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Monday Morning Update 7/24/23

July 23, 2023 News 7 Comments

Top News

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The Federal Trade Commission and HHS OCR send a joint letter to 130 health systems and telehealth providers, warning them that the use of online tracking technologies such as Meta Pixel and Google Analytics may create privacy and security issues that violate HIPAA, the FTC Act, or the FTC Health Breach Notification Rule.

FTC notes that companies that aren’t covered entities under HIPAA are still responsible for protecting against unauthorized disclosure of PHI, noting FTC’s recent enforcement actions against BetterHelp, GoodRx, and Premom.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

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Most poll respondents don’t think that DoD’s successful completion of MHS Genesis has predictive value for the VA’s implementation of the same Oracle Health system.

New poll to your right or here: How much control should patients have in the sharing of their EHR information? I’m also interested in what providers think about receiving what seems to be a complete medical record that may have had some information intentionally hidden by the patient.


Webinars

July 26 (Wednesday) 1 ET. “Lessons We’ve Learned Since Launching our Cancer Prevention Program.” Sponsor: Volpara Health. Presenter: Albert Bonnema, MD, MPH chief medical information officer, Kettering Health System, and Chris Yuppa, product owner for oncology services and cancer prevention, Kettering Health System. Kettering’s IT department has played a critical role in providing an EHR-driven framework to bring cancer risk assessment and individual prevention plans to more than 90,000 patients. Primary care, OB/GYN, oncology, and imaging providers are now able to assess the hereditary, genetic, and lifestyle factors that affect the risk of developing lung, breast, ovarian, colon, and prostate cancer in any patient encounter. Learn how Kettering brings together people, processes, and technology to be more proactive in the fight against cancer and where its cancer prevention program is headed next.

July 27 (Thursday) noon ET. “Why You Shouldn’t Wait to Use Generative AI.” Sponsor: Orbita. Presenter: Bill Rogers, co-founder, president, and chairman, Orbita. The advent of generative AI tools truly represents a paradigm shift. And while some healthcare leaders embrace the transformation, others are hesitant. Invest 20 minutes to learn why you shouldn’t wait. When combined with natural language processing, workflow automation and conversational dialogs, generative AI can help leaders address a raft of challenges: from over-extended staff, to the rising demand for self-service tools, to delivering secure information to key stakeholders. You will learn where AI delivers the greatest value for providers and life sciences, how it can solve critical challenges faced by healthcare leaders, and how Orbita has integrated generative AI into its conversational platform so healthcare leaders can leverage its full capabilities safely and securely.

July 27 (Thursday) 2 ET. “Denial Prevention 101: How to stop denials from the start.” Sponsor: Waystar. Presenter: Crystal Ewing, director of product management, Waystar. There’s a reason denial prevention is prominent everywhere in healthcare RCM. Denials reduce cash flow, drive down revenue, and negatively impact the patient and staff experience. More than half of front-end denials don’t have to happen, but, once they do, that money is gone. It’s a pretty compelling reason to take some time now to do some preventative care on your revenue cycle. This webinar will help you optimize your front end to stop denials at the start. We’ll explore the importance of not only having the right data, but having it right where staff need it, when they need it.

Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre to present or promote your own.


People

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Tanya Townsend, MSMI (LCMC Health) joins Stanford Medicine Children’s Health as chief information and digital officer.


Announcements and Implementations

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KLAS looks at the key performance grades of several EHRS and the change in their net number of hospital customers over five years:

Altera / Allscripts: D+, net loss of 143 hospitals.
Epic: A-, net gain of 434 hospitals.
Evident: D+, net loss of 91 hospitals.
Meditech: B, net gain of 14 hospitals.
Oracle Health: D+, net gain of 99 hospitals.

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A Wall Street Journal report says that AI-powered medical scribe service DeepScribe employs a team of 200 contractors to fix mistakes made by its AI, noting that the level of inaccuracy is a reflection of AI’s limitations rather than product shortcomings. The contractors listen to the audio recordings, use Google searches to find billing codes, and catch errors. Current and former workers say the rare mistakes that slip through are always caught by the originating doctor. The co-founders say that the company’s software can create 80% of a given medical record without human help, and WSJ notes that they are transparent about that fact and the rigor of their review process in their sales presentations.


Government and Politics

ONC publishes Version 4 of the US Core Data for Interoperability (USCDI), which includes 20 new data elements and a new data class for describing the physical location of services provided.

Ashavan founder and CEO Cyrus Bahrassa urges the White House to add EHR vendor interoperability charges to its list of much-hated fees that most commonly include Ticketmaster, Airbnb, and banks. He cites the high fees associated with HL7v2 interfaces, FHIR API subscription fees, and the costs of listing and distributing apps via EHR vendor app marketplaces as “interoperability’s junk fees.”


Other

A Johns Hopkins study finds that use of hearing aids was associated with a 48% reduction in cognitive decline in high-risk people. The authors speculate that the benefit is created by a reduced need for the brain to interpret audio signals, the possible reduction in brain atrophy, and higher social activity when hearing problems are reduced.

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AMA President Jesse Ehrenfeld, MD, MPH describes his view of using AI in medicine:

  • The probabilistic algorithms, they’re just too narrow. They can’t substitute for the judgment, the nuance, or the thought that a clinician brings. There’s a lot of opportunity to think about these tools as a co-pilot, but not an autopilot, particularly in the diagnostic realm. That’s why the FDA’s forthcoming regulatory framework for AI-enabled devices is proposing to be much more stringent on AI tools that make a diagnosis or recommend a treatment, especially if it’s an algorithm that continues to adapt or learn over time, these so-called continuous learning systems. Algorithms are great for solving a textbook patient or a very narrow clinical question … but patients, they’re not a standardized question stem. They’re humans with thoughts, with emotions, with complex medical, social, psychiatric backgrounds. And I’ll tell you, they rarely follow the textbooks … There is an active current federal proposal that would hold physicians solely liable for the harm resulting from an algorithm if I rely on the algorithm in my clinical decision making. We don’t think that’s the right approach. We think that the liability ought to be placed with the people who are best positioned to mitigate the harm. And that is likely going to be the developer, the implementer, whoever buys these things, often not the end user, the clinician.

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Cancer survivor and Clearsense marketing director Kate-Madonna Hindes declines to serve as the human interoperability engine for Mayo Clinic in transcribing her Epic-stored information onto a clipboard form. Twitter comments suggest that many of us are tired of being asked to restate the same information and worrying how it will be reconciled on the back end, even if few of us have her nerve to just say no (Mayo folks are always bragging on their technology expertise and commercial tie-ins, so maybe they can explain the point of such redundant analog documentation and how they process the completed form):

  • “A good measure of a poorly run organization is how much of the admin work they pass on to the end user.”
  • “When I had PTSD I got so sick of introducing myself & my history for half the session. Like my records are there, please take some time.”
  • “I’ve started doing similar. No, I don’t need to write down each of my 20 meds on 3 tiny single spaced lines. Or my 45 years of surgical history. You have this.”
  • “What it is telling me is the process is broken. Kinda like complaining to your provider about issues and at the end of the day, they want you to fill out a form.”

Sponsor Updates

  • Encore Health Group and Affiliates sees success with its upgrade to EClinicalWorks V12, and Healow patient engagement solutions.
  • Meditech’s Surveillance predictive analytics solution helps Golden Valley Memorial Healthcare (MO) reduce maternal complications.
  • Mobile Heartbeat publishes a new e-book, “The Many Harms of Alarm Fatigue.”
  • The Heidrick & Struggles Leadership Podcast features Nuance EVP and GM Diana Nole.
  • Netsmart will integrate RethinkFirst’s ABA clinical solution with its suite of certified CareRecords software.
  • Nordic Consulting receives 12 of 13 validations in a recent KLAS report on EHR education software and services.
  • Tegria releases a new case study, “Outsourced Business Office Transforms Accounts Receivable, Increases Cash.”

