Home » News » Recent Articles:

From HIMSS 3/5/18 Part 2

March 6, 2018 News 3 Comments

SNAGHTML61f7fb96 

HIMSS18 Day 1 is on the books. I’m not really sure if it’s Day 1 or Pre-Day 1, but it’s over regardless. There wasn’t a moment today where it didn’t feel like Sunday instead of Monday.

From Ulterior Motive: “Re: Fujitsu. They are exiting the healthcare vertical business even though they claim to focus on B2B with an emphasis on verticals. This aligns with the pending acquisition from Lenovo. That leaves the industry with Lenovo, HP, and sometimes Dell for mobile computing devices. Guess it is now time for Apple and potentially Microsoft if they can fix Surface.” Unverified.


Newsy Items

Cerner and Salesforce will collaborate to integrate to offer their combined population health management and CRM solutions, respectively.


image

We’re surrounded by grotesquely Americanized phony views of the real world and the worshiping of excess, debauchery, and conspicuous consumption. Sorry, wrong picture – I was looking for one from the exhibit hall.

image

It’s kind of like the running of the bulls in Pamplona, except that the slower-moving targets of rage are the health IT nerds thinking that they are expert multi-taskers in being able to screw around with their phones while walking and failing to notice that they’ve almost stopped mid-walkway due to lack of CPU cycles to smoothly accomplish both. They deserve to be trampled by tailgaters who are locomoting more decisively to their destination.

image

Change Healthcare has installed these cool device charging stations all over the convention center. You use your credit card to lock your charging device in its own little compartment and then retrieve it later. I brought external batteries saved from previous HIMSS conferences, so I should be set.

image

Cerner and Epic finally agree on something.

image

Hey, look at the HIMSS-provided free refreshment bar! I actually grabbed a few pens and notepads since those are hard to find (the latter, especially) in the exhibit hall. And an ice water.

image

Here’s our magnificent tribute to cost-effective exhibiting: two new pull-up signs ($75 each, free shipping), a new Smokin’ Doc standee ($75), and our old table cover and banner (which frankly could have used a touch of the iron after being hauled around for years in a duffel bag). Still, I’m excited that we at least accomplished something – a nearby Hall G booth neighbor caught Lorre before our booth was even set up and asked for the “Cellar Dweller Special” new-sponsorship bonus special I mentioned the other day. They’ll benefit for a full year at a fraction of their exhibit hall cost and we’ll feel a little bit better about squandering money on a booth. I’ll be sweating tomorrow that I’ll hear that our booth is dead.

image

A witty welcome gift – a sort of “found objects” art display — was awaiting us at our empty booth from our old HIStalk friend, Medicomp CEO Dave Lareau, who clearly understands our bifurcated feelings about the conference.

Actually, Hall G is much nicer than I remember, with reasonably high ceilings. Our aisle is pretty wide an inviting, with the only real negative being that it’s like a mall that has lost its anchor tenants and thus its foot traffic. I’m sure some great companies are down there with us, so show your discriminating taste in seeking out vendors that the hoi polloi can’t appreciate, like boutique wineries that aren’t interested in selling to the masses.

image

I caught my booth crew (both of them) wearing tee shirts I hadn’t seen, finally extracting their eye-averting confessions that they have a bunch of them with plans to use them for unstated purchases. I suppose I should overlook their lack of transparency, applaud their self-directed management,  and at least be happy that they chose to memorialize The Smokin’ Doc. I’ve already bet money that at least one person who feels gifted with unusual insight will loudly question why a doctor is smoking a pipe. It’s called intentional irony, humorless people of the world.

image

Lorre struggles every year trying to hang up our booth stuff by herself since the drape holders are taller than she is. Stepping in chivalrously to help was booth neighbor Bill Schriver, a US Navy veteran and senior manager from Atlanta-based consulting firm Avelead. Lorre wants to thank Bill in this way – show up at their Booth #11325, ask to meet Bill, and tell him Lorre sent you. The first three people that do that will get one of the tee shirts you see above. We apparently have both the usual men’s version as well as more flattering ones designed specifically for women, which isn’t always the case with giveaways. You might as well thank Bill for his service while you’re visiting.

image

Another booth neighbor is displaying this thought-provoking item, which I like to think is an abstract, wry commentary on the exhibit hall – the de-humanized protagonist has his mouth wide open talking loudly while carefully covering his eyes and ears to avoid being distracted by listening. Maybe I’m overthinking it.

The entire convention center now resembles the gambling machines that surround it, replete with ad-displaying monitors that feature eye-catching bright lights.

The first word I heard upon entering the convention center today was “blockchain,” part of too-fast, too-enthusiastic pitch some guy was delivering via his phone.

SNAGHTML624a06a3

Great job on the backpacks, GE Healthcare. It’s a keeper – large, lightweight, and featuring nice straps and a magnetic closure. They chose well in designing it purely to work as a backpack, with symmetrical straps and a single, centered top handle that doesn’t try to emulate a handbag or briefcase and thus failing all possible use cases.

Hall WiFi was free and pretty good at 25 Mbps, although that will get dragged down significantly Tuesday when it gets overloaded by attention-deficit geeks desperate to mate with their electronica.

Food was a bit hard to find near the action today since most of the concessionaires operate only from stands inside the still-closed exhibit hall. I didn’t want to pay $30 for lunch, so I headed up to the Grand Canal Shoppes food court that had a lot of options for under $12. I had a pretty good Indian lunch from Curry Pot, whose naan and cumin seed basmati rice that came with the chicken tikki masala making the temporary carb loading worth it.

image

I attended the first part of the lackluster opening keynote session that didn’t start until 5:00. It led off with dull singing from TV talent show winners backed by pre-recorded tracks in singing irrelevant songs that ranged from “Hallelujah” to the retch-inducing “Don’t Stop Believin’” and finishing with the puzzling “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” all of it embellished with gratuitous vocal gymnastics, background slides that missed “inspirational” while hitting “cliche” in trying to tie together with an emotional thread disasters both natural and intentionally caused, and the absence of the original songwriters or performers (it was karaoke, basically, and not in a “like Leonard Cohen sang it” sort of way). I can’t decide if I was more embarrassed when a few people cheered and clapped as though Better Midler had just belted out a number vs. the stern, besuited guys shown on the projection screens who seemed to fear that any show of emotion might burst their tightly buttoned collars. I guess it’s tough to program music for the older, button-down crowd that attend HIMSS, but I would rather have just skipped the music entirely to get us all out to dinner earlier.

They said in the opening session that the room was full at 7,000 people and that 43,000 people had registered for the conference, although I don’t know if those were official numbers.

Eric Schmidt, who has held (and lost) all the key positions at Alphabet/Google while amassing $14 billion, got off to a good keynoter start before I had to leave (HIMSS wasted a ton of stage time before he was allowed to start at 5:45). He talked about technology in medicine, calling AI-powered image analysis “a solved problem” in which machines performs far better than humans. He mentioned the new Google Cloud API and urged the industry to “run to the cloud” and get off their poorly managed and secured local servers (he sells the other kind, of course). I had to scoot and missed the rest of his talk, so let me know if he said anything interesting. The most interesting thing was how odd I felt seeing an actual person from Google – unlike Microsoft’s ever-present Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer, I had no idea what anyone from Google looked or sounded like despite my close, constant relationship with its products (Chrome, Mail, Android, search, and so on).

Tomorrow is the first day the exhibit all is open, so I’ll be cruising and possibly attending some educational sessions that I’ve highlighted. Email me if there’s something I should see or if you hear interesting news or rumors that I can use.

From HIMSS 3/5/18

March 5, 2018 News 9 Comments

The HIMSS war has begun, where the wide-eyed newbies huddle together in chattery excitement while the grizzled veterans with far-away stares trudge off to fight the latest of too many ugly battles.

Jenn, Dr. Jayne, and I will post as we have time and anything interesting to report. Experience has jaded me so that I don’t get wrapped up, as many people do, into cramming events into every waking hour. I’ll choose drifting peacefully with the health IT current instead of swimming hard upstream.


Reader Comments

From School Me: “Re: KLAS report on interoperability. It is painfully thin on actual details and is almost reckless in painting a misleading picture. Epic and ECW are routinely censured by industry associations, investigators, and the like for data blocking and KLAS gives them the highest scores for interoperability? It’s probably not a coincidence that this report landed one business day before HIMSS starts — I’ll bet you a Bellagio buffet that Epic has that report on 20-foot signs in its booth this week.”

From Skeptical: “Re: KLAS report on interoperability. I wonder if it’s an FTC violation that KLAS doesn’t disclose the financial relationships with the vendors they’re rating? Plus, wouldn’t it be valuable for CIOs to know how much each ranked vendor pays KLAS?” That’s always the question with KLAS. I suggest that KLAS implement a star system to indicate their relative income level from each vendor. They don’t have to tell us the exact figure ,but it would be nice to know when reading a report about Epic and Greenway that they’ve earned 10 KLAS payment ranking stars vs. two, respectively, although that gives vendors incentive to pay less instead of more.

From Gettin’ Jiggy: “Re: Allscripts. Elation, CareCloud, and Athenahealth will win business as the company starts charging for Practice Fusion without plans to enhance it. We still don’t know what will happen with the Care Otter product that’s being developed within a siloed organization that has shunned help from more experienced Allscripts resources. If it flies, they will surely sunset some of their reliable, stable EHRs, although client-server systems – especially for small practices – need to die. The company’s big product gap is not having a cloud-based PM product, which is needed to stem their customer losses over the past few years.” Allscripts has two problems with Practice Fusion: (a) most practices implemented it only because it was a free way to cash in on Meaningful Use money, and (b) whatever percentage of its users who are willing to pay for an EHR won’t necessarily find Allscripts products more attractive than the ample alternatives. I’m not sure any level of enhancement would help since the Practice Fusion customer base didn’t seem to care about functionality gaps enough to replace it. I also don’t know how Allscripts will mobilize a sales force to reach out to Practice Fusion customers before they start looking or digging back out the manila file folders. I’ve had one visit to a Practice Fusion-using practice and they only lightly used the online portal part – it was all paper forms otherwise even though they look like a “customer” to the company.


Newsy Items

image

Allscripts CEO Paul Black pens an editorial criticizing the just-released KLAS report on plug-and-play interoperability, which noted that Allscripts doesn’t participate in the highly-used Carequality or the lightly-used CommonWell. He says KLAS should have considered other available interoperability options such as point-to-point interfaces, HIEs, and APIs. Cerner is also apparently unhappy with the report, which said its CommonWell-centric approach has limited the connectivity options of customers until the CommonWell-Carequality connection opens up access to Epic-using sites.

image

VA Secretary David Shulkin convinced reporters last week that he had squelched VA insiders who were conspiring with White House officials to get him fired, but new reports suggest otherwise. VA OIG previously said Shulkin took a family Wimbledon vacation at taxpayer expense and an upcoming report will say he used his security detail to run personal errands. The Daily Beast cites several sources who said Shulkin is now “extremely paranoid” in posting an armed guard outside his office, cutting off access to his floor by those VA staffers he suspects of being disloyal, and attempting to fire several political appointees who were saved by White House intervention. He’s on the HIMSS agenda for Friday if he makes it that long.

image

CHIME CEO Russ Branzell will receive a Baldrige Leadership Excellence Award for his work in cybersecurity.


HIMSS Notes

Every year I write several times right before the HIMSS conference that companies are unwise in holding off their announcements for this week, when they are sure to be missed in the mayHIMSS, yet most still do.

This tip is courtesy of my Lyft driver last night. If you rideshare to or from the Sands, use the Venetian’s pickup and drop-off area since it’s a lot easier for drivers to get in and out. I used it last night and was impressed that the Venetian places a uniformed guy there to keep things moving and to remind people to choose the Venetian pickup option instead of the other two locations that Lyft also shows from that spot.  

Today will be the coolest of this Las Vegas week, with a high of 63 that runs up to 77 by Thursday. It got chilly quickly last night, making me glad I’d worn a long-sleeved shirt but sorry I didn’t bring a jacket.

Today we will set up our tiny booth and maybe check out the afternoon keynote and opening reception. More to come.

Jenn’s HIMSS 3/5/18

March 5, 2018 News 1 Comment

image

I’m up before the day has even dawned thanks to a stuffy hotel room and an inability to instantaneously adjust to the time difference here in Vegas. This will be at least my sixth HIMSS (not including the few hours I spent at the last HIMSS in Atlanta as a complete newbie both to the conference and industry), and I’m glad I got here a day early so that jet lag will hopefully wear itself out by the time the conference truly opens for business on Tuesday. I am so glad HIMSS will be in Orlando for the next several years.

image

Aside from connecting with readers and sponsors, which might be hard to do given the dungeon-like location of our booth, 11228, in Hall G, I don’t have a list of must-see sessions or exhibit hall meetings this go-round. The big keynotes hold little thrill, and I’ll unfortunately be on my home when the one session I do truly want to attend – It Takes a Community: Deliverying 21st Century Coordinated Care for Those in and Out of Uniform – with VA Secretary David Shulkin, MD takes place. When it comes to themes for this year’s show, I have a feeling we’ll all be playing plenty of buzzword bingo. (I’m kicking myself for forgetting to print out the card Mr. H put together last week.) I also predict that while vendors will be touting concepts and capabilities like AI, precision medicine, and [insert your buzzword of choice here], attendees will be shopping for far less sexy things like telemedicine and behavioral health add-ons.

image

I will admit that my interest will be piqued by companies touting blockchain capabilities, despite the fact that HIStalk readers voted blockchain the most overrated technology. (Check out HISsies winners here.) I received at least 25 press releases from companies touting such capabilities ahead of the show. I’m tempted to give my time only to those exhibitors who have solid use cases on hand, of which I predict there will be few. Companies like Change Healthcare, PokitDok, SimplyVital Health, and Patientory come to to mind as companies that may have customer success stories.

image

I should add that my interest in blockchain isn’t strictly tied to healthcare. Several family members have decided to invest in a cryptocurrency mining rig, and so the attendant blockchain concept has lately been a hot topic at family gatherings. I don’t understand all the ins and outs, but want to learn more. I find the evolution of the whole subculture fascinating. (As typical with tech, it’s dominated by “blockchain bros,” as this New York Times article points out.)

image

Perhaps the folks at Reaction Data can shed some light on how blockchain best fits into healthcare. They don’t have a dedicated market research report on the subject, but I bet it’s coming.

image

I do plan to highlight as many vendors as I can that have incorporated charitable giving into their show-floor activities, so please let me know via email or tweet if you come across any that I should check out. Datica Chief Data Officer Mark Olschesky will donate $1 to HIStalk’s Donors Choose efforts for every person that attends his 30-minute presentation on HIPAA/GDPR for developers on Tuesday at 12:30 pm in the Developer Innovation Lab on Level 1.

On my dance card today – ambling around the Venetian/Sands to get a feel for where everything is and hopefully run into a few familiar faces. Athenahealth has invited me to an opening-night event that will somehow incorporate VR, which I’m excited about for the novelty factor alone. Plus, I’m hoping to corner some of the top execs for their personal take on what’s going on with the company right now, especially given the activity of competitors like EClinicalWorks, which is making no bones in the pre-HIMSS media blitz about its intent to enter the hospital market.

image

I did get the chance to bend new Athenahealth chairman Jeff Immelt’s ear about the company’s trajectory. He says that, “In terms of storms that I anticipate Athenahealth and all players in the HIT industry will weather – it’s a going to be a ‘value game.’ In a market landscape post-government incentive, vendors will need to showcase and prove the value they can bring to the markets they serve.”

When it comes to growing the company, Immelt believes it will come down to listening to customers and delivering on that aforementioned value. “At GE, I was constantly trying to make a big company act smaller,” he explains. “Now Epic and Cerner are the ‘big guys.’ They’re the long-time incumbents and they’ve been masterful in navigating and establishing themselves in healthcare during the first wave of digitization. However, the companies that sustain market position or find new ways to gain market traction are those that deliver value and unleash the industry to fundamentally better ways of operating, sharing information, and collaborating.”

When it comes to HIMSS – and health IT – Immelt has been there since the beginning: “I’ve had a twenty-year love affair with healthcare and have watched the formation of healthcare IT from the beginning and seen HIMSS since it could’ve been held in a high school gym. I’ve seen firsthand from the likes of doctors, care staff, and healthcare leadership teams that they’re largely dissatisfied with the industry’s operational and technological current state. This is especially true when I compare healthcare with other industries. Healthcare has experienced its first wave of digitization and is primed for the next wave. I fundamentally believe that the companies that will have the most impact on an improved future for healthcare are those that combine a platform infrastructure, with a set services enabled by technology, and then sell their offerings in a way that are clearly aligned with delivering actual results and measurable value. I see this in Athenahealth’s model.”

I have a few other evening engagements planned after the VR fun, some of which may be curtailed depending on my level of fatigue. I doubt I’ll make it to the Pub Night hosted by Emids/Encore, but you never know. HIMSS has a way of making one footloose and fancy free with evening schedules. I tend to RSVP for far more activities than I could possibly attend, deciding on what events to attend based on how far away venues are from each other and whether I can coerce a buddy or two into party-hopping with me.

image

I’ve never had personal safety issues in Vegas – or at any conference for that matter, but I know they occur far too frequently, as the results of Mr. H’s latest poll can attest. Alcohol-infused networking events may be a contributing factor, as this article points out. I learned a long time ago – by watching several supremely drunk co-workers make fools of themselves at a company outing – that drinking while on the job, or even amidst co-workers during non-working hours – can lead to watercooler stories that take a long time for everyone to forget.

