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News 9/14/18

September 13, 2018 News 2 Comments

Top News

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Apple’s latest product announcement regarding the new Watch’s ability to record ECGs and monitor heart rhythm for abnormalities leaves healthcare reporters salivating and clinical experts torn between guarded optimism and healthy skepticism. The device, which can also detect when a user has fallen and alert emergency services, will start at $400 when it debuts later this year.

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Industry folks were quick to point out that the device could lead to over treatment, and that its FDA clearance states the new apps are “not intended to replace traditional methods of diagnosis or treatment.” FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD also tweeted out amidst his Hurricane Florence PSAs that app clearance is “a significant step forward in FDA policy because we decoupled review of the app from review of the watch itself. The watch isn’t a medical device, just the apps that help consumers detect serious medical conditions.”


Webinars

September 26 (Wednesday) 12:30 ET. “How to Ensure Patient Records are Always Available.” Sponsor: Goliath Technologies. Presenter: Goliath Technologies engineering staff. This webinar will discuss how an early warning system can help your organization ensure your EHR systems and patient records are always available. You’ll also learn how to proactively anticipate, troubleshoot, prevent, and resolve end user experience issues before users or patients are impacted.

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Cigna allocates $250 million for a new corporate venture fund that will target companies working in the areas of care delivery and management, digital health and retail, and insights and analytics. Cigna’s previous health IT investments include MDLive, Omada Health, and Cricket Health.

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OneOncology launches with a $200 million investment from General Atlantic and health IT support from Flatiron Health. Created by a partnership between Tennessee Oncology, New York Cancer & Blood Specialists, and West Cancer Center (TN), the company aims to offer oncology patients access to providers, treatments, and clinical trials typically unavailable in smaller, community-based settings. Former CVS Health EVP Tracy Bahl will serve as president and CEO.

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MediWare Information Systems rebrands to WellSky in an effort to better unify 30 brands across multiple companies in the US and abroad.

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In the UK, Babylon Health will spend $100 million to double its workforce, aiming to hire 500 additional staff within the next nine months. The plan is part of the virtual consult company’s efforts to expand its chat bot symptom assessment technology to include chronic disease management for diabetes and depression. The company is perhaps best known for powering the NHS telemedicine app GP at Hand.

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Nuance and ChartWise top the list of CDI vendors driving the most tangible financial outcomes, according to a new KLAS report, while Iodine Software surpasses both when it comes to enabling efficient workflows. Third-party CDI firms like Claro Healthcare, Navigant, PwC, and Huron all score similarly on value and satisfaction. 


People

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Mark Amey (UC San Diego Health) joins Alameda Health System as CIO ahead of its $200 million Epic implementation.

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Akiri, a health data network spun out of AMA’s Health2047 business development and commercialization arm, names David Watson (The SSI Group) CEO.

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Caradigm co-founder Warren Ratliff joins Seattle Children’s Hospital analytics spin-off MDMetrix as CEO.

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Kermit Randa (Waystar) joins Kaufman Hall as CEO of its Software Division.

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Access appoints Davin Marceau (Success Group) COO and promotes Cody Strate to the new role of VP of strategy and innovation.


Sales

  • Bristol Hospital (CT) selects ESO’s Health Data Exchange software for improved data-sharing between its ED and EMS agencies.
  • San Luis Valley Health Regional Medical Center (CO) will implement FormFast’s FastPrint Enterprise and ESignature bundle.

Announcements and Implementations

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The North Carolina Health Information Exchange Authority rolls out subscription-based clinical event alerts to members of the NC HealthConnex HIE.

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Marin General Hospital (CA) will install University of California San Francisco Health’s Epic software as part of a strategic alliance that includes co-branding and designating UCSF as its academic and teaching partner.

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Regional West Health Services (NE) prepares to go live on Cerner Millenium this weekend.

Mercy Technology Services develops a cloud-based imaging solution that comprises Visage’s imaging software, workflow technology from Medicalis, and speech recognition and reporting capabilities from Nuance.


Other

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FHIR architect and interoperability consultant Grahame Grieve tells the Australian Senate an IT overhaul is needed to assure the success of the My Health Record initiative. The national digital records database, which he has been an advisor on, has come under fire over the last several months thanks to a questionable opt-out policy, and privacy and governance concerns. Grieve, an Australian native, told the Senate ahead of a September 17 inquiry into the program that, “The design of the system and the standards it is based on were state of the art in 2007. Although a more distributed design was initially planned, it is now, unfortunately, a centralised national database of static summary documents. This was an inevitable consequence of the technical standards used at the time, but now constrains the use, extensibility and therefore the value of the system.”

A survey of 109 providers finds that 68 percent have not yet developed a disaster preparedness plan, despite having experienced two such events within the last five years. All bets are off when it comes to securely communicating with hospitals during and after weather events: 25 percent of specialty providers have used unsecured text messaging to reach hospital staff, and 22 percent have used the same method to reach patients and their family members. Hospital-based respondents take secure messaging more seriously, perhaps because they already have resources in place: 44 percent believe secure messaging to be a key component of preparedness plans, surpassed only by the need for backup generators and extra supplies and medication.


Sponsor Updates

  • EClinicalWorks will exhibit at Health 2.0 September 16-19 in Santa Clara, CA.
  • Formativ Health partners with Lyft to help get patients to medical appointments.
  • Broadlawns Medical Center adds FormFast’s Go electronic document solution to its existing Capture software.
  • The HCI Group publishes a new white paper, “You’ve Signed a New EHR Contract: Now What?”
  • Loyale Healthcare explores healthcare CEOs and innovation in a new video, “Who Thrives? Who Survives?”
  • Politico features PatientPing in “Connecting your medical data could be the next big payoff.”
  • Consulting Magazine ranks Impact Advisors third on its list of best small firms to work for.
  • Hyland Healthcare collaborates with Change Healthcare to speed and simplify claim attachments for providers and payers.
  • InterSystems adds a mobile, touchscreen-enabled user interface to its TrakCare health information system.
  • Intelligent Medical Objects will exhibit at the 2018 OR Manager Conference September 17-19 in Nashville.
  • Kyruus will present at the 2018 Tri-State Conference September 19-21 in Wisconsin Dells, WI.
  • Join Meditech in signing the World Sepsis Declaration.
  • TransUnion Healthcare announces its support of nonprofit RIP Medical Debt.
  • Dimensional Insight publishes a new case study featuring Doctors Hospital in Puerto Rico.
  • Voalte’s annual Vue user conference, set to take place October 3-5 in in Sarasota, FL, sells out for the first time.
  • PatientKeeper and Medhost enter into a reseller agreement.
  • Hayes Management Consulting hires Mark Rivero (Athenahealth) as director of client experience.
  • EPSi partners with MPA Healthcare Solutions to offer customers risk-adjustment and clinical analytics.

Blog Posts


Contacts

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

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News 9/12/18

September 11, 2018 News 1 Comment

Top News

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Cerner President Zane Burke announces he will leave the company November 2. John Peterzalek, EVP of worldwide client relationships, will assume Burke’s responsibilities and the title of chief client officer. Burke joined the company in 1996 and took on the title of president in 2013. Analysts have expressed little surprise at his impending departure, given that he had just about reached the pinnacle of the company’s corporate ladder.


Webinars

September 26 (Wednesday) 12:30 ET. “How to Ensure Patient Records are Always Available.” Sponsor: Goliath Technologies. Presenter: Goliath Technologies engineering staff. This webinar will discuss how an early warning system can help your organization ensure your EHR systems and patient records are always available. You’ll also learn how to proactively anticipate, troubleshoot, prevent, and resolve end user experience issues before users or patients are impacted.

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Clarify Health Solutions raises $57 million in a Series B round led by KKR. The San Francisco-based company has developed analytics-based software to help providers better match and assist patients with tailored clinical services.

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In the face of Verity Health’s bankruptcy filing, California legislators stress that owner Patrick Soon-Shiong, MD must uphold the original ownership agreement approved by the state attorney general, especially as it pertains to safety net care and the continued employment of 7,000 staff across six hospitals and affiliated facilities.

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The FDA grants “breakthrough device” status to heart health technology company AliveCor for an algorithm it has developed that can detect high blood potassium levels through EKG analysis. Traditional detection methods require a blood sample. The Mayo Clinic-backed company’s products include an EKG smartphone attachment and app, and an Apple Watch band with similar capabilities. CEO Vic Gundotra expects it will take a year to bring the new technology to market.

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Nostrum Laboratories hikes the price of an antibiotic for bladder infections from $474.75 to $2,392, a move CEO (and avowed Martin Shkreli supporter) Nirmal Mulye believes is in keeping with the “moral requirement to make money when you can … to sell the product for the highest price.” He adds that, “This is a capitalist economy and if you can’t make money you can’t stay in business.”


People

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Former VA Secretary David Shulkin, MD joins Sanford Health (SD) as chief innovation officer.

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LHC Group promotes EVP and Chief Innovation Officer Bruce Greenstein to the additional role of chief strategy officer.

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Nanticoke Health Services (DE) promotes Steffan Williams to CIO.

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HCA President and COO Sam Hazen will succeed CEO Milton Johnson when he retires at the end of the year.

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The Value-Based Care Solutions Group names Bob Segert (Aspect Software) chairman and CEO, and has promoted Jon Zimmerman to president. Veritas Capital acquired the group from GE Healthcare in July, and intends to rebrand the company.


Announcements and Implementations

Q-Centrix adds natural language processing capabilities to its clinical data registry reporting software.


Sales

  • Unity Health (AR) will implement IntelliPass+ patient payment software from PatientMatters at its three hospitals.
  • Jamestown Regional Medical Center (TN) will go live on Evident’s Thrive EHR in December. JRMC has selected cloud-hosting and RCM services from Evident’s sister company, TruBridge. Both are subsidiaries of CPSI.

Government and Politics

A Kaiser Health News analysis of 1,406 comments on President Trump’s proposal to cut down the 340B hospital drug discount program finds that half were submitted anonymously and contained suspiciously similar wording, with two submitted hundreds of times containing the same grammatical error. Further digging by KHN also found that some patients can’t remember commenting, implying that they were unwittingly coerced into submitting them by practices affiliated with the Community Oncology Alliance, a nonprofit trade organization funded by drug manufacturers. CMS Administrator Seema Verma and Deputy Secretary Eric Hargan pointed to patient comments as a big part of their decision to cut annual 340B payments to hospitals by $1.6 billion.

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The Mike O’Callaghan Military Medical Center on Nevada’s Nellis Air Force Base becomes the first base to connect with the VA’s Tele-ICU center in Minneapolis. Installed in five of the center’s rooms, the extra set of virtual “eyes” have especially helped in the prevention of ventilator-associated pneumonia, catheter-related bloodstream infections, and stress ulcers.


Other

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The latest report from KLAS looks at the shrinking pool of release-of-information vendors and their ability to deliver consistently across customers. While Ciox Health continues to dominate thanks to the combined customer bases of its predecessors, IOD and HealthPort, it lags behind Verisma and MRO in customer satisfaction. While some Ciox customers seem prepared to leave over a lack of focus, culture, and personal touch, others are optimistic that the company’s new automated technology will close performance gaps. Customers give MRO high marks for high-quality customer service, especially in the areas of educational programs and training. Verisma, the smallest vendor, has experienced steady growth along with high levels of satisfaction for personal attention and access to the executive team – traits that may be hard to maintain as the company grows.


Sponsor Updates

  • AdvancedMD will exhibit at the Healthcare Business Management Association Conference September 12-14 in Charlotte, NC.
  • Agfa HealthCare embraces intelligence in its health IT and imaging solutions to enable Care You Can See at RSNA18.
  • Aprima recaps its ninth annual user conference.
  • The local business paper profiles Diameter Health co-founder Eric Rosow.
  • Greenway Health names AssessURHealth its Marketplace Rookie of the Year.
  • Arcadia will present at the EOCCO Clinician Summit September 20 in Hermiston, OR.
  • Redox will exhibit at HITRUST September 11-13 in Grapevine, TX.
  • The latest Black Book Market Research survey names Leidos Health the 2018 top health information technology consultant.
  • CarePort Health will exhibit at ACMA Illinois September 18 in Rosemont.
  • Dimensional Insight will exhibit at the MDM Analytics Summit 2018 September 18-20 in Denver.
  • University of Texas Medical Branch CEO Donna Sollenberger joins Nordic’s Board of Directors.
  • Health Catalyst creates a Patient Safety Organization to give customers an avenue through which to share best practices, plus other benefits.

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 9/10/18

September 9, 2018 News No Comments

Top News

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Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (NY) CMO José Baselga, MD comes under fire after media outlets report he failed to disclose his financial ties to research journals in which he was published. Baselga has served on the boards of and performed consulting work for dozens of pharma and healthcare companies, yet has systematically failed to report the millions of dollars in payments received when speaking or writing about sponsored clinical studies.

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Adding insult to injury is the fact that Memorial Sloan Kettering has not yet censured Baselga in any way, other than to call for its staff to do a better job of disclosing their corporate relationships.

Baselga’s lapse highlights not only a lack of ethics on his part, but the slippery slope prestigious research publications like The Lancet and New England Journal of Medicine must walk when deciding to publish research. Most rely on an honor system, and for some, it’s simply a matter of not enough background-checking resources to go around. While publications like the American Association for Cancer Research have never barred an author from publishing, many are now reviewing their submission and review processes. 


Reader Comments

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From Vaporware: “Re: VA CIO nominee’s remarks on speeding up the Cerner project timeline. Summary: ‘We can do this faster,’ says someone who has never implemented an EHR. ‘You’ll be held accountable,’ says someone who never held anyone accountable. ‘LOL. $10 meeeellion dollars!’ says Zane on his way to the bank.” VA CIO nominee James Gfrerer told a Senate hearing committee last week that getting the Cerner switch flipped in under 10 years is definitely on the table. Nominated by President Trump at the end of July, Gfrerer spent two decades in the Marine Corps before serving as a senior military advisor in the State Department and then moving to E&Y’s cybersecurity practice.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

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The majority of respondents would have no qualms about sharing their medical bills with media outlets in hopes of getting them reduced, though my use of the word “resort” implies that it would be a last-ditch effort after all other avenues have been exhausted. Greg points out that, “If the healthcare organization is not responsive or unwilling to work with me on the bill, the media is one outlet I’d consider reaching out to. Any business should expect what they say to their customers to end up in the news or on TV. With the laws in the US so skewed towards powerful interests, public shame in the media is one of the only options an average person has to fight with.” Lisa admits that it would “definitely not be my first choice, but as a last resort it’s better than bankruptcy. So far, I’ve been able to challenge and remove billing items that are clearly inappropriate, but what do you do if the billing folks refuse to clean up errors?” Mark says he’s “already used that approach and leveraged it effectively. Know your facts, prepare your facts, and share them with others so that all can benefit. When my wife had a hip replacement, without complications, and the net charges were 2x of the local competition, 2.5x what the facility accepts for a Medicare patient, put the the pen and paper (keyboard and email) to the task. Bottom line – fees reduced, perhaps humbled the facility, for a moment.”

New poll to your right or here: Would you purchase a “premium” genetics testing service from at-home kit companies like 23andMe?


Webinars

September 26 (Wednesday) 12:30 ET. “How to Ensure Patient Records are Always Available.” Sponsor: Goliath Technologies. Presenter: Goliath Technologies engineering staff. This webinar will discuss how an early warning system can help your organization ensure your EHR systems and patient records are always available. You’ll also learn how to proactively anticipate, troubleshoot, prevent, and resolve end user experience issues before users or patients are impacted.

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


People

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Lisa Johnson (Legacy Health) joins Bluetree’s executive leadership team.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Quality Systems changes its name to NextGen Healthcare. Quality Systems created NextGen in 2001 through the merger of Clinitec and Micromed.