Blog Posts


Contacts

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

Morning Headlines 7/21/23

July 20, 2023 Headlines No Comments

Franciscan Health parent to shift 61 employees to outside firm

Franciscan Alliance will rebadge 61 IT employees of Franciscan Health Indianapolis to managed services provider R4 Solutions.

UpLift gets $11M Series A for insurance-based telemental health

Virtual mental healthcare company UpLift, which markets its services primarily to payers, raises $10.7 million in Series A funding.

HHS Office for Civil Rights and the Federal Trade Commission Warn Hospital Systems and Telehealth Providers about Privacy and Security Risks from Online Tracking Technologies

The HHS Office for Civil Rights and the FTC warn 130 hospitals and telemedicine companies of the security and privacy risks related to the use of online tracking technologies within their websites or apps, which may be sharing the sensitive personal health data of consumers without their permission to third parties.

News 7/21/23

July 20, 2023 News 1 Comment

Top News

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Private equity firm Thomas H. Lee Partners sells specialty EHR/PM vendor Nextech to another PE firm, TPG, for $1.4 billion.

THL bought the company for $500 million in June 2019, after which it acquired TouchMD and MyMedLeads.


Reader Comments

From Jetty: “Re: forgiven federal Paycheck Protection Program loans. The DOJ is investigating those of over $1 million. Big-dollar exhibitors at ViVE and HIMSS are large takers of these forgiven loans that were intended to keep workers employed during COVID-19.” The reader compared ProPublica’s PPP loan database to online sources that estimate the revenue of privately held companies, noting that two health IT companies derived more than 20% of their annual revenue from forgiven PPP loans, 14 health IT vendors had loans of over $2 million that were forgiven, and 27 HIT companies received $1 million or more of loans that they don’t have to repay. My take: while this is mildly interesting, nothing suggests improper activity. The federal government’s loans – which covered up to eight weeks of payroll costs, including benefits — were forgiven if the recipients documented that at least 60% of the money was spent on payroll. The federal government is reviewing the Small Business Administration’s disbursement of $1.2 trillion in COVID-related loans, of which its OIG estimates that $200 billion involves fraud. The real news will be if the feds accuse any of the health IT companies of wrongdoing, which hasn’t happened.


Webinars

July 26 (Wednesday) 1 ET. “Lessons We’ve Learned Since Launching our Cancer Prevention Program.” Sponsor: Volpara Health. Presenter: Albert Bonnema, MD, MPH chief medical information officer, Kettering Health System, and Chris Yuppa, product owner for oncology services and cancer prevention, Kettering Health System. Kettering’s IT department has played a critical role in providing an EHR-driven framework to bring cancer risk assessment and individual prevention plans to more than 90,000 patients. Primary care, OB/GYN, oncology, and imaging providers are now able to assess the hereditary, genetic, and lifestyle factors that affect the risk of developing lung, breast, ovarian, colon, and prostate cancer in any patient encounter. Learn how Kettering brings together people, processes, and technology to be more proactive in the fight against cancer and where its cancer prevention program is headed next.

July 27 (Thursday) noon ET. “Why You Shouldn’t Wait to Use Generative AI.” Sponsor: Orbita. Presenter: Bill Rogers, co-founder, president, and chairman, Orbita. The advent of generative AI tools truly represents a paradigm shift. And while some healthcare leaders embrace the transformation, others are hesitant. Invest 20 minutes to learn why you shouldn’t wait. When combined with natural language processing, workflow automation and conversational dialogs, generative AI can help leaders address a raft of challenges: from over-extended staff, to the rising demand for self-service tools, to delivering secure information to key stakeholders. You will learn where AI delivers the greatest value for providers and life sciences, how it can solve critical challenges faced by healthcare leaders, and how Orbita has integrated generative AI into its conversational platform so healthcare leaders can leverage its full capabilities safely and securely.

July 27 (Thursday) 2 ET. “Denial Prevention 101: How to stop denials from the start.” Sponsor: Waystar. Presenter: Crystal Ewing, director of product management, Waystar. There’s a reason denial prevention is prominent everywhere in healthcare RCM. Denials reduce cash flow, drive down revenue, and negatively impact the patient and staff experience. More than half of front-end denials don’t have to happen, but, once they do, that money is gone. It’s a pretty compelling reason to take some time now to do some preventative care on your revenue cycle. This webinar will help you optimize your front end to stop denials at the start. We’ll explore the importance of not only having the right data, but having it right where staff need it, when they need it.

Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre to present or promote your own.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

Open access publisher JMIR Publications acquires the Online Journal of Public Health Informatics.


Sales

  • Universal Health Services will expand its Oracle Health acute care EHR implementation to its 200 behavioral health facilities.
  • Thomas Jefferson University Hospital will pilot the use of AliveCor’s personal ECG monitoring technology to monitor its methadone maintenance therapy patients for QT prolongation.
  • Online behavioral health provider WellQor chooses the Arize EHR of Cantata Health Solutions. 
  • Prisma Health will expand its implementation of HealthSnap’s virtual care management platform to all of its ambulatory primary care sites.

People

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Weight loss and health coaching platform vendor Noom hires Geoff Cook (The Meet Group) as CEO as the company transitions into the obesity drugs business. He replaces co-founder Saeju Jeong, who will continue as executive board chair.

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Prescription benefits technology vendor Capital Rx hires Sunil Budhrani, MD, MPH, MBA (Innovation Health) as chief medical and innovation officer.

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Scott Maratea (Motivo Health) joins Curve Health as chief revenue officer.

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WellSky promotes Mitchell Morgan, MBA to VP of sales.

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Brian Briscoe, MD, who pioneered the implementation of digital radiology in his work at the Baltimore VA in the early 1990s and demonstrated workstation-based image reading at RSNA 2000, died July 2. He was 91.

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Industry long-timer Glenn Gross, whose sales roles over the years included time with Tempus Software / QuadraMed and The SSI Group, died last week at 64.


Announcements and Implementations

MemorialCare and Pacific Dental Services will open the first of several planned co-located medical and dental offices, where dentists will use the same Epic system as the center’s family medicine, OB/GYN, and pediatrics physicians. PDS completed its Epic implementation in August 2022, converting the records of 9.7 million patients at its 885 practices in 25 states, training 14,000 employees. The company says using Epic allows its clinicians to create better treatment plans based on oral health’s impact on systemic conditions, identify systemic diseases earlier based on oral health changes, build more trust with patients, and communicate with patients via MyChart.

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KU Medical Center interviews Diego Mazzotti, PhD, assistant professor of medical informatics, about his sleep disorder research. He is connecting data from EHRs, CPAP machines, and sleep studies to determine the types of sleep apnea patients who are most at risk for heart disease and to determine the effectiveness of CPAP in preventing it.

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South Georgia Medical Center recognizes six members of the IT department’s network team as Health System Heroes for their work in protecting patient privacy and health system security.

Franciscan Alliance will rebadge 61 IT employees of Franciscan Health Indianapolis to managed services provider R4 Solutions.

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UCSD nanoengineering researchers say that digital technologies can help mitigate health system burden as life expectancy grows, specifically wearables that allow older adults to monitor their health and maintain independence at home. They predict the rise of smart homes whose body-worn and surveillance tools are connected to telehealth platforms and a cloud analytics platform to provide remote monitoring. They expect to see foot-worn sensors; smart mirrors that can identify appearance changes, detect falls, and serve as a visual display; the use of digital personal assistants to provide reminders and cognitive stimulation; and deployment of robots to support care and to provide stimulation.


Privacy and Security

Froedtert Hospital will pay $2 million to settle a class action lawsuit over its use of Meta’s Pixel web user tracking tool on its MyChart portal and public websites.


Other

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Debbie Sukin, MHA, PhD, EVP/CEO of Houston Methodist The Woodlands Hospital, describes present and future use cases of ambient intelligence:

  • Using inpatient room technology to prevent falls, create clinical documentation, and monitor hand hygiene while anonymizing the people who are present.
  • Tracking OR procedures – start time, turnover time, and instruments used – using AI and machine learning that updates schedules every 60 seconds.
  • Assessing patient pain.
  • Detecting incontinence.
  • Detecting elopement.