That being said, stay safe, have fun, and enjoy the #HIMSSanity.


Contacts

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

125x125_2nd_Circle

Monday Morning Update 3/5/18

March 3, 2018 News No Comments

Top News

image

For those living on other healthcare IT planets who aren’t already aware, HIMSS18 kicks off this week. The screwy Las Vegas schedule has the full conference starting on Tuesday (since hotels won’t give up their weekend casino revenue for the usual Monday morning start), so the week looks like this:

  • Monday: pre-conference programs, opening keynote at 5:00 p.m., opening reception to follow
  • Tuesday: education sessions 8:30 to 5:00, exhibits 9:30 to 6:00
  • Wednesday: education sessions from 8:30 to 5:00, exhibits 9:30 to 6:00
  • Thursday: education sessions 8:30 to 2:30, exhibits 9:30 to 4:00
  • Friday: education sessions 10:30 to noon

I will abandon the usual HIStalk format this week and instead will post daily reports from Jenn, Dr. Jayne, and me about what we see or hear. Email me if you see something I should check out.

image image

Please visit us in Booth #11228, which can be reached by descending with justifiable trepidation down the well-disguised stairs to the lower level that looks like an IRS cubicle farm and then trying to find our microscopic booth by number in the bizarre layout. You won’t get rewarded for your trouble other than with gratitude and friendly conversation among our magnificent furnishings (total cost: $300, dragged in a beat-up, garage-stored duffel bag from one HIMSS to the next). That is, unless you want to take a selfie with the life-sized Smokin’ Doc, which people love to do for some reason (including the 18th Surgeon General of the United States, Regina Benjamin, MD, at HIMSS17 – the pipe must have puzzled her).

I made it a point at HIMSS12 and HIMSS16 to spend a full day cruising Hall G and writing about what I saw there because I felt sorry for the companies whose HIMSS hopes and dreams were crushed by low booth traffic for which they paid dearly. There’s likely quite a bit of innovation happening down here in the catacombs, so give those companies a look and wish them the success that will allow them to pay the necessary financial homage to HIMSS to get promoted to the main show floor in the HIMSS21 return to Las Vegas. 

image

Actually, we are giving away one pretty cool thing in our microbooth – the ever-popular Conference Survival Kits that we always make available with the folks from Arcadia (Booth #4221). The tastefully understated black bag contains essentials like Wet Ones, antiseptic cleaning pads, antacids, Band-Aids, breath mints, and Blistex. Perhaps we should play Arcadia Bingo to see whose misadventures cause them to use the highest number of the items before leaving Lost Wages. 

image

Our booth, almost drawn to scale. I’ve never heard of any of our booth neighbor companies and they probably haven’t heard of HIStalk. I’m secretly hoping that we get a lot of visitors while they’re standing around wondering what exactly we do.

image

I challenged Lorre to come up with something (anything) to put a positive spin on what I expect to be a lackluster HIMSS18 exhibiting experience. She’ll offer a first-year deal to any of our fellow Hall G outcasts that sign up as new sponsors, which gives them full-year exposure for a fraction of the cost of three days in the HIMSS basement. I decided to call it the “Cellar Dweller Special.”

My HIMSS guide describes what my sponsors will be doing there, including stuff they’re giving away and anything special they’re doing for HIStalk readers.

The Meditech folks seem to always run into Boston weather-related travel delays that cause them to arrive late to the conference. This year looks like more of the same, as severe weather has caused thousands of flights to be cancelled in Boston, Philadelphia, and New York. Hopefully the flight backlog will be cleared for Sunday and Monday HIMSS18 travelers. It’s stressful enough to arrive early as I always do, so I can’t imagine getting there later than expected.


Reader Comments

image

From Unconscious Power: “Re: HIMSS18 opening reception. First timer. Should I go?” I’m not qualified to opine since I almost never go – it’s too early in the week to be crushed in the wave of glad-handing humanity. I’m at least glad that HIMSS did away with drink tickets and upped the food game a bit, although the entertainment is always generic Disney-grade. It will surely be better than the first return to Chicago, when it was a half-mile hike to what looked and sounded like an airplane hangar as the blizzard raged outside. The best opening receptions were always in San Diego, out on the convention center’s patio overlooking the bay.

From Sheetal Shah: “Re: your tiny HIMSS booth. Be proud of that 100 square feet! As a startup, we went for the 0x0 booth this year and decided instead to become an HIStalk sponsor!” Sheetal is VP of SymphonyRM and I appreciate the support. It’s a struggle for me to decide between 10×10 and 0x0 since our little booth will end up costing something like $7,000. We’ll see what locations are available at HIMSS19. We usually end up, at best, by the restrooms and loading dock.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

image

Seventeen percent of male poll respondents and 38 percent of females say they’ve experienced unwanted sexual attention or comments during a HIMSS conference. Here is my personal challenge to you for next week. If you see someone behaving badly, observe an attendee being made uncomfortable, or see someone who has over-imbibed in a compromising situation, don’t just walk away – get involved as tactfully as possible. I would also suggest that women consider downloading one of the personal safety apps that allow them to send their location to a friend, send a message with a single tap asking a friend to call them to get themselves out of a situation, or issue an SOS if they don’t get to their destination by the expected time. Get a handful of HIMSS colleagues in your circle and these apps will provide peace of mind and maybe more. Remember that unlike Orlando and former HIMSS cities, we’re sharing the Strip with a lot of shady people who know we’re tourists from our badges. I would also enjoy having someone who makes a gender- or sex-related comment within earshot of a bystander get taken down a notch for their boorish behavior, so tell me if you get to see that.

New poll to your right or here: What OS does your most-used smartphone have?

Thanks to those who responded with insightful answers to  “What I Wish I’d Known Before … I Quit My Job to Go to Work for Myself.” I’m saddened that folks who love working for themselves are being pushed back into working for someone else because they either can’t get health insurance at all or it’s too expensive as a one-person company. It’s ironic that even health IT experts are having their entrepreneurial ambitions dashed by our screwed up health system.

image

This week’s question: “What I Wish I’d Known Before … Taking my First Hospital IT Executive Job.”


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

image
image
image
SNAGHTML50109175
SNAGHTML5003f5eb
image
image
image
image
SNAGHTML5002bf21
image
image
image
image
image
image
SNAGHTML50080067
image
image
image
image

image

Thanks, too, to long-time HIStalk supporter PeriGen, which has upgraded its sponsorship level to Platinum. They just announced that Qualcomm Life will resell their AI-powered Vigilance early warning system for OB.


Webinars

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

image

HIMSS acquires Chicago-based business accelerator and venture fund manager Healthbox in its never-ending and sometimes puzzling expansion. Healthbox’s CEO is Neil Patel, who used to work with HIMSS President and CEO Hal Wolf at The Chartis Group. Patel joined the company in September 2016 after founder and CEO Nina Nashif left for unstated reasons (one might be that healthcare IT has too many poorly run startups being pursued by a surplus of underachieving accelerators that offer them little value). This is another example where some vendors that pay a lot of money to support HIMSS now find themselves competing against it.

SNAGHTML54c70a93

I missed this earlier: global payment and receivables solutions vendor Flywire acquires OnPlan Holdings, the parent company of patient portal and payment solutions vendor OnPlan Health.


Sales

image

Comanche County Memorial Hospital (OK) will implement EClinicalWorks Acute Care EHR and RCM, replacing Allscripts Paragon for its 283 inpatient beds.

Rhode Island’s HHS chooses IMAT Solutions to implement a centralized ECQM reporting and feedback system.


Decisions

  • South Peninsula Hospital (AK) will go live on an Evident (CPSI) EDIS this month.
  • Tift Regional Medical Center (GA) will go live on Cerner on July 1, 2018.
  • UPMC Pinnacle Lancaster (PA) will go live on Epic in April 2018.

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


Announcements and Implementations

SNAGHTML502b9df5

A new KLAS report on plug-and-play EHR data-sharing capabilities concludes that it’s: (a) automatic for Athenahealth and Epic customers; (b) nearly so for EClinicalWorks; (c) limited for Cerner because of poor CommonWell adoption, at least until the CommonWell-Carequality connection is in place; (d) uncommon for GE Healthcare and Greenway Health users; and (e) not offered by Allscripts, Meditech, and NextGen. Epic and Athenahealth offer the highest likelihood of being able to connect to important partners, while Epic and Cerner offer the best doctor usability of the retrieved patient records. KLAS did the report because CommonWell’s hype that downplays its poor adoption has created distrust:

Most CommonWell EMR vendors require their customers to onboard one at a time, and only Athenahealth has driven adoption in mass. This is even true if you are using Cerner, who has been one of the most valiant and prominent CommonWell promoters. Because sharing among Epic customers is already universal, when CommonWell connects to Carequality, the entire Epic base will become available, creating instant value for most areas of the country. CommonWell will likely see a significant adoption increase with a solid Carequality connection. Since its launch five years ago, the tendency to overmarket the level of adoption of CommonWell has created apprehension and a lack of trust among potential participants and prompted this report, showing a snapshot of providers’ success.


Government and Politics

image

HHS will hold its free Startup Day in Boston on Friday, March 30, offering government speakers, breakout sessions, and “Shark Tank”-like pitches.


Other

A study led by the co-creator of the Bedside Pediatric Early Warning System (which was commercialized by Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children) finds that use of the system did not decrease mortality or ICU resource utilization. An accompanying editorial by Memorial Sloan Kettering’s critical care medicine chief says that perhaps holding the system to an all-or-none mortality standard is unreasonable. He concludes with an appeal for AI-powered hospital informatics systems:

Now is the time for hospital leadership executives, medical informatics departments, interested clinicians, informatics vendors, and governmental-certifying bodies to move forward and apply artificial intelligence systems to the hospital setting to enhance processes of patient care and outcomes. Such informatics systems, which are broad in their data capture, analysis, learning, and therapeutic recommendations, are being developed … These programs should be welcomed into inpatient and ICU care to allow investigations to move away from single intervention-based studies, with simplistic but easily accessible primary outcome measures such as mortality, to a more technologically based approach to understanding health care data and studying therapeutic interventions.

image

Chorus, the fitness app and group encouragement tool started by former Twitter CEO Dick Costolo, shuts down after just eight months. The company ran into the Abstinence Violation Effect, in which people stop participating in their support group after they fail to meet its agreed-on expectations, such as missing a planned exercise session. He also found that people lost interest in motivating each other. Maybe Dick should have learned about dubious Internet comradeship from Twitter, whose never-ending stream of trolls, bullies, bots, and psychopaths similarly drive users away.

Without the usual HIStalkapalooza pomp and circumstance, here are your 2018 HISsies winners. Congratulations and/or condolences to those that were chosen by my readers.


Contacts

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

125x125_2nd_Circle

News 3/2/18

March 1, 2018 News No Comments

Top News

image

Intermountain Healthcare (UT) ramps up its commitment to virtual care with the launch of Connect Care Pro, a suite of services that brings together its 35 telemedicine programs under one roof at a new facility staffed by 150 clinicians. The “virtual hospital” will serve the health system’s 22 hospitals, 180 clinics, and nine unaffiliated facilities.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

image

Welcome to new HIStalk Platinum Sponsor OnPlan Health. The company, based in Bannockburn, IL, tailors the financial experience of patients and providers by offering a smarter way to manage out-of-pocket costs. Its automated payment support identifies that 50 percent of patients whose past payment history and financial information suggest they will need support paying their bill, then engages with them in creating a customized, pre-approved payment plan. Munson Healthcare found that two-thirds of its payment plans were activated by patients themselves to avoid the time and embarrassment of asking someone at the health system to create a payment plan for them. Rush-Copley Medical Center says that implementing OnPlan increased payments by 10 percent within eight months and lowered average term length while increasing pay-in-fulls. Providers also benefit from fewer placements to collections, reduced staff time, and increased payment security supported by point-to-point encryption and elimination of stored credit card information. Co-founder and CEO John Talaga founded “friendly billing” pioneer HealthCom, acquired by McKesson in 2006 as its first acquisition in forming RelayHealth. Thanks to OnPlan Health for supporting HIStalk.

SNAGHTML4c26d89a

The folks at Waystar Revenue Technology (the recently merged and newly renamed Navicure and ZirMed) will make a $1,000 donation to my DonorsChoose project to honor of the winner of a raffle that will be held at their Waystar Premiere Party at HIMSS18. A name will be drawn from those of attendees who RSVP for the event — which will be held Wednesday evening from 8:00 until 11:00 at the Marquee Nightclub and Dayclub at the Cosmopolitan —  and I’ll recognize that person here afterward as having made the company’s donation possible. Teachers, students, and I thank Waystar and the eventual winner for supporting education.


Webinars

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

image

The SSI Group acquires Informatics Corporation of America and its CareAlign clinical data aggregation and exchange platform.


People

image

MDLive hires Lyle Berkowitz, MD (Northwestern Medicine / Healthfinch) as CMO and EVP of product strategy.

image

Dave Lundal (WellStar Health System) join consulting firm Evergreen Healthcare Partners as managing partner/VP of advisory solutions.

image

Jaffer Traish (Culbert Healthcare Solutions) joins Aunt Bertha – a public benefit corporation that offers an online social service directory that is used by 1 million people —  as VP of strategic partnerships.


Sales

image

Mercy Technology Services selects Commvault’s cloud-based disaster recovery and backup solutions.

image

University of Missouri Health Care expands its relationship with Cerner to include RCM services.


Announcements and Implementations

image

A new KLAS report that asked providers to rate consulting firms they’ve worked with finds that Nordic and Deloitte were most often perceived as true partners, while Advisory Board was by far the firm providers would not use again because of disappointing outcomes and use of inexperienced consultants. Chartis Group, Deloitte, and PwC were perceived as having the broadest range of services; Impact Advisors was named as having the most IT advisory depth; and clients said Nordic has the most implementation depth.  

RelayHealth Pharmacy Solutions and CoverMyMeds – both owned by McKesson—announce RxBenefitClarity, a real-time prescription benefits and prior authorization decision support tool that covers all payers.

image

In another attempt at relevancy in healthcare, Microsoft launches cloud-based AI and machine learning tools, plus security and compliance templates for moving health data to its Azure cloud. Early adopters include Ochsner Health System (LA) — which has partnered with its vendor Epic to determine if Microsoft’s AI can predict patient deterioration — and UPMC, which is test driving Microsoft’s new AI-powered transcription software.

image

Uber develops a HIPAA-compliant service that will enable providers to arrange rides for patients to and from appointments. Before everyone wets themselves with “Uber in healthcare” excitement, remember, it’s just a taxi service.

image

Cayuga Medical Center (NY) implements CloudWave’s real-time infrastructure monitoring and management services for its Meditech EHR.

image

InterSystems develops a FHIR testing environment for developers.

image

LogicStream Health announces GA of a clinical process module designed to help providers prevent opioid misuse.

A PatientSafe Solutions survey on clinical communication preferences finds that over half of IT respondents plan to deploy smartphone-based clinical communications, most within the next two years. 


Government and Politics

Military officials are pleased with the first-year progress of MHS Genesis, comparing the rollout of the Cerner system at four sites more favorably to similar implementations last year at three of Cerner’s private-sector customers. They are confident that full deployment will begin in 2019 and DoD-wide implementation will be finished in 2022.


Sponsor Updates

  • SymphonyRM will present its HealthOS platform, which combines CRM and data science, at HIMS18’s VentureConnect session, one of six startups chosen.
  • Qualcomm Life will resell PeriGen’s PeriWatch Vigilance, an early warning system for OB patient deterioration.
  • Fortified Health Security is named Healthcare IoT Cybersecurity Company of the Year by Frost & Sullivan.
  • Medhost delivers its largest-ever product release.
  • Medhost’s largest product release in history also sets quality success records.
  • The Surescripts Network Alliance helps improve prescribing accuracy by 26 percent.
  • KLAS recognizes Lightbeam Health Solutions and Arcadia in its latest population health management report.
  • MedData and Experian Health will exhibit at MGMA FMPC 2018 March 4-6 in Orlando.
  • PerfectServe and Philips Wellcentive will exhibit at the AMGA 2018 Annual Conference March 7 in Phoenix.
  • Docent Health adds mobile messaging capabilities from MPulse Mobile to its patient engagement platform.
  • Ellkay will launch at HIMSS18 the LKClinicalDataExchange data exchange platform.  
  • Wolters Kluwer Health expands its Reference Data Management tool to include professional services capabilities.
  • Arcadia achieves high customer satisfaction marks the KLAS 2017 Value-Based Care Managed Services Report.
  • Spok expands its partnership with Spectralink.
  • InterSystems partners with critical care company Zoll Medical to improve exchange of PHI between EMS providers, physicians, and EDs.
  • Black Book Research gives QuadraMed, a division of Harris Healthcare, top ranking for its EMPI software and clean-up services.
  • Forbes profiles ZappRx CEO Zoë Barry.
  • Diameter Health partners with the Kansas Health Information Network to publish a study highlighting the use of HIE data in the calculation of quality measures.

