Large Client User Group Meeting June 6-8 in Chicago.
  • Kyruus will exhibit at the Healthcare Transformation Summit June 7-8 in Austin, TX.
  • EY names Collective Medical’s Chris Klomp, Adam Green, and Wylie van den Akker Entrepreneur of the Year 2018 Utah Region Award Winners.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Mr. H, Lorre, Jenn, Dr. Jayne.
Get HIStalk updates. Send news or rumors.
Contact us.

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Monday Morning Update 6/4/18

June 3, 2018 News 6 Comments

Top News

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The Illinois Procurement Policy Board rejects Cerner’s challenge of the seven-year, $62 million Epic contract signed by University of Illinois Hospital and Health Sciences System.

The board had previously recommended cancelling the contract and letting the state executive ethics commission render an opinion based on Cerner’s complaint that its bid was lower, that it wasn’t allowed to demonstrate its product, and that the selection involvement of Impact Advisors created a conflict of interest since that consulting firm also offers Epic implementation and staffing assistance.

The procurement board realized that Epic had not been offered a chance to request its own hearing, and after listening to arguments from both companies, declined to pursue the matter further and will let the contract stand.

UIC executives said when Cerner filed its protest in December 2017 that it has had problems with Cerner as a current customer, that it has failed twice in trying to roll out Cerner ambulatory due to Cerner-admitted performance problems, and that Cerner failed its technical review and was therefore excluded from demonstrating per state procurement law.

UIC’s Epic project will replace systems from Cerner and Allscripts.


Reader Comments

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From Norway José: “Re: Cerner in central Norway. It seems they’ve pulled out, assuming the translation is correct. Wonder if this is a sign of things to come as they turn their attention and resources to the VA?” The Health Center Norway RHF article says that Epic will get the contract after Cerner pulls out for unstated reasons.

From You Don’t Need a Weatherman: “Re: referrals. Interesting timing in light of the Steward case.” A case before the US Supreme Court regarding how antitrust laws are enforced may change how courts look at anti-steering provisions. The case involves credit card companies, but if the Supreme Court upholds a lower court’s decision, hospitals and insurers would be allowed to include anti-referral rules in their contracts. The AMA argues that physicians would be unable to send patients to out-of-network specialists even when they believe it’s in the patient’s best interest. 

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From PitVIper: “Re: provider data. Humana, Aetna, UnitedHealthcare, ONC, SureScripts, VA, and other organizations got together and defined an industry roadmap to address issues in provider data.” A CAQH-convened group develops “An Industry Roadmap for Provider Data” in hopes of reducing the inefficiency created by inaccurate provider data. The groups involved will declare a commitment to the vision, form a governance structure, define an initial dataset and standards, engage regulators, and begin measuring impact.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

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More than 80 percent of poll respondents had a negative reaction to Cerner President Zane Burke’s labeling the DoD’s negative internal report on the MHS Genesis pilot sites as “fake news” that was influenced by an unnamed competitor in unnamed ways.

New poll to your right or here: who is most responsible for high US healthcare costs? Next week I’ll compare the new results from the same poll I ran a couple of years ago.

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I received too few entries to last week’s question, so here’s one last try. I should note that I’m not looking only for negative answers with these questions even those are often in the majority.

Thanks to the following companies that recently supported HIStalk. Click a logo for more information.

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Following through on my long-ago promise to a reader to also recognize companies that have chosen not to renew their sponsorship, I’ll say thanks and goodbye to these companies that have left the HIStalk building since January 1:

  • Conduent
  • Dynamic Computing Services
  • Ellis & Adams
  • Encore Health Resources (acquired by Emids)
  • Harris Healthcare (although it has added a sponsorship for its QuadraMed EMPI business)
  • Haystack Informatics
  • Healthlink Advisors
  • Infor
  • InMediata
  • Lifepoint Informatics
  • Protenus
  • Sphere 3
  • UltraLinq

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Welcome to new HIStalk Platinum Sponsor Ciox Health. The Alpharetta, GA-based company facilities and manages the movement of health information with the industry’s broadest provider network, deploying capabilities in release of information, record retrieval, health information management, audit management, coding services and education, imaging services, clinical abstraction, and oncology data management. The company has 40 years of HIM experience and provides services to 60 percent of US hospitals, 16,000 physician practices, and 100 health plans. It manages 40 million requests for health information each year and complies with rigorous standards to ensure privacy and security. The company manages health information to support continuity of care, patient access to data, and reimbursement improvement. Thanks to Ciox Health for supporting HIStalk.

Here’s a Ciox Health intro video I found on YouTube.

I paid $65 to run the HIStalk email list through a third-party email validation tool that performs a deep dive into each subscriber’s email service. No wonder people say they aren’t getting my emails – a big chunk of company servers don’t let them through because of anti-spam systems, incorrectly configured servers, and readers who entered their email address wrong. At least I feel better telling people that the problem is on their end, not mine.

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I also learned this by accident – if you export your LinkedIn connections from the Privacy menu, you’ll get an Excel file that includes every one of your contacts along with their job title, employer, email address, and connection date.

Thanks to the long-time readers who sent nice thoughts about HIStalk’s 15th birthday, some of whom were reading way back in my first lonely, fumbling year of 2003 (it’s still lonely and fumbling, but I accept it more readily).

Listening: new from Black Thought, aka Tariq Trotter, the genius co-founder and performer of The Roots. The lyrics are simultaneously angry, crude, and poetic: “Picture my daughter drinkin’ water with a sign; say ‘for colored girls,’ I ain’t talkin’ Ntozake Shange; Who said it’s cynical? I was a king and general; Rich in every resource, precious metal and mineral; Before the devil entered the land of the plentiful.” Lyrics are undervalued now that music is dominated by good looks, slick dance moves, and computer-enhanced songs written by someone other than the singer, but check out his freestyle rap from December to hear what Shakespeare might sound like if he were born 46 years ago in Philadelphia to parents who were separately murdered by the time he was 16.

I just finished reading the Theranos book “Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup.” Book report to follow.


Webinars

June 5 (Tuesday) 1:00 ET. “Increase Referrals and Patient Satisfaction with a Smarter ‘Find a Doctor’ Web Search.” Sponsors: Phynd Technologies, Healthwise. Presenters: Joseph H. Schneider, MD, MBA, FAAP, retired SVP/CHIO, Indiana University Health; Keith Belton, VP of marketing, Phynd. A recent survey found that 84 percent of patients check a hospital’s website before booking an appointment. However, ‘Find a Doctor’ search functions often frustrate them because their matching functionality is primitive and the provider’s information is incomplete or outdated. Referring physicians need similarly robust tools to find the right specialist and to send the patient to the right location. Attendees of this webinar will learn how taxonomy-driven Provider Information Management improves patient and referrer satisfaction by intelligently incorporating the provider’s location, insurance coverage, specialty and subspecialty, and services offered that can be searched via patient-friendly terms.

June 12 (Tuesday) 2:00 ET. “Blockchain in Healthcare: Why It Matters.” Sponsor: Quest Diagnostics. Presenter: Lidia Fonseca, CIO, Quest Diagnostics. Blockchain technology is gaining traction in many industries, including healthcare. It’s not only a hot topic, but is also showing promise with real-world applications. This webinar will share how blockchain may play a key role in the future of healthcare IT by helping to solve some of the industry’s challenges, distinguishing the hype from reality by discussing how it works, how it can impact healthcare providers, and its future application in healthcare IT.

June 21 (Thursday) noon ET. “Operationalizing Data Science Models in Healthcare.” Sponsor: CitiusTech. Presenters: Yugal Sharma, PhD, VP of data science, CitiusTech; Vinil Menon, VP of enterprise applications proficiency, CitiusTech. As healthcare organizations are becoming more adept at developing models, building the skills required to manage, validate, and deploy these models efficiently remains a challenging task. We define operationalization as the process of managing, validating, and deploying models within an organization. Several industry best practices, along with frameworks and technology solutions, exist to address this challenge. An understanding of this space and current state of the art is crucial to ensure efficient use and consumption of these models for relevant stakeholders in the organization. This webinar will give an introduction and overview of these key areas, along with examples and case studies to demonstrate the value of various best practices in the healthcare industry.

Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre for information.


Sales

  • Boulder Community Hospital (CO) chooses Epic.

Decisions

  • Cumberland Memorial Hospital (WI) will replace Evident with Athenahealth on August 1.
  • Caldwell Memorial Hospital (LA) switched from Healthland to Evident in September 2017.
  • Faulkton Area Medical Center (SD) will replace Healthland with Cerner on June 25.

These provider-reported updates are supplied by Definitive Healthcare, which offers a free trial of its powerful intelligence on hospitals, physicians, and healthcare providers.


People

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Curt Thornton (Capsule) joins Quantros as SVP of sales.

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Intelligent Medical Objects hires Ann Barnes (MedData) as CEO. She replaces co-founder Frank Naeymi-Rad, PhD, MS, MBA, who will continue as board chair and will add the role of chief innovator.


Announcements and Implementations

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Amazon Web Services announces GA of Amazon Neptune, a graph database that allows developers to query relationships to power social networks, recommendation engines, fraud detection, and drug discovery. A life sciences startup is using it to study disease by connecting genomics, pathology, neurochemistry, and device and patient clinical data.