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Internist Michael Stillman, MD’s “Death by Patient Portal” JAMA opinion piece describes his struggle to management patient portal messages and his decision to send a message to all of his patients laying out his guidelines. He was surprised to find that many of them told him that they, too are fatigued by hundreds of messages each day and an expectation of constant accessibility. He laid out these expectations, which immediately generated 50 responses from patients expressing their support:

  • He was spending two hours per day responding to 50 portal messages, some of which would have been directed to other employees before the portal was implemented.
  • Despite their convenience, portal messages are not as good as appointments.
  • He will respond to messages within three days, but won’t check them after hours and on weekends, suggesting calling the office for more urgent issues.
  • Referral and refill messages will be managed by medical assistants.
  • Matters related to an upcoming appointment should be saved until then.

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Technology entrepreneur and investor David Heinemeier Hansson – who is also a fine business tech writer whose style reminds me of “Joel on Software” — proudly proclaims that “We have left the cloud,” explaining why software vendor 37signals moved six legacy applications, including one that was developed as a cloud application, from AWS back to its own hardware. Points:

  • The move will save $1.5 million per year, IT team size didn’t change since the promised productivity gains were never realized anyway, and user response time has improved.
  • Total hardware investment was a one-time $500,000, which is amortizable as a capital expense over five years, versus the company’s annual cloud budget of $3.2 million.
  • The company rolls out hardware similarly to rental clouds. It buys hardware from Dell, has it shipped to its two data centers, and uses a third-party service to rack the new machines. Each of its two data centers received 20 servers, which he notes from the delivery photo above is “a staggering amount of computing power in a shockingly small footprint” (4,000 vCPUs, 7,680 GB of RAM, and 384 TB of solid-state storage).
  • The only negative is that the time between needing new servers and seeing them online is obviously increased, but the author notes that while it’s incredible to see 100 powerful machines spin up on the cloud in just a few minutes, you pay dearly for that privilege. He notes that the load variance in many companies doesn’t justify renting.
  • He concludes that the cloud is great for early-stage companies that are either flush with cash or are likely to go broke within two years, but warns that it’s hard to change your mind later when costs increase and the expected reduction in complication doesn’t materialize.

Sponsor Updates

  • Hunt Scanlon offers insights from Direct Recruiters in its latest Private Equity Recruiting Report.
  • Elsevier publishes a new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, “The Health and Economic Impact of Expanding Home Blood Pressure Monitoring.”
  • Universal Health Services expands its Oracle Health EHR across its network of behavioral health facilities.
  • Healthcare Triangle expands its contract with an existing biopharmaceutical customer to extend the customer’s suite of cloud DevOps, data engineering, and data platform management solutions.
  • Fortified Health Security releases its 2023 Mid-Year Horizon Report.
  • Medicomp Systems releases a new Tell Me Where It Hurts Podcast featuring Greenway Health CMO Michael Blackman, MD.
  • Nordic posts a new podcast, “Designing for Health: Interview with Dr. Manish Patel”.
  • Medhost will exhibit at the Texas Healthcare Governance Conference through July 22 in Austin.

Blog Posts


Contacts

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

EPtalk by Dr. Jayne 7/20/23

July 20, 2023 Dr. Jayne No Comments

There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t see an article or hear commentary about how AI is going to somehow cause the end of the world. Earlier this month, it caused plenty of chaos at Gizmodo, when an AI-created story about Star Wars hit the virtual presses.

The author, “Gizmodo Bot,” created a work about the chronological order of various installments in the Star Wars franchise. A deputy editor who performed an initial review found 18 issues with the story, including elements being out of order, missing, or incorrectly formatted. He also took issue with the fact that the story didn’t include a disclaimer that it was AI-generated except for the byline. I found it interesting that the story was written using both ChatGPT and Google Bard.

Gizmodo staff commented: “I have never had to deal with this basic level of incompetence with any of the colleagues that I have ever worked with… If these AI [chatbots] can’t even do something as basic as put a Star Wars movie in order one after the other, I don’t think you can trust it to [report] any kind of accurate information.”

As much as many of us share concerns about using AI in healthcare, using it in news might be even more worrisome. Although this certainly wasn’t a hard-hitting news article, it deals with subject matter about which there are a number of authoritative resources and its chronology is undebated. When you consider other subject matter where things might not be so clear (such as when there are consensus recommendations, expert opinion, and data from clinical research that might not always agree), the stakes are higher.

Still, I got a chuckle out of a description of employee feedback that was delivered in a Gizmodo Slack channel. A company comment about future use of AI received “16 thumbs down emoji, 11 wastebasket emoji, six clown emoji, two face palm emoji, and two poop emoji,” according to screenshots provided to media. Here’s to employees who feel comfortable speaking their mind.

Following a recent change to Utah law which allows pharmacists to prescribe birth control, Intermountain Health has launched a virtual care program to serve the state’s women. After a virtual visit, patients can receive prescriptions for contraceptive pills, patches, or rings. Medications can be mailed directly to patients. The $20 virtual visit fee makes it an economical care option for many. Utah joins 24 other states plus the District of Columbia in allowing pharmacists to have prescriptive authority for birth control.

The hot topic around the virtual water cooler this week was the Freed AI-driven virtual scribe service. They must have done a major marketing push because several people had heard of it and a couple were checking it out. They advertise 20 free visits with no credit card required for signup, and an ongoing price of $99 per month for unlimited visits with no lead time for cancellation. They also offer discounts if you are an “in-debt resident or facing financial challenges.” The solution says it will place all the documentation — including notes, pended orders, and after-visit summaries – into “your favorite EHR” for review and signature.

I’ve seen enough virtual scribe services to be at least a little skeptical, especially given the pricing. If you know more about Freed, or if you’ve given it a test drive, let me know. I’ll be happy to run your anonymous thoughts and impressions.

CMS has opened a call for public comments on MACRO cost measures. The 12 measures have been part of the Merit-based Incentive Payment System since the 2020 performance year and CMS is considering a comprehensive reevaluation. The survey  is open until July 21 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern and is divided into two sections covering cross-cutting questions and measure-specific questions. All questions are optional, which is nice for those of us who might not have the time to go through the entire thing or for those who just want to give specific feedback about a particular measure that applies to their specialty or subspecialty. CMS is using a survey partner to make recommendations on whether there should be changes, although the ultimate decision belongs to CMS.

I was intrigued to learn about the Alcohol Capture app that is designed for patients to capture 14 days of alcohol consumption data for research purposes. It’s been found to be valid and reliable, and includes the drinks and sizes commonly available in its development site of Australia. I enjoyed learning that there’s a drink size called a schooner (425 mL) and also one called a middy (285 mL). Users can report their alcohol intake in real time or by responding to twice-daily notifications. Although users can see a history of their data entry dates and times, they can’t look back at the alcohol data.

Pet peeve of the week: I attend webinars for professional organizations, vendors, and educational companies. There is nothing worse than hustling around to make it to a call on time and to find an idle “welcome” screen that says, “We’ll start in 5 minutes to allow everyone time to join.” That does a disservice to those people who worked hard to be there on time. We should honor the people who are doing the right thing. Those who arrive late can wait until the recording or transcript is distributed and can catch up on their own time.

Severe weather seems increasingly common these days, and on Wednesday a tornado struck a Pfizer pharmaceutical facility in Nash County, North Carolina with reports of “50,000 pallets of medicine that are strewn across the facility.” According to the Pfizer website, the facility is one of the largest in the world for manufacturing sterile injectables, with nearly 25% of all such medications used in US hospitals being manufactured at the site. I’m sure we’ll all be on the lookout for what are likely to be shortages of anesthesia, pain management, and anti-infective medications in the coming months.