Blog Posts


Contacts

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

125x125_2nd_Circle

News 2/28/18

February 27, 2018 News 4 Comments

Top News

image

Apple will launch AC Wellness, an employee wellness clinic and primary care group that will begin with two Santa Clara County, CA locations.

I assume this was the end result of the rumor from last fall that Apple was talking about acquiring venture-backed Crossover Health, which runs Apple’s on-site medical clinic.

Open position postings call for “experience across EHRs,” which fits with the hint that the clinics will be run by “a dedicated independent medical group” that sounds like more of a network than an Apple-employed provider group. Nobody has mentioned Crossover Health in the context of this latest news.


Reader Comments

From Your Epic Host: “Re: Epic’s hosting volume. No way its several new March go-lives will increase the number of live hosted systems 4-5 times as the reader’s rumor reported. Concurrent users will increase by barely over single digits. Don’t ask me how I know, but I know. Epic will have no problem with all the new live hospitals.” Unverified, but the source is solid.

From Pliable: “Re: the study saying that it costs $215 to bill and collect for an inpatient surgical procedure. That seems low, especially if independent surgeons, radiologists, and anesthesiologists send out claims to a primary and secondary insurance carrier (that’s eight claims in total). Did the study include cost of AR management and pended / rejected claims processing?” I can’t say since the full article lives behind JAMA’s paywall. I’m getting increasingly annoyed that research – much of it paid for with taxpayer money – is inaccessible to those unwilling or unable to pay several hundred dollars per year to be mailed dead-tree magazines that take forever to publish submitted articles. Are publishers really adding that much value to the research process to justify their high margins and restrictive copyright practices that don’t allow authors to post their research findings elsewhere?

From HIMSS Stalker: “Re: HIMSS meeting requests. HIStalk should run a competition of who has the most meeting requests from the same vendor, showing the previous requests forwarded so you can see how shameless these people are.” We’re pretty close to the wire for starting a contest, but I’m interested – who has received the most HIMSS18 meeting requests from a single vendor? The other thing that puzzles me the “HIMSS18 Conference Deals” that HIMSS keeps emailing me, which they launched years ago as yet another way to spam me about high-paying event sponsors way back when Groupon was considered cool. My problem is that there’s no actual deal, just a pitch to visit some vendor’s booth for a demo or “free consulting session” that fails miserably to answer the “what’s in it for me” question.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

“I should have done it SOONER!” is the most recent response to What I Wish I’d Known Before I Quit My Job to Go to Work for Myself. That is, until you add your thoughts.

image

Welcome to new HIStalk Platinum Sponsor IMAT Solutions. The Orem, UT-based company provides a flexible data management solution for hospitals, HIEs, and ACOs that was designed upfront to ingest thousands of data sources – including unstructured data such as physician and visit notes – in seconds, providing a solution that’s easy on the budget, compatible with existing software, and usable by non-technical clinicians who need to see a 360-degree view of every patient. Clients use it to analyze hospital and clinic population data to find disparities in care, conduct clinical documentation quality reviews, identify at-risk patients who are drifting towards critical, and reduce admissions. IMAT’s consolidated patient record and reporting interface provides an integrated view of data from multiple sources (HIE, PACS, lab, EHR), its EMPI performs record-patient matching, and its validation and normalization rules are applied to incoming data for accurate quality and population health reporting. Specific solutions address Meaningful Use reporting, population health management, and medical research. Drop by HIMSS18 Booth #11418 to get a peek under the hood or hunt and gather from their downloadable resources page. Thanks to IMAT Solutions for supporting HIStalk.


Webinars

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

image

R1 acquires revenue cycle, healthcare analytics, and emergency preparedness technology vendor Intermedix for $460 million.

image

CNBC reports that Alphabet-owned Verily – the former Google Life Sciences – is talking to insurers about participating in at-risk population health management contracts.

image

The leaked Nokia internal memo from the company’s chief strategy officer paints a bleak picture of its recently acquired (from Withings) digital health business:

Rather than only falling in love with our technology, we must be honest with ourselves. In its entirety, our digital health business has struggled to scale and meet its growth expectations. Currently, we don’t see a path for it to become a meaningful part of a company as large as Nokia … We will continue to have opportunities to address the IoT opportunity in digital health with private connectivity solutions, platforms, and software, just no longer from a consumer product perspective … As I commented in our internal story today, “Failing fast isn’t failure, it is accelerated learning.”


Sales

image

Lancaster General Hospital (PA) chooses Mobile Heartbeat’s MH-CURE for smartphone-based clinical communications and collaboration.

image

Ascension expands its revenue cycle agreement with R1 to cover its medical group.

image

BJC HealthCare launches a Perficient-powered cloud-based enterprise data warehouse.


People

image

Healthwise promotes Elizabeth Beem to CFO.

image

Will Weider is named SVP/CIO at PeaceHealth (WA), where he was serving as interim.

Huntington Hospital (CA) hires Scott Groom (Bassett Healthcare Network) as SVP/CIO. He is a rarity in apparently having left no photographic evidence of his existence anywhere on the Internet that I can use here, so we’ll just have to picture him our minds.


Announcements and Implementations

image

Meditech renames its Web EHR to Expanse.

SNAGHTML406d6f65

Healthwise publishes its patient education app on Epic’s App Orchard, with the app and its supporting API allowing health systems to integrate patient education content into Epic’s EHR and patient portal.

image

EClinicalWorks launches a cloud-based hospital EHR/RCM system that will start at $599 per bed per month with no upfront capital cost. The first live hospital will be 42-bed Hamilton Healthcare System (TX). That’s a pretty big deal given the lack of competition in the full hospital systems market as ECW and Athenahealth take their first steps into it.

Document Storage Systems (DSS) launches Juno EHR for acute care and behavioral health, which I assume (since the company didn’t actually say) is based on the VA’s VistA, as is its VxVistA product. 

Change Healthcare announces InterQual AutoReview, which automates the medical review process by extracting clinical data directly from the EHR that produces and submits a medical necessity review, then reports the result back to the EHR.

Wolters Kluwer Health launches UpToDate Advanced, a guided clinical decision-making solution.


Government and Politics

CMS says that as of March 3, teaching physicians no longer need to re-enter the patient information that was entered by medical students under their own name to get paid.

SNAGHTML3fdae5b9

In Western Australia (which is apparently has healthcare problems similar to ours), a government-commissioned health report finds that WA Health has spent a lot of money on IT projects in questionable areas and with little benefit to patients. It broadly notes that Western Australia’s overall health budget has doubled in the past decade to now consume 30 percent of the total budget but hasn’t correspondingly improved health outcomes since “the system focus remains on treatments rather than keeping people healthy” and embraces a provider-focused health approach. It recommends that the government address lifestyle choices, implement a navigator service to connect people with the right parts of the health system, run telehealth pilot projects, redesign mental health care around patients rather than by service provider, and improve patient-level data sharing among public and private providers.


Technology

UCSF launches the My BP Lab app, jointly developed with Samsung for its just-announced Galaxy S9 and S9+ smartphones. It uses the phone’s built-in optical sensor and thus does not require an external blood pressure cuff. Users will be invited to join a UCSF study that will look at blood pressure and stress levels through the day.


Other

The New York Times describes the concept of “digital phenotyping,” in which companies analyze a person’s social media posting patterns or phone usage in trying to detect mental health issues, although concerns about efficacy and privacy remain unaddressed. 

image

Campbell County Health (WY) will lose up to $200,000 in Medicaid payments due to sending out delayed bills following its acquisition of a private surgery center. The hospital’s billing system was unable to handle billing as a hospital-based surgery center for more than a year after the hotly debated acquisition, requiring the surgery center to bill manually.

A JAMA op-ed piece questions whether high-IQ medical students make the best doctors, also noting that medical schools overemphasize MCAT scores and science grades that don’t correlate to intelligence anyway. The authors say it’s equally important for physicians and healthcare leaders to have high emotional intelligence (EQ) that allows them to work with others in leading teams, coordinating care, and motivating behavior changes. They postulate that team-based care of chronically ill and terminal patients has failed because participants have low EQs. The article suggests that medical school admission committees add an EQ test component to the MCAT and stop obsessing over pre-med science scores and require training in psychology and leadership.

SNAGHTML401069ad

I don’t know how “smart” this healthcare startup is in advertising on Craigslist for a “booth sales intern” for HIMSS18 in which candidates must send a “full body shot” to the unknown Craigslist advertiser. Somehow I don’t think two days working on the HIMSS exhibit floor is much of an internship, nor does it seem necessary to examine the full bodies of “local college students” to vet them as acceptable booth help.


Sponsor Updates

A Message from Medicity

image

The healthcare industry has seen a significant shift in how it creates, shares, and uses information. The key is to empower the complete exchange of clinical data and the ability to use it. As the industry unites in the pursuit of integrated, actionable data, Medicity is uniquely qualified to lead the next generation of interoperability. We collect patient data from any and all connected external sources. With just one click, providers can access a single, de-duplicated, comprehensive Continuity of Care Document (CCD). This clinical intelligence supports point-of-care decision making and gives providers more time to spend treating patients. See our video on Medicity Community Interchange or visit us at Booth # 2449 at HIMSS18.


  • Optimum Healthcare IT matches the $5,000 raised by its client Southcoast Health for those affected by Hurricane Harvey, allowing a $10,000 donation to the American Red Cross.
  • Mental Health Center of Denver adopts the Carequality interoperability framework via its Netsmart EHR.
  • Frost & Sullivan recognizes Fortified Health Security with its Healthcare IoT Cybersecurity Company of the Year Award.
  • AdvancedMD and ChartLogic will exhibit at the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons conference March 6-10 in New Orleans.
  • Aprima Medical Software selects ChartSpan Medical Technologies as one of its primary CCM partners.
  • IDC names Arcadia Healthcare Solutions a leader in US healthcare clinical and financial analytic BPO services.
  • 904 Magazine recognizes CSI Healthcare IT as a “Company with Heart” for the third consecutive year.
  • Culbert Healthcare Solutions will exhibit at the AMGA 2018 Annual Conference March 7-10 in Phoenix.
  • Santa Rosa Consulting assists Harrison Memorial Hospital (KY) with its migration from Meditech Magic to 6.1.
  • Divurgent publishes a new success story, “EHR Readiness Investment Yields Activation Savings.”
  • Outcomes Rocket features Docent Health Senior Director Client Development Addison Hoover in a new podcast.
  • Elsevier collaborates with the Beijing University of Chinese Medicine to enable deeper research into traditional Chinese medicine.
  • EClinicalWorks will exhibit at the California Primary Care Association 2018 Quality Care Conference March 1-2 in Sacramento.
  • Healthgrades publishes its annual list of America’s best hospitals.

Blog Posts


Contacts

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

125x125_2nd_Circle

Monday Morning Update 2/26/18

February 25, 2018 News 3 Comments

Top News

image

Researchers looking at how hospital bond ratings fared after implementing a new EHR find that of the 32 health systems studied (with a focus on Epic), seven had their bonds downgraded, seven had them upgraded, and 18 had no changes. They concluded that it’s tough to prove any relationship between EHR implementation and the macro financial picture provided by bond ratings, even though ratings announcements often reference either the cost or the financial benefit of a new EHR.

As is nearly always the case, it’s not what you buy, but how you implement it and what you do with it afterward that counts.

Epic’s touting of post-implementation hospital financial improvement was likely the genesis of the article since it focused on Epic.


Reader Comments

image

From Brian: “Re: vendor clueless marketing. So the HIMSS conference has been around for only 18 years? Didn’t anyone edit this press release before editing it?” I’m omitting the vendor’s name because the marketing person who wrote the release has a long health IT background, so I’m sure it was just one of those embarrassing synapse-jumps that we all have rather than a lack of knowledge. While the conference is indeed HIMSS18, this is the 57th iteration since HIMSS62 in Baltimore, when there was no such thing as healthcare IT, no exhibit hall, and just two dozen skinny-tied hospital management engineers having about as much crazy convention fun as you would expect.

From Go-Live Concerned: “Re: Epic. Has at least eight go-lives in March, some of which are multi-facility big bang. Epic has to support them and most customers also share the same third-party vendors, who are stretched to the max. Document imaging and coding vendors, for example, have to staff up to deal with the increased support volume. Epic’s remote-hosted data center will see a 4-5x increase in live systems in just a few days. If the lights dim in Madison, we’ll know why.”


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

image

Dr. Jayne’s HIMSS18 Buzzword Bingo inspired me to create my own version. See if you can you call bingo (horizontal, vertical, or diagonal) during the opening session, during the first 30 minutes in the exhibit hall, or in a single vendor’s quick pitch. If you need an added difficulty factor – which you probably will since it will be a target-rich environment – then see if you can get bingo purely using only overhead-dangling booth signage. Or, see if you can fill out the whole card from a single vendor. I arranged the options randomly, but I’d bet money that the easiest bingo would be from the lower left corner diagonally up. Regardless, you’re gonna need a bigger stack of cards.

image

Poll respondents say their hiring decisions wouldn’t be swayed much by a candidate’s CPHIMS credential. My conclusion has always been that if two candidates were exactly equally desirable (which basically never happens if you’ve done due diligence), then maybe it would offer a tiny edge as evidence of personal drive. A lot of the folks I know with CPHIMS hoped that earning it would offset their lack of experience or get them into the field as newcomers, neither of which seems likely.

New poll to your right or here, repeating one I ran awhile back: Have you experienced unwanted sexual overtures or comments during a HIMSS conference that made you uncomfortable?

image

Responses to “What I Wish I’d Known Before … Taking a Travel-Heavy Job” range from the practical to the heart-wrenching. When I worked for a vendor for a short time, business travel seemed exotic and carefree to those of us shoehorning like astronauts into our cubicles every day under management’s clueless but ever-watchful eye. Still, I noticed that the road warriors who I was occasionally sent out to support seemed unusually world-weary, cynical, and quick to hit the hotel bar. They avoided the sometimes miserable office conditions, but also didn’t really even seem part of the same company (except to our customers) since most of us hardly every saw them. They also rarely got promoted or taken off the road since replacement roadies were hard to find. Reading the responses makes me glad that I only traveled heavily for a few months when I worked for a large, regional health system, where I had it pretty easy in visiting the same handful of rural hospitals for just a few days at a time as a colleague instead of a vendor. Remember these comments the next time someone from several states away shows up bright and and outwardly cheery on Monday.

image

Next up and anxiously awaiting your response:  What I Wish I’d Known Before I Quit My Job to Go to Work for Myself. I’m interested in what you have to say even if you eventually ended back up as someone else’s employee. People always fantasize about becoming part of the gig economy, so help them out with good or bad firsthand experience.

image

Iatric invited me to get on a short conference call with their HIMSS booth staff to review some of my “Tips for HIMSS Exhibitors,” something I don’t ever do except Iatric was smart in offering up front to make a significant donation to DonorsChoose in return for a few minutes of my time. Their donation, paired with matching funds from my anonymous vendor executive and other matching sources, funded every penny of these teacher grant requests:

  • Supplies for creating posters for Women’s History Month for Ms. F’s middle school class in Greensboro, AL
  • Hear Myself sound phones and reading highlighting strips for Mrs. M’s first grade class in Durham, NC
  • Action cameras and photo storage for Ms. F’s STEM charter school class in Naples, FL
  • Floor seats and craft materials for the Winter Olympics after-school STEM club project of Mrs. M in Robbinsville, NC
  • Programmable robots for Mrs. J’s second grade class in Springdale, AR
  • Simple machines building kits for Mrs. H’s fifth grade class in Loachapoka, AL
  • An Amazon Echo for Mrs. M’s kindergarten class in Benton, LA
  • STEM creative building materials for the “I’ve been in America for less than a year” elementary school class of Ms. J in Kansas City, MO
  • Math games for Mrs. J’s elementary school class in West Newbury, MA

Several of the teachers emailed me within a couple of hours, one of them Ms. F, who said, “Thank you so much for funding my students in their efforts to learn more about the women who changed history. This package was funded in such a timely manner in that Women’s History Month is in a few days. We are so grateful for your support. It is because of donors like you that we can take learning to a whole new level.”

image

Welcome to new HIStalk Platinum Sponsor Loopback Analytics. The Dallas-based company is a leader in population health analytics with its EpisideInsights, a cloud-based platform that allows health systems to identify at-risk populations, match those patients with appropriate resources, and evaluate how interventions affected outcomes. It allows provider organizations to selectively share data with network partners across all care settings in participating in value-based care initiatives. Specific focus areas include specialty pharmacy, behavioral health high utilizers, and bundled payments. Organizations use EpisodeInsights to assess bundled payment opportunities, reduce clinical variation, drive change management with physician-level benchmarking, benchmark against market competitors, identify network partners, and support real-time data exchange including patient alerting. I interviewed Founder and CEO Neil Smiley – who also founded Phytel and sold it to IBM Watson Health – last week. Thanks to Loopback Analytics for supporting HIStalk.

image

Welcome to new HIStalk Platinum Sponsor SymphonyRM. The Palo Alto, CA-based company offers HealthOS, healthcare’s only customer relationship management platform that identifies and orchestrates “next best actions” for consumer and provider engagement, helping to increase patient acquisition, close care gaps, increase provider utilization, and improve referral capture. HealthOS – whose tagline is “orchestrating the workforce to drive metrics” — is used by call centers to conduct outreach; marketing departments to generate and manage prospect marketing; provider outreach teams to manage activities; and front office teams to guide real-time intervention opportunities for clinical, population health, and marketing opportunities. The company’s goal is to transform healthcare providers into member-focused enterprises, using the experience of its executive team in building three data science and CRM companies that generated $5 billion of value for leading consumer service brands. Thanks to SymphonyRM for supporting HIStalk.


