Weekly News Recap
- Analytics-powered remote patient monitoring vendor Biofourmis raises $100 million.
- Nordic lays off 72 employees.
- The US Coast Guard goes live on DoD’s Cerner-powered MHS Genesis.
- Personal health record and real-world evidence vendor PicnicHealth raises $35 million in Series A and B funding rounds.
- TigerConnect acquires Adjuvant’s physician scheduling tool.
- AMA releases CPT 2021.
- Ascension Health announces plans to lay off 223 IT employees and outsource their jobs.
- Konica Minolta will pay $500,000 to settle false claims act charges related to its acquired Viztek Exa EHR.
Best Reader Comments
”If Medicare requires use of something [CPT codes], it should be in the public domain, but there’s too much money and lobbying involved to make a change” nailed it. But isn’t money and lobbying so much of what has led to our great American non-system in the first place? (Kevin Hepler)
Any well-designed archive should require multi-level authentication to delete any study. Preferably this has at least three distinct administrators who all need to sign off on any deletion, even an individual one, let alone thousands. VNAs and even standard PACS archives don’t delete the data, but instead just change the pointer to the revised study it if a study is modified. That way you still have both studies saved. The disaster recovery data in the cloud should NEVER be allowed to be deleted by ANYONE under ANY circumstance. (Youshouldknowbetter)
Not sure why PicnicHealth was able to raise that kind of round as their pricing model is anything but sound. Maybe for the most worried well, Silicon Valley parents types (e.g. those with $$$ to spare) but for the vast populace, that pricing is a non-starter. (John)
InfoGard is paid to rubber stamp certifications and treats some fraud fines as the cost of doing business. I think the real story here is that HHS and the feds rely so heavily on private contractors and private industry. Teasing out why and enacting change is something not even on anybody’s radar. Fifty years ago, the feds would have just done this certification work themselves and there wouldn’t be the same mismatched incentives. Now it is outsourced three different ways, costs more, and still nothing gets done. (IANAL)
I find it interesting that the testing organization, (InfoGard) couldn’t ferret out hard-coded data. It is really as simple as sampling from the top n (100) plus alpha and noticing that every time you change the value for n the source system has to go back and redo their work. Or, asking the question, “Can you show me your dictionary for x in SQL?” then ask them to do a count of that dictionary and compare it to the expected value. If you are off by hundreds of thousands, then you hard-coded values. By that I mean, RxNorm has 70k? values in the in/min and brand TTY? If the solution under test can’t show an RxNorm table, or its equivalent (Medispan, First Databank, Multum) with a pretty close proximity to that number, then you have a Houston moment. This isn’t rocket surgery. That pattern of ask/fail/return with the correct answer wouldn’t pass a grade school teacher’s closed book exam sniff test. Just as it should never have passed their tests. (AnInteropGuy)
Have you invested in the Echo ecosystem from the beginning and participated in the evolution of functions that go way beyond just “features”? If so, you may know how it has enabled neurologically compromised seniors to have voice-activated and managed communication access they would not otherwise have, along with fall risk options, security, and safety, all for no additional cost beyond the acquisition of devices, plugs (flex), etc. The core premise of Halo is not simply for the worried well. I appreciate the non-screen and the investment in the core and am very much look forward to the evolving features and benefits. There are a lot of “worried well” gadgets out there (remember the HIMSS-aligned “Misfit” series). Halo is not one of them. (Smart Platforms)
[Paper forms are still used] because the UI of a typical paper form has been developed for several hundred years and the UI of your tablet was developed by some contractor who just learned “hello world.” Paper doesn’t freeze or run out of battery or break when you drop it or require an IT guy or struggle to be read by the tech averse. Plus the company pays the receptionist to sit their anyway and they are the only place in town that accepts your insurance. (IANAL)
Watercooler Talk Tidbits
Readers funded the Donors Choose teacher grant request of Ms. H in Michigan, who asked for math games for her readiness program for students aged four or five. She reported in early March, “The math games were used for our March into Math event that encourages parents to learn and take home math-related materials to help children continue to learn at home. This by far was the most successful mathematics event we have hosted so far. The room was completely filled. As students walked in with their parents, they immediately saw the table display of all the games and became very excited about our evening. These materials have helped us demonstrate a variety of mathematic concepts that are needed for them to be successful in pre-school as well as transitioning into kindergarten. Thank you for your support and making an impact on the lives of my students.”
CVS-owned chronic care management service Accordant apologizes to a patient who described her anxiety over COVID-19 to one of its telephone nurses, who then told the woman that she didn’t need to worry because “the CDC is lying to us and doctors are being paid to lie about COVID.”
Americans who are used to day-tripping to Mexico or Canada to buy prescriptions or medical services for much less money are “trapped in their own healthcare system” now that those borders have been closed to non-essential travel. A Texas man had dental work done in Mexico for $750 that would have cost $10,000 on this side of the border, then found that he could buy his $275 insulin for $20 there. He formerly skipped eating for days at a time to ration his insulin, calculating his lifespan at the number of days’ supply of insulin he has on hand plus three days. A pharmacy in Vancouver that has served some American customers for years is dealing with those who have been laid off, taking the distinctly non-American approach of, “We’ve sent them what they needed and we tell them, pay us when you can.”
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