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A new KLAS report on HIT assessment and strategic planning finds that Cumberland and EMids Technologies (the former Encore Health Resources) are more consistent in exceeding client expectations; Impact Advisors and Chartis Groups excel at delivering high-quality outcomes across a large number of clients and projects; Nordic is the highest overall performer; and Accenture finishes worst as clients report less value obtained. The report highlights Nordic and Deloitte for thought leadership.


Other

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A University of Michigan poll finds that half of older adults have set up a patient portal, with those aged 65-80 who haven’t done so saying they aren’t comfortable with technology while those 50-64 say their biggest barrier is that they just haven’t bothered. Respondents gave portals a slight edge in their ability to understand the information they’re given, but telephone contact with the practice won for the ability to explain what they need and also with the hope of getting a faster response.

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In England, The Daily Telegraph looks at the digital revolution in healthcare, giving kudos to Epic-powered alerts for quickly detecting and treating sepsis at Cambridge University Hospital’s NHS Foundation Trust, where 80 percent of newly diagnosed sepsis patients are being given antibiotics within one hour. It also mentions the Pediatric Early Warning Score for escalating peds issues quickly. The article also quotes Eric Topol, MD, who is reviewing an NHS technology review and who predicts the end of expensive “hotel hospitals” as patients are increasingly monitored at home.

Australia’s new, $2 billion Royal Adelaide Hospital is spending an annualized $2 million to store and deliver paper medical records after the incoming new government pauses its Allscripts rollout. The health minister says the EPAS project is “hundreds of millions of dollars over budget and years behind schedule.”

A small poll finds that 88 percent of Americans aged 40 and over would be comfortable receiving care via telemedicine, although half worry that care could be of lower quality.

A tiny new study finds that doctors can predict which patients will do well on chemotherapy by looking at activity data from their fitness trackers. Those who are non-sedentary more than 60 hours per week seem to require fewer hospitalizations and ED visits.

Newly published research finds that many cancer patients could safely skip chemo and surgery without affecting their survival, including eliminating chemotherapy after surgery for early-stage breast cancer. 

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Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center (TX) temporarily suspends its heart transplant program following publication of investigative reports calling out patient deaths and surgeon turnover. Meanwhile, the hospital’s chief of staff says in a Houston Chronicle opinion piece that “these journalists will need to have a contingency plan to go to Europe or maybe the Cayman Islands” if they need cardiac care after the authors noted the high death rates of heart surgeon Bud Frazier, MD even though the hospital itself had found problems with his work years ago.

Apple announces Digital Health, which despite the name, is an app to help consumers wean themselves off their electronic devices by limiting their time online. Google has introduced a similar feature in its Android operating system that records the time spent within each app and allows the user to set time limits.

In France, two doctors face disciplinary action after getting into a fistfight in an OR after an anesthesiologist complains about having to work after 4:00 p.m. because the urologist’s case ran over. The anesthesiologist says the urologist threw a bottle of Betadine in his face, with the latter then going after the urologist with surgical scissors. They continued their fracas in the OR dressing room afterward, when the urologist is alleged to have smacked the anesthesiologist in the face with his computer bag, shattering his eye socket and requiring a month-long recovery.


Sponsor Updates

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  • Pivot Point Consulting’s Seattle team volunteers at the Hopelink food bank.
  • Netsmart will exhibit at the NAPHSIS – Vital Records Annual Conference June 4 in Miami.
  • Datica lists its milestones attained as it reaches its fifth anniversary.
  • Clinical Computer Systems, developer of the Obix Perinatal Data System, will exhibit at the Epic Michigan User Group Conference June 5 in Ypsilanti.
  • OmniSys will exhibit at PioneerRx Connect June 7-10 in Nashville.
  • Meditech will host  its 5.x/6.0 Revenue Cycle Summit June 26-27 and 6.1/Expanse Revenue Cycle Summit June 28-29, both in Foxborough, MA.   
  • Quadramed will exhibit at the CHIA Convention and Exhibit June 3-6 in San Diego.
  • Wisconsin Health News features Redox CEO Luke Bonney.
  • Nordic reports that its score of 98.1 on KLAS’s “HIT Assessment & Strategic Planning 2018” report is the highest of all companies mentioned.
  • WebPT announces the speaker lineup for its annual Ascend Summit September 28-29 in Phoenix, AZ.
  • Access joins Athenahealth’s More Disruption Please program.
  • Philips Wellcentive publishes a white paper titled “Is there a business case for value-based care?”
  • ZappRx achieves HITRUST CSF Certification.
  • The SSI Group earns certification under the HHS Optimization Program Pilot of Administrative Simplification.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Mr. H, Lorre, Jenn, Dr. Jayne.
Get HIStalk updates. Send news or rumors.
Contact us.

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Events and Updates

June 3, 2018 News No Comments

Upcoming Webinars


Recorded Webinars

Sponsor Announcements

Events

Jobs

News 6/1/18

May 31, 2018 News No Comments

Top News

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Athenahealth investor ClearBridge Investments jumps on the Elliott Management bandwagon, urging the health IT company to launch sale proceedings in light of a “litany of executive turnover, misexecution on several initiatives and persistent downward trajectory of a variety of financial measures.”


Reader Comments

From Only the Lonely: "Re: Allscripts. Getting ready to drop the bomb on vast swaths of employees. If you have a total of 60 years combining age and number of years with the company, you have been given notice to accept a early retirement package or else. Numbers said to be 500+." Unverified. I can say from past experience that the company won’t comment on personnel actions, so I didn’t bother to ask. The rumored effective date is July 1.


Webinars

June 5 (Tuesday) 1:00 ET. “Increase Referrals and Patient Satisfaction with a Smarter ‘Find a Doctor’ Web Search.” Sponsors: Phynd Technologies, Healthwise. Presenters: Joseph H. Schneider, MD, MBA, FAAP, retired SVP/CHIO, Indiana University Health; Keith Belton, VP of marketing, Phynd. A recent survey found that 84 percent of patients check a hospital’s website before booking an appointment. However, ‘Find a Doctor’ search functions often frustrate them because their matching functionality is primitive and the provider’s information is incomplete or outdated. Referring physicians need similarly robust tools to find the right specialist and to send the patient to the right location. Attendees of this webinar will learn how taxonomy-driven Provider Information Management improves patient and referrer satisfaction by intelligently incorporating the provider’s location, insurance coverage, specialty and subspecialty, and services offered that can be searched via patient-friendly terms.

June 12 (Tuesday) 2:00 ET. “Blockchain in Healthcare: Why It Matters.” Sponsor: Quest Diagnostics. Presenter: Lidia Fonseca, CIO, Quest Diagnostics. Blockchain technology is gaining traction in many industries, including healthcare. It’s not only a hot topic, but is also showing promise with real-world applications. This webinar will share how blockchain may play a key role in the future of healthcare IT by helping to solve some of the industry’s challenges, distinguishing the hype from reality by discussing how it works, how it can impact healthcare providers, and its future application in healthcare IT.

June 21 (Thursday) noon ET. “Operationalizing Data Science Models in Healthcare.” Sponsor: CitiusTech. Presenters: Yugal Sharma, PhD, VP of data science, CitiusTech; Vinil Menon, VP of enterprise applications proficiency, CitiusTech. As healthcare organizations are becoming more adept at developing models, building the skills required to manage, validate, and deploy these models efficiently remains a challenging task. We define operationalization as the process of managing, validating, and deploying models within an organization. Several industry best practices, along with frameworks and technology solutions, exist to address this challenge. An understanding of this space and current state of the art is crucial to ensure efficient use and consumption of these models for relevant stakeholders in the organization. This webinar will give an introduction and overview of these key areas, along with examples and case studies to demonstrate the value of various best practices in the healthcare industry.

Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre for information.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Withings co-founder Eric Carreel plans to sell the Nokia Health (née Withings) products he re-acquired earlier this year, and to relaunch the Withings brand by the end of 2018. The company still employs 200 at its headquarters in France.

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Omada Health becomes the largest Diabetes Prevention Program provider to achieve full recognition status from the CDC. Founded in 2011, the company has raised $126 million to develop and market a technology-based diabetes management program for employers and payers.

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Ovulation-tracking wearable company Ava raises $30 million in a Series B round, bringing its total raised to just over $45 million.

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Madison, WI-based Propeller Health secures $20 million in a funding round led by Aptar Pharma. With help from Aptar, Propeller Health plans to scale its digital therapeutics beyond its core chronic respiratory disease market.


People

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Voalte hires Keith DeYoung (Wolters Kluwer Health) as VP of sales.

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Alan Stein, MD (Hewlett-Packard) joins medication risk management technology vendor Tabula Rasa Healthcare as SVP of healthcare analytics.


Announcements and Implementations

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After a successful pilot last year during Hurricane Harvey, UTHealth’s (TX) physician group will offer the Babyscripts prenatal remote monitoring app to all of its pregnant patients.

Premier launches a new collaborative to help health systems navigate physician practice acquisitions.