Webinars

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


Sales

image

Major Health Partners Medical Center (IN) chooses CloudWave’s OpSus Healthcare Cloud to host its Meditech EHR.


Decisions

  • Winchester Hospital (MA) will go live on Epic in 2018.
  • Amita Health St. Alexius Medical Center (IL) will go live on Cerner next month.
  • Amita Health Alexian Brothers Medical Center (IL) went live on Cerner this month.
  • Weston County Health Services (WY) will switch from Cerner to Epic.

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


Announcements and Implementations

image

A new Reaction Data survey of health system leaders finds that the most-named health systems for innovation, thought leadership, and providing quality care at a sustainable cost are Kaiser Permanente, Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic, Intermountain Healthcare, and Geisinger Health. KP led by far in recognition for providing high-quality, cost-effective services. It’s interesting that other than KP, those highly regarded systems haven’t shown a lot of interest in expanding beyond their own regions as opposed to less-regarded but ambitious players such as Ascension, Trinity, and Adventist. I think most of us would love to have one of the top three systems add a hospital near where we live.

Dolbey launches Fusion Narrate, a cloud-based speech recognition product that allows providers to dictate into any application without integration. The underlying technology was provided by NVoq and its SayIt speech recognition platform.

V3 Health Strategy launches its blockchain private placement Initial Coin Offering solution.


Government and Politics

Politico reports that the VA could sign its Cerner mega-deal as early as this week. Both parties have agreed to 50 minor contract changes that were recommended in Mitre’s interoperability evaluation.


Technology

For Bitcoin fans: analysts speculate that a single low-profile startup in China that sells bitcoin creation hardware is raking in up to $4 billion per year in profit.

image

Indiana-based VoCare develops a self-contained home care device that measures blood pressure, blood glucose, pulse, oximetry, temperature, and ECG, running on Android to connect via WiFi, Bluetooth, and 4G LTE in uploading readings automatically to a cloud storage system. The only peripheral needed is the supplied blood pressure cuff. It has a provider mode and also an option to be used for remote patient monitoring.


Other

A JAMA opinion piece observes the stress that opioid reduction programs have had on PCPs: having to confront patients to reduce their opioid use; kicking them out of their practice after implementing a no-opioids policy; trying to migrate patients to alternative pain drugs without a lot of knowledge or patient enthusiasm; trying to stay on top of increasingly complicated drug plan prescribing rules; and dealing with insurers that are willing to pay only for more addictive opioids because they are older and therefore cheaper. The article says the opioid crisis is due to inadequate chronic pain control and recommends further education, including telementoring clinics offered by Project ECHO (where two of the authors work).

Martin Shkreli must be rolling over in his cell. Rare-disease patients treated with a 1960s drug whose price was jacked up from $650 to $21,000 in just eight years became excited that a generic was coming out, but only until they saw the price: $18,000, still 28 times what it cost in 2010. Experts note that despite FDA’s call for competition, it’s tough to bring a drug’s price down from stratospheric levels when the Wall Street-pandering newcomer recognizes that the market will bear a slight-lower price, especially when the manufacturer covers the co-pay of patients and leaves insurers stuck with most of the tab. To make it even weirder, the original manufacturer, faced with this slight competition, rolled out its own generic priced at $19,000.

In other pharma news, states are acting to restrict pharmacy benefit management companies from inserting gag clauses in their contracts with pharmacies that prohibit pharmacists from telling customers that paying cash for their prescription would be cheaper than using their insurance. Pharmacists complained that PBMs pocket the difference from the patient’s overpayment. The drug lobby has filed suit to block a North Dakota law that bans such gag orders, saying it requires PBMs to disclose “proprietary trade secrets.”

SNAGHTML31698558

A academic medical center study published in JAMA finds that it costs $20 to perform the billing and insurance activities required for a primary care visit and $215 for an inpatient surgical procedure, representing 3-25 percent of professional revenue. Eric Topol’s tweet says it all.

image

A medical resident’s New York Times op-ed piece describes treating the eminently influential 96-year-old doctor and Nobel Peace Prize winner who in 1996 wrote a book that not only warned against overuse of technology and excessive drug prescribing, but also observed that “healing is replaced with treating, caring is supplanted by managing, and the art of listening is taken over by technical procedures.” Hospitalized in a system even more impersonal than he could have imagined 22 years ago, he wasn’t happy with the lack of progress:

Each day, one person on the medical team would say one thing in the morning, and by the afternoon the plan had changed. I always was the last to know what exactly was going on, and my opinion hardly mattered … Doctors of conscience have to resist the industrialization of their profession.


Sponsor Updates

  • ACOs using population health management software and services from Lightbeam Health Solutions have generated $300 million in savings.
  • National Decision Support Co. and Mayo Clinic will expand clinical guidance for NDSC’s CareSelect Lab solution.
  • Obix Perinatal Data System of Clinical Computer Systems will exhibit at Kaleidoscope 2018 February 26-27 in Stafford, TX.
  • The SSI Group and PatientPay partner to offer end-to-end payment services.
  • Huron and The Joint Commission will host the first in a new series of hospital-focused safety and quality care workshops April 11 in Minneapolis.

Blog Posts


Contacts

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

125x125_2nd_Circle

News 2/23/18

February 22, 2018 News 4 Comments

Top News

image

Duke Health (NC) becomes the first health system to earn all three HIMSS Analytics Stage 7 capability and maturity honors – ambulatory EHR, acute care EHR, and the new AMAM analytics model of which Duke is the first Stage 7 winner.

image


Reader Comments

From Early-Career Epic: “Re: education. My 20-year-goal is to be a C-suite hospital system exec. In researching advanced education, the most-recommended choice is a Master’s of Healthcare Management instead of the MPH I was planning. My undergrad is in management. What path would you suggest I take?” I’ll invite readers to comment, but I would recommend an MBA because: (a) it’s more generalized; (b) it’s more recognized should your healthcare plans not work out; and (c) my impression of the MS in Healthcare Management is that it covers general material that you could learn on the job. Also consider where in the C-suite you’d like to land – the MBA is fine for almost everything except CFO and a clinical position. I love the MPH degree for those who already hold a clinical degree (or plan to get one), but I don’t know that it has as much value as a standalone master’s. I would also suggest that if you’re looking for CEO/COO type jobs, consider a health system’s administrative internship or residency if you’ve got the connections to be named since hospitals frequently move those who are chosen up through the ranks. If your desired path is CIO, you can skip some layers and save some time by spending couple of years as a consultant if you don’t mind the travel, but you’ll still want that MBA. 

From Sunshine: “Re: new Orlando Health CIO. The new CEO came from Rex Healthcare (NC) and the new CIO worked there before Ascension. Final candidates were so weak that she looked like the best choice.” Novlet Mattus was CIO at much-smaller Rex from 2008 to 2012, while Orlando Health CEO David Strong was president of Rex for 10 years until he took the Orlando Health job in early 2015. You see all over healthcare that CEOs of both providers and vendors bring some of their executive entourage along with them when they switch jobs. Some that I’ve known personally in the past seemed to value comfortable loyalty or other unstated factors over competence, but part of being the boss is getting to choose your teams using whatever criteria you want.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

image

Welcome to new HIStalk Platinum Sponsor HCTec. The Brentwood, TN-based company offers health IT consulting (full life cycle — including build, enhancements, optimization, and support — ERP, technical services);  revenue cycle consulting (HIM, clinical documentation improvement, case management staffing); and managed services (application support, help desk, legacy application support). The company’s 900 US-based consultants and 250 corporate team members provide services to 1,000 hospitals that can range from supplying a single expert partner to fielding fully-staffed on-site or remote teams. A recent case study describes their work with Saint Luke’s Health System to simultaneously optimize and support Epic, which improved employee satisfaction at a $20 million savings. Thanks to HCTec for supporting HIStalk. 

Listening: Strange Days by The Doors, the 50th anniversary (!) expanded edition. Mr. Mojo was definitely risin’ musically for the occasion at just 23 years of age.


Webinars

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


People

image

Deepak Murthy (Box) joins Innovaccer as president and chief business officer.

image

SSI names Jeff Miller (CSC) chief product officer.

image

Loyale Healthcare promotes industry long-timer Grattan Smith to EVP of channel strategies.

image

DirectTrust President, CEO, and Co-Founder David Kibbe, MD, MBA will step down at the end of the year.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

image

Soon to be under the Allscripts umbrella, Practice Fusion will start charging customers $100 monthly subscription fees for its previously free EHR software.

image

MModal investors inject $70 million into the company through a debt conversion. The speech recognition vendor acquired Landmark Transcription last fall, three years after emerging from bankruptcy.

image

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

image

TractManager acquires Newport Credentialing Solutions, adding the provider enrollment software company to its stable of healthcare sourcing divisions that include MD Buyline and MediTract. TractManager’s CEO is former Cerner President Trace Devanny.

Bon Secours Health System and Mercy Health – both Epic shops – will merge to create an $8 billion health system serving seven states across 1,000 facilities.


Privacy and Security

image

University of Virginia Health System notifies 1,882 patients of an 18 month-long malware attack that enabled a hacker to remotely view hospital settings, possibly including PHI, through breached devices.


Government and Politics

A NEJM Catalyst article calls for Congress to lift its ban on a unique patient ID, enacted in 1998 due to patient privacy concerns even though other countries that issue those identifiers haven’t had problems.

Google’s DeepMind Health subsidiary will use the de-identified health records of 700,000 veterans to help the VA develop machine learning algorithms that can predict patient deterioration, initially focusing on acute kidney injury. DeepMind embarked on a similar project for the NHS last year that became mired in controversy over its failure to comply with UK data privacy laws.


Innovation and Research

image

The latest Electronic Prior Authorization National Adoption Scorecard report from CoverMyMeds finds that the integration of EPA software with EHRs has increased year over year, and that prescribers who use a dedicated EPA tool spend 2.5 hours less on PAs than those who use more than one method.


Other

image

The local paper highlights employee unrest at Intermountain Healthcare (UT) after it announced it would move 2,300 billing and collections employees to jobs with new outsourcing vendor R1 RCM (formerly Accretive Health). Those employees have voiced concerns about the Chicago-based company’s reputation for shaking down patients at the bedside for payment and other questionably ethical collection practices.

image

A historically accurate tweet from BIDMC CIO and gentleman farmer John Halamka, MD.


Sponsor Updates

  • ESD publishes an explainer video of ARI, the cloud-based project management tool that it will demonstrate at HIMSS.
  • EClinicalWorks posts customer success stories for Petaluma Health Center (CA) and Prime Care Family Practice (VA).
  • Idaho Business Review profiles Healthwise SVP of Consumer Health Experiences Christy Calhoun.
  • Boston Children’s Hospital joins the TriNetX Global Health Research Network.
  • Santa Cruz County Health Services Agency adopts the Carequality framework via its Netsmart EHR.
  • ChartLogic will exhibit at the 2018 AAOS Meeting in New Orleans March 7-9.
  • Health Catalyst customers document 125 performance improvements including lower mortality, higher revenue, and better patient experiences using its data, analytics, and professional services.
  • Amion adds PerfectServe’s clinical communication and collaboration platform to its physician scheduling software.
  • Kyruus will present at Elasticon 2018 February 28 in San Francisco.
  • Visage Imaging announces GA of Visage 7 Enterprise Imaging Platform version 7.1.11.
  • PatientSafe Solutions will release new features for its PatientTouch communications software at HIMSS.
  • Mobile Heartbeat releases Version 18.1 of its MH-CURE clinical communications and collaboration platform.
  • Definitive Healthcare adds ICD-10 claims analytics for 2016, plus dashboards for hospital financial comparisons and quality performance, to its database of healthcare market research.
  • Cerner adds real-time prescription benefit data from Surescripts to its Millenium EHR.

Blog Posts


Contacts

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

125x125_2nd_Circle

News 2/21/18

February 20, 2018 News No Comments

Top News

image

A JAMA editorial calls for CMS to release Medicare Advantage encounter data to allow taxpayers to see how their money is being spent on its growing number of beneficiaries. The article concludes that if the data is good enough to pay providers from, it’s good enough for the public to see. 


Reader Comments

image

From Jagged Pill: “Re: Orlando Health’s CIO position. It’s interesting to compare the stated job requirements with the credentials of the chosen candidate.” The job description doesn’t contain the requirement that the new VP/CIO have experience in an organization of similar size ($3.4 billion), but some might be surprised that new CIO Novlet Mattis got the job with just four years of CIO experience, all of that accrued in one-hospital, $954 million Rex Healthcare (NC). She came from Ascension Information Services, so maybe there’s a consulting connection there. The job description also says that Orlando Health will be choosing a new EHR and replacing its best-of-breed systems, which will be a huge loss for Allscripts (Orlando Health paid them $5.1 million in FY2016, according to tax filings) and a big win for Cerner or Epic. A local announcement says the IT department’s annual budget is $145 million. According to those same tax filings, retired CIO Rick Schooler was making $785K per year. Another interesting tidbit is that Orlando Health’s VP/CIO position reports to the CFO, which is almost unheard of except in small hospitals where the primary objective is controlling cost.

From Jack Anape: “Re: Mitre’s report on Cerner interoperability. Will the VA make it available to the public?” I haven’t heard what’s in the report, but I would bet the VA won’t release it publicly, especially since it looks like there’s about an 80 percent chance that VA Secretary David Shulkin will be shown the door after ending up on the wrong end of White House infighting. What the report says is anyone’s guess, but given that its emphasis was on how Cerner would interoperate seamlessly with whatever EHRs are being used by community-based providers that might treat a veteran, it doesn’t seem likely that the report will provide a ringing endorsement. There’s also the chance the White House-pushed, no-bid contract Cerner signing could be put on hold or the EHR decision process restarted if Shulkin isn’t there to promise Congress that this time, the VA really, really, really won’t blow through taxpayer IT billions without much to show for it.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

I’m enjoying the responses to “What I Wish I’d Known Before … Taking a Travel-Heavy Job.” Add yours and you’ll see it in this weekend’s write-up.

image

Welcome to new HIStalk Platinum Sponsor WebPT, the most-trusted, industry-leading rehab therapy software platform. The Phoenix, AZ-based company’s robust, Web-based solution – created by a therapist for therapists — offers EMR, scheduling, documentation, billing, outcomes tracking, business reporting, patient engagement tools, and system integration in enhancing patient care and driving business growth regardless of staff size, facility type, or number of specialties. The company has a  99 percent customer retention rate, 99.99 percent uptime, 10,000 clinic customers, and 79,000 member users. The company announced last week its acquisition of BMS Practice Solutions, the largest rehab therapy RCM company. WebPT offers video testimonials and case studies that explain why more therapy professionals rely on WebPT than any other software. Industry long-timer Nancy Ham is CEO and board member. Thanks to WebPT for supporting HIStalk.

Here’s a physical therapy practice’s WebPT testimonial that I found on YouTube.

image

Welcome to new HIStalk Platinum Sponsor Philips Wellcentive. The Alpharetta, GA-based company has since 2005 driven quality improvement, revenue growth, and business transformation for healthcare organizations that are transitioning to value-based care. The company’s population health management solution boosts clinical, financial, and human outcomes and has been recognized as a PHM leader by KLAS, IDC, and Chilmark. Philips Wellcentive helps its customers provide care management for nearly 50 million people, using intelligence gained from 2.5 billion data points each month to earn $700 million each year in value-based revenue through improved outcomes. I interviewed PHM Business Leader Niki Buchanan a couple of weeks ago. Thanks to Philips Wellcentive for supporting HIStalk.


Webinars

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

image

Inovalon reports Q4 results: revenue up 19 percent, adjusted EPS $0.06 vs. $0.05. Shares rose 9 percent in the past year vs. the Nasdaq’s gain of 23 percent. 


Sales

image

The Sac Valley Medshare HIE chooses Diameter Health for clinical data normalization and standardization services.


People

image

Datica hires Christopher Gerg (Gauntlet Consulting) as CTO/CSO.

image image image

Ciox Health hires Florian Quarre (Deloitte) as chief digital officer, David Dyke (Change Healthcare) as VP of product management, and Paula Lawlor (Accuity Delivery Systems) as EVP of provider solutions.

image

Sumit Nagpal (LumiraDX) joins Accenture as managing director and global lead for digital health strategy.