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Notable Health raises $13.5 million to further develop its physician-patient interaction software delivered via Apple Watch.

Optimum Healthcare IT settles a class-action lawsuit related to unpaid overtime filed last year by two employees for $4.9 million plus $1.6 million in legal fees.

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Healthcare Growth Partners recaps investment activity over the last year in RCM markets that include patient financial responsibility, complex claims from non-traditional payers, and coding and claims as they relate to connecting providers and payers.


Sales

  • University of Louisville Hospital and Physicians (KY) select Health Catalyst’s Data Operating System and outcomes improvement professional services.
  • Conway Regional Medical Center (AR) chooses post-discharge automated messaging software from CipherHealth.

Announcements and Implementations

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Personalized cancer treatment company Driver develops an app that offers patients treatment options and follow-up care within its network of 30 cancer centers. The membership-based service includes medical record and tumor sample collection, appointment scheduling, and virtual consults.

OnlyBoth adds hospital performance to its line of consumer-friendly healthcare comparison websites.

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Ciox Health announces GA of HealthSource, AI-powered software that locates, acquires, digitizes, and manages health data.

Nuance makes voice-enabled Dragon Medical workflows available through Epic’s mobile Rover documentation and barcode validation app.

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Mobile Heartbeat develops a new user interface for its MH-Cure care team messaging software.

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A new KLAS report on patient financial access finds that AccuReg ranks highest in customer satisfaction across categories, while Experian Health sees similar rankings from broad adopters. Recondo Technology leads the way in automated preauthorizations, but lags other vendors when it comes to customer perception of its positive impact on patients, staff, and billing. Experian Health’s customers, however, are the most likely to share patient access success stories. Change Healthcare wound up being the only vendor whose customers have all realized the benefit patient access solutions have on back-end billing.


Privacy and Security

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British Airways suffers another privacy black eye after hackers breach its website and app, compromising personal and financial information tied to 380,000 passenger transactions. The airline came under fire in July when its social media team asked passengers with service complaints to post personally identifiable information on Twitter to help resolve their issues, claiming it was necessary to comply with GDPR. 

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HITRUST introduces a Shared Responsibility Program to help organizations and their service providers clearly understand their roles regarding ownership and operation of security controls.


Other

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CNBC survey-takers believe controlling costs to be the top reason companies like Apple and Facebook are bypassing third parties like Premise Health to set up on-site clinics for their employees.


Sponsor Updates

  • LiveProcess will exhibit at the SONAR Safety Healthcare Conference September 14 in North Platte, NE.
  • MDLive will present at the Healthcare Analytics Summit September 13 in Salt Lake City.
  • Waystar will exhibit at the Mediware Conference September 10-12 in San Antonio.
  • Clinical Computer Systems, developer of the Obix Perinatal Data System, will exhibit at the AWHONN Ohio Section Conference September 13-14 in Sandusky.
  • OmniSys will exhibit at the PDX Pharmacy Forum September 16-18 in Fort Worth, TX.
  • Experian Health will exhibit at AAHAM MD September 11-13 in Ocean City, MD.
  • Sunquest will exhibit at Precision Medicine for Hospital CEOs September 12-13 in Nashville.
  • Visage Imaging will exhibit at the SIIM Conference on Machine Intelligence and Medical Imaging September 9-10 in San Francisco.
  • Philips Wellcentive publishes a new white paper, “How rising risk impacts value-based care.”
  • Voalte will exhibit at the Texas Health Association 2018 Quality and Patient Safety Conference September 13-14 in Georgetown, TX.

Blog Posts


Contacts

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

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News 9/7/18

September 6, 2018 News 3 Comments

Top News

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Theranos investigative reporter John Carreyrou breaks the news that the scandal-ridden blood-testing company will dissolve. CEO David Taylor, who took over from founder Elizabeth Holmes after she resigned in June amid criminal allegations, told shareholders that time had run out to find a buyer for the company before it defaulted on a $100 million loan from Fortress Investment Group.

Fortress co-founder Wes Edens has a history of making counterintuitive investments that include $3 billion towards a private rail line in Florida, and stakes in struggling sports teams like the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks and English football club Aston Villa. Fortress will likely walk away from the deal with a handful of presumably worthless Theranos patents – assuming it can help the company pay off the $60 million it owes to other creditors. The company has just $5 million cash in hand.


Webinars

September 26 (Wednesday) 12:30 ET. “How to Ensure Patient Records are Always Available.” Sponsor: Goliath Technologies. Presenter: Goliath Technologies engineering staff. This webinar will discuss how an early warning system can help your organization ensure your EHR systems and patient records are always available. You’ll also learn how to proactively anticipate, troubleshoot, prevent, and resolve end user experience issues before users or patients are impacted.

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Home DNA testing kit company 23andMe revisits the idea of rolling out a premium service for more in-depth genetic sequencing. The company, which toyed with the idea in 2016, has hinted at a $750 price tag, putting it several hundred dollars below the offerings of whole genome sequencing competitors like Veritas Genetics.

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Mount Sinai Health System spinoff Rx.Health raises $1.8 million. The New York-based startup has developed software that gives providers the ability to prescribe apps and other digital health tools from within their EHRs.

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The US patent office awards Glytec two patents describing interactions between its insulin titration software and connected diabetes technologies related to blood glucose measurement, insulin delivery, and patient messaging.

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Tech-enabled kidney care company Cricket Health raises $24 million in a Series A round led by Oak HC/FT.

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Athenahealth prepares to take second-round bids as inside sources report that Cerner and UnitedHealthcare have passed on buying the EHR vendor. Elliott Management has teamed up with Bain Capital, which owns Waystar, to remain a contender. Ousted CEO and company co-founder Jonathan Bush stands to gain $4.8 million if the company is sold.

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Headspace acquires digital voice assistant development company Alpine.AI to add more vocal interaction to its flagship meditation app.

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Catholic Health Initiatives (CO), HCA Healthcare (TN), Intermountain Healthcare (UT), Mayo Clinic (MN), Providence St. Joseph Health (WA), SSM Health (MO), and Trinity Health (MI) band together to form a nonprofit generic drug company called Civica Rx. Led by former Amgen executive Martin VanTrieste, Civica will initially focus on the production of 14 generics that the founding health systems have committed to purchasing. VanTrieste has said he will forego a salary, and expects Civica’s first drugs to be on the market by 2019.

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After being acquired by Midmark in 2016, Versus Technology officially rebrands to Midmark RTLS.


People

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New Jersey Hospital Association SVP Sean Hopkins will lead the association’s new Center for Health Analytics, Research and Transformation.

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Jesus Delgado joins the Community Foundation of Northwest Indiana, parent company of Community Healthcare System, as CIO and VP of IT.

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Cambia Health Solutions hires Faraz Shafiq (Verizon) as chief artificial intelligence officer.


Sales

  • University Hospitals (OH) selects Jvion’s Cognitive Machine software to better prevent sepsis.
  • Western Connecticut Medical Group chooses patient engagement consulting services and technology from Formativ Health.
  • Pharmacy benefit management company EmpiRx Health selects ZeOmega’s Jiva 6.1 population health management technology.
  • Johns Hopkins Medicine (MD) will use Patient Flow Optimization software from MidMark RTLS at its Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center.
  • Hartford HealthCare (CT) will implement ESO’s Health Data Exchange technology for EDs across its six hospitals.

Announcements and Implementations

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Vocera develops care team communication analytics in an effort to reduce alert fatigue and improve response times.

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Hiawatha Community Hospital (KS) replaces McKesson’s Paragon with Athenahealth.


Government and Politics

Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy announces the state will use a $12 million grant from CMS to launch an HIE early next year. The state’s first HIE sputtered out in 2014 after a $4 million investment and a four-year run at attempting to develop a reliable revenue stream.


Other

The Open Source Electronic Health Record Alliance will develop a global version of VistA compatible with different languages. The project, dubbed Plan VI, will also create a reference implementation guide.

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This analysis finds that 53 percent of hospitals mark up the cost of prescription drugs for patients and payers by between 200 and 400 percent. One in six jack up prices by as much as 700 percent, while one in 12 feel justified raising prices by 1,000 percent.

Providers, payers, and vendors like Epic, Cerner, and Allscripts pledge their allegiance alongside HL7 to The Da Vinci Project, an initiative that will work to improve data sharing in value-based care using FHIR standards. Initial test cases will include workflows for 30-day medication reconciliation and coverage requirements discovery.

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Scripps Research Translational Institute and WebMD develop the Healthy Pregnancy Research Program, an ongoing study leveraging ResearchKit data-capture capabilities within the WebMD pregnancy app. Researchers hope that the predominantly passive collection of pregnancy data will inform future studies geared towards reducing maternal death rates, give women a better understanding of their pregnancies, and arm them with more data to share with their providers.

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In North Carolina, Broughton Hospital’s opening day is finally in sight. Construction on the $130 million facility began seven years ago, suffering numerous setbacks due to weather, ongoing litigation with the contractor, and bureaucratic mismanagement along the way. The hospital will be paper-based once it opens in March 2019, despite being billed as “state of the art.”

A survey of CMIOs on medication management initiatives finds that varying departmental workflows and a lack of process buy-in, compliance, and ownership are top areas of patient safety concern. Incomplete medication histories and the misinformed care team decisions that result are also top issues, as is a lack of pricing transparency that often results in patients forgoing medication.

A Healthgrades study shows that consumers are twice as likely to visit a doctor when they can access a physician search tool from within a prescription drug company’s website.


Sponsor Updates

  • Compression therapy product manufacturer Absolute Medical selects FormFast’s Connect digital forms solution.
  • Carilion Clinic (VA) renews its agreement with LogicStream Health for its clinical process improvement and control software.
  • NextGen Healthcare adds electronic prior authorization capabilities from CoverMyMeds to its cloud-based Office EHR.
  • Healthfinch will exhibit at the Healthcare Analytics Summit September 11-13 in Salt Lake City.
  • Imprivata will present at the Massachusetts Health Data Consortium’s meeting on September 12 in Waltham.
  • Influence Health CEO Rupen Patel speaks to the Metro Atlanta CEO about the company’s consumer experience platform.
  • Meditech dedicates September to sepsis awareness.

Blog Posts


Contacts

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

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News 9/5/18

September 4, 2018 News No Comments

Top News

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Atul Gawande, MD taps Jack Stoddard to be COO of the still unnamed joint healthcare venture of Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JPMorgan. Stoddard was formerly general manager of digital health at Comcast, where he devoted some of his time to developing digital patient engagement and education tools for a (presumably defunct) program with Independence Blue Cross. Stoddard’s time in the healthcare trenches also includes stints at Comcast-backed Accolade and Optum.


Reader Comments

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From Savoy Special: “Re: Medhost’s customer count. Down to 180 hospitals? That number cannot be correct since they still have their platform in most of the 119 CHS hospitals, plus a large number of LifePoint, Acadia, and Select hospitals. Plus they recently won a multi-entity deal at the end of last year. And then there is all of their EDIS business. The Curae bankruptcy was not unexpected. There was actually a lot of buzz about Medhost at Health:Further18.”


Webinars

None scheduled soon. Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre for information.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Global technology services company Persistent Systems acquires Herald Health for $5.2 million. Herald’s software helps surface relevant EHR data in real time across hospital departments. The Boston-based startup came out of Brigham and Women’s Hospital (MA), which, through its Partners HealthCare network, tapped Persistent last year to develop a SMART on FHIR digital platform for sharing best clinical practices.

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Redox raises $3 million, bringing its total raised to $18 million since launching in 2014.

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Medication risk management vendor Tabula Rasa Healthcare acquires EHR vendor Mediture and its third-party administrative services subsidiary EClusive for $22 million. Both cater to Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly markets. The businesses will be incorporated into Tabula Rasa’s new PACE-focused CareVention HealthCare technology and services division.

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Following in Apple’s footsteps, Amazon momentarily hits the $1 trillion mark during day trading, focusing analyst’s eyes even more eagerly on its push into healthcare. The Internet retailer went public in 1997 at $18 a share, a figure that has skyrocketed to $2,050 and made founder and CEO Jeff Bezos the world’s richest man with a net worth of $167 billion.


People

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Patrick McGill (Community Health Network) will join primary care management company Primaria Health as CEO in December.


Announcements and Implementations

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Greenville Health System (SC) goes live on Agfa Healthcare’s enterprise imaging system.

The Brooklyn Hospital Center (NY) implements Epic at its ambulatory sites.


Other

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Following on-campus protests and obvious malcontent amongst its staff, Providence Hospital management fires the majority of its Board of Directors via email after tensions mount around parent organization Ascension’s decision to stop offering acute care services at the hospital by the end of year as part of its transition to a “health village.” (It announced it would close its obstetrics and behavioral health departments last August.) A former board member claims a vote on the acute-care decision was snuck in at the end of a regular meeting, after several other members had already left. Ascension claims the shuttering will better enable Providence to focus on “care coordination, telehealth/virtual care, primary and urgent care, home care, community-based behavioral healthcare, senior care, and more.”

In Australia, Victoria’s Dept. of Health and Human Services begins migrating 12,000 users from Lotus Notes to Office 365. Lotus Notes was first implemented in 1998, making the number of applications that have been spawned around it too numerous to die a quick death.

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Researchers develop an iPhone app capable of measuring blood pressure with the press of a finger. Readings were found to be similar to those from traditional blood pressure cuffs.

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The Cincinnati business paper profiles Cincinnati Children’s Hospital surgeon Victor Garcia, MD and the predictive analytics software he has developed with Israeli researchers to stave off shock in ICU patients.


Sponsor Updates

  • AdvancedMD publishes a new e-guide, “In or Out-Source: Your Value-Based Care (VBC) Revenue Cycle Management.”
  • Aprima will exhibit at the Patient-Centered Medical Home Congress September 14-15 in San Diego.
  • Gartner recognizes Arcadia as a representative vendor across five categories in its latest report, “Healthcare Payer CIOs, Leverage Vendor Partners to Succeed at Clinical Data Integration.”
  • The University of Wisconsin-Madison profiles Bluetree Network founder Ted Gurman’s work with the Madison Entrepreneur Resource, Learning, and Innovation Network.
  • Datica will present and exhibit at HITRUST 2018 September 11-13 in Grapevine, TX.
  • The Chicago Tribune profiles Burwood Group Senior Director of Sales and Marketing (and Renaissance man) Greg Bueltmann.
  • CarePort Health will exhibit at ACMA New York September 8 in New York City.
  • Carevive Systems will exhibit at the 2018 ACS Cancer Programs Annual Conference September 5-7 in Chicago.
  • Collective Medical partners with the Hospital Council of Northern and Central California.
  • CoverMyMeds will present at the CBI Hub and SPP Model Optimization event September 12-13 in San Diego.
  • CTG will present at the Patient-Centered Medical Home Congress September 14-15 in San Diego.
  • Cumberland Consulting Group will sponsor the HealthCare Executive Group Annual Forum September 12-14 in Minneapolis.
  • The Connecticut Technology Council and Marcum LLP include Diameter Health on their list of the fastest-growing technology companies in Connecticut.
  • Yuma Regional Medical Center (AZ) expands its use of Vocera technology to include its entire enterprise.
  • Long-time Meditech customer DCH Health System (AL) will implement the company’s Expanse EHR across select hospitals and clinics.

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 9/3/18

September 2, 2018 News 1 Comment

Top News

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As predicted, California-based Verity Health files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in an effort to survive the health IT missteps of billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong, MD who acquired the health system in July 2017 with promises of achieving the Triple Aim using Allscripts technology, which he seemed to favor as a company investor. Implementation efforts have been put on hold as the frustrations of local officials mount. “It has become crystal clear by the bankruptcy announcement that he virtually had no intention of keeping these hospitals open and to continue to serve the poor like the Daughters of Charity [the past owners] did,” says city official David Canepa. “The whole thing seems like one big lie.”


