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News 5/11/18

May 10, 2018 News 3 Comments

Top News

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VA CFO Jon Rychalski tells the Senate Appropriations Committee in a Wednesday budget hearing that the agency will decide if it wants to move forward with a Cerner contract by May 28.

Asked about the project’s delays, Rychalski said, “[Acting VA Secretary Robert Wilkie] has said that he’s going to make a decision by Memorial Day. He explained that when he came in, he sort of came in cold. He knew what was going on within DoD, but not enough about the VA and needed to do due diligence to make sure he was comfortable with making a decision of this magnitude … Before that, they were looking at the contract, the interoperability, which was probably worthwhile because they came up with about 50 recommendations to improve it.”

The most interesting aspect of this quote is that it suggests the possibility that the VA may be reconsidering signing with Cerner at all rather than just hammering out specific contract terms and conditions, although at this point the money has been allocated, the no-bid decision has been announced, Wilkie doesn’t seem to have a problem with Cerner, and various members of Congress and the White House have made it clear they expect the VA to get the project underway, making it likely that the deal will be done.


Reader Comments

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From Apricot Sky: “Re: [EVP/CIO name omitted]. Heard he has left the organization. That’s huge!” Unverified, so I’ve expunged the person’s name until if/when I get a response to my inquiry from the health system. His LinkedIn remains unchanged. UPDATE: Memorial Hermann Health System confirms that EVP, Chief Strategy Officer, and CIO David Bradshaw has left the organization after 20+ years.

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From Clapton is a Bishop at Best: “Re: GDPR. I seem to have slept through the discussion. Do readers feel US health IT will require changes before the end of the month, or is everybody assuming we’ll be OK as long as we are HIPAA-compliant and not operating in the EU?” The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation enhances the privacy of all EU citizens and regulates the exportation of their personal data outside the EU. It guarantees “the right to be forgotten,” mandates prompt breach reporting, requires opt-in consent for data sharing, and carries big fines for violation. US companies, including health systems, fall under GDPR requirements only if they collect information from anyone who is physically in the EU at that moment (or at least that’s how I read it) and that’s the big out – GDPR doesn’t apply when a EU resident receives care in the US since they aren’t physically in an EU country at that moment. Potential health system problem areas for the May 25 implementation date mostly involve web pages that collect information from anyone via a contact form, survey, or newsletter signup, in which case you’re on the hook if one of your respondents is in an EU country. I look at GDPR as a potential competitive advantage for a US-based health system since patients are always worried about privacy, although I doubt GDPR awareness is high among the US population and therefore they might not care either way. I don’t know what impact GDPR has on EHR vendors that sell to EU customers. I’ll open the floor to readers.

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From Southern CIO: “Re: CHIME. It bothers me when I receive a message from CHIME that includes a vendor name, as in this example. I looked to CHIME as being focused on members and not corruptible by the industry. I will chalk it up to a sign of the times.” HIMSS long ago eliminated the line of decorum between vendors and providers and in fact turned itself into one big, profitable vendor itself in its “ladies drink free” model of using low-paying provider members to attract high-paying vendors anxious to sell them something. It’s brilliant as a business strategy as long as providers don’t rebel at being exhibited like Amsterdam red-light district hookers to salivating vendor-johns, which based on casual HIMSS conference observation, is questionable behavior that is nonetheless entirely consensual all around. 


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

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Welcome back to returning HIStalk Gold Sponsor Burwood Group. The 250-employee, Chicago-based healthcare IT consulting and integration firm helps organizations develop strategy, deploy technology, and create an operational model, also working with them to improve patient safety, quality, and satisfaction outcomes by applying expertise in technology selection, clinical communication strategy, facility transformation, and end-user adoption planning. The company’s clients have realized improved staff engagement and waste reduction through workflow automation, meaningful clinical alerts, and streamlined communication and collaboration. Thanks to Burwood Group for supporting HIStalk.

Listening: new suave harmonies from The Temptations, which despite frequent member changes in the group’s 50+ year history, still have one original member left in the 76-year-old Otis Williams (I’ll defer to their amazing musical legacy by declining to snarkily dismiss the group as “The Temptation”). The album features covers of present-day hits from Bruno Mars, The Weeknd, and others, while the album’s bonus track of “Stay With Me” covered gospel style is stunning. I shall acknowledge and support this premise – after some number of decades, a band with few or even no original members left can still rightfully perform under the original name as long as it respects its legacy in accepting the torch as handed off by the founders, no different than a symphony whose membership revolves while its sound remains the same. Anyway, today’s Temptations may well still dutifully cover the band’s nostalgia-inducing hits while strutting 1960s-style hokey dance moves, but they are far from a novelty act – their new music is nothing short of contemporary and grand.


Webinars

May 16 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET. “You Think You Might Want to Be a Consultant?” Sponsor: HIStalk. Presenter: Frank Poggio, CEO/president, The Kelzon Group. Maybe you just got caught in a big re-org and don’t like where things are headed, or, after almost a year of searching for a better opportunity your buddy says, “You’ve got decades of solid experience and you’re a true professional, you should become a healthcare IT consultant.” Now you start thinking, “This could be my ticket to success. I know the healthcare industry and can show people how to do things right. The sky’s the limit!” Not so fast. Consulting offers many advantages, and many pitfalls. This webinar will discuss both the rewards and the risks of moving into a full-time consulting role, as an independent, or part of a large firm. It will present a checklist you can apply to assess whether consulting is a good fit for you, and present the ground work necessary to be a successful consultant.

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

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

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Analytics vendor Innovaccer secures $25 million in a funding round that brings its total raised to $41 million.

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The Sequoia Project will divide its corporate structure into two subsidiaries – Carequality and EHealth Exchange – this summer. The EHealthExchange health information network, which will adopt the Carequality framework, is used by 59 HIEs and 15 EHR vendors.

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Healthcare Growth Partners examines the trend of publicly traded health IT companies going private, as in the case of what Elliott Management is proposing in its bid for Athenahealth. HGP says market dynamics have changed such that private companies may be valued higher than their publicly traded counterparts, adding that acquirers may believe that paying a premium for full control may more than offset the built-in discount for share illiquidity. My unsolicited enhancement to HGP’s analysis is this – in a poor, thin IPO market, it may make sense for investors to take over a struggling company private by buying all shares at a premium, improve its operations and financials, and then take it public again down the road when conditions have improved and investors are ready to chase the next sure thing.

NantHealth reports Q1 results: revenue up 18 percent, EPS –$0.21 vs. -$0.34. NH shares have lost 10 percent in the past year vs. the Nasdaq’s 21 percent gain, valuing the company at $334 million.


People

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Wes Wright (Sutter Health) joins Imprivata as CTO.


Announcements and Implementations

AMIA announces a fellowship (FAMIA) program that targets applied informatics practitioners. It sounds much like the lightly-regarded, non-academic FHIMSS or those fellowships sold by medical membership groups (FACOG, FACC), whose primary focus seems to be creating an ongoing revenue stream for the parent organization by charging would-be fellows to evaluate their credentials and provide them with mandatory ongoing education and membership (although to its credit, HIMSS does not require FHIMSS holders to renew their fellowship, so there’s no ongoing expense). It appears that you’re in as long as you work in a relevant job, have been a member for years, and can get other members to vouch for you – no effort is required beyond completing the application. I would question whether the accomplishment really means anything that isn’t already clear on someone’s resume, but people love having alphabet soup after their names and a wall full of self-love certificates.

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AdvancedMD develops Rhythm, cloud-based software that puts EHR, PM, RCM, and patient engagement tools on a single platform.

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Wellsoft works with GoRev to develop integrated EHR, PM, and RCM software for urgent care practices.

Medication administration software vendor EBroselow offers a free version of its dosing software for medical emergencies.


Sales

  • The Indiana Family and Social Services Administration will implement Cerner Millenium and RCM software at its six inpatient psychiatric facilities.
  • Mayo Regional Hospital (ME) chooses Cerner Millennium and revenue cycle solutions using the CommunityWorks hosted deployment model.
  • Northern Valley Indian Health will deploy EHR software from EClinicalWorks at seven locations in California.

Government and Politics

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At AHA’s annual meeting, HHS Secretary Alex Azar laments the lack of interoperability he encountered during his recent inpatient stays for diverticulitis:

Today’s compartmented system is a burden on both patients and providers. Imagine if I could have shared my medication list just once. Imagine if, instead of running through my story with each new contact, I could have told it just once. Think about the opportunities for mistakes and inaccuracies that would eliminate—and think about the time that would free up for seeing more patients, offering them the care and attention they need. Now, think about that not just in the context of one guy with an angry colon, but across 330 million Americans: It is amazing what freer exchange of information would mean for our whole system. That is the promise of interoperability.

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At the VA budget hearing, VHA Executive in Charge Carolyn Clancy, MD says telehealth will be the VA’s “killer app,” not only for providing services, but also for recruitment. By 2020, all VA clinicians will be required by their job descriptions to be available to provide telehealth services.

The CEO of drug maker Novartis goes into damage control mode after STAT reveals that the company paid $1.2 million to President Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen in trying to get a leg up on a new, unknown White House administration. The company said  paying a self-proclaimed Trump fixer to gain access was a mistake, but blames its former CEO, who left in February 2018. It also notes that Cohen was unable to deliver the work he promised, but couldn’t be fired because of the contract the drug company signed (he’s a lawyer, after all).


Other

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Mayo Clinic attempts to cheer the 400 transcriptionists it is laying off with gifts for Medical Transcriptionists Week, which starts May 13. The transcriptionists, who have until May 19 to accept severance packages, aren’t convinced that the provider’s new Epic system in Rochester isn’t responsible for their downsizing.

Meanwhile, a local TV station says it has received several complaints from temporary nurses who were hired by contractor HCI to help with the implementation. One unnamed nurse was quoted as saying, “Since we’ve been in orientation with HCI, we have been verbally abused, we have been intimidated, we have been threatened that we would lose our job, not on a daily basis, but almost a nearly hourly basis.” HCI Group says it will look into the issues raised during the training sessions.

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The Michael J. Fox Foundation and Alphabet’s Verily division will outfit 800 participants with the Verily Study Watch as part of a two-year project that will capture fitness, environmental, and physiological data, which will then be made available to independent Parkinson’s researchers.

A small survey of hospital RCM decision-makers finds that 69 percent use more than one RCM vendor, resulting in problems with denials that impact their bottom line.

A senior living center nurse is charged with the death of the father of former National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster. The contract LPN is accused of failing to perform neurological checks after finding his patient following an unwitnessed fall, then falsifying the medical record to indicate that he had done the exam.

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A Black Book survey of 7,400 hospital nurses finds that only 4 percent are so frustrated with their EHR that they want to go back to paper recordkeeping, down from 26 percent in 2015. Nearly all respondents say their IT department responds quickly to their suggestions for EHR documentation changes, although 82 percent complain that they don’t have easy access to computers or mobile devices in patient care areas and their productivity suffers accordingly. Nearly all respondents say that  that EHR competency is a highly-sought employment skill, while 80 percent of  job-seeking RNs indicate that the EHR a hospital uses is an important part of their decision to take a new job.


Sponsor Updates

  • The American Cancer Society adds the Healthgrades physician search finder tool to its website.
  • CareCloud adds speech-recognition technology from NVoq to its EHR documentation tools.
  • Loren Mann (Advisory Board) joins The Chartis Group as performance practice director.
  • Cumberland Consulting Group will sponsor CBI’s Medicaid and Government Pricing Congress May 21-23 in Orlando.
  • LogicStream Health releases a new podcast, “Partnering with physicians to make a solid business case and deliver ROI with Dr. Richard Priore.”
  • Elsevier partners with PerkinElmer and its ChemDraw software to enable faster, more intuitive chemistry research.
  • EClinicalWorks will exhibit at the Kentucky Primary Care Association 2018 Spring Conference May 14-15 in Lexington.
  • Hayes Management Consulting will exhibit at Centricity Live 2018 May 16-18 in Las Vegas.
  • HBI Solutions will exhibit at Pop Health East May 14-15 in Boston.
  • The HCI Group partners with the Mayo Clinic (MN) on a successful go live in Rochester.
  • Healthwise and Iatric Systems will exhibit at ANIA through May 12 in Orlando.
  • Huntzinger Management Group congratulates customer Adena Health System on its 2018 Gallup Great Workplace Award.
  • Image Stream Medical will present at Product Camp Boston May 12.
  • InterSystems will exhibit at the Healthcare Providers Transformation event May 15-16 in Dove Mountain, AZ.
  • Kyruus will present at RevDev18 May 16 in Boston.
  • Audacious Inquiry Director of Master Data Management Services Jeremy Wong joins The Sequoia Project’s new Patient Unified Lookup System for Emergencies Advisory Council.
  • Aprima concludes an award-winning fiscal year as it looks ahead to its 20th anniversary.
  • Change Healthcare announces it will work with Microsoft and Adobe to improve patient relationship management and engagement initiatives.
  • Spok forms physician and nurse advisory councils for its Care Connect platform.
  • Access HealthNet partners with Datica to ensure compliance requirements are met for its healthcare bundling platform.
  • Datica will provide security and compliance layers for cloud-based bundled payment solutions vendor Access HealthNet. 

Blog Posts


Contacts

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

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News 5/9/18

May 8, 2018 News No Comments

Top News

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Athenahealth shares spike on yesterday’s news of an unsolicited takeover bid from Elliott Management, which has made several buy-out offers since taking on a 9-percent stake in the company last year. The hedge fund this time around made an all-cash offer of $160 per share for Athenahealth, putting the total value of the transaction between $6.5 and $6.9 billion. Elliott representatives believe they can close the deal in as little as three weeks, after which they plan to take the company private.

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Athenahealth’s Board of Directors responded with a letter to shareholders announcing that they will review the offer.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

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Responses to this week’s question so far run the gamut, from realizing that tantrum-solving skills would come in handy, to going into projects with a more appreciative attitude for “physicians who were not only generous with their time, but also key contributors.” There’s still time to share your experience.


Webinars

May 9 (Wednesday) 2:00 ET. “How to Make VBC Work for You: The Business Case to Transform Into the Health System of the Future.” Sponsor: Philips Wellcentive. Presenters: Mason Beard, co-founder and chief product officer, Philips Wellcentive; Scott Cullen, MD, principal, ECG Management Consulting; Seema Mathur, director of strategy, Sage Growth Partners. How well is your organization funding its transformation to VBC? This free webinar explains how to achieve ROI as your organization transforms to meet the future. You’ll learn how VBC is impacting healthcare system management, three strategies for funding your transformation, and what the healthcare system of the future will look like.

May 16 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET. “You Think You Might Want to Be a Consultant?” Sponsor: HIStalk. Presenter: Frank Poggio, CEO/president, The Kelzon Group. Maybe you just got caught in a big re-org and don’t like where things are headed, or, after almost a year of searching for a better opportunity your buddy says, “You’ve got decades of solid experience and you’re a true professional, you should become a healthcare IT consultant.” Now you start thinking, "This could be my ticket to success. I know the healthcare industry and can show people how to do things right. The sky’s the limit!" Not so fast. Consulting offers many advantages, and many pitfalls. This webinar will discuss both the rewards and the risks of moving into a full-time consulting role, as an independent, or part of a large firm. It will present a checklist you can apply to assess whether consulting is a good fit for you, and present the ground work necessary to be a successful consultant.

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

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

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Mobile messaging vendor MPulse Mobile raises $11 million in a Series B round led by SJF Ventures. The company also announced development of AI-based chat bot messaging capabilities.

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Microsoft patents related to sensors for stress and blood pressure monitoring emerge, suggesting the company may be getting back into wearables. It discontinued its Band fitness tracker in 2016 as smart watches began to overtake trackers in popularity and capabilities.

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Wall Street Journal Theranos investigator John Carreyrou uncovers a list of high-profile investors who helped the company secure hundreds of millions of dollars in funding. Founder Elizabeth Holmes, who settled with the SEC in March over fraud allegations, has told the last remaining shareholders that the company will be liquidated by August.

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Former CMS Administrator Andy Slavitt launches Town Hall Ventures to invest in health IT companies focused on serving Medicaid and Medicare populations.


Sales

  • Cody Regional Health (WY) selects Plexus Technology Group’s Anesthesia Touch EHR.
  • University of Missouri Health Care will extend its Cerner Millenium system to affiliate Capital Region Medical Center.

People

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Kristin Gillen, RN (HonorHealth) joins Bluetree Network as CNIO.

