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News 9/27/17

September 26, 2017 News No Comments

Top News

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After culling through the applications of over 100 interested companies, the FDA selects Apple, Fitbit, Johnson & Johnson, Pear Therapeutics, Phosphorus, Roche, Samsung, Tidepool, and Verily to participate in its Pre-Cert pilot program. Announced in late July, the pilot will help the FDA better understand how the fast-tracking of pre-certified companies could impact the market. The nine companies have agreed to give the FDA access to measures related to their software development, testing, and maintenance; and to participate in FDA site visits.


Reader Comments

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From Agnes Scott: “Re: Agensian HealthCare (WI) files suit against Cerner for $16 million in lost revenue as a result of a messy changeover from McKesson in 2015. The health system claims it’s still losing $200,000 a month because of coding and billing errors. Cerner claims it fixed the problems in 2016.” 


Webinars

September 28 (Thursday) 2:00 ET. “Leverage the Psychology of Waiting to Boost Patient Satisfaction.” Sponsored by: DocuTap. Presenter: Mike Burke, founder and CEO, Clockwise.MD. Did you know that the experience of waiting is determined less by the overall length of the wait and more by the patient’s perception of the wait? In the world of on-demand healthcare where waiting is generally expected, giving patients more ways to control their wait time can be an effective way to attract new customers—and keep them. In this webinar, attendees will learn how to increase patient satisfaction by giving patients control over their own waiting process. (Hint: it’s not as scary as it sounds!)

October 19 (Thursday) 12:00 ET. “Understanding Enterprise Health Clouds with Forrester: What can they do for you, and how do you choose the right one?” Sponsored by: Salesforce. Presenters: Joshua Newman, MD CMO, Salesforce; and Kate McCarthy, senior analyst, Forrester. McCarthy will demystify industry solutions while offering insights from her recent Forrester report on enterprise health clouds. Newman and customers from leading healthcare organizations will share insights on how they drive efficiencies, manage patient and member journeys, and connect the entire healthcare ecosystem on the Salesforce platform.

November 8 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET. “How Clinically Integrated Networks Can Overcome the Technical Challenges to Data-Sharing.” Sponsored by: Liaison Technologies. Presenters: Dominick Mack, MD executive medical director, Georgia Health Information Technology Extension Center and Georgia Health Connect; director, National Center for Primary Care; and associate professor, Morehouse School of Medicine; and Gary Palgon, VP, healthcare and life sciences solutions, Liaison Technologies. This webinar will describe how Georgia Heath Connect connects clinically integrated networks to hospitals and small and rural practices, helping providers in medically underserved communities meet MACRA requirements by providing technology, technology support, and education that accelerates regulatory compliance and improves outcomes.

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


Announcements and Implementations

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Singing River Health System (MS) deploys Nuance’s full line of computer-assisted physician documentation products.

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Ability Network develops a new analytics and benchmarking tool for home health agencies, SNFs, and LTPAC facilities.

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Halifax Health (FL) implements real-time clinical surveillance capabilities and analytics from Wolters Kluwer Health, along with mobile communications technology from Vocera, to more effectively diagnose and treat sepsis.

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University of Iowa Health Care adds Carestream’s Vue Motion enterprise viewer, lesion management, and mammography software to its Carestream clinical collaboration platform.

IVantage Health Analytics launches a market intelligence tool to assist hospitals and health systems with strategic planning.

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Allegheny Health Network deploys Appriss Health’s PMP Gateway to gives its prescribers access to the state’s PDMP from within Epic.


People

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Mount Sinai Health System genomics spin off Sema4 names Jamie Coffin (Source Medical Solutions) president and COO.

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Rebecca Farrington (McKesson) joins Healthcare Administrative Partners as chief revenue officer.

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Direct Consulting Associates hires Ranae Rousse (Encore) as VP of sales.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Availity announces an unspecified amount of funding from Francisco Partners and existing investors. The Jacksonville, FL-based company also secured a $200 million revolving credit facility two months ago.

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Digital patient education company Outcome Health will hire 2,000 employees by 2022 to help staff its new headquarters in Chicago.

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Tempus raises $70 million in a Series C round led by Revolution Growth and New Enterprise Associates. The precision cancer care technology company has raised $130 million since it was launched in 2015 by Groupon cofounders Eric Lefkofsky and Brad Keywell.

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PatientSafe Solutions raises $25 million in an investment round led by HighBar Partners, bringing its total raised to just over $141 million.


Government and Politics

TechCrunch reports that the CDC has organized a blockchain development team to assess the effectiveness of distributed ledger technology in the areas of population health and disaster relief.


Sales

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Capital Health in the United Arab Emirates will roll out the TrakCare HIS from InterSystems at its Specialized Rehabilitation Hospital and Health Shield Medical Center.

Affirmant Health Network (MI) signs on with Epic for its Constellation software for clinically integrated networks. Affirmant will roll out the “seven-figure” platform across its six health systems, including 26 hospitals.

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Vidant Health (NC) contracts with Premier for multi-year consulting, analytics, performance improvement, and supply chain services.

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Richland Medical Center (WI) will replace its 20 year-old legacy systems with EHR, PM, and RCM software and services from Aprima Medical Software.

Luxembourg’s federation of hospitals signs on with Agfa Healthcare for enterprise imaging across its 15 hospitals.


Technology

The nonprofit Carolinas Center incorporates Vynca’s advance care planning technology into its My Health Peace of Mind digital planning tool for its network of hospice and palliative care facilities.

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Change Healthcare works with The Hyperledger Project to develop a blockchain solution for claims processing and payment transactions.

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Healthcare CRM company Evariant develops a call center solution that incorporates appointment scheduling, referrals, marketing automation, event registration, and reminders.

In an effort to better identify at-risk patient populations like prediabetic and undiagnosed diabetic patients, Lightbeam Health Solutions adds AI technology developed by DocSynk to its population health management offering.


Innovation and Research

The charitable arm of the National Council for Prescription Drug Programs gives $40,000 to Johns Hopkin Medicine (MD) as part of a medication safety research project that will assess the effectiveness of adding CancelRx software to the hospital’s existing e-prescribing technology.


Other

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Point-of-Care Partners introduces ePrescribing State Law On-Demand to help e-prescribing and EHR vendors stay up to date with regulations in all 50 states.

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Epic’s annual user group meeting (and related traffic) kicks off, with Wizarding-themed sessions in high gear today. Closet to 17,000 people are expected to attend, with almost an even split between Epic employees and customers. If tweets are any indication, the company’s App Orchard website is now live.


Sponsor Updates

  • AdvancedMD will exhibit at the Ascend rehab therapy business summit September 29-30 in Washington, DC.
  • ClinicalArchitecture will exhibit at the Pop Health Forum October 2-3 in Chicago.
  • VentureOhio recognizes CoverMyMeds CEO Matt Scantland as Entrepreneur of the Year.
  • The Nashville Business Journal recognizes Cumberland Consulting Group as the 10th fastest-growing company in Middle Tennessee.
  • LogicStream Health will host a happy hour during Epic UGM September 27 from 6-8pm CT.
  • Imprivata partners with health data integrity and management firm Just Associates to enhance its PatientSecure patient identification solution.

Blog Posts


Contacts

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

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Monday Morning Update 9/25/17

September 24, 2017 News 2 Comments

Top News

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HHS Secretary Tom Price, MD decides to cease traveling in chartered planes until after the agency’s inspector general conducts a full review and audit of his travel expenses and the procedures surrounding them. While a timeline has not been released for the review, Price has assured taxpayers that, “We welcome this review. We want to make certain that we have the full confidence of not just this administration, but the American people.”


Reader Comments

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From Mike: “Re: Cold call solicitations from ECW. Do you think they’re pressing as a result of the DoJ ruling, or do you see something like this as a best practice? ECW cites an “AmericanEHR” survey that finds the company to be best at many things like training, eRx, usability, satisfaction, population management, etc. This would be more impactful if the actual study was available via the e-mail. A quick skim of AmericanEHR’s website shows that ECW isn’t in any of their Top 10 lists.” I can’t speak to the cold calling, though I suppose it wouldn’t have surprised me in the heady days of HITECH. I’ll invite readers to weigh in with their experiences.

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From MJ: “Re: Jackson Medical Center (AL) implements Evident’s Thrive EHR. Not good for Athena from an inpatient perspective. One of their 35-bed sites is already leaving them and returning to CPSI. Surprised the hospital was willing to disclose the cash flow details they saw between the two systems.” I couldn’t find any record of an Athena implementation at JMC. The announcement from CPSI’s Evident subsidiary does mention that the center is returning to Evident due to a 75-percent drop in collections with their previous vendor.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

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Just as I suspected: The vast majority of last week’s poll-takers will not spend an absurd amount of money on the anniversary edition of the iPhone. Ganay laments that there was no third, “hell no” option, while Pushing the Limits believes that if “one wants to purchase a Cadillac and has the resources then one can afford to make that choice; most of us can’t or choose to be a little more fiscally responsible. This pricing will be a real stretch for some who will unfortunately feel they MUST go for it. It is getting out of control, however, if we, as the consumers, continue to fork over these type of dollars. Next year’s version will be even higher. Whatever the market will bear!!” Technology Fan plays devil’s advocate: “Why not buy an X (a good reader poll would be to see if your readers pronounce it iPhone ‘X’ or ‘Ten’)? I purchased a Dell desktop in 1995 for $4,000, which is $6,500 in today’s dollars, so spending $1,000 for a top-of-the line miniaturized computing device that is light years ahead of Windows 95 doesn’t seem so unreasonable.”

New poll to your right or here: Have you been affected by the Equifax breach? Before you respond, I’ll preface this by saying this question is really about how you’ve been affected, and what steps you’ve attempted to take to protect your credit – either through Equifax’s offerings or some other vendor, so please share your experience in the comments section.


This Week in Health IT History

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One year ago:

  • The GAO slams HHS in a report on cybersecurity preparedness in health IT.
  • InstaMed secures a $50 million investment from Carrick Capital Partners.
  • Former Tuomey Healthcare (SC) CEO Ralph Cox personally pays $1 million to settle allegations that he illegally compensated doctors in exchange for unnecessary patient referrals to the hospital.
  • HITRUST begins exchanging bi-directional cyber threat alerts with the Department of Homeland Security.
  • Hillary Clinton outlines her plans for improving healthcare, which includes improving the ACA, working to “integrate our fragmented healthcare delivery systems,” and helping to increase research and innovation.

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Five years ago:

  • McKesson acquires population and risk management solutions vendor MedVentive for an undisclosed sum.
  • HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and US Attorney General Eric Holder warn AHA and other hospital organizations that the government will take appropriate steps to pursue providers who misuse EHRs to defraud Medicare.
  • Nuance Communications acquires QuadraMed’s Quantim product line for health information management.
  • Nordic Consulting raises growth capital from SV Life Sciences, Health Enterprise Partners, and HLM Venture Partners.
  • Navigating Cancer raises $2.3 million to hire developers and integrate its patient portal into EMR applications.

Ten years ago:

  • Microsoft wants to buy 5 percent of Facebook for $500 million, thereby valuing the three-year-old, teen-heavy social networking site at $10 billion.
  • QuadraMed closes its Misys CPR acquisition.
  • Bassett Healthcare (NY) selects McKesson for additional products for its four hospitals and 23 community health centers.
  • The market for physician financial information systems is expected to grow from $3.5 billion in 2006 to an anticipated $6.22 billion by 2013.
  • Susquehanna Health (PA), the first facility to go live on both Soarian Clinicals and Financials, has signed on with Siemens for additional technology and service solutions.

Last Week’s Most Interesting News

  • HHS Secretary Tom Price, MD comes under fire for his use of private jets for job-related travel.
  • CMS Administrator Seema Verma announces that the agency will pivot its Innovation Center to offer providers new ways of delivering care.
  • Tenet Healthcare sale rumors heat up with HCA rumored as a frontrunner to acquire several Tenet hospitals.
  • British Colombia Health Minister Adrian Dix launches an independent review of Island Health’s $178 million Cerner Millennium implementation.
  • Equifax suffers fallout from its botched attempts to provide post-breach customer service.

Webinars

September 28 (Thursday) 2:00 ET. “Leverage the Psychology of Waiting to Boost Patient Satisfaction.” Sponsored by: DocuTap. Presenter: Mike Burke, founder and CEO, Clockwise.MD. Did you know that the experience of waiting is determined less by the overall length of the wait and more by the patient’s perception of the wait? In the world of on-demand healthcare where waiting is generally expected, giving patients more ways to control their wait time can be an effective way to attract new customers—and keep them. In this webinar, attendees will learn how to increase patient satisfaction by giving patients control over their own waiting process. (Hint: it’s not as scary as it sounds!)

October 19 (Thursday) 12:00 ET. “Understanding Enterprise Health Clouds with Forrester: What can they do for you, and how do you choose the right one?” Sponsored by: Salesforce. Presenters: Joshua Newman, MD CMO, Salesforce; and Kate McCarthy, senior analyst, Forrester. McCarthy will demystify industry solutions while offering insights from her recent Forrester report on enterprise health clouds. Newman and customers from leading healthcare organizations will share insights on how they drive efficiencies, manage patient and member journeys, and connect the entire healthcare ecosystem on the Salesforce platform.

November 8 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET. “How Clinically Integrated Networks Can Overcome the Technical Challenges to Data-Sharing.” Sponsored by: Liaison Technologies. Presenters: Dominick Mack, MD executive medical director, Georgia Health Information Technology Extension Center and Georgia Health Connect; director, National Center for Primary Care; and associate professor, Morehouse School of Medicine; and Gary Palgon, VP, healthcare and life sciences solutions, Liaison Technologies. This webinar will describe how Georgia Heath Connect connects clinically integrated networks to hospitals and small and rural practices, helping providers in medically underserved communities meet MACRA requirements by providing technology, technology support, and education that accelerates regulatory compliance and improves outcomes.

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Leonardo DiCaprio invests in MindMaze, a Swiss startup that has developed virtual reality technology to help amputees and stroke victims regain movement. The company, which is looking to expand beyond healthcare into entertainment and media, seems to have found a fan in the actor, who has expressed interest in how its software can help make movies more interactive.

National Decision Support Co.’s CareSelect-powered clinical decision support products are now in use in all 50 states.


People

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ROI Healthcare Solutions promotes Stacy Bennett to VP of human resources.

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Zelis Healthcare names Timothy Wilde (UnityBPO) CTO, Thomas Kloster (Inovalon) CFO, and Edward Fargis (Personal Touch Home Care) chief compliance officer and general counsel.


Announcements and Implementations

NRC Health develops a hospital-focused consumer loyalty index to help providers attract and retain patients.


Decisions

  • Bluffton Regional Medical Center (IN) will switch from McKesson to Cerner in 2018.
  • Harney District Hospital (OR) will go live with Epic in April.
  • Mercy Hospital (IA) will switch from McKesson to Cerner in October.
  • Plains Memorial Hospital (TX) switched from TruCode to 3M Encoder last November.

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


Government and Politics

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ONC eases EHR Certification requirements for vendors in an effort to reduce regulatory burden on health IT developers. First, ONC has revised certification test procedures so that vendors can “self declare” that their products meet 30 of 55 certification criteria. Second, ONC plans to exercise “enforcement discretion” when it comes to conducting randomized surveillance of health IT products.

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HHS instructs employees to complete video training on the dangers of leaking information – a move also being carried out across the departments of education, commerce, and the EPA.

Colorado’s new Medicaid claims reimbursement system comes under fire when Colorado Hospital Association data reveals that it has yet to pay several hospitals and health systems $211 million. Operated by DXC Technology, the system has struggled since launching in March, rejecting claims from hundreds of providers due to what state officials have called operator error.

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HHS will shut down Healthcare.gov for maintenance from midnight to noon nearly every Saturday during open enrollment, plus during overnight hours on the first day of the enrollment period. Government officials contend the maintenance is routine, though several media outlets have pointed out it is in excess of what occurred during the Obama administration.


Innovation and Research

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Google profiles the ways in which biomechanical engineer Anne-Christine Hertz is using Google Street View to help dementia patients travel down memory lane.

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In England, Microsoft sets up an AI-focused healthcare department at its research facility in Cambridge that will focus on developing predictive analytics tools. Public health informatics professor Ian Buchan will head up the new department. 


Other

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Kaiser Permanente CEO Bernard Tyson points out that transforming healthcare involves individual choice just as much as insurance coverage and technology:

“We need people to change the way they think about their choices when it comes to their own health and to ask themselves: ‘What is my responsibility for eating healthy foods, sleeping enough hours and exercising each day to live a longer, healthier life?’ The future of health is a new frontier with technology, research and individual choice playing an important part. Delivering better health for all means transforming an industry so when someone needs health care, it is delivered in a 21st century way that combines technology with the personal touch.”


Sponsor Updates

  • LiveProcess will exhibit at the Indiana Healthcare Emergency Preparedness Symposium September 28-29 in Indianapolis.
  • The New York Times Corner Office features LogicWorks CEO Kenneth Ziegler.
  • Meditech releases a new case study, “Detecting the Undetected: Meditech’s Surveillance Identifies and Prevents Infections at Valley.”
  • National Decision Support Co. will exhibit at Epic UGM September 25-27 in Verona, WI.
  • Navicure will exhibit at PDSMED Mindshare 2017 September 27-28 in Kansas City, MO.
  • Clinical Computer Systems, developer of the Obix Perinatal Data System, will exhibit at the 8th Annual Nebraska Section AWHONN Fall Conference September 28-29 in Omaha.
  • Black Book recognizes Recondo as a leader in several RCM rankings for 2017.
  • Experian Health will present at the HFMA FL Fall Institute September 27-29 in Delray Beach, FL.
  • PatientPing is named a runner-up for best tech startup at the Timmy Awards.
  • Patientco will host a recruiting meet and greet September 28 in Atlanta.
  • The SSI Group will exhibit at the Alabama HFMA Fall Institute September 24 in Miramar Beach, FL.
  • SK&A publishes an updated report, “Historical and Current Rates of Physician Access.”
  • TriNetX will host Summit17 September 26-27 in Boston.
  • Wellsoft will exhibit at the NRHA Critical Access Hospital Conference September 27-29 in Kansas City, MO.

Blog Posts


Contacts

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

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News 9/22/17

September 21, 2017 News 9 Comments

Top News

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Politico reports that HHS Secretary Tom Price, MD took five flights on private jets between September 13 and 15 “at a cost of tens of thousands of dollars more than commercial travel.” Price’s destinations included Athenahealth’s MDP event in Maine, the Goodwin Community Health Center in New Hampshire, and the Mirmont Treatment Center in Pennsylvania. Those organizations have confirmed that they did not cover Price’s travel costs. HHS spokeswoman Charmaine Yoest has said that those flights “were important for him to get outside of Washington, DC, talk to real people on the ground, and using the travel arrangements we did was the best way to get him there.”

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Other Trump administration officials have come under fire for their lack of fiscally responsible flying. Officials are reviewing travel expenses for Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, who used an Air Force jet to visit Kentucky in August and later requested a military flight for his honeymoon (allegedly for security reasons); and for EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, who has spent a considerable amount of money on commercial flights to his home in Oklahoma.


Reader Comments

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From Dave: “Re: Equifax post-breach customer service. From what I understand, if you go to the Equifax site and sign up for the free credit monitoring that they’re offering, the current terms and conditions that are agreed to by clicking through it, according to an attorney I was told about, say that you are hereby waiving any rights to participate in a class action suit. When the attorney called and asked Equifax about that, they told him not to worry and that it won’t apply in this case. Yet, they haven’t changed it and people are clicking on it. And it’s only there because of this very breach. Sounds fishy to me.”