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Robin Healthcare announces GA of an Alexa-like device for orthopedics and other specialties that uses machine learning and natural-language processing to capture physician notes and add them to the EHR.

Fitango Health develops care management and patient engagement software for oncologists.

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Hyland debuts new enterprise imaging solutions including PACSgear Image Link Encounter Workflow and upgrades to its NilRead enterprise viewer.

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Samsung will embed video visit and symptom checker capabilities from Babylon Health within its Health app on Galaxy devices sold in the UK. Babylon, which powers the NHS “GP at Hand” telemedicine service, hopes the deal will propel it beyond British borders should Samsung decide to expand the partnership beyond the UK.


Sales

  • Capital Regional Medical Center (MO) selects Infor’s CloudSuite Healthcare and Cloverleaf Clinical Bridge software.

Privacy and Security

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Several Aultman Hospital (OH) employees fall prey to an email phishing scam, resulting in a late-March data breach that potentially exposed patient medical record, driver’s license, and Social Security numbers.


Other

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This article highlights the blind-like trust consumers put into Ancestry.com’s DNA testing services, despite the secretive nature of what the Utah-based company does with biological samples after it sends customers their ethnicity profiles. Ancestry has expanded its DNA database to include samples from over 5 million people, and won’t reveal where it stores the DNA or how long it will be kept. “Right now they see the benefit as being able to have cocktail-party conversation about their genetic makeup,” says former FDA commissioner Peter Pitts, who now heads up the nonprofit Center for Medicine in the Public Interest. “They aren’t thinking about the risks of giving up their personal information, and the long-term implications.”

A literature review of HIE studies finds that community HIEs do indeed reduce healthcare utilization and associated costs, especially in the areas of duplicate procedures and imaging. The finding contradicts a 2015 study that found few HIE benefits in similar areas.

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Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, MD becomes the first active NFL player to graduate from medical school. The Kansas City Chiefs right guard hopes to add his new honorific to the back of his jersey.

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A study conducted by researchers at the University of Virginia using software from National Decision Support Co. finds that radiology trainees are more apt to select appropriate imaging studies when aided by clinical decision support technology from within an EHR. CDS utilization in turn helped to reduce unnecessary imaging and related costs.

A KLAS report on HIT assessment and strategic planning recognizes Nordic as the top overall performer.

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Weird News Andy points out that high-profile donors don’t guarantee great outcomes: An elderly dementia patient is found dead in the stairwell of the Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital’s power plant. The woman had gone missing from a nearby mental health facility 10 days before. The hospital experienced a similar tragedy in 2013, when a patient was found dead in a stairwell two days after being admitted.


Sponsor Updates

  • Medicomp Systems publishes a new infographic, “Phoenix Children’s By The Numbers: Enhancing Patient Care, Increasing Physician Productivity, and Saving Big with Medicomp’s Quippe.”
  • A.T. Still University of Health Sciences will use Aprima’s EHR as part of its grant-funded falls risk assessment and prevention program for older adults.
  • EClinicalWorks will exhibit at Digestive Disease Week 2018 June 2-5 in Washington, DC.
  • FormFast will exhibit at the California Health Information Association Convention & Exhibit June 2-6 in San Diego.
  • Healthwise will exhibit at the Cerner North Atlantic Regional User Group Meeting June 4-6 in Grantville, PA.
  • Impact Advisors promotes Kevin Gately to principal advisor and Molly Ekelof to senior advisor.
  • With help from Engage, Island Hospital (WA) wraps up initial implementation of Meditech Expanse.
  • Gainsight recognizes Imprivata for customer success excellence.
  • In New Zealand, MercyAscot selects the InterSystems TrakCare EHR.
  • Mobile Heartbeat VP of Professional Services James Webb will speak at Cisco Live US 2018 on June 13 in Orlando.
  • CTG consolidates several of its enterprise information management services into a single solution dubbed EIM Advantage.
  • Salesforce invests in Virsys12, a healthcare-focused Salesforce implementation and consulting company.
  • Datica celebrates its fifth anniversary as a cloud-based compliance and security company.
  • The SSI Group achieves HHS Optimization Program Pilot of Administrative Simplification certification.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Mr. H, Lorre, Jenn, Dr. Jayne.
Get HIStalk updates. Send news or rumors.
Contact us.

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Morning Headlines 5/31/18

May 30, 2018 News No Comments

Healthcare startup Qliance files for bankruptcy, lists more than 100 creditors — including CEO’s new company

Membership-based primary care company Qliance Medical Management files for bankruptcy after abruptly shutting its doors last year.

Manhattan Doctor Sues Patient For $1 Million For Posting Negative Reviews Online

Joon Song, MD of New York Robotic Gynecology & Women’s Health sues patient Michelle Levine for $1 million in damages plus legal fees after she posted negative reviews on Healthgrades, Yelp, and Zocdoc.

Next time you buy a TV at Best Buy, you may be also offered health care

Best Buy looks into offering seniors aging-in-place technologies and services as part of a potential push into healthcare.

VA Announces New Acting Secretary, Retirement of Deputy Secretary

VA Chief of Staff Peter O’Rourke takes over as acting VA secretary from Robert Wilkie, who has returned to his position within the DoD while he waits out the VA secretary nomination process.

News 5/30/18

May 29, 2018 News 20 Comments

Top News

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Providence St. Joseph Health publishes a state-specific online advance directive toolkit and customizes its EHR to store the advance directives of its patients.

Patient wishes will be displayed via the EHR — along with goals-of-care conversations — to clinicians. The EHR will also send an alert to the physician if treatments are ordered that conflict with the patient’s desires.

Clinicians will also prescribe videos and other resources to help patients understand their end-of-life options in a partnership with the non-profit foundation ACP Decisions.

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The project is being led by the health system’s Institute for Human Caring, which also offers “Get to Know Me” posters that it hopes will “deliver patients from anonymity.” 

The 20 members of the IHC team include technical experts Matthew Gonzales, MD (CMIO), Shahrooz Govahi (data scientist), and Paul Park (senior clinical data analyst).


Reader Comments

From Closed Doors: “Re: [vendor CEO’s name omitted]. Making headlines for attacking his former wife.” Sorry, but this isn’t news despite the reporting tabloid’s eagerness to pass it off as such and lazy parroting of the irrelevant story by other publications. The rag dug up divorce custody documents that are more than 10 years old and pressed the former couple for comments, both of whom admirably said they regret the way their divorce unfolded. Family stuff that has nothing to do with business should be off limits even if you are a public figure. Staying solvent as a newspaper or news site apparently means dumbing down content to the time-wasting drivel that Americans are anxious to read on their phones while sitting on the toilet, which is exactly where this story belongs. At some point your conscience needs to kick in, thus I won’t be part of it.

From Spurious Emission: “Re: poll. You didn’t offer your reaction to Zane Burke’s claim that the DoD report was competitor-instigated ‘fake news.’” I thought it was one of the stupidest things he could have blurted out on the record. It made the company look belligerently whiny instead of humbly grateful after winning a no-bid, $10 billion government contract. It also invites unflattering comparisons to thin-skinned others who define “fake news” as anything they wish had been kept secret. That plus suing a customer / prospect for voting to replace Cerner with Epic recalls the low points of the increasingly desperate Tullman regime at Allscripts before it was overthrown. I assume Burke was passed over in favor of his new, oddly experienced boss Brent Shafer, which might be a friction point for both sides that would encourage treading cautiously.

From Gene Parmesan: “Re: Cerner. We all assume the unnamed competitor was Epic that Zane was bitching about, but what if it was CliniComp, which sues everybody in sight for threatening its federal government revenue stream?” That’s an interesting thought. I don’t know if CliniComp has enough DoD juice to have had some influence over the MHS Genesis pilot project report. Anyone want to weigh in, or for that matter, to speculate on what the heck Zane was talking about?

From NoHorseInThisRace: “Re: CMS forcing hospitals to publish their charge masters. There actually is one way in which the charge master is immediately relevant and could impact consumer choice if made public – taxes. While no one will actually pay the CM rate even out of pocket, the IRS considers any debt forgiveness as taxable income. Therefore if a low-income consumer who’s likely to receive forgiveness has a choice between two hospitals — one that lists a knee replacement at $18,000 on the CM and one that lists it at $57,000 — the consumer would be well advised to select the former (assuming care metrics are roughly equal). At the end of the day, publishing CM isn’t going to be a cure-all (pun intended) for our cost woes, but it’s a start.”


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

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Please sign up again if you’ve stopped getting your HIStalk email updates, which long-time readers report several to me times each week. I’ve noticed that quite a few emails have been suddenly been bouncing back as undeliverable. Rejecting the emails in significant numbers are the mail servers of Allscripts, Athenahealth, the former Carefusion, the former Carolinas Healthcare, Cerner, Epic, HIMSS, Medhost, Medicity, Meditech, and Nuance. There’s no downside to entering your email again if you aren’t sure – you won’t get multiple copies regardless.

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Here’s a post-holiday reminder to consider contributing your thoughts to this week’s “Wish I’d known” question. Maybe Zane Burke will chime in.