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HealthTap’s Board of Directors ousts CEO Ron Gutman after looking into high turnover rates and concerning reports about his abusive conduct. Career CEO Bill Gossman has been tapped to take over the position.


Announcements and Implementations

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Patientco announces availability of its Smart Patient Financial Engagement Platform.

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Developers and healthcare organizations can now leverage FHIR for data exchange on the Redox network.

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Meditech announces GA of its Expanse Web-based EHR in the UK and Ireland.

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The VA San Diego Healthcare System rolls out LiveData’s PeriOp Manager in its eight ORs.

Health Fidelity investor UPMC (PA) implements the company’s HF360 Provider workflow software to identify and close gaps in risk across patient populations.


Privacy and Security

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After visiting three Navy facilities and two Air Force facilities, the DoD’s Office of the Inspector General finds glaring disregard for data security across 17 information systems. The laundry list of problems included a lack of multifactor authentication, adequate passwords, system review and assessment procedures, and physical security standards to protect PHI. Excuses included a “lack of resources and guidance, system incompatibility, and vendor limitations.” Resulting HIPAA violations could cost up to $1.5 million annually for each violation.


Other

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In an effort to help cancer patients avoid the ER, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (WA) and Microsoft will develop and pilot AI-powered technology to identify and help those patients likely to suffer from severe chemotherapy side effects. The company has also committed $25 million over the next five years to develop AI that will help people with disabilities.

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In order to cut down on fraud and abuse, Walmart will require that all opioid prescriptions be filed electronically with its pharmacies by 2020.

A Black Book survey of 709 inpatient facility executives finds the majority are open to outsourcing clinical areas of expertise, particularly teleradiology and medical imaging, as they focus already stretched internal resources on the move to value-based care.


Sponsor Updates

  • Surescripts publishes its annual National Progress Report.
  • Aprima opens registration for its user conference August 17-19 in Dallas.
  • Audacious Inquiry achieves EHNAC accreditations recognizing excellence in information security.
  • Bluetree Network will exhibit at the HIMSS Executive Institute Leadership Live Conference May 14-15 in Dallas.
  • The Editorial Board from Biomedical Instrumentation & Technology awards Bernoulli Health a Best Research Paper Award for its “Continuous Surveillance of Sleep Apnea Patients in a Medical-Surgical Unit” paper.
  • Influence Health partners with Sg2 to add strategic planning capabilities to its hospital marketing services.
  • Collective Medical partners with the Florida Hospital Association, giving members access to its real-time, risk-adjusted event notification and care collaboration platform.
  • CompuGroup Medical will exhibit at the AUCH Annual Primary Care Conference May 17-18 in West Valley City, UT.
  • Conduent will exhibit at the National Medicare Advantage Summit May 16-18 in Washington, DC.
  • CoverMyMeds will exhibit at AAACN May 9-12 in Orlando.
  • CTG publishes a new case study, “Inova Health System Relies on CTG for Epic Clinical Service Desk Solution.”
  • Culbert hosts its 12th annual employee celebration at Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.
  • Divurgent publishes a new white paper, “A Culture of Security: Turning Your Greatest Threat into an Asset.”
  • The local news highlights Docent Health’s patient experience work at Dignity Health’s Memorial Hospital (CA).
  • The Microsoft Build 2018 Developer Conference showcases Datica’s compliant cloud technology.

Blog Posts


Contacts

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

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Monday Morning Update 5/7/18

May 6, 2018 News 2 Comments

Top News

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Mayo Clinic goes live on Epic at its Rochester, MN campus as part of a $1.5 billion system-wide software overhaul that will bring all of its facilities onto a single platform. Preparation for the big-bang event on May 5 was so extensive that the local power company created a new substation to power it.

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Mayo has already implemented Epic at its facilities in Wisconsin and southern Minnesota, and expects to begin deployment at its hospitals in Florida and Arizona after the Rochester implementation is complete.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

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Recent privacy breaches have swayed the majority of reader interest in consumer genetic testing services, though the comments left don’t give me a good indication if they’ve been more swayed into not using these types of services. Wary Consumer points out that, “When you add to the privacy breaches the fact that Chinese companies have invested in the DNA companies and are now offshoring our genetic data, it should give all of us pause. Additionally, you’re paying for a service, so unlike free sites where you basically pay with your data, you’re basically paying twice, since you know they’re going to reuse or resell your data. It’s crazy that people don’t stop to consider this when clicking through end user agreements that they don’t read.” Steve’s interest has stayed the same – zilch. “Wasn’t interested before, still am not. People are so concerned with the risk that their credit card information might end up on line (when you can easily cancel a credit card). Some of these same people are more than willing to send in their DNA to be stored for years to come. How many hackers do we think are actively working to find their way into those databases?”

New poll to your right or here: Does connectivity to your EHR make you more or less likely to buy a Fitbit?

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Here are reader responses to “What I Wish I’d Known Before … Firing Someone for Cause.” A lack of support, plus a tendency to tiptoe around tossing bad apples seem to be common themes.

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I’m hoping Epic employees and others toiling in the Minnesota trenches of the Mayo Clinic will anonymously weigh in on this week’s question.


Webinars

May 9 (Wednesday) 2:00 ET. “How to Make VBC Work for You: The Business Case to Transform Into the Health System of the Future.” Sponsor: Philips Wellcentive. Presenters: Mason Beard, co-founder and chief product officer, Philips Wellcentive; Scott Cullen, MD, principal, ECG Management Consulting; Seema Mathur, director of strategy, Sage Growth Partners. How well is your organization funding its transformation to VBC? This free webinar explains how to achieve ROI as your organization transforms to meet the future. You’ll learn how VBC is impacting healthcare system management, three strategies for funding your transformation, and what the healthcare system of the future will look like.

May 16 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET. “You Think You Might Want to Be a Consultant?” Sponsor: HIStalk. Presenter: Frank Poggio, CEO/president, The Kelzon Group. Maybe you just got caught in a big re-org and don’t like where things are headed, or, after almost a year of searching for a better opportunity your buddy says, “You’ve got decades of solid experience and you’re a true professional, you should become a healthcare IT consultant.” Now you start thinking, "This could be my ticket to success. I know the healthcare industry and can show people how to do things right. The sky’s the limit!" Not so fast. Consulting offers many advantages, and many pitfalls. This webinar will discuss both the rewards and the risks of moving into a full-time consulting role, as an independent, or part of a large firm. It will present a checklist you can apply to assess whether consulting is a good fit for you, and present the ground work necessary to be a successful consultant.

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

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

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett reiterates his commitment to the healthcare improvement project his company is launching with JPMorgan and Amazon. At Berkshire’s annual shareholders meeting, he reiterated that all three companies want their 1 million-plus employees to receive better care at lower costs, but didn’t get into specifics. He did mention that a CEO for the new venture will likely be placed within the next two months.


People

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TeleTracking promotes Christopher Johnson to president.

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David Nace, MD (Lantern) joins Innovaccer as CMO.


Announcements and Implementations

In the UK, the Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust joins TriNetX’s research network.


Sales

  • Renown Health selects Phynd to synthesize, transform, and share provider information across its health network in Nevada.
  • In Australia, the Victorian government allocates $124 million to implement Epic at three hospitals.
  • Calvary Hospital (NY) will host their Meditech system on CloudWave’s OpSus Healthcare cloud.
  • Massac Memorial Hospital (IL) selects Parallon Technology Solutions to implement and host its Meditech Expanse software.

Decisions

  • Holzer Medical Center (OH) will switch from Allscripts to Athenahealth in late May or early June.
  • Kingman Regional Medical Center (AZ) will go live with Meditech supply chain management software in September.
  • Crisp Regional Hospital (GA) will switch from Meditech to Cerner in 2019.

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


Government and Politics

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New York City-based urgent care chain CityMD will pay $6.6 million to settle a civil fraud lawsuit filed by a whistleblower and the Manhattan US Attorney General’s Office. CityMD, which has 88 facilities, admitted to billing Medicare for procedures that weren’t as lengthy or complex as it claimed.

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This article suggests that President Trump will meet with National Association of Veterans Affairs Physicians and Dentists President Samuel Spagnolo, MD to discuss his potential nomination for VA Secretary. Spagnolo is also a senior attending physician at the VA Medical Center in Washington, DC and a professor of medicine at George Washington University. He has served in numerous positions within the VA throughout his career.


Other

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The majority of respondents in a Reaction Data survey of 145 believe that Anthem’s decision to stop covering ER visits it deems unnecessary will have a negative impact on their organizations and patients, especially when it comes to out-of-pocket patient expenses and restricted clinical care.


Sponsor Updates

  • Medicity publishes a new perspective paper, “Interoperability 2.0: How to Consume, Organize and Share Health Data to Achieve Greater Value.”
  • The New York State Psychiatric Association endorses DrFirst medication management tools for use by the psychiatric community in New York State.
  • Mobile Heartbeat will present at the 2018 ANIA Conference May 12 in Orlando.
  • Liaison Technologies is accepting applications for its fall semester 2018 Data-Inspired Future Scholarship.
  • Meditech, PatientSafe Solutions, and PerfectServe will exhibit at the 2018 ANIA Annual Conference May 10-12 in Orlando.
  • The National Council for Behavioral Health awards Netsmart the 2018 Mental Health First Aid Business Leadership Award.
  • Clinical Computer Systems, developer of the Obix Perinatal Data System, will exhibit at the Allscripts Client Experience May 8-9 in Saskatchewan.
  • OmniSys, Experian Health, and Surescripts will exhibit at the NCPDP Annual Technology & Business Conference May 7-9 in Scottsdale, AZ.
  • Qventus and TriNetX exhibits at the HLTH 2018 conference through May 9 in Las Vegas.
  • T-System partners with Precision Practice Management to develop the Complete Care clinical and business solution for urgent care providers.
  • T-System exhibits at the 2018 UCAOA Urgent Care Convention & Expo through May 9 in Las Vegas.
  • Heather Russell joins TransUnion as chief legal officer.
  • Wellsoft will exhibit at the Annual Rural Health Conference May 8-11 in New Orleans.
  • WiserTogether partners with digital health marketplace ZendyHealth.
  • The local news profiles ZappRx.
  • Consulting Magazine includes Impact Advisors VP Keith MacDonald in its list of top 25 advisors of 2018.

Blog Posts


Contacts

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

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News 5/4/18

May 3, 2018 News 8 Comments

Top News

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Allscripts announces Q1 results: revenue up 24 percent, adjusted EPS $0.16 vs $0.17. CEO Paul Black says the company is looking forward to integrating Practice Fusion, McKesson’s Enterprise Information Solutions business, and Change Healthcare Homecare’s solutions – via Netsmart – into its portfolio.

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The Chicago-based company will expand its FollowMyHealth patient engagement offering with the acquisition of patient engagement and CRM company HealthGrid for $60 million. HealthGrid co-founders Raj and Charkri Toleti headed up patient self-service kiosk startup Galvanon until its acquisition by NCR in 2005.


Reader Comments

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From mike: “Re: The Lockhorns. This comic in my analog copy of the newspaper on Wednesday caught my eye; first because of the doctor’s head mirror; but especially the "H Blog" on the wall … could this be a direct reference to HIStalk? Hmmm.” It’s certainly fun to think so, though it may be some sort of homage to a Harold Blog, MD a New York-based internist who passed away several years ago. H. Blog MD appears in several of the comics.

From Associate CIO: “Re: Trinity Health’s move to Epic. This is rather stunning as they had been in the process of rolling out Cerner to the remainder of their hospitals as late as last year…. Cerner seems to be lost after the passing of Neil …” In announcing the move, the Michigan-based health system added it will train 100,000 employees on the new software.

From TryToStayAnon: “Re: Your Health Catalyst/Medicity news. Notable for a few reasons – Medicity is struggling with data architecture and analytics. Clients exploring that space with Medicity should be rejoicing. It isn’t clear to what extent Aetna will remain engaged with Medicity clients. Most likely, this announcement will also clear the path for the CVS and Aetna deal to close.”


Webinars

May 9 (Wednesday) 2:00 ET. “How to Make VBC Work for You: The Business Case to Transform Into the Health System of the Future.” Sponsor: Philips Wellcentive. Presenters: Mason Beard, co-founder and chief product officer, Philips Wellcentive; Scott Cullen, MD, principal, ECG Management Consulting; Seema Mathur, director of strategy, Sage Growth Partners. How well is your organization funding its transformation to VBC? This free webinar explains how to achieve ROI as your organization transforms to meet the future. You’ll learn how VBC is impacting healthcare system management, three strategies for funding your transformation, and what the healthcare system of the future will look like.

May 16 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET. “You Think You Might Want to Be a Consultant?” Sponsor: HIStalk. Presenter: Frank Poggio, CEO/president, The Kelzon Group. Maybe you just got caught in a big re-org and don’t like where things are headed, or, after almost a year of searching for a better opportunity your buddy says, “You’ve got decades of solid experience and you’re a true professional, you should become a healthcare IT consultant.” Now you start thinking, "This could be my ticket to success. I know the healthcare industry and can show people how to do things right. The sky’s the limit!" Not so fast. Consulting offers many advantages, and many pitfalls. This webinar will discuss both the rewards and the risks of moving into a full-time consulting role, as an independent, or part of a large firm. It will present a checklist you can apply to assess whether consulting is a good fit for you, and present the ground work necessary to be a successful consultant.

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

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

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


Announcements and Implementations

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Island Hospital (WA) goes live on Meditech Expanse with help from hosting partner Engage.


People

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Meditech promotes Geoff Smith to VP, product development.

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Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (MA) taps CIO John Halamka, MD to lead its new Health Technology Exploration Center, which will explore the role of emerging technologies like blockchain and IoT in healthcare delivery.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Data analytics vendor Health Catalyst acquires HIE vendor Medicity – both based in Salt Lake City – for an undisclosed price.

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Heart monitor smartwatch company IBeat raises $5.5 million in seed funding, bringing its total funding to $10 million. Launched by Practice Fusion founder and former CEO Ryan Howard in 2016, the startup will use the investment to prepare for initial shipments of its Heart Watch this summer.

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Surgery coordination software vendor Casetabs secures $6 million in a Series A funding round led by Nueterra Capital.

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Doc Halo rebrands to Halo Communications.

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HGP publishes a refreshingly concise look back at the public market health IT landscape, noting that the number of publicly-listed companies is decreasing while IPOs are outpaced by privatizations and acquisitions.

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Cerner shares drop after the company reports lower than forecasted Q1 revenue of $1.29 billion, and a $13 million decline in net earnings so far this year. President Zane Burke attributed the decline to “the delay of a large contract,” referring to the $16 billion VA contract that has yet to come through the pipeline. “We still expect to sign the contract,” he clarified, adding that it will now likely be signed in the second half of the year.


Sales

  • McLaren Health Care (MI) will implement PerfectServe’s clinical communication and collaboration software across 20 locations including 14 hospitals.
  • WakeMed Health & Hospitals (NC) selects analytics, supply chain services, and performance improvement tools from Premier.
  • Mayo Regional Hospital (ME) will transition from three different EHRs to Cerner Millenium in January 2019.

Privacy and Security

Florida Hospital notifies an undisclosed number of patients about malware on three of its websites – FloridaBariatric.com, FHOrthoInstitute.com and FHExecutiveHealth.com – that may have compromised some patient information.

A report from Protenus and DataBreaches.net finds that 110 health data breaches occurred in the first quarter of 2018, impacting 1,129,744 patient records. The analysis also found that it took healthcare organizations an average of 244 days to detect a breach.


Other

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A new patient payment study from Waystar finds that nearly 100 percent of the 900 hospital executives surveyed report billing patients with paper statements, and yet half of the 1,000 patients surveyed would prefer an electronic billing option.

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NHS Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt says a 2009 algorithm error likely contributed to 450,000 women missing breast cancer screenings over an eight-year period, resulting in the deaths of between 135 and 270. Hunt has stressed that an independent inquiry will be conducted, and that patients and their families will be contacted. “For them and others,” he said, “it is incredibly upsetting to know that you did not receive an invitation to screening at a correct time and totally devastating to hear you may have lost or be about to lose a loved one because of administrative incompetence.”

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Hospital networks with integrated technology products report higher user utilization and product satisfaction rates than those that use different EHR and RCM systems, according to new research from Black Book. Top-rated health IT vendors included Allscripts, Meditech, Cerner, McKesson, Epic, and CPSI. Of the 490 hospitals surveyed, a majority of those under 150 beds who haven’t yet settled on an single-source vendor plan to do so by the end of the year.