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

This week on HIStalk Practice: KeyCare will implement I2I Population Health’s PHM technology across 16 community health centers. HRSA earmarks $200 million to help health centers expand mental health and substance abuse services. Bend Medical Clinic hopes to climb out of EHR-related financial troubles with help from Summit Health. Providers react to Jonathan Bush’s burning question. VillageMD launches in Georgia. CMS Innovation Center pursues new direction. Physician burnout becomes a vicious cycle. PRM Pro Jim Higgins emphasizes communication preferences in improving patient retention.

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Last call: HIStalk sponsors, submit your MGMA details for inclusion in our annual must-see vendor’s guide over at HIStalk Practice. Companies that are walking the show floor instead of exhibiting are also welcome to submit their information. The guide will publish the week of October 2.


Webinars

September 28 (Thursday) 2:00 ET. “Leverage the Psychology of Waiting to Boost Patient Satisfaction.” Sponsored by: DocuTap. Presenter: Mike Burke, founder and CEO, Clockwise.MD. Did you know that the experience of waiting is determined less by the overall length of the wait and more by the patient’s perception of the wait? In the world of on-demand healthcare where waiting is generally expected, giving patients more ways to control their wait time can be an effective way to attract new customers—and keep them. In this webinar, attendees will learn how to increase patient satisfaction by giving patients control over their own waiting process. (Hint: it’s not as scary as it sounds!)

October 19 (Thursday) 12:00 ET. “Understanding Enterprise Health Clouds with Forrester: What can they do for you, and how do you choose the right one?” Sponsored by: Salesforce. Presenters: Joshua Newman, MD CMO, Salesforce; and Kate McCarthy, senior analyst, Forrester. McCarthy will demystify industry solutions while offering insights from her recent Forrester report on enterprise health clouds. Newman and customers from leading healthcare organizations will share insights on how they drive efficiencies, manage patient and member journeys, and connect the entire healthcare ecosystem on the Salesforce platform.

November 8 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET. “How Clinically Integrated Networks Can Overcome the Technical Challenges to Data-Sharing.” Sponsored by: Liaison Technologies. Presenters: Dominick Mack, MD executive medical director, Georgia Health Information Technology Extension Center and Georgia Health Connect; director, National Center for Primary Care; and associate professor, Morehouse School of Medicine; and Gary Palgon, VP, healthcare and life sciences solutions, Liaison Technologies. This webinar will describe how Georgia Heath Connect connects clinically integrated networks to hospitals and small and rural practices, helping providers in medically underserved communities meet MACRA requirements by providing technology, technology support, and education that accelerates regulatory compliance and improves outcomes.

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Video interpretation and telemedicine company Stratus Video opens a Center of Excellence in Dallas. The company expects to hire 200 employees from the area within the year.

Moffitt Cancer Center’s (FL) informatics subsidiary, M2Gen, will use an undisclosed amount of equity investment from Hearst to expand its cancer research efforts and data-sharing network.

The Dallas News cites unnamed analysts in an article claiming that HCA is a frontrunner to acquire some of Tenet Healthcare’s hospitals.


Sales

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Christus Health system (TX) selects Influence Health’s CRM software.


People

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Biomedical informaticist Neil Sarkar (Brown University) takes the editorial helm of AMIA’s new JAMIA Open publication.

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PeraHealth names LeAnne Hester (Premier) chief commercial officer.

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Great Lakes Health Connect Executive Director Doug Dietzman will also lead Making Choices Michigan, a nonprofit focused on advance care planning that became a wholly owned subsidiary of GLHC earlier this month.


Announcements and Implementations

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University of Kansas Health System rolls out speech-recognition software and EHR services from Nuance.

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Baptist Health Corbin (KY) implements tele-ICU services from Advanced ICU Care.


Technology

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Intelligent Contacts develops a service that helps hospital collections staff bypass lengthy hold times when trying to get in touch with payers.

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Providers can now access Doximity Dialer from within Epic’s Haiku mobile app. Dialer gives users the ability to call patients from their smart phones with one touch, while guarding the privacy of their personal phone numbers.

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Amazon looks to give recently revitalized Google Glass a run for its money with Alexa-enabled smart glasses, the company’s first wearable. Users will be able to hear Alexa courtesy of a wireless bone-conduction audio system, and could wirelessly tether to a smartphone. Google Glass founder Babak Parviz joined Amazon in 2014.

LiveData launches a cloud-based version of its PeriOp Manager technology.

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National Decision Support Co. works with Mayo Clinic (MN) to develop a real-time decision-support tool for laboratory testing available within the EHR via the company’s CareSelect software.

ClinicTracker end users gain lab connectivity via EHR integration with Change Healthcare’s Clinical Network. 


Privacy and Security

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In its latest monthly update, Protenus reports that healthcare organizations experienced 31 breaches affecting 673,934 patient records – stats in keeping with the preceding seven months. Hackers were responsible for 55 percent of breaches, while insiders racked up 27 percent, pointing to a continued need for cybersecurity training.


Government and Politics

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VA Interim Deputy Secretary Scott Blackburn will assume the role of acting CIO when Rob Thomas retires next month. Thomas took on the role in February after CIO LaVerne Council departed with the Obama administration.

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The CMS Innovation Center asks for stakeholder feedback as it considers a “new direction to promote patient-centered care and test market-driven reforms that empower beneficiaries as consumers, provide price transparency, increase choices and competition to drive quality, reduce costs, and improve outcomes.” CMS Administrator Seema Verma says in a Wall Street Journal op-ed that the agency will pivot its Innovation Center to offer providers new ways of delivering care, noting that value-based programs have resulted in market consolidation and reduced competition. Comments are due November 20.

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Niam Yaraghi, a fellow in the Brookings Institution’s Center for Technology Innovation, argues in a Health Affairs blog that HITECH and HIPAA are as much at fault for the nation’s EHR interoperability problems as the vendors and providers that are being blamed. He recommends enacting policies that would give providers and vendors the option of charging fees for the the exchange of medical data, a move that would “unleash the long-awaited incentives for information exchange in the healthcare industry and open the floodgates of medical data to allow patients to access, manage, and transmit their medical data as easily as their financial data.”


Other

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“Where are helicopter parents when you need them?” asks Weird News Andy after learning that doctors in Wales put a two year-old’s cast on the wrong leg. After taking the child back to the clinic a day later, the child’s mother says clinic workers were “making out as if it was my fault for not checking which leg it had been put on at the time. I told them that it wasn’t my duty to be aware of that and point out their mistake.”

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WNA shakes his head at the fact that Equifax linked to a fake customer support site that mocked the company’s breach follow-up for several days before realizing its mistake. The company’s Twitter account even got in on the action. Ars Technica reports that a security researcher developed the fake site to emphasize how easy it is to fool people into clicking on links and giving up personal details.


Sponsor Updates

  • EClinicalWorks will exhibit at the SFMGMA Annual Healthcare Symposium September 22 in Fort Lauderdale, FL.
  • Evariant makes the Marcum Tech Top 40 list of fastest growing technology companies in Connecticut.
  • Healthfinch, Imprivata, and Intelligent Medical Objects will exhibit at Epic UGM 2017 September 26-27 in Verona, WI.
  • Healthgrades will sponsor and present at Denver Startup Week September 26-27.
  • Consulting Magazine includes Impact Advisors on its list of best small firms to work for.
  • Kyruus will exhibit at SHSMD Connections September 24-27 in Orlando.
  • Inc. profiles NTT Data’s wearable technology relationship with IndyCar driver Tony Kanaan.
  • Black Book’s 2017 report ranks ZirMed first for end-to-end RCM for the seventh consecutive year.
  • Frost & Sullivan recognizes Sunquest Information Systems for its strides in precision medicine and patient-centered healthcare.
  • Forward Health Group will host the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce – HealthTech Capitol Views & Brews event September 24 in Madison, WI.

Blog Posts


Contacts

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

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News 9/20/17

September 19, 2017 News No Comments

Top News

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The hole Equifax keeps digging for itself just keeps getting bigger and bigger. The company’s CIO and CISO (whom some have raked over the coals for her music degree) announced their immediate retirements last week as affected consumers continued to cry foul over its shoddy attempts to provide assistance in the wake of a now-infamous breach that involved the data of 143 million people. Not to be outdone by its own incompetence thus far, Equifax has also revealed that a data breach occurred in March, and may have been carried out by the same hackers.

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To top it all off (though this story seems very Theranos-like in that it just keeps on giving), the DoJ has launched a criminal investigation into Equifax officials that may have violated insider trading laws when they sold $1.8 million in company stock before the initial breach was revealed.


Reader Comments

From Kiwi: “Re: Orion Health’s Singapore project. Your initial statement of the Orion Singapore project is overstated. It’s really just an expansion of the work they have already done with Accenture as prime on a national EHR awarded in 2010. Its just a Rhapsody deployment, not a national EHR. So there is not not much net new revenue. Noting about that deal would contradict potential office closings in Singapore for a company tight on cash.” Per Kiwi’s digging, this announcement from 2010 does indeed name Accenture as the National EHR contractor, along with team members from Oracle, Orion Health, Initiate Systems, and HP.


Webinars

September 28 (Thursday) 2:00 ET. “Leverage the Psychology of Waiting to Boost Patient Satisfaction.” Sponsored by: DocuTap. Presenter: Mike Burke, founder and CEO, Clockwise.MD. Did you know that the experience of waiting is determined less by the overall length of the wait and more by the patient’s perception of the wait? In the world of on-demand healthcare where waiting is generally expected, giving patients more ways to control their wait time can be an effective way to attract new customers—and keep them. In this webinar, attendees will learn how to increase patient satisfaction by giving patients control over their own waiting process. (Hint: it’s not as scary as it sounds!)

October 19 (Thursday) 12:00 ET. “Understanding Enterprise Health Clouds with Forrester: What can they do for you, and how do you choose the right one?” Sponsored by: Salesforce. Presenters: Joshua Newman, MD CMO, Salesforce; and Kate McCarthy, senior analyst, Forrester. McCarthy will demystify industry solutions while offering insights from her recent Forrester report on enterprise health clouds. Newman and customers from leading healthcare organizations will share insights on how they drive efficiencies, manage patient and member journeys, and connect the entire healthcare ecosystem on the Salesforce platform.

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


People

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Welltok hires Chris Power (Paycor) as CFO.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Influence Health relocates to larger office space in Atlanta. The company, which has grown its Atlanta workforce to 48 employees since acquiring BrightWhistle in 2015, plans to hire an additional 60-70 over the next two years.

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Gary Fingerhut, former executive director of Cleveland Clinic Innovations, is charged with conspiracy to defraud the Cleveland Clinic out of $2.7 million. Fingerhut and an unnamed accomplice opened a shell company that Cleveland Clinic Innovations hired to develop medical charting software. The shell company was paid $2.7 million in total, but delivered no goods or services in return. Investigators found that $469,000 was funneled directly back to Fingerhut.

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Text-based telemedicine company CirrusMD will move into larger office space within Denver’s new health IT-focused Catalyst HTI development next spring. It plans to add another 25 employees within the next year.

IT workers in Southern California unionize and stage a demonstration for equal pay and benefits at Kaiser Permanente’s national headquarters in Oakland, CA. The group of desktop computer support employees has been has been haggling with Kaiser over an initial contract for two years. A KP spokesman explains that, “Their average wage is $34.97, or more than $72,000 annually. The union is demanding that these 60 employees be paid at a much higher rate, which would make them much more highly paid than similar workers in the same market. We have offered a generous increase but the union is demanding considerably more.”

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In an effort to emphasize its focus on AI, predictive analytics company Faros Healthcare changes its name to Raiven Healthcare.


Announcements and Implementations

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Jackson Medical Center (AL) implements Evident’s Thrive EHR.


Government and Politics

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Madigan Army Medical Center (WA) personnel prepare to go live on MHS Genesis next month. It will be the first multi-branch hospital to roll out Cerner’s EHR for the DoD.

Indiana partners with SAP to create a database and dashboards displaying the state’s information on “drug arrests, drug seizures, death records, pharmacy robberies, overdose-related ambulance calls, and the use of naloxone, an overdose-reversal drug.”


Privacy and Security

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Sixty-three percent of physicians and 41 percent of nurses use personal devices for work even when their hospital has a no-BYOD policy, according to a Spok survey of 350 healthcare personnel. Data security was cited as the main reason some hospitals prohibit BYOD programs. Top BYOD barriers include WiFi coverage, data security, and cellular coverage.


Technology

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Florida Hospital and Nemours Children’s Hospital (FL) see telemedicine utilization rates skyrocket after giving patients free access several days before Hurricane Irma hit. Nearly 2,700 patients downloaded Florida Hospital’s eCare app, while Nemours saw adoption of its CareConnect jump 554 percent. Over 100 people accessed Florida Hospital’s virtual care the Saturday before Irma – that’s 93 more than it sees on a typical Saturday.

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Innovaccer develops a Care Intelligence System that encompasses data integration, analytics, quality reporting, patient and provider engagement, and care coordination.


Sales

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Cuero Health System (TX) signs on with Revenue Maximization Group for practice management and RCM services.


Innovation and Research

A study finds that patients who rely on Glytec’s digital glucose therapy management software see rapid glucose control and more easily maintain long-term A1C reductions.


Other

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State and federal officials put the brakes on “DNA Day” at last weekend’s Baltimore Ravens game against the Cleveland Browns over privacy concerns. Fans were supposed to receive a DNA test kit from Orig3n that would let them test for four genes, but will now have to wait until the Boston-based company receives proper approval from the Maryland Dept. of Health.

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Intermountain Healthcare and University of Utah Health system personnel return from their post-Harvey relief efforts as part of the Utah Disaster Medical Assistance Team. The team initially set up a field hospital near the airport, then moved to helping evacuees at the George Brown Convention Center. “We were ready for anything,” says Scott Gardner, PA-C in Trauma Services at Intermountain Medical Center. “Some of our mission was to be available in 30 minutes to be able to go anywhere to set up a self-supporting medical treatment area. But fortunately for the people of south Texas, we weren’t needed for emergencies. It meant the first responders and hospitals were well-prepared and operational.”


Sponsor Updates

  • AdvancedMD will host its Evo17 User Conference September 20-24 in Nashville.
  • Besler Consulting releases a new podcast, “Caring for healthcare providers.”
  • Black Book highlights consolidations going on amongst several companies in its Top RCM Software & Services report.
  • CoverMyMeds will exhibit at the PCMA Annual Conference September 25-26 in Scottsdale, AZ.
  • Direct Consulting Associates will exhibit at the Ohio MGMA annual conference September 22 in Dublin.
  • Built in Boston profiles Docent Health CEO Paul Roscoe.
  • Lightbeam Health Solutions will provide population health management solutions to members of the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians.
  • Reaction Data publishes a new report covering UnitedHealth’s acquisition of The Advisory Board.
  • Meditech customer Frisbie Memorial Hospital (NH) rolls out the company’s patient portal app.

Blog Posts


Contacts

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

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Monday Morning Update 9/18/17

September 17, 2017 News No Comments

Top News

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The British Columbia Ministry of Health in Canada launches an independent investigation (the second one in less than a year) into the Cerner-powered Island Health EHR – a $178 million system that has faced fierce physician criticism – including a return to paper-based records over patient safety concerns – at the two hospitals it has been deployed in. Ernst & Young will deliver a report outlining its costs, benefits, problems, and solutions later this fall. The report will likely determine the fate of IHealth, which was initially scheduled for province-wide deployment well before now.


Reader Comments

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From Kiwi: “Re: Orion Health. You can notch Ian McCrae’s net worth down even further. Orion was down to about $4 million in cash as of March 31 of this year, and had to raise funds through sale of stock in July. Fifty percent of that money raised was from insiders, including about $11 million from McCrae. That was actual cash he had to pony up. Last year the company lost $24 million on declining revenue of $144 million. Coupled with the unhappiness of some key customers like CalIndex and things are not looking good in the US either. All figures are USD. Lots of folks in HIT seem to make the mistake of not converting NZD like the piece Mr. H ran on June 12 about the folks at HCIT 100 not doing the math or their Top 100 vendors.” Things can’t be all bad for the New Zealand-based company. As first reported by Iknowaguy, Singapore’s health technology agency signed a five-year contract with the company for deployment of a nationwide EHR powered by Orion Health’s Rhapsody Integration Engine.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

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It’s a resounding “no” when it comes to readers whose healthcare has been affected by a lack of interoperability during and/or after natural disaster. I assume that only those who needed care answered the poll, but perhaps that was naive of me. In any case, Deb is decidedly in the “yes” camp, recounting the very different outcome that may have occurred had health data sharing been possible during her brush with Mother Nature: “Fourteen years ago, when a hurricane was approaching Florida, my daughter who has IIH (idiopathic intracranial hypertension) experienced severe symptoms as the barometric pressure dropped. We went to a hospital that was part of the network I was working for at the time. Her diagnostic and surgical records were in Illinois. The physician in the ER refused to believe her diagnosis even though she had the shunt and multiple surgical scars. I doubt that information sharing was an option at the time, but if it were, perhaps seeing her records from a major teaching institution would have allowed the physician to get past his own prejudices and actually treat her.”

New poll to your right or here: Will you purchase the $1,000 iPhone X when it arrives in stores? If your answer is “yes,” I’d appreciate you telling HIStalk readers why you’re prepared to spend that kind of money on a smart phone. I’m sure there are folks out there who feel it’s justified, but I just can’t wrap my head – or my wallet – around it.


This Week in Health IT History

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One year ago:

  • The DoJ and FTC back Teladoc in the telehealth vendor’s legal battles with the Texas Medical Board, saying that the board’s restrictive telemedicine rules are anticompetitive and were not appropriately reviewed.
  • France-based consulting firm Atos acquires Anthelio Health Solutions for $275 million.
  • Apple releases iOS 10, which includes HealthKit support for C-CDA, which will let patients download their medical records into HealthKit and share parts of that information with other apps.
  • Cleveland Clinic files plans to build a 205-bed private hospital in London’s upscale West End.
  • Appalachian Regional Healthcare brings the computer systems of its Kentucky and West Virginia hospitals, pharmacies, and clinics back online after nearly three weeks of downtime caused by an attack of unspecified malware.
  • HHS provides $87 million to 1,310 safety net health centers for purchasing or upgrading EHRs.

9-18-2012 10-03-17 PM

Five years ago:

  • Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary and its physician group pays HHS $1.5 million to settle potential HIPAA violations following the theft of a PHI-containing unencrypted laptop.
  • CMS awards HP a $43 million task order to continue providing IT services for the EHR incentive program and for maintaining the Integrated Data Repository database.
  • Nuance will purchase Ditech Networks, a provider of voice technologies and voice-to-text services, for $22.5 million.
  • The Forbes 400 list of richest Americans includes Epic’s Judy Faulkner (#285 with a net worth of $1.7 billion) and Cerner’s Neal Patterson (#391 at $1.12 billion).

Ten years ago:

  • Philips considers offering an EHR product in Europe.
  • Phreesia raises $10 million.
  • Demand pushes Athenahealth’s IPO price to over $35, making it the best first-day gain of 2007.
  • Craneware IPOs in London.

Last Week’s Most Interesting News

  • Navicure and ZirMed agree to merge their RCM capabilities, operating under both brand names in the near term.
  • Tenet Healthcare shares climb 13 percent following a Wall Street Journal report suggesting it is considering a sale of the company.
  • Equifax suffers major fall out from a data breach that affected 143 million customers, including ransomware demands, class action lawsuits, and impending Congressional hearings.
  • The American Red Cross announces plans to use a drone to assess damage and deliver aid in Houston following Hurricane Harvey.
  • Epic will give MyChart users the ability to share data with any provider with Internet access, even those without EHRs.