Reader Comments

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From Vumcit: “Re: CIO departure at VUMC. Vanderbilt operating revenue down 68 percent after Epic implementation. CIO leaving. Unofficial hiring freeze in place.” It appears CIO Ken Letkeman will be heading to Houston Methodist after overseeing Nashville-based VUMC’s $200 million switch to Epic last November. The hospital’s latest financial statement says that while the drop in revenue was planned for, the implementation caused “muted” procedural volume, though future gains are expected.

From Savoy Special: “Re: Teladoc. Teladoc Rx ordering suffered widespread outage for over 36 hours between 8/29 and 8/31. After hours on the phone with Teladoc getting multiple stories, with the only consistent theme being ‘It’s not us, it’s them’ in a vague reference to a downstream integration or e-prescribing vendor platform doing an upgrade or emergency fix. Messages are flowing in a FIFO manner as of 9 a.m. ET on 8/31.” Unverified. Teladoc uses e-prescribing services from Surescripts.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

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Blockchain’s potential impact on healthcare seems to be minimal at best, which makes me wonder if an emperor-with-no-clothes mentality has swept investors (and other media outlets) off their feet. Clarence says, “The biggest impact is the cost of time and energy spent exploring this fruitless and wasteful expenditure.” Former CIO explains that, “It’s a database, a really slow database. What database has ever impacted cost or quality? When has a slower technology ever improved anything in healthcare?”

New survey to your right or here: Would you resort to sharing your medical bill with the media in hopes of getting it reduced?


Webinars

None scheduled soon. Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre for information.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Virtual care software vendor Zipnosis raises $3 million in a Series B round, bringing its total funding to $22 million.

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The New York Times profiles Comcast and the surprisingly savvy investments it has made to keep healthcare costs down for its employees. (Most employees have a $250 deductible.) Through its Comcast Ventures investment arm, the much-maligned cable company has developed financial relationships with startups like Accolade, which helps employees navigate their health benefits; and Grand Rounds, which helps patients find second opinions. Comcast offers their services to its employees, plus virtual care from Doctor on Demand. It’s next admittedly self-serving play is to ensure the financial health of its employees through a startup it has created and funded call Brightside. Accolade co-founder Tom Spann made his debut as CEO of Brightside at the HLTH conference in Las Vegas.

HCA Healthcare buys Mission Health for $1.5 billion and pledges to invest $25 million in an innovation fund for the North Carolina-based system. Coincidentally, HCA is part owner of St. David’s Medical Center in Austin, TX, which slapped patient Drew Calver with a $109,000 bill for heart attack treatment, but then ultimately slashed it to $332 after receiving negative national media coverage it couldn’t “neutralize.”


People

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Todd Hoisington (Huron Consulting) joins The Chartis Group as principal and partner.


Announcements and Implementations

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Meritus Medical Center (MD) and physician practices go live on Epic.

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In Australia, Chris O’Brien Lifehouse implements Meditech’s 6.x oncology and pharmacy software.


Sales

  • Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital (MA) selects Meditech Expanse EHR implementation services from CloudWave.

Other

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An interop enthusiast reflects on Epic CEO Judy Faulkner’s UGM comments on the benefits of “One Virtual System Worldwide.”

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The integration of new devices for better communication tops the list of call center process-improvement goals, according to Spok’s inaugural survey of 400 providers involved with call-center strategy. Pagers are still going strong as a top communication method for staff, nearly tying with smartphones. Smart watches seem to be high on everyone’s wish list.


Sponsor Updates

  • Liaison Technologies releases a new video, “The State of Data Privacy and Security Compliance in Healthcare.”
  • LifeImage’s network now connects 1,500 hospitals and has facilitated the exchange of 7 billion image files.
  • MedData will exhibit at the Texas MGMA Fall Conference September 6-7 in Houston.
  • PatientPing releases a new success story video featuring Karen Yakabowskas of Saint Francis Healthcare Partners.
  • Surescripts recognizes nine EHR companies as finalists for the 2018 White Coat Award.
  • Vocera will exhibit at the 2018 Kansas Hospital Association Conference and Tradeshow September 6 in Topeka.
  • Philips Wellcentive publishes a new case study, “Eastside Health Network overcomes integration challenges.”
  • Meditech adds PDMP integration from DrFirst to its Expanse EHR.

Blog Posts


Contacts

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

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News 8/31/18

August 30, 2018 News 1 Comment

Top News

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The first FDA-approved digital pill will soon be offered to Medicaid patients in certain markets suffering from schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. The Abilify MyCite regimen, which will come with a monthly price tag of $1,650, includes a sensor-embedded pill, wearable sensor, user app, and provider portal. Manufactured by Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, the pill is a digital version of the 16 year-old antipsychotic drug Abilify, which is now available as a generic for $700 a month.


Reader Comments

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From CB: “Re: Curae and Medhost. Remember that Curae-Medhost deal earlier this year? Curae has filed for Chapter 11 after incurring ‘higher-than-expected costs for electronic health records.’ Rumor is Medhost is down from a high of 450 clients to less than 180.” Rural healthcare operating company Curae Health actually signed on with Medhost last September at two of its hospitals. Curae filed for bankruptcy earlier this week, citing an inability to pay vendors in a timely manner. Medhost insiders are welcome to comment on the unverified client count.


Webinars

None scheduled soon. Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre for information.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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The US Patent & Trademark Office grants health data integration company Redox a patent for digitally translating messages between providers and vendors for smoother data exchange.

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Workforce management and analytics software vendor API Healthcare will move from GE Healthcare’s campus in Wauwatosa, WI to its former headquarters in nearby Hartford. GE sold off API, along with its enterprise financial and ambulatory care management units, to Veritas Capital in July for $1 billion.

Malvern, PA-based FluidEdge Consulting receives a strategic investment from CitiusTech.

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The USPTO issues Monarch Medical Technologies a patent related to providing patient-specific insulin dosing recommendations for its EndoTool Glucose Management System.

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Philips Healthcare acquires patient monitoring technology from the US Air Force. The Battlefield Assisted Trauma Distributed Observation Kit was designed to help medics monitor casualties in the field via smartphone or tablet. Philips plans to further develop the technology, with an eye on telemedicine offerings for civilians.

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Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett tells Bloomberg that Atul Gawande, MD is hiring for unnamed positions within Berkshire’s joint healthcare venture with Amazon and JPMorgan Chase. Buffet added that the venture, of which Gawande has been CEO since early July, is in no hurry to upend healthcare. “We’d like to be in a hurry,” he added, “but we’re not going to try and do something faster than it can be done.”

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Chicago-based Tempus raises $110 million in a Series E round that brings its total funding to $320 million and valuation to $2 billion. The oncology-focused precision medicine company was started in 2015 by Groupon co-founder Eric Lefkofsky, who plans to use the investment to expand its focus to cardiovascular disease and diabetes, and its reach to foreign markets.


People

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Nashville General Hospital names Eric Stephens (Vanderbilt University Medical Center) chief analytics officer.

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Jim Clifford (Philips Wellcentive) joins Rimidi as VP of strategic sales.


Sales

  • Woman’s Hospital (LA) selects Health Catalyst’s Data Operating System.
  • Oregon Health and Science University chooses Passport electronic forms from Access for surgical consents and safe opioid agreements.

Announcements and Implementations

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UMass Memorial Medical Center (MA) implements real-time patient messaging software from HealthLoop to better support total joint surgery patients.

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Definitive Healthcare announces GA of commercial medical claims data on 210 million de-identified patients.

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In the UK, Great Ormond Street Hospital deploys Elsevier’s Arezzo clinical pathways software in its endocrinology and metabolic unit.

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First announced in April 2016, Centra Health (VA) will go live on Cerner at each of its hospitals and 50 ambulatory and long-term care facilities September 1. Four hundred Cerner trainers will be on site to help with the culmination of what has been dubbed “Project Unison.”


Government and Politics

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VA Secretary Robert Wilkie tells American Legion national convention attendees that customer service will be a top priority within the agency, as will transitioning to Cerner and working with the DoD to help patients navigate from active-duty to veteran status. He stressed that no veteran should have to endure what his father, Army Lt. Col. Robert Leon Wilkie Sr., went through when he carried 800 pages of medical records to VA appointments.


Other

Epic’s annual user group meeting brings an influx of end users and staff to company headquarters in Verona, WI. Locals bemoaned the crowds (made worse by the University of Wisconsin at Madison’s move-in week and exceptional rains), while conference-goers griped about the lack of an agreed-upon hashtag. CEO Judy Faulkner made her typical opening remarks, with even the local press picking up on her vision for a global health data sharing network. A few images from the event:

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Weird News Andy says this California couple’s first kiss was definitely one to remember: Max Montgomery suffered a heart attack and collapsed on the beach during his first date with anesthesiologist Andrea Traynor, MD who quickly administered CPR. EMTs revived Montgomery in the ambulance and admitted him to the hospital for bypass surgery. The couple – and Montgomery’s heart – are still going strong 10 months later.


Sponsor Updates

  • EClinicalWorks will exhibit at CASA 2018 September 5-6 in Huntington Beach, CA.
  • The Healthcare Business Intelligence 2018 report from KLAS Research gives HBI Solutions an overall score of 91.3 for advanced analytics.
  • Iatric Systems will exhibit at HCCA Regional September 7 in Boston.

Blog Posts


Contacts

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

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News 8/29/18

August 28, 2018 News 4 Comments

Top News

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Harris Computer Systems acquires Iatric Systems, which it will run as an independent business unit.

Iatric President/CEO Frank Fortner will join Harris as EVP of Iatric Systems.

Iatric’s website says it has 200 employees. The company is headquartered in Wakefield, MA. It has won awards for patient privacy monitoring, specimen collection barcoding, interoperability, and EHR optimization.

Harris’s health IT business includes Amazing Charts, GEMMS, Harris Healthcare Clinical Solutions, Harris Coordinated Care Solutions, IMDSoft, MediSolution, Morcare, Picis, PulseCheck, and QuadraMed.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

Listening: the amazing if unlikely 2011 pairing of Amy Winehouse and Nas, leading me to belatedly appreciate her troubled genius. The eclectic streaming station roped in my scanning with the little-heard 1967 tune “Monterey” by Eric Burdon and the Animals and moved on to a weird mix of great music, including that of Amy, who died of alcohol poisoning in 2011 as her initiation into the 27 Club of musician deaths.


Webinars

None scheduled soon. Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre for information.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Politico reports that debt-ridden Verity Health System, acquired by Patrick Soon-Shiong last year, will file bankruptcy in the next few weeks. The article notes that Soon-Shiong forced the system to implement Allscripts Sunrise when he held a financial stake in that vendor, costing the health system an estimated $20 to $100 million even though it preferred Epic. Losses have forced the health system to cut back on IT infrastructure services and charity care. The health system lost $119 million in the year ending in June 2018 versus an expected break-even budget even as Soon-Shiong’s management company was paid $20 million.

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Palm Beach Gardens, FL-based Bridge Connector, which integrates customer relationship management systems with EHR and other hospital systems, raises $5.5 million in a Series A funding round that follows a $4.5 million investment in its June 2018 seed funding round.


Sales

  • Steward Health Care chooses Wolters Kluwer for point-of-care knowledge tools, infection surveillance, and evidence-based clinical decision support.
  • Mohawk Valley Health System (NY) chooses Epic to replace its five non-Epic EHRs.
  • Partners HealthCare will offer urgent care video visits through its health plan, working with Teladoc Health.

People

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Pivot Point Consulting hires Janice Wurz (Impact Advisors) as VP of advisory services.

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CTG co-founder G. David Baer died August 21. He was 82.


Announcements and Implementations

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A new KLAS report covering the European EHR market finds the top vendors to be Epic, Cerner, and Allscripts in that order, with Epic growing market share in Netherlands and Scandinavia despite customer feelings that its approach is US-centric and Cerner seeing its growth mostly in the UK but with inconsistent delivery. Meditech and Allscripts are noted as performing very well for their users despite a small customer base. The top three vendors in terms of 2012-2017 market wins are InterSystems (by far), Agfa, and Epic.

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The Pew Charitable Trusts, MedStar Health’s human factors group, the AMA, and external reviewers publish “Ways to Improve Electronic Health Record Safety,” a call for voluntary improvement of usability testing, integration of usability and safety reviews into product life cycles, and creating safety-focused test case scenarios.

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Adventist Health System – which is changing its name to AdventHealth – buys the 10-year naming rights to the practice facilities and administrative offices of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers NFL football team, saying the move will allow it to “identify and tackle important health issues in the Greater Tampa Bay Area” (the pun may or may have not been intentional).

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St. Luke’s Boise Medical Center (IA) opens a 60-station, 350-employee virtual hospital (St. Luke’s Virtual Care Center) that will offer clinic consultation, hospital consultation, and home monitoring.

OSEHRA will create an international version of the VA’s VistA EHR, with participation from South Korea, China,  and Jordan.


Other

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Another struggling, rural hospital gets in trouble for allowing itself to be used in a questionable lab billing scheme. Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina sues LifeBrite Hospital of Stokes and removes the hospital from its network after its volume of submitted lab tests rises from 267 per month to 67,000, most of them for urine toxicology screening for out-of-state patients who had no hospital connection. BCBSNC paid $11 million for what it says are fraudulent, inflated-price tests before it stopped payments, claiming that the hospital was purchased strictly to take advantage of its in-network contracts. LifeBrite bought the bankrupt 99-bed hospital last year – then named Pioneer Community Hospital of Stokes — for $400,000 and BCBSNC says it has billed $76 million since. The Georgia company has just one other hospital, but runs national reference lab LiteBrite Laboratories.

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Central Maine Healthcare’s recently hired CEO Jeff Brickman says he moved too quickly in trying to turn around the health system’s finances, causing doctors and employees to push back over its Cerner implementation. Their no-confidence vote failed, however, as the board reiterated its support for him.

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We’re going to need a lot more reporters: an HCA hospital tells a heart patient that his insurance will cover his four-night, out-of-network heart attack stay, then bills him for $109,000 and turns it over to collections when the high school teacher can’t pay. State-mandated protection against balance billing didn’t apply in his case since his employer is self-insured. Experts say Aetna had already paid the hospital at least 2-4 times reasonable charges. NPR’s coverage of the story suddenly resulted in the for-profit hospital offering a “financial assistance discount” that reduced the teacher’s bill to $782, a 99.3 percent “bury this story now” cost savings that it will surely make back from patients whose stories earn less press.

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Meanwhile, former ED physician Matthew Wetschler – who was left with a $500K bill after his insurer Oscar refused to pay out-of-network San Francisco General Hospital for emergency treatment after he broke his spine – says UCSF has turned over 41 separate accounts under his name to debt collectors. This is a good lesson – given their inability to hold prices down by negotiating with market-dominant health systems, about the only tools insurers have left are to (a) deny coverage; (b) increase the portion patients pay; and (c) most damaging of all, to create such narrow networks that bills for emergency care or services received while away from home are almost certain to be denied, with the patient getting stuck with the balance at full list (imaginary) price.


Sponsor Updates

  • Bluetree will exhibit at the CHIME Partner Education Summit September 5-7 in Chicago.
  • Bernoulli Health showcases the latest features of its Bernoulli One platform, including integration of patient ECG rhythm reports into Epic’s EHR, at Epic UGM this week in Verona.
  • CompuGroup Medical will exhibit at PainWeek September 4-8 in Las Vegas.
  • Spok will participate in several health events through fall.
  • Dimensional Insight emerges as a top cross-industry vendor in the latest KLAS Healthcare Business Intelligence Report.
  • DocuTap will host its annual user conference October 3-5 in Denver.