Government and Politics

image

A perceptive New York Times article says that a widening gap between Americans who pay full price for their ACA marketplace health insurance and those who get free or heavily subsidized coverage causes some of the resentment against social programs that middle-class citizens pay for. It concludes that the only universally liked social programs are Social Security and Medicare because everybody benefits from them.

image

Researchers create a live tracking website to call out organizations and individuals that aren’t complying with a new law that requires that all completed or abandoned FDA-registered clinical trials to publish their results, good or bad. Interestingly, the FDA itself has no plans to do tracking of its own. Clicking an organization’s name shows every clinical trial that it has underway, which then links to the ClinicalTrials.gov site for full study details. 

image

HHS issues a proposed rule that will allow insurers to sell short-term health insurance plans that don’t meet ACA requirements. CMS says lower premiums will allow people to buy insurance who otherwise can’t afford it, although it doesn’t mention that bare-bones plans historically have barely resembled real health insurance with a long list of excluded services and no coverage of pre-existing conditions. Not to mention that they will likely destroy what’s left of the marketplace risk pool. I looked at some of the plans offered and they have deductibles as high as $12,500, 40 percent co-insurance up to a maximum of $10,000 annual out of pocket, no coverage for conditions that have been treated in the preceding 24 months, and a lifetime maximum of $600,000 (your cancer and stroke crystal ball had better be accurate). HHS Secretary Alex Azar said in a tweet that the change will offer people “quality, affordable healthcare that works for them,” although he didn’t mention whether he or members of Congress who are covered by generous, taxpayer-paid plans with ACA-mandated coverage are planning to trade theirs in.


Privacy and Security

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra says he won’t sign off on mandatory physician use of its CURES prescription drug monitoring program until its security has been certified.


Other

image

A KLAS report on clinical mobility finds that few hospitals are keeping late-model iPhones for employee use like they did before the iPhone 6, with some of them instead moving to Zebra phones because of the iPhone’s shortcomings (lack of ruggedization, poor WiFi connectivity, and lack of swappable batteries). The iPhone is still the first choice for executives and doctors who get a hospital-provided phone to keep. BYOD strategies include paying employees a stipend for using their own phones for work, providing secure texting apps, securing the device remotely via mobile device management, offering remote system log-in as a value-added option, allowing employees to disconnect while not on call, and blacklisting apps if necessary.

image

Google researchers apply deep learning to images of the eye (specifically the retinal fundus) to accurately determine cardiac risk factors, such as a patient’s age, gender, smoking status, blood pressure, and likelihood of having a heart attack. They hope to expand their work with a larger dataset in which more cardiovascular events occurred and to fine tune their risk prediction by looking at lifestyle changes or medications.

image

Eric Topol notes that healthcare has morphed from a small industry to the country’s largest without improving outcomes.

A tiny physician survey finds that three-quarters use mobile health in their practice, but mostly only for internal messaging or for quick EHR lookups on their phones. Almost no practices offer telemedicine visits, although that doesn’t necessarily mean their patients aren’t using it – maybe they’re just getting them elsewhere. Few practices accept information from patient wearables, most commonly because the data doesn’t flow into their EHR , although I would bet the real reason is they aren’t being paid to review the information and are afraid of being sued if they miss something.

A medical resident’ s opinion piece ponders whether “the academic arms race” gunner competition among medical school applicants creates better doctors or perhaps instead burns them out. It made me think – are intelligence, drive, and competitiveness the best predictors of being a caring doctor?

Experts warn that the US military’s planned surge will struggle since three-fourths of Americans aged 17-24 are ineligible to serve because of obesity, other health conditions, criminal backgrounds, or lack of education. From the non-military viewpoint, that means employers will either have to hire them warts and all or they’ll be unemployed and thus supported by taxpayers.

In Australia, the Royal Australasian College of Physicians goes back to paper for its medical trainee exam after its first attempt at using a computer-based system locks users out five hours into their test. Test-takers who were planning to leave immediately afterward for vacation or to curl fetally in the corner from panic attacks over their future now have to prepare for the paper re-test that will be administered on March 2.


Sponsor Updates

  • Hands On Technology will integrate Ability Network’s RCM application into its rehab EMR/PM.
  • PatientKeeper and its owner HCA are awarded a patent for the way its software displays the most relevant patient information based on the user’s specialty and preference.
  • SSI launches an analytic product for ambulatory surgery centers.
  • Audacious Inquiry delivers more than 5 million clinical event alerts per month via its Encounter Notification Service.
  • The Tech Tribune includes CareSync in its list of the top 10 best tech startups in Tampa, FL.
  • CTG acquires Paris-based consulting and digital services business Soft Company.

Blog Posts


Contacts

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

125x125_2nd_Circle

Monday Morning Update 2/19/18

February 18, 2018 News 4 Comments

Top News

image

Thursday’s meeting of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs covered the VA’s FY2019 budget request. Health IT-related topics:

  • Committee members fretted about the appearance of privatizing of the VA in giving veterans an option to turn to community providers for timely care, the VA’s cost of which has risen dramatically with higher usage.
  • Rep. Phil Roe, MD (R-TN) said the value of the Cerner contract alone in the VA’s EHR project will be $10 billion, not including infrastructure and VistA maintenance costs.
  • Rep. Roe questioned whether it will ever be possible to turn VistA off. He thinks it will need to run for many years for looking up information that can’t be converted to Cerner.
  • Rep. Roe said, “It is unthinkable that the VA could potentially spend billions of dollars on a project that doesn’t substantially increase the department’s ability to share information with DoD or community providers.”
  • VA Secretary David Shulkin said the VA doesn’t have an EHR, it has VistA, which he says is instead “130 electronic records,” referring to the “different parts of VistA.”
  • Sec. Shulkin said he paused the project to make sure that the VA can exchange information with community providers, as 36 percent of veterans are getting care in the community. He said the American healthcare system hasn’t yet figured out interoperability, but the VA can lead the way.
  • Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN) questioned the rollout of a scheduling system given that the pending Cerner project has “run into trouble.” Sec. Shulkin said the VA’s Epic scheduling project (MASS) pilot will go live in Columbus, OH in March and the VA is looking forward to seeing how it works. Commercial scheduling products are being tested at three other sites.

Reader Comments

From Ticklish: “Re: opioid crisis. This article says it’s caused by a lack of interoperability. Think so?” Of course not. Short-sighted healthcare people forget that prescribed, FDA-approved opioid drugs make up just part of the available smorgasbord of narcotics, and in fact, their higher cost and reduced availability is pushing users to cheaper, more easily obtained forms that doctors and hospitals don’t control. I’m not convinced that anything can stop the use of drugs by determined people, but if there is a magic bullet, I’m certain it isn’t prescription databases, cracking down on supply, or mass incarceration. And while everybody was focusing on Oxycontin, crystal meth usage has returned with a vengeance lately with purer, cheaper product available everywhere, so now there’s that massive scourge to deal with again. Our real problem is that a huge chunk of our society (one in seven, according to the Surgeon General) finds living in an un-medicated state intolerable, apparently not really caring whether their minds are altered by depressants (including alcohol), stimulants, or both. That massive demand and the associated profit will assure a steady supply that can’t be stopped, even by admirably trying to contain opiate over-prescribing.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

image

Digital health apps already have challenges with proving their worth, but here’s another problem: half of poll respondents – presumably most of them being health IT experts — wouldn’t be happy at having an app prescribed instead of a medication. Maybe the unstated problem is that the mental picture of a “digital health app” is a patient portal, activity tracker, or record-keeping system instead of an FDA-approved treatment that delivers proven outcomes.

New poll to your right or here, as suggested by a reader: What impact would a job candidate’s CPHIMS credential have on your hiring decision? Long-time readers may remember that I asked this same poll question way back in 2009 and 2010.

image

Readers weighed in on “What I Wish I’d Known Before … Going to my First HIMSS Conference as an Exhibitor.” This week’s question: what do you wish you’d known before taking a travel-heavy job?

image

Welcome to new HIStalk Platinum Sponsor Wolters Kluwer Health. Every health professional knows their medical evidence and technology brands – Lippincott, Ovid, UpToDate, Medi-Span, Health Language, PharmacyOne Source, and Emmi. Those products deliver clarity when and where it’s needed most, driving better care decisions and consistent outcomes across the care continuum. Its “Eyes Wide Open” report provides practical ways to improve healthcare delivery and outcomes. Thanks to Wolters Kluwer Health for supporting HIStalk.

Listening: new from Superchunk, angry protest poetry cloaked in masterfully crafted indie punk-pop. The Chapel Hill, NC band has never lost its relevance or fierce independence, and to my ears, has never sounded better. I saw their frenetic but somehow simultaneously laid back show live awhile back and was most struck by a fan’s shouted request for some non-Superchunk song, with the laughing reply of guitarist Jim Wilbur being, “Mac [McCaughan] won’t sing any lyrics he didn’t write, so that’s not going to happen.” That’s admirable.


Webinars

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

image

From the Allscripts earnings call following mostly good results that were marred by much lighter bookings than analysts expected, sending shares down 7 percent Friday:

  • President Rick Poulton touted the company’s acquisition of McKesson’s EIS business and Practice Fusion, saying that they give the company hundreds of new client relationships; fill several EHR portfolio gaps; create a large, actionable patient data set that life sciences and payer companies will pay for as they did under Practice Fusion; and add $300 million in annual recurring revenue, all for a net investment of $50 million.
  • The sales cycle is lengthening and customers are looking harder at return on investment.
  • End-of-life of the former McKesson Horizon Clinicals and Series 2000 product lines is March 31.
  • The company is pitching its DbMotion to the VA as it transitions over several years to Cerner or whatever vendor it chooses.
  • Allscripts declined to say how much Hyland Software is paying for the former McKesson OneContent content management business, but the Allscripts SEC filing seems to indicate $260 million plus assumption of certain liabilities minus other financial adjustments.

image

FDA approves the marketing of Viz.AI’s AI-powered CT scan analysis to notify providers quickly of a possible patient stroke for direct intervention.

Adventist Health hospitals in California will shift 1,200 IT and revenue cycle employees to Cerner, according to layoff notices filed with the state.


Sales

Presence Health (IL) chooses R1 for RCM services and will transfer 1,000 of its employees to the company.


Decisions

  • St. Charles Prineville Hospital (OR) will go live on Epic in April 2018.
  • Lake Forest Hospital (IL) will go live on Epic on March 3, 2018.
  • McLaren Oakland (MI) will go live on Cerner in late 2018 or early 2019.

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

image

Orlando Health (FL) hires Novlet Mattis (Ascension Information Services) as CIO. She replaces Rick Schooler, who retired in September 2017.


Announcements and Implementations

image

Hartford HealthCare (CT) reports that its use of Stanson Health’s clinical decision support prevented 250 unnecessary transfusions in 45 days, providing an annualized $1 million in savings.

Columbia Basin Health Association (WA) goes live on Versus Advantages RTLS patient flow solution in its new outpatient clinic.

Research network TriNetX develops an algorithm that can deduce the line of chemotherapy treatment a patient is undergoing, helping biopharmaceutical researchers develop new therapies. 


Privacy and Security

image

A security researcher reports a SQL injection vulnerability in Epic’s MyChart, also noting that Epic was “quick to respond to contact and patch the vulnerability.” That’s commendable – software vendors rarely behave nicely (and often threateningly) toward strangers who are nice enough to warn them of security flaws in their products. I don’t know how Epic notifies customers and distributes the patch, but I assume it will be quick now that any interested hacker could theoretically exploit it. For non-techies, SQL injection is an old hacker’s method in which they paste an SQL statement into a web page input field – such as name or city – that the web page then executes, giving the hacker access to the underlying database (read, update, delete) without having to pass through the site’s authentication.


Other

image

The CEO of Medical Center Health (TX) tells the board that its Cerner implementation is one of the organization’s most pressing issues, explaining, “This was an attempt to find an ideal system. That is not a possibility. There is no ideal electronic medical system.” He says he’s worked at hospitals that use Meditech and Epic and those products have the same problems. He says Cerner blamed hospital clinicians and administrators – “pretty much everyone except themselves” – for not implementing the system correctly, but says the hospital and vendor are now working together and Cerner is providing consultants at no charge. The hospital expects the implementation to come in at $47 million, $7 million under budget.

image

The financially struggling, 47-bed Holy Cross Hospital (NM) says its problems are due to a problematic software rollout, its conversion to a critical access fee structure, Medicaid payment delays, and a lawsuit judgment that raised its malpractice insurance by $600,000. The hospital didn’t name the system, but they started conversion from Meditech Magic to CPSI Evident last fall. The CEO said in his presentation to county commissioners last week that he should have delayed the October 1 go-live, but realized that many of the 100 on-site vendor support staff would be unavailable for a later date. He also says he regrets conducting the critical access switch and EMR conversion nearly simultaneously, but the hospital’s underlying financial problems were in place long before either.

A Miami pediatric surgeon is charged with unlawfully accessing a computer when his former girlfriend finds out that, while they were dating, he logged in thousands of times to the streaming video feed from her in-home security cameras using hospital computers. He says she gave him the password, he was just checking into her well-being, the two cameras were not the bedroom, and she didn’t complain until they broke up and he declined to pay her the $400,000 she demanded.

I like seeing a rare non-stuffy, HIMSS-related vendor press release. Cybersecurity services provider Lunarline says it is “planning for a wild HIMSS 2018,” explaining that, “Our sales team somehow convinced the conference organizers to let us serve beer at our booth. Because, you know, there is never enough alcohol in Vegas.” The company’s website is mostly dry and unremarkable, but a few glimmers of wit shine through.


Sponsor Updates

Blog Posts


Contacts

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

125x125_2nd_Circle

What I Wish I’d Known Before … Going to my First HIMSS Conference as an Exhibitor

I knew HIMSS was a big conference, but I didn’t realize that the impact would be that it is just hard to move around and accomplish a lot. You never really get to see the whole exhibit floor or do a lot of things because it just take so long to get there. Food lines are long, there’s no place to sit. It’s a complete workout. The startup pavilion has some of the more interesting companies and the big vendor booths are very impersonal. Then, when it is all over, you wonder what you really accomplished or learned and if it was worth all the trouble.


Wear really, truly comfortable shoes.


That my exhibitor badge gets me into educational sessions as well. Someone more experienced at these events helped guide me in finding helpful sessions for my area of expertise.


Very long hours on your feet. I have a pair of super supportive shoes I call “my HIMSS shoes” and I am never without them.


HIMSS is all about making and strengthening business relationships. But on the floor, you literally have about 30 seconds to get someone’s attention and earn the right to have a meaningful conversation.


As an exhibitor, it can devolve into a party atmosphere, quickly. Pace yourself.


Wear comfortable, not necessarily stylish, shoes.


Wear comfortable shoes!


The exhibit hall is like the Caribbean, full of ports (booths) and buyers are like cruise ship passengers. The enthusiasm doesn’t always stick once they get home and visitors will confuse ports/vendors. Give them something memorable (in good way) and be prepared to present again after HIMSS if you want them to truly remember anything you showed them.


Be careful about scheduling meetings first thing in the morning after the first day. Last day first or last are the worst times for any real business to happen.


Stop at two drinks. Period. It’s possible, even likely, that key people in the industry are around you at all times, even 1 a.m. in the hotel bar. Remember that this is your career and you’re making an impression even after exhibit hours are done.

Make reservations for every anticipated meal, even if for two people, as everything will be packed. And, if invited to a meal by a vendor, verify that that vendor has a reservation inclusive of all invited attendees. I attended a breakfast at a previous HIMSS with a vendor where the rep from the vendor did not make reservations for an intolerably crowded joint and eight executives huddled around a bar-height bistro table for two in the hallway of the casino discussing the strategic direction of our partnership.


How your message gets lost in the noise and the value proposition is questionable, unless you are one of the larger vendors.


The amount of time you will be on your feet. I have HIMSS shoes, comfortable, dressy shoes half a size too big with the most cushioning insoles I could find and hiking socks.


Establish scheduled meetings before or during HIMSS if you are looking to sell (vs. touch current customers, develop business development relationships, or perpetuate your brand). It is not worth pulling anyone off the floor to learn about your product anymore since, unlike in the early days, most of the folks walking the floor are fellow vendors.


HIMSS is in a conference that companies in the healthcare information technology industry must attend even, if the value for doing so is minimal. Pulling out is a public red flag that there is a problem or at least a big change in the company. So we go and represent with minimal expectation of value, but it can be fun for the team selected to the representing.


News 2/16/18

February 15, 2018 News No Comments

Top News

image

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

Flatiron had raised $313 million in three funding rounds from 2013 to 2016. The company was valued at $1.2 billion just two years ago.

image image

Nat Turner and Zach Weinberg started the company in 2012 after selling their previous advertising technology company to Google for $70 million. Google Ventures, now Alphabet, invested $130 million in Flatiron Health in May 2014. The founders graduated from The Wharton School’s undergraduate program in 2008, which would make them around 32 years old.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

image

Welcome to new HIStalk Platinum Sponsor Loyale Healthcare. The Lafayette, CA-based company– founded in 1990 as CashNet – helps make a patient’s financial experience as positive as their clinical experience. That’s especially important as patients become responsible for a bigger portion of their healthcare costs. The company’s predictive analytics and behavioral indicators create personalized patient financial plans and workflows that allow providers to conduct honest conversations about treatment costs and payment responsibility. Patients appreciate getting the transparency and support they need to feel in control, while provides are taking the cue of successful retailers who recognize that their most valuable asset is their customer relationships. They can increase revenue, decrease staff time, and minimize bad debt while providing personalization that optimizes affordability and collections. Loyale’s patient relationship portal provides balance notification, combined statements, 24/7 self-service, online payments, and secure digital communication. Its platform applies KPIs, best practices, red flags, and analysis of patient sentiment and behavior while integrating with all leading systems. Thanks to Loyale Healthcare for supporting HIStalk.    