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A hair salon near the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN wants to help staffers look their best for this weekend’s Epic go-live.


Sponsor Updates

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  • Ellkay hosts a rappelling event at its office to raise $70,000 for the autism-focused Alpine Learning Group.
  • EClinicalWorks will exhibit at the 2018 UCAOA Urgent Care Convention & Expo May 6-8 in Las Vegas.
  • Change Healthcare updates its Acuity Revenue Cycle Analytics to include front-end patient access analytics.
  • Formativ Health will exhibit at HLTH 2018 May 6-9 in Las Vegas.
  • FormFast publishes “The Essential EHR Guide to Value & Sustainability, a Meditech eBook.”
  • Healthfinch will exhibit at the National Physicians Conference May 10-12 in Fort Lauderdale, FL.
  • Healthwise will exhibit at the EClinicalWorks Health Center Summit May 9-11 in Orlando.
  • LogicStream Health publishes a new case study featuring Carilion Clinic, “Reduction of Post-Surgical Venous Thromboembolism with Clinical Process Measurement.”
  • Iatric Systems will exhibit at ANIA 2018 May 10-12 in Orlando.
  • Loyale Healthcare adds patient financing solutions from ClearBalance to its Patient Financial Management software.
  • Imprivata exhibits at NAHAM May 3-6 in Denver.
  • Owler names Pivot Point Consulting Managing Partner Rachel Murano one of the top 10 female leaders of private companies.
  • Intelligent Medical Objects will exhibit at the AMIA Clinical Informatics Conference May 8-10 in Scottsdale, AZ.

Blog Posts


Contacts

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

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Health Catalyst Acquires Medicity

May 3, 2018 News 1 Comment

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Data analytics vendor Health Catalyst acquires health information exchange vendor Medicity. The companies are 14 miles apart from one another in Salt Lake City. 

“Based on the evolution of Aetna’s consumer health strategy,” a company representative says, “we have agreed to divest Medicity to Health Catalyst. The transaction is expected to close within 90 days. We are not disclosing further details at this time.”

Though the company rep didn’t disclose price, it’s worth noting Aetna acquired Medicity in early 2011 for $500 million.

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Health Catalyst President Brent Dover served as president of Medicity prior to joining Health Catalyst in 2013. His time with the company began with Park City Solutions, which Medicity acquired in 2006. This acquisition is Health Catalyst’s second. It purchased competitor Health Care DataWorks in 2015. Though the Medicity team alerted us to the development early, I chose not to release the news until employees and customers had been notified.

News 5/2/18

May 1, 2018 News 10 Comments

Top News

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Reports surface that West Palm Beach family physician Bruce Moskowitz, MD has participated in several planning calls with the VA/Cerner contracting team, and may in fact be responsible for its delay. Moskowitz, who has ties to President Trump’s inner Mar-a-Lago social circle, has been vocal about his dislike of Cerner’s software based on his use at two Tenet hospitals in Florida – technology deemed out of date by investigators from the VA’s Office of Information and Technology.

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Moskowitz’s influence and that of Marvel Entertainment Chairman Ike Perlmutter, who has also been on the calls, reportedly rankled former VA Secretary David Shulkin, MD and clinicians involved with the EHR project. Their influence came to national light in 2016, when they helped to convene a hush-hush meeting at Mar-a-Lago between President-elect Trump and leaders from the Cleveland Clinic, Johns Hopkins, the Mayo Clinic, and Partners HealthCare.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

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Responses to this week’s question are trickling in, with most emphasizing the tightrope managers must walk in firing someone that deserves it, but not being able to articulate the reasons why to the rest of the company for confidentiality reasons. I hope you’ll add your experience to the mix.


Webinars

May 9 (Wednesday) 2:00 ET. “How to Make VBC Work for You: The Business Case to Transform Into the Health System of the Future.” Sponsor: Philips Wellcentive. Presenters: Mason Beard, co-founder and chief product officer, Philips Wellcentive; Scott Cullen, MD, principal, ECG Management Consulting; Seema Mathur, director of strategy, Sage Growth Partners. How well is your organization funding its transformation to VBC? This free webinar explains how to achieve ROI as your organization transforms to meet the future. You’ll learn how VBC is impacting healthcare system management, three strategies for funding your transformation, and what the healthcare system of the future will look like.

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

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

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Agfa Healthcare receives FDA 510(k) clearance for its DR 800 multipurpose digital imaging system.

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Enterprise telemedicine vendor InTouch Health acquires competitor Reach Health for an undisclosed sum.

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AMA invests $27 million in the Health2047 technology company it founded in 2016 with a $15 million investment. The company launched health data network Akiri (fka Switch) last year, and plans to develop additional companies in the areas of physician productivity, value-based care, chronic disease, and data exchange.

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Operations management and analytics company EXL will acquire SCIO Health Analytics for $240 million.

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Health data management company Datavant raises $40 million and acquires data de-identification vendor Universal Patient Key. Former FDA CIO Eric Perakslis now serves as Datavant’s chief scientific officer.


People

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Lety Nettles (Baker Hughes) joins Novant Health as CIO.

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Omkar Kulkarni (Cedars-Sinai) joins Children’s Hospital Los Angeles as its first chief innovation officer.

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Clearwater Compliance names John Moore (PwC) chief risk officer and Richard Staynings (Cisco) chief security and trust officer.


Announcements and Implementations

In an effort to keep up with the Apple and Amazon Joneses, Fitbit will use Google’s Cloud Healthcare API to share user data with providers via their EHRs.

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Providence St. Joseph Health (WA) launches a Virtual Health System comprising 50 telemedicine programs across 100 facilities in five states.

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UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical Center (CO) will go live on Epic in early May.

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Kaweah Delta Medical Center (CA) goes live on Cerner. The organization was due to replace its Cerner/Siemens Soarian system with Cerner Millenium in November 2017.

Main Line Health (PA) integrates Bernoulli Health’s clinical surveillance, medical device integration, and data analytics platform with its EHR at four hospitals.

The SSI Group adds patient payment management capabilities to its Access Management line of revenue cycle software.


Government and Politics

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CDC Director Robert Redfield, MD asks for and receives a pay cut after reports surface that his projected salary of $375,000 was far above those of his HHS colleagues, including his boss, HHS Secretary Alex Azar. Redfield’s initial compensation was determined by the Title 42 salary program, which was established to attract top-notch researchers to government posts.

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Former HHS Secretary Tom Price, MD gives a keynote at the World Health Care Congress, during which he admits that doing away with the individual mandate “actually will harm the pool in the exchange market because you’ll likely have individuals who are younger and healthier not participating in that market. And, consequently, that drives up the cost for other folks in that market.”

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White House officials conclude that several of the allegations made against President Trump’s former personal physician and VA Secretary nominee Ronny Jackson, MD released last week by Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) are not true. Jackson, who withdrew his nomination after the allegations came to light, will stay on as an active duty Navy physician within the White House medical unit.


Sales

  • University of New Mexico Hospital will implement Glytec’s eGlycemic Management System.

Privacy and Security

The NHS will convert all devices to Windows 10 in an effort to prevent cyberattacks like WannaCry, which last year hit a third of its facilities and led to the cancellation of thousands of appointments and procedures.


Other

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As part of its $1.5 billion transition to Epic this weekend, Mayo Clinic will activate 51 patient intake kiosks at its campus in Rochester, MN. This won’t be the health system’s first foray into kiosks. It tried out two HealthSpot telemedicine kiosks in 2014 to remotely serve a local school and employer. That endeavor ended when HealthSpot went out of business two years later.


Sponsor Updates

  • Pivot Point Consulting partners with Trinisys to help customers migrate their legacy EHR data to new systems.
  • Clinical Architecture and CompuGroup Medical will exhibit at HLTH 2018 May 6-9 in Las Vegas.
  • KLAS gives Health Catalyst an “A” for high rates of customer satisfaction and customer retention in a new report, “Decision Insights 2018: National Trends & Best Practices.”
  • AdvancedMD will exhibit at APA’s annual conference May 5-9 in New York City.
  • Docent Health CEO Paul Roscoe will speak at HLTH 2018 May 8 in Las Vegas.
  • Casenet adds MCG Health’s Chronic Care Guidelines to its new TruCare Assessment and Care Plan Interface.
  • Aprima and Surescripts will co-present at Asembia’s 2018 Specialty Pharmacy Summit May 2 in Las Vegas.
  • Bluetree Network will exhibit at the 2018 Spring Hospital & Healthcare IT Conference May 2-4 in Atlanta.
  • Datica CEO Travis Good, MD will present at HLTH 2018 May 6-9 in Las Vegas.
  • Cumberland Consulting Group will exhibit at the NCPDP Annual Technology and Business Conference May 7-9 in Scottsdale.
  • Surescripts publishes a new white paper, “Changing the Course of the Opioid Epidemic: The Power and Promise of Proven Technology.”
  • Vyne develops an exchange platform to help payers manage member-related communications.
  • Medecision adds appeals and grievances monitoring, tracking, and management capabilities for payers to its Aerial product line.
  • GCS Medical College, Hospital & Research Centre in India selects the eClinicalWorks Hospital Management Information System.
  • ZappRx adds FDB’s e-prescribing capabilities to its specialty drug prescribing and prior authorization platform.

Blog Posts


Contacts

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

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Monday Morning Update 4/30/18

April 29, 2018 News 3 Comments

Top News

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DoD officials reassure legislators that the MHS Genesis roll out will pick back up with West Coast facilities in 2019, and that full deployment by 2022 is still achievable. Implementation of the Cerner-based system had been paused for several months to deal with issues at the program’s four pilot sites, including problems with e-prescribing, referrals, log-in time, and training. The DoD has been sharing its experiences with VA officials on a regular basis to prepare them for their own Cerner roll out, provided a contract is signed in the coming months as some still optimistically expect.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

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The contract drama playing out in Illinois hasn’t swayed the majority of poll respondents to think more positively about the parties involved, though Cerner does have a slight lead in a vendor-to-vendor matchup (an outcome one reader has attributed to ballot-box stuffing). At this point, I have to wonder how in-the-trenches end users feel. Email me if you happen to work at the health system, or have experienced a similar situation at another organization and would like to share your thoughts – anonymously, of course.

New poll to your right or here: Have recent privacy headlines impacted your interest in consumer genetic testing services? It seems we live in a time when data breaches are par for the course, and signing away your data rights just to trace your ancestry doesn’t give people as much pause as it should. I could offer a number of response options, but I’m keeping it simple with just three in hopes that you’ll explain in the comments why your interest has waned, stayed the same, or increased.

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Check out reader responses to “What I Wish I’d Known Before … Creating, Defending, or Managing a Hospital IT Budget.” While I can’t say I’m surprised by any of them, I can say I appreciate the advice of “realistic contingency” from a reader’s college professor.

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This week’s question seems timely given the plethora of headlines surrounding government officials who are being shown the door through media (and Twitter) pressure.


Webinars

May 9 (Wednesday) 2:00 ET. “How to Make VBC Work for You: The Business Case to Transform Into the Health System of the Future.” Sponsor: Philips Wellcentive. Presenters: Mason Beard, co-founder and chief product officer, Philips Wellcentive; Scott Cullen, MD, principal, ECG Management Consulting; Seema Mathur, director of strategy, Sage Growth Partners. How well is your organization funding its transformation to VBC? This free webinar explains how to achieve ROI as your organization transforms to meet the future. You’ll learn how VBC is impacting healthcare system management, three strategies for funding your transformation, and what the healthcare system of the future will look like.

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

May 29 (Tuesday) 1:00 ET. “Increase Referrals and Patient Satisfaction with a Smarter ‘Find a Doctor’ Web Search.” Sponsors: Phynd Technologies, Healthwise. Presenters: Joseph H. Schneider, MD, MBA, FAAP, retired SVP/CHIO, Indiana University Health; Keith Belton, VP of marketing, Phynd. A recent survey found that 84 percent of patients check a hospital’s website before booking an appointment. However, ‘Find a Doctor’ search functions often frustrate them because their matching functionality is primitive and the provider’s information is incomplete or outdated. Referring physicians need similarly robust tools to find the right specialist and to send the patient to the right location. Attendees of this webinar will learn how taxonomy-driven Provider Information Management improves patient and referrer satisfaction by intelligently incorporating the provider’s location, insurance coverage, specialty and subspecialty, and services offered that can be searched via patient-friendly terms.

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Erlanger Health System (TN) attributes its third quarter $4 million shortfall to a 10-year, $100 million Epic implementation that kicked off with inpatient services last fall. The system held off on billing during November as it worked through software issues, ultimately writing 30 million lines of code to resolve 15,000 workflow problems as part of an expected stabilization phase.

From the Athenahealth earnings call, which sent shares down 11 percent on Friday:

  • The company expects to continue to rely on its core ambulatory and growing small-hospital markets.
  • Management team and board member Dave Robinson and Chief Product Officer Kyle Armbrester have both left the company, with an ongoing search for a president progressing apace.
  • CEO Jonathan Bush admits the company hasn’t done much with market share: “We are good at getting our clients’ patients back, when it’s time for them to come back. But new work needs to be done to get net new market share for our clients. I believe I mentioned when we were talking about the cost guarantee a couple of calls ago that someday I wanted to have a market share guarantee.”
  • Bush also points out that the company’s coordinator and inpatient software may have been brought to market too early.
  • Sales and marketing spend may have been cut too drastically, though the company isn’t scrambling to adjust its budget yet. Its strategic overhaul of staff and spending is nearly complete.
  • With regard to a national patient-centric medical record, Bush said that the “ability to be integrated in to all the hospitals in the country, all the labs in the country to present whether it’s a pharmacy, clinical staffer, pharmacy based staffer or virtual physician or an emergency room doc, with a complete picture of a patient regardless of where they’ve gotten their care is a power position that no one has right now in the country, no one. We believe we will attain that position.”
  • The company’s lighter bookings season has given Bush’s team time to reassess the way it assigns customer success managers and on-boards new clients. “We’re getting much more instrumented,” Bush stressed; “we are working very hard on the number of days associated with ramping up some ones’ collections to full volume after they go live.”
  • Bush attributes churn to ambulatory M&A: “We’ve seen as groups get consolidated up in to bigger networks, if the bigger network is on competitive product, decision might be to go on to one platform, and that has tended to be the biggest driver of churn.”
  • Bush says, “Epocrates is crushing it. Docs on the app are increasing and the appetite to feed a content is increasing, the ability for us to manage content, serve it up in a modern way for our advertising customers is improving and the energy is just electric. I can’t tell you how proud we are after such a long road.”
  • Regarding recent layoffs and reductions, Bush says that “[a]fter-surgery recovery is a big deal, even if the surgery is life saving and Athena certainly inflicted surgery upon itself in the fourth quarter of last year. So attrition and cultural confidence, engagement, belief that there is not some other shoe looking to drop, these are the kinds of things that are the prime focus for me and my team right now.”

Sales

  • Cape Fear Valley Health System (NC) will replace two Cerner systems with Epic beginning in Summer 2019.

People

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Athenahealth SVP of Network Services Jonathan Porter takes on the role of chief product officer.


Privacy and Security

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In Montana, Billings Clinic notifies 934 patients of an email data breach that may have compromised patient names, birth dates, phone numbers, and some medical information.


Other

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In the UK, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt brings in Eric Topol, MD to lead a review of how to best train NHS staff on using new technologies including AI, digital health, robotics, and genomics. NHS is in the middle of its 100,000 Genomes Project, which aims to use genetic sequencing and big data to develop precision medicine programs.

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A new study in JAMIA finds that health system adherence to the ONC-funded SAFER (Safety Assurance Factors for EHR Resilience) guides developed in 2014 is lacking. Researchers found that only 25 recommendations were fully implemented at the eight health systems who participated in SAFER self-assessments. The study’s authors conclude that national policy programs are needed to ensure proactive SAFER assessments become a best practice.

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In his latest “Doctors Gone Wild” segment, Weird News Andy recounts the arrest of Georgia family practice physician Marian Antoinette Patterson, MD who threatened to slit the throats of her employees, and cut another’s head off for use as a hallway bowling ball. Her other unsavory activities, which some have attributed to intoxication but WNA thinks also exude a hint of physician burnout, include throwing water on employees and tearing her diploma off the wall and stomping on it.