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 8/27/18

August 26, 2018 News 1 Comment

Top News

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Two key leaders of the VA’s Cerner implementation have turned in their resignations – Chief Medical Officer Ashwini Zenooz, MD and Chief Health Information Officer Genevieve Morris.

They had held those jobs for just 15 months and barely more than one month, respectively.

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Morris posted her resignation letter on Twitter.

Morris had tweeted a few days earlier that her song of the day was Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down.”


Reader Comments

From Shalom: “Re: news articles. I just wanted to say thanks for the curation.” You’re welcome, but I push back at the term “curation” for several reasons: (a) it’s insufferably trendy; (b) it marginalizes the reporting of breaking news, rendering opinion, and developing reader interaction that goes beyond linking to someone else’s stories; and (c) quite a few questionably educated and experienced folks have taken on the “curator” title, which like “thought leader,” is a self-bestowed honorific that often deflects attention from a striking lack of actual accomplishment. I’m careful who I trust to filter news and render opinion.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

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Most poll respondents aren’t expecting much to result from Silicon Valley tech giants announcing their support for healthcare interoperability. Furydelabongo concludes, “As long as we consider interoperability to be a technology problem, it will never be solved. For the same reason, I doubt I’ll ever be able to move seamlessly between a Honda, Ford, and BMW and have a similar data experience. Everyone has their own secret sauce that gives them a market advantage. Why would they do anything to compromise that?”

New poll to your right or here: How much impact will blockchain technology have on healthcare cost and quality? My implicit message is that until it can directly influence those factors, then don’t waste time salivating over it.

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Welcome to new HIStalk Gold Sponsor Prepared Health. The Chicago-based company’s EnTouch Network makes it easier for patients to stay healthy at home by connecting them with providers, caregivers, and payers. Health systems use the platform to stay connected to referral sources, involve the patient’s caregivers in their care, receive real-time alerts of changes in risk or care setting, and monitor for fraud and abuse via GPS-powered visit verification. Its EnTouch Analytics identifies and manages evidence-based interventions. Centegra’s director of care coordination explains, “We were struggling to reduce excessive use of medical staff and better match patients with the right level of care when they left the hospital. We needed a tool to track our patients and their progress from the moment we got involved with them. The phone calls and faxes between various providers and manually writing down notes were not working.” Co-founders Ashish Shah and David Coyle spent years in key roles with Medicity. Thanks to Prepared Health for supporting HIStalk.


Webinars

None scheduled soon. Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre for information.


People

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Urgent care documentation technology vendor Edaris Health promotes Meg Aranow to CEO.


Government and Politics

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New York City police arrest former CDC Director Thomas Frieden, MD, MPH on charges that he grabbed the buttocks of an unnamed female acquaintance of 20 years who was leaving a dinner party in his home.


Privacy and Security

The adoptive parents of a two-year-old who died of drowning sue McAlester Regional Health Center (OK), claiming that some of its cafeteria workers accessed his records and one of them contacted the boy’s birth mother. The lawsuit says that a food service employee whose EHR credentials allowed looking up patient information for meal delivery had been told to post their login credentials on a sticky note on a computer, which gave other workers access. The couple’s attorney admits that he can’t sue for a HIPAA violation, but he can claim that the hospital was negligent in not meeting HIPAA requirements.


Other

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The New York Times looks at dementia-fighting strategies in the Netherlands that include a bus ride simulator; a mini-vacation room built to mimic a beach with sounds and heated sand; video projection; a re-creation of a bar complete with singing and real alcohol; robotic pets; and rooms featuring rotary phones, typewriters, and other decor with which many residents grew up. Residents enjoy memories and shared experiences that reduce the need for medications and restraints. 

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Financial Times says big pharma is willing to embrace clinically validated software that serves as a key component in managing or curing a particular condition. It notes MoovCare, an algorithm-powered web portal offer by Israel-based Sivan Innovation that studies suggest can extend life expectancy for lung cancer patients by early detection of relapses and complications. Novartis is working with Pear Therapeutics, which offers a software-only treatment for substance abuse that will be launched in the US in the next six months. 

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Tobacco companies are using sophisticated hashtag campaigns in reaching out to social medial influencers – who are sometimes paid or invited to attend promotional events — to portray smoking and vaping as hip while getting around laws that prohibit tobacco advertising. One company specifically told the influencers to use only cigarette pack photos in which the required health warning is obscured.

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England’s new health secretary Matt Hancock vows in a Facebook post to implement national interoperability standards after he observes staff at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital reverting to pen and paper.

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Home genetic test vendor 23andMe will turn off API access to its anonymized data sets, telling developers that they can access company-generated reports but not the underlying data. 23andMe had previously planned to launch an app store, but was worried about vetting third-party developers. The company turned off access to an anonymous developer in 2015 who used it to create a “race wall” so that sites could block users of specific gender, ancestry, or genetic characteristic.

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Stanford’s John Ioannidis, MD, DSc urges reform in nutritional epidemiology research, noting that newspapers and websites pick up wildly misleading studies that conclude that eating or not eating a particular food changes health status or longevity. He basically says that everybody eats, so you can always find some questionable correlation between diet and health that usually means nothing and distracts consumers from the amply documented risks of smoking, lack of exercise, air pollution, and climate change. 

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The Dallas business paper profiles Children’s Health SVP/CIO Pam Arora.

The decision by the late Senator John McCain to stop his cancer treatment provides a reminder of how to avoid being insensitive or incorrect in those situations:

  • Don’t refer to someone as “battling cancer” or as a “cancer victim” – they simply have cancer
  • Declining chemotherapy, radiation treatment, or surgery doesn’t mean the person is “giving up” in choosing quality of life over aggressive treatment
  • Palliative care is a medical care option, so someone who chooses it has not “ended their medical care”
  • The military metaphor that comments on the person’s toughness, bravery, or willingness to “fight” doesn’t necessarily help them “beat cancer” or suggest that those who failed to do so were lacking those qualities
  • The term “survivor” isn’t always meaningful because the person will always wonder if the cancer will come back and isn’t necessarily leading the same life they led before

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Epic expects to host 8,000 users and 9,000 of its own employees at UGM this week. Sunday offered dinner around the campfire with an emphasis on Wisconsin foods (I’m thinking cheese curds, wursts, and beer, but that’s from my own limited experience). Verona got pounded by rain this weekend and it will be hot and humid with highs in the mid-80s through Tuesday, but the sun and cooler temperatures return Wednesday with highs barely breaking 70. Attendee updates and reports are welcome.

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I ran across Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom when Googling something unrelated, noting that its nurse CEO just published (via a vanity press) “Big Brother in the Exam Room: The Dangerous Truth about Electronic Health Records.” A tweet congratulates her for “hitting #1 on an Amazon best seller list,” although (a) that was in just the “Medical History & Records” category; (b) it has since fallen to #12 in that category; and (c) the book’s overall sales rank suggests that it is selling maybe 5-10 copies per day. Its website seems to harbor a lot of anger about healthcare in general:

  • It asks people to sign a form declaring that they will not enroll “the national Obamacare Exchange system,” although the point why anyone would do that (versus just not signing up) isn’t clear.
  • It says the Affordable Care Act is a “massive national tracking system” and that its implementation means “Our life, our liberty, and our future as a free nation hangs in the balance. Will the government get control of our healthcare, and with it the power to decide whether we live or die? ”
  • It urges people to refuse to sign a provider’s Notice of Privacy Practices, although it makes no argument as to what value that provides beyond being annoying to staff.
  • It posted a petition demanding that people be allowed to get Social Security benefits without signing up for Medicare since they are then “involuntarily enrolled in Affordable Care Act Accountable Care Organizations.”
  • It declares PCORI to be a “federal rationing plan.”
  • It says doctors “push” flu vaccine to hit government targets even though the “best quality of care may be to recommend against the vaccine”
  • It decries provider score cards based on adherence to evidence-based medicine to be “government cookbook medicine.”

If you like the book I mentioned above, you’ll surely want to study this article in the ultra-conservative Washington Times titled “How AI is pushing US healthcare down a USSR path.” It concludes that behind the “bureaucratic bull-crappery” of the announced support for interoperability by tech giants is this:

Out go the individual’s expectation of medical records’ privacies; in comes the prioritization of the healthcare as a collective, not individual, good. The medical breakthroughs may be significant. But the flip side is that suddenly, it’s not you and the doctor in that office. It’s you and the doctor and a nationally approved streamlined course of care, based on Big Data collection, Big Business information-sharing, and AI-fueled decisions. And when you’re done? Count on your outcomes — the success or failure of your medical treatment — being fed as fuel to the machine learning beast.

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Weird News Andy has an unnatural love for fecal transplant stories and titles this one “Bottom’s Up.” Scientists create a “baby poo smoothie” probiotic supplement. Punster WNA says this idea has reached a new low and hopes that this, too shall pass.


Sponsor Updates

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  • Summit Healthcare staff volunteer at The Greater Boston Food Bank in support of company-wide philanthropic initiatives.
  • Loyale Healthcare provides insight on rising healthcare costs and impacts on patient satisfaction.
  • MDLive will exhibit at the Connected Health Summit August 28-30 in San Diego.
  • Meditech 2018 Revenue Cycle Summits boost customer communication.
  • National Decision Support Co., Pivot Point Consulting, Surescripts, and Visage Imaging will exhibit at Epic UGM August 27-30 in Verona, WI.
  • WebPT publishes “The 2018 Rehab Therapy Salary Report.”
  • Philips Wellcentive releases a new video, “Bridging the VBC Care Gaps Survey.”
  • Chief Executive profiles ZappRx CEO Zoe Barry.

Blog Posts


Contacts

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

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News 8/24/18

August 23, 2018 News No Comments

Top News

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More details come to light about Andy Slavitt’s Medicaid Transformation Project. First mentioned at the Avia Network Summit in May, the project will involve 17 health systems that, over a two-year period, will work to improve care for Medicaid patients in four areas — substance use disorder, behavioral health, maternal and infant health, and reducing preventable ED admissions.

Avia, a digital health firm based in Chicago with strong ties to HIMSS, will help with the technological underpinnings of the project as ideas are conceived and implemented. Slavitt joined Avia as an advisor in May 2016.

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David Smith (Leavitt Partners) and Avia Executive in Residence Molly Coye, MD, MPH will lead the project, which will be anchored by Advocate Aurora Health (IL), Baylor Scott & White Health (TX), Dignity Health (CA), Geisinger Health System (PA), and Providence St. Joseph Health (WA).


Webinars

None scheduled soon. Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre for information.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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RDMD will use $3 million in seed money to develop a repository of health data from a variety of digital sources that can then be used for rare disease research and treatment. The startup evolved out of a hackathon last year organized by RDMD founder Onno Faber, who encouraged attendees to dig through his health data in hopes of finding a treatment for his neurofibromatosis type 2, a rare genetic disease for which there previously was no known treatment. RDMD co-founder and CEO Nancy Yu came to the company from 23andMe. They hope to eventually make money by selling de-identified data to pharmaceutical companies.

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Healthcare CRM and analytics firm Hc1.com wraps up a $10 million Series B funding round led by Health Cloud Capital.

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New Enterprise Associates will invest $165 million in Paladina Health, an employer-focused primary care company acquired from DaVita in June for $100 million. The funding, which mirrors that of other primary care-focused investments into companies like One Medical and Iora Health, will be used for expansion and future acquisitions. If memory serves me correctly, Paladina Health has been an EClinicalWorks customer for a number of years.

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Mediware continues its spate of acquisitions by buying Rock-Pond Solutions, an Arkansas-based provider of business intelligence and analytics for home infusion, home medical equipment, and specialty pharmacy businesses.


People

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Kate DeBaene (WPS Health Insurance) joins Forward Health Group as VP of client delivery.

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Scott McKay (ZappRx) joins GNS Healthcare as CTO.

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ESolutions names Gerry McCarthy (TransUnion Healthcare) CEO. He replaces Gene Creach, who has retired.

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HCI Group Global COO Mike Sinno died Saturday, August 11 of a heart attack while coaching his son’s basketball game. He was 45. He had previously served as CIO of Stony Brook University Physicians and Cooper University Hospital. Friends and co-workers are collecting donations for his wife and three children.


Sales

  • Montgomery General Hospital (WV) will launch Meditech’s cloud- and subscription-based EHR in September.
  • Santiam Hospital (OR) goes back to CPSI’s EHR after trying another vendor’s solution that fell short in its inpatient functionality (apparently Athenahealth).

Announcements and Implementations

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Vibra Healthcare (PA) implements Direct messaging capabilities from Secure Exchange Solutions across its 38 facilities.

The Greater Houston Healthconnect HIE goes live on InterSystems HealthShare.

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Adena Regional Medical Center (OH) deploys nurse call and RTLS technologies from Critical Alert Systems.

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Imat Solutions develops a Health Data Confidence Index to help providers determine the cleanliness, comprehensiveness, and timeliness of their data.

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Cerner and Duke Clinical Research Institute develop an atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease risk calculator app that estimates 10-year and lifetime risk using basic patient information that can be used during a PCP or cardiologist visit. The app extracts information from several EHRs using SMART on FHIR.

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A new KLAS report on worksite health services such as primary care and welllness coaching – perfectly timed given Paladina’s impending fund raise — finds that Premise Health and Marathon Health lead the pack, with CareHere also performing well in mid-sized organizations. Cerner’s performance was middle of the road despite its technology capabilities, while KLAS observed that Paladina isn’t on many radars due to its mixed marketing message (something that its new investment can surely improve). Also mentioned were innovators OurHealth (clinics shared among multiple employers), Crossover Health (technology-enabled worksite health), and One Medical (for its consumer focus and 24/7 telemedicine services).


Government and Politics

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ONC seeks feedback on the 21st Century Cures Act Electronic Health Record Reporting Program by October 17.

An American Journal of Public Health investigation finds that bot-powered Russian election meddling in 2016 included sending wildly partisan pro- and anti-vaccine tweets to erode public consensus and to sow discord. Sample tweets: “I don’t believe in #vaccines I believe in God’s will,” “Don’t get #vaccines. Illuminati are behind it,” and “You can’t fix stupidity. Let them die from measles, and I’m for #vaccination.”


Privacy and Security

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Black Hat conference organizers discover a security vulnerability in attendee badges after a security researcher notifies them that he was able to access registration data using a conference badge reader and business card-sharing app.

Wired points out the privacy issues users may face once birth control apps like Natural Cycles — newly cleared by the FDA — start selling de-identified patient data to pharmaceutical companies and other third parties. While such transactions aren’t in the cards right now, according to co-founder and former CERN physicist Elina Berglund, “I can’t say we’ll never share data. There’s no guarantees in life of what will happen.”

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Delaware Health Information Network will launch an identity theft protection product for consumers in Delaware and Maryland that combines its Health Check Alert system with LegalShield’s identity theft protection services.


Other

ECRI Institute (whose name seems to be redundant since the “I” originally stood for “institute”) publishes the first in a three-part podcast series covering safe practice recommendations for test tracking and changing medication orders. This one is titled “Diagnostic Error and the Importance of Closing the Loop.”

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A study of prescribing practices for surgical patients at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (NH) finds that introducing mandatory access to a PDMP did not alter the opioid prescribing habits of physicians. Prescribing rates stayed the same, as did the number of pills prescribed. Time spent on checking the prescription drug database and obtaining informed consent took up an extra 13 minutes of the physician’s time.