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Sunday will be HIStalk’s 15th birthday, which is hard for me to comprehend. Back in June 2003:

  • 50 Cent’s “In da Club” and “21 Questions” topped the charts
  • The final episode of “Dawson’s Creek” had just aired
  • Martha Stewart was indicted for insider trading
  • Most of the useful health IT news came from snail-mailed newsletters like “Inside Healthcare Computing” and “HIS Insider” that were far better than most industry websites then and now
  • The HIMSS conference had just been held in San Diego and the short-lived HIMSS Summer Conference was getting underway in Chicago (before one last, hot gasp the next year in Las Vegas)
  • Epic reached 800 employees and signed Kaiser Permanente in a $4 billion project just 18 months after it expanded from ambulatory-only to inpatient

I needed a distraction from my unsatisfying health system IT leadership job and decided that jotting down my industry thoughts each day would keep me sharp as I scouted for something better. I finally found that job in mid-2005, after which I decided that I should stop screwing around with HIStalk after two years (and no benefit beyond my own satisfaction) and focus instead on staying employed, which I reconsidered when I realized I had nothing else going on after work anyway. I’m still here as a case study of the “80 percent of success is showing up” model. If you’ve been a reader since 2003, tell me how you found the site and why you’ve spent a significant chunk of your life with me.


Webinars

June 5 (Tuesday) 1:00 ET. “Increase Referrals and Patient Satisfaction with a Smarter ‘Find a Doctor’ Web Search.” Sponsors: Phynd Technologies, Healthwise. Presenters: Joseph H. Schneider, MD, MBA, FAAP, retired SVP/CHIO, Indiana University Health; Keith Belton, VP of marketing, Phynd. A recent survey found that 84 percent of patients check a hospital’s website before booking an appointment. However, ‘Find a Doctor’ search functions often frustrate them because their matching functionality is primitive and the provider’s information is incomplete or outdated. Referring physicians need similarly robust tools to find the right specialist and to send the patient to the right location. Attendees of this webinar will learn how taxonomy-driven Provider Information Management improves patient and referrer satisfaction by intelligently incorporating the provider’s location, insurance coverage, specialty and subspecialty, and services offered that can be searched via patient-friendly terms.

June 12 (Tuesday) 2:00 ET. “Blockchain in Healthcare: Why It Matters.” Sponsor: Quest Diagnostics. Presenter: Lidia Fonseca, CIO, Quest Diagnostics. Blockchain technology is gaining traction in many industries, including healthcare. It’s not only a hot topic, but is also showing promise with real-world applications. This webinar will share how blockchain may play a key role in the future of healthcare IT by helping to solve some of the industry’s challenges, distinguishing the hype from reality by discussing how it works, how it can impact healthcare providers, and its future application in healthcare IT.

June 21 (Thursday) noon ET. “Operationalizing Data Science Models in Healthcare.” Sponsor: CitiusTech. Presenters: Yugal Sharma, PhD, VP of data science, CitiusTech; Vinil Menon, VP of enterprise applications proficiency, CitiusTech. As healthcare organizations are becoming more adept at developing models, building the skills required to manage, validate, and deploy these models efficiently remains a challenging task. We define operationalization as the process of managing, validating, and deploying models within an organization. Several industry best practices, along with frameworks and technology solutions, exist to address this challenge. An understanding of this space and current state of the art is crucial to ensure efficient use and consumption of these models for relevant stakeholders in the organization. This webinar will give an introduction and overview of these key areas, along with examples and case studies to demonstrate the value of various best practices in the healthcare industry.

Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre for information.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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IBM Watson Health reportedly had big layoffs last week, with the “resource action” mostly focused on employees from its big-bet acquisitions Truven, Merge, and Phytel. You would think the machine’s claimed intelligence could have been used to predict the likelihood of acquisition success, but the technology’s capabilities are looking increasingly limited or “man behind the curtain” powered to the point that Ken Jennings must be embarrassed to have been beaten by it on “Jeopardy.”

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Home monitoring technology vendor ResMed will acquire HealthcareFirst.

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New Zealand-based Orion Health is discussing the sale of all or part of the company with unnamed parties, reports suggest.


Sales

  • Adventist Health chooses HCTec to provide Cerner and Epic application managed services for its Oregon hospitals.
  • The Medical Center of Southeast Texas (TX) chooses Ascom’s nurse call, smartphones, mobile handsets, and Unite software.

People

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Pharmacy management and software vendor PharmaPoint hires Bobby Middleton (McKesson) as VP of product operations.

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Benton Barney (Wolters Kluwer Health) joins prescribing decision support vendor RxRevu as SVP of strategic partnerships.

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Shaun Priest (Streamline Health) joins Clearwave as chief revenue officer.

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Michael Brozino (7th Wave Ventures)  joins IScript as CEO.


Announcements and Implementations

In Canada, South Okanagan General Hospital goes live with DrFirst’s MedHx electronic patient medication history service, integrated with Meditech and British Columbia’s prescription network.


Other

Duke University researchers use artificial intelligence to analyze keystrokes to determine whether a computer user’s slow mouse scrolling and errant clicks might suggest early symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

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Otswego Memorial Hospital (MI) fires an orthopedic surgeon after he is charged with cocaine possession, carrying an unlicensed firearm, and hiring a prostitute online. [insert the obligatory “where do you hide a $20 bill from an orthopedic surgeon” joke here]

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The New York Times questions why the US spends so little on public health efforts that often pay for themselves given the massive amount spent on healthcare services, concluding that: (a) companies can’t make money from it; (b) the government focuses on projects that offer more immediate benefits; and (c) people resent being told what to do even when it’s in their best interest.

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Craig Hospital (CO) describes its occupational therapy department’s use of adaptive gaming in the rehabilitation programs of patients with brain and spinal cord injuries. The hospital modified game controllers, undertook trials of commercially available adaptive controllers, and used the accessibility features of games – including sip-and-puff devices, voice controllers, and modified buttons – to help patients increase strength, balance, dexterity, and endurance.

AI did a better job than dermatologists in distinguishing malignant melanomas from benign ones, researchers find.

The New York Times says health policy experts are insisting that taxpayers are paying twice for expensive new drugs – once in funding the drug’s development (via NIH grants) and then again when the drug hits the market at prices of up to hundreds of thousands of dollars. NIH did most of the work to develop the cervical cancer vaccine Gardasil and then licensed it to Merck, which sold more than $2 billion worth last year alone.


Sponsor Updates

  • DrFirst is exhibiting at MUSE this week.
  • Meditech announces that its Physician and CIO Forum will be held October 17-18 in Foxborough, MA.
  • Aprima will exhibit at the Association Professional Sleep Societies Annual Meeting June 4-6 in Baltimore.
  • Bluetree Network Analytics Specialists Matt Kesler and Erik Sederstrom contribute to the new book, “Clinical Analytics and Data Management for the DNP.”
  • Bernoulli Health, Burwood Group, and Centrak will exhibit at the AAMI 2018 Conference & Expo June 1-4 in Long Beach, CA.
  • Carevive will present and exhibit at the ASCO Annual Meeting June 1-5 in Chicago.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Mr. H, Lorre, Jenn, Dr. Jayne.
Get HIStalk updates. Send news or rumors.
Contact us.

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Monday Morning Update 5/28/18

May 27, 2018 News 12 Comments

Top News

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A Massachusetts urologist files a whistle-blower lawsuit against Steward Health Care, claiming that the venture capital-owned hospital operator not only pressured him to refer patients only within the health system, but also strong-armed his patients directly and cancelled their appointments his office had made for them at competing hospitals.

Steward then terminated the surgical privileges of Stephen Zappala, MD, claiming his patient care was substandard.

The company’s attorney said in a court hearing that policies intended to reduce network leakage are common, earning the judge’s contempt for using the “all the other kids are doing it” excuse. He argued that patients were not harmed since the the doctor sent them to the providers he felt were best for them, thus making his whistle-blower claims invalid.

Cerberus Capital’s holdings, other than Steward, include the Albertsons grocery chain, Staples, Avon, and defense contractor DynCorp.


Reader Comments

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From Tracking Man: “Re: Awarepoint. The RTLS company has apparently shut down operations. The website is down.” I can only verify that the website is not displaying pages – executive LinkedIn profiles remain unchanged and the 800 sales number still gives a PBX recording. I’ve emailed CEO Tim Roche without a response so far. 

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From Communal Well: “Re: pricing transparency. Do you know of any health systems that have taken action on CMS’s FY19 rule requiring them to publish standard prices on the Internet? Do patients understand that charges aren’t the same as patient responsibility?” I don’t think CMS-1694-P has been approved yet and won’t take effect until January 1, 2019 in any case, so I doubt hospitals have done anything. It would require them to publicly post their charge masters, which sounds good only to clueless folks who think CDM prices mean something or that consumers can make constructive use of the information. Hospital charge masters are mostly indecipherable to the public, aren’t relevant to what a given patient or their insurance company will pay, and are not very useful for comparing prices among competitors. The proposed rule also won’t address the ever-increasing problem of hospitals contracting with doctors (ED, anesthesia, radiology, etc.) without requiring them to accept the same insurances, sticking patients with unexpected out-of-network charges from an in-network visit. I’m still not convinced that providers shouldn’t be forced to offer the same published price to any willing party rather than conducting secret negotiations with every insurer.