Webinars

September 28 (Thursday) 2:00 ET. “Leverage the Psychology of Waiting to Boost Patient Satisfaction.” Sponsored by: DocuTap. Presenter: Mike Burke, founder and CEO, Clockwise.MD. Did you know that the experience of waiting is determined less by the overall length of the wait and more by the patient’s perception of the wait? In the world of on-demand healthcare where waiting is generally expected, giving patients more ways to control their wait time can be an effective way to attract new customers—and keep them. In this webinar, attendees will learn how to increase patient satisfaction by giving patients control over their own waiting process. (Hint: it’s not as scary as it sounds!)

October 19 (Thursday) 12:00 ET. “Understanding Enterprise Health Clouds with Forrester: What can they do for you, and how do you choose the right one?” Sponsored by: Salesforce. Presenters: Joshua Newman, MD CMO, Salesforce; and Kate McCarthy, senior analyst, Forrester. McCarthy will demystify industry solutions while offering insights from her recent Forrester report on enterprise health clouds. Newman and customers from leading healthcare organizations will share insights on how they drive efficiencies, manage patient and member journeys, and connect the entire healthcare ecosystem on the Salesforce platform.

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


Decisions

  • Hillcrest Henryetta Medical Center (OK) will switch from McKesson to Epic on Feb 28, 2018.
  • Centra Health (VA) will switch from Sunquest to a Cerner laboratory information system by the end of this year.
  • Shannon Health (TX) will switch from McKesson to Epic next month.
  • Potomac Valley Hospital (WV) will switch from Evident to Epic on October 1.
  • Westerly Hospital (RI) switched from McKesson to Epic in January.

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


Announcements and Implementations

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Allscripts will work with vendors, payers, and pharmacy benefit managers to aggregate and embed real-time prescription prices into prescribing workflows.

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In Canada, the initial phase of Alberta Health’s Community Information Integration Program goes live at a primary care clinic using Orion Health’s cloud service. This first stage will give over 50,000 PCPs across the province the ability to share health data via Alberta’s Netcare EHR, which leverages Orion Health portal technology.


Sales

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Curae Health selects Medhost’s Physician Experience and Perioperative Information Management System for implementation at two of its hospitals in Mississippi.


Privacy and Security

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The Arkansas Department of Human Services discovers that a former employee mistakenly emailed spreadsheets with the Medicaid information of over 26,000 beneficiaries to her personal email address. The oversight was caught when attorneys for the department were preparing for a wrongful termination lawsuit later brought by the employee. The state hospital that hired her after she left DHS has fired her for her breach-related incompetence.


Technology

Mayo Clinic (MN) rolls out its Ask Mayo Clinic symptom assessment tool to Epic MyChart users.


Innovation and Research

A telemedicine study of 120 pediatric patients at Florida-based Nemours Children’s Health System’s sports medicine clinics finds that just one visit per year saved the health system $24 per patient. The virtual consults helped patients and their families save $50 in transportation costs and nearly an hour of waiting and visit time.


Other

Cigna’s “TV Doctors of America” return to encourage yearly physicals.


Sponsor Updates

  • Salesforce.org donates $12.2 million to San Francisco and Oakland school districts in support of computer science education.
  • The SSI Group will exhibit at the 2017 HFMA Tri-State Fall Institute September 20 in Cincinnati.
  • Surescripts will exhibit at the NASP Annual Meeting & Expo September 17-20 in Washington, DC.
  • T-System and Wellsoft will exhibit at the 2017 National Association of Freestanding Emergency Centers Conference September 19-21 in Washington, DC.
  • ZirMed will exhibit at the MedInformatix 2017 Annual User Group meeting September 19-22 in San Diego.
  • Bernoulli Health contributes to an AAMI study, “Continuous Surveillance of Sleep Apnea Patients in a Medical-Surgical Unit.”

Blog Posts


Contacts

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

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News 9/15/17

September 14, 2017 News 4 Comments

Top News

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Navicure and ZirMed announce plans to merge, though Reuters reports it’s more of an acquisition by Navicure to the tune of $750 million. The combined RCM company will operate under both brands for the foreseeable future, maintaining offices in Georgia, Illinois, and Kentucky. The agreement comes about a year after Bain Capital Private Equity bought a majority interest in Duluth, GA-based Navicure. Louisville, KY-based ZirMed has been shedding assets over the last several months. It sold off its analytics business to Koan Health in May, and laid off 60 employees a few months before that.


Reader Comments

From ButIThoughtYouSaid: “Re: Orion Health. Orion is closing their Singapore office and letting all employees go. Fate of their Middle East operations remain to be seen. They recently decided to pull out of an EMR contract in the Gulf rather than deliver it. Ian McCrae is under tremendous pressure as share prices are just above $1 from $5 fifteen months ago. I feel for him.” I haven’t seen any news related to the company’s Singapore presence, though I did read that McCrae’s personal worth has plummeted from $225 million NZD to $125 million.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

This week on HIStalk Practice: Government agencies rescue dialysis patients in the wake of Hurricane Irma. Pennsylvania officials see reduced doctor shopping thanks to PDMP. MGMA calls for CMS to address "hidden" EFT fees. Macro-Eyes develops predictive patient scheduling tool. AAFP swears in new president during FMX conference. Summit Reinsurance Services enlists the population health assessment expertise of XG Health Solutions. Physician satisfaction improves during year-long trial with scribes. The Pitt County Health Dept. in North Carolina allocates $238,000 to implement Epic. Parents push back on telemedicine in Austin schools. HIStalk sponsors, submit your company’s details to the MGMA 2017 guide.


Webinars

September 28 (Thursday) 2:00 ET. “Leverage the Psychology of Waiting to Boost Patient Satisfaction.” Sponsored by: DocuTap. Presenter: Mike Burke, founder and CEO, Clockwise.MD. Did you know that the experience of waiting is determined less by the overall length of the wait and more by the patient’s perception of the wait? In the world of on-demand healthcare where waiting is generally expected, giving patients more ways to control their wait time can be an effective way to attract new customers—and keep them. In this webinar, attendees will learn how to increase patient satisfaction by giving patients control over their own waiting process. (Hint: it’s not as scary as it sounds!)

October 19 (Thursday) 12:00 ET. “Understanding Enterprise Health Clouds with Forrester: What can they do for you, and how do you choose the right one?” Sponsored by: Salesforce. Presenters: Joshua Newman, MD CMO, Salesforce; and Kate McCarthy, senior analyst, Forrester. McCarthy will demystify industry solutions while offering insights from her recent Forrester report on enterprise health clouds. Newman and customers from leading healthcare organizations will share insights on how they drive efficiencies, manage patient and member journeys, and connect the entire healthcare ecosystem on the Salesforce platform.

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


People

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Atlantic General Hospital names Jonathan Bauer (McKesson) VP and CIO.

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Precision medicine company Cota hires Andrew Norden, MD (IBM Watson Health) as CMO.

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Dan Watanapongse (Sterigenics International) joins Intelligent Medical Objects as EVP and CFO.

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Kaiser Permanente appoints Harvard Medical School pediatrics professor Mark Schuster, MD head of its new medical school in Pasadena, CA. The school will welcome its first group of students in the fall of 2019.

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Bruce Henderson (Navigant) joins consulting firm Navvis as president.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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23andMe raises $250 million in a round led by new investor Sequoia Capital, bringing its total funding to near $500 million and a reported valuation of $1.75 billion.

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Healthcare business development company Marketware secures $4.5 million in a Series B round led by Epic Ventures. Alex Obbard (Solutionreach) has joined the company as CEO.

Public and private payer Centene expands in New York via its $3.7 billion acquisition of Fidelis Care.

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Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare shares climb 13 percent following a Wall Street Journal report suggesting it is considering a sale of the company. Tenet shares are down 72 percent in the last three years in the face of ongoing activist investor pressures.


Announcements and Implementations

Allscripts and Surescripts offer pharmacists in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina complimentary access to patient medication history data as part of their hurricane relief efforts.

Perficient redesigns the Colorado Center for Personalized Medicine’s data warehouse, moving it from University of Colorado hosting services to Google Cloud.

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FormFast debuts its Connect e-forms solution on the Salesforce AppExchange.


Government and Politics

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CMS previews the SSN-less Medicare cards it will begin mailing out next April.

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Irving Burton Associates signs a two-year, $11 million contract with the US Army Medical Research and Materiel Command to supply research, scientific, management, and technical support services for its Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center.


Privacy and Security

Fortified Health Security partners with IoT security software company ZingBox to develop a program that will help healthcare organizations monitor and manage connected medical devices and networks, as well as potential threats.

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Senator Al Franken (D-MN) asks Apple CEO Tim Cook for more details on the upcoming iPhone X’s use of facial recognition to unlock the phone, particularly in the areas of privacy and security. He points out that, “should a bad actor gain access to the faceprint data that Face ID requires, the ramifications could last forever, particularly if Apple’s biometric technology comes to be used in other devices and settings. Furthermore, Apple itself could use the data to benefit other sectors of its business, sell it to third parties for surveillance purposes, or receive law enforcement requests to access its facial recognition system – eventual uses that may not be contemplated by Apple customers.”


Sales

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Sutter Health (CA) selects advance care planning software from Vynca.

Christus Continuing Care (TX), Carespring Health Care Management (OH), Cornerstone Healthcare Group (TX), and Perimeter Healthcare (GA) contract with HCS for its Interactant EHR.

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Brigham Health (MA) selects Redox’s API services to consolidate and standardize EHR data for use with hospital apps.


Technology

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CoverMyMeds will develop e-referral technology for speedier electronic prior authorization of specialty medications.

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Epic announces “worldwide interoperability” with the November launch of Share Everywhere, which enables patients to give MyChart data access to any provider with an Internet connection, even those without an EHR. In turn, providers can send progress notes back to the patient’s care team.


Innovation and Research

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Optum360, Navicure, ZirMed, and Advisory Board take top client experience honors for software and technology in Black Book’s latest RCM survey, which also found that 74 percent of respondents are reprioritizing RCM ahead of projects related to population health, patient engagement, analytics, and physician practice acquisition and recruitment.


Other

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San Diego workers spray city streets with bleach in an attempt to stem an outbreak of hepatitis A that has killed 15 and infected 400 people, mostly homeless. City officials have declared a public health emergency, installed hand-washing stations and additional public toilets, launched city-wide vaccination campaigns, and passed out hygiene kits in an effort to keep the outbreak – largely spread by unwashed hands – at bay. 

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Eight senior citizens die from heat-related distress after The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills (FL) loses power during Hurricane Irma. Health officials evacuated 141 residents from the facility, sending them to local hospitals and prompting the inspection of other nursing home facilities, of which dozens are still without power.


Sponsor Updates

  • Medicity will host its annual client summit September 19-21 in Stone Mountain, GA.
  • Dimensional Insight publishes a new white paper, “Three cornerstones for healthcare analytics success.”
  • Voalte announces the speaker lineup for the Voalte User Experience conference set to take place October 11-13 in Sarasota, FL.
  • Consulting Magazine ranks Impact Advisors fourth on its list of best small firms to work for.
  • Over 225 Epic customers adopt National Decision Support Co.’s CareSelect Imaging Platform.
  • Dimensional Insight publishes a new resource guide, “How to create a winning business intelligence RFP.”
  • Allscripts certifies Elsevier’s Interactive Patient Education as part of its developer program.
  • Liaison Technologies begins accepting applications for its Data-Inspired Future Scholarship program.
  • LiveProcess will exhibit at California Hospital Association Disaster Planning 2017 September 18-20 in Sacramento, CA.
  • MedData will exhibit at the MRCA HFMA Fall Revenue Cycle Conference September 20-22 in Mt. Pleasant, MI.
  • Meditech will exhibit at the Wyoming Hospital Association Annual Meeting & Convention September 19-21 in Sheridan.
  • Clinical Computer Systems, developer of the Obix Perinatal Data System, will exhibit at the NC/SC Perinatal Partnership Conference September 17-19 in Concord, NC.
  • Experian Health will exhibit at the HFMA VA-DC event September 20-22 in Virginia Beach.
  • PatientKeeper will exhibit at the MUSE Community Peer Group – Ontario September 15 in Barrie, Ontario.
  • Liaison Technologies achieves Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard v3.2 certification and is included in the Visa Global Registry of Service Providers.
  • Black Book launches a redesigned website.
  • Nordic releases a new podcast, “Using the longitudinal plan of care to drive better outcomes.”
  • ZappRx will exhibit at the National Association of Specialty Pharmacy meeting and conference September 18-20 in Washington, DC.

Blog Posts


Contacts

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

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News 9/13/17

September 12, 2017 News 7 Comments

Top News

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Equifax faces ransom demands from a pair of hackers claiming responsibility for the data breach of 143 million customers. The group, which some believe to be fake, wants $2.6 million in bitcoin by September 15 in exchange for not making the data publicly available. They have even gone so far as to tug at heartstrings: “We are two people trying to solve our lives and those of our families. We did not expect to get as much information as we did, nor do we want to affect any citizen. But we need to monetize the information as soon as possible.”

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Equifax has its hands full in terms of more legitimate fall-out from the breach. It reversed an earlier decision that forbid customers from joining a class action lawsuit in exchange for receiving a free year of credit monitoring after backlash from the National Consumers League and lawmakers in Washington, who are already calling for hearings. The company has also faced negative repercussions for the shoddy set up of a website for affected customers that some contend looks like a scam; not to mention three executives who sold $1.8 million in shares just a few days after breach was discovered.


Reader Comments

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From ACD_Fan: “Re: RAND cost-of-care study. A just released study by RAND Corp. shows the cost of hospital care in Indiana compared to Medicare payment rates. One hospital, Parkview Health, is singled out as having ‘exceptionally high prices.’ This hospital has the highest cost of any hospital in the state by a wide margin. This is the same organization that has paid $3 million to have its name plastered on the local minor league baseball stadium. I’m glad I’m out of the healthcare business. It’s hard to feel good about your mission when you have to explain away some of these excesses.”


Webinars

September 13 (Wednesday) 1:30 ET. “How Data Democratization Drives Enterprise-wide Clinical Process Improvement.” Sponsored by: LogicStream Health. Presenter: Katy Jones, program director of clinical support, Providence Health & Services. Providence is demonstrating positive measurable results in quality, outcomes, and efficiency by implementing clinical process improvement solutions in arming operational and clinical stakeholders with unlocked EHR data. Providence’s army of process engineers use their self-service access to answer questions immediately and gain an understanding of how their clinical care delivery is impacting outcomes. The presenter will describe practical applications that include antibiotic stewardship, hospital-acquired infections, and comprehensive knowledge management.

September 28 (Thursday) 2:00 ET. “Leverage the Psychology of Waiting to Boost Patient Satisfaction.” Sponsored by: DocuTap. Presenter: Mike Burke, founder and CEO, Clockwise.MD. Did you know that the experience of waiting is determined less by the overall length of the wait and more by the patient’s perception of the wait? In the world of on-demand healthcare where waiting is generally expected, giving patients more ways to control their wait time can be an effective way to attract new customers—and keep them. In this webinar, attendees will learn how to increase patient satisfaction by giving patients control over their own waiting process. (Hint: it’s not as scary as it sounds!)

October 19 (Thursday) 12:00 ET. “Understanding Enterprise Health Clouds with Forrester: What can they do for you, and how do you choose the right one?” Sponsored by: Salesforce. Presenters: Joshua Newman, MD CMO, Salesforce; and Kate McCarthy, senior analyst, Forrester. McCarthy will demystify industry solutions while offering insights from her recent Forrester report on enterprise health clouds. Newman and customers from leading healthcare organizations will share insights on how they drive efficiencies, manage patient and member journeys, and connect the entire healthcare ecosystem on the Salesforce platform.

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Former CDC Director Tom Frieden, MD raises $225 million to launch a global health initiative that will tackle cardiovascular disease and epidemics. Backed by Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Resolve will aim to save 100 million lives over the next 30 years.

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Apple unveils its latest and greatest devices, including the iPhone 8, Apple Watch with wireless connectivity, and the iPhone X, which commemorates the company’s 10th launch of the phone and, at $1,000, its highest price point. The product updates follow on the heels of rumors (now confirmed) that the company is working with American Well and Stanford University to test the ability of the watch’s heart rate sensor to detect heart conditions.


People

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Englewood Hospital and Medical Center (NJ) appoints Ravi Koganti (New York-Presbyterian Hospital) CIO and VP of IT.

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Orchestrate Healthcare hires Ed Ricks (Beaufort Memorial Hospital) as VP of the Southeast.

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Dave Rodger (Spotify) joins PatientPing as head of product.


Sales

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University of Illinois officials agree to spend $62 million to implement Epic at UI Hospital in Chicago.

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Hospitalist group Adfinitas Health (MD) selects Continuum Health as its RCM partner ahead of a planned expansion beyond its Mid-Atlantic region of operation.

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HealtheConnections opts for data cleansing, quality analysis, and reporting tools from Diameter Health for its HIE participants across Central New York.


Announcements and Implementations

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Magnolia Regional Health Center (MS) integrates Nuance’s Dragon Medical One speech-recognition and CAPD technology with its Meditech EHR.

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In an effort to better coordinate care between local EMS services and its ED, PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center (WA) implements Pulsara’s PreHospital Alerting Package.


Technology

Medical Information Records USA adds automated vital sign documentation from Neximatic to its cloud-based anesthesia information management system.


Government and Politics

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Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt pledges to make app-based NHS medical record access, appointment scheduling, and prescription refills available to every patient in England by the end of 2018. The digital health initiative is part of the broader $5.6 billion 2020 program announced last year. Pilot programs of the new tools are already underway.

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Thus far, the digital efforts of NHS don’t seem to include getting rid of the 130,000 pages it uses to the tune of nearly $8 million in costs each year. The Guardian reports that replacing the devices could save the system $3.5 million annually.

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An ONC report on interoperability at skilled nursing facilities finds that 64 percent use EHRs, and 62 percent have interoperable networks in place that ensures electronic information is available from outside sources.

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Job seekers have until September 18 to submit their applications for Digital Health Advisor with the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health.

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HHS deploys its first team of federal responders to the Florida Keys, where it will establish a mobile medical unit and assist local providers with healthcare services. Local emergency officials estimate that at least 10,000 residents stayed on the islands during Category 4 Hurricane Irma.

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CMS threatens to end Medicare and Medicaid funding for Mercy Hospital Springfield (MO) after reports surface of a male nurse punching and tackling a combative patient, and of a female patient being held in seclusion – an area the hospital dubbed an “acute-care area” – for 15 days. A CMS investigation into patient safety practices at the hospital earlier this year found that it failed to follow up on patient grievances and to report abuse. The hospital recently fired 12 employees after their behavior in “highly tense situations” became a cause for concern. It is also bringing in an interim leadership team from other Mercy facilities.


Privacy and Security

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Children’s Hospital Colorado reports that a hacker has gained access to an employee email, resulting in the unauthorized exposure of the PHI of 3,400 patients. The unauthorized access did not affect patient health data. In a savvy marketing move, the hospital re-publicizes findings from a study earlier this year that show documentation in its Epic EHR has helped it achieve a 30-percent reduction in harm for HACs over the last five years.


Innovation and Research

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A JAMIA analysis of online consumer ratings of 78 physicians finds no association between a physician’s average consumer score and their specialty-specific quality scores or value-based care.