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A report on physician referrals and patient retention from Kyruus finds that:

  • 40 percent of physicians know whether or not their referral was appropriate for their patient
  • 72 percent tend to refer to the same physician, giving no consideration to others outside of their traditional referral circles who may have more expertise
  • 45 percent feel they don’t have the necessary information to make in-network referrals
  • Though 60 percent of physicians feel in-office appointment scheduling is necessary, 42 percent of patients leave an office without a referral appointment booked

Sponsor Updates

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  • CTG staff volunteer at the Weinberg Campus retirement home for United Way of Buffalo and Erie County’s Day of Caring event.
  • Nuance expands its presence in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the Asia-Pacific, and Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.
  • Impact Advisors earns top honors in Black Book’s “2018 State of the Healthcare Technology Advisory and Consultants Industry Report.”
  • Ellkay joins the Strategic Health Information Exchange Collaborative (SHIEC) as a strategic business and technology partner.
  • Black Book names Hayes Management Consulting a top firm in RCM optimization consulting, and clinical optimization and workflow consulting.
  • HBI Solutions advisor Terry Fouts, MD joins BridgeHealth as CMO.
  • The VDI Design Guide features Goliath Technologies.
  • Healthfinch, Healthwise, InterSystems, and Intelligent Medical Objects will exhibit at Epic UGM August 27-30 in Verona, WI.
  • Imprivata will exhibit at VMworld August 26-30 in Las Vegas.

Blog Posts


Contacts

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

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News 8/22/18

August 21, 2018 News 3 Comments

Top News

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A New Yorker article describes the hostile shareholder attack launched last year on Athenahealth by activist investor Paul Singer’s Elliott Management, noting how the firm often uses questionably ethical tactics to pressure recalcitrant CEOs of targeted companies.

The investment firm denies – not very convincingly —  that it anonymously tipped off journalists about Athenahealth’s company culture, sent copies of Jonathan Bush’s divorce documents to a tabloid, or opened fake social media accounts that featured nude pictures and from which messages were sent to Bush’s girlfriend with the subject line, “Do you know where your man is?” Bush resigned shortly afterward from the company he had co-founded, leaving Athenahealth to choose its path forward without him.

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Elliott Management was previously alleged to have hired private investigators to tail the CEO of another targeted company in hoping to force him out for personal behavior and to present each board member of a targeted company with personalized, dirt-containing dossiers about themselves with the implicit threat that the information could find its way into public hands if Singer didn’t get his way.

A snip:

The idea that companies exist solely to serve the interests of shareholders—rather than also to serve workers, customers, and the larger community — has been dominant in the business world in the past 30 years. As the field of activist investing becomes increasingly crowded, many investors are going beyond their original mission of finding ailing or mismanaged companies and pushing them to improve. Instead, some have been targeting larger, financially prosperous companies … Throughout our conversations, Bush returned to a theme that consumed him. He talked about how investors like Singer — financiers who take the assets built by others and manipulate them like puzzle pieces to make money for themselves — are affecting the country on a grand scale. A healthy country, he said, needs economic biodiversity, with companies of different sizes chasing innovation, or embarking on long, hard projects, without being punished. The disproportionate power of the Wall Street investor class, Bush felt, dampened all that, and gradually made the economy, and most of the people in it, more fragile.


Reader Comments

From Lumbar Puncture: “Re: Optum’s acquisition of Advisory Board’s Crimson business. Optum is forcing customers to migrate to its Claims Analytics platform. Doesn’t seem like adequate notice to retire a product. Maybe they would change their mind if enough customers threaten to walk. They’re also dumping MARA score and switching to another risk score prediction model, probably because it costs them less.” Unverified. Customer comments are welcome.

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From Pin Drop: “Re: hearing aids. They have improved since 2016 in becoming smaller, stronger, more comfortable, and more technologically advanced. I can change the ‘directionality’ of mine via a smartphone app and tune them for the ambient noise. The power and ability to address feedback is far better than just three years ago. I paid $1,800 for them at Costco, much less than the $4,700 quoted in the magazine article. More competition and better technology will improve the market, as the article concludes, but the current situation isn’t as dark as it states.” The article predicts that Apple, Samsung, and other big consumer companies might jump into the market once FDA restrictions are removed. Aging baby boomers would probably flock to  “Hearing by Dre” in the Apple store even as they studiously avoid the audiologist’s waiting room.

From Doublemint Triplets: “Re: Twitter. Who other than HIStalk is worth following for industry news?” These are among the few Twitter accounts I follow: @EricTopol (for research and patient-centered news); @chrissyfarr (a prolific source of healthcare and technology business insight); @ASlavitt (for Medicare news, albeit left-leaning); @JohnsHopkinsSPH (for the public health perspective); @Cascadia (more patient-centered insight); @DrNic1 (he finds all kinds of oddball but usually related stuff); and @TheOnion (for a much-needed break from in-the-weeds discussions). These provide me with the highest hit rate for topics that interest me.


Webinars

None scheduled soon. Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre for information.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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CNBC reports that primary care group One Medical is discussing a possible $200 million fund raise from a private equity firm that will also buy $100 million of existing shares. The company was valued at over $1 billion even before the rumored investment. I admit that I’m not financially sophisticated enough to see the lucrative opportunities or efficiency improvement opportunities that a PE-owned primary care chain would offer, at least beyond slashing its highest labor cost (doctor salaries). Or maybe they’re sensing our unmet demand for receiving care in our most vulnerable moments from a private equity-owned business (my irony was not really ironic given that the moneychangers jammed their fingers into the healthcare pie long ago). Venture backers aren’t known for exhibiting patience in playing the long game, although PE owners have more patience than VCs. Both are always on the lookout for the greater fool.


Sales

  • The Iowa Clinic (IA) chooses MyHealthDirect for patient self-scheduling.

People

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Audacious Inquiry promotes Scott Afzal to president.

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University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics chooses as its new CEO Suresh Gunasekaran (UT Southwestern Health System). He started his health system career as UT Southwestern’s AVP of health systems affairs and CIO from 2004-2014.

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Analytics vendor Unissant promotes Ken Bonner to president and chief growth officer.

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GE Ventures Senior Managing Director and health IT angel investor Lisa Suennen leaves the company after less than two years on the job.

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Goliath Technologies hires Donna Grare (TrialScope) as EVP/CTO.


Announcements and Implementations

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A new KLAS physician scheduling report names Shift Admin and QGenda as the most impactful with high “money’s worth” scores, while Amion offers an easy-to-use, well-supported system that doesn’t provide comprehensive scheduling algorithms and rules engines. 

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A new KLAS nurse and staff scheduling report gives ShiftWizard and Kronos high marks for reducing overtime and agency costs, although Kronos comes with a higher learning curve and cost. The needs of larger health systems are best med by Kronos, Avantas, and Change Healthcare despite their average scores, while some Cerner customers struggle to get even its basic functionality implemented and complain about its manual processes and underwhelming support. The report notes that predictive scheduling isn’t living up to its hype.

NCPDP takes ownership of NIST’s ERx Validation Suite, an ONC-approved e-prescribing testing tool.

AdvancedMD announces GA of its EPayments patient-managed electronic payments solution.

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Recondo takes over the contracts of customers who had purchased a subset of its EmpoweredPatientAccess patient access solutions from The Advisory Board Company via a reseller agreement with that company, with Recondo acquiring the client base from Optum (which acquired Advisory Board’s healthcare business in August 2017). The transaction increases Recondo’s installed based by 33 percent and quadruples the company’s profitability.

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The Dallas business paper profiles Tech Titan Awards finalist Leah Miller, CIO at HCA’s Medical City Healthcare (TX). The article notes that her team came up with the idea of 3-D printing ultrasound images so that blind parents-to-be can visualize their babies.


Government and Politics

The VA announces that its providers will be able to see the Walgreens-maintained medication and immunization histories of patients in a collaboration between the organizations. Criteria for participating in the Veterans Health Information Exchange are here.


Privacy and Security

A small executive survey finds that 70 percent of US healthcare companies don’t carry cybersecurity insurance.


Other

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Forbes profiles UK-based Cambridge Bio-Augmentation Systems, which plans a USB-type interface between the human nervous system and external devices. Co-founder and CEO Emil Hewage explains, “We are focused primarily on these peripheral nerves – not the brain or the spine – as we think the impact starts by listening to the signals that go back and forth to our heart, pancreas, or diseased limb and learning how to decode those signals. The idea is to learn where the hallmarks of a disease or sudden adverse event are being picked up, and then using machine learning tools to send signals back in to immediately treat or triage something.”

In China, a pharmacist who wasn’t willing to burden his parents financially with his newly diagnosed stomach cancer goes into hiding. Despite a $130 billion healthcare reform program, people can’t afford treatments, insurance coverage is poor, and governments don’t have the money to offer free care. The pharmacist’s father, a rice farmer, makes just $150 per year. A government advisor says (referring to China but equally relevant in the US), “China’s healthcare system must find a way to reduce its costs. It is too expensive now and has surpassed what most ordinary people can afford.” Eighty percent of rural cancer patients die within five years.

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St. Louis University will install 2,300 Amazon Echo Dot smart speakers to cover every dorm room with a centrally managed skill (no individual setup required) that will allow students to ask campus-specific questions related to hours of operation, sports schedules, or upcoming events.

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Eric Topol, MD says his short trial of Seqster has given him his first aggregated view of his information from his four Epic-using providers, 23andMe, and fitness trackers, although he notes that it doesn’t accept PDFs (so no scanned paper records), users can’t edit incorrect information. and it doesn’t collect data from very many sensors. The San Diego-based company, which is in early access mode, says it has raised $4 million in seed funding. 

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Facebook and NYU School of Medicine collaborate on a project that will attempt to speed up MRI scans tenfold by using AI. They hope to take a faster, lower-quality MRI that can then be enhanced via a neural network.

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A Politico Florida reporter’s writes her first article in a planned series titled “I’m Coping With Cancer by Reporting On It” after receiving a breast cancer diagnosis at 31.


Sponsor Updates

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  • Over the past four years, attendees at Aprima’s annual user conference have made more than 1,700 blankets and gift bags for the Children’s Medical Center of Dallas.
  • Colorado’s CORHIO deploys Health Language interoperability and data normalization solutions from Wolters Kluwer Health.
  • Bernoulli Health, CoverMyMeds, and Culbert Healthcare Solutions will exhibit at Epic UGM August 27-30 in Verona, WI.
  • Casenet publishes a new report, “The Reasons Why Care Management Platform Implementations Fail.”
  • Griffin Health enhances their FormFast Capture solution with FormFast Go for speedier e-signatures at the point of care.
  • Collective Medical joins the Strategic Health Information Exchange Collaborative (SHIEC) as a strategic business and technology partner.
  • Diameter Health and Zen Healthcare IT partner to deliver comprehensive clinical data connectivity, integration, and normalization.
  • Dimensional Insight will host a regional user meeting August 23-24 in Chicago.
  • DocuTap publishes a new case study, “MedAccess Urgent Care Averages Wait Times Under 15 Minutes with Clockwise.MD.”

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 8/20/18

August 19, 2018 News 2 Comments

Top News

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Anthem settles its huge 2015 data breach for $115 million, of which it will make $15 million available to reimburse the resulting out-of-pocket expenses of its 19 million customers who were represented in the class group (you can do the per-person math here).

The judge also scolded the plaintiff’s lawyers for excessive billing, awarding them $31 million of the $38 million they billed. The judge previously said she was “deeply disappointed” that the plaintiff’s four leading lawyers brought in an additional 49 law firms and an external review suggested setting their hourly rate at $156 instead of $360, with the judge choosing $240.

Anthem’s breach impacted 78 million people.

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The agreement also binds the company to implement better security, including data encryption, that will triple its data security costs for the next three years.

The judge also noted that data breach litigation isn’t yet mature and therefore taking the case to court – which would involve a long, expensive trial in which the laws of all 50 states would need to be studied — could have resulted in the class group getting nothing.


Reader Comments

From Inquiring Mimes: “Re: post-discharge contact. We were working with a vendor who said they would contact discharged patients via an automated system to ask a series of yes-no questions that would then notify our care team for prioritizing contact. They achieved almost none of their promises, so we aren’t going live. Do any of your sponsors handle automated calls with patients?” HIStalk sponsors (since the reader specifically asked for my sponsors), please let me know if you can handle this and I’ll pass your contact information along.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

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I’m fascinated with responses to my recent polls that looked at health insurance. The great majority of respondents believe that (a) insurance companies shouldn’t use social and lifestyle data to price your policies; (b) people shouldn’t be forced into bankruptcy over medical bills; and (c) from last week’s poll, sicker people shouldn’t pay higher premiums or be denied coverage. Those respondents are apt to be disappointed by the health system we have (or are hurtling toward) since everybody refuses to address the key issue of healthcare costs and instead tries to squeeze their end of the balloon to push the cost problem off onto someone else.

Responses this week included that of Dave, who says enrollees who don’t control their own risks (obesity, smoking, drinking) should pay more. Loss Ratio says insurance can work only if everyone carries it without having their pre-existing conclusions excluded since any of us could be seriously injured or disabled, while Jeremy thinks risk should be priced into premiums like other insurance, no different from homeowners who pay higher premiums to live on the beach. PFS_Guy hopes for Medicare for all with a secondary insurance market to manage out-of-pocket risk, adding that we can choose just two items from the list of price, quality, and service. Inclusive OR also argues for universal coverage since health “insurance” is really not that at all and instead is more of a discount plan. Healthcare Idiot Savant thinks people who make bad health choices should pay more, but worries about the resulting privacy issues, concluding that we need mandatory coverage and to get away from private pay inequities that cause a lot of wasted time and money chasing revenue cycle and other healthcare administrivia.

This week’s poll question: how much impact will result from five big technology companies announcing their support last week for healthcare interoperability? Click the poll’s Comments link after voting to elucidate your thoughts further (beyond just choosing the safe middle option).

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I considered a different poll question – will medical students really flock to lower-paying specialties just because NYU has eliminated medical school tuition? My experience is that people and companies invariably take whatever action pays them the most, so I’m cynical that altruistic med students will happily pass up surgery, cardiology, and dermatology residencies to become PCPs who are endlessly monitored, benchmarked, and regulated away from developing those patient relationships that drew them to primary care in the first place. I’ve known a few people who took lower-paying jobs just for the service and satisfaction aspects while fresh out of school, but not many.

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I suppose it’s hiatus time for my “Wish I’d Known Before” series since I can’t seem to cajole people into responding. Check out responses to the final one about taking time off to do something enriching.

HIMSS is tweaking its annual conference dates yet again, I’m reminded when looking something up on the registration site, with HIMSS19 kicking off with pre-conference sessions on Monday, February 11; the opening session will be Tuesday, February 12; and the exhibit hall will be open Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. That’s 1-2 weeks earlier than previous Orlando iterations.

I was thinking that, for the first time, I’m on a version of Windows (10) that gives me nothing to complain about. This is as close to an invisible operating system that I’ve seen, and that includes IOS and Android on mobile devices .


Webinars

None scheduled soon. Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre for information.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Here’s a “healthcare is really a business” case study. Hospitals are petitioning Medicare to pay all hospitals to perform the TAVR heart value procedure instead of limiting payment to those hospitals that have high cardiac procedure volumes. Interesting facts:

  • Medicare pays $45,000 for the effective, safe, and quickly recoverable procedure, including the $30,000 that goes to the device’s manufacturer.
  • Hospitals that obtained a TAVR franchise want the policy to remain since it stifles competing hospitals that are anxious to obtain a share of the ancillary revenue and to gain marketing cachet.
  • Hospitals and medical device manufacturers say limiting Medicare payment to specific hospitals discriminates against minorities and rural residents and that Medicare imposes no volume restrictions for other heart procedures.
  • Patient advocacy group Mended Hearts wants access expanded, but that organization gets funding from the device makers.