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From OneHITwonder: “Re: Practice Fusion. I created an account many moons ago just to see what all the fuss was about (I’m not even a physician) and received this today.” Practice Fusion users who don’t sign up for a paid plan by June 1, 2018 will be switched to a view-only mode, with their only option being to view, download, or print their patient records. The monthly cost is $99 for a one-clinician practice, which includes three secondary licenses (for clinicians who don’t submit claims) and an unlimited number of unlicensed staff. The Allscripts-owned company says subscribers will get new features such as 2018 MU, MIPS, and ECQM dashboards; enhanced reporting; e-prescribing of controlled substances; and advanced QI tools.

From WebinAren’t: “Re: webinars. Do people still watch them? Some sites don’t get many participants.” We get a good number of registrants in those cases where the presenter listens to my suggestions about a choosing a broadly interesting and non-pitchy topic, a snappy title, a concise write-up, good speakers (preferably not all from the vendor side), and a sign-up form that contains few required fields. I postulate that the no-show rate, at least in our case, is because registrants know we post the full webinar on YouTube for any-time, any-place viewing afterward. Most of our webinars have had at least 200 YouTube views (some have thousands) and our channel has more than 500 subscribers, so some folks certainly are participating.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

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Most poll respondents think Cerner was the VA’s best choice, but they would have advised the VA to wait to see how the DoD’s rollout goes before signing a contract. Cosmos says it’s going to be hard and expensive for the VA and DoD to be simultaneously competing for experts from Cerner and consulting firms, while Matthew Holt thinks it’s the worst time to be buying an EHR because lipsticked, non-cloud based products will be passé in the next 5-10 years and waiting it out on VistA would have been smarter.

New poll to your right or here: What was your reaction to Cerner calling DoD’s analysis of its Cerner pilot sites competitor-aided “fake news?”

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Thanks to the thoughtful folks who provided answers to my question of “What I Wish I’d Known Before … Taking My First Job Managing People.”

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This week’s question is timely. I’m all ears.

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Monday is Memorial Day, set aside to honor those one million US Armed Forces members who died while serving, many of them teenagers whose parents never got to see them grow up. Their sacrifice allows you the luxury of having a fun-filled long weekend free of contemplating that it was made possible by those who made the ultimate sacrifice on your behalf or feeling empathy for the families who experienced their loss, but it would be nice if you did anyway.

Things I learned about the increasingly competitive streaming landscape when playing around with the Roku this weekend, seeking an alternative to the frustratingly clunky, slow Pandora user interface:

  • It’s at least a little bit easier to navigate Pandora by installing the Roku app on my Android phone and then using it instead of the remote, especially when typing text (ditto for Netflix)
  • Roku competitor Amazon (which sells Fire TV) doesn’t enable Prime Music streaming on its Roku channel, making it pretty much worthless for me as a Prime benefit since I stream only from the Roku since it’s connected my ancient surround sound system with those VCR-type red-yellow-white RCA audio cables
  • Spotify has disabled its Roku channel, but it still works on Fire TV

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I’ve always wanted an HIStalk theme song like those of podcasts and radio shows, so I was happy that Max Yme wrote and performed a masterful prog rock instrumental for me. You can stream it from the player widget in the right margin of this page or from your player here if you’re in need of background music while reading.


Webinars

June 5 (Tuesday) 1:00 ET. “Increase Referrals and Patient Satisfaction with a Smarter ‘Find a Doctor’ Web Search.” Sponsors: Phynd Technologies, Healthwise. Presenters: Joseph H. Schneider, MD, MBA, FAAP, retired SVP/CHIO, Indiana University Health; Keith Belton, VP of marketing, Phynd. A recent survey found that 84 percent of patients check a hospital’s website before booking an appointment. However, ‘Find a Doctor’ search functions often frustrate them because their matching functionality is primitive and the provider’s information is incomplete or outdated. Referring physicians need similarly robust tools to find the right specialist and to send the patient to the right location. Attendees of this webinar will learn how taxonomy-driven Provider Information Management improves patient and referrer satisfaction by intelligently incorporating the provider’s location, insurance coverage, specialty and subspecialty, and services offered that can be searched via patient-friendly terms.

June 12 (Tuesday) 2:00 ET. “Blockchain in Healthcare: Why It Matters.” Sponsor: Quest Diagnostics. Presenter: Lidia Fonseca, CIO, Quest Diagnostics. Blockchain technology is gaining traction in many industries, including healthcare. It’s not only a hot topic, but is also showing promise with real-world applications. This webinar will share how blockchain may play a key role in the future of healthcare IT by helping to solve some of the industry’s challenges, distinguishing the hype from reality by discussing how it works, how it can impact healthcare providers, and its future application in healthcare IT.

June 21 (Thursday) noon ET. “Operationalizing Data Science Models in Healthcare.” Sponsor: CitiusTech. Presenters: Yugal Sharma, PhD, VP of data science, CitiusTech; Vinil Menon, VP of enterprise applications proficiency, CitiusTech. As healthcare organizations are becoming more adept at developing models, building the skills required to manage, validate, and deploy these models efficiently remains a challenging task. We define operationalization as the process of managing, validating, and deploying models within an organization. Several industry best practices, along with frameworks and technology solutions, exist to address this challenge. An understanding of this space and current state of the art is crucial to ensure efficient use and consumption of these models for relevant stakeholders in the organization. This webinar will give an introduction and overview of these key areas, along with examples and case studies to demonstrate the value of various best practices in the healthcare industry.

Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre for information.


Decisions

  • Memorial Hospital (IL) has gone live with Cerner supply chain management.
  • Frio Regional Hospital (TX) will switch from Evident to Athenahealth.
  • Mary Washington Healthcare (VA) will go live on Epic June 2, replacing Cerner.

These provider-reported updates are supplied by Definitive Healthcare, which offers a free trial of its powerful intelligence on hospitals, physicians, and healthcare providers.


People

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Maine’s HealthInfoNet promotes acting CEO Shaun Alfreds to the permanent position.


Announcements and Implementations

Emory Healthcare (GA) and Sharecare launch an innovation hub for “studying, creating, and implementing digital health technologies.”


Other

You will have to decide if this Politico article is a feel-good story or a depressing look at our healthcare system. A tiny, remote Kansas town turns its struggling hospital into the county’s largest employer after boosting its profitable OB business by recruiting young doctors, obtaining grants to upgrade equipment, and adding luxury birthing suites that took business away from hospitals in neighboring counties. Macroeconomically speaking, is a growing, high-employing health system a positive contributor to a given region?

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California’s medical board threatens to rescind the medical license of a 75-year-old Stanford-trained MD and homeopathic doctor who sells $5 “ERemedies,’ prescribed 13-second-long “hissing sounds” that he claims cured 36 of 37 people with malaria within four hours.

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Personal injury lawyers in Philadelphia are using geofencing technology to identify smartphone users who are in hospital EDs, then sending their devices a weeks-long string of “call if you’ve been injured” ads.

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This is a great tweet.


Contacts

Mr. H, Lorre, Jenn, Dr. Jayne.
Get HIStalk updates. Send news or rumors.
Contact us.

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News 5/25/18

May 24, 2018 News 1 Comment

Top News

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A new KLAS report on hospital EHR market share finds that:

  • 80 percent of the 216 hospitals that signed new EHR contracts in 2017 were under 200 beds in size, mostly choosing less-expensive, lower-maintenance offerings from Athenahealth, Meditech, and the community deployment models of Epic and Cerner.
  • Athenahealth earned the most small-hospital wins by far, although all were under 50 beds and the company lost 13 contracted customers that backed out before going live to return to their previous vendor, mostly CPSI.
  • Meditech had its first market share net increase in three years because of its newly named Expanse web-based product, which its migrating legacy customers chose 58 percent of the time vs. the 42 percent that went with other vendors.
  • Allscripts doubled its customer base in 2017 by acquiring McKesson’s Paragon and Horizon product lines, but finished worst in net market share change of all vendors due to already-planned migrations from those platforms as well as losing two existing large Sunrise health system customers to Epic.
  • Cerner gained the most customers overall, but also lost enough to place it behind Epic in net market share change with +29 vs. +46.
  • The one-third of US hospitals that are using CPSI, Medhost, Soarian, and legacy Meditech products are looking for replacements at a high rate.

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HIStalk Announcements and Requests

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It’s last chance time for this week’s “Wish I’d Known” question. Apparently the number of people willing to complete the form for these questions is considerably lower than those who say they love reading the answers, leading to the possibility that I’ll just allow it to cross the rainbow bridge due to lack of participation.


Webinars

June 5 (Tuesday) 1:00 ET. “Increase Referrals and Patient Satisfaction with a Smarter ‘Find a Doctor’ Web Search.” Sponsors: Phynd Technologies, Healthwise. Presenters: Joseph H. Schneider, MD, MBA, FAAP, retired SVP/CHIO, Indiana University Health; Keith Belton, VP of marketing, Phynd. A recent survey found that 84 percent of patients check a hospital’s website before booking an appointment. However, ‘Find a Doctor’ search functions often frustrate them because their matching functionality is primitive and the provider’s information is incomplete or outdated. Referring physicians need similarly robust tools to find the right specialist and to send the patient to the right location. Attendees of this webinar will learn how taxonomy-driven Provider Information Management improves patient and referrer satisfaction by intelligently incorporating the provider’s location, insurance coverage, specialty and subspecialty, and services offered that can be searched via patient-friendly terms.

