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Morning Headlines 3/3/22

March 2, 2022 Headlines No Comments

Constellation Software’s Harris Operating Group Acquires Allscripts Hospitals and Large Physician Practices Business Segment

Allscripts will sell its hospitals and large physician practices business segment, including its Sunrise, Paragon, and TouchWorks solutions, to Harris for up to $700 million.

Synapse Medicine raises $28 million for its medication intelligence platform

French medication decision support startup Synapse Medicine will use $28 million in new funding to open a spate of global offices, including one in New York City.

Ro acquires sperm collection and testing startup Dadi for $100 million

Online pharmacy and virtual care company Ro acquires at-home sperm collection, testing, and storage startup Dadi for $100 million.

Morning Headlines 3/2/22

March 1, 2022 Headlines No Comments

Our Next Chapter: Announcing a $50 Million Growth Capital Round Led by THL & Strategic Partnership with Premier, Inc.

Automated healthcare operations technology vendor Qventus secures $50 million in growth capital from investors that include Thomas H. Lee Partners and Premier, which announced a partnership with the company last month.

Cigna Announces Significant Increase to Share Repurchase Program and Capital Deployment

Cigna will provide an additional $450 million to fund its Cigna Ventures venture capital arm, which will be used for investments in analytics, digital health, and care delivery.

Conifer to Remain Part of Tenet with Strong Path Forward

Tenet cancels plans to spin off its Conifer Health Solutions revenue cycle management business due to improved Conifer profit and expectations for increased revenue growth.

News 3/2/22

March 1, 2022 News 1 Comment

Top News

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Amazon announces that Alexa users can access virtual care from Teladoc Health on its Echo devices. The audio-only service, prompted by the command, “Alexa, I want to talk to a doctor,” connects users to a Teladoc call center. Visits may be covered by insurance or will otherwise cost $75, the same cost as initiating a virtual visit directly through Teladoc.

Teladoc’s stock jumped on the news, which caused some to speculate that Amazon might eventually acquire the telehealth company. Teladoc Health CEO Jason Gorevic said last year that he didn’t consider Amazon a threat to Teladoc’s business since Amazon Care’s business was overrated given its limited client base. That base has since expanded beyond the company’s employees in select markets to nationwide services for its employees and other employers.

Teladoc beat Wall Street expectations with its latest quarterly figures, though its share price has dropped 76% in the past 12 months.

Meanwhile, Teladoc warns in its annual report that its October 2020 acquisition of Livongo has created integration challenges that “will continue to be a time-consuming and expensive process” that could disrupt its business. The company suggests that it will take a non-cash goodwill write-down of between $800 million and $4 billion on the Livongo business in Q1. TDOC, whose market cap is $12 billion, paid $14 billion for Livongo 16 months ago.


Reader Comments

From Cannulater: “Re: HIMSS22. Can you provide a link to your exhibitor tips document that I’ve heard about?” I guess it’s that time of year again. Here you go.

From Ali Cart: “Re: paying for play. How much do you charge for doing an interview?” Zero. Companies can buy only two things from me — an annual sponsorship and webinar promotion – both clearly labeled, neither including editorial involvement. Sites that require payment to interview executives, run vendor-cozy propaganda, and promote white papers apparently hope that readers won’t identify that content as thinly disguised ads, but it’s a credibility karma killer for me. I’ve exited several sites and social media groups lately where the organizer tried to monetize it on the sly by having their ego or wallets stroked silently under the table. Sell space if you want, just have the guts to label it as paid content so we know where objectivity is in question.

From Be There or Be Square: “Re: ViVE conference. Why aren’t you attending?” In a nutshell, it’s too close to HIMSS and too hard (and expensive) to attend anonymously. Attendee reports are welcome.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

The HIMSS22 web page shows that 74 of the 85 official hotels are sold out of rooms. The exhibitor list includes 945 companies. Sounds pretty bangin’ unless those numbers don’t end up matching the on-the-ground experience.


Webinars

None scheduled soon. Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre to present your own.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Cloud-based healthcare supply chain software company GHX will fold newly acquired Syft, a vendor of AI-powered inventory control and end-to-end supply chain management software and services, into its value-based care division.

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Virtual reality-based healthcare company XRHealth raises $10 million, bringing its total raised to $35 million. CEO Eran Orr, a former Israeli Air Force executive, founded the company in 2016 after experiencing long rehabilitation processes.

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Qventus secures $50 million in growth capital from investors that include Thomas H. Lee Partners and Premier, which announced a partnership with the company last month. Qventus, which has raised nearly $100 million, offers AI-powered software to help hospitals automate operations and patient flow.

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Healthcare benefits and management platform vendor Nayya raises $55 million in a Series C funding round.

Cigna will provide an additional $450 million to fund its Cigna Ventures venture capital arm, which will be used for investments in analytics, digital health, and care delivery. Cigna says it will focus on repurchasing shares rather than M&A in 2022, but will consider strategic investments and bolt-on acquisitions.

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Tenet cancels plans to spin off its Conifer Health Solutions revenue cycle management business due to improved Conifer profit and expectations for increased revenue growth.


Sales

  • AZ Sint-Maria Halle in Belgium selects Sectra’s enterprise imaging software.
  • The Epsom and St. Helier Hospitals Group will implement Cerner at their four facilities in southwest London.

People

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Floyd County Medical Center (IA) hires Cristina Thomas, MBA (The HCI Group) as interim CIO. The hospital is preparing to implement Meditech Expanse in the fall.

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Health Gorilla promotes Karla Mills, MS, MBA to COO.

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Liza Duncan (Ingenious Med) joins Cloudmed as VP of sales.

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David Horrocks, MBA, MPH (CRISP) joins the New York EHealth Collaborative as CEO.

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Daniel Chavez, MBA (HealthTech Solutions) joins Santa Cruz Health Information Organization as executive director.

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Chuck Suitor, MS retires from MD Anderson Cancer Center after a 26-year IT career, most recently as AVP/CTO.

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Swisslog Healthcare, owned by KUKA Group, promotes Cory Kwarta, MBA to CEO of Swisslog Healthcare TransLogic and Hans Schuler, MBA to CEO of Swisslog Healthcare Medication Management. Global CEO Stephan Sonderegger will leave the company.  


Announcements and Implementations

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ChartSpan adds remote patient monitoring program enrollment services to its chronic care management offerings.

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Hamilton Health Sciences will go live on Epic in June across its 10 facilities in Ontario, replacing Meditech.

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Clearwater announces GA of a 405(d) HICP Assessment solution, software, and consulting service that will help providers that have experienced a breach demonstrate that federally-recognized cybersecurity practices have been in place for at least 12 months.

Meditech makes Expanse Ambulatory available to independent and physician-owned practices.


Government and Politics

ONC has received 249 valid information blocking claims submitted through its reporting portal since the regulation took effect on April 5, 2021, with about two-thirds of those issues being reported by patients and most of them involving providers. The most common complaint of both patients and providers was being excessive charges or delays in obtaining patient information, with providers additionally reporting problems getting their EHR vendor to assist with migrating data to a replacement system. ONC will update its status page monthly, although it won’t indicate whether investigations have been opened or concluded.


Sponsor Updates

  • Amazon features AdvancedMD in an AWS case study, “AdvancedMD Reduces Time Spent Managing SQL Server Backups by 85% Using Amazon FSx.”
  • Actium Health releases a new Hello Healthcare Podcast, “Why Good Brands Go Stale ft. Jared Johnson.”
  • Bluestream Health publishes a new case study, “Heritage Valley Health System Needs an Embedded Virtual Care Solution.”
  • Current Health publishes a white paper, “Rapid Evaluation of the Virtual Ward at Croydon NHS.”
  • Dina will exhibit at the Rise National Conference March 7-9 in Nashville.
  • Ellkay will present at the Rise National Conference March 7-9 in Nashville.