Announcements and Implementations

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University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston’s School of Biomedical Informatics will offer the country’s first Doctorate in Health Informatics (DHI) degree for working professionals who have executive-level healthcare experience, with the program focusing on solving real-world problems instead of performing a research dissertation. The 63-credit-hour program requires a master’s in health informatics or equivalent.

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Mayo Clinic and National Decision Support Company develop CareSelect Blood, which offers 100 Mayo-maintained transfusion guidelines integrated into EHR ordering workflow to improve outcomes and cost.

A Cedars-Sinai study finds that failing to use available real-time clinical decision support (Choosing Wisely guidelines presented to clinicians via Stanson Health) was associated with a 7.3 percent increase in encounter cost, a 6.2 percent increase in length of stay, and a higher incidence of readmission and complications.

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Respondents to a new Reaction Data survey of mostly C-level health system leaders expect the biggest healthcare disruptor to be Amazon, followed by Apple, Google, and Microsoft. Executives asked about emerging technologies say the biggest impact will be caused by telemedicine (mostly for care delivery to rural or remote areas), artificial intelligence, interoperability, and data analytics.

Aprima will integrate Dolbey’s cloud-based speech recognition solution, which includes voice-powered screen navigation and prompting, with its EHR.


Other

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CNBC’s Chrissy Farr catches up with former ED physician Matthew Wetschler, MD, who was profiled as a “holiday miracle” in November 2017 after a surfing accident made him a temporary quadriplegic. He was saved by aggressive, innovative hospital treatment, but the not-so-feelgood part of the story is that he was taken to San Francisco General Hospital, which isn’t in the network of his insurer (Oscar), and he’s on the hook for the portion of the $500K bill that Oscar wouldn’t pay. The hospital turned his bill over to collections, his credit is shot, and he’s getting daily calls demanding that he pay up. His wheelchair was never delivered and he spent months trying to get his rehab approved to start even though he was pre-approved. As Farr says, “his story is the best and worst of the US medical system.”

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Friday night’s episode of CBS’s “Whistleblower”profiled Brendan Delaney, the former implementation specialist at NYC’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene who filed a whistleblower lawsuit against EClinicalWorks that the company settled for $155 million in May 2017 (Delaney got $30 million of that).

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The American Nurses Association seeks public comment by September 10 on its draft “Core Principles of Connected Health.” I don’t have any issues with the content, so I’ll focus proofreading: correct the inconsistent use of commas (especially the Oxford comma); stop saying “utilization” when “usage” is synonymous without being pompous; eliminate the word “current” since it is superfluous; and review incorrect hyphenation (such as “in-person” when not used as an adjective).

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Here’s an interesting tweet from Mario Molina, MD, former CEO of insurer Molina Healthcare.

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The St. Augustine, FL newspaper interviews Flagler Hospital CMIO Michael Sanders, MD about its pilot project of Ayasdi, which uses AI for clinical variation management (although the paper’s headline writer might need algorithmic assistance to spell “Flagler” correctly). 

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Mike Funderburk, formerly of Charlotte, NC-based benefits app vendor Novarus Healthcare, writes a Business Insider article covering his experience with the company. He took a 50 percent pay cut to join the small startup team in sales, landed a few customers and potential investors after an initial $750,000 investment, but saw the company shut down after less than a year due to lack of revenue. He says it wasn’t hard to return to a corporate job afterward and still urges people to give their dream a shot. The company’s web page and social media accounts remain active, but frozen in time.

Scientific American covers the planned FDA deregulation and ensuing innovation of hearing aids, noting that they:

  • Haven’t changed since the 1950s
  • Cost $4,700 per set and aren’t covered by most insurance plans
  • Must be obtained through an audiologist or physician
  • Are manufactured by just six companies (who are, predictably, not enthused about new competition)
  • Are used by just 20 percent of people with hearing loss
  • Could be enhanced by big-name tech vendors like Apple or Bose to include a phone interface for reading directions or messages

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New Zealand’s Minister for Women Anne Genter, an avid cyclist, rides her bike to the hospital to give birth, explaining that there “wasn’t enough room in the car.”


Sponsor Updates

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  • Lightbeam Health Solutions employees donate school supplies to the Boys & Girls Clubs of America of Greater Dallas.
  • HCI Group parent company Tech Mahindra will provide the Jacksonville Jaguars football team with next-generation digital technology expertise in areas such as AI and analytics.
  • Medicomp Systems will exhibit at HIMSS AsiaPac18 in Brisbane, Australia November 5-8.
  • Chartis Group posts a white paper titled “Rethinking the Role of IT: The Second Curve of Health IT Value.”
  • Philips Wellcentive publishes a white paper titled “Are You a Data Blocker?”
  • Forrester includes Liaison Technologies in its new report, “Now Tech: iPaaS and Hybrid Integration Platforms, Q3 2018.”
  • MDLive will present at Health:Further August 28 in Nashville, and at the Connected Health Summit August 29 in San Diego.
  • Meditech releases a new video, “How do doctors want to spend their free time?”
  • Netsmart adds MyStrength’s digital, evidence-based content to its EHR.
  • Clinical Computer Systems, developer of the Obix Perinatal Data System, will exhibit at the AWHONN Indiana Section Conference August 24 in Indianapolis.
  • Pivot Point Consulting will exhibit at the NCHFMA Summer Conference August 22-24 in Myrtle Beach, SC.
  • Sunquest will exhibit at the Public Health Informatics Conference August 20-23 in Atlanta.
  • Frost & Sullivan recognizes Surescripts with its 2018 North American New Product Innovation Award.
  • Vocera publishes a new report, “Co-Architecting Healthcare Transformation: How Leading Health Systems Put Patients and Families at the Forefront of Design.”

Blog Posts


Contacts

Mr. H, Lorre, Jenn, Dr. Jayne.

Get HIStalk updates. Send news or rumors.

Contact us.

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News 8/17/18

August 16, 2018 News No Comments

Top News

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Best Buy acquires GreatCall for $800 million.

GreatCall is perhaps best known for its senior-friendly mobile phones currently being hyped in TV ads by vice chairman and former “America’s Most Wanted” host John Walsh.

The San Diego-based company also offers medical alert wearables, emergency response services, and apps that offer medication reminders and connect a user’s GreatCall device with family members.

This is not the big box retailer’s first foray into healthcare. It launched its smart phone-based Assured Living service for seniors and their family members last fall and added health and wellness content and symptom checking capabilities from Mayo Clinic to the companion app in January.


Reader Comments

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From I’ve Been Everywhere, Man: “Re: US News top 20 hospitals. You are correct (in a technicality) that all 20 use Epic. Mayo Phoenix was one of Epic’s first ambulatory sites in the early 1990s, then was forced off in a Mayo corporate decision to self-develop in hacking Phamis Lastword to try to work in ambulatory. Meanwhile, Mayo Rochester, WI, and MN are live on Epic and Mayo Phoenix will go back on Epic this fall.” 


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

The paucity of interesting news will confirm that we’re in the Summer Doldrums, when everybody is focused on getting the kids back in school and squeezing in those last summer vacations and family cookouts. That’s also the time when I get bored and offer new sponsors a special deal just so I don’t feel ignored as page views and reader interaction take one last break before Labor Day. Contact Lorre, get on board now, and spend that budget money on something useful before it evaporates.


Webinars

None scheduled soon. Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre for information.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Patient payments company AxiaMed raises $12.4 million.

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The USPTO awards Zynx Health a patent related to using machine learning to analyze clinical decision support documents. The company will incorporate the technology into its Knowledge Analyzer clinical content management solution for EHRs.


People

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Patient safety expert Peter Pronovost, MD, PhD has left his position as chief medical officer of UnitedHealthCare after three months on the job. He resigned after seven years at Johns Hopkins Medicine in February 2018 to become UHC’s SVP of clinical strategy, then became CMO in June.

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Healthwise promotes Jay Reynolds to CTO.

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Dan Speicher (Omnitracs) joins Medecision as CTO.

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Fortified Health Security hires William Crank (Medhost) as COO.

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Michael Cantor, MD, MA (Pfizer) joins Regeneron Pharmaceuticals as head of clinical informatics.


Sales

  • Carteret Health Care (NC) and Ozarks Medical Center (MO) choose consulting services from Engage.
  • HIEs HealtheLink, Quality Health Network, Health Current, Indiana Health Information Exchange, and ClinicalConnect select data normalization and cleansing applications from Diameter Health.

Announcements and Implementations

Michigan Health Information Network Shared Services implements 4medica’s master patient index.

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MedStar Health implements several FormFast form management technologies across its facilities in Maryland and Washington, DC.


Privacy and Security

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In an effort to cut through the “white noise” of data breach news, HGP publishes a concise review of cybersecurity incidents in healthcare since 2010. Items of interest include:

  • Email has become a favored entry point for hackers; breaches of personal devices have decreased by 50 percent.
  • Paper and film breaches continue to account for 20 percent of breaches.
  • Business associate-related breaches have decreased by 10 percent, while payer breaches have increased by 5.
  • Of the 23 cybersecurity companies listed, Armor, Imprivata, Olive, and FairWarning have secured the most funding over the past two years.

Other

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A Black Book report on health IT consulting predicts firms will rake in $53 billion by the end of this year, with the bulk of that coming from software implementation, optimization, integration, and support. The top three consulting needs are for cloud technology adoption, increased digitalization, and to supplement a lack of internal resources. Top wish-list engagements include help with transitioning to value-based care, cloud infrastructure, compliance, and decision support and analytics. The Chartis Group, ECG Management Consultants, Huron, and Impact Advisors top the list of favorite consulting firms, according to survey-takers.

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A new KLAS report on business intelligence finds that Epic leads the pack by far in deep adoption despite immature native functionality and a lack of cost effectiveness, while HBI Solutions and Health Catalyst have the highest overall score and Dimensional Insight is #1 in driving outcomes and delivering value. Health Catalyst’s combination of software and services places it high on the list, especially for those looking for help with readmissions, opioid use, length of stay, and sepsis. Cerner’s offering is “still immature” as most clients are just getting started, with users telling KLAS that it lacks a testing environment, it doesn’t bring in external data easily, and it doesn’t yet offer predictive analytics. IBM, Microsoft, and SAS declined to participate.

Google is developing an AI-powered wellness assistant for smart watches that will proactively encourage users to make healthy choices based on their appointments, recorded activities, reminders, and location.


Sponsor Updates

  • Elsevier receives several Digital Health Awards from the Health Information Resource Center.
  • EClinicalWorks will exhibit at the NACHC Community Health Institute & Expo August 26-28 in Orlando.
  • Spok announces that the 20 hospitals named to US News & World Report’s 2018-19 Best Hospitals Honor Roll and the 10 hospitals named to the Best Children’s Hospitals Honor Roll are its clinical communications customers.
  • FormFast will exhibit at the 2018 GHIMA Annual Meeting & Exhibit August 19-20 in Pine Mountain, GA.
  • Glytec publishes a new video, “Digital Diabetes Management from a Patient’s Perspective.”
  • HBI Solutions will exhibit at the SHIEC 2018 Annual Conference August 19-22 in Atlanta.
  • Gartner includes Imat Solutions as a sample vendor in its latest Hype Cycle report for US healthcare payers.
  • Influence Health announces 43-percent bookings growth for its Consumer Experience Platform solutions, and a 131-percent increase for its multi-channel campaign managed marketing services.
  • Intelligent Medical Objects will exhibit at Aprima’s annual user conference August 17-19 in Grapevine, TX.
  • PerfectServe will host the Hospital for Special Surgery Educational and Networking Open House September 21 in New York City.
  • Meditech publishes a new case study, “Clatterbridge Delivers More Efficient Cancer Care to the UK with Meditech, and a video titled “How Do Doctorrs Want to Spend Their Free Time?”
  • PMD successfully completes its first SOC 2 and HIPAA security audit.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Mr. H, Lorre, Jenn, Dr. Jayne.
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News 8/15/18

August 14, 2018 News 7 Comments

Top News

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Amazon, Google, IBM, Microsoft, Salesforce, and Oracle pledge to support interoperability at Monday’s Blue Button 2.0 Developer Conference, announcing their support for FHIR open standards, cloud computing, and artificial intelligence.

The event was hosted by the White House’s Jared Kushner-led Office of American Innovation.

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Integration experts and technologists – should we care about Blue Button 2.0? Will it significantly impact interoperability and patient access to data?


Reader Comments

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From The World is a Vampire: “Re: Allscripts. Hosted clients are having difficulty connecting to their EHR and other applications due to a data center issue.” I’ve reached out to the company, but haven’t heard back. The Raleigh data center was the site of January’s ransomware attack that left users unable to connect to their Allscripts PM/EHR systems, although the telephones of angry users remained up so they could call their lawyers to join a class action lawsuit over the downtime.

From Ozone Lawyer: “Re: prescriptions. Pharmacies won’t quote a price until my doctor calls or faxes my new prescription, after which the pharmacy will use my insurance to quote co-pay, etc. That puts extra work on my doctor. Is it legit for the pharmacy or just an obstacle?” They might do that to discourage competitive intelligence, but I can see why they would be reluctant to give a price without running it through your insurer’s test claim for pricing your co-pay. That way they have the complete prescription details without being tied up on the phone while you read them your prescription. Cash patients would do best to go online and pricing all local pharmacies (at least the chain ones) on GoodRx. InteliSys Health also offers an EHR-integrated pricing tool that would be super useful, but your doctor would need to use it on your behalf. An integrated solution would get you and your doctor the answer, allow reconsidering your choices, and then having the prescription sent electronically to the right pharmacy the first time.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

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Did you ever take work time off to go on a spiritual retreat, attend a university’s resident summer camp for adults, participate in a church mission, delve deeply into a newfound hobby, bond with your grandchildren, join a cult, travel as a punk band’s roadie, or bum around Italy for a month in search of the perfect Montepulciano d’Abruzzo? Perhaps you were understandably enriched and motivated, in which case those of us less fortunate would enjoy living your experience vicariously.

I’m getting flooded with emails and announcements from folks who are still listing times as EST, apparently clueless that we’re on EDT until November 4 (like we have been every summer for 100 years – DST started in the US in 1918). Those who can’t master this simple concept should instead just list times with “ET.” Someone will always proclaim indignantly (as they do for their incorrect grammar or spelling) that “you know what I meant,” suggesting that it’s everybody else’s job to interpret their lazy errors.

Listening: new, outstanding contemporary Christian music from 26-year-old Lauren Daigle, who’s on a very long tour that covers a giant chunk of the US. Also: new from LSD (Labrinth, Sia, and Diplo), which takes a toe-tapping trip into doo-wop and reggae territory. There’s also a new album from St. Paul & The Broken Bones, infectiously giddy, horn-heavy, 1960s-style soul from Birmingham, AL. And in a goosebump-inducing moment, there’s Renaissance doing “Ashes Are Burning” live in 1976. I’ll eat the vocals-enhancing software of any diva singer who can match Annie Haslam  — who wasn’t even in her five-octave top form toward the end of a rigorous, long concert — starting at the 22:00 mark through the end. 


Webinars

August 15 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET. “Raising the Digital Trajectory of Healthcare.” Sponsored by: Health Catalyst. Presenter: Dale Sanders, President of Technology, Health Catalyst. Healthcare ranks lowest in McKinsey’s Digital Quotient (data assets x data skills x data utilization) of all industries except mining and has largely ignored the digitization of patients’ state of health, but that’s changing. This webinar will describe the empathetic components of healthcare digitization strategy; the AI-enabled encounter; why today’s digital approach will never work and instead sucks the life out of clinicians; the role of bio-integrated sensors, genomics, and the “digitician;” and the technology and architecture of a modern digital platform. It’s going to happen, so let’s make it happen the right way.