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Over the weekend, I had the chance to help teach the Radio Merit Badge at a local scout camp. It’s always good to see young people showing interest in activities where they are not traditionally represented. Watching them learn that radio is the force behind a lot of the technologies they use every day was rewarding. My co-instructors included a computer science expert, an electrical engineer, and an enterprise software architect.

They had lots of questions about what exactly a physician does in the technology space. It was great helping them understand what happens behind the scenes when they seek healthcare. Our students were engaged, and although they were initially nervous about using the radio, they quickly became confident in their skills. It’s always good to help people learn new things and maybe have the chance to inspire them in a career.

What do you do in your spare time that brings you joy or makes you hopeful for the future? Leave a comment or email me.

Email Dr. Jayne.

Morning Headlines 7/20/23

July 19, 2023 Headlines No Comments

TPG to Acquire Leading Specialty Healthcare IT Platform Nextech

Confirming speculation from several weeks ago, TPG acquires ambulatory healthcare IT vendor Nextech from Thomas H. Lee Partners for $1.4 billion.

GenHealth.AI Accelerates into Healthcare AI Market with New Funding, Advisor Appointments and Use Cases Across Healthcare

Financial and care management-focused generative AI startup GenHealth.AI raises $13 million.

Teladoc Health Expands Collaboration in AI with Microsoft to Address Healthcare Workforce Crisis

Teladoc Health will use Microsoft’s AI services and its Nuance DAX ambient documentation product into its virtual care platform, expecting to automate the creation of clinical documentation during virtual exams.

Healthcare AI News 7/19/23

News

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Meta and Microsoft release Llama 2, a fully open competitor to ChatGPT 3.5 that is free for research and commercial use. Unlike ChatGPT, users can add their own data to Llama 2.

Elon Musk forms XAI, an AI company that he says will seek to “understand reality” and will work with Twitter, Tesla, and other Musk-owned companies.

Teladoc Health will use Microsoft’s AI services and its Nuance DAX ambient documentation product into its virtual care platform, expecting to automate the creation of clinical documentation during virtual exams. The company’s medical group will use Nuance DAX Express for the visits it provides directly.

Engineering consortium MLCommons develops MedPerf, an open benchmarking platform that evaluates the performance of AI models on real-world medical data while preserving patient privacy.


Business

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Causaly, which created an AI platform for drug development, raises $60 million in a Series B funding round.

Nividia invests $50 million in AI drug discovery vendor Recursion Pharmaceuticals, which will train AI models on Nvidia’s cloud platform. RXRX shares jumped 80% on the news, valuing the 10-year-old company at $2.6 billion.


Research

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A Google paper proposes supporting medical imaging predictive AI in a “know when they don’t know” manner, where the extra AI layer can decide via a confidence score whether it should defer to a clinician. The use of such a system reduced false positives by 25% while still identifying all true positives.

A new study finds that ChatGPT’s healthcare-related output is hard to distinguish from that created by healthcare providers, but patient trust decreased as task complexity increased, suggesting that the best use of healthcare chatbots is to assist with patient-provider communication related to administrative tasks and routine management of chronic conditions.

Researchers find that Google’s PaLM large language model generated long-form answers to common medical questions that aligned with scientific consensus just 62% of the time, but system tuning improved performance to equal that of human clinicians, with 93% of its answers found to be scientifically correct. The system generated potentially harmful answers 5.8% of the time, slightly outperforming clinicians.

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A Science perspective piece predicts that pairing AI applications with medical robotics will create a new era of medicine in which autonomous robots could perform diagnostic imaging and surgical procedures as well as create and optimize the use of prosthetics.

Researchers are developing an AI too that can quickly recognize the genetic features of gliomas, the most common form of brain cancer, providing a molecular diagnosis in 15 minutes versus the manual process that takes weeks. Surgeons could use the results to make immediate operating decisions in the OR.


Other

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UMC Health System deploys ZeroEyes, an AI-based platform that identifies guns from live security camera video streams. The company’s monitoring center can verify threats, issue alerts, and dispatch first responders within 3-5 seconds of detection.


Contacts

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

Morning Headlines 7/19/23

July 18, 2023 Headlines No Comments

Greenwood Village-based DocBuddy secures $1.84M to scale its digital health care workflow solution

DocBuddy, which offers an EHR workflow solution, raises $1.8 million in a seed funding round.

NeuroFlow Acquires Parent Company of BHL and BHL Touch

Behavioral health technology vendor NeuroFlow acquires Capital Solution Design, whose measurement-based care solutions are used by the VA.

Request for Health Information Technology Advisory Committee (HITAC) Nominations

The GAO seeks nominations for appointments to the Health Information Technology Advisory Committee.

Researchers Develop AI Model to Better Predict Which Drugs May Cause Birth Defects

Mount Sinai data scientists develop an AI model that may predict which pre-clinical compounds and medicines, particularly those new to market, could cause birth defects.

News 7/19/23

July 18, 2023 News 1 Comment

Top News

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Chatbot-based virtual care company K Health raises $59 million in a funding round led by Cedars-Sinai, bringing its total raised to $325 million.

The company’s primary care service offers unlimited text-based visits, remote annual wellness visits, chronic condition management, prescription management, and urgent care services for $49 per month for residents of all states except Alaska and Hawaii.

Cedars-Sinai will offer K Health’s AI-powered app to its patients in California by the end of the year, integrated with Epic and using the health system’s clinicians.

K Health also sells its technology to payers through Hydrogen Health, which it launched with Anthem (now Elevance) and investment firm Blackstone in 2021.


Reader Comments

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From Frumious Bandersnatch: “Re: data segmentation. How can you program something that allows a patient to decide after the fact that they want something hidden in their medical record? You can’t just uproot a tree whose roots are interlaced with other trees.” Kevin Baumlin, MD says that ONC’s proposal to require clinicians to redact medical records data elements when a patient requests involves “legalizing tampering with the medical record” that could prove harmful in that patient’s future encounters. He cites examples of patients hiding opioid use or a history of depression. I’ll side with a brilliant reader who says the only practical implementation of the well-intentioned rule would be if patients serve as their own data intermediary, obtaining a copy of their summary as a file that they could edit before sharing. I’m rarely in the “blockchain could fix everything” camp, but perhaps some sort of versioning and permissioning could be involved. I’ll make this the topic of this weekend’s poll. It’s an interesting question — the patient can choose to divulge as much or as little of their history as they want during an in-person encounter, so should that control carry over into digital records? Should providers trust data that the patient may have selectively edited? Perhaps as with redaction, deletions could be obscured but noted to alert the clinician that they are not seeing a complete record. Or, you could get really creative and allow the patient to insert their own notes to explain. But the big challenge is probably propagation across multiple provider data copies – I ask my psychiatrist to hide depression details, so should copies in the EHRs of my PCP, surgeon, and hospital reflect that request or would I need to make individual requests? It would be more manageable if everything flowed through a single HIE or service, but the issue is complex, just like trying to correct EHR entries that have propagated all over the place.

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From Eric: “Re: transplant dispute. Thought you would find this interesting.” The non-profit United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) — which oversees the entire US transplant system — and organ screening firm Buckeye Transplant Services will take their data dispute to arbitration. Buckeye’s automated tool extracts transplant data directly from hospitals, which UNOS says is unauthorized use of information that only UNOS can provide. UNOS has threatened to lock Buckeye out of its DonorNet organ clearinghouse, which would put Buckeye out of business and force its 63 hospital customers to perform their own screening. The federal government announced in March that it would break up the organ transplant monopoly of UNOS, whose most recent financial report indicates $75 million in annual revenue.

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From Anon E. Mous:Re: Legacy Health financial issues. They have shown sound financial management and avoided excessive spending and vanity projects and navigated the COVID years with care and compassion in the shadow of behemoth Providence. This could be a bellwether for similar systems in the Pacific Northwest.” Six-hospital Legacy, which is losing $10 million per month,  will sell its lab operations to LabCorp in hopes of hitting lender-mandated financial metrics.