Here’s a just-released Loyale Healthcare explainer video.


Webinars

None scheduled in the coming weeks. Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre for information.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

image

Allscripts reports Q4 results: revenue up 22 percent, EPS $0.18 vs. $0.14, meeting earnings expectations and beating on earnings. Bookings fell far short of expectations, however, sending shares down in early after-hours trading Thursday. The company announced that it will sell the OneContent document management software business it acquired as part of McKesson EIS to Hyland Software for undisclosed terms.

SNAGHTML4242343

Nokia announces that it is conducting a strategic review of its digital health business just two years after it created it by acquiring connected health hardware vendor Withings for $212 million. Nokia had already written down $164 million worth of goodwill related to the business in October 2017.

image

The Chartis Group acquires Atlanta-based consulting firm Oncology Solutions for an undisclosed sum.

image

Ellkay relocates to larger office space in Elmwood Park, NJ that will accommodate up to 500 employees.

image

Rehab therapy software vendor WebPT acquires billing and collections company BMS Practice Solutions.

image

Aetna defends its medical review practices following the publication of quotes from the testimony of a former medical director who said he never reviewed patient records in making coverage decision. Aetna says:

  • The story was pushed by a former patient who is suing Aetna and was “conveniently” published just days before the trial was scheduled to begin.
  • The medical director said in a sworn statement that he always reviewed the relevant portions of medical records, nurse summaries, notes, and the company’s Clinical Policy Bulletins.
  • Aetna has paid for all of the $20,000-per-dose treatments of the patient who is suing them. That person remains an Aetna member. The only treatment interruption he experienced happened because he refused to provide blood work ordered by his doctor.

Government and Politics

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


Innovation and Research

A retrospective study shows that patients who used Glytec’s Glucommander Outpatient insulin therapy management tool and self-tested blood glucose levels twice a day saw better outcomes, including a 3 percent reduction in A1c levels, than those who did not.


Other

image

An Allscripts client newsletter says the company’s counsel has concluded that its practice customers do not need to notify patients or OCR following its January ransomware attack.

image

EClinicalWorks posts a nicely done video that describes the work of Petaluma Health Center (CA) during the Northern California wildfires of October 2017.


Sponsor Updates

  • AltaPointe Health (AL) adopts the Carequality framework via its Netsmart EHR.
  • TeleHealth Services will deliver Healthwise’s patient education videos through its patient engagement platform.
  • Medecision looks back on a successful 2017.
  • Elsevier collaborates with the VHL Alliance to offer content on Von Hippel-Lindau disease at PracticeUpdate.com.
  • EClinicalWorks customer Petaluma Health Center (CA) wins the 2017 HIMSS Davies Award for improving hypertension control among its patients.
  • Healthwise will exhibit at the West ACE User Group Conference February 21-23 in San Diego.
  • Ingenious Med publishes a new white paper, “Five Guide Posts for Transforming Health Care Systems.”
  • Independent reviewer G2 Crowd names the Liaison Technologies Alloy Platform an Integration Platform as a Service Leader.
  • Vyne adds new features, including a Web portal, to its FastAttach electronic claim attachment software.
  • Definitive Healthcare welcomes its 1,500th customer.
  • The Obix Perinatal System  of Clinical Computer Systems, Inc. earns ONC 2015 Edition Health IT Module certification. 

Blog Posts


Contacts

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

125x125_2nd_Circle

News 2/14/18

February 13, 2018 News 13 Comments

Top News

image

The White House’s budget request would give the VA $1.2 billion in FY2019 funding to begin its Cerner implementation, broken out as $675 million initial payment for the Cerner contract, $120 million for program management, and $412 million for infrastructure support (which includes VistA modernization).

Cerner has apparently passed the third-party review of its interoperability capabilities that was holding up contract signing. The VA says it expects to finish the deal within three weeks.


Reader Comments

From Informatics MD: “Re: AI in radiology. We pre-process CT scans using deep machine learning, imaging analytics, and clustering optimization techniques to look for evidence of strokes. If suspected, it re-prioritizes the PACS worklist so that the radiologist reads the suspected film sooner. This is particularly useful with ambulatory diagnostic imaging since the time from study to read can be longer than in the acute setting.” That’s pretty smart to use AI to move images of suspected stroke patients to the highest radiologist priority.

From Alababa: “Re: Craig Richardville SVP/CIAO of Carolinas HealthCare. Has left the organization.” Unverified, but his bio has been removed from the executive page. UPDATE: a spokesperson from the newly renamed Atrium Health confirms to the Charlotte newspaper that Craig no longer works there.

From Moody: “Re: HIMSS. I’m going for the first time. As a hospital employee, how should I plan?” Just off the top of my head:

  • Arrive at least a day early to avoid the starter’s pistol rush of all the other badge-wearing attendees on the first day.
  • If you don’t arrive early, do anything you can to avoid the airport cab line and the inevitable two-hour wait.
  • It’s Las Vegas, so if you haven’t been there, be prepared to be shocked by the sleaze but intrigued by the tricks and big data analysis those billion-dollar hotel casinos use to keep people losing money while thinking they’re having a great time.
  • Prepare to be overwhelmed with the amount of advertising real estate HIMSS sells – on escalators, floors, buses, and just about any item someone hands you. All of that contributes to ridiculous healthcare costs, but in the vendors’ defense, it apparently works.
  • Dress comfortably, not to impress. You won’t be impressive by Day 2 when you are hunched over and limping from walking 10 miles in stylish but uncomfortable shoes.
  • Housing choice is up to you, but I always VRBO a house or condo instead of shoehorning in with all the other badge-wearers in the conference hotels. It’s a cheap Lyft ride to the convention center. It probably costs a bit more unless you share your space, but decompressing away from the HIMSS herd is worth it, plus you aren’t stuck eating overpriced, unhealthy food and being forced to mingle everywhere you turn. Otherwise, especially if you lean toward introversion, you will find yourself sitting on the floor of unused corners of the convention center just to get some quiet.
  • Expect to see only 5 percent of what’s going on. Study the program guide ahead of time to identify the potentially most valuable 5 percent. Even then, expect to be disappointed.
  • Skip the keynote sessions. You can read about them even before they happen since HIMSS puts a recap from the speaker’s draft in the daily conference rag.
  • Ask fellow attendees what they found valuable to see in the exhibit hall or have them message you if there’s a really good session underway that you can crash.
  • The exhibit hall provides educational polarity. You can learn a lot there, but you can also waste a lot of time that could have been better spent elsewhere instead of just wandering around aimlessly.
  • Walk out on any session that under-delivers and find another one. Or, skip them all and just read the slides or listening to the recordings afterward (they’re included in your registration)
  • Don’t attend any educational session that features a vendor employee as a presenter.
  • Talk to peers. The biggest HIMSS takeaway is often the relationships built there.
  • Don’t treat the conference as a vacation blowout. Your employer is paying for your education, not to sleep in after over-imbibing.
  • Don’t schedule time with a vendor. It is incredibly inefficient to be clock-watching the time you need to start walking miles to visit a vendor’s booth at a pre-arranged time. You’re the prospect – they will make time for you when you show up.
  • Flip your badge over backwards if you want to walk around in the exhibit hall unmolested.
  • Take your badge off as soon as you leave the convention center to avoid looking like every other HIMSS conventioneer zombie wandering around on the Strip, an easy target for scammery and ridicule by decidedly low-brow, non-HIMSS visitors.
  • Don’t leave the conference thinking that you or your employer are under-accomplished compared to what you heard and saw, most of which was BS. It’s like loud-mouth Las Vegas gamblers – they will crow endlessly about their big win while failing to disclose the 100 losses that left them well into the red.
  • Write up what you learned for your boss who had to approve the cost of your trip or offer to share your new knowledge with your team who didn’t get to go.
  • Marvel at the fact that, like monstrous hospital buildings, the excesses of the HIMSS conference serves as a reminder that US healthcare isn’t something we selflessly do for each other as empathetic humans but is rather an enormous, impersonal business that makes a bunch of people very wealthy and a far greater number of people very poor.

HIStalk Announcements and Requests

image

I finally got around to looking into encrypting the site, which is becoming the standard across the Web. That’s done – SSL encryption is in place, so your browser will indicate “https” and will show the closed lock in the address bar. As a reader notes, you can now enter a comment without wondering if your employer might intercept it (so hey, might as well).


Webinars

February 14 (Wednesday) 2:00 ET. “Time is Money: Aurora Health’s Journey of Implementing and Advancing Cost Accounting.” Sponsor: Strata Decision Technology. Presenter: Patrick Nolan, VP of finance, Aurora Health Care. Aurora Health Care’s implementation of Strata’s Decision Support module involved not only building an improved cost accounting model, but improving the process to engage a cross-functional team in cost development. It now has accurate, consistent cost data to support decision-making. Aurora’s next phase will be to use actual procedure and visit times to allocate costs. This presentation will provide a detailed view into both the implementation and future direction of the Strata Decision Support program within Aurora.

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

image

Fitbit acquires app-powered health coaching provider Twine Health, hoping to tie Fitbit’s wearables into the management of chronic conditions. Or perhaps the synergy involves two companies that eschew the use of properly capitalized words in their logos. Twine Health had raised $10 million in funding.

image

A Wall Street Journal report says Amazon will expand its Amazon Business program to sell medical supplies to hospitals and clinics, sending shares of McKesson and other wholesalers down sharply. Amazon could make a fortune shorting stocks in sectors that it then rumors it will enter.

image.

StayWell, a population health management and patient education technology vendor owned by drug maker Merck, acquires Provata Health, which offers lifestyle and chronic disease management apps. Provata Health raised a single funding round of $1.4 million from NIH in August 2015 and doesn’t seem to have done much since mid-2016 except try to create a virtual reality meditation product. StayWell acquired health app vendor MedHelp in October 2017.

image

Cerner files its employment agreement with new Chairman and CEO Brent Shafer with the SEC. He gets $11 million in stock options, a $4 million stock option grant, a one-time grant of $3.7 million in restricted stock units, use of the company’s jet, relocation expenses, $800K in annual salary, and a $1.2 million annual bonus target. His golden parachute calls for two years’ worth of salary, average bonuses, and health insurance coverage.

California launches an investigation into Aetna following the testimony of a former company medical director that he never looked at patient records when deciding to approve or deny care. He added that he had to make decisions about medical conditions that he knew little about. Aetna says its clinical review process is sound and the medical director’s job is to follow the company’s Clinical Policy Bulletins in reviewing the medical records that it must obtain manually from patients and doctors. The former medical director says nurses reviewed the patients’ records and gave him recommendations that he managed online without ever calling the nurse. He is amply credentialed, however (now running a one-person family medicine practice) so I imagine he was doing exactly what Aetna expected or ordered.


People

image

Clinical trials technology vendor Bracket hires Mike Nolte (Influence Health) as CEO.


Announcements and Implementations

SNAGHTML1c883c95

Providence Health & Services will offer its patients and health plan members in Oregon online exams for non-emergent conditions, with patients who complete an online questionnaire receiving an emailed treatment plan within one hour. Providers respond seven days per week between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m., with the encounter covered in full for health plan members or $20 otherwise. The technology is provided by Bright.md.

image

Providence Express Care created a great graphic explaining its care options, including the new SmartExam.

A Black Book report looks at EHRs across 23 countries in a 7,500-respondent survey, finding that:

  • Most international users say their systems lack connectivity with other providers and question whether the definition of an “interoperable” system even exists.
  • More than half of respondents in Europe, the Middle East, and South Asia plan to move away from siloed EHRs to more US-style offerings that include data exchange and care coordination.
  • Countries being held back by a lack of national infrastructure, policy, funding, or privacy rules include Japan, China, Qatar, Brazil, Taiwan, India, and Russia. The best-positioned ones include New Zealand, Denmark, Israel, Singapore, and Netherlands.
  • Top-ranked vendors include Allscripts (South Asia, UK); Cerner (Oceania, Middle East); InterSystems (Nordic Europe), ChipSoft (Western Europe); and Orion Health (Canada); Everiss NTT Data (Latin America), and Neusoft (China).

image

Lancaster, PA-based Connexion Health launches its walk-in, touchless, app-powered health assessment kiosk. According to its website, the kiosk “uses advanced AI to integrate a myriad of sensor data streams that independently would be incoherent. It syncs data derived from a laser, multiple cameras, IR, and microphones to provide incredibly precise analytics. More importantly, Connexion OS apps can enhance their capabilities with a unique, proprietary AI that allows them to guide people to better overall health outcomes.” The company was incubated by AI-focused Aspire Ventures. Target markets are sports teams, employee health, and healthcare providers.


Government and Politics

SNAGHTML1ca70b5c

The White House’s proposed budget and HHS’s budget request document contain some interesting line items:

  • ONC’s budget would be cut from $60 million to $38 million, with its focus being interoperability and provider burden reduction.
  • HHS OCR would see its budget reduced from $39 million to $31 million.
  • Medicare and state Medicaid would be given some ability to negotiate drug prices
  • Post-acute care provider costs would managed with a payment system based on clinical needs rather than the site of care
  • Off-campus, hospital-owned physician practices would be paid at the same rate as other practices.
  • Prior authorization would be required for physicians who order services in excess relative to their peers.
  • The Independent Payment Advisory Board would be repealed.
  • The reporting burden and arbitrary requirements for use of EHRs would be eliminated.
  • MIPS reporting would be simplified.

Other

A 2,000-respondent healthcare leadership survey sponsored by Change Healthcare finds that 80 percent of payers are addressing social determinants of health for their members. Half of respondents think lack of digital health tool adoption is caused by security and privacy concerns.

China’s Ping An Technology describes the healthcare-related AI projects it is working on:

  • Interpret CT scans to reduce workload and improve accuracy
  • Use facial recognition for patient identification to reduce fraud and to allow patients to grant access to their medical records.
  • Use facial recognition for clock-in of healthcare workers to reduce fraud.
  • Create a vaccine record app for people in poor and remote areas that uses facial and voiceprint recognition.
  • Develop intelligent disease prediction and screening models.

Jay Rath pens a “Valentine for HIMSS and HERSS.”


Sponsor Updates

  • Huntzinger Management Group will expand its cybersecurity support in a partnership with Delta Risk.
  • PerfectServe will integrate its team collaboration platform with QGenda’s physician scheduling software to accurately deliver calls and messages.
  • Vocera delivers its one millionth Badge communications device to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.
  • Besler releases a new podcast, “How Hospital-to-Hospital Transfer Policies Impact Billing and Coding.”
  • CarePort Health CEO Lissy Hu, MD will present at the CHA Post-Acute Care Conference February 16 in Redondo Beach, CA.

Blog Posts


Contacts

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

125x125_2nd_Circle

Monday Morning Update 2/12/18

February 11, 2018 News 4 Comments

Top News

image

American Academy of Family Physicians asks HHS and ONC to reduce the health IT burden of clinicians, specifically recommending that they:

  • Eliminate the health IT usage metrics in MIPS since it already measures the end results of quality, cost, and practice improvement.
  • Eliminate the use of visit documentation E/M codes along with the box-checking tasks that are required for payment.
  • Focus on how and when data is exchanged rather than focusing on the individual data elements, with the goal being to reduce the irrelevant information that is automatically generated in exchanging CCDAs.
  • Penalize organizations that do not share information and align financial incentives so that “interoperability is good business.”
  • Fund the creation of consistent data models in a physician-led process.
  • Reduce the number of products and services that require prior authorization; develop a standard form that all payers use; require payers and PBMs that create a PA specifically to save themselves money to pay physicians for the time required to complete those forms; and eliminate PAs for durable medical equipment, imaging, supplies, and generic drugs.
  • Adopt a single set of quality measures that span all public and private payers.
  • Develop a single, EHR-populated form for justifying orders for medical supplies and services.

Reader Comments

From Pickleball: “Re: Bob Dolin. Professional organizations that I belong to have formal ethics codes and committees that would exclude individuals from membership for such behavior. I would suggest that HL7 needs to show some leadership in terms of standards, not just with respect to electronic formats. While societal interests aren’t served if a talented individual becomes unemployable after serving out a physician, Dolin’s crime as a physician was a particularly heinous violation of public trust. According to published accounts, he downloaded lots of images onto work computers, which might be relevant to informatics where one is interfacing to an organization’s computers or accessing EHRs that could include photos or private information about children. I tend to be empathetic and accepting of the frailties of individuals, but in this instance, I don’t think the informatics community should simply welcome Dolin back as though nothing happened.” For another viewpoint, I have run a lengthy comment as its own post titled “Readers Write: In Defense of Bob Dolin.”

From Constantine: “Re: a radiology question for your readers. Are any healthcare organizations sending preliminary results from a radiology AI application to the EHR prior to radiologist review?” It will be interesting to see if radiology departments trust AI analysis enough to post the preliminary interpretation in the EHR. My guess is no, but we will see.

image

From The PACS Designer: “Re: ICD-10 Head Injury from goose. The head injury in ICD-10-CM is: 2018 ICD-10-CM Diagnosis Code S07.9XXA Crushing injury of head, part unspecified, initial encounter.”

image

From Aleutian: “Re: Stanford cancer vaccine announcement. Sounds promising. What do you think will happen?” Oncologist Ronald Levy, MD and postdoctoral fellow Idit Sagiv Barfi, PhD (above) find that directly injecting a combination of immune-stimulating agents into mice tumors (breast, colon, and melanoma) kills both the tumor and any metastases, in essence curing cancer in 87 of 90 mice. If it works in humans – and that’s a big if – the treatment would offer a fast, cheap way to stop cancer in is tracks without the side effects inherent with tweaking the patient’s entire immune system. Stanford is starting clinical trials in lymphoma patients, for which we should all keep our fingers crossed. It sounds like they will find out quickly if it works since the effect is nearly immediate.