Blog Posts


Contacts

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

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Morning Headlines 3/1/22

February 28, 2022 Headlines 2 Comments

Teladoc spikes on partnership with Amazon for virtual care on Alexa

Teladoc Health’s stock jumps on the news that Amazon has tapped it to provide virtual consults to Alexa users via its Echo devices.

Office Practicum to Offer the Market’s First “Whole Child” Digital Healthcare Platform

Pediatric health IT vendor Office Practicum acquires RemedyConnect, which offers telemedicine, an after-hours answering service, and website and marketing services for pediatric practices; and pediatric behavioral health EHR and RCM vendor NextStep Solutions.

Global Healthcare Exchange Enhances Automation, Data Analytics and Inventory Management Capabilities with Acquisition of Syft

GHX will fold newly acquired Syft, a vendor of AI-powered inventory control and end-to-end supply chain management software and services, into its value-based care division.

XRHealth Secures $10M in Funding to Expand Virtual Reality Healthcare Treatment in the Metaverse

Virtual reality-based healthcare company XRHealth raises $10 million, bringing its total raised to $35 million.

Readers Write: It’s Time for the EHR to Give Back to Clinicians

February 28, 2022 Readers Write 2 Comments

It’s Time for the EHR to Give Back to Clinicians
By David Lareau

David Lareau is CEO of Medicomp Systems of Chantilly, VA.

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Recently, a colleague (who just happens to be an MD) relayed a story after accompanying his 93-year-old mother to a routine check-up for wet macular degeneration. She had been recently discharged from the hospital after an episode of atrial fibrillation, for which she was put on an anticoagulant. At the retinal specialist appointment, the patient access / intake representative was told of her A-fib episode and the medication change, which was dutifully entered into the medical record.

Fast forward to 10 minutes later and 50 feet down the hallway in the exam room. The retinal specialist enters and asks if the patient is ready for her regular injection in her eye. Naturally, the patient’s MD son raises the red flag and asks if she had consulted the medical record. The doctor acknowledged that she had, but didn’t see what had changed.

Granted, very few folks have an internist son who can accompany them and act as a personal medical record interoperability specialist. But the message is clear. Here we are, some 40 years into the EMR age, and many of the same old interoperability and usability issues that plague these systems are still with us.

Fortunately, progress has been made and is escalating. It’s been a quiet, behind-the-scenes process, but it’s happening. In 2003, the government approved national terminology standards, including SNOMED and RxNorm, and others have followed. Then, in 2009, with the HITECH Act, some $40 billion were distributed to promote and expand the use of electronic health records. And in 2012, the FHIR standard first emerged as a way to exchange information. The groundwork was laid, and this has accelerated in the last three years with increasing adopting of FHIR. The potential for incremental innovation and the acceptance that things need to change is encouraging.

Over the past few years, the COVID-19 pandemic has shown that clinicians need better data. People have become comfortable with virtual visits. As a result, physicians, particularly those in primary care treating Medicare patients, are losing much of the high-touch environment of the past and need faster access to better data. But the industry has been slow to adopt the sharing of information because there was no mandate. This all changed with the advent of the 21st Century Cures Act.

The widespread adoption of FHIR over the past two or three years has enabled us to diagnostically connect information that has spread throughout disparate systems. And now with the Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement (TEFCA) to establish the infrastructure for information exchange, it’s increasingly possible to find clinically relevant information, transmit it, and access it at the point of care.

Ultimately, dramatic change will be driven by the management of chronic conditions within Medicare Advantage, the government’s move to value-based care. Reimbursing providers for how well they manage conditions and control costs will accelerate the need to provide clinicians with the clinical information connected to the diagnoses they’re trying to treat.

Medicare Advantage now accounts for 42% of all Medicare patients, a figure that the Congressional Budget Office predicts will rise modestly to 50% by 2030 given no changes in policy or structures. Meanwhile, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation recently issued a statement saying that their aspirational goal was that 100% of Medicare patients be on these managed plans by 2030. They admit they won’t get reach this goal, but that tells us that they are not completely comfortable with the current policy. They want to accelerate the adoption of Medicare Advantage, which is really all about managing patients’ chronic conditions.

This is important because commercial payers historically have followed the Medicare model for reimbursement.

For all the advances and progress in interoperability and usability, challenges remain. There’s been a lot of talk about AI, machine learning, and letting the computer figure it out. These are promising technologies, and there are initiatives underway involving ambient listening and clinical notes. Despite progress on this front, clinical notes remain just the way they were several years ago––a bunch of text. It may be advancing, and it’s helping the clinician to do their work, but it’s not really giving anything back to clinicians. That is one of the things missing in our industry. Systems have been designed over the years to simply collect billing data, as opposed to giving something back to the clinician that uses them.

This raises the question of usability.

If you think back to the story about my colleague’s mother, the system was so unusable that the clinician had a hard time looking at an updated problem list. Usability is coming to the forefront because clinicians are simply getting tired. They talk about it. There are studies showing that systems that are not usable or clinically relevant, or giving something back, are burning physicians out. We can, and must, do better.

Usability, interoperability, the Cures Act, and TEFCA are all converging along with the accompanying data tsunami (and, yes, it will be a tsunami) to change the way we use healthcare data. Thankfully, we have a FHIR standard that appears to be the platform for interoperability going forward. And there are technologies available and in the works to make the flood of data usable at the point of care. Clinicians to need to be able to see that data and act upon that data.

With the move to value-based care changing the focus of the industry to “How do I best manage this patient and get better outcomes for each of their clinical conditions?” we see a wave of innovation being unleashed. That wave is spreading to existing systems and infrastructures, and it enables the industry to respond.

Modernizing these systems so that they give something back to the provider at the point of care is the goal. We are excited about the possibilities for innovation and the acceptance that things need to change.

Curbside Consult with Dr. Jayne 2/28/22

February 28, 2022 Dr. Jayne No Comments

I spent the week wading into the world of post-operative care at home, as I stayed with a friend who is recovering from surgery. I know plenty of people in healthcare who are enthusiastic about discharging patients quickly and getting them home to recover. It certainly cuts down on the risk of hospital-acquired infections and can help patients psychologically as they return to a familiar environment. However, it can be challenging for people who don’t have family or other support, and I think we sometimes overlook those factors when we’re considering hospital at home and other initiatives.

My friend is a physician who had the misfortune to severely injure her knee on an escalator at a London tube station several months ago. She initially had difficulty being scheduled for an orthopedic evaluation due to the rise of COVID cases last autumn, and once she jumped through all the hoops and was able to get an MRI and a definitive diagnosis, her health system had stopped performing any elective surgeries. Her planned recovery was complicated by the fact that she needed to be non-weight-bearing for six full weeks, compounded by the fact that she is single and has no family in the town where she practices. She also lives in a two-story home, so had to think about that in her recovery plans as she worked to figure out what her strategy might be. Even though she is a physician, she hadn’t had surgery before and wasn’t sure what to expect regarding post-op pain or other potential complications.

Her large, multi-state health system has a hospital near her parents, so she was able to have her local physician arrange for an orthopedic surgeon in the other city to review her studies. Following a telehealth visit, he agreed to perform the surgery once scheduling opened up again. In the mean time, due to the physicality of her job (she is also a surgeon), she was unable to do her usual work duties, which was stressful. Once the hospital started scheduling elective procedures, she was finally able to get on the schedule due to a cancellation. The operating surgeon’s office arranged to have a variety of medical equipment delivered to her parents’ house, including a wheelchair, walker, ice circulating machine, continuous passive motion machine, and more. By the day prior to surgery, only half of it had arrived, which created stress for everyone. On the day of the procedure, her parents had to decide who would stay home and wait for the rest of the equipment and who would accompany her, which added to the stress.