Sponsor Updates

  • Surescripts will exhibit at the MicroMD User Conference 2018 May 2-3 in Warren, OH.
  • Vocera Communications will host its first Chief Experience Officer Roundtable April 25-26 in San Francisco.
  • WebPT publishes a new guide, “Retention, Please: Why Patient Dropout is Killing Rehab Therapy Practices – and How to Stop It.”
  • KLAS recognizes LogicStream Health as a high performer in its latest report on clinical process improvement.

Blog Posts


Contacts

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

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News 4/27/18

April 26, 2018 News 1 Comment

Top News

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Rear Admiral Ronny Jackson, MD withdraws his nomination for VA Secretary after Senate Democrats publish allegations against him that include giving out prescription drugs to staffers, drinking to excess while on the job, and managerial misconduct.

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The VA issues a somewhat bizarre press release confirming that, despite a lack of top-level leadership, it will move forward with near-term priorities including the Cerner contract now that “employees who were wedded to the status quo and not on board with this administration’s policies or pace of change have now departed VA.” A House appropriations bill released yesterday sets aside $1.2 billion for the software.


Reader Comments

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From JK: “Re: Stericycle. This article suggests that the company has turned to JPMorgan for financial advice on the potential sale of its communications services. Stericycle previously acquired NotifyMD and PatientPrompt.” The company hasn’t been on my radar since we exhibited next to them at HIMSS16. Perhaps it’s looking for cash to fund the fines it keeps having to pay to the Washington Department of Ecology for overwhelming the municipal waste plant in Morton with polluted wastewater from its nearby medical waste processing plant.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

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Welcome to new HIStalk Platinum Sponsor Bluetree Network. The Madison, WI-based company was founded by former Epic leaders to offer quality Epic expertise for solving the biggest health system challenges — staffing and support, training and mentoring, optimization, revenue cycle, analytics, managed services, and solving strategic problems. Health systems benefit from engaging patients and reducing provider burnout, making data a competitive advantage, and making more money. The company offers case studies from UCHealth, Cottage Health, WVU Medicine, Cambridge Health Alliance, and other health systems. Thanks to Bluetree Network for supporting HIStalk.  


Webinars

May 9 (Wednesday) 2:00 ET. “How to Make VBC Work for You: The Business Case to Transform Into the Health System of the Future.” Sponsor: Philips Wellcentive. Presenters: Mason Beard, co-founder and chief product officer, Philips Wellcentive; Scott Cullen, MD, principal, ECG Management Consulting; Seema Mathur, director of strategy, Sage Growth Partners. How well is your organization funding its transformation to VBC? This free webinar explains how to achieve ROI as your organization transforms to meet the future. You’ll learn how VBC is impacting healthcare system management, three strategies for funding your transformation, and what the healthcare system of the future will look like.

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

May 29 (Tuesday) 1:00 ET. “Increase Referrals and Patient Satisfaction with a Smarter ‘Find a Doctor’ Web Search.” Sponsors: Phynd Technologies, Healthwise. Presenters: Joseph H. Schneider, MD, MBA, FAAP, retired SVP/CHIO, Indiana University Health; Keith Belton, VP of marketing, Phynd. A recent survey found that 84 percent of patients check a hospital’s website before booking an appointment. However, ‘Find a Doctor’ search functions often frustrate them because their matching functionality is primitive and the provider’s information is incomplete or outdated. Referring physicians need similarly robust tools to find the right specialist and to send the patient to the right location. Attendees of this webinar will learn how taxonomy-driven Provider Information Management improves patient and referrer satisfaction by intelligently incorporating the provider’s location, insurance coverage, specialty and subspecialty, and services offered that can be searched via patient-friendly terms.

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Doctor on Demand raises $74 million in a Series C funding round.

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Athenahealth announces Q1 results: revenue up 12 percent; adjusted EPS $0.76 vs. $0.03, beating earnings estimates.


People

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Quantros names Trey Cook (Hill-Rom) president and CEO.

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AdvancedMD hires John Marron (InMediata Health Group) as VP and GM of its RCM division.

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Shawn Morris (Cigna-HealthSpring) joins Privia Health as CEO.


Sales

  • Jellico Community Hospital (TN) selects Artifact Health’s mobile app for physician queries.

Government and Politics

CMS Administrator Seema Verma announces at Health Datapalooza that the agency will release Medicare Advantage data to researchers, a plan it shelved last summer over questions about the data’s accuracy. Verma added that Medicaid and CHIP data will also be forthcoming.

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Also at Health Datapalooza, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD announces the launch of the Information Exchange and Data Transformation incubator, which will initially focus on the development of digital tools for cancer treatment and drug development. The FDA will also tweak its pre-certification software program to better accommodate AI-powered technology.


Announcements and Implementations

Central Georgia Health Network deploys Arcadia analytics as part of its population health management efforts.

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Redox develops single sign on capabilities to help improve connectivity between digital health vendors and their end users.

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Mercy Health wraps up implementation of PerfectServe’s clinical communications technology across 23 facilities in Kentucky and Ohio.


Other

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STAT looks beyond the investment rounds and hip office furnishings of telemedicine startup Lemonaid Health to highlight its trials and tribulations, including antiquated state regulations that have kept it from scaling beyond 18 states, drug-seeking patients who lie about their symptoms, those who call in to video consults from behind the wheel, and a burgeoning reputation for annoying competitors with complaints about them to state medical boards.


Sponsor Updates

  • Mobile Heartbeat will exhibit at the American Telemedicine Association conference April 29-May 1 in Chicago.
  • Clinical Computer Systems, developer of the Obix Perinatal Data System, completes SOC 2+ HITRUST CSF Certification.
  • Qventus will exhibit at the IHI Patient Care Summit 2018 April 26 in San Diego.
  • LogicStream Health releases a new podcast, “Patient care, policy and politics with U.S. Congressman Erik Paulsen.”
  • Meditech publishes a new case study, “Ontario Shores Improves Outcomes with Meditech’s Patient Portal.”
  • Ellkay will present at the Executive War College Conference on Laboratory & Pathology Management May 2 in New Orleans.

Blog Posts


Contacts

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

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News 4/25/18

April 24, 2018 News 9 Comments

Top News

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A proposed HHS rule would retarget the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs to “a new phase of EHR measurement with an increased focus on interoperability and improving patient access to health information.”

CMS proposes renaming the incentive programs to “Promoting Interoperability Programs,” noting that the word “incentive” is obsolete now that most payments have ended.

The rule would require using CEHRT certified for the 2015 Edition beginning with the 2019 covered year. It would allow a 90-day reporting period for 2019 and 2020.

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HHS proposes to replace the six Medicare EHR Incentive Program measures with four:

  • E-prescribing
  • Health information exchange
  • Provider-to-provider exchange
  • Public health and clinical data exchange

HHS also proposes two opioid-related e-prescribing measures for connecting to PDMPs and verifying treatment agreements that would be optional for the first year.

The proposed changes would also require hospitals to publish their charge master price list online every year, but asks whether more specific information might be useful to consumers, such as details on a hospital’s average discounted charges across all payers. HHS also asks if providers should be required to disclose a patient’s out-of-pocket cost for a service before performing that service, presumably to reduce surprise out-of-network charges.

The public’s comments about the 1,900-page document are due June 25.


Reader Comments

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From Stealthily Healthy: “Re: HLTH conference. I’ve been asked a dozen times if I’m attending and I’m uncertain. What do you think?” Beats me. The speaker roster is huge, which I expect is because the VC-funded first-time conference used its cash to pay expenses and hype it up a bit. They’re also offering free provider registration hoping to give vendors their money’s worth in corralling prospects. I’m not sure anyone’s thrilled at going back to Las Vegas in early May after just leaving HIMSS there in March. The big question is whether it will do well enough financially to warrant a repeat next year. The conference claims it will create “a much-needed dialogue focused on disruptive innovation in healthcare” even though it’s run by two tech guys with zero healthcare experience and the track record of folks waving the “disruptive” flag without understanding what they’re disrupting isn’t great. We have way too many healthcare conferences, but fortunately for those offering them, way too many people willing to spend their employer’s time and expense money to attend them with questionable outcomes beyond glad-handing self-validation. Ironically, I would bet that high-accomplishment conference presenters didn’t actually waste their early-career time attending those same conferences.

From System CIO: “Re: HIStalk. It’s a really valuable read for me. I’m not one of those CIOs who is constantly networking with everything and everyone in our industry to keep up (primarily because there’s so much work to do and time necessarily spent focused inwardly) but HIStalk allows me to see/stay connected more broadly. Thank you for all of the time and effort you spend to make it what it is.” Thanks for making my day.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

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I’m getting good responses to this week’s question. I’m sure yours would be even better (hint).

Listening: reader-recommended The Prefab Messiahs, a barely-noticed early 1980s punk band that college students have rediscovered with their new album. It’s raw and I expected the typical garage band weak vocals, but they sound good when belting out wry, withering social commentary on songs like “The Man Who Killed Reality.”

I’ve seen video from recent conferences in which attendees were urged to hug each other, dance at their seats, or exchange high-fives, all of which seem not only to be crassly contrived, but straying way outside the comfort zone of many in the audience. I remember one hospital management event I attended where they hired a super-cheesy motivational speaker (some local guy who formerly played in an awful rock band with small talent and big hair) who demanded that we all “share” with our tablemates, which made me want to rip off his $2,000 suit and choke him with it. At the long-awaited end of his de-motivational speech, he brought up a slide of his wife and fake-cried about how much he loved her, leading all of us recent sharers to wonder what exactly we were supposed to do with that. Dear conference organizers and presenters – just do your presentation without expecting the paying audience to do anything except watch. Or just thrust your microphone Ozzy-style at the crowd and let them read the slides while you wiggle your hands approvingly as a conductor rather than performer.


Webinars

May 9 (Wednesday) 2:00 ET. “How to Make VBC Work for You: The Business Case to Transform Into the Health System of the Future.” Sponsor: Philips Wellcentive. Presenters: Mason Beard, co-founder and chief product officer, Philips Wellcentive; Scott Cullen, MD, principal, ECG Management Consulting; Seema Mathur, director of strategy, Sage Growth Partners. How well is your organization funding its transformation to VBC? This free webinar explains how to achieve ROI as your organization transforms to meet the future. You’ll learn how VBC is impacting healthcare system management, three strategies for funding your transformation, and what the healthcare system of the future will look like.

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

May 29 (Tuesday) 1:00 ET. “Increase Referrals and Patient Satisfaction with a Smarter ‘Find a Doctor’ Web Search.” Sponsors: Phynd Technologies, Healthwise. Presenters: Joseph H. Schneider, MD, MBA, FAAP, retired SVP/CHIO, Indiana University Health; Keith Belton, VP of marketing, Phynd. A recent survey found that 84 percent of patients check a hospital’s website before booking an appointment. However, ‘Find a Doctor’ search functions often frustrate them because their matching functionality is primitive and the provider’s information is incomplete or outdated. Referring physicians need similarly robust tools to find the right specialist and to send the patient to the right location. Attendees of this webinar will learn how taxonomy-driven Provider Information Management improves patient and referrer satisfaction by intelligently incorporating the provider’s location, insurance coverage, specialty and subspecialty, and services offered that can be searched via patient-friendly terms.

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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China’s largest Internet healthcare platform, insurance subsidiary Ping An Healthcare and Technology, plans a $1.1 billion IPO on the Honk Kong exchange. The 900-employee, AI-assisted service provides 370,000 free consultations each day and offers free, two-hour prescription delivery in major cities. Its network includes 3,100 hospitals and 7,500 pharmacies. Reports from a year ago suggested that investors were losing interest because of profitability concerns despite huge demand that is driven by dissatisfaction with China’s overwhelmed healthcare system.

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Twitter co-founder Biz Stone invests an unspecified amount in India-based Visit, which offers AI-supported video visits.


Sales

War Memorial Hospital (MI) expands its use of FormFast electronic forms and workflow solutions, integrated with Meditech 6.1.


Announcements and Implementations

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Mobile technology vendor Dictum Health adds a video laryngoscope to its Virtual Exam Room platform. The company offers a suitcase-sized patient examination system, an in-clinic telehealth system, and a medical telehealth tablet connected to cloud services.

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A small KLAS study on clinical process improvement finds that Stanson Health and LogicStream Health lead the way in analyzing clinician EHR use to optimize alerts and order sets, respectively, and identifying training opportunities for individual users. KLAS also finds that while many clinicians don’t trust the data presented to them or ignore recommended care guidelines and workflows, frontline doctors say that tools from Stanson and LogicStream are easily understood and useful.


Government and Politics

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The Senate postpones the VA secretary nomination hearing of Admiral Ronny Jackson, citing allegations of improper conduct in his military career that require further investigation. President Trump nominated Jackson via Twitter without the usual vetting process that would have resolved any confirmation issues outside the public eye. The New York Times says the issues were raised by anonymous White House associates of Jackson and involve his oversight of a hostile work environment, overprescribing of drugs, and claims that Jackson drank on the job. President Trump distanced himself in his reaction to the delay, blaming partisan opposition but admitting, “There’s a lack of experience.” He concluded, “If I were him, I wouldn’t do it.”


Privacy and Security

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Kansas-based transcription firm Medantex takes down its customer web portal after security researcher Brian Krebs notifies the company that its audio recordings and site administrative functions were wide open to any Internet user. Medantex says it had been attacked by WhiteRose ransomware and apparently misconfigured the servers it rebuilt, exposing them to the world. I tried to pull up the company’s public webpage and was blocked by Bitdefender’s malware detection system.


Other

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A small study finds that anticoagulation lab test and drug ordering improves when physicians use the CDC’s PTT Advisor app.

The family of Prince sues Trinity Medical Center (IL) for failing to correctly identify the counterfeit drug he had taken before the singer’s private plane made an emergency landing in Moline on April 15, 2016. They’re also suing Walgreens for filling his narcotics prescriptions that were written under his bodyguard’s name. Prince lied about his drug intake and refused all testing in the hospital in hopes of concealing his years-long addiction from the public, but the family says the hospital should have run extensive tests to determine that the black market drug he thought was Vicodin actually contained fentanyl. He died six days later of a fentanyl overdose. That’s the disadvantage of being a celebrity addict surrounded by sycophantic coat-tailers– your star-stuck doctor will write any prescription; your handlers will get it filled under their name and score illegal drugs to supplement when necessary; and you have enough time, money, and enablers to make addiction seem like a normal response to pain, stress, or disappointment.


Sponsor Updates

  • IMAT Solutions will exhibit at the National Association of ACOs spring conference in Baltimore April 25-27.
  • LabFinder.com will use Ellkay’s integration services to connect with physician office EHRs.
  • Obix Perinatal Data System vendor Clinical Computer Systems, Inc. earns SOC 2 and HITRUST certification.
  • AdvancedMD will exhibit at ACOG April 27-29 in Austin, TX.
  • Aprima will exhibit at AROC April 25-26 in Atlantic City, NJ.
  • Arcadia will exhibit at the NAACOS Spring 2018 Conference April 25 in Baltimore.
  • AssessURhealth publishes a new customer success story featuring LoCicero Medical Group.
  • CarePort CEO Lissy Hu, MD will present at ACMA National April 26 in Houston.
  • Netsmart receives the first ONC-Health IT 2015 Edition Certified solution for palliative care.
  • Spok and Bernoullli Health partner to improve clinical alarm management.
  • The local paper profiles CoverMyMeds after its top ranking as a best place to work in Columbus, OH.
  • CTG will exhibit at the Texas Regional HIMSS Conference April 26-27 in Dallas.
  • DrFirst VP Linda Fischer will participate in a panel discussion at the Critical Connections’ Opioid Crisis Symposium April 25-16 n Baltimore.
  • Consulting Magazine names Divurgent Principal Ralph Whalen a 2018 rising star in healthcare.
  • EClinicalWorks will exhibit at the 2018 Physician Practice Management & ASC Symposium April 25-26 in Nashville.
  • Healthwise will exhibit at GetWellNetwork’s getconnected 2018 conference April 30-May 2 in National Harbor, MD.
  • InstaMed will exhibit at the Georgia MGMA Annual Conference April 29-May 1 in Savannah, GA.
  • AWS features Kyruus in its coverage of hot startups for April 2018.

Blog Posts


Contacts

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

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Readers Write: How AI and Blockchain Can Combine to Benefit Population Health

April 23, 2018 News 1 Comment

How AI and Blockchain Can Combine to Benefit Population Health
By David Campbell

David Campbell is senior developer for Macadamian of Gatineau, Quebec.

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The adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) continues to gain momentum as we see how it can augment a healthcare system’s effectiveness. Similarly, blockchain’s potential is very appealing to the healthcare industry for helping to solve the interoperability challenge.