From IPC: “Re: Walgreens. The recent earnings call suggests why it previously acquired a majority stake in VillageMD. Maybe they should start branding themselves as ‘pharma-centered care.’” The US healthcare division of Walgreens lost $113 million in the quarter, which it blames on the underperformance of VillageMD and CityMD due to a mild flu season and soft market demand. It also notes an 83% drop in COVID vaccinations and a steep slide in COVID test sales. The company will close 450 stores and lay off 10% of its corporate workforce. IPC’s observation comes from an earnings call comment that 50% of patients who are seen in a co-located VillageMD clinic go next door to get their prescriptions filled at Walgreens, and each clinic generates 40 additional prescriptions per day, with associated profit for the drugstore. WBA shares have lost 22% in the past 12 months versus the Nasdaq’s 24% gain.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

Mr. H here, reporting back refreshed after several days away on vacation and happy that Jenn’s solo coverage rendered my presence optional anyway. I’m catching up, so remind me if I owe you something.


Webinars

July 26 (Wednesday) 1 ET. “Lessons We’ve Learned Since Launching our Cancer Prevention Program.” Sponsor: Volpara Health. Presenter: Albert Bonnema, MD, MPH chief medical information officer, Kettering Health System; Chris Yuppa, product owner for oncology services and cancer prevention, Kettering Health System. Kettering’s IT department has played a critical role in providing an EHR-driven framework to bring cancer risk assessment and individual prevention plans to more than 90,000 patients. Primary care, OB/GYN, oncology, and imaging providers are now able to assess the hereditary, genetic, and lifestyle factors that affect the risk of developing lung, breast, ovarian, colon, and prostate cancer in any patient encounter. Learn how Kettering brings together people, processes, and technology to be more proactive in the fight against cancer and where its cancer prevention program is headed next.

July 27 (Thursday) noon ET. “Why You Shouldn’t Wait to Use Generative AI.” Sponsor: Orbita. Presenter: Bill Rogers, co-founder, president, and chairman, Orbita. The advent of generative AI tools truly represents a paradigm shift. And while some healthcare leaders embrace the transformation, others are hesitant. Invest 20 minutes to learn why you shouldn’t wait. When combined with natural language processing, workflow automation, and conversational dialogs, generative AI can help leaders address a raft of challenges: from over-extended staff, to the rising demand for self-service tools, to delivering secure information to key stakeholders. You will learn where AI delivers the greatest value for providers and life sciences, how it can solve critical challenges faced by healthcare leaders, and how Orbita has integrated generative AI into its conversational platform so healthcare leaders can leverage its full capabilities safely and securely.

July 27 (Thursday) 2 ET. “Denial Prevention 101: How to stop denials from the start.” Sponsor: Waystar. Presenter: Crystal Ewing, director of product management, Waystar. There’s a reason denial prevention is prominent everywhere in healthcare RCM. Denials reduce cash flow, drive down revenue, and negatively impact the patient and staff experience. More than half of front-end denials don’t have to happen, but, once they do, that money is gone. It’s a pretty compelling reason to take some time now to do some preventative care on your revenue cycle. This webinar will help you optimize your front end to stop denials at the start. We’ll explore the importance of not only having the right data, but having it right where staff need it, when they need it.

Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre to present or promote your own.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Medication supply chain technology company Bluesight, which renamed itself from Kit Check in December 2022, will use a strategic growth investment from Thoma Bravo in its acquisition of drug diversion analytics vendor Medacist.

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DocBuddy, which offers an EHR workflow solution, raises $1.8 million in a seed funding round.

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Behavioral health technology vendor NeuroFlow acquires Capital Solution Design, whose measurement-based care solutions are used by the VA.

UnitedHealth Group reports Q2 results: revenue up 16%, adjusted EPS $6.14 versus $5.99, beating Wall Street expectations for both. Its Optum unit saw revenues increase 25% to $56.3 billion.


Sales

  • Northwell Health selects Aidoc’s AI operating system for triage, quantification, and coordination of acute care across 17 of its hospitals in New York.
  • Get Well announces eight new smart patient room projects to support construction initiatives in the US, Kuwait, and New Zealand.

People

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Medical coding automation vendor Fathom hires Enoch Shih, MS, MBA (Gusto) as COO.

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RLDatix hires Frank Manzella, JD, MBA (Availity) as EVP of global corporate development.

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Steve Aspling (Millennia) joins CorroHealth as regional VP of business development.

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Trove Health hires Anthony Leon (InteropShop) as VP of growth.

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Todd Johnson (SomaLogic) joins Abundant Venture Partners as CEO of the venture studio.

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Matthew Kull, MBA (Cleveland Clinic) joins Inova Health System as chief information and digital officer.


Announcements and Implementations

Pediatric Cardiology Center of Oregon implements EClinicalWorks and its Prisma health information search tool.

Medhost will offer Availity’s eligibility and claim verification features to its hospital customers.

The Connected Health Initiative and Duke Margolis Center for Health Policy will host “AI and the Future of Digital Healthcare” on September 26 at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. Panel proposals are due August 1.

Teladoc Health will integrate Nuance DAX into its Teladoc Health Solo platform.


Government and Politics

The GAO seeks nominations for appointments to the Health Information Technology Advisory Committee.


Other

A fascinating report titled “How Private Equity Raided Safety Net Hospitals” looks at PE-backed safety net hospital operator Pipeline Health. It notes that similar to what happened with the now-closed Hahnemann University Hospital, PE firms are breaking promises they make to the community and to regulators in favor of maximizing profit (shocking, I know). Their strategies include monetizing the real estate, expanding unwisely, laying off employees, applying bankruptcies strategically, and closing hospitals. All but one of the eight hospitals that Pipeline has owned earned a CMS star rating of two of a possible five, while one earned three stars. It sold Weiss Memorial Hospital’s parking lot to a real estate developer for $10 million to build luxury apartments.


Sponsor Updates

  • The results of eight studies involving the use of Linus Health’s digital cognitive assessment solutions will be presented at the 2023 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference.
  • Ronin Chief Scientific Officer Christine Swisher, PhD joins the Coalition for Health AI.
  • Medhost and Availity partner to offer Medhost partner hospitals a suite of eligibility and claim verification features.
  • Meditech joins the KLAS Arch Collaborative.
  • Artera publishes a case study, “Altura Participates in Call-to-Text Pilot Program.”
  • Fortified Health Security publishes its 2023 Mid-Year Horizon Report on cybersecurity challenges.
  • Baker Tilly releases a new Healthy Outcomes Podcast, “Improving healthcare delivery through employee experience and patient engagement.”
  • Nordic publishes a video titled “The Download: Cyber strategies to optimize net new technologies.”
  • Bamboo Health will exhibit at the NCHA Annual Summer Meeting July 19-21 in Williamsburg, VA.
  • Ronin publishes an article in Nature on its Comparative insights model that delivers predictive insights to empower clinicians to reduce ED visits.
  • CereCore releases a new podcast, “CIO on Innovation and Mobile Adoption: ‘Keep Your Eye on Operations.’”

Blog Posts


Contacts

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

Morning Headlines 7/18/23

July 17, 2023 Headlines No Comments

Thoma Bravo Announces Strategic Growth Investment in Bluesight to Support the Company’s Acquisition of Medacist

Medication supply chain technology company Bluesight will use a strategic growth investment from Thoma Bravo in its acquisition of Medacist, a drug diversion monitoring and medication management software vendor.

Unicorn K Health raises $59 million in down round

Israeli digital primary care startup K Health raises $59 million in a funding round led by Cedars-Sinai.

These Chicago execs want their fraud convictions overturned. Here’s their argument.

Outcome Health co-founders Rishi Shah and Shradha Agarwal want their fraud convictions overturned based on the argument that prosecutors seized more of their assets than was warranted before trial, leaving them unable to employ their first-pick attorneys.