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Digital health-EHR integration platform vendor Sansoro Health raises $8 million in a Series B investment round, increasing its total to $14 million.

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Alphabet invests $375 million in data- and technology-focused insurance startup Oscar, following participation by two Alphabet subsidiaries in a funding round a few months ago that valued the company at over $3 billion. Wired reports that Alphabet owns 10 percent of Oscar, which has expanded into new states, plans to enter the Medicare Advantage market, and is rumored to be interested in bidding with insurers to manage care in risk-based contracts.


Sales

  • Triple-S Salud Blue Cross Blue Shield of Puerto Rico will use HMS’s Essette care management software for its health plan members.
  • New York’s Healthix HIE will implement the cloud-based Verato Universal MPI.

People

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Integration technology vendor MedicaSoft hires Helen Figge, PharmD, MBA (CareFully) as chief strategy officer.

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Health IPass promotes Ryan Navratil, MS to VP of product management.

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Holly Spring (Athenahealth) joins ReviveHealth as SVP and public relations department lead.


Announcements and Implementations

Geisinger and drugmaker Merck launch apps Family Caregiver (patient-caregiver communication) and MedTrue (medication reconciliation and adherence). The apps will use SMART on FHIR to connect to disparate EHRs.

SwedishAmerican goes live on Epic.


Government and Politics

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Relevant to a couple of polls I’ve run recently: former CMS Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt lists the items the White House hopes to eliminate from federal insurance law in a September 10 hearing, all of them affecting anyone with health insurance even if they get it through employers instead of the marketplace.

The San Francisco business paper covers huge companies using complex equipment depreciation rules to claim low value for property taxes, with the extreme case being two Apple properties in Cupertino valued at $1.4 billion that the company claims are worth just $400. Maybe the county should add a requirement that any business be forced to sell its property to a willing buyer at the assessed value it accepts. 


Other

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Adventist Health System will change its name to AdventHealth early next year, also renaming its 45 hospitals that include Florida Hospital Orlando. The health system will also launch the Center for Genomic Health next year.

IBM posts a rare publication rebuttal in disputing The Wall Street Journal’s report that says Watson Health hasn’t accomplished much in oncology. The company cites a few articles from hospitals and oncology groups – including the VA’s contract extension for genomics – in claiming patient benefit as its work “is only getting started.”

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Florida Today profiles Health First EICU intensivist Mark Pessa, MD.

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Apple lists an open position that suggests the company is considering developing its own “health, wellness, and fitness sensors.”

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The local paper says 80 of 300 doctors at Central Maine Healthcare left in the most recent fiscal year, citing conflicts with health system executives, staffing cuts, increased patient loads, and an unwillingness to use its new Cerner system.

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US News & World Report’ “Best Hospitals” list puts Mayo, Cleveland Clinic, Johns Hopkins, Mass General, and University of Michigan Hospitals as its top five. I glanced down the top 20 list and, from my admittedly occasionally unreliable memory, I think every one of them uses Epic (although UPMC is one of perhaps several on the list that also run other systems, Cerner in its case). 

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Meanwhile, that #1 ranked hospital Mayo is accused of “medical kidnapping” by the family of a high school student who was unhappy with her care during a two-month stay in 2016 for a ruptured aneurysm but was refused a transfer to another hospital. The dispute came when she was transferred to the rehab unit following four surgeries, where her stepfather complained that her doctors wouldn’t order opioids, they missed her bladder infection, and a social worker was overheard discussing financial information about her. The family also demanded that several employees be fired or removed from her care and posted near-hysterical Facebook rants. They finally signed her out against medical advice, triggering a “patient abduction” 911 call from Mayo and the family being trailed by three police agencies. The core issue seems to be whether the adult patient was capable of making her own medical decisions and the reports that a Mayo social worker was trying to appoint either the county or Mayo itself as her guardian. They family ended up at the ED of Sanford Medical Center (SD), which decided she didn’t need to be hospitalized and that she was capable of making her own medical decisions, after which the police ended their hunt.

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Medical students are skipping classes to the point that 25 percent of second-year students say they almost never attend lectures, relying instead on YouTube videos (like the one above from SketchyMedical) and other outside prep materials to ready themselves for the Step exams. They say those tests cover material glossed over in their med school courses. A student says, “That was the biggest learning curve of med school — it wasn’t so much how do I do well in it, it was, how do I use all these crazy resources that are being marketed to me to best meet my goal of passing Step.” I observed that personally from a relative whose medical school attendance mostly involved listening to recorded lectures at double playback speed. This raises questions:

  • If medical school education is vastly different from the content mastery required to pass Step, is either set of knowledge incorrect or are students expected to complete a self-managed, dual-track education?
  • What’s the level of relevance of physician education to actual medical practice?
  • Medical education involves coursework, endless test-passing, and residency that takes many years and a ton of taxpayer money – is all of that really necessary for knowledge that quickly becomes obsolete?

Sponsor Updates

  • AdvancedMD announces AdvancedCQM, a free module to support MIPS Quality Reporting.
  • Aprima will integrate payment solutions from ClearGage.
  • Florida HIE Services expands its Encounter Notification Service, powered by Audacious Inquiry, to FQHCs.
  • The KLAS Performance Report 2018 identifies Agfa Healthcare as a “strong and guiding partner” for health systems rolling out enterprise imaging.
  • Arcadia CMO Rich Parker, MD and Sales Engineer Stefanie Groner will speak at the CHESS Move to Value Summit August 19 in Winston Salem, NC.
  • AssessURHealth receives Greenway Health’s 2018 Partner Rookie of the Year Award.
  • Practice management vendor Nextech Systems will integrate and co-market Solutionreach’s patient relationship management product suite.
  • Burwood Group names Renee Lawrence (Ingram Micro Cloud) director of product marketing.
  • CarePort Health and Clinical Architecture will exhibit at the SHIEC Annual Conference August 19-22 in Atlanta.
  • The Better Business Bureau awards CompuGroup Medical US BBB Accreditation and an A+ for customer care.
  • The Angel Investor’s Network podcast features Datica CMO Kris Gösser.
  • CoverMyMeds will add its electronic prior authorization app to the Greenway Health Marketplace.
  • Diameter Health will present at the SHIEC Annual Conference August 21 in Atlanta.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Mr. H, Lorre, Jenn, Dr. Jayne.
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Monday Morning Update 8/13/18

August 12, 2018 News 4 Comments

Top News

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The Wall Street Journal posts another critical review of IBM Watson Health for oncology, saying that “the diagnosis is gloomy” for Watson’s ability to improve cancer treatments.


Reader Comments

From Axe the Fax: “Re: fax machines. Finally someone is pushing to get rid of them in healthcare.” We healthcare folks are always embarrassed by technologies that, while understandably outdated in the consumer arena and in other industries, are nearly perfectly suited for our needs. We have a zillion things wrong with the healthcare non-system, and fax machines and pagers — while emblematic of healthcare’s resistance to change – can be swapped out whenever a provider finds a better alternative (and while CMS has jumped on the bandwagon, I bet they still require providers to fax in information to support claims or information requests). Fax machines are the one form of interoperability that data-hoarding and technically incompetent providers can’t suppress, and in that regard, are disruptive in their own way. They require no training, they always work, and incoming faxes are easily noticed and sorted without sitting down with a keyboard. I wish we would save the righteous indignation and smarmy dismissiveness for things that should truly embarrass us, like poor value, self-serving clinical and administrative practices, and treating patients like the widgets of profit. We spent billions of taxpayer dollars on EHRs, and while they allowed health systems to preen about their high-tech wonderfulness, most of those providers didn’t see their cost or quality needle move one iota and neither will dumping fax machines – a better hammer doesn’t necessarily make you a great carpenter.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

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Most poll respondents don’t like the idea of someone having to file bankruptcy over medical bills. PFS_Guy says people don’t manage their money well and he doesn’t have good answers on how to help them, hoping that those in need look to charity or hospital financial assistance programs. Greg Park advocates Medicare-for-all because the profit-driven system preys worst on those with little or no insurance. Cosmos says someone has to pay for medical care, and if your short-sighted, invincibility-fueled decision to not buy insurance turns out to be unwise, you should have to take financial responsibility, including filing bankruptcy if needed. He adds a hypothetical example in which someone’s life is saved with a million-dollar hospital bill – is it unreasonable that bankruptcy gives that health system part of your life’s income in the form of a repayment plan? 

New poll to your right or here, continuing with the theme and getting right to the heart of today’s healthcare debate: Is it OK for insurers to charge sicker people higher health insurance premiums or refuse to cover them as was common pre-ACA and is about to become common again? A follow-up question might ask what should then be done when someone quickly runs out of resources and simply signs up for Medicaid so taxpayers foot the bill.

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Responses to last week’s question are here.

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We’re in peak vacation season, which raises this week’s question: what have you done with time off that turned out to be especially motivating, enriching, or transformative? Something that changed your life, maybe? Those of us looking for something beyond the usual vacations need some guidance.

Here’s my favorite quote of the moment, which I thought of upon biting my lip as an acquaintance who is dying of cancer explained that she still puts in endless work hours because nobody else can do her job: “Graveyards are full of indispensable men.”


Webinars

August 15 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET. “Raising the Digital Trajectory of Healthcare.” Sponsored by: Health Catalyst. Presenter: Dale Sanders, President of Technology, Health Catalyst. Healthcare ranks lowest in McKinsey’s Digital Quotient (data assets x data skills x data utilization) of all industries except mining and has largely ignored the digitization of patients’ state of health, but that’s changing. This webinar will describe the empathetic components of healthcare digitization strategy; the AI-enabled encounter; why today’s digital approach will never work and instead sucks the life out of clinicians; the role of bio-integrated sensors, genomics, and the “digitician;” and the technology and architecture of a modern digital platform. It’s going to happen, so let’s make it happen the right way.

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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This should stir up some debate. FDA approves the first “gene-silencing” drug that treats a rare nerve destruction disease. The company spent $2.5 billion to develop Onpattro and will sell it for $450,000 per patient per year, including a money-back guarantee. The chief medical officer of Express Scripts applauds the company for “taking a responsible approach to pricing and patient access in the rare disease space.” About 50,000 people worldwide have the condition, of which 100 percent will want the drug versus the approximately 0.0 percent that can afford to pay for it. What do you do?


Decisions

  • Abington Hospital (PA) went live with Oracle HR software in January 2018.
  • Southeast Georgia Health System (GA) will go live with Kronos HR information system in September 2018.
  • Wake Forest Baptist Health (NC) plans to switch from Oracle HR information system to a new vendor that has not yet been chosen.
  • Sedgwick County Health Center (CO) switched from Azalea Health to MedWorks on February 1, 2018.
  • Parkside Psychiatric Hospital (OK) went live with Paycom HR software in spring 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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Ashish Sant (McKesson) is named SVP/GM of enterprise imaging of Change Healthcare.

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CancerLinQ, a non-profit data initiative of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, hires Corey Wiegert (IBM Watson Health) as CEO.


Announcements and Implementations

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Mobile Heartbeat launches CURE Analytics, which allows users of its mobile communications platform to improve communications processes and quality and to add communication data to a data warehouse.

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LOINC releases its FDA-funded “Guide for Using LOINC Microbiology Terms.”


Other

The government of India develops “e-mortality” software, hoping to improve on the 90 percent of death records that are not medically certified to include ICD-10 codes that indicate the underlying and contributing causes.

Minnesota’s health department finds that an appendectomy can cost as little as $6,600 or as much as $35,500, due not to which hospital is doing the work or how risky a particular patient is, but rather the secret price negotiations between health systems and insurance companies. Hospitals with little competition charged 15 percent more and patients are getting stuck with ever-higher bills because of high insurance deductibles and co-pays. 

In the UK, Alder Hey Children’s NHS Trust wants to use Microsoft HoloLens for a heads-up display for surgeons and Surface Hub for single-screen collaboration in sharing EHR data and medical images.

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Guess which country isn’t home to this market research firm whose website self-aggrandizes its “well-endowed research teams headed by true curators of talent and strong-headed individuals?”

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Weird News Andy confides that he heard about this in a tweet. A bronchoscopy reveals that a four-year-old boy’s mysterious, whistling-like cough is being caused, in fact, by an actual toy whistle.


Sponsor Updates

  • Medicomp Systems is exhibiting at Greenway Health’s Engage18 customer conference in National Harbor, MD August 10-13.
  • Iatric Systems posts a case study titled “Prevent Third-Party Breaches, Protect PHI, and Avoid the “Wall of Shame” with Iatric Systems SecureRamp.”
  • Black Book updates its mobile healthcare survey apps.
  • Liaison Technologies achieves record-breaking growth in the first half of 2018.
  • Lightbeam Health Solutions will exhibit at the SHIEC Conference August 19-22 in Atlanta.
  • Vyne President and CEO Lindy Benton joins the Florida State University Alumni Association National Board of Directors.
  • MedData’s Pulse intranet software wins ThoughtFarmer’s annual Best Intranet Awards in the Innovation category.
  • Surescripts will exhibit at the 2018 Aprima User Conference August 17-19 in Grapevine, TX.
  • SymphonyRM and ZappRx achieves AICPA SOC 2 Type 2 compliance.
  • TriNetX releases the agenda for its annual user conference September 25-26 in Boston.

Blog Posts


Contacts

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

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News 8/10/18

August 9, 2018 News 1 Comment

Top News

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CMS Administrator Seema Verma summarizes the 600-page, just-published proposed rule that would overhaul the Medicare Shared Savings Program in a Health Affairs blog post.


Reader Comments

From Glandular Enlargement: “Re: MED3000. Heard that McKesson will stop supporting it at the end of the year.” Unverified. That revenue management product hasn’t received much attention since McKesson bought it in 2012.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

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This weekend’s Monday Morning Update just won’t be the same unless you provide wisdom on what you wish you’d known before turning 40 (assuming you’re 40 or over, of course, otherwise feel free to read this weekend).


Webinars

August 15 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET. “Raising the Digital Trajectory of Healthcare.” Sponsored by: Health Catalyst. Presenter: Dale Sanders, President of Technology, Health Catalyst. Healthcare ranks lowest in McKinsey’s Digital Quotient (data assets x data skills x data utilization) of all industries except mining and has largely ignored the digitization of patients’ state of health, but that’s changing. This webinar will describe the empathetic components of healthcare digitization strategy; the AI-enabled encounter; why today’s digital approach will never work and instead sucks the life out of clinicians; the role of bio-integrated sensors, genomics, and the “digitician;” and the technology and architecture of a modern digital platform. It’s going to happen, so let’s make it happen the right way.

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Analytics and CRM company Trilliant Health raises $12 million in a Series A funding round. The company came together last year through the merger of Aegis Health, Clariture Health, and Expression Health Analytics. The unification coincided with the hiring of Hal Andrews (Shareable) as CEO.

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After hiring hundreds to implement its Epic system, which went live in March, Northwestern Medicine (IL) lays off 60 IT employees in an increasingly common thanks for a job well done.

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Insiders say that Amazon will open primary care clinics for employees at its Seattle headquarter with a pilot getting underway this year. Amazon’s primary care expertise includes Martin Levine from Iora Health, Christine Henningsgaard from One Medical, and Atul Gawande, MD, CEO of the company’s joint healthcare venture with Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase.

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App-based New York City prescription delivery service Capsule raises $50 million.

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Dealreporter says that UnitedHealth Group Bain Capital, and TPG are among the second-round bidders in the running to acquire Athenahealth.

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Health and wellness technology vendor Dynamic Healthcare Strategies acquires the Connect patient check-in and secure communications technology from CrossChx and renames it DHS SecurePass. CrossChx announced last week that it was renaming itself Olive following a $33 million funding round that will allow it to move into AI-powered healthcare automation.  