While they have each individually demonstrated their potential to impact the industry, combined together they could greatly benefit population health and transform healthcare.

It seems inevitable that AI will revolutionize healthcare. The potential of AI is massive and our responsibility is to harness its power to maximize its benefits. For instance, how useful would it be for a doctor to compile a list of conditions to which their patient is susceptible to based upon their medical records and cross-referenced with general medical trends? AI can make this happen.

However, before AI can play a full role in healthcare, data collection, transportation, and storage present some complex privacy, integrity, and availability challenges that must be addressed.

Finding data sources is another major hurdle, but with the advent of consumer Internet of Things (IoT) devices, raw data is increasingly available. AI algorithms can use anonymized data from these devices to show general population health trends, but the challenge is mining the huge amount of raw data for useful information with a finite amount of computing power.

Enter blockchain.

Healthcare blockchain represents another source of medical data. The prevalence of these blockchains in the medical domain is increasing because they store transactions in a network of distributed servers, which offers a high degree of availability. This adds protection against network outages and hardware failure. Also, the format of the transactions makes it almost impossible to tamper with the data. Data integrity and accountability are paramount to any healthcare solution.

While the quantity of data does not approach the amount of raw data that can be collected by medical devices, the data received by a medical blockchain is richer.

Using a blockchain solution in an electronic health record (EHR) system allows for the creation of transactions between entities such as patients and medical conditions. In this case, we can think of the diagnosis of a condition as a transaction between a patient and a known condition.

Not only can we store this information as a distributed immutable transaction in a patient record, we can also record the relationship. By updating a patient record using transactions between entities, a graph database can be constructed.

A graph database is a way of storing unstructured data and the relationships amongst the data. For example, if a physician prescribes a drug to a patient, the patient, the doctor, and the drug would be stored along with the relationships amongst the pieces of data. The relationship between the doctor and the patient would be regular doctor / patient or it could be specialist / patient. The relationship between the drug and the doctor would be prescriber.

The graph database can show latent variables, which is information hidden within the data. This can be taken a step further.

One example of a machine learning algorithm that uses graph database to extract and use latent variables is a Bayesian network. A Bayesian network is a graph database built on relationships of cause and effect.

The strength of a Bayesian network is its ability to determine probabilities. When applied to general population health data, it can help make powerful predictions and correlations between seemingly unrelated pieces of information.

For example, smoking has an elevated probability of causing lung cancer. AI can mine data surrounding this relationship from a general graph database using various algorithms. The resulting Bayesian network can be used as a model to predict diagnosis based on the medical history of a patient.

Think about the possibilities where healthcare organizations can leverage the power of these two technologies so that they can find the largest number of common connections such as: if a population is suffering from Condition X and the largest shared connection is prescription to Drug Y, it would be reasonable to investigate whether Drug Y has a side effect that causes or contributes to Condition X.

This only begins to scratch the surface. While there are many obstacles, the potential for AI and blockchain to combine forces is immense and could prove to transform healthcare as we know it.

Monday Morning Update 4/23/18

April 22, 2018 News 2 Comments

Top News

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The New York Times covers concierge EDs such as those run by Priority Private Care, where affluent families pay thousands of dollars per year to gain access to VIP emergency rooms that — unlike hospitals that prioritize patients by acuity — get them in and out quickly by seeing only a handful of patients each day.

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The art-filled facilities don’t handle trauma, but instead address a market in which three-fourths of ED visits don’t involve emergency care.

The membership fees don’t include the cost of services themselves, which are billed to insurers at pricey ED rates. House calls, executive wellness services, and travel medicine are offered at extra cost.

The facilities have clinical staff without much to do, so they don’t discourage low-acuity member visits. The article profiles a man who dropped by to have staff look at a troublesome pimple.

The company has a cozy relationship with hospitals, offering “VIP services … including access to private rooms and direct admissions.” It has also extended coverage into the Hamptons, offering summer house calls and partnership with a helicopter service for medical transport.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

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Most poll respondents don’t go to Twitter to obtain health IT knowledge, news, or opinions. Some commenters expressed shock that others don’t share their active Twitter involvement as a source of information and connection to various communities; one respondent “called BS” that so many respondents voted “not very” (I’m not sure what kind of conspiracy he’s picturing, but IP analysis at least suggests there isn’t an organizational one); one claims that people who don’t use Twitter lack critical thinking skills, and another respondent said those voting negatively must not know how to use Twitter to participate in the “thriving community of thought leaders, influencers, and curious minds.” Taking the other point of view was a respondent who said he has never understood why people waste time on Twitter; another who says he tweets but is pretty sure he’s the only one reading; and another respondent who says decision-making executives don’t use Twitter and don’t care about any of the reasons listed by the Twitter fans. The vote was actually about six percentage points more in the “not very” category until a few folks tried to drum up support via Twitter in urging non-HIStalk readers to vote, but the resulting swing wasn’t significant.

New poll to your right or here: which organization do you feel more positively about following Cerner’s protest of University of Illinois Hospital selecting Epic?

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I always learn a lot from responses to my “What I Wish I’d Known Before” questions and I usually end up being moved in some way (sometimes in an uplifting manner, sometimes not) from what readers share there. That’s true of last week’s question, “What I Wish I’d Known Before … Taking College Courses While Still Working Full Time.”

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This week’s question is more pragmatic and targeted to health system IT management. I might have to add my own response since I’ve done this enough times to have some war stories. 

Listening: a surprise, marvelous new release from The Longshot, a new band formed by Green Day front man Billie Joe Armstrong, with a sound that ranges from dead-on “Please Mr. Postman” Beatles to thrashing punk to lighter-swaying balladry. I’m also liking (without being able to articulate why since I really don’t enjoy Sting much) the unlikely Sting-Shaggy reggae collaboration on “44/876,” which Rolling Stone aptly describes as “Roxanne hitting a Sandals resort” (trivia: the Jamaica-born Shaggy served in the US Marines as an artilleryman in Operation Desert Storm and developed his singing style from calling marching cadence). It channels the joy and color of a Caribbean island with UB40 playing on a cheap radio, which makes me long for coconut shrimp and a Carib beer while sitting on a decrepit plastic chair ankle-deep in pee-warm beach water. I’m also enjoying new, frenetic basement pop from Ohio-based pop Remember Sports (which just changed its name from just Sports), along with some great Norway art rock from Gazpacho, which has a new album due any day now.  


Webinars

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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A PwC/CB Insights report finds that VC seed round investments have dropped considerably even as overall funding increases, AI had its first big investment quarter, and healthcare was the #2 sector (behind Internet) in both number of deals and deal value.


Decisions

  • Sheridan Memorial Hospital (WY) will go live with a Change Healthcare cardiovascular information system in 2019.
  • Hutchinson Regional Medical Center (KS) will switch from Philips Healthcare to Merge Healthcare cardio in September 2018.

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


People

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Vocera’s board elects President and CEO Brent Lang as chairman, replacing Bob Zollars. I interviewed Brent a few weeks ago.


Announcements and Implementations

A Black Book survey of 3,000 hospital EHR users finds that two-thirds of hospitals don’t use patient information from outside their own EHRs because it’s not available within their workflows. Top-ranked vendors in client experience are CPSI Evident (small and rural hospitals), Meditech (101-250 beds), Cerner (teaching hospitals), and Epic (over 250 beds). 


Other

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The Detroit business paper covers the ICU redesign of Beaumont Hospital Royal Oak (MI), which displays data from Epic and monitors in a big-screen graphical format. The ICU director says, “The regular Epic system, you needed to click 13 times to get to the chest X-ray we needed to see. Now we click once to get where we need. Deeper dives into data comes up as a long, scrolling, table five feet long that has everything lined up vertically by time. You see everything happening now and at anytime in the past.”

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A Wall Street Journal article says the UK’s NHS is struggling with long waits and shortages of beds and doctors, but as Eric Topol notes, they’re still far ahead of the US.

UCSF’s Bob Wachter, MD worries in a New York Times op-ed piece that immunotherapy-based cancer treatments have made it harder to help families consider palliative care, with the staggeringly expensive and side effect-causing treatment offering near-miraculous cures but only for around 15 percent of patients. Wachter advocates that “comfort or cure” decisions not be considered as mutually exclusive by insurers, training doctors on how to explain benefit vs. harm, and including in studies the question of how to identify that minority of patients that could benefit.

An NPR reporter trying to get her mother placed in a rehab center has to pay $12,000 due to Medicare’s “dueling rules and laws” that require a three-night inpatient hospital stay to be covered for rehab placement, while hospitals are threatened with audits for admitting rather than keeping patients on multi-day observation. In her mother’s case, the “admission or observation” decision was made by McKesson InterQual. The reporter concludes, “I sped to the hospital in a rage. I demanded to know why they were releasing her when she still couldn’t walk. Further, I wanted to know, why were they calling her an ‘outpatient’ when she was sleeping in their bed, under their blankets, wearing their hospital gown, and being cared for by their staff.”

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This is brilliant: Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite soothes NICU babies by recording their mothers singing and reading stories to them, with the CDs then played back to them when the mom can’t be there.


Sponsor Updates

  • WiserTogether releases a new version of its Return to Health platform that guides consumers to the most effective treatments for their specific conditions and attributes.
  • The SSI Group will present at the HFMA Texas State Conference April 22 in Austin, TX.
  • Surescripts will exhibit at the AMCP Managed Care & Specialty Pharmacy Annual Meeting April 23-26 in Boston.
  • Philips Wellcentive will exhibit at the NAACOS event April 25-27 in Boston.
  • ZappRx will exhibit at the ASEMBIA Specialty Pharmacy Summit April 29-May 2 in Las Vegas.
  • ZeOmega releases the annual updates to the integrated patient assessments of its Jiva PHM solution.

Blog Posts


Contacts

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

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News 4/20/18

April 19, 2018 News 5 Comments

Top News

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The State of Illinois Procurement Board finds evidence of a conflict of interest in the $62 million contract awarded to Epic by University of Illinois Hospitals and Health Sciences System, prompting the board to refer the matter to the state’s ethics commission for a public hearing. The review follows a protest by Cerner that it lost the bid despite offering a lower total price. 

Cerner was one of the health system’s incumbent vendors, along with Epic and several other companies.

Board members seemed to agree with Cerner’s attorney that it may have been improper for the health system to hire Impact Advisors to assist with the selection since they also provide Epic implementation services.

Cerner also claims that Epic’s bid did not include the price of those implementation services, which it says could reach $100 million, and that it was not allowed to demonstrate its software.


Reader Comments

From The Hypocritical Oath: “Re: Cerner’s protest at U of Illinois. It’s especially embarrassing given: (a) the hypocrisy of its $16B no-bid VA contract, and (b) the fact that they’re the incumbent vendor and the client hates them so much that they’d rather start over with a new EHR instead of continuing the relationship. I don’t think a demo is going to change much.” Losing vendor protests don’t usually turn out well, especially with regard to public perception (do I as the next potential customer want to consider someone who might sue me if I don’t choose them?). It certainly didn’t help Allscripts when it tried the same thing years ago, when it finally smartened up and dropped its absurd lawsuit against NYHHC and Epic only after firing its own executive team. Imagine the frosty relationship if Cerner prevails and the hospital is stuck implementing a system that it doesn’t want.

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From Jolly Rancher: “Re: UNC Health. Several sites have mistakenly said they were the first health system to earn Stage 7 in the HIMSS Analytics categories of inpatient, ambulatory, and analytics this week. They were not.” The HIMSS-owned rag made a mistake in re-wording UNC’s press release in an attempt to look like an actual news report, apparently failing to notice that UNC’s press release said it was the only health system to earn all three Stage 7 designations that has ALSO been named as “Most Wired Advanced” in an unrelated award (the release clearly trying to one-up Duke by even bringing that up). Duke did its three sevens (I’m tired of typing it, so I’m dubbing the trifecta as AM21) on February 22. Other sites embarrassed themselves by either making the same mistake or by using the HIMSS rag’s site as their source instead of reading the actual press release.

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From VA Software: “Re: the Columbus, OH Ambulatory Care Center. Went live last weekend on MASS (Medical Appointment Scheduling System). Its backbone is Epic (just the scheduling application) that then writes data back to VistA.” The MASS project was announced in 2015, with Systems Made Simple (Lockheed Martin) and Epic being awarded a $623 million bid in what I think was a competitive RFP. The project was placed on hold in 2016 while the VA tried to decide whether to develop its own system, but Congressional pressure (or so I’m assuming) led for it to be restarted even as the VA decided to give Cerner a no-bid contract. Maybe the VA wants MASS to succeed to prove the value of commercial software, or maybe it hopes it fails so that Cerner looks like the only viable commercial software choice – I really don’t know, but would enjoy hearing from someone who does.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

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I need more responses to my question this week – care to chime in?

I’m already tired of this phrase that everybody is copying after hearing it: “punching above their weight,” which Google turns up as being used by news sites 3,000 times all of a sudden. I’m hoping against hope that it will die out as people stop trying to be imitatively clever. Soon it will fade and you’ll hear it only from folks who still post-faddishly write “to die for” and “I threw up in my mouth a little bit.”


Webinars

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Provider data management and scheduling software vendor Kyruus raises $10 million in a corporate funding round, increasing its total to $72 million.

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Health IT appears to have created cash flow problems within the financially strapped Tulare Local Healthcare District (CA), which filed for bankruptcy last fall. Former management company Healthcare Conglomerate Associates, which is hoping to recoup over $16 million from the district, attributed its struggles with payroll at Tulare Regional Medical Center to glitches in the Cerner system it implemented in 2016. An independent EHR implementation consultant is also looking to be paid, which lawmakers say may not happen any time soon.

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Medeanalytics relocates its headquarters to its expanded office in Richardson, TX.

Sharecare SVP of Corporate Communications Jen Martin Hall responded to my inquiry about its joint venture with HCA, confirming the rumor reported by reader Private Privatized earlier this week:

HCA and Sharecare are putting operations of Share Lab, their joint venture to develop a next-generation online scheduling product, on hold. While the Share Lab team built a great product which was successfully deployed into an HCA facility and was demonstrating promising initial results, we couldn’t agree on a go-to-market strategy.

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California Health Care Foundation’s innovation fund invests an unspecified amount in Collective Medical, which closes patient care communication gaps by using analytics to create a shared set of patient information, such as turning HIE data into clinically useful information. The company’s November 2017 Series A funding round raised $47.5 million.


Sales

  • Rio Grande Valley HIE (TX) selects data normalization and quality reporting services from Diameter Health.
  • Tufts Medical Center (MA) joins the the global health research network of TriNetX.
  • West Virginia University Health System will utilize analytics and consulting services from Premier.
  • TriHealth (OH) signs a $10 million contract with IBM for Watson Health enterprise imaging solutions and cloud-based clinical review services.
  • The Menninger Clinic (TX) chooses Cerner Millennium and RCM.

People

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GetWellNetwork names Nikia Bergan (Advisory Board) as chief revenue officer.

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Ciox Health hires Arvind Ramakrishnan (IRI) as chief operations officer for clinical data acquisition and insights.


Announcements and Implementations

Comcast and Philadelphia BCBS insurer Independence Health will launch a health technology platform for consumers that will focus on “the effectiveness and efficiency of patient communications and education” that includes patient education and telemedicine. The insurer got the idea from the Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JP Morgan project, explaining, “We’re going to use all of the data that we have from both companies and actually be able to create specific journeys for you.”

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Frankfort Regional Medical Center (KY) goes live on Meditech Expanse with help from Parallon Technology Solutions.

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The Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center at the University of Nebraska Medical Center implements an HL7-based discrete genomic results reporting system from GenomOncology to access results more easily via EHR.

Olympus will allow endoscopy images to be shared across health systems via its Knowledge Exchange System connected to InterSystems HealthShare.


Government and Politics

The White House assigns Camilo Sandoval to acting CIO of the VA following Scott Blackburn’s resignation earlier this week, giving him a potentially important role in its Cerner project. Sandoval, a former Trump campaign data director later named as senior adviser to the undersecretary for health, was one of several political appointees who former Secretary David Shulkin accused of conspiring to get him fired. The White House says a permanent candidate for the job is being vetted.

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The FDA includes cybersecurity as part of its new Medical Device Safety Action Plan, emphasizing the need to shore up device vulnerabilities that could compromise patient safety. The plan will also help direct the ongoing establishment of the FDA’s National Evaluation System for health Technology (NEST) program.