Fortunately, the procedure went well, and by the time she arrived back at home, nearly all the equipment had arrived. For someone non-medical who isn’t used to making follow-up calls, having to track down the rest of the supplies would likely have been more stressful than it was for her. She wasn’t having to use a lot of opioid pain medications, so she could advocate for herself on the phone, but not everyone is in that situation postoperatively. At least the magic ice machine had arrived, so she was able to rest without worrying about changing out ice packs. The next day, when she got ready to use the passive motion machine, she noticed a discrepancy between the instructions she had been given before the procedure and those in her discharge instructions, which led to a call to the surgeon’s office and difficulty getting a straight answer. She also began doing injections of blood thinners due to her forecast immobility. As a physician, not a big deal, but probably more challenging for other patients.

Prior to the procedure, my friend had suspected that two weeks with her parents would be more than enough family bonding, so she arranged for friends to help during the next few weeks after she returned to her own home. She had set up an inflatable guest bed in her first floor living room, and fortunately her home has a full bathroom on the first floor. Unfortunately while she was away, the bed had sprung a leak, leading to an emergent online order and a Target run by her next caretaker. After getting that situated, she had to figure out logistics for navigating the house in a wheelchair when the house hadn’t been adapted for it. Doorways were too narrow, the laundry room was impassible, and there were a couple of other challenges they had to work through. She would have liked to use the walker more, but was having some wrist pain after a slip while transferring, prolonging the use of the wheelchair. Fortunately, her friend was able to stay for several days until I arrived for the handoff.

By the time I came on the scene, they had figured out quite a few ways to further adapt things, including just storing dishes on the countertop versus using cabinets and rearranging the refrigerator to make things more accessible. As a physician with a good income, ordering takeout or grocery delivery wasn’t an issue, but we discussed how a lot of our patients don’t have that option. Not everyone can put their frequent flyer miles to use and fly someone across the country to stay with them or have the relative luxury of paying a neighborhood kid to manage trash and recycle cans. Not to mention, what if she had been the primary caregiver for children or another adult? Without this level of support, patients might elect not to have a procedure, especially if they don’t have paid sick time to cover the entirety of their recovery.

Because of the nature of the procedure and her pre-existing good health, my friend wasn’t eligible for any kind of home health or other services. Due to the pandemic, her physical therapy was delivered via video visit, removing another possibility for personal contact. Although I did enjoy following along with the video PT and seeing what another EHR’s technology looked like, it made me think quite a bit about what this experience looks like for other patients who might not be as tech savvy or medically aware. She was also fortunate to not have any postoperative complications, so it was relatively smooth sailing while I was there. She’s not scheduled for an in-person physician visit for another two and a half weeks and I was surprised that the orthopedic surgeon’s team hadn’t followed up with her to see how she was doing.

I handed off over the weekend to one of her physician colleagues, who came to stay for a couple of nights while her own family was out of town. Those days will get my friend to the end of the four-week milestone and she’s feeling more confident about being alone, although still worried about what would happen if she fell and no one else was around. Hopefully the rest of the six weeks will be uneventful, but we both know that’s when the real work starts, as she has to start using her leg again and figuring out how to get the strength back to spend long hours in the operating room. While I was there, she got to experience a taste of what being a CMIO looks like and admits she doesn’t envy the eight hours of calls and meetings each day. I’m glad I was able to help, but it did give me quite a bit to think about as I help my clients with their telehealth and in-home care strategies.

Have you experienced hospital at home, or a prolonged recovery? What did you think, and how did your caregivers fare? Leave a comment or email me.

Email Dr. Jayne.

HIStalk Interviews Kevin Field, President, Clearsense

February 28, 2022 Interviews No Comments

Kevin Field is president of Clearsense of Jacksonville, FL.

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Tell me about yourself and the company.

I joined Clearsense in 2017. Prior to that, I spent nine years working at Epic as a implementation executive, where I oversaw major EMR implementations here in the US as well as international. It was a fun time helping these healthcare organizations go through the adoption of enterprise systems to help with their medical records and the processes around that.

When I looked at healthcare IT as a whole, I started recognizing that there was a whole lot of data that we were collecting — certainly within the hospital, but also outside — and we weren’t necessarily taking full advantage of everything that we could do with it. Clearsense is focused on being able to intelligently take all of that data that exists within that ecosystem of health and applying it in a meaningful way to change the way that we can operate in healthcare. That can be through operational-type use cases or improvements, clinical, financial, and even population health. We are focused on how we can make it easier to work with all of that data and get it into the right hands to drive change.

What are the most common use cases you are seeing?

Data exists in a lot of areas. People are trying to get to more of that prescriptive medicine and thinking about ways to impact the care itself. But there’s a lot of operational improvement that can be a good starting point. We see a lot of healthcare organizations start with rationalizing their applications. It sounds so simple, and it’s not nearly as enticing as some of the more advanced predictive types of use cases, but it’s a practical one, helping organizations take a look at their current portfolios to be able to offload a lot of that data. We work with them to make sure that they can maintain the integrity of it, because there’s still a whole lot of valuable information that exists when you’re looking at these historical systems. We see a lot of groups starting with being able to shut off some of the historical applications and be able to recoup or avoid some of the costs that come alongside of that. That’s a great starting point for a lot of groups.

As they continue to evolve, though, it’s really as big as you can think. You can start to apply this data for research, to advance the ways that you can get from a data-driven hypothesis to applying that in an operational setting. That could be anything from throughput to advanced heart failure, any sort of use case set that applies to this area. But what we focus on, and where our industry needs to focus first and foremost, is how to build trust in data. Before you can do any sort of analytical work, before you can do any sort of meaningful work, you have to build up that trust. That’s the foundation.

Are health systems struggling to effectively use the data that they capture in their IT systems?

Unfortunately, when healthcare systems were forming and data was being designed, there was no master plan. Every single application that these hospital groups operate has come up with its own way to identify data and be able to aggregate and and organize it. That has left is mounds and mounds of data spread across hundreds if not thousands of applications within these provider groups, but no way for them to create a source of truth. It’s a confusing area when you start to look at this data.

A lot of healthcare provider groups have captured a lot of data, but maybe they don’t exactly know what they can do with it, or how to get it organized. Step 1 is being able to build up data literacy, the ability for people to understand data, understand definitions, understand what’s possible with it, be and able to challenge it and look deeper into it. If you’re able to start to work in that capacity, then you have the ability to create initiatives around normalizing that data or curating that data and starting to develop some level of truth in that data so you can apply it.

How does healthcare stack up to other vertical markets in its performance on data maturity models?

Certainly if you look outside of healthcare, there’s a lot of good literature and good practice of ways to build up that data maturity. A lot of organizations are starting to look at that more seriously. Some maturity models are specific within healthcare as well. Even some of the advanced or healthcare groups that we talk to, if they are being honest with themselves, have pretty low maturity levels.

Much of the time, healthcare organizations are trying to get meaningful information out of reports.  That’s foundational for the rest of the work that takes place. There’s a lot more that is possible when look at that data in a way that is more forward-looking, more universal, or taking into consideration the data that exists in other systems. There’s a lot we can solve for if we put all that data together appropriately and apply the right lens.

Groups are starting to think about how to evaluate themselves on data maturity. Some groups are hiring chief data officers or chief digital officers and starting plans for a data maturity program. But the reality is that data maturity is an evolution. It will be an ongoing cultural shift for these organizations. It’s about building a culture around data for an organization, understanding the value of it, and then building practices around it to continue to evolve and mature. There’s never moment of, “Hey, we’ve reached the top of data maturity and we’re good now.” It’s a constant evolution.