People

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CHIME names Jennifer Ramstrom (Connection) VP of CHIME Technologies and the CHIME Foundation.

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Salesforce promotes Keith Block to co-CEO alongside co-founder and chairman Marc Benioff.

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Jennifer Musich-Rehmann (Cerner) joins Goliath Technologies as VP of corporate development.

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Recondo Technology promotes Heather Kawamoto to the new role of chief product officer.

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Justin Collier, MD (HCA) joins technology solution provider World Wide Technologies as US East CMIO.

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Just Associates names Robin Gates (NextGate Solutions) as VP of sales for the southern region.


Sales

  • Torrance Memorial Integrated Physicians and Torrance Health IPA (CA) select population health management and risk adjustment software from Evolent Health.

Announcements and Implementations

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Teladoc beats out American Well and Doctor on Demand to supply virtual care consults for CVS Health’s new MinuteClinic-branded offering in the CVS Pharmacy app. Aetna, which CVS is in the process of acquiring for $69 billion, rolled out Teladoc-powered visits to its members several years ago.

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ActX announces GA of GenoAct, a genetics-based, clinical decision support service embedded within a provider’s EHR.

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Epic will hold its first Un-Users Group Meeting at its Verona campus on September 26, with an agenda aimed at non-Epic using provider leaders who want to exchange information with Epic customers. The $100 registration fee includes transportation to and from the hotel; a welcome reception; a crash course on data exchange (Carequality, Care Everywhere, HIE, and Direct) and Epic’s patient offerings (MyChart, Share Everywhere, Lucy, and Blue Button); lunch with Epic developers; interoperability success stories from Sutter Health and Children’s Health System of Texas; an overview of coordinated care; and an optional campus tour.

Behavioral health management company Beacon Health Options will offer virtual consult services from MDLive to its customers, including employers, payers, Medicaid programs, and military personnel.

Boston Children’s Hospital will add Buoy Health’s smart symptom checker to its website. The hospital will work with the Boston-based startup on future AI product development.

England’s Cambridge University Hospitals goes live on Epics’ EpicCare Link, which allows medical practices to view the hospital information of shared patients.


Government and Politics

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A ProPublica piece on President Trump’s unofficial VA advisors, known to Washington insiders as the “Mar-a-Lago Crowd,” paints a picture of behind-the-scenes maneuverings by a good-old-boys network intent on shaking up VA leadership with little government oversight or healthcare knowledge. The trio – Marvel Entertainment Chairman Ike Perlmutter, Bruce Moskowitz, MD, and lawyer Marc Sherman – seem intent on privatizing the VA, and may have had a hand in stalling the agency’s decision to move forward with the Cerner deal. Insiders are now waiting to see if newly appointed Secretary Robert Wilkie will seek the their approval or move forward with staffing and project decisions on his own terms. 

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An HHS OIG report finds that Medicare Part D spending for compounded creams and ointments increased 24-fold from 2010 to 2016 and triggered a bunch of fraud cases. OIG recommends that CMS clarify its policies; that it remind companies providing the coverage that they can make it exception-driven; and that it recommend utilization management tools. OIG also suggests that CMS investigate 550 pharmacies that drove most of the charges that also had questionable billing (a high percentage of patients receiving compounded products, repeated billings for the same items, a high per-prescription cost, high dispensing for a specific prescriber, and a big billing increase from 2015 to 2016). OIG also suggests reviewing 124 prescribers who ordered more than $250,000 each of compounded prescriptions from those questionable pharmacies, many of them crossing state lines that suggest no doctor-patient relationship existed. This is a brilliant use of claims data, although it’s always frustrating to realize just how CMS’s pay-and-chase policies allow robbing the system for years without much danger of serving time.

The 10-Q quarterly report filing of Community Health Systems discloses that the for-profit hospital operator is the subject of unspecified investigations related to Meaningful Use payments and running servers that still use Windows 2003.


Privacy and Security

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Open-source EHR and practice management software collective OpenEMR issues a software update after patching security vulnerabilities found by cybersecurity consulting firm Project Insecurity. The vulnerabilities, found through a manual review of source code, could have given hackers the ability to access patient records and system data, upload files, and execute system commands.

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Tweeting from the Black Hat USA conference, @drnic1 discovers that the FDA is thinking about creating a CyberMed Safety Analysis Board that would weigh in on the “assessment and validation of high-risk/high-impact device vulnerabilities and incidents.”


Other

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A hospital consortium in South Korea, led by Asan Medical Center, will invest $32 million to develop an AI-based, precision medicine support tool Korean physicians are likening to IBM’s Watson. Dubbed Dr. Answer, the software will diagnose and offer treatment options for eight conditions, including heart disease, breast cancer, dementia, and prostate cancer.

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A CoverMyMeds survey of 1,000 patients on prescription pricing transparency finds that:

  • Half did not fill their prescriptions at the pharmacy because of cost.
  • 37 percent stopped taking a medication because it was too expensive.
  • 75 percent have been prescribed medications that cost more than expected.
  • 87 percent wish their provider knew medication costs at the point of care.

Sponsor Updates

  • CompuGroup Medical sponsors the Bowling for Barrow event in Scottsdale, AZ that raises funds for Barrow Neurological Institute’s Concussion and Brain Injury Center. CGM USA also earns BBB accreditation and an A+ for outstanding customer care.
  • EClinicalWorks will exhibit at the CPCA 2018 Billing Managers Conference August 14-15 in Monterey, CA.
  • Imat Solutions and Iatric Systems will exhibit at the SHIEC Annual Conference August 19-22 in Atlanta.
  • InterSystems will exhibit at the Medical Enterprise Systems Conference August 13-16 in Portland.
  • Intelligent Medical Objects will exhibit at Greenway’s Engage conference August 10-13 in National Harbor, MD.
  • Loopback Analytics adds its Connector App to the Epic App Orchard.
  • Audacious Inquiry publishes a new white paper, “Technology Reuse: Want to Avoid Recreating the Wheel?”

Blog Posts


Contacts

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

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News 8/8/18

August 7, 2018 News 10 Comments

Top News

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Doctor appointment booking service Zocdoc postpones its announced pricing changes after practices complain about being charged for each booked appointment instead of paying just an annual fee.

A dermatologist says his $3,600 per-doctor annual cost would jump 700 percent and might run afoul of Stark restrictions since the practice would then be paying a per-referral charge.

Zocdoc is valued at $2 billion in having raised $145 million in four funding rounds, with investors that include Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and Salesforce’s Marc Benioff (although the proposed pricing is sort of anti-Amazon Prime in focusing on per-item charges instead of a blanket fee).

The company claims that reducing the annual fee and adding a per-appointment fee of $35 to $100 (depending on specialty) will lower the provider cost of entry and leave most of its practices paying the same or less.


Reader Comments

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From Generic Competitor: “Re: Crisis Text Line. Heard about it on TED Talks and thought you would be interested.” The non-profit Crisis Text Line offers free, 24×7, text message support from trained volunteers to “help move from a hot moment to a cool moment.” The organization supports its mission via for-profit, software-powered subsidiary Loris.ai, which teaches companies how to communicate with empathy and cultural competency using insights derived from applying data analysis to Crisis Text Line’s dozens of millions of text-based interactions.

From Monetary Exigency: “Re: medical bankruptcy. If we want to live in any sort of insurance system (and they do work in other countries) then there has to be a real imperative to have insurance. Just like car insurance. You have a lot to lose if you don’t have it. My suggestion, though, would be to allow people to be sued into medical bankruptcy, but only at the then-current Medicaid rate for those exact services. Uninsured patients are being charged against a fee schedule that no reasonable payer would ever pay against. Health systems chase the patients down to bankruptcy and still post beautiful ‘charity care’ numbers on their mission page on their website.” I like that idea, although I’m still a fan of forcing providers to charge everybody the same price to eliminate the secret contracts, cost shifting, and the absurd situation where the cash-paying customer pays more than anyone else.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

Listening: new from the 43-year-old, Canada-born R&B singer-songwriter Tamia. I was only vaguely aware of her and thus learned two interesting factoids: (a) she’s married to former NBA player and Atlanta Hawks co-owner Grant Hill; and (b) she has well-controlled multiple sclerosis. Requiring insulin for this somewhat sugary mix, I injected myself with new music from Sweden-based melodic metalcore band Amaranthe, which to my ear sounds like Adderall-fueled Abba jamming with Nightwish. 


Webinars

August 15 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET. “Raising the Digital Trajectory of Healthcare.” Sponsored by: Health Catalyst. Presenter: Dale Sanders, President of Technology, Health Catalyst. Healthcare ranks lowest in McKinsey’s Digital Quotient (data assets x data skills x data utilization) of all industries except mining and has largely ignored the digitization of patients’ state of health, but that’s changing. This webinar will describe the empathetic components of healthcare digitization strategy; the AI-enabled encounter; why today’s digital approach will never work and instead sucks the life out of clinicians; the role of bio-integrated sensors, genomics, and the “digitician;” and the technology and architecture of a modern digital platform. It’s going to happen, so let’s make it happen the right way.

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Prescription discount card vendor GoodRx takes a private equity investment that values the company at $2.8 billion.

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Family-owned Michigan and Illinois Medicaid benefits provider Meridian Health Plan sells out for $2.5 billion, giving the family of founder and former OB-GYN David Cotton a $2 billion after-tax windfall.

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Medication optimization technology vendor Tabula Rasa HealthCare reports Q2 results: revenue up 65 percent, adjusted EPS $0.20 vs. $0.08.


Sales

  • England’s Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust chooses Allscripts Sunrise, adding to its Allscripts patient administration system deployment.
  • Hunt Regional Healthcare (TX) will use pre-bill coding analysis technology from Streamline Health Solutions.

People

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Holon Solutions hires Renee Broadbent, MBA (UMass Memorial Medical Center) as SVP of population health.

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Forward Health Group hires Kerra Guffey (WPS Health Insurance) as chief administrative officer.


Announcements and Implementations

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Epic-focused consulting firm Bluetree Network moves to a 15,000-square-foot office in Madison, WI as it expands headcount to an eventual 450 and annual revenue to $55 million. The company will also add a managed services center to help front-line provider employees.

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Piedmont Athens Regional Medical Center (GA) goes live on Epic.

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Dell Medical School creates a Biomedical Data Science Hub and hires quantitative scientist Paul Rathouz, PhD from University of Wisconsin’s medical and public health schools to run it.

Phynd adds expanded health plan participation and network affiliation tracking tools to its provider profile and network management platform.

A CommonWell blog post says it’s on track to release connectivity to Carequality by the end of summer following its testing with customers of Cerner and Greenway Health in which 4,000 documents have been exchanged.

Change Healthcare releases Dual Enrollment Advocate, AI-powered technology that helps health plans identify, engage, and enroll Medicare Advantage members who are also eligible for Medicaid.

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Electronic dental claims attachment technology vendor NEA Powered by Vyne announces Vyne Connect, a secure practice-patient communication system.


Privacy and Security

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Interesting: consumers who get a genetic test from companies like Ancestry and 23andMe must disclose that fact when applying for long-term care insurance, and companies can then use the information to decide whether to issue a policy and how much to charge for it. The federal Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act applies only to health insurers, not those who sell policies for long-term care, life, or disability.

Facebook asks large US banks to share customer information – including their credit card activity and checking account balances – so it can increase user engagement by allowing those users to bank via Facebook Messenger.

Singapore is studying the use of virtual browsers after hackers penetrated SingHealth and compromised the information of 1.5 million patients. A virtual browser, offered by Citrix and other companies, runs remotely, is isolated from the local computer and network, stores no information on the user device, and clears itself when the session is terminated. 


Other

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Fast Company profiles Savvy, a patient-owned data cooperative which invites patients to contribute their medical information, which is then made available to providers who are interested in performing research surveys, testing, or focus groups. Patients pay $34 to join, then share in the company’s profit from fees charged to practitioners

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A small study finds that health systems are using skilled nursing facilities to improve post-discharge quality and costs under bundled payment model via two strategies:

  • Reducing referrals to SNFs by using risk stratification to decide which patients can go home instead
  • Integrating with SNFs to gain influence over their quality and costs, such as sharing EHR access and data, hiring care coordination staff, and embedding providers across facilities

The US Preventive Services Task Force finds insufficient evidence to assess the usefulness of screening symptom-free adults over 65 for atrial fibrillation to get them started on stroke-preventing anticoagulant therapy, possibly throwing shade on the remotely monitored app and patch vendors that portray such mass screening as a great medical advance compared to traditional methods.

In Japan, Tokyo Medical University apologizes for modifying its medical school application software to subtract points from the test scores of women, a change it made in 2006 in response to having too many qualified female applicants, which raised its concern that they would leave the workforce and cause a doctor shortage.

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A woman whose 18-year-old diabetic daughter was turned away from the hospital ED because “our server’s down – IT’s working on it” complains to the local TV station and the board and attorney of South Central Kansas Medical Center (KS) about her resulting three-day ICU stay at another hospital. The daughter says, “I work at the local donut shop, and when we have computers go down, we write everything down and we put it in the computer later. We always have a backup plan for something. The fact that the hospital didn’t have a backup plan is kind of frustrating.”


Sponsor Updates

  • Imat Solutions introduces its C3 framework (clean, comprehensive, and current data) for HIEs, payers, and providers.
  • Aprima announces that KLAS Arch Collaborative Ambassador Mike Davis will keynote its annual user conference, August 17-19 in Grapevine, TX.
  • Audacious Inquiry publishes a new white paper, “Medicaid IT Funding.”
  • AssessURHealth and CoverMyMeds will exhibit at Greenway Health’s Engage conference August 10-13 in National Harbor, MD.
  • Burwood Group achieves Cisco Lifecycle Advisor status.
  • CarePort Health will exhibit at ACMA Florida August 16-17 in Championsgate, FL.
  • Carevive releases a new video, “Patient Engagement in Value-based Care: Real World Case Studies Using Shared Decision-Making and ePROs.”
  • CenTrak will present at the Georgia Biomedical Instrumentation Society annual conference in Atlanta on August 11.
  • CTG will exhibit at the PCMH Congress August 14-16 in San Diego.
  • Divurgent releases a new white paper, “Flying Lessons: Crew Resource Management in Healthcare.”

Blog Posts


Contacts

Mr. H, Lorre, Jenn, Dr. Jayne.
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Reader Comments

  • CommentsTwoWeeksLate: I'd be really disappointed if the "de-identified" data set contained full birth dates or zip codes. That doesn't seem t...
  • Code Jockey: Mr. H - this is a response to 'Really' but I'm not sure how to respond to his post. Also, this is a note for both you an...
  • Clarence: From my experience 7 years as an Epic employee and then 4+ years integrating 3rd party clinical content/software into EH...
  • meltoots: I take issue with one thing in this. The ACR AUC system is ridiculous for specialist physicians. I am a board certified ...
  • Really: Come on Code Junkie... Would any software company on the planet let you take their code, do a minor modification and ...
  • Code Jockey: Sigh.... Code Corrections - the origin of this conversation was a statement by someone that Epic clients were creating t...
  • WhatstheretoWonder: Fairly clear that the ambitions were crushed by unchecked capitalism and Republican waffling on doing the necessary chec...
  • Woodstock Generation: Re: Mr. HIStalk's response to Post-Acute Pat - Mr. HIStalk, you couldn't have said it better about today's healthcare i...
  • It'sNotYouIt'sMe: I also at some point "consented" to give my bank and credit data to Equifax. If you asked the average person when they s...
  • Michael: Re: WSJ article - "without the patient's knowledge or approval." All of the patients consent to give their DNA for resea...

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