Curbside Consult with Dr. Jayne 7/17/23

July 17, 2023 Dr. Jayne 3 Comments

Although my friends and family don’t exactly understand what I do at work, they know that I’m generally aware of cutting-edge technology. I can’t count the number of times in the last six months that people have asked me what I think about ChatGPT or artificial intelligence taking over the world. Although I enjoy reading the scholarly articles that people are publishing in informatics literature about the use of large language models, I’ve made it a point to try to keep up with the lay media so that I understand what my friends and family are reading. It’s also a good proxy to understand what my physician colleagues understand about the technology, given the fact that if they’re reading scholarly literature, it’s most likely in their professional specialty or subspecialty fields.

I was intrigued to see this article in the New York Times this week covering the Federal Trade Commission’s investigation into the potential harms of ChatGPT. Regulators sent a letter to OpenAI to inquire about its security policies and procedures, as well as to learn if consumers have suffered damages related to how the chatbot collects data. They’re also interested in the ability of the technology to generate and publish false information on individuals. The NYT reported that the letter was 20 pages long and included pages of questions, including those seeking information on how the company trains its AI models. It also requested documents related to the inquiry. A question is whether the company “engaged in unfair or deceptive privacy or data security practices or engaged in unfair or deceptive practices relating to the risks of harm to consumers.”

Most of the people I talk to act like ChatGPT is no big deal and we should be excited about using it. Although I’m optimistic about its ability to provide value in a variety of different industries and situations, it’s a complex technology and there needs to be thoughtful consideration about how we do or do not use it for patient care. I see a lot of people using it to generate patient-facing correspondence without much review. One physician boasted about how she was able to create lab results letters for her patients, sending a full day’s worth of letters in under three minutes. The ability to create and proofread those letters in the cited timeframe is questionable at best. Based on the looks on the faces of some of the colleagues she was speaking to, I wonder if they were questioning her professional judgement.

Many of the large health systems and EHR vendors that some of my colleagues work at are reported to have been on point with messaging to their physicians and other clinicians about not including protected health information in prompts that are used to access the systems, especially when users are considering using publicly available tools rather than institutional or research tools. However, many of my independent physician colleagues haven’t received the same level of education and didn’t understand that information they’re feeding into the prompts can be used in various ways once a technology company has control of it. Some of the physicians I’ve interacted with on social media still aren’t savvy enough to not post protected health information in their posts or images, and someone is always calling out a group member for posting unredacted content. The majority of physician users I interact with also don’t know that systems also might not have been updated with current data, which makes them unreliable when you’re asking for the latest medication or regulatory information. Without receiving education on the technology, they’re also often unaware about the potential of AI-driven systems to hallucinate or create completely inaccurate information based on patterns presented to it in the past.

It’s also important to understand how AI technologies might impact our economy and those that are doing the jobs that people have proposed for it. For example, earlier this year there was a lot of buzz about AI-generated art and particularly AI-generated head shots. I felt like I was one of the only people in my physician social media circles who didn’t join the scores of people getting new headshots. A handful of people voiced privacy concerns, especially about the need to upload a bunch of pictures for the technology to work, and the potential that the company might be collecting facial recognition data for nefarious purposes. But those were in the minority – and most people were going along with it until the algorithm started going sideways, spitting out images that didn’t look remotely like them. The worst examples included pictures of people in superhero costumes or in situations that weren’t remotely appropriate for a professional headshot. One of my family members is a professional photographer, so I brought up the point that crafting a professional portrait is both an art and a skill – and that AI-generated images compete directly with those professional people who are earning a living and contributing to their communities.

Economic factors are certainly concerning, but the risk of technology creating disinformation raises significant concerns. OpenAI leadership has admitted that there needs to be regulation in the industry. Following the announcement of the letter, its leader said that he’s confident that the company is following the law and that they will be cooperative with the investigation. Other countries have already been more critical of the company than US regulators, with Italy banning ChatGPT in March over concerns about inappropriate collection of personal data from users and lack of age verification for minors trying to use the system. The company addressed the issues and access to the technology was restored the following month. Advocacy groups have been pressing the FTC and other regulatory agencies to address the risks of ChatGPT. The article notes one organization, the Center for AI and Digital Policy, which has asked the FTC to block Open AI from releasing new versions to the public. About a week ago, it updated its complaint with additional supporting materials on the ways that chatbots might cause harm.

Federal agencies often move at a snail’s pace, and it’s unlikely that the FTC’s investigation into ChatGPT will proceed swiftly. The article notes that the FTC “may not have the knowledge to fully vet answers from OpenAI and that they don’t have the staff with technical expertise to evaluate the responses they will get and to see how OpenAI may try to shade the truth.”

Even after the investigation concludes, there’s a possibility that no action will be taken. Outcomes of investigations are often not widely distributed and it will be interesting to see if the FTC decides to err on the side of availability or whether it will take Freedom of Information Act requests to find out the results. Only time will tell whether we’ll see increased regulation or a more wait-and-see approach.

What do you think about the need to regulate AI-powered technologies? Leave a comment or email me.

Email Dr. Jayne.

Morning Headlines 7/17/23

July 16, 2023 Headlines No Comments

Electronic Health Records Vendor NextGen Healthcare Inc. to Pay $31 Million to Settle False Claims Act Allegations

NextGen Healthcare will pay $31 million to settle allegations that it violated the False Claims Act by misrepresenting the capabilities of select versions of its EHR software, and that it offered kickbacks in the form of credits of up to $10,000 to users whose recommendations led to new sales.

Phreesia Acquires MediFind, Reinforcing its Commitment to Patient-Centered Care and Expanding its Offerings to Consumers

Patient intake and engagement software vendor Phreesia acquires MediFind, which uses AI-powered technology to help patients find best-fit physicians.

Amazon lays off about 80 workers in pharmacy division

Amazon Pharmacy, the online retailer’s standalone prescription delivery service, lays off 80 employees.

Monday Morning Update 7/17/23

July 16, 2023 News No Comments

Top News

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NextGen Healthcare will pay $31 million to settle allegations that it violated the False Claims Act by misrepresenting the capabilities of select versions of its EHR software, and that it offered kickbacks in the form of credits of up to $10,000 to users whose recommendations led to new sales.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

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It’s full steam ahead when it comes to IT projects for the majority of poll-takers. Lacy says she chose ‘Somewhat’ because “our organization has a very large (several year) IT project underway and for some unexplained reason our management team has decided to manage project intake so that we don’t have multiple competing projects for resources. So we have scaled back for the moment, but once our major project is completed, I expect we will be running multiple projects again. So happy to be working in an organization that is planning IT projects instead of just saying yes and throwing everything at the team at the same time!”

New poll to your right or here: Does the DOD’s declaration of mission accomplished make you any more confident that the VA will be able to complete its own systemwide EHR implementation? I asked a similar question just over a month ago. Sixty-one percent of readers at that time did not believe the VA’s Oracle Cerner roll out would ever be finished.


Webinars

July 26 (Wednesday) 1 ET. “Lessons We’ve Learned Since Launching our Cancer Prevention Program.” Sponsor: Volpara Health. Presenter: Albert Bonnema, MD, MPH chief medical information officer, Kettering Health System, and Chris Yuppa, product owner for oncology services and cancer prevention, Kettering Health System. Kettering’s IT department has played a critical role in providing an EHR-driven framework to bring cancer risk assessment and individual prevention plans to more than 90,000 patients. Primary care, OB/GYN, oncology, and imaging providers are now able to assess the hereditary, genetic, and lifestyle factors that affect the risk of developing lung, breast, ovarian, colon, and prostate cancer in any patient encounter. Learn how Kettering brings together people, processes, and technology to be more proactive in the fight against cancer and where its cancer prevention program is headed next.

July 27 (Thursday) noon ET. “Why You Shouldn’t Wait to Use Generative AI.” Sponsor: Orbita. Presenter: Bill Rogers, co-founder, president, and chairman, Orbita. The advent of generative AI tools truly represents a paradigm shift. And while some healthcare leaders embrace the transformation, others are hesitant. Invest 20 minutes to learn why you shouldn’t wait. When combined with natural language processing, workflow automation and conversational dialogs, generative AI can help leaders address a raft of challenges: from over-extended staff, to the rising demand for self-service tools, to delivering secure information to key stakeholders. You will learn where AI delivers the greatest value for providers and life sciences, how it can solve critical challenges faced by healthcare leaders, and how Orbita has integrated generative AI into its conversational platform so healthcare leaders can leverage its full capabilities safely and securely.