What is the role of data scientists in health systems?

Data science will be critical for the future of healthcare. We’ve seen that in other industries, where they bring data science as a practice and a staple to drive things forward. Healthcare’s challenge is that there’s not a large number of data scientists who are healthcare specific. Even if healthcare organizations can get those individuals into their systems, providing them access to the data in a way that is meaningful is a challenge. The velocity which they can operate is also challenging.

We’re going to see a lot more healthcare organizations becoming interested in data science. The next step for it to be widely adopted is making it more accessible. We’re going to have to work to continue to have technologies and processes come in that allow for data to be more trusted and more centrally available, and also for data science type initiatives to be more approachable. There are some good examples out there if you look up technologies that are starting to evolve and emerge that can be applied in that space. 

That’s going to be what allows us to shift the way that we think about data and healthcare — having people taking a look at it, look for trends, understand what could be coming up or what events are happening, and then ultimately being able to look backwards through that so we understand the drivers so that we can prevent those or catch them earlier. Transparency and trust, again, in data and in the models being created are going to be key for adoption for data science and healthcare.

The challenges I’ve seen are getting information into the hands of frontline decision-makers quickly and avoiding turning the process into a mysterious black box where some IT basement guru manipulates raw information in unknown and potentially unsound ways. How does that fit into the culture of using data and the tools needed to manage it?

A lot of that comes from being able to establish lineage in data, which is critical. When I say lineage in data, by the time you are serving up some insights or results out of a data set or analytical workflow, you have to be able to show exactly where that data came from. If you want somebody to consume it, you have to be able to build that trust up with them and be able to trace that data back to the source. Lineage is absolutely critical and key.

While you’re working on the governance of the data and decision-making on that data, it’s important that the people making decisions on data — what fields are trustworthy and which systems are providing the right information – are making those decisions along with the appropriate data stewards in the healthcare organization. If you are working with a radiology department and radiology data, it’s important that the people from that group have input to understand exactly which data elements are most relevant or which systems are most accurate. By the time you are able to have that output, if you’re not getting those decisions made by some of the true operational owners and the business owners, it makes it challenging for people to trust it.

A lot of orchestration has to take place. Lacking of any sort of black box has to be part of that. Having those IT groups or data scientists who are working in the basement interacting and understanding the data that they’re working with and the people that they’re ultimately serving it up to. If you involve them in the process, there’s a lot better chance for trust and adoption.

What C-system health system roles are being given responsibility for data and analytics?

I’m seeing a couple of flavors. There is a spectrum of CIOs. There are CIOs who are more the traditional type who have come to own a lot of the technologies and applicationse. Maybe that’s the world that they continue to operate in. There is another grouping of CIOs that I’ve noticed recently that have realized or recognized that a lot of the healthcare organization’s data sits within the systems that they own, and they are becoming more strategic and more of that operational driver. I’m seeing chief data officers or chief digital officers typically reporting directly to a CEO or a COO. 

From a data science perspective, organizations are looking at ways to get data scientists more decentralized so that individual business units don’t have to wait in an IT queue to have their initiatives prioritized and to get results. Having access to the appropriate data and technologies to get better or more timely results and to to get those results ongoing as applied to specific areas will be important.

What developments will be important to healthcare and to your company in the next few years?

We are going to get data into the hands of the people who are using it. We’re going to build up a culture around data literacy and applicability that will change the way that we operate. We operate so frequently on historical information or reports or looking backwards. As technologies catch up and as a culture of working with data catches up, people will be more proactive and more capable of working with data to solve problems.

It was in the 1990s when latex gloves were adopted into healthcare setting as standard practice. That seems almost shockingly recent. When we look back on today from the future, we will recognize that we had the answers to a lot of our most challenging healthcare problems or questions and just needed to apply the appropriate lens. The future is heading to getting that lens on the data to have new perspective on the problems that we have today and coming up with data-driven ways to provide results.

Morning Headlines 2/28/22

February 27, 2022 Headlines No Comments

Definitive Healthcare Reports Financial Results for Fourth Quarter and Full Year Fiscal 2021

Definitive Healthcare, a healthcare market intelligence vendor that went public last fall, reports Q4 results and its recent acquisition of Analytical Wizards, which offers analytics to pharmaceutical companies.

Athenahealth Announces Plans to Expand Employee Base Into Arizona

Athenahealth will expand into the Phoenix market with the hiring this year of 120 employees, primarily in client support center analyst roles.

Unique AI tool helps Sanford Health schedule nurses

Sanford Health will go live in April on a workforce optimization system that it co-developed with precision staffing system vendor Flexwise, which will incorporate Sanford-developed features into its commercial product.

Monday Morning Update 2/28/22

February 27, 2022 News No Comments

Top News

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From the Allscripts earnings call, following Thursday’s announcement of Q4 results that beat analyst expectations for revenue and earnings:

  • Allscripts says that investment in its core EHRs has driven cross-selling opportunities in hosting, cloud, telemedicine, cybersecurity, interoperability, outsourcing, and revenue cycle.
  • Two hospitals signed to replace their Paragon system with Sunrise Community Care in the quarter.
  • Hospital and large practice sales were down for the quarter, while Veradigm’s business grew 9%.
  • The company will provide Moderna with integrated EHR and claims data for eight real-world data studies of its COVID-19 vaccine.

HIStalk Announcements and Requests

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Most poll respondents reported no issue with their most recent PCP visit, although waiting for an appointment and then waiting to seen once arrived were the most common complaints. Kendall says that even though they’ve seen the same EHR-using PCP for decades and is an active patient portal user, the practice still shoves a clipboard at them to write down everything that is already recorded electronically. Greg’s PCP left the practice without a heads-up to patients, so when he called about his chronic condition, staff directed him to urgent care who then sent him to the ED because it was beyond their capabilities, with his insurer expecting him to pay out of pocket for both visits.

New poll to your right or here: What was the cause of your biggest financial problem as a patient in the past 12 months?

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Attending ViVE 2022? Check out my guide to what HIStalk’s sponsors will be doing there.

Listening: alternative rockers Cage the Elephant, which I first recommended here in 2011. My interest was rekindled by a YouTube highlights reel of Matt Shultz’s death-defying stage dives. He and his brother are disarmingly charming in all the interview and concert videos I’ve seen, which he describes as, “I’ve been blessed to have the right kind of adversities hit me at the right times to keep it humble. And just continuously chasing after and searching for that thing that makes music utterly exciting again.”


Webinars

None scheduled soon. Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre to present your own.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

Definitive Healthcare reports Q4 results: revenue up 38%, adjusted EBITDA $13.1 million versus $12.8 million (the company did not provide per-share information). DH shares are down 49% in the past year versus the Nasdaq’s 10% loss, valuing the company at $2.2 billion.


Sales

  • Bayada Home Health Care extends use of its Dina platform to its longitudinal care management program, which includes identifying risks and tracking interventions to improve transitions from hospital to home-based care.
  • Aflac will offer NeuroFlow’s self-service mental health resources to its group long-term disability clients.

People

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Jared Antczak, MBA (Highmark Health) joins Sanford Health as chief digital officer.


Announcements and Implementations

Sanford Health will go live in April on a workforce optimization system that it co-developed with precision staffing system vendor Flexwise, which will incorporate Sanford-developed features into its commercial product.

Northern Ireland’s Health and Social Care Service goes live on Sectra digital pathology.