From Privacy Guy: “Re: DuckDuckGo’s privacy browser add-in. It doesn’t grade the HIStalk site well and they’re apparently anti-Google and Facebook.” The HIStalk low grade is because the site (a) doesn’t use encrypted sessions, and (b) articles sometimes link to rather innocent third-party systems such as Twitter and YouTube that can track user behavior. I’m considering implementing SSL security just because Google downgrades search results for unencrypted sites, but there’s little benefit otherwise – the only information you can enter here that could be intercepted would be an article comment. 


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

image

Most poll respondents attend the HIMSS conference either because their job requires it or because they like socializing and visiting the exhibit hall. I can’t say I’m shocked.

New poll to your right or here: Would you be satisfied if your doctor prescribed a digital health app rather than a medication?

image

Thanks for the great responses to “What I Wish I’d Known Before … Taking a Job Selling Software to Hospitals or Practices,” which contains useful insight whether you’re a seller or a buyer.

image

This week’s question is timely – if you’ve attended the HIMSS conference as an exhibitor, take a minute to share your thoughts about what you wished you had known beforehand.

SNAGHTML12574fb1

Welcome to new HIStalk Platinum Sponsor Mobile Heartbeat. The Waltham, MA company is a leading provider of enterprise mobility clinical communications and collaboration solutions. Its Clinical Unified Results Enterprise (CURE) technology powers MH-CURE, which improves clinical workflow by giving clinicians what they want and need, no matter where they are. MH-CURE consolidates alarms, notifications, patient information, lab data, texting, voice, and photography. Some of the country’s largest health systems have reported results that include 31 percent faster clinician response time, 50 percent improvement in HCAHPS scores, and 50 percent reduction in noise. Its patient-centric Dynamic Care Team director connects team members – inside and outside the hospital – to the patients they are caring for, ensuring that patient alerts and notifications are sent to the right person, who can then quickly engage other team members. Thanks to Mobile Heartbeat for supporting HIStalk.


Webinars

February 13 (Tuesday) 1:00 ET. “Beyond Sliding Scale: Closing the Gap Between Current and Optimal Glycemic Management Practices.” Sponsor: Monarch Medical Technologies. Presenter: Laurel Fuqua, BSN, MSN, EVP/chief clinical officer, Monarch Medical Technologies. The glycemic management practices of many hospitals and physician staff differ from what is overwhelmingly recommended by experts and relevant specialty societies. As a result, they are missing an opportunity to improve the quality, safety, and cost of care for their patients with diabetes and hyperglycemia, which commonly represent more than 25 percent of their inpatient population. Hospitals that transition from sliding-scale insulin regimens to consistent use of basal / bolus / correction protocols are seeing reductions in hyperglycemia, hypoglycemia, and costs. Making this shift more effective and efficient is the use of computerized insulin-dosing algorithms that can support dedicated staff using a systematic approach.

February 14 (Wednesday) 2:00 ET. “Time is Money: Aurora Health’s Journey of Implementing and Advancing Cost Accounting.” Sponsor: Strata Decision Technology. Presenter: Patrick Nolan, VP of finance, Aurora Health Care. Aurora Health Care’s implementation of Strata’s Decision Support module involved not only building an improved cost accounting model, but improving the process to engage a cross-functional team in cost development. It now has accurate, consistent cost data to support decision-making. Aurora’s next phase will be to use actual procedure and visit times to allocate costs. This presentation will provide a detailed view into both the implementation and future direction of the Strata Decision Support program within Aurora.

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

image

Vocera announces Q4 results: revenue rose 26 percent, adjusted EPS $0.29 vs. $0.00, beating Wall Street expectations for both. From the earnings call:

  • CEO Brent Lang says several customers have purchased the rules-driven Engage care team communication platform.
  • Q4 sales include $2.8 million deals with the DoD and Sutter Health as well as a system-wide implementation at BayCare (FL).
  • Lang says the company expects overall hospital IT spending to increase 5-7 percent in 2018, mostly for back-to-basics solutions that reduce cost or increase efficiency.
  • He says the BYOD movement is limited for hospital clinical workers and more health systems are instead providing company-owned devices for better security.
  • Widespread consumer acceptance of a voice user interface will open up possibilities and the company is investing in speech recognition technology.

image

CPSI announces Q4 results: revenue increased by 21 percent, EPS –$1.57 vs. $0.15, although the loss included a $28 million impairment charge. From the earnings call:

  • The company is working with Caravan Health to create the CPSI Rural ACO Program to help rural providers transition to value-based care.
  • The $28 million impairment charge is because of poor revenue and high development costs of the American HealthTech post-acute care product, which contributes 8.7 percent of CPSI’s revenue. (Healthland acquired American HealthTech in 2013 for an undisclosed price, then CPSI acquired Healthland for $250 million in late 2015).
  • 15 percent of Evident clients are live on CommonWell.
  • The company hasn’t seen any impact from the Allscripts ownership of the former McKesson Paragon, which it says doesn’t really play strongly in CPSI’s target market of hospitals under 100 beds. The company’s strongest competition has shifted to Cerner, Epic Community Connect, Athenahealth, and Meditech.
  • An analyst asked why hospitals running older systems would replace them without government incentives, with the company answering that the driver is doctors who are unhappy with usability and software completeness, especially with those systems that were bought quickly to earn Meaningful Use money.

image

I missed this earlier: Quality System (NextGen) posts Q3 results: revenue up 3 percent, adjusted EPS $0.15 vs. $0.23, beating revenue expectations slightly and meeting on earnings. QSII shares have dropped 20 percent in the past year and are trading at their 52-week low, valuing the company at $800 million.

A review of the New York healthcare startup landscape predicts that health IT investment will decrease in an overheated market, with the hope that someone will buy digital health companies that are losing too much money to run an IPO. Most of the M&A involved big companies buying point solutions vendors for under $100 million. A growth equity executive says hospitals are busy running expensive EHR implementations and insurer consolidation has left fewer customers in that sector, so pharma is the best bet.


Sales

Community Hospital Corporation (TX) chooses Parallon Technology Solutions to provide 24/7, US-based help desk services.

The state of Queensland, Australia selects Sunquest for a 10-year, $54 million laboratory software and services contract.


Decisions

  • Lake Area Medical Center (LA) will switch from Medhost to Meditech in 2018.
  • Gulf Breeze Hospital (FL) went live with Allscripts in December 2017.
  • Paoli Hospital (PA) will go live on Epic on March 3, 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

image image

DocuTAP hires Rob Rueckl (Edmentum) as CFO and Jared Lisenby (PointClear Solutions) as SVP of sales.


Announcements and Implementations

Logicworks launches Pulse, a cloud monitoring solution that integrates with AWS and Azure to look for security gaps, architectural red flags, and unusual traffic patterns.

image

DrFirst announces a mobile e-prescribing app intended to improve opioid prescribing by integrating with state PDMP databases, providing medication history and medication adherence information, and making it easier to prescribe shorter-term therapy that can be easily extended if needed.


Other

Healthcare spending jumped 15 percent from 2012 to 2016, not because patients consumed more services, but because providers keep raising their prices unsustainably even as usage declines. Surgical admissions declined 16 percent, but the average price increased $10,000 to $42,000. 

 

image

In China, a man playing games on his phone while sitting on the toilet for 30 minutes has a rectal prolapse and requires emergency treatment. You publish-or-perish academics might want to create an observational study to determine how many people (with a male vs. female comparison) whip out their phones during stall visits of greater than two minutes.


Sponsor Updates

  • Liaison Technologies breaks company revenue records in 2017 thanks to Alloy Platform’s marketplace momentum.
  • LogicStream Health releases a new podcast, “Overcoming Healthcare Delivery Challenges.”
  • A NEA survey pinpoints the top 10 dental practice pain points.
  • Sunquest Information Systems will exhibit at Molecular Med Tri-Con February 11-16 in San Francisco.
  • TriNetX will exhibit at the Scope Summit February 12-15 in Orlando.
  • Jay Silverstein (Picwell) joins ZappRx’s Board of Directors.

Blog Posts


Contacts

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

125x125_2nd_Circle

News 2/9/18

February 8, 2018 News 6 Comments

Top News

image

Former GE Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt is named board chair of Athenahealth, replacing co-founder and CEO Jonathan Bush. Under a plan announced last year to appease an activist investor, Bush will remain CEO but will relinquish his president and board chair titles. The president’s job has not been filled.

Immelt will invest in Athenahealth and will buy $1 million of its shares on the open market.

A company SEC filing says Immelt will get standard Athenahealth board member compensation: a $60,000 annual cash retainer (plus another $50,000 per year for serving as chair), $281,000 in shares, and travel expense reimbursement.

Immelt ran GE from 2001 through 2017, during which time the company’s share price dropped 56 percent vs. the Dow’s 120 percent gain.


Reader Comments

From Bad Robot: “Re: Epic’s MyChart Central. Its terms and conditions clearly state, ‘You hereby expressly assume the sole risk of any unauthorized disclosure or intentional intrusion.’ Are they really off the hook in the event of a data breach?” I found the same wording in the T&C of a bunch of MyChart-using health systems, with additional interpretation suggesting that it’s to warn patients that their PCs or Internet connections could be compromised and thus might expose their information. Attorneys who would like to weight in can review Cleveland Clinic’s MyChart T&C, which basically says they are responsible for nothing even though that is most likely far from the truth. I assume Epic supplies the legal boilerplate, although it’s probably correct that Epic isn’t liable for any breach of a system it doesn’t host.

image

From Whistle Blower: “Re: Bob Dolin. The former Kaiser doctor and HL7 board chair served prison time starting in 2015 for possession of child pornography involving sadistic abuse of infants and toddlers. He’s apparently out now and attended an HL7 working group meeting last week. He’s also working with former Kaiser colleagues at Elimu Informatics as a senior clinical informaticist. Given recent news of US Gymnastics, can you imagine if the former chairman went to prison and then returned to participate?” I emailed HL7’s media contact but did not get a response indicating what role, if any, Dolin has with the organization. His LinkedIn says he’s an independent consultant. Here’s where I’m a little bit torn – what he did was incredibly sick, but should he barred from making a living after he has served his sentence and the job doesn’t involve contact with children? I have to say I’m leaning toward no – his informatics work isn’t likely to be a springboard to more crime. It’s still OK to detest him for what he did, but banishing him to a lifetime of unemployment in his late 50s doesn’t seem to improve public safety.

From Bombshell: “Re: ‘Giving Up Baldrige.’ It’s supposedly an HIT tell-all book that covers IT gaffes, Meaningful Use fraud, and Baylor’s Dr. Death and the suspiciously extensive wiping of computers.” I haven’t heard of it and neither has Google.


Webinars

February 13 (Tuesday) 1:00 ET. “Beyond Sliding Scale: Closing the Gap Between Current and Optimal Glycemic Management Practices.” Sponsor: Monarch Medical Technologies. Presenter: Laurel Fuqua, BSN, MSN, EVP/chief clinical officer, Monarch Medical Technologies. The glycemic management practices of many hospitals and physician staff differ from what is overwhelmingly recommended by experts and relevant specialty societies. As a result, they are missing an opportunity to improve the quality, safety, and cost of care for their patients with diabetes and hyperglycemia, which commonly represent more than 25 percent of their inpatient population. Hospitals that transition from sliding-scale insulin regimens to consistent use of basal / bolus / correction protocols are seeing reductions in hyperglycemia, hypoglycemia, and costs. Making this shift more effective and efficient is the use of computerized insulin-dosing algorithms that can support dedicated staff using a systematic approach.

February 14 (Wednesday) 2:00 ET. “Time is Money: Aurora Health’s Journey of Implementing and Advancing Cost Accounting.” Sponsor: Strata Decision Technology. Presenter: Patrick Nolan, VP of finance, Aurora Health Care. Aurora Health Care’s implementation of Strata’s Decision Support module involved not only building an improved cost accounting model, but improving the process to engage a cross-functional team in cost development. It now has accurate, consistent cost data to support decision-making. Aurora’s next phase will be to use actual procedure and visit times to allocate costs. This presentation will provide a detailed view into both the implementation and future direction of the Strata Decision Support program within Aurora.

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

image

From the Cerner earnings call:

  • Q4 bookings were $2.3 billion, up 62 percent quarter over quarter and $300 million above guidance.
  • Full-year bookings were up 16 percent.
  • Cerner’s Works businesses are selling well, but their lower margin and short-term higher expenses are affecting earnings.
  • The company will invest most of the windfall it will receive from the federal tax rate cut from 35 percent to 21 percent, planning to expand its campuses and hire 600 employees for the Works businesses.
  • The company raised EPS guidance by $0.05, but that’s after a $0.19 gain from the tax rate change.
  • The VA’s failure to sign a contract as expected in Q4 hurt results, although the company wasn’t expecting a huge revenue and earnings bump anyway.
  • Cerner signed six Q4 deals of over $75 million.
  • The company says the hospital EHR market has matured, with the biggest opportunity being full implementations in small hospitals that don’t have a currently marketed EHR.

People

image

CDI company Enjoin promotes James Fee, MD to CEO.


Sales

image

Intermountain Healthcare (UT) selects Elsevier’s Via Oncology pathway tool.

The Nebraska Health Network — an ACO serving patients of Methodist Health System, Nebraska Medicine, and Fremont Health – will use Koan Health’s population health analytics and consulting services.


Privacy and Security

image

Aetna sues Kurtzman Carson Consultants — the claims administrator that sent out mailings on Aetna’s behalf that disclosed the HIV status of recipients because of poor envelope design – for the $20 million Aetna paid out as a result.

image

Decatur County General Hospital (TN) notifies patients of a September data breach in which an unknown hacker installed cryptocurrency mining software on its vendor-maintained EHR server. The hospital didn’t name the vendor, but its patient portal is CPSI’s.


Announcements and Implementations

image

Carolinas HealthCare System – one day after renaming itself to Atrium Health – announces that it will merge with Navicent Health (GA). Atrium is also in merger talks with UNC Health Care (NC).


Technology

Monarch Medical Technologies adds self-service analytics to its glucose management software.


Innovation and Research

A study of 14,000 Apple Watch users finds that the device’s heart rate sensor is capable of detecting diabetes in users already diagnosed with the disease with 85 percent accuracy.


Other

image

A federal judge throws out a False Claims Act lawsuit brought against Epic by a former compliance employee of WakeMed (NC), who claimed in 2015 that Epic’s default setup double-bills Medicaid and Medicare by charging for both anesthesia base units and procedure time. The judge called the case, which had already been declined by the Department of Justice, “woefully deficient” since it included no proof that fraud had actually occurred. Epic’s motion to dismiss said the single document offered as proof by the plaintiff was not an anesthesia bill or claim.

image

A 20-minute power outage at Royal Adelaide Hospital in Australia leaves two patients undergoing surgeries in the dark, three patients stuck in elevators, and a score of anxious others. Officials have since pointed fingers at the hospital’s management company, which has attributed the unplanned outage at the recently opened $1.9 billion hospital to software glitches and a backup generator that ran out of gas.


Sponsor Updates

  • Steve Febus, CFO, Pullman Regional Hospital, discusses how Engage helps rural hospitals succeed at IT.
  • EClinicalWorks will exhibit at the 2018 AAD Annual Meeting February 16-20 in San Diego.
  • Glytec will present at the International Conference on Advanced Technologies & Treatments for Diabetes February 14-17 in Vienna.
  • Allscripts adds the Healthgrades appoint scheduling solution to its Developer Program.
  • Healthwise exhibits at the 2018 South ACE User Group Conference in Raleigh, NC.
  • Huron announces the promotions of 22 senior-level managing directors, partners, and VPs.
  • HCIactive adds WiserTogether’s Return to Health treatment guidance tool to its Workplace Wellbeing software for employers.
  • The Women Tech Council includes Health Catalyst on its 2018 Shatter List, which recognizes companies making an effort to increase the number of women working in technology.
  • Agfa Healthcare adds new features to its Engage Suite for Integrated Care.
  • LifeWorks Northwest (OR) adopts the Netsmart-powered Carequality interoperability framework.
  • Indiana HIE will pilot Diameter Health’s data-cleansing capabilities.
  • Adventist Health System’s Florida Hospital upgrades its digital radiography technology from Agfa HealthCare.
  • Surescripts achieves HITRUST CSF Certification.

Blog Posts


Contacts

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

125x125_2nd_Circle

News 2/7/18

February 6, 2018 News 5 Comments

Top News

image

Former CMS Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt joins several luminaries to launch the non-profit United States of Care, a non-partisan group that will push for federal healthcare policies that it believes are nearly universally supported despite political differences.

Among its members are health system executives, actors, Mark Cuban, Atul Gawande, former US CTO Todd Park, and former Republican Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist.

image

Slavitt describes the group’s goals in a Health Affairs blog post.