Sponsor Updates

  • Agfa Healthcare releases a new white paper, “Diagnosis – Communication – Care: Hardcopy technology for the digital age.”
  • Aprima will exhibit at the American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference & Exhibition September 16-18 in Chicago.
  • The Tampa Bay Business Journal includes AssesURHealth’s Tori Couch in its Up & Comers class of 2017.
  • Besler Consulting releases a new podcast, “Update on the Medicare appeals backlog.”
  • Cumberland Consulting Group will exhibit at the Healthcare Executive Group Annual Forum September 18-20 in Nashville.
  • Dimensional Insight will exhibit at the 2017 Women’s Leadership Council Conference September 14-15 in Washington, DC.
  • ECG Management Consultants and Intelligent Medical Objects will present at the 2017 IHA Leadership Summit September 13 in Lombard, IL.
  • Elsevier Senior Architect of Clinical Solutions Tyler Lynch showcases students building a tool to simplify prescription scheduling at MedHacks17.
  • EClinicalWorks will exhibit at AAP 2017 September 16-18 in Chicago.
  • FormFast publishes a new case study featuring Duncan Regional Hospital.
  • HCS will exhibit at the NALTH 2017 Fall Leadership Conference September 14-15 in Washington, DC.
  • Impact Advisors will present on MIPS and MACRA as part of the Scottsdale Institute Teleconference September 19.
  • EClinicalWorks publishes new case studies featuring CityMD and EssenMED House Calls.
  • PatientPing releases a new video on coordinating patient care.

Blog Posts


Contacts

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

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Monday Morning Update 9/11/17

September 10, 2017 News No Comments

Top News

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HHS Secretary Tom Price, MD declares public health emergencies for Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina as Hurricane Irma surges through central Florida and the Tampa Bay area. Nearly 3.3 million homes and businesses in Florida are now without power. The storm marks the first time a tropical storm warning has ever been issued for Atlanta, which is expected to feel Irma’s windy and rainy aftershocks Monday.

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Vice President Mike Pence has assured state officials that the federal government will be ready to mobilize relief teams as soon as the storm has safely passed. Those teams include 300 healthcare personnel flown in Saturday by the Air Force to Orlando, where the hurricane is expected to hit early Monday morning.

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As is becoming the trend, several providers – including St. Vincent’s, Florida Hospital, Nemours Children’s Hospital, and Orlando Health in Florida – have stepped up to offer free virtual consults to victims of Irma. DrFirst has made its mobile iPrescribe prescription look-up tool free to select prescribers as well.

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Greenway Health CEO Scott Zimmerman cancels the company’s annual user group conference set to take place this weekend in Orlando. Verscend Technologies also made the similarly tough yet necessary choice to cancel its customer event in Miami.


Reader Comments

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From Van Helten: “Re: Data silos. Here’s an exclusive photo of one being installed at a hospital in Virginia.” 


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

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Cash seems to be king when it comes to why hospitals don’t freely exchange patient information. Over half of respondents believe hospitals don’t share information because the business case for sending patient health data to competitors is lacking. Print Geek contends, “There should an option here for ‘lack of government leadership and intervention supporting interoperability.’ As much as it pains me to put more of healthcare in the hands of the fed, the banking and travel businesses seemed to figure it out themselves. Healthcare’s inability to solve this themselves screams for government intervention.” Clustered points out that, “There is a business case *not* to use shared data. Facilities can bill for repeating a procedure/test, if they don’t have access to the results (e.g., if an MRI exam was performed elsewhere). They can’t bill for requesting and receiving prior medical records. While that may sound irresponsible to a clinician, it certainly makes sense to the CFO/CEO of a hospital. We’re in the business of facilitating information sharing and we see it all the time (‘yet another piece of software that will help me decrease revenues’ – sometimes we can almost see the thought bubble).” Anonymous asks, “Aren’t ‘insufficient demand by patients’ and ‘lack of a business case’ hugely overlapping? Patients need to create the business case. If we had a health system where patients felt empowered to own their data, instead of feeling like Elaine in the Seinfeld episode where she just wants to be treated for her rash, I think the business case would be obvious.”

New poll to your right or here: Has a lack of interoperability ever hindered your or a loved one’s ability to receive healthcare services in the midst of or after a natural disaster? I’m thinking especially about hurricane evacuees who’ve wound up away from their homes for weeks or months. Please leave a comment as to what happened and how you resolved the situation. Your experience may end up helping those struggling to jump through the hoops of finding post-Harvey and (eventually) post-Irma healthcare.


This Week in Health IT History

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One year ago:

  • The NHS names 12 health IT “global exemplars” that will receive $13 million in health IT funding to establish best practices and a new digital health academy.
  • The DoJ and FTC back Teladoc in the telehealth vendor’s legal battles with the Texas Medical Board, saying that the board’s restrictive telemedicine rules are anticompetitive and were not appropriately reviewed.
  • France-based consulting firm Atos will acquire Anthelio Health Solutions for $275 million.
  • Cleveland Clinic files plans to build a 205-bed private hospital in London’s upscale West End.
  • HHS will provide $87 million to 1,310 safety net health centers for purchasing or upgrading EHRs.

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Five years ago:

  • ONC publishes a Health IT Dashboard that includes six views and 250 custom dashboards for states, ONC programs, and grantees.
  • The board of Allscripts approves a $1.9 million 2012 incentive for CEO Glen Tullman.
  • Elsevier acquires ExitCare, LLC, an enterprise-wide solution for patient education and discharge instructions.
  • PE firm Thoma Bravo acquires Mediware for $195 million.

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Ten years ago:

  • Google unveils an upgraded version of Google Health that includes a cleaner interface and more focus on wellness.
  • Stanford’s Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital appeals the $250,000 fine levied by the state’s health department when the hospital waited 11 days before reporting a stolen, PHI-containing laptop.
  • MyChart comes to iTunes.
  • Outpatient imaging center operator RadNet acquires Image Medical Corporation for $10.75 million in cash and notes.
  • EHealth Ontario signs a $46 million contract with Canada-based CGI Group to develop and manage a diabetes management portal.

Last Week’s Most Interesting News

  • STAT investigates IBM’s failure to develop Watson into a revolutionary technology for cancer care, highlighting the fact that its marketing blitz may have over-promised on the machine’s capabilities.
  • The FDA launches a Digital Health Entrepreneur-in-Residence program to help develop and launch its Software Precertification Pilot.
  • Equifax informs the public that a data breach discovered in late July could affect up to 143 million people.
  • Fidelity National Financial will acquire emergency department clinical documentation and coding vendor T-Systems for $200 million in cash.
  • Jeanne Lillig-Patterson, founder of the First Hand Foundation and wife of Cerner co-founder Neal Patterson, dies at the age of 59 after losing her battle with cancer.

Webinars

September 13 (Wednesday) 1:30 ET. “How Data Democratization Drives Enterprise-wide Clinical Process Improvement.” Sponsored by: LogicStream Health. Presenter: Katy Jones, program director of clinical support, Providence Health & Services. Providence is demonstrating positive measurable results in quality, outcomes, and efficiency by implementing clinical process improvement solutions in arming operational and clinical stakeholders with unlocked EHR data. Providence’s army of process engineers use their self-service access to answer questions immediately and gain an understanding of how their clinical care delivery is impacting outcomes. The presenter will describe practical applications that include antibiotic stewardship, hospital-acquired infections, and comprehensive knowledge management.

September 28 (Thursday) 2:00 ET. “Leverage the Psychology of Waiting to Boost Patient Satisfaction.” Sponsored by: DocuTap. Presenter: Mike Burke, founder and CEO, Clockwise.MD. Did you know that the experience of waiting is determined less by the overall length of the wait and more by the patient’s perception of the wait? In the world of on-demand healthcare where waiting is generally expected, giving patients more ways to control their wait time can be an effective way to attract new customers—and keep them. In this webinar, attendees will learn how to increase patient satisfaction by giving patients control over their own waiting process. (Hint: it’s not as scary as it sounds!)

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Wellsoft enlists consulting firm MedProjects to help market and implement its EDIS at St. Luke’s Medical Center in the Philippines as part of a broader push into the region.


Technology

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With help from UPS, the Red Cross will begin test flights this week of a drone that will assess damage and potentially deliver aid to areas devastated by Hurricane Harvey. The deployment, which comes a year after the Federal Aviation Administration loosened up its restrictions on using drones for commercial activities, could lead to additional flights into areas affected by Hurricane Irma.

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Users of DexCom continuous glucose monitoring products will soon be able to track their CGM data on FitBit’s Ionic smartwatch.

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Navicure announces integration of its automated patient payment tool with Epic.

Smart Communications will integrate its communications management technology with Casenet’s TruCare population health and care management platform for payers.


Privacy and Security

University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Department of Family Medicine and Community Health notifies select patients that it violated HIPAA when it sent information about a quality improvement survey on a postcard rather than in a sealed envelope. The postcard referred to individual patient medications and family planning services.


Innovation and Research

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A Truven Health Analytics survey finds cost to be the top reason patients don’t fill their prescriptions. A third of those surveyed look at drug costs before filling their prescription – a practice that decreases with age. Looking for lower prices, twelve percent have taken to filling their prescriptions outside of the US. Strangely, those with higher incomes and levels of education are more likely to miss a dose.

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Henry Ford Macomb Hospital and the AMA see an increase in patient referrals to diabetes prevention programs six months into piloting a pre-diabetes registry developed with help from Epic.


Other

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The New York Times looks at the ways in which emergency relief procedures for Hurricane Harvey compare with those of Katrina, highlighting the work done by Congress and FEMA in the intervening years to make sure resources, strategies, and playbooks were in place and trusted by community leaders well before Harvey spun its way into Texas and Louisiana. The author also points out the work HHS has done to make sure hospitals and nursing homes are better equipped and trained to evacuate, with the ultimate goal of only having to move residents once.

Surgeon, author, and speaker Atul Gawande, MD places blame for the opioid epidemic squarely on the shoulders of physicians, attributing the propensity of physicians like himself to unknowingly overprescribe to medical training that encouraged such practices:

“The cause in the opioid epidemic starts with getting a prescription of opioids from physicians. We weren’t recognizing — I certainly wasn’t recognizing — the extent to which we were putting people at risk. I think the key thing that has stuck in my mind was that when you go in for an operation, and you give a supply of opioid pills, that if people are on those pills for 7 days they have an 8 percent chance of one year later still being on those narcotic pills. It is huge. It is startling. I had no idea. Basically, I was like more is better, take some.”


Sponsor Updates

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  • West Corp. volunteers pack 8,790 meals in under an hour for Omaha Against Hunger.
  • Bernard Tyson (Kaiser Permanente) joins Salesforce’s Board of Directors.
  • Surescripts will exhibit at the AAFP Family Medicine Experience September 12-16 in San Antonio.
  • Verego awards Sutherland its Corporate Social Responsibility certification.
  • Wellsoft will exhibit at HIMSS AsiaPac17 September 11-14 in Singapore.
  • ZirMed will exhibit at the CareVoyant User Group Conference September 13-15 in Schaumburg, IL.

Blog Posts


Contacts

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

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News 9/8/17

September 7, 2017 News 1 Comment

Top News

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STAT investigates IBM’s failure to develop Watson into a revolutionary technology for cancer care, highlighting the fact that its marketing blitz may have over-promised on the machine’s capabilities – none of which have been formally documented in scientific papers. In development for six years, Watson for Oncology has been adopted by just a few dozen hospitals. HIStalk readers will likely remember MD Anderson’s decision to walk away from the technology late last year after spending upwards of $62 million on the project. Other complaints include advice that is biased towards American patients and caregiving methods; and expense, particularly as it relates to linking up the system to EHRs.


Reader Comments

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From Harold & Kumar: “Re: United’s acquisition of Advisory Board. What’s United’s next move? An EHR vendor? Allscripts? Athena? If not an EHR, then Evolent? They seem to have a lot of cash and a long shopping list.” With a deal valued at a total of $2.58 billion, I’ll heartily concur that the piles of cash probably won’t lay around for long. I’ll invite readers to look into their M&A crystal balls and offer up their best predictions. It will be fun to look back and see who, if anyone, got it right.

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From Just a Symbol: “Re: The state of journalism today. Typos are one thing, and we can surely forgive the occasional HER, but this headline takes the cake for lack of fact checking.” The New Delhi-based website bills itself as “a leading online news publication.”


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

This week on HIStalk Practice: Care Convene steps up Harvey relief efforts.  Vice President Pence swears in Jerome Adams, MD as US Surgeon General. The CDC doles out nearly $29 million to help states with PDMPs. Iora Health will care for WellCare’s Medicare Advantage patients. Dermatologist Jordan Miller equates the EHR’s impact on physician/patient relationships with that phone-obsessed friend who never makes eye contact. Weave Communications raises $17 million. HHS Secretary Tom Price, MD declares a public health emergency in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. HIStalk sponsors, submit your company’s details to the MGMA 2017 guide.

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Welcome to new HIStalk Platinum Sponsor Lightbeam Health Solutions. The Irving, TX-based company offers end-to-end population health management solutions that reduce cost and improve patient management and coordination, including an enterprise data warehouse, analytics, risk stratification, HCC coding, quality measure optimization, physician engagement, care management, patient engagement, GPRO reporting, HIE, and cohort builder. One Texas ACO reports saving $28 million using Lightbeam’s tools and was one of just four ACOs nationally to achieve a 100 percent quality score. The company offers a free Population Health Made Simple series that describes how technology helps providers who are working under new payment models. Industry long-timer Pat Cline joined the company as CEO in 2012. Thanks to Lightbeam Health Solutions for supporting HIStalk.


Webinars

September 13 (Wednesday) 1:30 ET. “How Data Democratization Drives Enterprise-wide Clinical Process Improvement.” Sponsored by: LogicStream Health. Presenter: Katy Jones, program director of clinical support, Providence Health & Services. Providence is demonstrating positive measurable results in quality, outcomes, and efficiency by implementing clinical process improvement solutions in arming operational and clinical stakeholders with unlocked EHR data. Providence’s army of process engineers use their self-service access to answer questions immediately and gain an understanding of how their clinical care delivery is impacting outcomes. The presenter will describe practical applications that include antibiotic stewardship, hospital-acquired infections, and comprehensive knowledge management.

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Cognizant Technology Solutions plans to bring 75 healthcare-focused jobs to its office in Tampa, FL over the next three years.


Sales

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Radiology and Imaging Specialists (FL) selects NextGate’s EMPI to reconcile over 1 million patient records.

Alliance Behavioral Healthcare selects ZeOmega’s Jiva population health management software for its 2,200 providers.

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In Australia, South Western Sydney Primary Health Network opts for the dbMotion HIE tool from Allscripts to more easily exchange information between primary and acute care facilities.

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Yale New Haven Health (CT) and Yale School of Medicine choose Appriss Health’s NarxCare solution to integrate their Epic EHR with Connecticut’s PDMP.

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Freeman Health System (MO) signs on for CRM software from Influence Health.

LifeSpan (RI) selects cloud-based identity and access management technology from IDdriven.


Announcements and Implementations

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Rehabilitation Hospital of the Pacific (HI) will upgrade its EHR from Harris Healthcare to include e-prescribing, among other features, and expand its use across ambulatory settings.

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Surescripts and Allscripts partner to provide pharmacists in Texas and Louisiana free access to patient medication history data.

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Union Hospital (OH) uses middleware from Iatric Systems to connect its smart infusion pumps with its Meditech EHR.

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Citizens Medical Center (KS) wraps up department-wide deployment of speech-recognition tools and cloud-based image sharing capabilities from Nuance.


Technology

Meditech makes chemotherapy order templates from the National Comprehensive Cancer Network available in its Web EHR.

MedAptus develops new patient assignment software for nurses.

Casamba adds Kno2 health data exchange capabilities to its HealthWyse, TherapySource, and Smart EMR products for home health, hospice, SNFs, and outpatient clinics.


Government and Politics

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The FDA launches a Digital Health Entrepreneur-in-Residence program to help develop and launch its Software Precertification Pilot. Applications are due September 29.

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At the request of HHS, the National Quality Foundation issues a lengthy report on measuring EHR interoperability, as well as interoperability’s impact on “patient safety, costs, productivity, care coordination, processes and outcomes, and patients’ and caregivers’ experience and engagement,” outlining dozens of ways that interoperability could be measured and improved upon within the US.

The New York Times highlights the impact President Trump’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program will have on the healthcare industry. Nearly 20 percent of DACA beneficiaries work in healthcare and education, filling positions like nursing assistants and home health aides – prime examples of roles that are facing a looming shortage of skilled workers.


Innovation and Research

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A Health Affairs study finds that in 2016, 60 percent of the plans available on individual exchanges included provider networks where at least 25 percent of the local provider community was in network, contrary to growing concerns that network consolidation would lead to restricted access to care.

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Scottish scientists develop a camera-like device that can “see” through the body. The camera, which detects sources of light in the body, was created to help physicians keep better track of medical equipment like endoscopes.

An NHS study of 444 people finds that escalating levels of severe health anxiety are placing unnecessary strain on the healthcare system, costing over £420 million in unnecessary outpatient appointments, tests, and scans. Researchers accuse Dr. Google and wearables of inciting this new state of cyberchondria.


People

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Meditech South Africa appoints Charlotte Jackson group CEO.

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Matt Parker (Connecture) joins HealthSparq as VP of product.

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Correctional healthcare provider Corizon Health announces the immediate resignation of CEO Karey Witty. An operating committee of board members will take over in the interim.


Privacy and Security

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There are just a few days left to register for Sensato’s Hacking Healthcare conference September 13-14 in Long Branch, NJ. The event will take place at the Ocean Place Resort & Spa – just steps away from the beach.

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Lenovo will pay $3.5 million to 32 states that filed complaints related to the company’s preloading of advertising software onto its laptops without customer consent. The software also apparently captured personal data users shared with websites. The FTC filed a related civil complaint against the company over security vulnerabilities, and the two parties settled out of court earlier this week.

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Equifax informs the public that a data breach discovered in late July could affect up to 143 million people. Stolen information could potentially include names, birth dates, SSNs, addresses, and some driver’s license and credit card numbers. Company officials point to hackers who “exploited a US website application vulnerability to gain access to certain files.”


Other

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Weird News Andy says it pays to clean up after yourself: Investigators discover NIH employee Christopher Dame’s scheme to sell over $75,000 worth of stolen NIH equipment after he left an eBay receipt on the photocopier near his office. Dame admitted to stealing over 400 items from the agency over a four-year period, and has been sentenced to six months in federal prison.

This puts a new spin on the phrase “privacy breach:” Denver Health Medical Center suspends five nurses for three weeks after word spread through the hospital grapevine that the group had opened a body bag to look at a deceased male patient’s genitals. It soon surfaced that a similar incident had occurred before the patient’s death while he was incapacitated.


Sponsor Updates

  • ECG Management Consultants will present at The Governance Institute – Leadership Conference September 10 in Colorado Springs, CO.
  • EClinicalWorks and Healthfinch will exhibit at the AAFP Family Medicine Experience September 12-16 in San Antonio.
  • Gartner includes Evariant in its “Hype Cycle for Healthcare Providers 2017” report.
  • KLAS recognizes The HCI Group as the top healthcare IT consulting firm globally.
  • Iatric Systems will exhibit at the HCCA Regional Conference September 8 in Boston.
  • InstaMed partners with Bridge Bank to expand its credit facility.
  • InterSystems will host its Global Summit 2017 September 10-13 in Palm Springs, CA.
  • Intelligent Medical Objects will exhibit at HIMSS AsiaPac17 September 11-14 in Singapore.
  • More than 900 healthcare professionals advance their education and network at the 2017 Aprima User Conference.
  • MedData will exhibit at the Viva 17 Vascular Interventional Advances event September 11-15 in Las Vegas.
  • Netsmart will exhibit at the MACMHP Annual Conference September 12 in Saint Paul, MN.
  • Experian Health will exhibit at the HFMA SoCal conference September 10-12 in Los Angeles.
  • FSU’s Jim Moran Institute for Global Entrepreneurship includes ROI Healthcare Solutions in its Seminole 100 list of fast-growing businesses owned by FSU alumni.
  • Utah Business ranks Solutionreach twenty-fifth on its Fast 50 list of growing companies.