June 12 (Tuesday) 2:00 ET. “Blockchain in Healthcare: Why It Matters.” Sponsor: Quest Diagnostics. Presenter: Lidia Fonseca, CIO, Quest Diagnostics. Blockchain technology is gaining traction in many industries, including healthcare. It’s not only a hot topic, but is also showing promise with real-world applications. This webinar will share how blockchain may play a key role in the future of healthcare IT by helping to solve some of the industry’s challenges, distinguishing the hype from reality by discussing how it works, how it can impact healthcare providers, and its future application in healthcare IT.

June 21 (Thursday) noon ET. “Operationalizing Data Science Models in Healthcare.” Sponsor: CitiusTech. Presenters: Yugal Sharma, PhD, VP of data science, CitiusTech; Vinil Menon, VP of enterprise applications proficiency, CitiusTech. As healthcare organizations are becoming more adept at developing models, building the skills required to manage, validate, and deploy these models efficiently remains a challenging task. We define operationalization as the process of managing, validating, and deploying models within an organization. Several industry best practices, along with frameworks and technology solutions, exist to address this challenge. An understanding of this space and current state of the art is crucial to ensure efficient use and consumption of these models for relevant stakeholders in the organization. This webinar will give an introduction and overview of these key areas, along with examples and case studies to demonstrate the value of various best practices in the healthcare industry.

Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre for information.

Here’s the recording of this week’s webinar, “Converting Consumers Into Patients: Strategies for Creating Engaging Digital Experiences People Demand.”


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Epic responds to the Illinois Procurement Board about Cerner’s claim that a conflict of interest was involved in University of Illinois-Chicago’s September 2017 choice of Epic over Cerner. Epic founder and CEO Judy Faulkner said in a May 21 letter forwarded to me by a reader that:

  • Cerner’s claim of a conflict of interest doesn’t involve Epic but instead seems to reference Impact Advisors, which UIC engages for help with technology projects. Epic says Impact Advisors didn’t cause UIC to choose Epic, all selection committee members work for UIC, and there’s no guarantee Impact Advisors will get implementation work just because Epic is chosen. UIC has already said it will need outside help regardless of whether it picks Epic or Cerner.
  • Epic disputes Cerner’s claim that it was unfairly denied the chance to demonstrate its product, with Epic noting that Cerner’s RFP response didn’t earn the minimum threshold score required to advance to the demo phase and thus was excluded as state procurement law requires.
  • Epic disputes Cerner’s contention that Epic’s $62 million proposal did not include implementation services. It says the RFPs listed UIC’s total implementation cost at $151 million for Epic vs. $154 million for Cerner. It also cites KLAS customer surveys in which Cerner gets a poor rating for nickel and diming its customers.
  • Epic says its system is better, noting that 94 percent of US News & World Report hospitals use Epic and KLAS has ranked it #1 for eight years. It also notes that Epic has most of the Illinois health system EHR business and that “many Cerner systems are not able to interoperate.”
  • Epic cites numbers saying that many health systems have replaced Cerner with Epic, also observing that Epic has never been sued by a customer or has sued a customer, while Cerner has been sued by several of its users.
  • Epic notes that “UI Health has used both Epic and Cerner, so the health system has experience with each vendor and with each vendor’s products.”

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Prescription affordability and adherence solutions vendor ConnectiveRx acquires The Macaluso Group, a tech-enabled prescription benefits company based in Fairfield, NJ. This is the second acquisition for ConnectiveRx, which is also based in New Jersey. It bought competitor Careform in November 2017.

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The tit for tat between Athenahealth and Elliott Management continues, with the investment fund sending yet another letter — peppered with quotes from analysts in favor of a sale — pressuring the EHR company to take its buyout offer seriously. Athenahealth reps have fired back with a letter of their own, stressing (testily, if you read between the lines) that they will take their time in reviewing Elliott’s offer. They also made it clear that Elliott’s prior offer was deemed by the board to not be in the best interest of shareholders.


Announcements and Implementations

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Global health research network TriNetX announces GA of new analytics tools for epidemiologists and clinical researchers conducting observational and outcomes studies.

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South Georgia Medical Center integrates Patientco’s new payment terminals with its Epic system.

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In England, The Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust implements Allscripts Sunrise across its three hospitals.

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KT, South Korea’s largest telecommunications provider, will install a telemedicine system on the trans-Siberian railway and connect six hospitals managed by state-owned Russian Railway to clinicians at Seoul National University Bundang Hospital. The railway, which involves a seven-day journey, will be equipped with blood and urine diagnostic equipment, ultrasonography, a mobile EHR, and AI-powered chest x-ray interpretation.

Meditech partners with DrFirst, Imprivata, and Forward Advantage to add e-prescribing for controlled substances to its EHR software.


People

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Gilad Kuperman, MD, PhD (New York-Presbyterian Hospital) joins Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center as associate chief health informatics officer.

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Consulting firm Evergreen Healthcare Partners hires Erica Neher (Kno2) as managing partner and VP of advisory services.


Government and Politics

The Senate passes the VA Mission Act, a $55 billion bill that will give vets more leeway to see private-sector providers, expand family caregiver stipends, and mandate a review of aging facilities. President Trump is expected to sign the bill soon.


Other

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Reaction Data looks at the five big health systems that are starting their own non-profit generic drug manufacturing company in an effort called Project RX. Sixty percent of provider respondents weren’t aware of the project, but 90 percent said customers will flock to it. Drug company respondents were negative, saying the health systems would be better off negotiating more aggressively with existing generic drug manufacturers. Payers are skeptical, predicting that hospitals will just keep whatever cost savings they generate without benefiting patients.

Kaiser Permanente researchers find that the combined information from EHRs and standard depression questionnaires predicts 90-day suicide rates better then PCP or mental health visits. The strongest predictors include prior suicide attempts, diagnoses of mental health issues or substance abuse, medical diagnoses, prescriptions for psychiatric drugs, hospital encounters, and depression questionnaire scores.

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In an effort to separate the wheat from the chaff of the 250,000-plus mobile health apps now available for download, researchers at Bond University in Australia find only 23 published reports on evidence-based app effectiveness, leading them to conclude that just a tiny fraction of the apps are suitable for prescription by a doctor.

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Penn Medicine Center for Health Care Innovation reps advocate for adding social media update-like feeds to EHRs to keep better tabs on the status of patients in real time. “We’ve been treating the electronic health record as a communal trough of information that we all have to sift through when we don’t do that in any other part of our lives,” they write. “If you can subscribe to feeds about a football team, why can’t you subscribe to Mrs. Jones in room 328?”

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A policy brief from the Network for Excellence in Health Innovation addresses data-based gaps that hinder the treatment of patients with chronic or acute pain. Recommendations for policy makers include:

  • Making state-based PDMPs more interoperable.
  • Including federal opioid prescribing guidelines in all EHRs and clinical decision support systems.
  • Amending regulations as necessary to increase the use of e-prescribing for controlled substances.

A Datica survey finds that compliance, security, and privacy are top concerns for hospital CIOs contemplating cloud-based health IT purchases.

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In the New Yorker, sociologist Allison Pugh takes issue with findings that show patients are more apt to be truthful about symptoms and concerns when speaking to avatars rather than with live caregivers. While AI may be better than nothing in some cases, she points out that patients will eventually slide into apathy if they don’t receive motivating pushback from human healthcare professionals.


Sponsor Updates

  • Coinciding with the grand opening of its new 61-story office tower at its campus in San Francisco, Salesforce donates $1.5 million to the Hamilton Families Heading Home Initiative.
  • Elsevier Clinical Solutions publishes a new white paper, “Shaping Longitudinal Care Plans for the Future of Healthcare.”
  • Medical Laboratory Observer profiles Ellkay CIO Kamal Patel.
  • EClinicalWorks posts a customer success story for The Door Adolescent Health Center in New York City.
  • Leidos Health publishes a white paper titled “Creating Clinical Value: 4 Steps to Drive Change And Improve Care.”
  • Hospital Association of Southern California will offer Collective Medical’s network and EDie care collaboration tool to its members.
  • Formativ Health wins a Silver Stevie Award for Startup of the Year.
  • FormFast will exhibit at the E-Health 2018 Conference and Tradeshow May 27-30 in Vancouver.
  • Iatric Systems, Imprivata, Intelligent Medical Objects, LogicStream Health, PatientSafe Solutions, PatientKeeper, Santa Rosa Consulting, The SSI Group, and Clinical Computer Systems, developer of the Obix Perinatal Data System, will exhibit at the International MUSE Conference May 29-June 1 in Orlando.
  • Black Book recognizes Impact Advisors as a top-ranking supplier for cybersecurity advisory and consulting services in its annual cybersecurity survey.
  • HITRUST certifies TransUnion Healthcare’s EScan Insurance Discovery Solution for information security.
  • Black Book names Fortified Health Security as the top cybersecurity services and solutions vendor in its medical device and IoT category.
  • Logicworks achieves HITRUST CSF Certification.
  • Medecision acquires transformational change firm Aveus.
  • Meditech reports a strong finish to 2017 and continued growth in 2018.
  • Netsmart will exhibit at the FHPCA Forum May 31 in Orlando.
  • AllMeds adds NVoq’s SayIt speech-recognition software to its EHR.
  • For the fifth year in a row, Securance Consulting awards CloudWave a Best Practice rating for its OpSus Live cloud-based infrastructure.
  • Visage Imaging will exhibit at SIIM 2018 May 31-June 2 in National Harbor, MD.
  • Vocera CFO Justin Spencer will present at the Craig Hallum Annual Institutional Investors Conference May 30 in Minneapolis.
  • WebPT publishes a new guide on ensuring optimal patient care while reducing costs and hospital admission rates.
  • Wolters Kluwer Health announces a publishing partnership with the American Urological Association.
  • Solutionreach takes the Parity Pledge to improve leadership pathways for women.
  • Divurgent announces its support for CHIME’s Opioid Task Force.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Mr. H, Lorre, Jenn, Dr. Jayne.
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News 5/23/18