July 27 (Thursday) 2 ET. “Denial Prevention 101: How to stop denials from the start.” Sponsor: Waystar. Presenter: Crystal Ewing, director of product management, Waystar. There’s a reason denial prevention is prominent everywhere in healthcare RCM. Denials reduce cash flow, drive down revenue, and negatively impact the patient and staff experience. More than half of front-end denials don’t have to happen, but, once they do, that money is gone. It’s a pretty compelling reason to take some time now to do some preventative care on your revenue cycle. This webinar will help you optimize your front end to stop denials at the start. We’ll explore the importance of not only having the right data, but having it right where staff need it, when they need it.

Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre to present or promote your own.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Patient intake and engagement software vendor Phreesia acquires MediFind, which uses AI-powered technology to help patients find best-fit physicians. MediFind CEO Patrick Howie, a former head of global analytics at Merck, has joined Phreesia as VP of product management.

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Amazon Pharmacy, the online retailer’s standalone prescription delivery service, lays off 80 employees. Amazon has laid off nearly 30,000 staff within the last year.

RCM vendor Aspirion acquires Continuum Health Solutions, which offers motor vehicle accident and third-party liability RCM services.


Sales

  • Southern Coos Hospital and Health Center (OR), Arbor Health (WA), Southwest Healthcare Services (ND), and South Lincoln Hospital District (WY) select CrossTx’s chronic care management software and services.

Announcements and Implementations

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Texas Children’s Hospital implements Oracle’s Fusion Cloud Applications Suite, bringing seven systems onto one platform.

CommonWell Health Alliance surpasses 200 million users on its information-sharing network, equating to health data-sharing for 62% of the US population.


Sponsor Updates

  • Availity partners with Quantiphi to deploy Availity Fusion Upcycling Data solution to the Google Cloud Platform.
  • Meditech brings its Meditech-as-a-Service subscription model to the Australian market.
  • Healthcare Triangle launches a ransomware initiative for healthcare providers aimed at cybersecurity protection and prevention.
  • Net Health expands its partnership with Healogics, implementing its Tissue Analytics solution at Healogics sites.
  • Netsmart will present at the NAHC Financial Management Conference July 17 in New Orleans.
  • Nordic releases a new Designing for Health Podcast featuring Manish Patel, MD.
  • OptimizeRx publishes a new case study, “Improving Oncology Outcomes by Using Artificial Intelligence to Help HCPs Identify More Brand-Eligible Patients.”
  • ReMedi Health Solutions announces that it has been approved as an official NHS Digital Outcomes supplier.
  • Ronin Chief Scientific Officer Christine Swisher joins the Coalition for Health AI to help advance trustworthy AI in healthcare.
  • The Live at ViVE Podcast features Tegria SVP and Chief Medical Officer Ray Gensinger, Jr. MD, “The Role of Technology and Consulting in Healthcare Transformation.”

Blog Posts


Contacts

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

Morning Headlines 7/14/23

July 13, 2023 Headlines 1 Comment

Department of Defense Stateside Deployment of MHS GENESIS Complete

The Defense Health Agency announces that stateside roll out of MHS Genesis has been completed on time and on budget.

VA opposed to new EHR requirements but open to more major acquisition review 

VA officials say they are opposed to proposed legislation that would impose strict requirements on the department’s EHR Modernization program, but express support for legislation that would increase oversight of future acquisitions projects.

NICU telemedicine now at North Country Hospital

North Country Hospital (VT) establishes a NICU telemedicine program that gives its pediatricians access to real-time video consults with neonatologists at University of Vermont Medical Center.

News 7/14/23

July 13, 2023 News No Comments

Top News

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The Defense Health Agency announces that stateside roll out of MHS Genesis has been completed on time and on budget. The Oracle Health-powered EHR will be implemented at DOD facilities overseas in the coming months.

The DOD and VA will oversee synchronous deployment of MHS Genesis at the James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center (IL) in March 2024.


Webinars

July 26 (Wednesday) 1 ET. “Lessons We’ve Learned Since Launching our Cancer Prevention Program.” Sponsor: Volpara Health. Presenter: Albert Bonnema, MD, MPH chief medical information officer, Kettering Health System, and Chris Yuppa, product owner for oncology services and cancer prevention, Kettering Health System. Kettering’s IT department has played a critical role in providing an EHR-driven framework to bring cancer risk assessment and individual prevention plans to more than 90,000 patients. Primary care, OB/GYN, oncology, and imaging providers are now able to assess the hereditary, genetic, and lifestyle factors that affect the risk of developing lung, breast, ovarian, colon, and prostate cancer in any patient encounter. Learn how Kettering brings together people, processes, and technology to be more proactive in the fight against cancer and where its cancer prevention program is headed next.

July 27 (Thursday) noon ET. “Why You Shouldn’t Wait to Use Generative AI.” Sponsor: Orbita. Presenter: Bill Rogers, co-founder, president, and chairman, Orbita. The advent of generative AI tools truly represents a paradigm shift. And while some healthcare leaders embrace the transformation, others are hesitant. Invest 20 minutes to learn why you shouldn’t wait. When combined with natural language processing, workflow automation and conversational dialogs, generative AI can help leaders address a raft of challenges: from over-extended staff, to the rising demand for self-service tools, to delivering secure information to key stakeholders. You will learn where AI delivers the greatest value for providers and life sciences, how it can solve critical challenges faced by healthcare leaders, and how Orbita has integrated generative AI into its conversational platform so healthcare leaders can leverage its full capabilities safely and securely.

July 27 (Thursday) 2 ET. “Denial Prevention 101: How to stop denials from the start.” Sponsor: Waystar. Presenter: Crystal Ewing, director of product management, Waystar. There’s a reason denial prevention is prominent everywhere in healthcare RCM. Denials reduce cash flow, drive down revenue, and negatively impact the patient and staff experience. More than half of front-end denials don’t have to happen, but, once they do, that money is gone. It’s a pretty compelling reason to take some time now to do some preventative care on your revenue cycle. This webinar will help you optimize your front end to stop denials at the start. We’ll explore the importance of not only having the right data, but having it right where staff need it, when they need it.

Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre to present or promote your own.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Wavely Diagnostics raises $1.35 million in seed funding. The company has developed a telemedicine app and companion medical device that can help pediatricians virtually diagnose ear infections.

Parker Health, developer of FHIR-based health management software that aggregates patient data from a variety of sources, raises $25 million.


Sales

  • Novant Health will offer NeuroFlow’s digital mental health resources and support to patients suffering from depression, and to its team members as a resource for self-care and burnout prevention.

Announcements and Implementations

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North Country Hospital (VT) establishes a NICU telemedicine program that gives its pediatricians access to real-time video consults with neonatologists at University of Vermont Medical Center.

Censinet announces GA of its new HIPAA Security Rule enterprise risk assessment and remediation module.

Get Well announces eight new smart patient room implementations in conjunction with new hospital tower construction projects.


Government and Politics

VA officials say they are opposed to proposed legislation that would impose strict requirements on the department’s EHR Modernization program, but express support for legislation that would increase oversight of future acquisitions projects.


Other

UMass Chan Medical School will use a $17 million federal grant to launch the Center for Accelerating Practices to End Suicide through Technology Translation. The school will work with partnering organizations to establish best practices for implementing new and existing suicide-prevention technologies. CAPES will also focus on patient-centered care, business development, and ethics.

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Nearly 60% of surveyed IT decision-makers are looking to adopt or replace patient engagement technologies, according to the latest research from Black Book. Survey-takers gave InteliChart top marks for its patient engagement and consumer outreach capabilities.