Blog Posts


Contacts

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

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News 9/6/17

September 5, 2017 News 5 Comments

Top News

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Jeanne Lillig-Patterson, the 59-year-old founder of Cerner’s First Hand Foundation, died Monday of cancer less than two months after death of her husband, Cerner Chairman and CEO Neal Patterson. She was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer 10 years ago.

Neal Patterson died July 9 of cancer complications. He was 67.

First Hand impacted 300,000 lives in 93 countries and supported health screenings and educational programs that involve one-fourth of students in the Kansas City area.

Lillig-Patterson was Cerner employee #7, earning her the internal nickname “Double O Seven.” She got the job after responding to a 1980 ad by what was then Patterson, Gorup, Illig & Associates, which hired her for her ICD-9 coding background as a hospital admitting department employee. PGI was doing contract work for non-healthcare companies when it was hired by a pathology practice, with the founders, Lillig-Patterson, and other employees scrambling to write the COBOL code that would eventually form the PathNet laboratory information system. Lillig-Patterson suggested Cerner as the company’s name in 1984 after noticing the word in a language dictionary as a group led by Neal Patterson tried to come up with something more memorable than PGI.

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Neal Patterson said of her at a 1999 company event in observing Lillig-Patterson’s planned retirement from Cerner, “She has done more jobs than any single person at Cerner. Jeanne began as our office manager and accountant. She started the account manager organization. She led the team converting our entire install base to a new platform, Classic 200 to Classic 300. She started the Cerner Health Conference. She ran professional services for one-half of the United States. She helped start the client-focused team organization, which was the predecessor to the regional branches, helping to start the client services organization. In the recent era, she started the First Hand Foundation and our community relations program. Jeanne is the soul of Cerner.”

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Co-founder, board chair, and interim CEO Cliff Illig said in an internal email to Cerner employees Monday, “I would remind us all of the image of Jeanne and Neal walking through a hospital lobby carrying the bags that contained all of Jeanne’s medical records to another of her hundreds of doctors’ appointments. As Neal would want us all to recognize, it’s our job to get rid of Jeanne’s bags.”

The Pattersons had two children together – Cortney and Will – as well as Clay Patterson and Lindsey Patterson Smith from Neal Patterson’s prior marriage.


Reader Comments

From Generic Substi-Tooter: “Re: HIStalk. I’ve been a reader for six years. Just wanted to let you know that I appreciate the work you’re doing. Seems like you have a small staff helping as well, so tell them to keep up the good work. You definitely catch a lot of flak from readers about Epic or Cerner bashing, which is funny to read since I’m guessing many of those come from the company that’s had the bad press.” Thanks. People sometimes think the HIStalk team is substantial, so this is a good time to recap. I write every word on HIStalk except when I take time off, during which Jenn covers for me (she also writes HIStalk Practice). Lorre does everything that doesn’t involve writing, including webinars, with occasional help from Brianne. Lt. Dan writes the daily headlines, while Dr. Jayne’s contributions run twice each week. That’s everybody, maybe three FTEs total who each do our own thing without requiring a lot of collaboration. I started HIStalk in 2003 and have been accused nearly constantly since of bashing vendors who would prefer that health IT “news” consist entirely of their shiny, happy press releases that other sites run unchallenged. Like the industry itself, HIStalk can be rough around the edges, but I don’t push back from the computer at the end of the day until I’m reasonably proud of it.


Webinars

September 13 (Wednesday) 1:30 ET. “How Data Democratization Drives Enterprise-wide Clinical Process Improvement.” Sponsored by: LogicStream Health. Presenter: Katy Jones, program director of clinical support, Providence Health & Services. Providence is demonstrating positive measurable results in quality, outcomes, and efficiency by implementing clinical process improvement solutions in arming operational and clinical stakeholders with unlocked EHR data. Providence’s army of process engineers use their self-service access to answer questions immediately and gain an understanding of how their clinical care delivery is impacting outcomes. The presenter will describe practical applications that include antibiotic stewardship, hospital-acquired infections, and comprehensive knowledge management.

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Equity investor FNFV acquires ED clinical documentation and coding vendor T-System for $200 million in cash. FNFV plans “multiple acquisitions” to accelerate T-System’s growth.

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In Australia, Citadel Group acquires oncology EHR vendor Charm Health from its venture capital owner.


Sales

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Temple Health (PA) chooses Sectra PACS.

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The VA selects Diameter Health’s CCD Analyzer to support clinical data quality surveillance.

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Pharmacy benefits manager Magellan RX Management will offer its customers CoverMyMeds for electronic prior authorization.


People

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Michigan Medicine names interim CIO Andrew Rosenberg, MD to the permanent role.

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Christopher Rieder (Brookdale University Hospital and Medical Center) joins anatomic pathology practice company Aurora Diagnostics as CIO.

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MedeAnalytics hires Kerry Martin (Cerner) as SVP of sales.

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Jamie Coffin, PhD (SourceMed) joins genetic screening company Sema4 as president/COO.


Announcements and Implementations

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Health Catalyst launches Data Operating System, the result of a $200 million development project that combines vendor-agnostic data warehousing, clinical data repositories, and HIEs into a single platform. Its attributes include reusable logic, real-time data streaming, ingestion of both structured and unstructured data, closed-loop EHR integration, microservice API architecture, machine learning, and an agnostic data lake. 

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In South Korea, Gangnam Severance Hospital, Samsung, and virtual reality developer FNI will work together to developer virtual reality technology for mental health, including a VR-powered diagnostic tool.

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Datica’s cloud platform for digital health apps earns HITRUST certification for security risk mitigation and PHI protection.

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The executive clinic of The Greenbrier resort (WV) will partner with WVU Medicine, including adopting its Epic system.

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Lovelace Health System (NM) completes its implementation of Epic.

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Diagnostic imaging vendor RadNet partners with two Patrick Soon-Shiong controlled organizations – NantWorks and six-hospital Verity Health – with Verity Health taking over RadNet’s Breastlink business in California and all three organizations collaborating on clinical trials, data analytics, and AI-powered predictive modeling.

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UnitedHealthcare announces PreCheck MyScript, which gives prescribers cost and coverage information at the point of prescribing and automates prior authorization for patients covered by the insurer’s health plans. The service being integrated with Allscripts EHRs and DrFirst.


Government and Politics

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HHS OCR launches “Information is Powerful Medicine,” a campaign to let the public know that HIPAA gives them the right to view and obtain copies of their health information from their provider.

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A New York Times report observes that HHS – which is legally responsible for overseeing the Affordable Care Act – is instead spending taxpayer money to oppose it in promotional videos and is constantly criticizing the law via anti-Obamacare tweets by HHS Secretary Tom Price. According to a law professor, “Here, it’s an agency trying to destroy its own program because it opposes it. It is inconsistent with the constitutional duty to take care that the law is faithfully executed.” The article also calls out the White House’s drastic cutback in insurer-paid funds for signup advertising and the removal of ACA information from the HHS.gov website.

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Enteprise customer communications management solutions vendor Smart Communications will integrate its technology with Casenet’s TruCare population health and care management platform to allow health plans to deliver personalized communications to members and providers via their preferred channels.

Cerner creates an advisory group to guide its work on the VA’s EHR project, with members that include former Senator Bob Kerrey; former VA CIO Roger Baker; former HHS Acting Assistant Secretary for Health Karen DeSalvo, MD; former VA secretary James Peake, MD; and former VA Undersecretary for Health Jonathan Perlin, MD, PhD.


Privacy and Security

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The Locky ransomware is being spread by a new technique in which a browser user is convincingly warned that a required PC font is missing, with the malware installing itself if the user clicks the update button.


Other

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A Boston Globe report finds that rapidly expanding for-profit hospital chain Steward Health Care System has failed to file state-required financial, quality, and merger plan information and has not paid fines that were imposed for its lack of transparency. It has also stopped providing individual hospital data. A Harvard professor says the private equity-owned chain, which is going national, might be trying to hide the reality behind its claimed turnaround of its acquired Massachusetts hospitals.

A study published in Health Affairs finds that insurance company bargaining power has lowered the cost of hospital admissions and of some physician specialties (cardiology, radiology, and hematology-oncology services) in concentrated provider markets, but has not lowered PCP or orthopedist prices. The article concludes, “The policy dilemma that arises from our findings is that there are no insurer market mechanisms that will pass a portion of these price reductions on to consumers in the form of lower premiums.”

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A Dallas medical testing laboratory accused by the federal government of a $100 million fraud scheme files a lawsuit to prevent state and federal agencies from revoking its laboratory licenses. Two of the principals of Next Health and Medicus Laboratories also face similar charges for their work at a now-bankrupt doctor-owned hospital chain that prosecutors say paid $40 million in bribes to generate $200 million in paid claims as an out-of-network provider. The executive of one of Next Health’s marketing contractors has been indicted in an unrelated case for giving soldiers Walmart gift cards in return for saliva and urine samples that were used to perform unnecessary tests for which Tricare paid, using a similar method to drum up business for Next Health by approaching people in Whataburger restrooms and offering them $50 gift cards for providing urine samples for a “wellness study.” One patient earned $600 for providing a dozen urine samples that were used to bill UnitedHealthcare Group $217,000, with the Next Health marketing rep bragging that he was earning $100,000 per month for brokering kickback payments to doctors. Next Health told patients they wouldn’t be billed for their part of the cost, fearing that their complaints would trigger an investigation.

In India, police are investigating the perinatal asphyxia deaths of 30 children at a state-run hospital after families complain that the hospital did not give the babies oxygen. This follows a previous incident where 60 children at another hospital died after oxygen supplies were reportedly cut off due to non-payment of the oxygen supply company’s bills.

Here’s another 30-year look back from Vince, who describes the health IT news of September 1987 and what it means today. He would love to hear stories from fellow pioneers, especially if they dig into their own closets for yellowing industry ephemera.


Sponsor Updates

  • Agfa HealthCare publishes a new case study, “Hashemite University leads the way with first ‘Instant DR’ in Jordan.”
  • Besler Consulting will present at the NJ HFMA Regulatory & Reimbursement Educational Program on September 12 in Edison.
  • Datica releases a new podcast, “Emerging Healthcare Data Challenges from Patient-Centric Technologies.”
  • Besler Consulting releases a new podcast, “Patient access strategies to improve collections.”
  • CompuGroup Medical will exhibit at PainWeek September 5-9 in Las Vegas.
  • CoverMyMeds will exhibit at the AAFP Family Medicine Experience September 12-16 in San Antonio.
  • Cumberland Consulting Group will exhibit at the MDRP 2017 Summit September 11-13 in Chicago.

Blog Posts


Contacts

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

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Monday Morning Update 9/4/17

September 3, 2017 News No Comments

Top News

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An article in Wired says that despite widespread use of electronic medical records, people with medical needs aren’t faring any better after Hurricane Harvey than following Hurricane Katrina in having their medical history available to first responders and new providers.

The article blames lack of interoperability and EHR downtime caused by flooding and power outages.

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The author describes PULSE (Patient Unified Lookup System for Emergencies), an HHS-funded pilot project to create a data-sharing network that can be activated in a crisis. A January 2017 HHS announcement describes the California pilot that uses technology from Audacious Inquiry:

PULSE is currently being built to facilitate exchange during a declared emergency by extending interoperability across disparate technologies to support health information exchange. PULSE will allow Alternative Care Facilities (think of these as aid stations or MASH units set up during an emergency) so that EMS and authenticated volunteer providers can quickly get access to often life-saving data, when and where they need it. In the future, the PULSE system could facilitate patient lookup capability in an ambulance.

During a recent demonstration by Audacious Inquiry, the contractor that developed the PULSE technology, the program’s benefits become readily apparent. In the event of an earthquake, or forest fire (like the one that recently ravaged Eastern Tennessee), first responders (defined under PULSE as any of six provider types, including doctors, nurses and EMTs) can query PULSE with standard eHealth exchange patient demographics—including name, date of birth, and gender.  PULSE then sends out data tendrils to California-based HIEs, health systems and hospitals, for instance, looking for a match to the query. PULSE then enables first responders to see recent care notes from treating providers – including hospital discharge summaries and the Consolidated Clinical Documents (CCDs).

As PULSE is being developed, we have tried to ensure that it can be a model for other states to use. To support future scalability, PULSE is utilizing industry standards when communicating with HIEs and hospitals.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

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Poll respondents are OK with — clinicians with or without formal informatics credentials — calling themselves “informaticists” and are equally accepting of non-clinicians who have earned a graduate degree in informatics, but draw the line at a non-clinicians whose only credential is work experience. Harry suggests calling technically focused people “informaticists” and those specializing in clinical applications and user experience “informaticians.” Kelley says a challenge in public health is separating informatics from IT.

New poll to your right or here: What is the primary reason hospitals don’t exchange patient information freely?


This Week in Health IT History

One year ago:

  • CMS offers providers four “pick your pace” Quality Payment Program options for 2017.
  • St. Jude Medical sues a medical security services vendor, claiming its pacemaker vulnerability testing was not only improperly performed, but also part of stock short-selling scheme.
  • Apple announces the iPhone 7.
  • In England, NHS announces a digital exemplar grant program for trusts.

Five years ago:

  • Merge Healthcare hires an investment bank to review strategic alternatives.
  • Vocera announces its public offering.
  • Harris Corporation investigates potential US bribery law violations by its Carefx China division, whose employees were found to have provided gifts and payments to prospects.
  • A computer hacker in Italy shares his brain cancer-related medical records on the Internet in seeking help in a project he calls “My Open Source Cure.”

Ten years ago:

  • Ingenix acquires Healthia Consulting.
  • Athenahealth prices its IPO.
  • Allscripts announces its largest EHR sale in its history to Columbia University Medical Center.
  • A UK hospital blocks employee access to Facebook after heavy use degrades its network performance.
  • Health Evolution Partners, started by former National Coordinator David Brailer, MD, PhD, begins its search for investments.

Last Week’s Most Interesting News

  • FDA announces a voluntary recall of St. Jude Medical pacemakers to install a firmware update to fix cybersecurity vulnerabilities.
  • CHIME and DirectTrust announce plans to promote universal deployment of the Direct network.
  • Advisory Board announces plans to sell its healthcare business to UnitedHealth Group.
  • Texas hospitals struggled with flooding from Hurricane Harvey.

Webinars

September 13 (Wednesday) 1:30 ET. “How Data Democratization Drives Enterprise-wide Clinical Process Improvement.” Sponsored by: LogicStream Health. Presenter: Katy Jones, program director of clinical support, Providence Health & Services. Providence is demonstrating positive measurable results in quality, outcomes, and efficiency by implementing clinical process improvement solutions in arming operational and clinical stakeholders with unlocked EHR data. Providence’s army of process engineers use their self-service access to answer questions immediately and gain an understanding of how their clinical care delivery is impacting outcomes. The presenter will describe practical applications that include antibiotic stewardship, hospital-acquired infections, and comprehensive knowledge management.

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


Decisions

  • Mercy Medical Center (MD) will replace Meditech with Epic.
  • Southeast Health Center Of Stoddard County (MO) changed from Medhost to Evident in June 2017.
  • Integris Canadian Valley Hospital (OK) replaced Cerner with Epic in May 2017.

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


People

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Orion Health hires Terry Macaleer (Anthelio Healthcare Solutions) as president of its US operations.

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Henry Mayo Newall Hospital (CA) hires Ray Moss (Cedars-Sinai) as VP/CIO.


Announcements and Implementations

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A new Reaction report finds that only one in four cardiology facilities use speech recognition, with far less enthusiasm and effort than their counterparts in radiology, but cardiology use is increasing quickly. Nuance and MModal hold 89 percent of that market.

Cerner and its customer HealthSouth will work together to develop tools to manage post-acute care patients.


Privacy and Security

A university in Canada loses $12 million to scammers who impersonated an employee of its construction company vendor in requesting that checks be sent to their new address that was actually that of the scammers.


Other

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Artificial intelligence researcher Oren Etzioni proposes in a New York Times op-ed piece that AI be regulated in three ways, based on Isaac Asimov’s 1942 “three laws of robotics”:

  • Companies that deploy AI systems must be held accountable for any illegal behavior that results.
  • The AI system, such as a chatbot, must disclose that it is not a human in any conversations with humans.
  • AI systems must not retain or disclose confidential information they receive, such as background audio recorded by Amazon Echo.

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Google’s Verily life sciences company develops a way to predict cardiovascular risk factors by analyzing a person’s retinal image with a machine learning algorithm instead of performing blood tests. The model showed high accuracy in using only the retinal image to predict age, blood pressure, body mass index, gender, and smoking status.

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A federal judge certifies as class action a lawsuit covering all Medicare recipients who were hospitalized but categorized by the hospital as observation patients, which means that as outpatients without necessarily knowing it, they pay more for drugs, co-insurance, and nursing home care.


Sponsor Updates

Blog Posts


Contacts

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

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News 9/1/17

August 31, 2017 News 4 Comments

Top News

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A Health IT Now stakeholder group made up of several member associations (including AMIA) and health IT vendors ask ONC and HHS OIG to provide guidance around information blocking:

  • What are examples of behaviors that the federal government will interpret as being information blocking?
  • How is “should have known” defined?
  • How will patient access be measured?
  • How does the law interact with HIPAA and medical malpractice laws?
  • What reasonable business practices and contract terms are exempt from information blocking requirements?
  • How will the $1 million per violation vendor penalty be defined?
  • What mitigation opportunities will be offered before incidents are turned over to HHS OIG for investigation and penalties?

Reader Comments

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From Harvey Headbanger: “Re: HIPAA. The HHS secretary has waived HIPAA Privacy Rule provisions for hospitals in Texas and Louisiana for 72 hours after their disaster protocol has been activated. So you’ve got a hospital in a disaster area with problems including, but not limited to, rolling power outages, floating fire ants, looting, a looming public health crisis, and of course all the flooding compounded with strained emergency and utility services. The Secretary graciously expects that after three days, I have to create a semi-manual process for distributing and capturing NPPs and managing requests for privacy restrictions in an environment where communication is already very difficult, workforce shortages are common, and I’m trying to determine how to triage the unusual influx of patients. Not seeing it. Thoughts and prayers to the people of SE Texas and Louisiana.”

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From Geaux Texans: “Re: your Houston donations. Why not the Red Cross?” I’m not a fan of that organization since they don’t earmark donations for specific causes, multiple reports exist over years indicating that they are dismissive of local volunteers, and my unscientific observation is that they seem to take advantage of global natural disasters to promote themselves and their fundraising. They also get a score of 83 on Charity Navigator, which isn’t so great. I know that their fundraising machine will allow them to do mass-scale work, leaving me to support more local efforts without feeling guilty. I donated to the Salvation Army of Houston because Salvation Army is my favorite charity overall and I trust their mission and stewardship even though as a religious-based organization they aren’t rated by Charity Navigator. Houston Food Bank earns a Charity Navigator score of 100 and the Houston SPCA gets a 97, both of those being local organizations that I’m pretty sure will quickly do the right thing without much bureaucratic overhead. Please donate, but be careful – scammers abound during high-profile disasters when donors are anxious to help quickly. Donate directly from the verified home pages of charities you’ve first checked on Charity Navigator. This isn’t the time to click shady Facebook “donate here” links or to send money to GoFundMe projects.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

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The inaccessibility and loss of paper medical records during Hurricane Katrina kicked off the uptake of EHRs (and led New Orleans health commissioner Karen DeSalvo, MD, MPH, MSc to the National Coordinator role). I’m wondering if Hurricane Harvey will provide the impetus for adoption of other technologies, perhaps telemedicine or even drone delivery of drugs and medical supplies.