May 22, 2018 News 8 Comments

Top News

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A New York Times article says that hospital EHRs are a “medical records mess” that impede research efforts because of incompatible data formats and the reluctance of health systems to share their patient data.

The creator of the Metastatic Breast Cancer Project says that genetic tumor analysis is easy compared to manually reviewing hospital charts that are always delivered as paper copies or faxes. He also noted that health systems ignore the patient-approved medical records requests more than 50 percent of the time.

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The article notes that six-year-old oncology EHR and data vendor Flatiron Health – sold to drug maker Roche for $1.9 billion early 2018 by its 31- and 32-year old co-founders — has published the de-identified hospital records of 2.2 million cancer patients, but it took 900 nurses and tumor registrars to extract the 50 percent of required data elements that were stored as unstructured text.


Reader Comments

From Martin Shkreli: “Re: blockchain. This article has a good explanation of blockchain and health IT.” The article offers a balanced and easily read overview of blockchain and its potential uses. The author, who is a Bitcoin developer, concludes that the decentralized nature of blockchain comes with high costs and lack of scalability that make the “slow, expensive database” unsuitable for nearly everything except as currency and for feeding hype to investors:

This naturally means that the software or database must not change things around often, if at all. There should be little upside to upgrading and much downside to screwing up or changing the rules. Most industries are not like this. Most industries require new features or upgrades and the freedom to change and expand as necessary. Given that blockchains are hard to upgrade, hard to change, and hard to scale, most industries don’t have much use for a blockchain. The one exception we’ve found is money.

From Tonsorial Advances: “Re: Epic. Judy once hinted during a staff meeting that it would offer billing services. It was followed by a slide showing Cerner’s much higher services revenue. That is probably where the rumor you were sent came from, since an RCM acquisition might make sense.”


Webinars

May 24 (Thursday) 1:00 ET. “Converting Consumers into Patients: Strategies for Creating Engaging Digital Experiences People Demand.” Sponsor: Healthwise. Presenters: Antonia Chappell, director of consumer solutions, Healthwise; Josh Schlaich, senior product manager, Healthwise. Nearly three-quarters of US adults use a digital channel to manage their health and the internet to track down health information. It’s clear that consumers have come to expect online interactions as an integral part of their overall patient experience. In fact, the Internet may be the first way people come in contact with your organization. They have more choice than ever on where to get healthcare services, and their decisions are increasingly influenced by how well organizations connect with them in the digital space. This webinar will show you how to create engaging digital and web experiences that convert casual consumers into patients and keep them satisfied throughout their entire patient journey.

June 5 (Tuesday) 1:00 ET. “Increase Referrals and Patient Satisfaction with a Smarter ‘Find a Doctor’ Web Search.” Sponsors: Phynd Technologies, Healthwise. Presenters: Joseph H. Schneider, MD, MBA, FAAP, retired SVP/CHIO, Indiana University Health; Keith Belton, VP of marketing, Phynd. A recent survey found that 84 percent of patients check a hospital’s website before booking an appointment. However, ‘Find a Doctor’ search functions often frustrate them because their matching functionality is primitive and the provider’s information is incomplete or outdated. Referring physicians need similarly robust tools to find the right specialist and to send the patient to the right location. Attendees of this webinar will learn how taxonomy-driven Provider Information Management improves patient and referrer satisfaction by intelligently incorporating the provider’s location, insurance coverage, specialty and subspecialty, and services offered that can be searched via patient-friendly terms.

Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre for information.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Patient communication and appointment management system vendor Luma Health raises $6.3 million in a Series A funding round, increasing its total to $9.7 million.

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Doctor house call provider Heal raises $20 million in funding, increasing its total to $69 million. The service operates from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. in parts of California and Washington, DC, with house calls covered by some insurance plans or $99 otherwise. Singer Lionel Richie is a company investor and pitchman.

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Athenahealth’s second-largest shareholder — London-based Janus Henderson Investors, which owns 11.9 percent of the company — urges Athenahealth’s board to put the company up for sale. Meanwhile, Deutsche Bank thinks the company is worth $170 per share, but warns that the company’s suitor, activist investor Elliott Management, takes a long time to close deals. ATHN shares rose slightly Tuesday to around $154.

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The US Supreme Court sides with Epic and two other companies in finding that mandatory employee arbitration and non-disclosure agreements are enforceable, meaning employees may not organize together to file workplace-related class action lawsuits.


Sales

  • Columbus Regional Healthcare System (NC) chooses Cerner Millennium via the CommunityWorks hosted model.
  • Australia’s NSW Health names Sectra as its preferred RIS/PACS vendor.

People

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Todd Plesko (Vocera) joins Management Health Solutions as CEO.

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HHS CTO Bruce Greenstein joins home health provider LHC Group as chief innovation and technology officer.


Announcements and Implementations

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InstaMed announces Engage, a patient app that allows patients to check in for visits via Bluetooth beacon alerts or text messaging, view benefit information, pay for services with a digital wallet, and enroll in payment plans. 

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Adventist Health System joins Florida HIE’s Encounter Notification Service to monitor out-of-network admissions, facilitate transfers, and plan discharges, The services is operated in partnership with Audacious Inquiry.

A Black Book survey of 900 physician organization finds that medical practices are moving to value-based care instead of selling out to health systems, with two-thirds of practices with 10 or more doctors planning to hire consultants in the next year to help them transform their operations. Nearly all respondents say they need outside help with implementing value-based care and population health management as well as choosing new software needed for those efforts.

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A new KLAS report finds that most organizations are missing at least some elements of a mature enterprise imaging strategy in the categories of IT support and funding, the ability to electronically ingest images, defining an encounter-based imaging strategy, and applying strong governance. Most of those that have deployed a VNA and universal viewer are not fully meeting the four goals of image access, physician productivity, care collaboration, and data management, with customers of IBM Watson (Merge Healthcare) and Agfa performing best.

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Life Flight Network launches an Uber-like mobile app that allows hospitals and first responders to request its air ambulance transport services.

COPD disease management app vendor HGE Health partners with Change Healthcare to support population health management and improve health plan-provider communication in managing chronic conditions.


Government and Politics

The House passes a bill that would require the VA to provide Congress with regular updates on its Cerner project and to notify lawmakers promptly if it experiences contract or schedule changes, milestone delays, bid protests, or data breaches.

A federal report finds that 40 percent of Americans would have to borrow money or sell something to pay an unexpected $400 expense, which is at least better than 2013’s 50 percent. The report also says that 25 percent of people have zero retirement savings.


Privacy and Security

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A 28-year-old doctor in Nigeria is arrested for hacking into bank accounts and for creating fake payment notices to car dealers to steal cars, including an $80,000 Porsche. He says Nigerian banks are easy to hack and claims to have targeted actors such as John Travolta.

An investigation by Ireland’s data protection commissioner finds that hospitals are giving patient records to researchers without the patient’s consent. It also notes the presence of employee snooping, lack of computer audit trails, insurance companies being given full access to a patient’s medical history, and patient information being discussed in public areas where it could be overheard.


Other

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Sutter Health President and CEO Sarah Krevans addresses last week’s system downtime in a video message to employees, deeming it unacceptable that clinical services were impacted “despite all of our planning, our protocols, our investment in technology, despite our emergency systems.” Meanwhile, two anonymous Sutter Medical Center nurses say the hospital, unlike other Sutter facilities, continued to perform elective surgeries even though the surgical team did not have access to the history and physical information of patients.

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In Australia, an investigation into February’s hospital-wide power outage at Royal Adelaide Hospital finds that its facilities management company ignored erroneous low-fuel warnings from its diesel generators, not realizing that the false alarms prevented the fuel tanks from filling and caused the generators to run out of fuel during system testing.

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In England, University College London Hospitals partners with an artificial intelligence institute to explore automating ED triage, sending appointment reminders, and analyzing images for research projects.