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Epic is working to develop a sixth campus in its hometown of Verona, WI. Still in the preliminary design phase, the expansion will be preceded by a recently approved underground parking structure that will open in 2025. The company is already planning to add two new buildings to its Wizards Academy campus to accommodate an additional 1,700 employees. Those facilities are expected to open next year.

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The State Medical Board of Ohio permanently revokes the license of former plastic surgeon Katharine Roxanne Grawe, also known as Dr. Roxy on TikTok, for neglecting patients as she livestreamed surgical procedures, spoke directly into the camera, and responded to live viewer questions.


Sponsor Updates

  • Divurgent releases a new podcast, “Mastering Epic’s Hyperdrive Migration.”
  • Primary Care Joliet (IL) enhances its patient experience with EClinicalWorks EHR and Healow patient engagement solutions.
  • Ellkay will sponsor CHIME’s CIO Boot Camp July 26-29 in Salt Lake City.
  • Fortified Health Security names Carrie Card accounts payable accountant.
  • Healthcare Triangle publishes a new whitepaper, “The Future of Healthcare Infrastructure: An In-Depth Look at the Infrastructure as a Code (IaaC) Landscape.”
  • Rhapsody publishes a new case study, “BioMerieux reduces deployment time by 66% with Corepoint Integration Engine.”

Blog Posts


Contacts

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

EPtalk by Dr. Jayne 7/13/23

July 13, 2023 Dr. Jayne No Comments

I’ve been surprised by how much conversation I’ve heard about this Epic study in the virtual physician lounge. One of the key purposes of the study was to look at trends in documentation over the time period since CMS made updates to the way physicians can code their office visits. I’ve been surprised to learn how few physicians understand that changes happened – and those that understood that something changed are often unable to articulate how those changes have impacted their documentation. The majority of physicians discussing it share the “nobody told me” narrative, which I struggle to believe is as common as people say.

The largest physician specialty organizations ran article after article about these changes when they happened, as did national multispecialty organizations like the American Medical Association. The health system where I was working at the time had a major educational campaign around this, in part because they hypothesized that physicians would be able to bill higher codes under the new paradigm. There was a lot of chatter about it, but of course this conversation was during the height of the COVID pandemic and I’m sure a lot of us failed to fully understand a lot of things that came across our desks and inboxes during that time frame. For those of you who haven’t seen the study, here’s the highlight reel: Although the time to create clinical notes has decreased, the average length of those notes continues to increase.

While it’s great that notes have taken less time to document, the persistence of longer notes continues to contribute to the problem. It still takes time for recipients to read those lengthier notes, and the impact is compounded the larger the size of the care team. Another interesting factor called out in the study’s key findings is the fact that, “while overall average note length increased, around 40% of providers reduced their average note length.” That means that 60% of providers had the same notes, with some of them having longer, so that the math for the average works out. In my clinical work, I still see plenty of bloated communications from other providers and wish they had the personal drive or institutional support to streamline their documentation.

A reader alerted me to this article that falls squarely in the column of “physicians behaving badly.” A North Carolina otolaryngologist was sentenced to 25 years in prison for committing Medicare fraud by reusing single-use surgical devices. Although she performed more than 1,400 sinus surgeries over a seven-year period, she was only able to provide records of having purchased 36 of those devices. She billed Medicare more than $46 million for the procedures, which most certainly would have raised red flags. Patients impacted by the fraud will have 90 days to present claims for damages. This kind of behavior is horrific and egregious and contributes to the rising distrust of patients felt by many physicians these days. I hope she spends the next couple of decades reflecting on the situation.

Last week, I commemorated the passing of July 1, which is the traditional day in the US that medical students start their internships and other medical trainees advance in their residency programs. I asked for people to share their best or worst memories of internship, and our readers did not disappoint. Dr. Nick van Terheyden shared a blog about his first days as a junior doctor. I was surprised to learn that there was little difference between his experiences in the UK during the 1980s and my experiences in the US in the 1990s. He also reminisced about some notes he came across when a hospital in London was being relocated. The notes were written during The Blitz and as much as we found practicing medicine stressful during the COVID pandemic, I can’t imagine trying to practice in the middle of an air raid.

One of my favorite correspondents shared the story of a July 4 night on call at a big city hospital. They were working in the emergency department but weren’t seeing a lot of patient volume, so their attending physician invited them to take a break to watch fireworks. The savvy attending had brought lawn chairs and led them up the secret stairs to the roof, where they had a great view of the city’s fireworks show.

Still, nothing beats the story of “interoperability” as it occurred in a hospital where the interns figured out how to liberate patient charts from the dialysis clinic when patients needed to be admitted to the hospital. Apparently the clinic had a divided “Dutch door” entrance and an enterprising intern figured out how to get the top half open without a key so they could consult the patient charts, write their notes, and return them before morning. It’s a good reminder of what life was like before electronic health records. I never had to climb into an office to grab a chart but I did spend a lot of hours in the medical records area digging through month-old, half-documented charts to try to make sense of them while I was in the process of readmitting recently discharged patients.

I’m a big fan of celebrating milestones, and today marks the 1,300th post I’ve written for HIStalk. It’s been a bit of a long, strange, trip. I started writing during the incentive-hungry boom created by the Meaningful Use program. Since then, the world of healthcare information technology has been through numerous ups and downs, including periods of wild growth and unbelievable scarcity. Still, I’m impressed every day by the physicians that continue to put their scrubs on one leg at a time and care for patients despite the frustration and hardships found in the practice of medicine today. I’m continually grateful for the IT professionals that support them and make sure the servers are humming, the desktops are cooperative, and that they have the access they need to take care of people. And to all the others who support patient care – be it housekeeping, nutrition, engineering, or the dozens of other departments – we salute you.

How do you like to celebrate milestones? Leave a comment or email me.

Email Dr. Jayne.

Morning Headlines 7/13/23

July 12, 2023 Headlines No Comments

Fold Health streamlines admin work for primary care providers

Primary care-focused administrative software developer Fold Health raises $6 million.

Parker Health Secures $25 Million in Series A Funding to Transform American Healthcare

Parker Health, developer of FHIR-based health management software that aggregates patient data from a variety of sources, raises $25 million.

Gradia Health Secures $4.2M in Seed Funding to Improve Ongoing Care for Patients With Chronic Conditions

Virtual concierge care startup Gradia Health announces $4.2 million in seed funding.

Healthcare AI News 7/12/23

News

Lovelace Health System in New Mexico implements CareHarmony’s AI-powered care coordination software to help patients with two or more chronic conditions better manage their treatment, including medications.

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Lehigh Valley Health Network (PA) will integrate Aidoc’s enterprise AI implementation and integration platform and imaging AI algorithms with its radiology department workflows. LVHN will also leverage Rad AI’s Omni and Continuity solutions, which, respectively, will automatically generate study impressions from a radiologist’s dictation and automatically send follow-up recommendations to patients and providers when incidental findings are reported.

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Productive Edge announces GA of Generative AI-enhanced solutions for prior authorization, patient engagement and marketing, and health plan member engagement.

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Mayo Clinic pilots Google’s Med-PaLM 2 AI tool in several hospitals. Built on the language model powering Google’s Bard chatbot, the tool is designed to answer questions about healthcare information.


Research

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Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh and University of Pittsburgh Medical Center develop an easy-to-use, high-risk patient identification model using an algorithm that learns from the digital medical records of 1.25 million surgical patients. Deployed at 20 UPMC hospitals, researchers have found that the model does a better job of identifying high-risk patients than the standard – and manual – American College of Surgeon’s National Surgical Quality Improvement Program.

Children’s National Hospital and Virginia Tech will use new seed funding to expand the work of a collaboration that has sprung up between the hospital’s Research & Innovation team and the university’s Sanghani Center for Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics. Research will focus on how AI can help to treat specific diseases, enhance smart surgery for pediatric health, and improve hospital management.

A majority of clinicians believe AI isn’t ready for medical use, according to a GE HealthCare survey of 7,500 clinicians in eight countries. Less than half of respondents – 26% in the US – are ready to trust AI.


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