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I passed on a modestly interesting news item today because the company has so much high-falutin’ gibberish on its website that I couldn’t figure after several minutes exactly what it is they do. Marketing people convince company executives that their painfully wrought, committee-driven aspirational BS prose is what users want, but I say it’s a big fail if their site doesn’t quickly tell me what they’re selling and why I should care.I envisioned the result of that company’s marketing brain trust being cut loose on some kid’s lemonade stand, with the resulting tagline being, “Refreshment, realized” and a mission statement of:

Katy’s Lemonade Stand is a regionally recognized, trusted partner for implementing a diverse portfolio of innovative products, strategies, and frameworks that enhance synergistic hydrationary outcomes and provide an exemplary customer experience that inspires human achievement.

I’m also annoyed by companies that add a customer service chat box to their websites, which is intrusive but not super annoying, but then double down by including a loud “look down here at our cool automated chat agent” sound effect that makes me jump a foot off my chair. Websites should not automatically play any sound or auto-start a video that includes audio. Sites are killing off traffic in jamming poorly performing video, overlay ads, pop-ups, and slow-loading third-party content on their sites (CNN and other news sites along with the usual clickbait sites – was that redundant? — are prime examples).

This week on HIStalk Practice: Texas officials fast-track licensing permits for out-of-state physicians looking to help after Harvey. Indica MD launches medical marijuana telemedicine services. Florida law enforcement implements new heroin overdose tracking software. Harvey relief efforts tap into Medicare data to identify at-risk patients. Marathon Health adds behavioral health services. PeakMed Direct Primary Care raises $5.5M. Oklahoma officials call for more funding, better MD use of statewide PDMP. AI-generated facial emojis could be coming to a telemedicine visit near you. West’s Allison Hart discusses the importance of technology in ambulatory care for chronic disease management. The MAVEN Project looks to connect community health centers with telemedicine services.


Webinars

September 13 (Wednesday) 1:30 ET. “How Data Democratization Drives Enterprise-wide Clinical Process Improvement.” Sponsored by: LogicStream Health. Presenter: Katy Jones, program director of clinical support, Providence Health & Services. Providence is demonstrating positive measurable results in quality, outcomes, and efficiency by implementing clinical process improvement solutions in arming operational and clinical stakeholders with unlocked EHR data. Providence’s army of process engineers use their self-service access to answer questions immediately and gain an understanding of how their clinical care delivery is impacting outcomes. The presenter will describe practical applications that include antibiotic stewardship, hospital-acquired infections, and comprehensive knowledge management.

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Kevin Mullin, chair of the Green Mountain Care Board that oversees Vermont’s medical industry, demands that Vermont Information Technology Leaders improve its operations to justify its public funding. VITL gets the money generated from a health insurance claims assessment that ends this year, as lawmakers will decide whether to end the tax or send its proceeds elsewhere. Mullin, who was a state senator when the tax was approved, says, “VITL was oversold to legislators. I regret ever selling the claims tax.” 

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Drug pricing analytics vendor Truveris raises $35 million in a Series D funding round. 

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Madison-based ImageMoverMD, which offers a secure image-sharing app for doctors, raises $1.2 million.


Sales

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Penn Medicine (PA) chooses the LiveProcess emergency management system for universal employee notification and response during disasters, cyberattacks, and everyday coordination, bringing it into compliance with CMS’s emergency preparedness rule.

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My Health My Resources of Tarrant County (TX) selects Netsmart’s EHR.


Announcements and Implementations

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Experian Health announces its Pandora data quality platform that can ingest, index, and cleanse data from one or many data sources.

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Non-profits CHIME and DirectTrust will jointly promote the universal deployment of the Direct network for secure information exchange.

Canada’s PrescribeIT national e-prescribing service will begin its rollout in Ontario “in the coming weeks” in eventually covering six provinces, 2,600 drug stores, and an unstated number of EHR vendors using technology from Telus Health.


Government and Politics

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A bi-partisan group of eight state governors makes recommendations to Congress for stabilizing the individual insurance market, including:

  • Committing to continuing paying cost-sharing reduction payments.
  • Creating a temporary stability fund for states to create reinsurance programs.
  • Exempting insurers from federal health insurance taxes from exchange plans sold in counties designated as underserved.
  • Keeping the individual mandate until a credible replacement can be devised.
  • Continuing the funding of outreach and enrollment efforts that encourage younger, healthier people to sign up.
  • Shortening grace periods and verify special enrollment to make sure people aren’t waiting to sign up for insurance until they are about to incur expenses.
  • Addressing unsustainable increases in the cost of healthcare services by paying providers based on quality rather than quantity of care, including a committing to support value-based healthcare purchasing.

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Meanwhile, the White House on Thursday violated the fifth point above in announcing that President Trump will cut ACA signup advertising spending by 90 percent and in-person assistance funding by 39 percent, saying that Americans already know about the ACA. Critics say insurance risk and thus pricing will increase in a “let it fail” strategy” with fewer healthier, younger people being reminded to sign up to balance the risk pool. Former CMS Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt said in a tweet that the change won’t save taxpayers money because the costs are paid by insurance company user fees. An HHS press secretary (she was previously Congressman Tom Price’s press secretary and before that executive assistant at The Beer Institute) said ACA is a “bad deal” and isn’t working because premiums have doubled and half of US counties have only one coverage option.


Privacy and Security

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FDA issues a voluntary recall of 465,000 St. Jude Medical pacemakers, recommending that patients return to their doctor or hospital to have their device’s firmware updated to address cybersecurity vulnerabilities.

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Security firm Barracuda says it has logged 20 million ransomware attack attempts in the past 24 hours that uses a spoofed “from” address and the attachment’s name in the subject line, attempting to lure the recipient into clicking the attachment, which then begins encrypting the device.


Innovation and Research

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Inova Personalized Health Accelerator offers a free educational program for first-time health technology entrepreneurs. The topics are interesting but the program is limited to folks who can attend seven, 90-minute on-site sessions in Fairfax, VA.


Other

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Health system consolidation continues as UNC Health Care and Carolinas HealthCare announce plans to form a jointly operated system that will have 52 hospitals, nearly 100,000 employees, and $13.4 billion in annual revenue. The health systems insist that the proposed transaction is a partnership rather than a merger since they will not combine their assets to create a new entity.

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An article in the Joint Commission’s journal describes the newly revised, ONC-published SAFER (Safety Assurance Factors for EHR Resilience) Guides and offers implementation advice for provider organizations, written by Dean Sittig, PhD and Hardeep Singh, MD, MPH.

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A California Healthline article explains why it made sense for Santa Barbara County to send an employee who needed surgery to a hospital 250 miles away near San Diego. Answer: Scripps Hospital charged $62,000 for a surgery that would have cost more than double that amount at the two local hospitals. Scripps priced its services via bundled pricing as contracted through startup Carrum Health. The county waives employee co-pays and deductibles and pays travel costs for a luxury resort. The program is at risk since CMS is proposing eliminating bundled payments under the Trump administration in accusing Medicare –as have anxious hospital trade groups — of overstepping federal authority and interfering in the doctor-patient relationship. Insurance premiums in Santa Barbara County are 27 percent higher than those of Los Angeles, with a county HR executive saying, “The only difference between our two hospitals is one is expensive and the other is exorbitant.”

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A Cleveland Clinic neurologist says the movie “Moneyball” showed that baseball uses more decision-making analytics than his own field, but that a wealth of EHR data and availability of disease-modifying therapies for multiple sclerosis will allow better treatment choices than the previous tools of physical examination and patient self-assessment. He notes the use of an iPad-powered performance test, new MRI and blood tests, and EHR-enabled doctor-patient collaboration.

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In England, Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust sues ATOS for $10 million for selling it an EHR scanning and document management system that is slow and buggy, problems the vendor attributes to the trust’s network and hardware.

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University of Michigan researchers develop Verdict, a database tool that learns from each user-submitted query to deliver answers 200 times faster with 99 percent accuracy. The software stores each query as a query synopsis and breaks it up into snippets that are used to create a mathematical model of questions and answers, allowing it to then target newly needed data efficiently or even to deliver results directly from its own stored information. Medical research and business decision-making are likely use cases.

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FDA approves the first gene-altering drug for treating leukemia, with manufacturer Novartis declaring Kymriah a bargain at $475,000, especially since it will charge only if the drug works. The company claims it cost $1 billion to bring Kymriah to market.

The Wall Street Journal reports that 27 Gulf Coast hospitals have closed or evacuated patients since Hurricane Harvey made landfall and another 25 have reported storm-related problems that may prevent them from seeing new patients. Those that are open are expecting to be overwhelmed as roadways clear.

Some employers in the Louisville, KY area have stopped performing pre-employment drug tests because the high number of failures leaves too few candidates to fill their open positions. Other companies report that half of job candidates drop out of the hiring process once they realize they’ll be tested for drug use.

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In India, an OB-GYN and anesthesiologist are suspended after an employee-recorded video goes viral that shows them engaging in a heated, insult-filled argument while standing over their C-section patient.


Sponsor Updates

  • Logicworks opens a new office in Denver.
  • Navicure will exhibit at Greenway Health Engage17 September 7-10 in Orlando.
  • IDC names Nuance as the market share leader among global device and print management vendors.
  • NTT Data Services publishes a new case study, “Two health systems in Qatar partner on a nationwide EHR to enhance quality of care.”
  • Healthwise adds enhanced visual design to its Patient Instructions.
  • Experian Health will present at the HFMA/AAHAM Western PA conference September 7 in Farmington.
  • Vocera announces that 15,000 care team members of Franciscan Alliance are using its secure text messaging and hands-free communication system.
  • The SSI Group and ZirMed will exhibit at the CASA 2017 Annual Conference September 6-8 in Indian Wells, CA.
  • Nuance Communications wins the 2017 Star Performer and Implementation Awards at Speech Technology Magazine’s annual awards event.
  • Solutionreach publishes a new case study, “Dr. York Yates Plastic Surgery Triples Their Response to Review Requests.”
  • Verscend Technologies publishes a new infographic, “Analyzing 2017’s risk adjustment valuation to improve 2018’s processes.”
  • McLaren Flint (MI) avoids a $1 million capital expense for new IV pumps by tracking its pump inventory using Versus Advantages Asset Management.
  • Visage Imaging will exhibit at SIIM/NYMIIS 2017 September 7 in New York City.
  • Huron partners with the Red Cross to support relief efforts for victims of Hurricane Harvey.

Blog Posts


Contacts

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

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News 8/30/17

August 29, 2017 News No Comments

Top News

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The Advisory Board Company will sell its healthcare business to UnitedHealth Group’s Optum. The education part of its business will be acquired by Vista Equity Partners. The breakup and acquisitions were accurately rumored in early July.

The healthcare business drew $1.3 billion of the $2.58 billion total deal value.

Advisory Board said in February that it would explore strategic options after an ownership stake was taken by activist investor Elliott Management, which is now exerting similar pressure on Athenahealth.


Reader Comments

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From Athenahealth Spokesperson: “Re: Givenchy’s comment from the 8/23/17 HIStalk regarding financial success metrics for community hospitals. Thank you for bringing this to our attention. The metrics listed were a carryover from the previous iteration of the page and speak to our results on the ambulatory side. We have removed the numbers to avoid any confusion.” I speculated in my original response that the metrics probably weren’t related to hospitals, especially since they were footnoted to suggest all Athenahealth customers excluding hospitals since the company wasn’t in the inpatient business during that pre-RazorInsights benchmark period.

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From Whassup: “Re: MDeverywhere breach. The newly listed breach affects E-MDs since it merged with MDeverywhere. Looks like they are trying to keep it hush hush, along with the fact that E-MDs is up for sale.” HHS is investigating an unauthorized access / disclosure incident of MDeverywhere that was reported August 10, 2017. Marlin Equity Partners acquired E-MDs in March 2015 and merged it with its existing portfolio company MDeverywhere, which offers revenue cycle management and credentialing services. I found a breach notice sent by an MDeverywhere customer that says that the company and its customers use a messaging board to exchange patient information and worksheets, but the customer found on June 6, 2017 that any Internet user could log into the message board without entering a name and password. The non-clinical information of just 1,396 people was involved, so it’s pretty unexciting as healthcare breaches go.

From Josh: “Re: potential changes to E/M visit codes. It’s buried in a large article, but CMS has opened a public comment window until September 11, 2017 saying they have heard from stakeholders that E/M visit codes are outdated and a source of audit vulnerability and administrative burden. CMS wants public input.” A snip of the proposed Medicare rule – which is rather startlingly insightful and technologically current — says:

We continue to agree with stakeholders that the E/M documentation guidelines should be substantially revised. We believe that a comprehensive reform of E/M documentation guidelines would require a multi-year, collaborative effort among stakeholders. We believe that revised guidelines could both reduce clinical burden and improve documentation in a way that would be more effective in clinical workflows and care coordination. We also think updated E/M guidelines coupled with technological advancements in voice recognition, natural language processing and user-centered design of EHRs could improve documentation for patient care while also meeting requirements for billing and population health management. We recognize that achieving the goal of reduced clinician burden and improved, meaningful documentation for patient care will require both updated E/M guidelines, as well as changes in technology, clinician documentation practices and workflow …We are specifically seeking comment on how we might focus on initial changes to the guidelines for the history and physical exam because we believe documentation for these elements may be more significantly outdated, and that differences in MDM are likely the most important factors in distinctions between visits of different levels. We are also specifically seeking comment on whether it would be appropriate to remove our documentation requirements for the history and physical exam for all E/M visits at all levels. We believe medical decision-making and time are the more significant factors in distinguishing visit levels, and that the need for extended histories and exams is being replaced by population-based screening and intervention, at least for some specialties. In addition, an increase in the utilization of EHRs, and to some extent, shared health information via EHRs, may have changed the character of extended patient histories since the guidelines were established. As long as a history and physical exam are documented and generally consistent with complexity of MDM, there may no longer be a need for us to maintain such detailed specifications for what must be performed and documented for the history and physical exam (for example, which and how many body systems are involved). We are seeking comment on whether clinicians and other stakeholders believe removing the documentation requirements for the history and physical exam would be a good approach.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

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Texans need our help, so I invite you to do as I did in making generous donations to The Salvation Army of Houston, the Houston Food Bank, and the Houston SPCA. The best thing you can do is to send money to reputable local organizations – it’s just too hard to deploy well-intentioned contributions of physical items and those organizations need the flexibility to use their buying power to provide the most benefit. Houston has a marketing problem – it’s the nation’s fourth-largest city, yet few of us visit there on vacation or attend a conference there, so we don’t really have much of a connection to it. As was the case with Hurricane Katrina, the extent of the death and destruction there won’t become evident until days after the floodwaters recede and public health issues – such as food and housing shortages – take over the shrinking headlines and outlast by years the nation’s short attention span.

Meanwhile, in a discussion that mimics our country’s healthcare debate, a Politico report blames the federal government’s subsidized flood insurance program for encouraging people and developers to build and re-build homes in known floodplains and to pave over drainage areas. More than half of the country’s “repetitive loss properties” are located in Houston, second only to New Orleans, as the federal flood insurance program is running $25 billion in the red. One federally insured home in Mississippi has flooded 34 times in 32 years, with federal taxpayers paying $663,000 for claims involving the $69,000 home, while members of Congress have voted to delay charging homeowners actuarially sound premiums following complaints about inevitably higher prices from coastal communities. Only 15 percent of Houston homes are insured against flooding since such insurance isn’t required for most mortgages and people either can’t afford the premiums or play the odds that they won’t experience a loss.


Webinars

September 13 (Wednesday) 1:30 ET. “How Data Democratization Drives Enterprise-wide Clinical Process Improvement.” Sponsored by: LogicStream Health. Presenter: Katy Jones, program director of clinical support, Providence Health & Services. Providence is demonstrating positive measurable results in quality, outcomes, and efficiency by implementing clinical process improvement solutions in arming operational and clinical stakeholders with unlocked EHR data. Providence’s army of process engineers use their self-service access to answer questions immediately and gain an understanding of how their clinical care delivery is impacting outcomes. The presenter will describe practical applications that include antibiotic stewardship, hospital-acquired infections, and comprehensive knowledge management.

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Surgery management system vendor ExplORer Surgical raises $3 million.

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India-based technology vendor Tech Mahindra names Jacksonville, FL as its global healthcare headquarters following its $110 million acquisition earlier this year of Jacksonville-based The HCI Group. 

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A Stanford drop-out distances his startup from Theranos in describing its own in-home finger-prick blood analyzer. The co-founders of Athelas are 20 and 22 years old. Their Amazon Echo-like technology, which has yet to earn FDA approval, uses machine learning to analyze blood cell images that pathologists have interpreted and then applies that knowledge to new high-resolution images of a patient’s home blood sample. Their target market is oncology patients who require frequent blood tests.

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Columbus, OH-based PriorAuthNow increases its funding to $3.6 million to expand its hospital procedure prior authorization system.


Sales

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Yale New Haven Health System (CT) will add pharmacogenomic decision support from ActX to its Epic EHR.


People

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Marc Milstein (University of Texas System) joins University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (TX) as VP of information resources.


Announcements and Implementations

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Allscripts will integrate Vidyo’s video visit technology into its FollowMyHealth patient portal.

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Cedars-Sinai launches a 20-month, $25,000 executive master’s degree program in health delivery science that emphasizes analytics, health IT implementation, quality and safety, and cost-effective service delivery.

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MDLive offers free non-emergency telephone or video visits to people impacted by Hurricane Harvey from August 25 to September 8.

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T-System offers its T Sheets disaster relief documentation templates at no charge to hospitals and freestanding EDs in areas affected by Hurricane Harvey.


Government and Politics

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The Senate’s HELP committee will hold hearings early next month in hopes of creating legislation to stabilize and then improve the Affordable Care Act individual insurance marketplace. Leaders Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) have successfully collaborated previously on the 21st Century Cures Act. The committee will take the unfortunately refreshing approach of holding actual committee hearings and seeking input from lawmakers on both sides of the political wall. Alexander wants to quickly get legislation on the books to guarantee the federal government’s payment of legally challenged insurance premium subsidies, hoping to reduce the number of insurers pulling out of the individual market or raising premiums due to uncertainty.


Privacy and Security

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System downtime at Scotland’s NHS Lanarkshire is being blamed on a new variant of Bit Paymer ransomware, which demands payment of an unusually high ransom of $218,000 for the return of “private sensitive data.” Mass media articles say the malware is spread by phishing emails, but technical sites say it is manually installed following brute force password attacks on insecure Remote Desktop Protocol connections, after which the size of the ransom is set by the hacker’s perception of the victim’s ability to pay.

A former ED employee sues Northwell Health for firing her for looking up Justin Bieber’s medical records, claiming she didn’t do it and instead was fired just because she’s female. Somehow I suspect Northwell’s audit logs contain information that implicates her beyond her gender.


Innovation and Research

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Non-profit digital health lab Pulse@MassChallenge — which is backed by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and industry partners (Microsoft, AARP, BIDMC, Cerner, etc.) — seeks startups for its next class. Early bird applications are due September 15 and the application fee is discounted 100 percent using code “2018HISTalk100.”


Other

A Salesforce research paper covers the potential of translating natural language questions into database SQL queries, which could allow users to ask database questions without knowing SQL syntax.

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A Department of Defense video shows how Walter Reed National Medical Center (MD) makes prostheses.