Marketers from addiction treatment centers, which are making fortunes from treating insured opioid addicts, are joining private Facebook addiction support groups to recruit patients, sometimes posing as concerned strangers. Some have been arrested for taking kickbacks for referring patients to rehab companies. The owner of a marketing company that runs a support website sued a treatment center for unpaid patient recruitment fees totaling $700,000 in 18 months from just that single facility.

Mary Washington Healthcare (VA) reprises its outstanding, “Hamilton”-themed EHR video from last year with a sequel that celebrates its Epic go-live next week.

A Georgia plastic surgeon who refers to herself as “doctor to the stars” and who made 20 YouTube videos of herself singing and dancing over unconscious surgery patients is being sued by several patients for malpractice. Windell Davis-Boutte, MD recently settled a case in which a patient claimed to have been left with permanent brain damage after an eight-hour tummy tuck procedure. Her website claims she’s board certified in both surgery and dermatology, but state records indicate that she is certified only in dermatology.


Sponsor Updates

  • The Texas Hospital Association endorses Collective Medical’s care collaboration network for identifying and supporting complex patient populations and for manage ED usage and ED opioid prescribing.
  • Access releases ESignatures 8.0, which includes a patent-pending handoff function.
  • Meditech associate VP Larry O’Toole joins CommonWell’s board.
  • Black Book names Impact Advisors as a leading cybersecurity consulting firm.
  • Bernoulli Health will exhibit at the 108 IHI/NPSF Patient Safety Congress March 23-25 in Boston.
  • CompuGroup Medical will exhibit at COLA – Symposium for Clinical Laboratories May 30-June 2 in Miami.
  • Collective Medical Clinical Advisory Board Member Anne Zink, MD wins several ACEP awards.
  • Conduent is named to the Fortune 500 list of largest US companies.
  • The 2018 EPA National Adoption Scorecard from CoverMyMeds wins a Stevie Award for Best Annual Report.
  • Dimensional Insight will exhibit at the MUSE International Conference May 29-June 1 in Orlando.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Mr. H, Lorre, Jenn, Dr. Jayne.
Get HIStalk updates. Send news or rumors.
Contact us.

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Monday Morning Update 5/21/18

May 20, 2018 News 3 Comments

Top News

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Cerner President Zane Burke blames an unnamed competitor (presumably Epic) for publicizing negative reports about the DoD’s MHS Genesis project, labeling the resulting coverage as “fake news” in Friday’s annual shareholder meeting.

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Burke said, “If you had an axe to grind with us and wanted to perhaps keep us from getting to a Veterans contract, and you’re one of our competitors, you might want to use some information negatively. There was some negative information out there.”

He didn’t specify whether the “fake news” involved publication of the DoD’s own internal assessment of the project or some other event.

Burke said that just keeping VistA running would have cost more than $20 billion in the next 10 years vs. the $10 billion the VA will spend on Cerner, so it’s a good deal for taxpayers. Chairman and CEO Brent Shafer, ,asked about what issues keep him up at night, answered, “The VA was keeping me up at night until last night. It was a good night last night,” but added that his big issue is retooling the company to move more quickly.

Cerner has posted the audio recording and presentation from the shareholder meeting.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

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It’s an even split among the minority of respondents who care either way about someone’s use of fellowship credentials such as FHIMSS and FCHIME.

New poll to your right or here: what should the VA have done about an EHR? Show your work by clicking the comments link on the poll after voting and explaining.

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This week’s “Wish I’d Known” question involves taking the first leap to overseeing the work of others.


Webinars

May 24 (Thursday) 1:00 ET. “Converting Consumers into Patients: Strategies for Creating Engaging Digital Experiences People Demand.” Sponsor: Healthwise. Presenters: Antonia Chappell, director of consumer solutions, Healthwise; Josh Schlaich, senior product manager, Healthwise. Nearly three-quarters of US adults use a digital channel to manage their health and the internet to track down health information. It’s clear that consumers have come to expect online interactions as an integral part of their overall patient experience. In fact, the Internet may be the first way people come in contact with your organization. They have more choice than ever on where to get healthcare services, and their decisions are increasingly influenced by how well organizations connect with them in the digital space. This webinar will show you how to create engaging digital and web experiences that convert casual consumers into patients and keep them satisfied throughout their entire patient journey.

June 5 (Tuesday) 1:00 ET. “Increase Referrals and Patient Satisfaction with a Smarter ‘Find a Doctor’ Web Search.” Sponsors: Phynd Technologies, Healthwise. Presenters: Joseph H. Schneider, MD, MBA, FAAP, retired SVP/CHIO, Indiana University Health; Keith Belton, VP of marketing, Phynd. A recent survey found that 84 percent of patients check a hospital’s website before booking an appointment. However, ‘Find a Doctor’ search functions often frustrate them because their matching functionality is primitive and the provider’s information is incomplete or outdated. Referring physicians need similarly robust tools to find the right specialist and to send the patient to the right location. Attendees of this webinar will learn how taxonomy-driven Provider Information Management improves patient and referrer satisfaction by intelligently incorporating the provider’s location, insurance coverage, specialty and subspecialty, and services offered that can be searched via patient-friendly terms.

Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre for information.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Cerner shares rose only 1 percent Friday after the announcement Thursday after the market’s close that the VA had signed its $10 billion contract with the company. CERN shares are down 4 percent in the past year vs. the Nasdaq’s 21 percent gain, while over five years CERN us up 28 percent vs. the Nasdaq’s 113 percent gain.

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TransUnion will acquire Fort Worth-based Healthcare Payment Specialists, which offers solutions for hospital Medicare reimbursement that include Medicare bad debt review and disproportionate share analysis. 


Decisions

  • Major Health Partners Medical Center (IN) will switch from NextGen Healthcare to a Meditech ambulatory EHR system by the end of 2018.
  • East Carroll Parish Hospital (LA) plans to go live with JumpStock inventory control software.
  • Brooklyn Hospital Center Downtown (NY) will switch from Allscripts to Epic ambulatory EHR in August 2018.

These provider-reported updates are supplied by Definitive Healthcare, which offers a free trial of its powerful intelligence on hospitals, physicians, and healthcare providers.


People

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RCM vendor Access Healthcare hires Jim Carlough (Cognizant) as SVP of North America operations.

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David Adams (Revenue Platforms) joins consulting firm Crux Strategies as VP of business development and revenue cycle management.


Government and Politics

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President Trump will nominate acting VA Secretary Robert Wilkie to the permanent position, adding in Friday’s announcement at a prison reform event, “He doesn’t know this yet. I’m sorry that I ruined the surprise.” Wilkie is a former lawyer and White House security advisor.


Other

Eastern Maine Health Systems (ME) ends its addiction treatment partnerships with two cities that named individual physicians – some of them present or former EMHS doctors – in their billion-dollar lawsuits brought against drug manufacturers and distributors. The city councils of Bangor and Portland voted to join the lawsuits, causing the health system to say that it will withdraw from any initiatives involving cities or counties that sue it.

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I belatedly learned via a tweet that former UPMC CIO Dan Drawbaugh has since 2015 been CEO of orthopedic group The Steadman Clinic and its research institute in Vail, CO.

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Weird News Andy says there’s “so much wrong” in this story, in which a former hospice executive pleads guilty for her involvement in a $60 million fraud scheme that also involved intentionally killing unprofitable patients as ordered by the hospice’s owners, a CPA and his wife (above). The former operations director says the owners ordered her to falsify EHR entries to admit patients who weren’t eligible for hospice services, fabricated “do not resuscitate” orders to avoid paying for ambulance trips when families called 911, and took patients off medications solely because they weren’t covered by insurance. The FBI’s search warrant says the CPA texted a nurse, “You need to make this patient go bye-bye.”

Medical residents at an hospital in India go on strike to demand better hospital security after the angry family members of a patient who died prior to planned gallbladder surgery beat up two doctors, a nurse, and a visiting relative of another patient who tried to stop the attack. The hospital realized afterward that it had never followed through with installing a security alarm as planned two years ago and says it will get that done.

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Rainbow City, AL police arrest a doctor for breaking into the office of the medical practice from which he had recently resigned to steal six computers, a server containing patient information, and medical equipment. He opened the practice’s safe, apparently in an effort to make the break-in look like a robbery, but police immediately suspected him because the safe’s contents were intact, including cash and narcotics.


Sponsor Updates

  • HBI Solutions posts a case report titled “Client Success: Improved Transitions of Care at DFD Russell Medical Centers.”
  • The SSI Group will host a regional user group meeting May 22-22 in Scottsdale, AZ.
  • Sunquest will exhibit at the Pathology Informatics Summit May 21-24 in Pittsburgh.
  • TriNetX will exhibit at the ISPOR Annual International Meeting May 19-23 in Baltimore.
  • Wolters Kluwer wins eight Stevie Awards during the 2018 American Business awards.
  • ZappRx CEO Zoe Barry will speak at the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce’s Executive Forum May 22.
  • ZeOmega will host ZeOmega Connections18 May 21-24 in Plano, TX.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Mr. H, Lorre, Jenn, Dr. Jayne.
Get HIStalk updates. Send news or rumors.
Contact us.

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