Other

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The local paper covers Mayo Clinic’s (MN) employee training ahead of its May 5 Epic go-live. Over 26,000 staff have been shuttled to a training center daily over the last three years. The clinic has hired 260 trainers to handle the crowds. The center will stay open for ongoing training through 2019.

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A new KLAS report on inpatient systems in under-200 bed hospitals contains interesting facts:

  • The most-installed vendor systems in order are from Cerner, Epic, Meditech, CPSI, Allscripts, Medhost, and Athenahealth, with those first three getting most of their count from hospitals that are part of a multi-hospital health system.
  • KLAS notes that Meditech’s cloud-based Expanse system has  allowed the historically “mediocre developer” to elbow its way into the #3 spot in perceived innovation, behind Athenahealth and Epic and ahead of Cerner (but it’s a close race among all four). Allscripts Paragon, Medhost, and CPSI Evident trail the others by far.
  • Allscripts is trying to salvage Paragon despite McKesson’s fumbling that caused some customer loss, although Allscripts is belatedly developing an integrated ambulatory EHR (Avenel) that help may keep customers in the fold.
  • On the RCM side, Epic and Meditech customers like their respective product capabilities; those of Cerner like its RCM services while continuing to be disappointed with its revenue cycle software; Athenahealth’s users appreciate its percentage-of-collections cost model; and Paragon, Evident, and Medhost customers say their vendors do little to help them reduce costs or provide new revenue models. 
  • Some Meditech legacy users have defected instead of upgrading due to ineffective support and a prohibitive cost structure.
  • Some customers have cancelled their Athenahealth contracts and gone back to previous vendors CPSI and Medhost doe to perceived gaps in functionality.
  • Most new deals outside of critical access hospitals are going to Epic and Cerner. with Epic’s weak spot being its provider-hosted model and Cerner’s being its longstanding problems with its revenue cycle software.

A Chicago Tribune investigative report finds that Bala Hota, MD – former Cook County Health and Hospitals System CIO / CMIO – fraudulently obtained reimbursement for $248,000 in expenses that he claimed were work related but that in fact involved purchases of toys, ITunes products, and a piano, leading to his resignation in 2014 as auditors uncovered the issues. He repaid the money last year and is now VP, chief analytics officer, and associate CIO of Rush University Medical Center.

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Employees of Theranos – back when they had some – drank the Elizabeth Holmes Kool-Aid in believing that Wall Street Journal reporter John Carreyrou was mistreating the company in exposing its fraud to the world, so they created a Space Invaders-type game called “Haters Gonna Hate” that used Carreyou’s head as the invaders to be shot at. Not only was this possibly the only company technology that ever actually worked, insiders went all Jim Jones in chanting “F— you, Carreyou” at an all-hands meeting. They have a dazzling array of reasons to be feeling really stupid right about now.


Sponsor Updates

  • EClinicalWorks publishes a new customer success story featuring Righttime Medical Care.
  • LifeImage publishes a new white paper, “Healthcare network as a catalyst for a convergent industry influencing clinical outcomes.”
  • Lightbeam Health Solutions will exhibit at NAACOS April 25-27 in Baltimore.
  • Mobile Heartbeat achieves Zebra Technologies Validation for its MH-CURE clinical communications and collaboration platform.
  • Netsmart will exhibit at at NATCON April 23 in Washington, DC.
  • Nordic releases a new podcast, “What is it like to be an affiliate project manager?”
  • PokitDok demonstrates its commitment to security through SOC 2 Type II Certification.
  • Forbes includes Impact Advisors in its list of best management consulting firms for 2018.
  • Surescripts becomes a benefactor sponsor of the National Council for Prescription Drug Programs.

Blog Posts


Contacts

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

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News 4/18/18

April 17, 2018 News 5 Comments

Top News

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UNC Health Care (NC) announces that it has achieved HIMSS Stage 7 for inpatient, ambulatory, and analytics, of which neighboring Duke Health was the first trifecta winner.

The announcement includes a little dig at Duke, noting that UNC is “the only health system in the US to achieve Stage 7 status on all three HIMSS Analytics domains … and also honored as ‘Most Wired Advanced.” UNC is one of the 17 health systems (of which Duke isn’t one) to be so recognized in that latter contest.

UNC also announces UNC Urgent Care 24/7, which offers $49 video visits via MDLive’s service.


Reader Comments

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From Private Privatized: “Re: Share Lab. The joint venture between HCA and Sharecare is shutting down and had layoffs last week.” Unverified. I didn’t get a response from Sharecare to my inquiries. The JV was formed in January 2015 to “create innovative digital patient engagement solutions.” Sharecare was founded in 2010 by TV huckster Dr. Oz and WebMD founder Jeff Arnold. Share Lab was working on enterprise scheduling and provider search. UPDATE: A Sharecare spokesperson confirms that the project is being placed on hold. More in the next HIStalk news post.

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From Languishing Liz: “Re: MHS Genesis. DoD doctors prefer it over AHLTA,  according to this article’s headline. The story is ridiculous.” The health IT “news” site’s 17-paragraph story – illustrated with gratuitous clipart and crafted by a 2016 creative writing graduate – simply re-words a story from the Pensacola News Journal that was in turn syndicated by something called Military Update by Tom Philpott. Tom didn’t exactly knock himself out on research for this article, having interviewed a single, DoD-chosen doctor (yes, ONE, which is why I passed on the story) to conclude that MHS Genesis is experiencing “gains in user support.” Everyone involved in passing off this lazy fluff as news (including those who tweeted it out) should be ashamed. In addition, you would certainly hope that doctors like Cerner better than the bottom-ranked AHLTA (vs. the VA’s #1 rated VistA) given its many billion dollar price tag, a characteristic it shares with both AHLTA and VistA.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

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Welcome to new HIStalk Platinum Sponsor Pivot Point Consulting. The Brentwood, TN-based firm is a healthcare IT consulting leader that offers strategic advisory services, EHR and ERP implementation, training and activation, project management and PMO, optimization, technology services, managed services, and permanent placement. Clients range from large, multi-hospital networks to academic institutions, pediatric hospitals, and local community clinics. The company has earned industry and workplace quality recognition, including being the highest-rated vendor in KLAS Implementation Services Select Category (July 2017 report), #1 in KLAS for Epic Consulting in the Select Category in 2016, and #9 in Modern Healthcare’s Best Places to Work in 2016. Thanks to Pivot Point Consulting for supporting HIStalk.


Webinars

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Livongo Health acquires 80-employee, Chicago-based Retrofit, which provides online programs for weight management and disease prevention. The company has raised $16 million, but its most recent funding round was in December 2013. It pivoted from a direct-to-consumer model to emphasize corporate programs in early 2015, although it still offers the consumer service starting at $248 per month (no wonder it needed to pivot at those prices). A 2016 company-sponsored study found that around half of participants had a clinically significant weight loss after 12 months, although that excludes the 40 percent of participants who dropped out.

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Nokia is close to unloading the assets of France-based consumer connected health hardware vendor Withings, which it acquired for $190 million less than two years ago. The French government is pressing Nokia to find a buyer in France, reports say, which could box out Google, which has reportedly expressed interest.

Signify Research questions why it took GE so long to decide to unload its struggling health IT business, postulating that the company was unwilling to exit the population health management market. It notes that Project Northstar – which is developing an ambulatory PHM solution – is part of the package that is being dealt off to Veritas Capital, but Caradigm will remain with GE despite a puzzling fit that could make it next on the block if GE investors continue to press the company hard. I interviewed GE Healthcare VP/GM Jon Zimmerman about Project Northstar when it was announced in May 2016.

Amazon abandons its plan to become a drug distributor to hospitals, saying it’s too hard to convince hospitals to reconsider buying through their group purchasing organizations from traditional middlemen like Cardinal Health and McKesson. Drug distributor and chain drugstore shares rose on the news.

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Greenway Health, spurred by $520,000 in state in local incentives, has added 104 jobs at its Tampa headquarters as it closed offices in Lake Mary, FL, Birmingham, AL, and Atlanta.

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I’m not sure the “affordable” thing fits.


Sales

Puerto Rico Primary Care Association Network selects Health Gorilla as its clinical information exchange platform. The announcement notes that half of doctors in Puerto Rico don’t use an EHR and thus the platform has to manage faxes.


People

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Michael Farrell (Cerner) is named SVP/GM of the hospital business of virtual visit provider MDLive.

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Janet Moga (Genentech) joins Carevive Systems as VP of research operations.

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Prime Healthcare hires Will Conaway (Dignity Health) as CIO.

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Optum promotes industry long-timer Vito Augusta to VP.


Announcements and Implementations

 

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A small KLAS study of medical staff credentialing services and software vendors finds that Verge Health, ASM’s MD-Staff, and HealthStream’s Morrissey (presumably not the English singer who recorded “We Hate It When Our Friends Become Successful”) lead the tiny pack. It’s written in a confusing manner, especially in intermingling product and company names, so my already slight interest was reduced quickly. Three of the six reviewed vendors declined to participate. On the plus side, KLAS provided the number of responses it received for each vendor, which ranged from six to 19.

A Black Book satisfaction survey of 19,000 ambulatory EHR users names AdvancedMD, Modernizing Medicine, NextGen, Epic, and Allscripts as vendor performance leaders. It also notes that smaller practices are the most dissatisfied with EHRs, but are also less likely to use advanced EHR tools. Nearly one-third of practices in the 12-and-over practitioner category say they’ll replace their EHR by 2021, hoping most for cloud-based systems that offer analytics, telehealth, and speech recognition.  


Government and Politics

The GAO previously placed the VA on its High Risk List of programs that are vulnerable to fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement. The VA announces the five mostly vague improvements it will make, one of them being implementing Cerner to improve interoperability with the DoD and community health partners.

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Interim VA CIO Scott Blackburn, who was heavily involved in its plan to implement Cerner, resigns for unspecified reasons.


Other

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A JAMA op-ed piece looks smartly at the myth vs. reality of mentoring millennials.

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A small study published in JAMA Internal Medicine finds that people with poorly controlled blood pressure who were sent medication reminders via the Medisafe smartphone app showed minimal improvement in medication adherence and zero improvement in systolic blood pressure. Even worse, study participants were chosen from a volunteers who were not only motivated, but technologically capable to use the app, which might not be generalizable to patients as a whole. Participants were also required to take their blood pressure “periodically” over the 12-week study using a study-provided home device, which in itself may have improved medication adherence. The listed study limitations don’t include what I would think is a considerable one: the short-term variability of medication effect on patients already known to have poorly controlled BP.

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Michigan State University — reacting to the sexual assault conviction of its medical school professor Larry Nassar, DO — says in a board of trustees meeting that its MSU HealthTeam physician practice now documents in its EHR that a chaperone is present during sensitive examinations. The group has also updated its treatment consent form to notify patients that chaperones are permitted for adult patients and required for minors. That bit of news was overshadowed by an 18-year-old victim of Nassar’s, who claimed in a statement presented at the same meeting that MSU Interim President John Engler pressed her to settle her civil lawsuit without her attorney present. She also said Engler told her that the sexual misconduct arrest of Nassar’s former boss — resigned medical school dean William Strampel, DO — was “only just a slap on the butt” and that MSU’s osteopathic doctors are being unfairly lumped in with one bad one. She didn’t get to finish her statement to the board – Engler stopped her, saying her “time was up,” an unfortunate choice of on-the-record words given the existence of the celebrity #TimesUp movement against sexual harassment and assault.

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Struggling Sonoma West Medical Center (CA) — which was making $1.25 million per month by performing mail-in toxicology tests for Florida-based rehab testing lab – says it needs to “increase revenue through extra lines of work” after insurer Anthem got wise to the scam and sued the ambulance-chaser lawyer who owns the rehab testing lab. The hospital was billing at hospital rates that were up to 10 times what a toxicology lab would have charged and Anthem wants its money back. Googling also turns up that the rehab testing lab’s owner bought Chestatee Regional Hospital (GA) for $15 million, ran the same billing scheme through that hospital, and is now shutting the rural hospital down. He also owns Jenkins County Medical Center (GA) and sends bills through it.

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The Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital (TN) contracted window-washer who earned national attention in 2014 for dressing up as Spiderman to cheer up the children inside may have had a darker motivation – he’s been sentenced to 100 years in prison for molesting two children and posting photos of the attacks on the Internet, with prosecutors saying  his Spiderman garb was an attempt to “access other vulnerable children” at the same time the acts occurred.


Sponsor Updates

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  • Docent Health team members support Dignity Health’s Marian Regional Medical Center Foundation’s Day of Hope.
  • AdvancedMD publishes a new e-guide, “5 Ways to Increase Front Desk Revenue.”
  • Aprima will exhibit at the Colorado Rural Health Center Forum April 19-20 in Lakewood.
  • Carevive co-founder and Chief Clinical Officer Carrie Stricker, RN talks about patient engagement at #AMCCBS.
  • Change Healthcare will exhibit at the ACMA 2018 National Conference April 23 in Houston.
  • CoverMyMeds will present at AMCP April 23-26 in Boston.
  • CTG will exhibit at the Texas Regional HIMSS Conference April 26-27 in Dallas.
  • Parallon Technology Solutions leads the Meditech Ambulatory 6.15 go-live of Cass Regional Medical Center (MO).
  • Dimensional Insight will exhibit at the HIMSS Southern California Chapter’s Annual Healthcare IT Conference April 20 in Los Angeles.
  • Elsevier Clinical Solutions will exhibit at the American Society of PeriAnesthesia Nurses event April 29 in Anaheim, CA.
  • EClinicalWorks and IMAT Solutions will exhibit at the NAACOS 2018 Conference April 25-27 in Baltimore.
  • Hyland Healthcare announces several recent go-lives.
  • Healthwise will exhibit at the Healthcare User Group April 22-25 in San Antonio.
  • OmniSys and Comprehensive Pharmacy Services partner to support the hospital outpatient pharmacy market.
  • Wolters Kluwer Health expands the global reach of its Ovid Discovery with more multi-language search offerings.
  • Casenet announces the speaker lineup and program for its Connect 2018 conference, which will take place April 23-25 in Boston.
  • InstaMed will exhibit at Health Evolution Summit April 18-20 in Laguna Beach, CA.
  • Intelligent Medical Objects will exhibit at the Allscripts Mid-Atlantic Client User Group Meeting 2018 April 19-20 in Baltimore.
  • Kyruus will exhibit at the 2018 Texas Regional HIMSS Conference April 26-27 in Dallas.

Blog Posts


Contacts

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

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Monday Morning Update 4/16/18

April 15, 2018 News 3 Comments

Top News

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Nashville-based hospital chain Community Health Systems lays off at least 70 corporate IT employees. Anonymous rumors say the data center and deployment areas were hit hard and the company may be looking to send data center support offshore.

Wayne Smith, CEO and board chair of the publicly traded company, was paid $5 million with an $812,000 performance bonus in 2017 even as the company lost $2 billion and share price dropped 52 percent. CHS has sold 40 hospitals recently as it struggles to absorb its 2013 acquisition of Health Management Associates for $7.6 billion that left the company $14 billion in debt.

Over the past five years, CHS share price has slid 88 percent vs. the Dow’s 64 percent gain, decreasing its market cap to just $466 million. 

Microsoft sued the company two weeks ago, claiming that CHS intentionally facilitated unauthorized use of its software in some of its divested hospitals and obstructed Microsoft’s ability to perform a full enterprise software audit as its agreement allows, claiming that limited information suggests that CHS’s enterprise size is at least six times what CHS had indicated. 


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

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Just 9 percent of poll respondents think their de-identified patient data is safe from being re-identified. One respondent recalls the 1990s brash assurance of Massachusetts Governor William Weld that the publicly released hospital records of state employees were safe because they had been de-identified. Graduate student Latanya Sweeney (now a computer science PhD and Harvard professor) easily found the governor’s hospital records, including his diagnoses and prescriptions, and sent them to his office. She knew he lived in Cambridge, so she paid $20 to buy the city’s voter registration rolls and matched up the records from the two databases – only six residents shared the governor’s birthdate, only three of those were men, and only one lived in his ZIP code. Sweeney later showed that 87 percent of Americans can be uniquely identified by just their ZIP code, birthdate, and gender. Imagine what Facebook could do with its technology, money, and huge store of personal information.

New poll to your right or here: How important is Twitter to your exposure to health IT knowledge, news, or opinions? Click the Comments link after voting to explain further.