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Bloomberg Businessweek covers predatory journal publisher Omics International, an India-based open access journal publisher that charges “publish or perish” academics to run their often poorly prepared research papers as well as those of drug companies that want to disseminate favorable but sloppily researched studies. The founder of Omics calls the FTC’s investigation into his company – which took in $11.6 million in publishing and conference revenue in 2016 – as “fake news.” The article questions whether the company’s journals that feature papers that are “rife with grammar glitches and low-resolution headshots” are confusing drug companies that publish research in them or whether they really don’t care. Omics has 2,000 employees who occupy 250,000 square feet of office space in Hyderabad. Academic and business speakers pay more than attendees to participate in its conferences, which says a lot, while all attendees get 50 percent of the publishing fee for their next research masterpiece. I bet quite a few healthcare organizations are unwittingly underwriting this ego-boosting crap in sending people off to fun destinations under the guise of academic achievement. The company repeatedly accepts hilariously fake article and conference presentation abstracts, one that was submitted as a test being “Evolution of flight characteristics in avian-porcine physiology” that purports to explain how pigs fly. Another author submitted a journal article consisting of 10 pages of the repeated phrase, “Take me off your $&%#! list,” which was happily accepted pending payment of a $150 publishing fee by The International Journal of Advanced Computer Technology.


Sponsor Updates

  • AssessURHealth and Intelligent Medical Objects will exhibit at Greenway Engage17 September 7-10 in Orlando.
  • Besler Consulting releases a new podcast, “Key takeaways from the FY 2018 IPPS Final Rule.”
  • FormFast publishes a new case study featuring Duncan Regional Hospital (OK).
  • Healthgrades and Gartner publish “Beyond Healthcare CRM: Changing the Paradigm of Patient Communication.”
  • Healthwise will exhibit at the 2017 HCEA Conference September 6-8 in Salt Lake City.

Blog Posts


Contacts

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

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Curbside Consult with Dr. Jayne 8/28/17

August 28, 2017 News No Comments

My heart goes out to the people of Houston along with the many other areas impacted by Hurricane and Tropical Storm Harvey. In addition to residents who weren’t able to leave the area before the flooding, there are scores of out-of-town patients stranded after traveling to Houston for care at facilities such as MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Working in the ED and urgent care space, I’m connected to my community’s emergency preparedness efforts. Natural disasters can strike anywhere at any time and I would encourage everyone to take this opportunity to make sure your family has a preparedness plan. Keeping a small stock of non-perishable food and bottled water is a good idea for everyone. Even if you don’t live in a flood plain, tornado alley, fault zone, or wildfire hazard area, there’s always a chance of losing power or other essential services.

Healthcare organizations large and small should also have preparedness plans, including resources to support staff who might become stranded at work. My area is prone to ice storms, and although I always keep bottled water and energy bars on hand when I have to go out in bad weather, I can’t assume that my staff is likewise prepared. The leftover pizza and freezer-burned Hot Pockets aren’t going to go very far if we ever encounter a catastrophic weather event. I’m not advocating that everyone needs to constantly live in Doomsday Prepper mode, but our society has embraced the just-in-time and convenience culture so thoroughly that many people and organizations haven’t given much thought to basic preparedness in the face of a calamity.

The schools in my state now require education in CPR as a high school graduation requirement. I’d love to see a little coverage given to basic emergency preparedness. We do have a teen CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) program along with an adult program and there is always a waiting list for people to attend. If you can’t get into a community offering or your area doesn’t have one, there are some great educational resources available through the Ready.gov website.

I had two client-facing trips cancel due to the weather, so I’ve been using the opportunity to play catch-up and try to get ahead for the busy times that are surely coming. Although there has been a relaxation in the requirements to have 2015 Edition Certified EHR Technology in place before January 1, I’m not seeing my clients take the foot off the gas as far as preparing for upgrades and workflow changes. I think they’ve already done so much work to get ready they just want to see things through and get the decks cleared for the next thing that gets thrown at them. I’ve also got several clients moving forward aggressively with Patient-Centered Medical Home initiatives, and since I haven’t been to formal training yet for the 2017 NCQA standards, I’m trying to become more familiar with the requirements.

Although there are a lot of details to learn, many of the principles are straightforward. Sometimes those are the hardest to bring into daily clinical practice, not only because they require people to change, but because they require attention to efficiency and detail. Take for example the daily huddle. In its simplest form, it’s the opportunity for the care team to look at the daily schedule and anticipate specific needs related to each patient appointment. It could be basic things like ensuring there is an extra chair in the exam room for an interpreter or family member, or it could range to issues like tracking down lab results or reviewing needed clinical preventive services and counseling.

I’ve seen a lot of daily huddles derailed by the lack of an effective meeting strategy. The team needs to show up on time, someone needs to be the leader, someone needs to be the timekeeper, and someone needs to document and manage the follow-up. The reality in many medical offices across the country is that these skills are lacking, and if the practice wants to be successful, the skills need to be taught and reinforced. If staff members are habitually late, it needs to be addressed. If huddle attendees aren’t paying attention and things need to be repeated, it needs to be addressed. Staff discussion needs to stay on topic and sidebar conversations should be stopped.

I see practice leaders sometimes struggle to address these issues, which is why bringing in an outsider to help with change leadership activities is tempting. It’s also easier to let someone else be the lightning rod, which sometimes happens. One group I’m working with in preparation for an aggressive PCMH rollout has a provider and a nurse manager who are very difficult. The provider often makes changes to his schedule without telling anyone (I’d revoke his access to the scheduling system in a heartbeat) and the nurse manager enables the bad behavior by making everyone else dance around trying to accommodate the last-minute changes. The provider frequently overloads his schedule by double- and triple-booking appointment slots, which makes the entire day run badly and frustrates the staff. The practice doesn’t have a good understanding of their true capacity to see patients, and I suspect some of their panels need to be adjusted by shifting patients from busier PCPs to more accessible PCPs on a given care team. The provider in question is resistant to this change, and although I understand his wanting to maintain patient relationships, it shows that he is not embracing the concept of PCMH and that the practice will continue to suffer until this is addressed.

I’m planning a series of leadership discussions where try to solidify provider buy-in and discuss the benefits that being a patient-centered practice can provide. If we can’t get everyone to arrive at a place where they can at least agree not to obstruct efforts, however, I’m going to recommend that they seriously consider placing the initiative on hold until we can figure out how to get people on the same page. Simply saying “this is what our practice is going to do” hasn’t been enough for them to be successful thus far. Change is hard, but it’s the reality for medical practice in the years to come. I’ll be on site with them in a couple of weeks, so we’ll see how things go.

What’s your strategy for keeping staff sane during times of change? Email me.

Email Dr. Jayne.

Monday Morning Update 8/28/17

August 27, 2017 News No Comments

Top News

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Southeast Texas continues to be hammered by the stalled remnants of Hurricane Harvey, which has already dropped 25 inches of rain on Houston and continues to linger over the state in what could be the most expensive natural disaster in US history. Rivers exceeded their historic high-water levels by as much as 10 feet. At least five people are known dead, but the toll will certainly rise when conditions allow the storm’s damage to be assessed.

  • Several hospitals evacuated patients or closed.
  • Driscoll Children’s Hospital in Corpus Christi air transported 10 NICU babies to a hospital in Fort Worth, fearing that a power outage would disable their ventilators.
  • Five of 11 Memorial Hermann hospitals in Houston reported spikes in newborn deliveries, with barometric pressure changes doubling the usual number of births in some hospitals.
  • Several Houston-area hospitals closed the flood doors they had installed after Tropical Storm Allison in 2001, hoping to protect their basements and ground floors.
  • MD Anderson closed its campus and advised employees and patients to stay home Sunday morning due to impassable roads, with on-site staff assigned to remain at work until conditions improve.
  • Clinicians at DeTar Hospital Navarro volunteered to stay at the hospital instead of at home with their families.
  • 911 lines were jammed as families in danger took to Twitter seeking rescue from anyone nearby.

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Behrouz Zand, MD posted this picture of MD Anderson’s lobby on Twitter.

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This Twitter-posted photo is of Aransas Pass Care Regional Medical Center, which was heavily damaged when its roof blew off, after which it was burglarized.

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A Twitter user reported that these guys walked five miles in the water to respond to a Twitter plea for a help from a family with a sick baby.

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The mother of a baby delivered as the storm approached land at Corpus Christi Medical Center Doctors Regional decided to name the boy Harvey.


Reader Comments

From Gladiolus: “Re: The Advisory Board. After information leaked out in July about the company’s split and UnitedHealth Group purchasing the consulting side, no further public information has been provided.” The company said in its August 8 earnings call that it would not comment on the board’s strategic review process. ABCO shares dropped sharply after the earnings miss, but they’ve still kept pace with the Nasdaq index over the past year.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

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The results of last week’s poll are interesting, although IP address analysis doesn’t inspire much confidence in their validity.

New poll to your right or here: which backgrounds entitle someone to call themselves an “informaticist?” I ran a similar poll in 2010 and it stirred up quite a bit of discussion, such as whether a nurse doing EHR implementation and support work is an informaticist.

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HIStalk readers funded the DonorsChoose teacher grant request of Nevada middle school PE teacher Mr. H, who asked for shot puts and relay batons so the track and field team can practice for meets.

Thanks to these companies for their recent support of HIStalk. Click a logo for more information.

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This Week in Health IT History

One year ago:

  • The systems of two West Virginia hospitals go down in a malware attack.
  • The Department of Defense pushes back its first scheduled go-lives of MHS Genesis.
  • Apple tightens App Store requirements for health-related apps.

Five years ago:

  • SAIC announces that it will split itself into two publicly traded companies.
  • ONC says it will not allow EHR vendors to drag their feet in supporting data exchange with competing EHRs.
  • HL7 announces that it will make its standards available at no charge to increase their use.
  • Technology investor Vinod Khosla says computers will eventually replace 80 percent of doctors.

Ten years ago:

  • Acer buys Gateway Computers.
  • MedAssets files for its IPO.
  • A lawsuit brought against McKesson for its involvement in setting inflated drug cost benchmarks is certified as class action.
  • The builder of Epic’s $100 million, 5,300-seat learning center posts photos of the project online.
  • HIMSS offers its second Virtual Conference.

Weekly Anonymous Reader Question

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Responses to last week’s question:

  • Misys gave away a car a couple of times. Created buzz, not sure if it created sales.
  • The most memorable I’ve seen is when Medicomp launched Quipstar – I think at HIMSS 2011. There was a tremendous amount of buzz. Of course it also helped that they helped sponsor HIStalkapalooza that year.
  • HIMSS Orlando 2017 Watson. Simple, bright booth with actual physicians and researchers demonstrating their work throughout the day. The individuals around the booth were knowledge, including marketing representatives, not just hourly booth babes. Admittedly, they can’t all be like this as the distraction of infotainment, gadgets, and snacks is occasionally welcome throughout the day.
  • Epic’s cartoon books and tights-wearing WebMan.
  • Iatric had a magician at a trade show who was quite memorable for his tricks and demeanor.
  • Richard Simmons at the booth for a “Thin Client” promo for either IDX or Cerner. Way back in the late 90s.
  • The urinal screens with advertising by ???? Guess it wasn’t that effective over the really long term. What, four years ago?
  • Cold-emailed me to offer me shots at the bar!
  • A Vermont-based vendor offering cans of Heady Topper, which is one of the top IPAs in the world and accessible only within a 25-mile radius of Waterbury, VT.
  • Can’t beat the OnBase Bar in the middle of the vendor floor.
  • Ivo Nelson’s Pub Night. Long after the show floor is closed, the dinners and parties are over, most in the know head to Ivo’s pub night. An informal gathering to see old friends and build new relationships. Much work gets done.
  • Years ago Arthur Andersen distributed jazz CDs at HIMSS in New Orleans. I still play the CD today and it’s loaded on my mobile devices.
  • HIMSS itself, conducting the annual Interoperability Showcase.

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This week’s question: who is the most inspirational health IT or healthcare person you interact with regularly?


Last Week’s Most Interesting News

  • Google offers a link to a depression questionnaire to mobile users who search on “clinical depression.”
  • CliniComp files a bid protest with the VA for choosing Cerner in a no-bid contract.
  • A reader calls attention to Care Otter, which is apparently an Allscripts project to develop a new EHR, after which Care Otter’s web page, Twitter account, and YouTube channel are taken down.
  • Investment research firm Hedgeye speculates that the new, unnamed six-hospital Allscripts Sunrise customer is Verity Health, owned by Allscripts investor Patrick Soon-Shiong.
  • HIMSS Analytics provides detailed information on inpatient EHR market share by hospital count, total beds, and the number of physician users.

Webinars

September 13 (Wednesday) 1:30 ET. “How Data Democratization Drives Enterprise-wide Clinical Process Improvement.” Sponsored by: LogicStream Health. Presenter: Katy Jones, program director of clinical support, Providence Health & Services. Providence is demonstrating positive measurable results in quality, outcomes, and efficiency by implementing clinical process improvement solutions in arming operational and clinical stakeholders with unlocked EHR data. Providence’s army of process engineers use their self-service access to answer questions immediately instead of waiting for reports to be written and double checked for possibly inaccurate information. The presenter will describe practical applications that include antibiotic stewardship, hospital-acquired infections, and comprehensive knowledge management.

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

Philips will create a Nashville health technology center that will add 800 jobs.


Decisions

  • Roane Medical Center (TN) will switch from McKesson to Cerner in 2018.

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


Announcements and Implementations

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Sunquest announces GA of Mitogen, a laboratory information management system and genetic software suite for molecular diagnostics and precision medicine.


Privacy and Security

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In Scotland, NHS Lanarkshire urges people with non-emergent conditions to avoid its ED due to a malware incident that has taken its systems down. The same trust was hit hard by the WannaCry ransomware this past May. 

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Salina Family Healthcare Center (KS) notifies 70,000 patients that its computer systems were infected with ransomware in June. Afterwards, a patient who hadn’t been seen there for 13 years complained that his records should have been purged and that outdated addresses on file means the breach notices will be sent to the wrong people.


Innovation and Research

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A new Reaction report covers the Allscripts acquisition of McKesson’s EIS business. The report finds that McKesson already had a high rate of users interested in replacing its systems, a process that may speed up with the acquisition.


Other

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Epic CEO Judy Faulkner makes the “Forbes Richest People in Tech” list, coming in at #73 with an estimated net worth of $3.4 billion. Rishi Shah, the 31-year-old CEO of waiting room advertising company Outcome Health, was #69 at $3.6 billion.

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Lloyd Minor, MD,  dean of Stanford’s medical school, blames EHRs for physician burnout and says that they (along with shorter office visits) “turn medical practice into a regimented, one-size-fits-all endeavor.” He says EHRs should add diagnostic support functions and use speech recognition, while doctors should use scribes to free up their time. 

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The Las Vegas paper covers the fire department’s deployment of RNs to staff its emergency call line for less-urgent medical calls, where the nurses follow software-driven to decide whether to roll an ambulance or to call Lyft to take the caller to a hospital or urgent care center. The pilot project’s return on investment might be questionable – nurses work from 9 a.m. to 6. p.m. and take just six calls per day, costing $300,000 per year.

In Australia, a cancer survivor blames the lack of interoperability between the EHRs of two hospitals for her missing follow-up visits. A member of parliament says he has received several complaints that Sunshine Coast University Hospital cannot access patient histories since it does not use the state-wide, Cerner-powered IEMR system and instead uses a scanning-based system while it plans its transition to IEMR.

Weird News Andy can’t visualize why some clueless eclipse-watchers who weren’t able to get protective glasses decided that their next-best option was to put sunscreen on their eyeballs.


Sponsor Updates

  • Medicity publishes a new white paper, “Interoperability 2.0: Solving Health Care’s Data Aggregation Problem.”
  • ZeOmega’s Jiva population health management platform earns NCQA certification.
  • Experian Health will exhibit at AAHAM California August 27-30 in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA.
  • Patientco recognizes Houston Healthcare (GA) as its Client of the Quarter.

Blog Posts


Contacts

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

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News 8/25/17

August 24, 2017 News 13 Comments

Top News

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Google offers users who search for “clinical depression” on a mobile device an option to take a PHQ-9 online depression test, offered in partnership with the National Alliance on Mental Illness in hopes of increasing the percentage of depressed people who seek and receive treatment.

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Reader Comments

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From CinderFella: “Re: Verity Health. HIStalk had the edge on Hedgeye’s analysis over a month ago, with a reader commenting on the NantHealth purchase of Verity saying that it would buy ‘his Nant-whatever stuff’ and Allscripts products. The real story is that Verity scrapped a year’s worth of evaluations as it was looking to implement a new EMR. The selection process was still finalizing and a go forward choice was TBD, but it wouldn’t have been Allscripts.” I’m a Wall Street lightweight, but I would be uncomfortable as a shareholder of either company with the Allscripts investment in NantHealth, Patrick Soon-Shiong’s personal investment in Allscripts, and now NantHealth’s rumored pushing of the products of both companies on non-profit Verity, especially given that NantHealth seems to have made quite a few “sales” of its own products that looked more like mutual back-scratching than objective purchasing decisions that suggest market momentum. I suppose Verity being forced to choose a product it didn’t want is a legitimate sale, if indeed they have lost that choice, but it smacks of desperation from both companies. Maybe Allscripts also worries about that perception, too, since it hasn’t named Verity as the mysterious new client it signed.

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From HIE Watcher: “Re: Informatics Corporation of America. Hearing it is being acquired by the SSI Group.” Unverified. I’ve sent an inquiry to ICA with no response so far.

From Orange Vest: “Re: LinkedIn. How do you choose which connection requests to accept?” I pretty much accept all invitations, declining only those that are obvious scams (like someone who works for a Chinese air conditioner manufacturer who has no overlapping connections), although sometimes that opens me up to annoying messages from recruiters or overzealous salespeople who I squelch quickly. I really don’t do anything with LinkedIn except (a) look up people who have changed jobs, and (b) sometimes check to see if somebody’s connected with me or is in the reader-started HIStalk Fan Club to decide if I’m willing to reply to their email.

From Dreydel: “Re: Devoted Health. I don’t have access to the full story, but Todd Park’s LinkedIn says he’s the founder. I bet other ex-Athena execs are involved.” I don’t pay for WSJ either, but Athenahealth co-founder Todd Park’s LinkedIn says he’s the co-founder and executive chairman of insurance startup Devoted Health.

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From Publius Tullius: “Re: Epic in Denmark’s Capital Region. The projects are going so poorly that Epic was cut in the first round of the bid process to support the Southern Region. Stories go back to February related to project under-scoping, missing functionality, and budget overruns.” PT provided a ton of links to Danish sites describing Epic project problems, with some Google-translated headlines above.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

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Blain Newton of HIMSS Analytics sent over another interesting analysis, this one from its Logic database that shows the EHR user count of physicians who are employed by, leased, or managed by health systems. Epic has a four-to-one lead over Cerner and Allscripts in doctor count, nearly equal to all other vendors combined since its customer base is mostly huge health systems. That also means that Epic has displaced a lot of EHR/PM vendors in practices as hospitals acquired them and put Epic in. It also makes InterSystems very happy since they license Cache by concurrent user.

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Blain also provided this graph showing those organizations, both for-profit and non-profit, that have made the most hospital acquisitions in the past 10 years. Such acquisitions drive a good bit of the EHR market as acquired hospitals are moved to the corporate EHR standard.

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This, as they say, resonates with me.

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So does this, since I am always baffled that more people play the lottery when the prize goes up. Are these folks who couldn’t be bothered for only $100 million?

This week on HIStalk Practice: Alaskan providers share challenges, triumphs with HHS Secretary Price. Allscripts makes it easier for physicians to participate in clinical trials. The Institute for Women’s Health succumbs to keylogger virus. Wellpepper CEO Anne Weiler shares why virtual assistants and interactive mobile treatment plans are poised to meet consumer healthcare expectations in a big way. LifeWorks NW VP of Clinical Services Mark Lewinsohn expects new population health management technology to boost its participation in the national demonstration project for Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics. Behavioral healthcare stakeholders lament telemedicine’s slow progress in MA. Petaluma Health Center becomes data-driven FQHC. DoD honors ChartLogic. Dispatch Health expandsto Arizona. In a new monthly series, PRM Pro Jim Higgins outlines the ways in which physicians can use patient relationship management technology while still maintaining the human touch.