Other

Sami Inkinen, CEO of diabetes reversal coaching and app vendor Virta Health, says that employer HR and benefits departments have had a tough challenge in trying to address rising health cost benefits as more and more people become metabolically unhealthy. He classifies the history of their efforts:

  • 2000-2010: the pre-digital era, when employers signed up for health plan services and provider networks, performed health risk screenings, held wellness events, and offered employee assistance programs.
  • 2010-2015: employers tried digital social networks, gamification, and handing out step and fitness trackers despite zero evidence (and nearly zero results) that they work.
  • 2015-2020: digital health entrepreneurs whose lack of company success in “consumers pay via the app store” model started hawking their wares directly to employers, swamping them with sales pitches.
  • Today: show me the money, show me the outcomes. Healthcare costs keep rising as digital health shiny objects lose their luster. Digital health vendors who can’t prove that their products save employers money will struggle to survive over the next five years.

Sponsor Updates

  • Current Health customers can now launch Zoom from within its care-at-home platform.
  • Healthcare Triangle closes its previously announced acquisition of health IT and managed services company DevCool.
  • G2 awards Symplr Clinical Communications Best Software Product and Highest Satisfaction Product in the category of clinical Communication and collaboration.
  • Sphere integrates MDofficeManager’s RCM solutions with its payments technology.
  • Talkdesk publishes a new report, “Creating a better way for health plan member experience.”
  • Stryker completes its acquisition of Vocera Communications.
  • Vyne Medical publishes a new case study, “Refyne Connected Care Supports Virtual Collaboration Among Montana Pediatricians.”

Blog Posts


Contacts

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

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HIStalk’s Guide to ViVE 2022

February 26, 2022 Uncategorized No Comments

Download the PDF version.

AGS Health

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Booth 657

Contact: Christina Cussimanio, SVP of marketing
Christina.Cussimanio@agshealth.com
802.777.4084

AGS Health is more than just a revenue cycle management company — we’re a strategic partner for growth. By blending technologies, services, and expert support, AGS Health partners with leading healthcare organizations across the US to deliver tailored solutions that solve the unique needs and challenges of each provider’s revenue cycle operations.

At ViVE 2022, we are excited to reveal our AGS AI Platform — a new technology solution designed to help simplify revenue cycle processes through automation with a human touch. Visit booth 657 to be among the first to see this new technology in action. While you are visiting, we welcome you to join our raffle contest for a chance to win a new Oculus Quest 2 VR headset.


Bamboo Health

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Booth 326

Contact: Alison Matthiessen, senior communications manager
amatthiessen@bamboohealth.com
540.230.9021

Bamboo Health will present and exhibit our suite of care coordination solutions at ViVE. On Monday, March 7, from 2:00–2:50, Bamboo Health Chief Clinical Officer Nishi Rawat, MD, MBA will also participate in the “Whole-Person Care 101: CH. 1 Behavioral Health” panel, which will familiarize attendees with the current drivers around the increased prevalence of behavioral health conditions, barriers, and opportunities to integrate behavioral health and physical health; and initiatives on the horizon to support a better response.

Visit the Bamboo Health team at booth 326 to discuss our diverse set of solutions including OpenBeds, Bamboo Health’s comprehensive, provider-facing behavioral health solution for health systems, health plans, and state governments; Crisis Management System, which expedites access to assessment and treatment for those in behavioral health crisis, tracks their journey from call to treatment, and coordinates all stakeholders within a crisis management system; prescription drug monitoring solutions; and more. Find out more about our plans for ViVE.


Clearsense

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Booth 604

Contact: Leann Williams, marketing manager
lwilliams@clearsense.com
904.334.7500

Committed to leading transformation in healthcare, Clearsense creates a data journey, from data ingestion to management to consumption. Cloud-based, AI-enabled, and HITRUST-certified, the platform of data solutions ensures data governance, implementation, and analytics are rapidly mainstreamed while remaining scalable and secure. Driving faster outcomes in clinical, financial, and operational environments, Clearsense is powering the innovation of tomorrow — right now.

Visit us at ViVE in booth 604 for live demos to learn how to modernize your archive and application approach, create predictive analytics for all, and harness your healthcare organization’s data intelligence in a data hub built by us and powered by you.

Be sure to stop by on Monday, March 7 at 2:45 for a live podcast with Bill Russel from “This Week in Health IT,” Renown Health CIO Chuck Podesta, and Clearsense President Kevin Field.


Clearwater

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Kiosk 1012-29 in the Cybersecurity Pavilion

Contact: John Howlett, chief marketing officer
john.howlett@clearwatercompliance.com
773.636.6449

Clearwater is the leading provider of cybersecurity, risk management, and HIPAA compliance software, consulting, and managed services for the healthcare industry. More than 400 healthcare organizations, including 70 of the nation’s largest health systems and a large universe of leading physician groups and digital health companies, trust Clearwater to meet their cybersecurity and compliance needs. Their belief in our expertise and capabilities has helped Clearwater earn recognition as healthcare’s top-rated Security Advisors and Compliance & Risk Management Solution in Black Book Market Research’s annual industry survey.

Join us in the Cybersecurity Pavilion at 2pm on March 8 as Clearwater CEO Steve Cagle shares insight on the steps that digital health companies need to take to demonstrate strong cybersecurity and HIPAA compliance programs and prevent concerns about their practices from becoming an impediment to growth.


CloudWave

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To arrange a meeting, contact Tim Quigley.

Contact: Tim Quigley, chief client officer
tquigley@gocloudwave.com
508.251.8917

CloudWave is a cloud and managed services provider that delivers a multi-cloud approach, helping healthcare organizations with any EHR service architect, build, and integrate a personalized solution using managed private cloud, public cloud, and cloud edge resources. As the largest, most experienced, and trusted independent software hosting provider in healthcare, CloudWave delivers enterprise cloud services to more than 230 hospitals and healthcare organizations.

CloudWave CEO Erik Littlejohn (elittlejohn@gocloudwave.com) and Chief Client Officer Tim Quigley (tquigley@gocloudwave.com) will be available for meetings throughout the event.

CloudWave invites attendees to participate in a ViVE luncheon on Tuesday, March 8 at 12:30, co-sponsored with Canon Medical Imaging, in Room 229 AB – Level 2 MBCC.


Current Health: A Best Buy Health Company

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Booth 846

Contact: Lauren Levinsky, VP of marketing
lauren.levinsky@currenthealth.com
650.799.7315

Current Health offers an enterprise care-at-home platform that enables health systems to deliver safe and effective care from the comfort of a patient’s home. We bring together remote patient monitoring, telehealth, and patient engagement into a single, flexible solution that allows organizations to manage all patient populations within one platform. With our recent acquisition by Best Buy, we’re excited to be able to leverage their best-in-class supply chain, logistics, and in-home support to help deliver that last-mile of care in the home.

Visit our booth for an end-to-end demo of our solution, get a first look at our exciting new product features, and meet members of the Current Health and Best Buy team.


Diameter Health

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Booth 762 and the InteropNow! Pavilion

Contact: Josh Salazar, marketing manager
jsalazar@diameterhealth.com
765.409.4515

Diameter Health upcycles raw clinical data into a standards-based, interoperable asset using Fusion, our FHIR-enabled technology engine. Our comprehensive, automated data integration, normalization, and enrichment technology delivers high-quality data to streamline workflows, inform decisions, and accelerate interoperability at scale.​ Visit our kiosk to experience our product in action as a part of the interactive, connected-demonstration tour.


Divurgent

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To arrange a meeting, contact Shaun Sangwin

Contact: Shaun Sangwin, SVP, business development
shaun.sangwin@divurgent.com
201.456.2558

We’re so excited to be participating in this season’s must-attend conference. We hope you are, too. Divurgent will be there in a big way. Look for our team out and about, in conference sessions, in our space in the Meeting Complex, CHIME programming, and more. We can’t wait to make new connections, catch up with our long-time partners, and talk about industry trends and innovations.