Reader Comments

From Orbiter: “Re: HISsies awards. I got my ballot, but how are you presenting the results without an HIStalkapalooza?” I could do some kind of Web extravaganza via GoToWebinar with celebrity participants and live reaction from the winners (perhaps including a virtual pie in the face), with the cost underwritten by the “worst vendor” winner. Or, maybe I’ll just run the PowerPoint results sometime before, during, or after the HIMSS conference. Guess which?

From Integumentary Film: “Re: HIMSS. What are you looking forward to most?” Two things: (a) not having to deal with HIStalkapalooza headaches, and (b) checking out vendors undercover in the exhibit hall. I have planned nothing for the entire week – no events, no meetings, no must-see educational sessions – so I’ll just be letting the HIMSS breeze (including the inevitable hot air) carry me.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

Does it seem that there’s less industry news to read today? It’s that time of year when vendors start creating their backlog of self-serving announcements, mistakenly thinking that they’ll get more exposure and booth traffic if they hold off announcements until Tuesday, March 6. HIMSS is just 25 days away and the smart companies are building the PR momentum now instead of after it’s too late to take advantage of it.


Webinars

February 13 (Tuesday) 1:00 ET. “Beyond Sliding Scale: Closing the Gap Between Current and Optimal Glycemic Management Practices.” Sponsor: Monarch Medical Technologies. Presenter: Laurel Fuqua, BSN, MSN, EVP/chief clinical officer, Monarch Medical Technologies. The glycemic management practices of many hospitals and physician staff differ from what is overwhelmingly recommended by experts and relevant specialty societies. As a result, they are missing an opportunity to improve the quality, safety, and cost of care for their patients with diabetes and hyperglycemia, which commonly represent more than 25 percent of their inpatient population. Hospitals that transition from sliding-scale insulin regimens to consistent use of basal / bolus / correction protocols are seeing reductions in hyperglycemia, hypoglycemia, and costs. Making this shift more effective and efficient is the use of computerized insulin-dosing algorithms that can support dedicated staff using a systematic approach.

February 14 (Wednesday) 2:00 ET. “Time is Money: Aurora Health’s Journey of Implementing and Advancing Cost Accounting.” Sponsor: Strata Decision Technology. Presenter: Patrick Nolan, VP of finance, Aurora Health Care. Aurora Health Care’s implementation of Strata’s Decision Support module involved not only building an improved cost accounting model, but improving the process to engage a cross-functional team in cost development. It now has accurate, consistent cost data to support decision-making. Aurora’s next phase will be to use actual procedure and visit times to allocate costs. This presentation will provide a detailed view into both the implementation and future direction of the Strata Decision Support program within Aurora.

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

image

Cerner announces Q4 results: revenue up 4 percent, adjusted EPS $0.58 vs. $0.61, missing Wall Street expectations for both. President Zane Burke describes the company’s FY2017 as, “We finished the year on a mostly positive note, with record bookings and all other key metrics except for earnings in line with our expectations,” which glosses over the significant point that the company’s all-important profit number disappointed everyone, including Cerner itself.

image

Varian acquires radiation oncology QA software vendor Mobius Medical Systems for undisclosed terms.

image

JPMorgan billionaire CEO Jamie Dimon had to soothe the ruffled feathers of the company’s healthcare clients after the announcement that his company — along with Amazon and Berkshire Hathaway – will work together to reduce the healthcare costs of their 1.2 million employees. The company’s healthcare bankers – who drive $682 million in annual revenue – reassured their customers that the partnership won’t really be as disruptive as people are wildly speculating, but instead will be more like a group purchasing organization that will help the companies negotiate better prices for services their employees consume. Insiders say that more-disruptive activities that were discussed, especially with Amazon’s involvement — such as offering health insurance, starting a pharmacy benefits management company, and distributing drugs – are now off the table.

NantHealth CEO Patrick Soon-Shiong is rumored to be close to acquiring the Los Angeles Times and San Diego Union-Tribune for $500 million. Declining business and a series of missteps at the LA Times by owner Tronc – the former Tribune Publishing, in which Soon-Shiong is a major shareholder – have resulted in a two-thirds cut in reporting staff, heavy-handed management intervention into editorial issues to appease advertisers, and a vote by newsroom employees to join the union.


Sales

image

UCSF Health (CA) selects Voalte for enterprise communications across six hospitals.

Pickens County Medical Center (AL) chooses Cerner Millennium, delivered via the CommunityWorks hosted model.


Announcements and Implementations

image

Michigan Medicine offers virtual visits for minor illnesses such as adult flu, offering a same-day response to symptom questionnaires submitted by noon or within 24 hours if completed later in the day. The seven-day-per-week service costs $25 and is accessed through the health system’s Epic MyChart patient portal.

LifeImage launches Clinical Connector, a vendor-neutral, standards-based platform by which clinicians and patients can access medical images and information from PACS and EHRs across sites. The project began as the LifeImage-powered RSNA Image Share pilot that winds down in March.

DrFirst announces that its real-time prescription benefit checking service has been used 6 million times, saving patients an average of $11 for a 30-day prescription.


Government and Politics

image

This isn’t directly health IT related, but it’s important for healthcare journalism, of which I’m the fringest of players. CMS threatens to ban Modern Healthcare Washington bureau chief Virgil Dickson from its news conferences after he wrote a story blaming the resignation of a high-ranking Medicaid official on that official’s clashes with CMS Administrator Seema Verma. I Googled the name of the spokesperson who told Dickson’s editor that he would be banned unless he rewrote his story — Brett O’Donnell is working under a private contract with CMS after (or during) his career as a political communications consultant (nicknamed “Tea Party Whisperer”), during which he pleaded guilty in 2015 to lying to House ethics investigators.


Privacy and Security

In England, Department of Health officials admit that every one of 200 NHS trusts have failed new, tougher cybersecurity requirements, many of them because of delays in system patching.


Other

SNAGHTMLe4506c

Google’s DeepMind reports “promising signs” from its research project with NHS Moorfields Eye Hospital to analyze retinal scans with AI to detect eye disease. Its report has been submitted to a peer-reviewed medical journal.

In Ireland, a review of last year’s incident in which the country’s national imaging system was found to ignore the “less than” symbol finds that no patients were harmed as a result. The Health and Safety Executive says Change Healthcare did not tell it about a software update that fixed the problem, so it didn’t apply that update.

Lancaster County, PA’s Coalition to End Homelessness creates a social services data system that allows people to sign up for multiple programs with a single, universal electronic form that sends information to 40 participating organizations and then allows the groups to coordinate their efforts. The local health system CEO says she has HIPAA concerns with such a project and the hospital won’t participate because it doesn’t have the resources. The cloud-based system vendor is CaseWorthy, which says its system meets HIPAA requirements. It is apparently working on integrating its system with Epic.

In Australia, a coroner finds that an inpatient’s death after routine knee surgery was due to a drug overdose that was caused by an anesthesiologist entering the wrong product in Macquarie University Hospital’s just-implemented InterSystems TrakCare system. The doctor admitted that he wasn’t trained on the system and didn’t follow up when he noticed his patient wearing a pain patch that he didn’t intentionally prescribe.

Vince takes a look back 30 years, when magazine ads featured decisive hospital executives wearing three-piece suits and clinicians literally dancing with EHR delight, which might make you think the hospital IT wars had been fought and won to the musical backdrop provided by chart-toppers Tiffany and the manufactured Latin-influenced band Exposé.

image

This tweet is brilliant.


Sponsor Updates

image

  • DocuTap employees restock The Teddy Bear Den, an incentive and education program for limited-income pregnant women and their children.
  • PerfectServe publishes a new customer success story, “Chicago-based ACO and managed care organization Advocate Medical Group (AMG) strengthens continuity of care for patients.”
  • AdvancedMD will exhibit at the Association of Dermatology Administrators & Managers February 12-14 in San Diego.
  • Besler releases a new podcast, “The impact of 340B changes on providers and beneficiaries.”
  • CarePort Health will exhibit and present at the California Hospital Association’s Post-Acute Care Conference February 15-16 in Redondo Beach, CA.
  • Healthx teams with Change Healthcare to provide cost transparency tools.
  • CompuGroup Medical encourages support for health center funding via the Red Alert campaign.
  • Cumberland Consulting Group will sponsor Model N Rainmaker 2018 February 12-14 in Carlsbad, CA.
  • Dimensional Insight will host a regional user meeting February 8-9 in Amelia Island, FL.
  • Divurgent publishes a new success story, “Cybersecurity Transformation Program.”

Blog Posts


Contacts

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

125x125_2nd_Circle

Monday Morning Update 2/5/18

February 4, 2018 News 8 Comments

Top News

SNAGHTML337ea36e

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

Apps are being approved to actually treat conditions – either alone or in combination with a drug – but investors are watching to see how companies fare since the “who pays” question hasn’t been answered and nobody’s sure how a patients will react to being given an app instead of a pill.

image

Pear Therapeutics won FDA approval in September 2017 for its ReSet app for substance abuse treatment. Its pipeline includes apps for schizophrenia and post-traumatic stress disorder. The Boston-based company, founded by neuroscientist Corey McCann, MD, PhD, raised $50 million in a Series B funding round last month that increased its total to $70 million.


Reader Comments

image

From Eloquent Rascal: “Re: Apple Health Records. Does it display any information that patients can’t already see in their EHR portal? Can patients change the information?” A source tells me that, so far anyway, the patient’s phone will show consumers nothing that they can’t already see on the patient portal. Patients can apparently change or hide information, which makes their phone-stored information of limited use to clinicians who may not trust it.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

image

My poll tool doesn’t calculate percentages like you might expect when allowing multiple choices, but it’s safe to say that most respondents use their phones for health-related activities. Relatively few, however, use the information contained on it during their provider visit, view their progress notes via OpenNotes (although that obviously requires their hospital to participate), or seek out a video visit.

New poll to your right or here: if you’re going to the HIMSS conference, why?

image

I received a few responses to What I Wish I’d Known Before … Bringing an Ambulatory EHR Live. Let’s hear what you have to say about the reader-recommended topic of taking a software sales job.

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

image
image
image
SNAGHTML2f40fc5e
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image


Webinars

February 13 (Tuesday) 1:00 ET. “Beyond Sliding Scale: Closing the Gap Between Current and Optimal Glycemic Management Practices.” Sponsor: Monarch Medical Technologies. Presenter: Laurel Fuqua, BSN, MSN, EVP/chief clinical officer, Monarch Medical Technologies. The glycemic management practices of many hospitals and physician staff differ from what is overwhelmingly recommended by experts and relevant specialty societies. As a result, they are missing an opportunity to improve the quality, safety, and cost of care for their patients with diabetes and hyperglycemia, which commonly represent more than 25 percent of their inpatient population. Hospitals that transition from sliding-scale insulin regimens to consistent use of basal / bolus / correction protocols are seeing reductions in hyperglycemia, hypoglycemia, and costs. Making this shift more effective and efficient is the use of computerized insulin-dosing algorithms that can support dedicated staff using a systematic approach.

February 14 (Wednesday) 2:00 ET. “Time is Money: Aurora Health’s Journey of Implementing and Advancing Cost Accounting.” Sponsor: Strata Decision Technology. Presenter: Patrick Nolan, VP of finance, Aurora Health Care. Aurora Health Care’s implementation of Strata’s Decision Support module involved not only building an improved cost accounting model, but improving the process to engage a cross-functional team in cost development. It now has accurate, consistent cost data to support decision-making. Aurora’s next phase will be to use actual procedure and visit times to allocate costs. This presentation will provide a detailed view into both the implementation and future direction of the Strata Decision Support program within Aurora.

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

SNAGHTML33a62821

From the Athenahealth earnings call following positive quarterly results that sent shares up 14 percent Friday:

  • CEO Jonathan Bush says the company is seeing a post-HITECH “sugar low” as overall buying demand slacks off. Bookings for the fiscal year didn’t meet the company’s goal.
  • The company will change its software release schedule to three times per year following disappointing customer retention numbers.
  • 62 hospitals are fully live on its inpatient system.
  • 40 percent of customers are exchanging patient records via CommonWell and Carequality. Bush says the they can see hospital CCD information on an application tab, but the next steps involve extracting the most useful information and then developing APIs to allow users to interact directly with a hospital’s EHR.
  • The company’s main strategy will be to deepen the number of services offered to mitigate the “micro aggressions against the practice of medicine” and to emphasize its network’s capabilities rather than assuming that offering the best EHR or PM will create demand.
  • Bush says the previously “clunky” single, integrated view of inpatient and outpatient patient records view is improving as the company hopes to avoid being “boxed out” in being replaced by a single integrated system such as Epic or Cerner.
  • Epocrates continues to turn in poor numbers, although it’s no longer being positioned as a standalone product but instead as a dashboard for other Athenahealth offerings.
  • The company spent a lot of money and annoyed doctors as it fought to get a significant share of HITECH-driven business, but now it is transitioning to more thoughtful product offerings.  
  • Bush says MACRA and MIPS won’t drive sales since practices “get the check something like two years after you make the move and the check is smaller than cable bill.”
  • Bush says high-deductible insurance has pushed patients to defer services until later in the year when they’ve met their deductible, with providers and their vendors facing lean first quarters as the new normal.

Sales

image

In England, Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust joins the global health research network of TriNetX.


Decisions

  • Adirondack Medical Center Saranac Lake (NY) went live with Meditech in November 2017.
  • St. Luke’s Gnaden Huetten campus (PA) will switch from Cerner to Epic in June 2018.
  • St. Vincent Hospital (PA) will replace McKesson with Epic in February 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

image

Investment syndicate AngelMD hires industry long-timer Michael Raymer (Perspectum Diagnostics) as chief strategy officer.


Government and Politics

A GAO report finds that federal and state governments are spending $10 billion for assisted living services for Medicaid beneficiaries without much oversight or quality monitoring. It concludes that CMS has provided unclear guidance, Congress has not established standards, and states haven’t tracked cases involving neglect or abuse.


Other

SNAGHTML2f6d709e

Hospitals are being overwhelmed with record-breaking numbers of flu-related ED visits and admissions, to the point that Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest (PA) erected a MASH-style “surge tent” in its ED parking lot to hold overflows. Patients housed there who didn’t get a flu shot told the New York Times reporter some bizarre theories that “heard” (meaning that they cluelessly read on Facebook):

  • When offered a Tamiflu prescription, “No, I heard it causes hallucinations. I heard about a lady whose daughter got Tamiflu and tried to kill her.”
  • “I hear the [flu] shot gives you flu.”
  • “I heard you can get Alzheimer’s from it — that there’s mercury in it, and it goes to your brain.”
  • “I heard it’s a government plot for population control.”
  • “As a family, we don’t get it,” an apt description from a man convinced that he got the flu more often in years when he got a flu shot.

Canada’s Royal Canadian Mounted Police reverses its decision to require officers to file an Access to Information Act to get copies of their own medical records after being overwhelmed by requests and complaints about delays. The 30,000-employee RCMP has 65 people working in its access-to-information and privacy office, which scanned 1.2 million pages of documents last year. Documents requested under the Access to Information Act have to be printed from their electronic original and shipped to the access and privacy office in Ottawa, where they are then scanned back in. 

image

An NHS surgeon who claimed in a job interview to have performed over 50 solo keyhole surgeries vs. his real-life total of six says he didn’t understand the question and instead gave a “guesstimate.” He got the job after submitted a fraudulently completed surgery logbook, but was investigated after a high incidence of post-surgical complications and death. He’s been found guilty of fraud.


Sponsor Updates

  • T-System will provide its T-Sheets flu templates to EDs and urgent care centers at no charge.
  • Santa Rosa Consulting adds e-learning capabilities to its Meditech offerings.
  • Surescripts will exhibit at the NACDS Regional Chain Conference February 4-7 in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

Blog Posts


Contacts

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

125x125_2nd_Circle

Subscribe to Updates

Search


Loading

Text Ads


Report News and Rumors

No title

Anonymous online form
E-mail
Rumor line: 801.HIT.NEWS

Tweets

Archives

Founding Sponsors


 

Platinum Sponsors


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gold Sponsors


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reader Comments

  • Ramon bonilla: Does a current problem list mean that everything on the list is what u have?...
  • Woodstock Generation: When my college peers and I decided to major in one of the many healthcare professions, including the nascent HIT, the r...
  • AC: "American Airlines apologizes to Tisha Rowe, MD, MBA and promises to hire a chief inclusion and diversity officer after ...
  • DoesNotSoundFun: Is Providence's thing really a tech company though? They have an interest in saying that it is since they could bill mor...
  • Joe Gellatly: We are one of those white-glove service, reasonably-priced Security Risk Assessment vendors out there. I must say that t...
  • richie: Hope a Dx patient doesn't read how attrition is fun fodder for heartfelt sentiment. I think there are people who care a...
  • Demo Chic: Kudos to Dr. Belden and the MU team for their EMR Happy Hours. We did something similar back in 2007 but our sessions w...
  • David N: "The kidney has a very special place in the heart" - President Trump 07/10/19...
  • richie: Taking people out of a system of people is a basic design flaw....
  • Jim Beall: FWIW, Columbus Regional Health will go-live on Epic at their inpatient hospital later this month. I think the date is J...

Sponsor Quick Links