Check out the responses to my question, “What I Wish I’d Known Before … Selecting a Consulting Firm for EHR Implementation or Optimization.”

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Answers to this week’s question might help those trying to decide if taking college courses while working is doable and worth the effort.


Webinars

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

Veritas Capital has arranged $850 million in leveraged loans to support its acquisition of GE Healthcare’s IT business for $1.05 billion.

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Need proof that healthcare is a business rather than a compassionate service to humankind? Goldman Sachs warns gene therapy companies that “one shot cures” will not deliver sustained cash flow compared to the recurring revenue generated by treating — but not curing — chronic conditions.

CVS Health hires the chief medical officer of Iora Health as chief medical officer for its MinuteClinic division, perhaps signaling CVS’s interest in providing services to Medicare Advantage patients as part of its proposed merger with Aetna.

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An LA Times article describes the lawsuit filed by California’s attorney general that claims that Sutter Health has used its market power to inflate Northern California inpatient costs to as much as 70 percent more than in Southern California. The article says:

  • Prices rose 113 percent at Sutter and Dignity Health systems from 2004 to 2013 vs. 76 percent for all California hospitals.
  • Sutter acquired Summit Medical Center in 1999 and raised prices by 72 percent, a practice that experts say allows all competitors to also raise prices.
  • Sutter’s insurance contracts don’t allow any of its hospitals to be excluded or for patients to be charged a higher co-pay at specific hospitals regardless of their cost or outcomes. Sutter claims otherwise, but previous testimony showed that its conditions were that out-of-network visits – most commonly, ED visits where Sutter hospitals are the only option — would be charged at 95 percent of billed charges. Blue Cross estimated that Sutter’s profits on those visits would be 270 percent.
  • Employers are forbidden legally from sharing cost information with third parties.

Sales

Drug maker Pfizer joins the global health research network of TriNetX, which will enable the company to access clinical, genomic, and oncology data for study design, site identification, and patient recruitment.


Decisions

  • Hutchinson Regional Medical Center (KS) will switch from Philips Healthcare to Merge Healthcare cardiology information system in September 2018.
  • Hannibal Regional Hospital (MO) is considering purchasing a new hemodynamic recording system.
  • Pikeville Medical Center (KY) plans to switch from Philips to a Merge cardiology information system.

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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Sound Physicians hires Lisa Shah, MD (Evolent Health) as chief innovation officer. The company provides hospitalists and other physician services.


Announcements and Implementations

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WiserTogether adds risk warnings to treatment recommendation plans in its Return to Health platform that include opioids as a treatment option.

Memorial Hermann Health System (TX) joins the Greater Houston Healthconnect Network.


Privacy and Security

Judges in the UK and France order Google to remove search result links to old stories covering the criminal convictions of two executives. The men complained that laws don’t require them to report previous convictions to prospective employers and therefore Google is presenting irrelevant information that infringes on their “right to be forgotten.” 

Nova Scotia’s government charges a teen with unauthorized use of a computer after discovering that he had created a script to download all documents stored on a Freedom of Information Act portal, some of which weren’t supposed to be publicly available. The province had implemented no security on the site – documents were numbered sequentially, so the teen simply wrote a script to increment each URL and download the corresponding document, bypassing the site’s public page. Privacy experts say the government is looking for a scapegoat since the teen did nothing with the information he retrieved.


Other

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Seventy-five-year-old Jeffrey Johnson, MD gives up his obstetrics privileges at St. Alexius Medical Center (IL) after refusing to take its EHR training classes. He said, “I can’t practice any more at our hospital because I don’t know how to do the computer efficiently. I don’t really give a damn. I care that I can’t practice any more and I care that the corporation who bought our hospital says that I have to know how to do the computer to continue to practice.”

India-based Apollo Hospitals develops a heart risk scoring tool that use Microsoft’s healthcare AI technology to analyze EHR data.

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The New York Times exposes law firms that hire telemarketing firms to cold-call women who have received vaginal mesh implants and urge them to have them removed at company-hired surgery clinics. The reason: the law firms are pursuing mass tort lawsuits against the manufacturer and have realized that settlements are lower when the implant remains in place. The women were flown to Florida and Georgia, housed in motels, and sent to walk-up clinics for their procedures without meeting the surgeon first. Doctors who performed the surgeries made up to $14,000 per day, while the medical centers kept at least $15,000 per case even as some women experienced debilitating effects from the removal surgery. The patients sign a form binding them to pay back the surgery cost plus double-digit interest if their case is favorably settled, with upfront funding provided by firms that are backed by international banks and hedge funds.

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I’ve been looking over Alex Scarlat, MD’s book, “Medical Information Extraction & Analysis: From Zero to Hero with a Bit of SQL and a Real-life Database.” It’s a hands-on clinician guide for using SQL (the database tools and de-identified patient database are included) to answer common clinical / informatics questions, such as, “What are the number of patients and admissions associated with sepsis-related diagnoses?” I think it’s important for clinicians to be able to do their own data discovery – sometimes you don’t realize what information is available or how it’s represented until you look at the underlying database, which often then leads to more useful queries. I’m pretty good with SQL and understanding data definitions and table relationships, but for those who aren’t and who learn best from hands-on experience (which is nearly everyone), then you’ll have fun with this book.

Banner Health will pay $18 million to settle False Claims Act charges, but HealthLeaders Media finds the most interesting aspect to the story – this is the third such lawsuit filed by the same whistleblower involving previous health system employers. Cecilia Guardiola has netted $6 million from filing her lawsuits after just 16, 19, and 3 months of employment at Christus Spohn, Renown Health, and Banner, respectively. She’s both an RN and a JD and appears to have worked for Optum as a clinical documentation improvement specialist. Banner must not Google prospective hires since her previous lawsuits were filed before they hired her in mid-2012.

Vince and Elise complete their series on 2018’s top health IT vendors by annual revenue by reviewing the companies in positions 7-10 – CPSI, Harris Healthcare, Medhost, and Cantata Health.

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Odd: a couple in China dies days before their scheduled in vitro fertilizations, after which their respective parents sued each other hoping to convince a judge to give one of the couples access to the frozen fertilized embryos as “the only carriers of the bloodlines of both families.” The court agreed to release the embryos to a hospital, but since surrogacy is illegal in China, the four parents had to hire a woman in Laos to carry the baby. The baby boy was delivered on December 9, 2017, four years after his parents died.


Sponsor Updates

  • The SSI Group will exhibit at the AL HIMSS Spring Conference April 18 in Huntsville.
  • Huron will exhibit at the HCCA Annual Compliance Institute April 15-18 in Las Vegas.

Blog Posts


Contacts

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

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News 4/13/18

April 12, 2018 News 5 Comments

Top News

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IDx receives FDA clearance to market its AI-based diabetic retinopathy diagnostic system to PCPs, giving them access to a tool that assesses patients without need for physician analysis.

The company received its clearance via the FDA’s Breakthrough Devices program.

Eric Topol noted in a tweet that only four AI medical algorithms – all of them related to pattern recognition – have earned FDA’s approval. Two are for imaging, one for is ECGs, and now IDx’s for retinal changes.


Reader Comments

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From Rif’d Me a New One: “Re: Hitachi Vantara. RIF’d a number of us, with rumors of 800 to 14,000 globally. What amazes me is how they’ve been able to keep this out of the news. I’ve also found it interesting how certain executives have been getting promotions and pay increases, which might be better spent keeping a few more workers.” A Hitachi Ventara spokesperson responded to my inquiry with this statement: “As we continue to transform to help our customers unlock the value in their data, we must shift certain resources to best support our business. Hitachi Vantara is, in fact, growing significantly. In the past year we have hired more than 1,300 new employees to support high-growth segments of our business, with over 230 current job openings.” The digital tools company that focuses on IoT– a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Hitachi — was formed in September 2017 by combining Hitachi Data Systems, Hitachi Insight Group, and Pentaho.

From Pleasant Valley: “Re: MModal. Has had stability problems nationally for the past couple of weeks with its software as a service product (Fluency for Transcription).” Several transcriptionists on the MT Stars forum have reported having problems, but only over the past couple of days. A company spokesperson provided this response to my inquiry: “As we experience ongoing growth, we continue to scale and have been upgrading our infrastructure to ensure further resiliency, high availability, and adequate capacity. We are proactively addressing any performance concerns to further support a consistent experience for transcriptionists who use top-ranking M*Modal Fluency for Transcription to improve their everyday workflows, quality, and productivity.”

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From History Repeated: “Re: Epic and Meditech. As they approach their 40th and 50th anniversaries, respectively, it would be neat to see an article about how Judy Faulkner and Neil Pappalardo met. Ideally as a joint interview, but individual recollections would be fine. The stories I’ve heard are that Judy came to Neil seeking advice about starting a company. What did they think of each other then? Now? Epic uses MUMPS, which Neil invented – was that part of the conversation?” Those two folks are #1 and #2 on my most-wanted interview list, but both also decline every time I ask. It would be fun to capture their memories and, as always, I’m here to do so if they are willing. Above are early company photos of both from the sunny slopes of long ago.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

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This week’s question of “What I Wish I’d Known Before … Selecting a Consulting Firm for EHR Implementation or Optimization” is still open.

Listening: new from Denver-based Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats, big-sounding soul music recorded in Rodeo, NM. There’s also new music from a band I really like but forgot about, The Magic Numbers, whose new single more ballad-y hard rock than before. Their 2005 debut remains one of the best I’ve heard. To address my frequent need to hear the soaring virtuosity of progressive rock, I moved on to Kaipa, a Swedish band that’s been around since 1973 and that spawned the musical career of Roine Stolt, later of The Flower Kings, Transatlantic, and now The Sea Within (whose first album is due in June).


Webinars

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Glen Tullman’s Livongo Health raises $105 million in a Series E funding round, increasing its total to $248 million. The company announces that it will work with Cambia Health Solutions to develop and market new consumer-friendly digital health offerings for people with chronic conditions.


Sales

  • Peterson Regional Medical Center (TX) selects CloudWave’s OpSus Backup, Archive, and Recover services.
  • Eleven-bed critical access hospital Munising Memorial Hospital (MI) chooses Cerner CommunityWorks.

People

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Russ Johannesson (Sharecare) joins diabetes management platform vendor Glooko as CEO. Former CEO Rick Altinger will transition to EVP of corporate development.

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Martin Tursky (Firelands Regional Medical Center), who spent a couple of years as VP/CIO at Aultman Health Foundation (OH), is named president and CEO of McLaren Central Michigan (MI).


Announcements and Implementations

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MedData develops OneTouch RCM software to bring patient financial services onto a single platform.

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PatientPing expands the availability of its real-time clinical and administrative data sharing technology for ED patients beyond Massachusetts to hospitals across the country.

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CVS Health unveils a set of tools to help pharmacists, physicians, and patients make more cost-conscious decisions about prescription drugs.


Privacy and Security

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St. Peter’s Surgery & Endoscopy Center (NY) notifies 135,000 patients of a January data breach in which its servers were hacked.

Philips warn that security vulnerabilities in its ISite and IntelliSpace PACS products could affect patient confidentiality and system integrity, some of which could expose systems to remote attacks using publicly available exploits. The company recommends enrolling in its ongoing patch program, which remediates all critical vulnerabilities, or upgrading to newer versions of IntelliSpace and Windows.


Other

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At an AMIA briefing on Capitol Hill, Geisinger Health System (PA) Chief Clinical Informatics Officer Alistair Erskine, MD points out that Apple’s Health Record app initiative is more limited than headlines suggest, given that it excludes Android users and does not yet give users access to their full medical records. Geisinger was one of the original 12 beta testers of the app; 39 health systems have signed up to partner with Apple so far.

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This article, highlighting the experiences of early adopters Penn Medicine (PA) and Johns Hopkins Medicine (MD), also presses pause on the Health Record app hype machine, pointing out that providers at non-participating organizations must proactively ask patients to share their data and are then faced with the question of what to do with it in its raw form.

A Black Book survey of health technology managers finds that hospitals that have implemented an enterprise master patient index have fewer duplicate patient records, reducing their cost, denied claims, and the number of repeated tests and procedures. QuadraMed’s product is #1 in user satisfaction and loyalty.


Sponsor Updates

  • HIE technology provider Koble Group will integrate patient risk management software from HBI Solutions.
  • Lightbeam Health Solutions will exhibit at CAPG April 19-21 in San Diego.
  • LiveProcess will exhibit at the Preparedness Summit April 17-20 in Atlanta.
  • MedData will exhibit at the HFMA Florida Space Coast Educational Event April 18 in Titusville.
  • Navicure, a Waystar company, publishes “Easily Increase Patient Collections: Six Steps to Energize Front-Line Processes.”
  • Clinical Computer Systems, developer of the Obix Perinatal Data System, will exhibit at the AL HIMSS 2018 Spring Conference April 18 in Huntsville.
  • Experian Health will exhibit at HFMA AR April 18-20 in Hot Springs, AR.
  • Daw Systems adds electronic prior authorization technology from CoverMyMeds to e-prescribing functionality within its ScriptSure EHR.

Blog Posts


Contacts

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

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News 4/11/18

April 10, 2018 News 3 Comments

Top News

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The Coast Guard, which previously failed in its attempt to go live on Epic, will instead implement Cerner as part of the DoD’s MHS Genesis project.

The DoD will revise its contract with primary contractor Leidos to incorporate the Coast Guard’s requirements. It says it won’t know whether the contract cost will increase until that work is finished.

The Coast Guard spent five years and $60 million – vs. the original budget of $14 million – trying to bring Epic live, only to give up and go back to paper after retiring the systems it was supposed to replace in early 2016.


Reader Comments

From Chance the Rapper: “Re: VA’s VistA. They should keep it, according to this poll.” The HIMSS-owned rag’s poll suffers from a multitude of problems that make its “keep VistA” conclusion useless beyond its intended clickbait purposes. Polls covering a detailed technical topic that generate a small number of responses from unvetted participants are pretty much worthless and certainly not something I’d splash all over social media. Most sites that run health IT polls intentionally hide how poorly they were designed and thus how questionable their results are.

From Firehydrant: “Re: Ascension. Cerner is possibly a victim of Ascension incompetence and political back-stabbing. Ascension IT has eliminated 20+ CIOs and 30+ directors as they drive strategy from St. Louis. They’re focusing on talent from Express Scripts. A recent all-hands webinar was marred by heckling staff using pseudonyms, with executives threatening to eliminate chat tools if the staff can’t be trusted.” Unverified.

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From Someone Formerly of NextGen: “Re: NextGen. Tweeting to hire new talent. Two days after they announced their $300 million credit with JP Morgan, they laid off 60 people, some of them key individuals in charge of implementing the new vision of NextGen. Depending on how they recovered from last year’s mass exodus of veteran sales professionals, this puts them at a 2-3 percent reduction of workforce.” Unverified. But I’ll say in the company’s defense that layoffs are common in health IT (especially the publicly traded ones like NextGen / Quality Systems) and companies are always cutting back headcount in some areas while expanding in others. It’s too bad that employees assigned to a particular project are often let go, but that’s the easiest way out for executives. QSII shares have lagged the Nasdaq for years, shedding 23 percent in the past five years vs. the Nasdaq’s 116 percent gain. The only QSII executive who’s been with the company longer than three years is the HR VP (who’s also the only woman among the six executives). CEO Rusty Frantz said in last month’s earnings call that “85 percent of our effort is focused on monetizing our existing client base” and that “the replacement market’s a tough place right now,” with obvious hope placed on the August 2017 acquisition of physician practice analytics vendor EagleDream Health as well as the new sales force he brought in.


Webinars

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Allscripts repositions its care and referral management system (the former ECIN, relabeled as Care Management) under CarePort, the outcomes technology vendor it acquired in October 2016. I interviewed CarePort co-founder and CEO Lissy Hu, MD in February.

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Healthfinch raises $5.7 million in a funding round.

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Theranos lays off most of its remaining employees following SEC fraud charges and ahead of a likely bankruptcy filing, leaving around 20 employees left vs. the 800 it had in late 2015.


Sales

HealthlinkNY selects the Quality product of Diameter Health, which is certified for more of NCQA’s e-clinical measures than any other firm.

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Freeman Health Systems (MO) will conduct an extended pilot of Mobile Heartbeat’s MH-CURE secure smartphone platform after completing a pilot in Freeman Hospital West’s cardiology department.

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Waverly Health Center (IA) will replace Allscripts Paragon with EClinicalWorks.