Ellkay

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Booth 742

Contact: Auna Emery, VP, marketing
auna.emery@ellkay.com
520.481.2862

As a nationwide leader in healthcare connectivity, Ellkay has been committed to making interoperability happen for nearly 20 years. Ellkay empowers hospitals and health systems, providers, diagnostic laboratories, healthcare IT vendors, payers, and other healthcare organizations with cutting-edge technologies and solutions. Ellkay is committed to ongoing innovation, developing cloud-based solutions that address the challenges our partners face. Our solutions facilitate data exchange, streamline workflows, connect the care community, improve outcomes, and power data-driven and cost-effective patient-centric care. With over 58,000 practices connected, Ellkay’s system capability arsenal has grown to over 700+ EMR/PM systems across 1,100+ versions. To learn more about Ellkay, please visit ellkay.com.  

Start your morning off right by grabbing a complimentary cup of coffee with Team Ellkay the first hour each day at booth 742. During the Exhibit Hall Reception on Monday, March 7 from 5:30-6:30, Ellkay will host a Cocktail Mixer serving up mojitos and margaritas. Lastly, on Tuesday, March 8, we’ll have a full Happy Hour, so stop by and experience the power of true interoperability!


Fortified Health Security

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Kiosk 1012-4 in the Cyber Pavilion

Contact: Judy Cooper, director, marketing
jcooper@fortifiedhealthsecurity.com
615.600.4002

Fortified Health Security is Healthcare’s Cybersecurity Partner – protecting patient data and reducing risk throughout the healthcare ecosystem. As a managed security service provider, Fortified works alongside healthcare organizations to build tailored programs with high-touch engagements and customized recommendations that maximize the value of investments and result in actionable information to help reduce the risk of cyber events. Stop by Kiosk 1012-4 in the Cyber Pavilion to find out how we became the best healthcare cybersecurity partner.


Lumeon

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Booth 422

Contact: Greg Miller, chief growth officer
greg.miller@lumeon.com
435.225.3057

Lumeon exists to help healthcare providers deliver care more efficiently, consistently, and safely, with higher quality and lower costs than ever before. We apply deep automation to care processes, so that the patient’s care journey is orchestrated across sites of care and care teams. Lumeon’s unique Care Traffic Control platform integrates with existing data sources and our real-time decisioning engine optimizes the care journey for each patient, with standardized and individualized care pathways, that have proven to improve efficiency, effectiveness, and patient satisfaction.


Lyniate

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Booth 525 and the Interop Now! Pavilion

Contact: Michelle Blackmer, chief marketing officer
michelle.blackmer@lyniate.com
312.520.1873

Lyniate partners with healthcare organizations around the globe, delivering flexible interoperability solutions that connect people through increased access to data. As a trusted partner, Lyniate powers the applications and workflows that improve clinical, operational, and financial outcomes today while helping healthcare teams to understand, prepare for, and influence changes on the horizon. Lyniate is committed to empowering people with the best interoperability solutions for healthcare, from specialty clinics to large networks, from payers to vendors, and everything in between. Visit lyniate.com to connect.

Foundational products include Corepoint and Rhapsody interface engines. Stop by our booth for demonstrations, customer examples, and to learn about new product offerings that support healthcare’s cloud adoption and API adoption.


Medicomp Systems

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Booth 618

Contact: James Aita, director, strategy and business development
jaita@medicomp.com
647.207.0080

Medicomp will showcase innovations in clinical usability and documentation workflow improvement, including: 

  • Clinical intelligence for EHRs to mirror the way clinicians think.
  • Enhanced FHIR/interoperability tools to make sense of incoming data by problem in health systems. 
  • Breakthroughs in speech and NLP, taking “freetext” to structured data.
  • Improvements in real-time compliance at the point of care.

Nordic Consulting

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Kiosk 762-10 in the InteropNow! Pavilion

Contact: Gwen Cantarera, marketing director
gwen.cantarera@nordicglobal.com
484.678.0264

At the Nordic kiosk in the InteropNow! Pavilion, attendees will be able to see a demo of the Nordic Health Data Connector, a new Web application that enables low-code configuration of healthcare data connectivity. This Connector supports FHIR APIs, HL7v2 Messaging, SQL queries, and SMART-on-FHIR workflows, to name a few, and it allows consumers of health data to integrate with providers and payers using healthcare data standards without writing a line of code.   

On Monday, March 7 at 4:30 in the InterOp Theater, Nordic and Emory Healthcare will discuss their journey to modernize analytics at Emory leveraging the AWS platform and a modernized data and analytics strategy. Emory Healthcare Corporate Director of Data, Analytics, and Integration Matt Robuck will cover their current state of data and analytics, and the decision process leading to an investment in a modern data platform. Nordic Managing Director and Advisory Services – Digital Health Practice Leader Kevin Erdal and Robuck will also talk about the comprehensive strategy required to leverage operational analytics from EHRs while enabling innovation through a modern platform – reducing redundancy without losing the opportunity to innovate.


Olive

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Booth 1250

Contact: Olivia Ohlin, senior manager, events
olivia.ohlin@oliveai.com
330.232.4346

There are many ways to connect with Olive at ViVE. Stop by the Olive booth (1250) to chat with a team that has identified thousands of use cases for automation and AI, and get a consultation based on your organization’s specific needs. Go1 – Olive’s mobile AI command center – will be parked outside of the convention center throughout the conference. Stop in to see how Olive realizes and tracks value for customers.

On Monday, Olive will take the Tech Talk stage from 12:30-12:40 to highlight a key partnership. Later that evening, join Olive at 6:30 for an unforgettable cocktail reception at The Temple House, Miami’s most unique event venue with projection mapping. On Tuesday, Olive will hold another Tech Talk from 12:45-12:55 about the Olive Platform. And then at 3:00, Olive’s chief medical officer, YiDing Yu, MD will speak on the panel entitled, “Tech-first or Bust: A Move to Modernized Operations.” For full information, visit oliveai.com/events/conferences/vive.


Optimum Healthcare IT

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To arrange a meeting, contact Larry Kaiser.

Contact: Larry Kaiser, chief marketing officer
lkaiser@optimumhit.com
516.978.5487

Optimum Healthcare IT is a Best in KLAS healthcare IT staffing and consulting services firm based in Jacksonville Beach, Florida. Working with healthcare providers, payers, software, and life sciences organizations, Optimum provides professional staffing and consulting services that support our clients’ needs through the continuum of care. Optimum’s comprehensive service offerings include EHR; technical; security; ServiceNow; ERP; and Optimum CareerPath, our talent and skill development program.

At ViVE, Optimum Healthcare IT will have speakers on the Techquity Track speaking about Optimum CareerPath and DE&I, as well as on the CHIME University Track. We will host a great focus group on EMR Support Through the Lens of a Managed Service. Additionally, we will host an invite-only reception with CHIME and an Executive Luncheon. Be sure to look for an invite coming to your inbox soon!


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Quil

To get in touch or schedule a meeting with Quil at ViVE 2022, please email Justyna Evlogiadis at jevlogiadis@quilhealth.com.