I’m disappointed that nobody bothered to make an Eclipsys-related eclipse pun.

Listening: new from 29-year-old Minneapolis-based hip hopper Lizzo, whose Missy Elliott-style brash confidence includes more explicit lyrics than I like, but I overlook that because her music is a joyous, soulful bridge between the late 1960s Motowners and today’s rappers. I’m also listening with nostalgia to the unparalleled R.E.M., which ceased to exist in its original configuration as a foursome and one of America’s greatest bands 20 years ago, their unexpected high harmonies still giving me chills last night when the family chain restaurant I was in surprisingly played “Fall On Me” on its canned music system.


Webinars

September 13 (Wednesday) 1:30 ET. “How Data Democratization Drives Enterprise-wide Clinical Process Improvement.” Sponsored by: LogicStream Health. Presenter: Katy Jones, program director of clinical support, Providence Health & Services. Providence is demonstrating positive measurable results in quality, outcomes, and efficiency by implementing clinical process improvement solutions in arming operational and clinical stakeholders with unlocked EHR data. Providence’s army of process engineers use their self-service access to answer questions immediately instead of waiting for reports to be written and double checked for possibly inaccurate information. The presenter will describe practical applications that include antibiotic stewardship, hospital-acquired infections, and comprehensive knowledge management.

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Agfa-Gevaert is considering spinning off its health IT business that includes vendor-neutral archive, PACS, image sharing, data aggregation, patient engagement, and digital radiography.

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Startup Doc.ai comes out of stealth mode in describing its AI-powered “silicon doctors” medical dialog system. Its CEO is the co-founder and former CEO of Scanadu, which seems to have fizzled out following the retirement of its Tricorder-like vital signs device that earned tons more press than it deserved as technical limitations kept dumbing it down.


Sales

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Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center (CA) chooses Imprivata’s biometric positive patient identification solution.

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The VA and DoD sign a 10-year contract with Fujifilm Medical Systems USA to make the company’s Synapse enterprise imaging portfolio available to government healthcare providers. The maximum contract value is $768 million.


People

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Grattan Smith (RelayHealth) joins Loyal Healthcare as VP of business development.


Announcements and Implementations

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An Athenahealth survey finds that patients of small physician practices are heavier patient portal users than those of regional and national health systems, with respondents offering these suggestions to improve use:

  • Let patients know that the portal is the primary way the practice will communicate with them.
  • Help patients sign up while they are in the office, creating an email account for them if necessary.
  • Review their labs and chart entries from the portal on a large monitor during their visit.
  • Remind new patients to register on the portal before their first visit.
  • Commit to responding to patient questions within 24 hours.
  • Use services like Solutionreach that text patients when their lab results are ready to view on the portal.

Government and Politics

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The President’s political appointees have turned HHS into a remarkably shrill and partisan White House lapdog, loudly criticizing the laws they swore to uphold. The latest example is this statement from HHS Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs (and former Koch Brothers employee and aide to former Governor and now VP Mike Pence) Matt Lloyd, who instead of encouraging healthy people to sign up to create better ACA risk pools, dutifully does his part to perpetuate the “let it fail” agenda with campaign slogans instead of responsible statements:

Obamacare failed to create a thriving, competitive market that offers the kind of coverage people want to buy at prices they can afford. On Obamacare’s exchanges premiums continue to surge, insurers continue to abandon wide swaths of the country and choices continue to vanish – an unfortunate reality for the American people who are required to buy Washington-approved health insurance or pay a fine.

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The Supreme Court is reviewing a lawsuit that argues that Google’s trademark of its own name should be nullified because “Google” has become a synonym for “searching the Internet.” The term “genericide” refers to former trademarks that became plain old words because of their non-specific usage, among them “thermos,” aspirin,” and “videotape.”


Privacy and Security

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Aetna exposes the HIV status of 12,000 patients in several states by mailing HIV medication prescription information in envelopes that contain an overly large window.


Other

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MD Anderson Cancer Center (TX) credits its cost management efforts – which include laying off 800 employees – for several straight months of profitability that have swung it into the black for the fiscal year, digging itself out of a $169 million hole.

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Fast Company magazine covers the drug and blood delivery drones being used in Rwanda, where startup Zipline has in its first 10 months’ of service made 1,400 deliveries of 2,600 units of blood using its 15 drones, 25 percent of those involving life-saving emergencies. The service will go live in much-larger Tanzania next year, hoping to make it “the first country in the world to achieve 100 percent in-stock rates at all health facilities and hospitals” for anti-malarial drugs, HIV medication, vaccines, and insulin.

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A nursing home owner pays $13 to acquire a Missouri hospital that BJC HealthCare bought and then closed nine months later, probably hoping that BJC is being overly cautious in warning of potential asbestos problems and high maintenance costs.

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Pharma bro Martin Shkreli, who was famously banned from Twitter for his creepy harassment of reporters, is buying Internet domains that are associated with the names of journalists who have criticized him, then putting up web pages that mock those people. He then offers to sell them back the domains for several thousand dollars, an extortion-like scheme not unlike his Turing Pharmaceuticals pricing strategy in being simultaneously despicable yet legal. Shkreli says, “I wouldn’t call these people journalists. They are the unwitting recipients of liberalism subsidy from large media and telecom companies … only a few notches above the white supremacists we hear so much about these days.”

Colorado and Maine have enacted laws that require veterinarians to check pet owners in doctor-shopping databases in hopes of detecting drug users who obtain addictive drugs through their pets. Some states require vets to perform such a check, while two-thirds of states explicitly prohibit it, with the president of the California Veterinary Medical Association explaining, “I’m a veterinarian, not a physician. I shouldn’t have access to a human’s medical history.” 

Weird News Andy follows up on my mention of CuddleCot, observing that people took photos of their deceased children back in Victorian times because they were unsure of the then-new technology’s role in memorializing their dead loved ones. I recall a movie that led off with a series of photos like these, where it brilliantly added no explanation until it became obvious about halfway through what I was looking at. Memento mori.

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In England, a hospital CEO is criticized for refusing to accept $3,200 donation for ECG equipment, saying that the fundraising team of men who’ve run an annual hospital bed-pushing contest for 25 years are demeaning nurses by dressing in their female uniforms.


Sponsor Updates

  • Nuance announces that 600 healthcare organizations chose Dragon Medical One in the past year, also adding 25,000 users in the past 90 days.
  • EClinicalWorks will exhibit at the NACHC Community Health Institute & Expo August 27-29 in San Diego.
  • Hayes Management Consulting will exhibit at the AHIA Annual Conference August 27-30 in Boston.
  • People: Laura Kanov joins HBI Solutions as SVP of product strategy.
  • Impact Advisors donates more than 5,000 personal care products to active troops overseas.
  • Ingenious Med will exhibit at the SHM-VA Chapter Meeting August 30 in Virginia Beach, VA.
  • InterSystems will exhibit at the annual SHIEC Conference August 27-30 in Indianapolis.
  • ConnectiveRx is a finalist for the 2017 PM360 Trailblazer awards.

Blog Posts


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Mr. H, Lorre, Jenn, Dr. Jayne, Lt. Dan.
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News 8/23/17

August 22, 2017 News 20 Comments

Top News

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CliniComp files a bid protest lawsuit against the VA, saying that it improperly issued Cerner a no-bid contract for an EHR that will replace VistA. CliniComp’s systems are used in several VA hospitals.

CliniComp prevailed in a similar 2014 lawsuit in which it protested that the VA’s selection process was flawed when it awarded a $4.5 million bid to Picis instead of low bidder CliniComp.

The White House took credit for the VA’s surprise selection of Cerner, apparently believing that interoperability with the Department of Defense will be easier if the organizations use the same vendor’s system. 


Reader Comments

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From Givenchy: “Re: Athenahealth. Their community hospital webpage is misleading customers by claiming financial success for a time period in which it had no hospital customers.” I’m not clear from Athenahealth’s community hospitals web page if the claimed improvement in financial and quality measures is specific to hospitals, but I’m thinking not since, as you observed, the footnote cites customer data “based on a weighted average for Athenahealth clients with valid pre-Athenahealth benchmark data that had their 15 month anniversary with Athenahealth between January 1, 2010, and October 31, 2013.”  Athena didn’t acquire RazorInsights and its small-hospital system until early 2015. They also could be referring to hospital customers that use its other systems in their ambulatory operations.

From Lab Animal: “Re: best-of-breed LIS vendors. I left one of those companies to work on Epic’s clinical solutions in a major medical center. Beaker is now competitive enough to convince enterprise customers to convert. I have seen the advantages of integrated solutions. It’s not a new trend, though – my peers and I are contacted several times each week by recruiters looking for people experienced on the LIS I previously worked on to keep the lights on while the LIS team goes to Epic training and builds Beaker. The best-of-breed writing has been on the wall for years.” Sunquest and SCC (but not so much Orchard from what I can tell) are trying to find runway in the genetics information system business to offset their significant customer losses due to LIS domination by Epic and Cerner. Sunquest has also smartly branched out into lab instrument interface software, specialty pathology applications, and clinician collaboration, although I haven’t seen numbers of how much profit those products contribute or whether revenue is growing significantly. You don’t want to be a best-of-breed vendor these days unless Cerner and Epic don’t offer your particular product (yet, anyway, since Epic’s selling the industry-leading LIS also seemed unlikely a few years ago).

From Boomer: “Re: Medhost. Heard a rumor they are being considered for acquisition by a physician systems vendor that might be interested in entering the hospital market. They are strong with chains like Community Health Systems, which is selling off a bunch of its hospitals.” Unverified.

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From Leftcoaster: “Re: Portland Adventist’s partnership with OHSU and scheduled conversion to Epic. It’s at risk due to a high-profile infant death lawsuit that could place OHSU at risk if the partnership occurs.” 

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From Failed Merger: “Re: Presence Health merging into Ascension Amita. That should be interesting as Ascension is on Cerner, the Resurrection portion of Presence is on Epic, and the Provena part is on Meditech. At one point, Adventist Midwest was McKesson.” Thanks to Turnaround Failure, who tipped me off over the weekend of the merger rumor that I ran in the Monday Morning Update. Ascension proposes to acquire the struggling, 11-hospital Presence Health and operate it within its Amita Health joint venture that includes Adventist Midwest Health, pending regulatory approval.


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Lloyd McKenzie, who is a co-chair of HL7’s FHIR Management Group, provided some background on the FHIR specifications that a reader asked about last week.

There are two mechanisms for sharing FHIR specs. The first is a computable format that uses FHIR itself. It allows sharing system capabilities and expectations; rules around data elements, such as what elements are required, optional, or conditional; what codes are allowed for use for which elements; etc. That format is intended to support automated testing, comparison of system capabilities, software configuration, etc. It can also be rendered for human review. The computable “resource” format is formally defined as part of the FHIR specification. HL7 strongly encourages implementers to expose their capabilities using this format.

The second mechanism is the human-readable rendering of FHIR implementation guides. Typically this is an HTML representation with hyperlinks back to the FHIR specification. HL7 produces tooling to support generating such human-readable rendered views, but does not mandate it. The tooling is also quite flexible, allowing content to be organized in a variety of ways, so it’s certainly possible to find interface documentation of varying quality and expressiveness that is generated using the same tooling. As well, the HL7-maintained IG publisher is not the only set of tooling available. HL7 developed and maintains it because it also needs a way to publish implementation guides and we’re happy for other organizations and implementers to make use of it. Best practices for producing human-readable FHIR interface documentation are far from settled, so expect the tooling to continue to evolve based on implementer feedback.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

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I questioned as a card-carrying cynic why so many people – many of them ignorant or even dismissive of science and math – would rearrange their lives to watch the moon block the sun for a short period, much like sticking your thumb into the air and obscuring the celestial fireball yourself for 10 seconds of child-like fun. I’ve heard that airlines weren’t able to meet the demand for flying in and out of certain (and hopefully cloud-free) parts of the country and hotels there were charging extortionate room rates for out-of-towners. I’m pretty sure that quite a few fad-following science haters who don’t vaccinate their kids, who don’t think climate change is real, or who argue passionately that the earth is actually flat still confidently uttered “totality” at every opportunity. I took a hooky break and went to the golf course — I’ve never played an actual round of golf, but I like to blast balls unskillfully on the driving range, putt on the practice green while quietly imploring others nearby to “miss it, Noonan,” and then have a burger and beer afterward, which seem to be the best parts of the game anyway – and nobody was paying the slightest attention to the sky or fishing in their golf bag for a flashlight. At least it got folks looking up from their phones long enough to share a rare in-person experience and it gave long-faded singer Bonnie Tyler a chance to sing her 34-year-old hit that has nothing at all to do with an actual eclipse (the writer, who isn’t Bonnie,  says it’s about vampire love).


Webinars

September 13 (Wednesday) 1:30 ET. “How Data Democratization Drives Enterprise-wide Clinical Process Improvement.” Sponsored by: LogicStream Health. Presenter: Katy Jones, program director of clinical support, Providence Health & Services. Providence is demonstrating positive measurable results in quality, outcomes, and efficiency by implementing clinical process improvement solutions in arming operational and clinical stakeholders with unlocked EHR data. Providence’s army of process engineers use their self-service access to answer questions immediately instead of waiting for reports to be written and double checked for possibly inaccurate information. The presenter will describe practical applications that include antibiotic stewardship, hospital-acquired infections, and comprehensive knowledge management.

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Vestar Capital Partners acquires health plan network management software vendor Quest Analytics.

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Discharge software vendor SilverVue acquires Ergo Sum Health, which offers preventive care software that supports MACRA payments to providers.

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A jury orders Johnson & Johnson to pay $417 million to a woman who blames her use of the company’s baby powder for her ovarian cancer, extending a string of verdicts against the company of $110 million, $55 million, and $72 million despite a lack of evidence that the product is unsafe. That’s a lot to pay out from revenue of a product that sells for $3 at Walgreens.


Sales

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University of Utah non-profit reference lab ARUP Laboratories will offer physician users Illumicare’s Smart Ribbon to display cost and risk of patient harm on EHR screens.


People

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Andy Page (23andMe) joins Livongo as president and CFO.


Announcements and Implementations

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Rush University Medical System (IL) sues Draeger for fraud, claiming the $18 million patient monitoring system it bought issued unreliable alarms, erased log data, and lacked the promised capability of automatically switching from wired to wireless monitoring during patient transport. Rush replaced the system for $30 million last year.

Datica posts a “Rethinking Health Technology” ebook that includes contributions from several industry luminaries, including St. Luke’s Health System VP/CIO Marc Chasin, MD and University of Wisconsin Health Center SVP/CIO Jocelyn DeWitt, PhD.

In the UAE, Al Jalila Children’s Specialty Hospital goes live on Vocera’s secure text messaging and hands-free voice communication platform.

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A Department of Justice-funded project at Penn State’s nursing school will use telehealth technology to support rural sexual assault nurse examiners, offering them live physical exam mentoring, peer review, and education.


Government and Politics

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The DoD proposes spending $250 million to build a five-bed hospital at Guantanamo Bay that would serve 5,500 residents and 41 prisoners. The Senate Armed Services Committee has asked for an analysis of why a tiny remote hospital would cost $50 million per bed.  


Privacy and Security

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Patient rights groups complain to insurer Wellmark that one of its executives described at a local Rotary Club meeting how a 17-year-old’s hemophilia cost the company $1 million per month to treat in trying to explain that health insurance doesn’t work actuarially if only people who are already sick sign up. The group claims that the remarks constitute a HIPAA violation, which might be the case since she cited the patient’s specific age even though she didn’t step over the HIPAA line in providing geographic information that is more granular than state level.


Other

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A DC magazine profiles Meghan Buck, a former political consultant who formed Veda Data to apply machine learning to keeping physician directories updated.

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This is either heart-wrenching, morbid, or both. A St. Louis hospital buys Cuddle Cots, a refrigerated bassinet that allows parents of stillborn or deceased babies to “put time on hold” in allowing them take photos and dress the body instead of moving it directly to the morgue. An article from earlier this year profiles families who spent up to two weeks with their deceased child’s body, taking it home and going for stroller walks as part of their grieving process.

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The Miami paper runs a Q&A with CareCloud, whose CEO Ken Comee says the company will go public because, “My competitors are 20- and 30-year-old technologies and I have the best damned platform in the space.”

In India, the dean of a medical school’s hospital is placed on leave for trying to sabotage the parent company’s enterprise patient record and imaging project in favor of the hospital’s preferred vendor.

A Forbes Africa report finds that trained doctors are forced to work as restaurant servers and call center operators due to restrictive government policies and lack of coordination between the Department of Health and individual provinces, even as hospitals struggle with a shortage of practitioners.

In India, the government denies that a reported drop in oxygen levels killed three hospitalized babies. This follows an incident in which 60 babies died when another hospital’s oxygen supply ran out due to non-payment of bills. This time, a NICU doctor noticed low levels in the oxygen storage unit and called the hospital operator, who didn’t answer and was later arrested for being drunk and asleep on the job. The hospital says parallel systems kept the oxygen flowing to the wards while the problem was resolved, blaming the deaths on natural causes and therefore declining to perform autopsies, triggering the predictable complaints of a cover-up.  

Weird News Andy isn’t elevated by this news. In Spain, a 25-year-old woman who had just delivered a daughter by C-section is crushed to death when a hospital elevator malfunctions on the way to the maternity ward. Her daughter was on the same gurney, but was unharmed.


Sponsor Updates

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  • Attendees at Aprima’s annual user conference make and donate 150 blankets to the Children’s Medical Center in Dallas.
  • Datica announces self-service onboarding and free trials of its updated platform.
  • Besler Consulting releases a new podcast, “Utilizing data and technology to manage your EPM programs.”
  • Nine healthcare organizations select Nuance solutions to replace legacy radiology systems.
  • ClinicalArchitecture and Diameter Health will exhibit at the SHIEC Conference August 27-30 in Indianapolis.

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  • The CoverMyMeds hockey team wins the league championship.
  • CTG will exhibit at the AI Summit August 24-25 in Cincinnati.
  • Cumberland Consulting Group raises over $2,000 for the Center for Family Services Project Backpack initiative.
  • Ohio Business Magazine includes Direct Consulting Associates in its list of Best Places to Work in 2016.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Mr. H, Lorre, Jenn, Dr. Jayne, Lt. Dan.
Get HIStalk updates. Send news or rumors.
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Reader Comments

  • Sam Lawrence: Except in this case, coding = medical billing, not development. Though the same warning may be true...
  • BeenThere: Partners will find the savings from their cuts of coders as fools gold. There are a lot of hidden costs running an outs...
  • JC: If there is not there can be. VistA has a reference lab interface that can create the manifests/labeling and such as we...
  • Tom Cornwell: Great stuff from Dr. Jayne as usual. One small typo, last sentence of second-to-last paragraph: should be 'who's' not 'w...
  • HIT Observer: What I find most interesting here, is people defending their common practices rather than truly taking this as invaluabl...
  • Bob: There's no incentive for the provider to spend time doing a price comparison for the patient. Nor is it a good use of th...
  • Peppermint Patty: Veteran - can you clarify what was "fake "? Was something made up (definition of fake) or did you disagree with Vapo...
  • Pat Wolfram: Such a refreshing article. Thanks -- there really can be a simpler version of an acute HIT implementation. But I do ...
  • Woodstock Generation: Bravo to HIStalk's Weekender recaps and other news/opinions. I read it first thing on Monday mornings..................
  • Veteran: #fakenews...

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