People

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Omnicell hires Scott Seidelmann (Candescent Health) as chief commercial officer. He founded radiology workflow technology vendor Candescent in March 2015 and sold it to Envision Healthcare in August 2017.

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Dennis Shin (The Advisory Board) joins oncology precision medicine software vendor Syapse as chief commercial officer.


Announcements and Implementations

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Phoenix Children’s Hospital (AZ) reports that its use of Medicomp’s Quippe Clinical Documentation has increased clinician productivity and enhanced documentation quality while nearly eliminating its $1 million annual transcription costs.

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Netsmart announces MyUnity, a cloud-based EHR for home care and senior living providers. It’s being demoed this week at the company’s CONN18 user conference in Phoenix.

Phynd integrates Healthwise’s clinical taxonomy into its Provider Information Management solution.

AMA and its Integrated Health Model Initiative launches an interoperability challenge – sponsored by Google – that calls for ideas on: (a) how patient-generated data can be moved from their mobile devices into physician workflow, and (b) how physician-generated data can be sent back to the patient’s device for action. Prizes are offered, but in the form of one-year Google Cloud credits instead of cash. Residents from anywhere in the world can participate except those countries labeled by the State Department as sponsoring terrorism (North Korea, Iran, Sudan, and Syria) and those in Canada, Mexico, and Brazil (I’m not sure how they got on the wrong side of the AMA to be lumped in with terrorist countries).

Video visit provider Doctor On Demand will enhance its lab ordering services via Change Healthcare’s network, which will allow patients to work with their doctor to choose the closest in-network lab location.

Inovalon launches services for clinical data extraction and natural language processing for its value-based care platform.


Government and Politics

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FDA caved to pressure from emotional patients and families two years ago in approving the expensive new drug Nuplazid for Parkinson’s diseases psychosis despite several studies that showed it ineffective at best and dangerous at worst. Now the adverse events reports are piling up.

CMS issues its 2019 insurance exchange rules, with Administrator Seema Verma loading her quotes and tweets with political derision in referring to “the harmful impacts of Obamacare” and “the previous Administration’s one-size-fits-all approach.” States will be given more flexibility in defining Essential Health Benefits, insurer risk adjustment will be tweaked, states will be allowed to request a lower Medical Loss Ratio for insurers to stabilize their markets, and the SHOP insurance program for small businesses will be moved from the exchanges to individual insurance agents. Verma said in a tweet that insurance premiums doubled in states that participated in the federal exchange even as fewer choices were offered, requiring regulatory reform.


Privacy and Security

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The congressional testimony of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg  suggests that Facebook’s platform is so complex that even the company didn’t know how it could be abused. He said:

  • Facebook versions through 2014 allowed companies to create quizzes that would give access to the information of the quiz-taker’s Facebook friends even though those friends hadn’t given permission and weren’t alerted.
  • Facebook learned from a newspaper story that a personality quiz developer had shared user information with Cambridge Analytica, after which that developer was banned and forced to delete the data.
  • Just two weeks ago, the company found out that a feature that allows looking someone up by their phone number and email address “was abused” by linking public Facebook information to their phone number.
  • Access to user data will be removed for apps that a given user hasn’t run for three months.
  • Apps will only be able to see user name, profile photo, and email address.
  • Users will see in their News Feed which apps they’ve authorized to use their data and whether Cambridge Analytica extracted their information.
  • Facebook will restrict use of some APIs, such as for groups and events.
  • Advertisers will have to confirm their identity and location before running political and issue ads.
  • Zuckerberg vows that “advertisers and developers will never take priority” over “bringing the world closer together” even though they are Facebook’s customers.
  • Some of the mostly elderly, non-technically savvy members of Congress seemed clueless about Facebook, with 84-year-old Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) asking Zuckerberg, “How do you sustain a business model in which users don’t pay for your services?” Zuckerberg couldn’t help smiling as he responded: “Senator, we run ads.”
  • Zuckerberg had to explain several times that Facebook doesn’t sell data, it only uses it to target ads.
  • Pressed hard on whether he would support a law requiring that users of any web service opt in before their data is used, Zuckerberg finally said yes.

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As someone tweeted, above is a suddenly relevant 2003 article from The Harvard Crimson.


Other

A Black Book survey of 19,000 physician practices finds that small-practice doctors who use specialty-specific EHRs are the happiest EHR customers. Leading the satisfaction pack are AdvancedMD, Drchrono, Epic, NextGen, Netsmart, Modernizing Medicine, and SIS Amkai. Other satisfaction leaders are T-System EV (emergency medicine), Praxis EMR (family practice), Surgical Information Systems (general surgery), DocuTap (urgent care and occupational medicine), and PointClickCare (geriatric medicine). The survey also found that while most practices regularly use basic EHR capabilities, those with six or fewer physicians rarely use electronic messaging, clinical decision support, interoperability, and patient engagement.

Mayo Clinic offers voluntary separation packages to 400 transcriptionists as technology replaces them even before it goes live on Epic.

Scientists propose defining Alzheimer’s disease by biological signs that can be observed 15-20 years before the first dementia symptoms are seen, a change that will greatly increase the count of people with the disease. They’re hoping to improve outcomes by starting treatments before brain damage has occurred. The researchers hope to get more patients enrolled in pre-symptomatic stage studies, but don’t recommend that people get tested on their own since there’s no available Alzheimer’s treatment.

A Health Affairs blog post says that only 15-20 percent of Baby Boomers will be able to afford the long-term care services they will begin consuming on a massive scale in the next 10 years. It adds that Medicaid will be stretched as the default insurance for half those people, also noting that less-wealthy Boomers will have to get used to the idea of sharing rooms in old facilities.

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This is the kind of careful editing that makes me comfortable sending $3,500 off to Pune to buy a Global Hospital Information Systems Market Report.


Sponsor Updates

  • AdvancedMD will exhibit at ASCRS April 13-17 in Washington, DC.
  • Agfa HealthCare acquires French e-health specialist Inovelan.
  • Arcadia will host Aggregate2018 April 18-20 in Boston.
  • Forbes names Direct Consulting Associates to its Best Professional Recruiting Firms of 2018.
  • The Hospital Association of Southern California partners with Collective Medical to bring members cost-saving identification and support of frequent ED utilizers.
  • CoverMyMeds will exhibit at the AAP Annual Conference April 12-14 in San Diego.
  • Meditech certifies infrastructure provider SYSDBA as the only systems integrator for Africa and the UK.
  • Spok executives will participate in upcoming events that include AONE, the AMDIS PCC Symposium, and the AHA Leadership Summit.
  • Dimensional Insight will exhibit at the ACO & Payer Leadership Summit April 12-13 in Palm Beach, FL.
  • EClinicalWorks will exhibit at the AAOE 2018 Annual Conference April 14-17 in Orlando.
  • Ellkay exhibits at the ACMG Annual Clinical Genetics Meeting April 10-14 in Charlotte, NC.
  • The HCI Group publishes a new case study, “Luke’s Goes 7 for 7 on HIMSS EMRAM Stage 7.”
  • InstaMed will exhibit at the Office Practicum User Conference April 12-14 in Orlando.

Blog Posts


Contacts

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

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Monday Morning Update 4/9/18

April 8, 2018 News 10 Comments

Top News

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Facebook acknowledges that it deployed interventional cardiologist Freddy Abnousi, MD, MBA, MSc (who was then working at Stanford) to try to convince hospitals to give the company anonymized patient information. Facebook was planning to re-identify the medical information of those patients by matching their records to its own data trove, which it claims was to be used purely for medical research purposes.

Facebook has put the project on hold as it deals with its Cambridge Analytica privacy backlash.

The American College of Cardiology was on board, with its interim CEO explaining the research benefit of shipping patient data to Facebook. ACC was apparently aware that Facebook planned to re-identify its data simple database-matching  (“hashing”) techniques.

Abnousi’s LinkedIn shows that he spent 18 months as a Google Distinguished Scholar and remains an innovation advisor to the American College of Cardiology. It also says he has been “leading confidential projects at Facebook” since August 2016.

We can probably excuse Facebook for intruding on the privacy of its users since that’s what Facebook does. Who’s going to call ACC and Abnousi to task for trying to broker a deal for selling patient information knowing that it would not remain anonymous?

I couldn’t find anything online about whether ACC or its contributing hospitals inform patients that their data will be used or allows them to opt in or out, so I assume it falls under HIPAA’s “treatment, payment, or operations” free pass.


Reader Comments

From Apparent Irony: “Re: Ascension WI. Abruptly paused its Cerner OneChart implementation on Tuesday and let go all of the clinical associates on the project unless they can reclaim their former role. No severance and no word on when the project will be resumed.” Unverified.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

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Most poll respondents aren’t using LinkedIn to find employees or jobs, read/publish articles, or exchange messages, but rather to just see what friends and former colleagues are doing. Quite a few don’t use LinkedIn at all. A couple of readers find it useful to prep for the HIMSS conference (to see who works where) or for monitoring competing vendors. Another’s smart job-hunting strategy was to see who previously held the open position to gain knowledge about the company or to look up current and previous employees to understand the technologies they use.

New poll to your right or here: do you think your de-identified patient data is safe from being re-identified?

I received a few responses – some positive, some not — to What I Wish I’d Known Before … Serving on the Board of a Company or Non-Profit.

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This week’s question involves choosing an EHR consulting firm.

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Welcome to new HIStalk Platinum Sponsor Collective Medical. The Draper, UT-based company’s lightweight, interoperable PreManage platform for providers or health plans closes the communication gaps that undermine patient care. Care teams trust it to identify at-risk and complex patients, facilitate collaboration, and provide real-time event notification to improve their outcomes. Hospital care teams get actionable care plan information as well as workflow-driven, point-of-care insights for social determinants of health, prescription histories, and advance directives. Its EDIE (Every ED Instantly) presents information from all ED visits to avoid unnecessary work-ups, cost, and under-informed treatment decision. The company’s nationwide network is engaged by every national health plan, hundreds of hospitals, and tens of thousands of providers. The end result is streamlined transitions of care, improved coordination across diverse care teams, and fewer unnecessary admissions. Thanks to Collective Medical for supporting HIStalk.


Webinars

April 10 (Tuesday) 3:00 ET. “Using Socioeconomic Data, Not Just Demographics, to Create a Healthier Patient Population.” Sponsor: LexisNexis. Presenters: Erin Benson, director of marketing planning, LexisNexis Health Care; Eric McCulley, director of strategic solutions consultants, LexisNexis Health Care. Did you know that 25 cents of every healthcare dollar is spent on health conditions that are caused by changeable behavior? Use of social determinants of health (SDOH) — including information on households, neighborhoods, relatives, and assets — can directly improve care management and risk stratification. However, it’s important to first define what SDOH is and isn’t. A recent LexisNexis Health Care CIO survey found that only 50 percent of organizations are using SDOH data at all, and even then, they have only limited information from their EHR or from patient surveys. The question is: what are you going to do about it? This webinar will reveal the myths and truths that will help you avoid answering, “Not enough.”

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

 

Here’s the recording of last week’s webinar titled “Succeeding in Value-Based Care Via a Technology-Driven Approach,” sponsored by Health Fidelity.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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An Alabama federal judge rules that 36 Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance plan licensees violated anti-trust laws in creating their longstanding agreements to avoid competing with each other in their respective geographic areas, thus using their clout to reduce competition and raise prices.

A Kaiser Health News investigation finds that drug companies are spending nearly twice as much on patient advocacy groups than direct lobbying, benefiting as group members testify before Congress, organize letter-writing and social media campaigns, and repeat company-issued talking points, all activities that don’t have to be reported as lobbying by the sponsoring company. The American Diabetes Association accepted $18 million of drug company money last year even as those companies repeatedly hiked the price of insulin, often in lockstep with each other.


Decisions

  • Auburn Community Hospital (NY) went live with Philips Interspace Cardiovascular on April 7.
  • Fayette Regional Health System (IN) will switch from Evident to Athenahealth in 2018.
  • Enloe Medical Center (CA) will go live with Epic on April 29.
  • Northern Inyo Hospital (CA) will switch from McKesson to Athenahealth in 2018.
  • MultiCare Deaconess Hospital (WA) will go live with Epic in summer 2018,

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


People

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Gillie McCreath (Oliver Wyman) joins Mazars USA’s healthcare consulting group as principal.

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The White House hires Adam Boehler (CEO of investor-backed home care vendor Landmark Health) as director of the CMS’s Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation.


Government and Politics

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Texas Agriculture Commissioner and former rodeo cowboy Sid Miller appoints Rick Redalen, MD (self-styled as “The Maverick Doctor”) to the state’s Rural Health Task Force, about which the Austin newspaper observes:

  • Redalen formed software companies ExitCare (patient education, sold to Elsevier in 2012) and Quest Global Benefits (healthcare cost control). He is an advocate for telemedicine, which is offered by the latter company and thus presents a potential conflict of interest.
  • Redalen donated heavily to the campaign of Miller, who wrote, ““I want to thank my good friend, Dr. Rick Redalen (AKA Dr. Maverick) for the wonderful work he is doing in helping educate the people of our country about the threat of four more years of ObamaCare. Rick is recognized around the world for being an innovator in healthcare technology. He is an important advisor to me and my State Office of Rural Health and is a strong supporter of #DonaldTrump.”
  • His medical license was suspended by the medical boards of three states, one of which cited his “psychiatric and drug problems.”
  • Redalen married his 15-year-old former stepdaughter after his wife (her mother) committed suicide. He had pleaded guilty to hitting the mother with a rifle butt and pointing a weapon at deputies, then later was convicted of perjury for lying about the girl’s whereabouts.

Privacy and Security

Steve Long, CEO of ransomware-hacked Hancock Health, is hitting the speaker circuit to provide digital defense advice, presumably to hospitals that, unlike his, (a) haven’t been hacked; and (b) if they were, wouldn’t pay a hacker the demanded ransom and thus encourage further such activity. I might well have done the same if I were in his shoes, but I don’t think I’d feel qualified to advise others.


Other

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Cardiologist, digital health expert, and HIMSS board member David Scher, MD weighs in on using digital health data for clinical trials, making these points:

  • Some clinical studies have shown that using fitness trackers didn’t deliver the expected weight loss.
  • Few new wearables are being marketed, but existing ones are being used more intensely, such as in his own practice, where Holter monitors have mostly been replaced with wearables.
  • Wearables haven’t had much impact on clinical trials because the information they collect – such as vital signs –- is primitive and mostly irrelevant, not to mention that including wearables makes studies more complicated.
  • Moving wearables into the clinical trials realm will require collecting more information, such as electrolyte levels, hydration, and body temperature.
  • The massive amount of data created by wearables can cause the FDA to scrutinize studies more closely and it’s hard to apply analytics to sort out the data deluge.
  • The cost of clinical trials (and thus the profit of clinical research organizations) will go down in the next 10-15 years as wearables will collect and report information in the background

Vince and Elise cover Athenahealth, EClinicalWorks, and Meditech, which occupy positions #4-6 in their list of top vendors by annual revenue.


Sponsor Updates

  • Logicworks reports record revenue growth as the market for managed cloud services dramatically expands.
  • MedData and PatientKeeper will exhibit at the Society of Hospital Medicine Annual Meeting April 9-10 in Orlando.
  • OmniSYS will obtain access to immunization registries from Scientific Technologies Corporation that will allow pharmacy customers of its Vaccine Management System to improve vaccination rates.
  • Magnolia Regional Health Center CMIO Amanda Finley explains how their Meditech EHR has helped care teams diagnose and treat ED patients.
  • Clinical Computer Systems, developer of the Obix Perinatal Data System, will exhibit at the KY Bluegrass HIMSS Spring Conference April 12-13 in Florence, IN.
  • News: OmniSys and Scientific Technologies Corp. announce strategic partnership
  • Parallon Technology Solutions provides Meditech training and go-live support for Ohio Valley Medical Center and East Ohio Regional Hospital.
  • Experian Health will exhibit at HFMA Oklahoma April 12-13 in Oklahoma City, OK.
  • PerfectServe will present at AONE 2018 April 14 in Indianapolis.
  • QuadraMed will exhibit at the 2018 ILHIMA & MoHIMA Joint Annual Meeting April 11-13 in St. Charles, MO.
  • The SSI Group will exhibit at the Colorado HFMA Annual Conference April 11 in Westminster.
  • Surescripts will exhibit at the OP User Conference April 12-14 in Orlando.
  • Wellsoft will exhibit at the Texas Organization of Rural and Community Hospitals event April 10-12 in Dallas.

Blog Posts


Contacts

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

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Reader Comments

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