We are beyond excited to attend, sponsor, and host activities at CHIME & HLTH’s inaugural event for digital health leaders: ViVE! ViVE 2022 will foster interactivity and collaboration amongst the digital health community for transforming health and care. If you are attending the event virtually or in-person, be sure to catch our activities! On Monday, March 7 at 3 p.m. ET, Quil’s Chief Digital Officer, Dwight Raum, and VP Product, Engage, Alex Harwitz, will host a focus group with The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) members. The focus group will cultivate thought leadership discussions surrounding digital patient engagement and effectively supporting patients beyond the hospital. On Tuesday, March 8 at 2 p.m. ET, CEO, Carina Edwards will speak on a panel with industry leaders about the integration of personalized digital healthcare solutions in the home to support caregivers and the aging population. Don’t miss “Track 2: Lights, Camera, Action: Home Care Takes Center Stage – Session 3: Tech-Enabled Chronic Care Anywhere”. On Wednesday, March 9, Carina and Dwight will host an executive brunch that fosters collaboration with a high-level presentation on “Insights from the home: Managing patient engagement beyond the digital front door”. Also, during ViVE Carina Edwards will be interviewed by Bill Russell, CEO and Founder of This Week in Health IT. The video interview will be available shortly after the event, so please stay tuned and be on the lookout for updates from Quil about its release.


ReMedi Health Solutions

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To arrange a meeting, contact GP Hyare.

Contact: GP Hyare, managing director
g.hyare@remedihs.com
281.413.8947

ReMedi Health Solutions is a nationally-recognized, physician-led healthcare IT consulting firm specializing in peer-to-peer, physician-centric EHR implementation and training. We’re a clinically-driven company committed to improving the future of healthcare.   

Our physician executive team is attending ViVE to connect with other industry members and share more about our virtual solutions that have provided a major impact for our healthcare partners. We will be sponsoring the CHIME Welcome Reception on Sunday and hope to see you there! Feel free to reach out and schedule a free EHR strategy session with our team during ViVE.


RxRevu

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To arrange a meeting, contact Ryan Smith.

Contact: Ryan Smith, SVP, business development
ryan.smith@rxrevu.com
440.708.3683

We’ll be at ViVE to connect with our current partners and clients, and talk with industry leaders about our solution, which provides reliable data to providers at the point of care.


Tegria

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To arrange a meeting, contact Kevin Kuntz.

Contact: Kevin Kutz, VP, public relations and external communications
kevin.kutz@tegria.com

Come and meet with the Tegria team at meeting cube 1093. For all inquiries please reach out to Kevin Kutz.

Tegria provides consulting and technology services to help organizations of all sizes humanize each healthcare experience. Founded by Providence, with teams throughout the United States and internationally, Tegria is comprised of more than 3,500 colleagues who help their customers integrate technology, transform operations, accelerate revenue, and optimize care. We meet you where you are in your journey to transform healthcare. Our team is ready to listen.

We invite you to meet Tegria experts at their presentations on cloud strategy and patient access, growth, and retention. Please join us! We invite you to listen to Tegria’s Theresa Demeter alongside other great panelists at the Techquity Panel on Monday, March 7 at 3pm:

Catalyzing Health Equity through Data 
“We have the technology! New tools and approaches to data are enabling unique collaborations with potential to accelerate health equity, better protect patient privacy, and establish trust in healthcare among marginalized patients. Covering approaches such as edge computing, synthetic data, and federated learning environments, this session will explore data sharing options to fuel personalized medicine, develop predictions and upstream interventions, and close gaps in research for historically underserved populations.”​ Moderator: ​Ashish Atreja, MD, MPH; chief innovation and digital health officer, UC Davis Health.​ ​Speakers: Lu de Souza, MD, FAMIA, vice president & CMO, Cerner;​ Pierre Vigilance, MD, MPH, VP, population health & social impact, Equideum Health;​ Theresa Demeter, MHA, managing director, Tegria.


Weekender 2/25/22

February 25, 2022 Weekender 1 Comment

weekender 


Weekly News Recap

  • Teladoc Health’s Q4 results beat expectations, but its share price takes a wild ride.
  • Allscripts announces Q4 results that beat Wall Street expectations for revenue and earnings.
  • A study notes that while telehealth visits spiked during the pandemic, the reason seems to be lack of in-person visits rather than patient preference.
  • The DOJ sues to block UnitedHealth Group’s $13 billion acquisition of Change Healthcare, citing anti-competitive concerns related to UHG’s health insurance business.
  • Virtual chronic care management company Omada Health raises a $192 million Series E funding round.
  • WellSky announces its intentions to acquire TapCloud.
  • Health Catalyst announces its acquisition of KPI Ninja.
  • Cerner’s Q4 results beat analyst expectations for earnings, but fall slightly short on revenue.
  • Spok announces layoffs, the retirement of its cloud-based Spok Go product, and its continuing search for an acquirer.

Best Reader Comments

Hats off to Epic and Judy for supporting their client and directly going after that patent troll. Too many companies just roll over as they don’t want to deal with the hassle, thereby leaving these patent trolls free to roam. (Trollbeater)

Neither Whole Foods nor Amazon has been greatly improved by the union. This would at least partly undermine Jain’s contention that Amazon entering the food business is some kind of model for tech in healthcare. (Brian Too)

I once had requested additional Epic certifications and had a manager tell me that the industry didn’t really look at Epic certifications. I really had to try hard not to laugh at her, but I’m sure she knew that I knew she was lying to me. Epic still makes certifications hard and expensive to get oth as revenue, and to try to support their Epic Boost boondoggle. Customers, meanwhile are okay with preventing the FTEs from getting additional certs because then they can go out the door for more money. (Fourth Hansen Brother)

[The CEO interviewing the final job candidate before they are hired] is to give all employees a personal face of the CEO. All companies, no exclusions, sometimes do stupid things. In a culture where employees do not dare to speak out to top management about this, it may linger for far too long. My idea is that if everyone has seen me personally, they will also dare to call or email me personally if there is something stupid going on that I need to know about in order to fix it. And lastly, it shows that we value all people in the company. (Torbjörn Kronander, CEO, Sectra)


Watercooler Talk Tidbits

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Readers funded the Donors Choose teacher grant request of Mr. E in Muskegon, MI, who asked for a digital microscope for his middle school charter academy class. He reports, “Thank you for your support of our science lab and for believing in our young scientists! Because of your support, our middle school science classroom is beginning to resemble a real science lab! Our scholars are loving the lab coats and the microscopes. They say things like, ‘When I grow up I’m going to get me one of these lab coats, with my name on it right here.’ They are learning all about lab safety and how to use science tools safely and accurately. Most importantly, their enthusiasm for learning science is growing more and more every day! THANK YOU!”

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The parents of a newborn sue MercyOne Des Moines Medical Center after a stranger enters the NICU , feeds and changes their baby, and then asks nurses “inappropriate questions” about the baby’s care.

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A Washington, DC program in which 911 medical calls are triaged by nurses has diverted 17,000 of 47,000 callers away from the ED, with 24×7 RNs reviewing their symptoms and offering to schedule a clinic appointment and arrange Uber rides both ways for non-emergent situations.

A psychiatric registered nurse practitioner faces 22 felony charges of prescribing prescriptions illegally and for billing an insurer for the time she spent having sex with a patient. And in Michigan, a prison nurse is charged with a felony for allowing inmates to touch her sexually while she provided medical services to them, which staff discovered from the number of inmates who requested her personally.

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A New York ophthalmologist sues a meat shop that wouldn’t sell him a steak because he refused to wear a mask as state law required at the time. David Kwiat, MD also wants the store’s proprietor brought up on charges of committing a hate crime and practicing medicine and law without a license. Asked by a reporter if he wears a mask while performing surgery, the doctor admitted that he does, but it gives him a headache.


In Case You Missed It


Get Involved

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Report a news item or rumor (anonymous or not)
Sign up for email updates
Connect on LinkedIn
Contact Mr. H

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Morning Headlines 2/25/22

February 24, 2022 Headlines No Comments

Teladoc Health Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2021 Results

Teladoc Health reports Q4 results: revenue up 45%, EPS -$0.07 versus -$3.07, beating Wall Street expectations for both.

Story Health Raises $22.6 Million in Series A Funding to Expand Virtual Specialty Care Platform Across Cardiology

Specialty remote patient monitoring vendor Story Health raises $23 million in a Series A funding round.

Allscripts Announces Fourth Quarter and Fiscal Year 2021 Results

Allscripts reports Q4 results: revenue up 1%, adjusted EPS $0.79 versus $0.20.

Stryker Completes Acquisition of Vocera Communications

Global medical technology company Stryker finalizes its $3 billion acquisition of care coordination and communication technology vendor Vocera Communications.

News 2/25/22

February 24, 2022 News 4 Comments

Top News

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Teladoc Health reports Q4 results: revenue up 45%, EPS -$0.07 versus -$3.07, beating Wall Street expectations for both.

TDOC shares dropped sharply on Wednesday following the announcement, then gained 12% on Thursday. They are down 76% in the past 12 months versus the Nasdaq’s flat performance, valuing the company at $11 billion.

Teladoc was touted in August 2020 as having created a $37 billion company with its acquisition of Livongo for $18.5 billion.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

I’m declining to speculate further on attendance at ViVE and HIMSS22 since they are just 10 and 18 days away, respectively. You’re either going or not at this point. The conference and healthcare attendee environment has been reset since the pre-pandemic, pre-virtual status quo, so it’s early days in figuring out what that market wants in education and networking.

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Meanwhile, I received an email from HIMSS whose subject line suggests that the healthcare-irrelevant former occupations of its keynote speakers is the big draw.

Listening: video from the 2014 reunion concert – the surprisingly excellent first of many shows after a 16-year break – of one of my favorite bands, Failure. My favorite track: Daylight. The alt-rockers are touring this summer and my ticket procurement process is underway to make up for considering but not attending that 2014 LA show.


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Welcome to new HIStalk Platinum Sponsor VisiQuate. The Santa Rosa, CA-based company empowers healthcare organizations to achieve peak business health, through expert service-enabled technologies that dramatically improve performance and reduce process waste. They deliver optimized enterprise outcomes through a unique combination of complex data curation, deep AI & ML, advanced analytics, and intelligent process automation. Thanks to VisiQuate for supporting HIStalk.

An obvious core competency of VisiQuate is creating compelling and enjoyable videos, so instead of the usual explainer, I’ve chosen from YouTube a fun company overview set to the tune of “I Will Survive.” You may sing along.


Webinars

None scheduled soon. Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre to present your own.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Allscripts reports Q4 results: revenue up 1%, adjusted EPS $0.79 versus $0.20. 

Specialty remote patient monitoring vendor Story Health raises $23 million in a Series A funding round.

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Omada Health, which offers virtual-first chronic condition care, raises $192 million in a Series E funding round that values the company at $1 billion.


Sales

  • Northern Ireland’s Health and Social Care Board chooses medication ordering decision support from First Databank.
  • Ciox Health will implement Diameter Health’s Fusion engine to transform patient medical record data into analytics-ready form.

People

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Meditech adds COO to the title of 32-year company veteran EVP Helen Waters. The COO role was previously held by President and CEO Michelle O’Connor before her promotion in early 2021.

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Patrick Murta (Humana) joins BehaVR as chief platform architect.

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Umar Afridi, MPharm, co-founder and CEO of pharmacy fulfillment, telehealth, and diagnostic provider Truepill, is replaced by co-founder and president Sid Viswanathan.

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Mark Citrone (Healthfinch) joins Doximity as AVP of national sales.


Announcements and Implementations

Medhost announces two solutions that address CMS’s Promoting Interoperability Program, a Cures 2023 Interoperability Solution and Electronic Case Reporting.

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A economic study by healthcare market analytics company Trilliant Health finds that only about one-fourth of Americans have had a telehealth-based encounter during the pandemic and half of those had just one encounter (often to obtain a COVID-19 test), suggesting that people use it mostly when in-person visits aren’t available. The study says that the law of small numbers makes it seem that telehealth is enjoying accelerated adoption, but in reality it hasn’t impacted many people, especially those who need it most, and it hasn’t bridged the gap in available in-person primary care visits. Behavioral care is an exception, where many people prefer virtual visits. The study notes that while the marginal cost of offering a telehealth visit is effectively zero, the retail cost ranges from $59 to $75 and the patient’s payment portion increased by 110% from 2020 to 2021. 

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A new KLAS report on medication inventory management (par levels, clean room, facility-to-facility transfer tracking, formulary management, ordering and receiving) finds that Epic has the top-rated functionality even though the company’s doesn’t specialize in pharmacy. Customers of Swisslog are least likely to achieve outcomes such as improved compliance, inventory transparency, purchasing efficiency, and usage efficiency and are also least-satisfied with their vendor relationship.


Government and Politics

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The Department of Justice sues to block the $13 billion acquisition of Change Healthcare by UnitedHealth Group, saying that the deal would give the insurer details on how competing insurers bill and then undercut them. DOJ also says that UHG could withhold Change Healthcare’s products from its competitors, keep innovations for itself, and give UHG a monopoly in how claims are checked for errors.

Epic sues non-practicing entity (aka patent troll) GreatGigz Solutions for shaking down Christus Health to pay it licensing fees for its use of MyChart. GreatGiz bought some old online job recruiting patents that is says MyChart infringes on and is demanding that Christus buy licenses. GreatGigz has similarly sued Lyft, Uber, DoorDash, Postmates, CVS Health, Subway, ZipRecruiter, Target, Freelancer, Robert Half International, and countless other companies in hopes that they decide that it’s cheaper to pay GreatGigz to go away than to shovel money into mounting a defense. Epic has historically been one of few companies willing to do whatever it takes to defend itself, and in this case, the involvement of one of its customers is likely to unleash its legal dogs.


Privacy and Security

Ireland’s health service says the cost of last year’s ransomware attack has reached nearly $50 million and could rise to over $100 million.


Other

A large Medscape physician survey looks at burnout:

  • Nearly half of physician respondents said they feel burned out, up 4% from 2020, with female doctors reporting higher rates and critical care being the highest percentage specialty.
  • Sixty percent of doctors say bureaucratic tasks, such as charting and paperwork, are the main issue, double the #2 factor of lack of respect. Computer issues rank #6, with about one-third of respondents naming it as a problem.
  • Doctors say the three things that would most reduce their burnout are a better work schedule, higher pay, and more respect (I would say that “higher pay” was more of an aspiration since money isn’t likely to eliminate burnout, just make it more cost effective).

Sponsor Updates

  • PerfectServe publishes a new report, “The Rise of Emoji in Healthcare Communication.”
  • TransformativeMed launches its Cores Intelligent Care Platform on Olive’s marketplace, The Library.
  • Get Well publishes a new white paper, “Today’s Health Equity Goal: Shifting from Headlines to Impact.”
  • Imprivata has recognized partners Softcat, Conecto, Data#3, and SVA with its international IPartner Awards.
  • The Engage Your Tribe Podcast features NextGate VP of Global Marketing Richard Dark.

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EPtalk by Dr. Jayne 2/24/22

February 24, 2022 Dr. Jayne No Comments

Lots of activity on the HIMSS22 preparation front as people start to get serious about scheduling meetings, identifying sessions to attend, and attempting to draw people into their booths.

I’m often asked what would get me to come to a booth and look at a solution. First, I always remember that I’m primarily at HIMSS on behalf of my clients. It’s not just about the shoes and parties (and looking at HIMSS22, the schedule for the latter is decidedly lacking). I’m more apt to visit a booth for a vendor that has a potential solution to a client’s problems, or to a generalizable healthcare problem that’s important to me as a physician.

Second, companies need to consider the mechanics of how they let people know that they have a solution that might stimulate some interest. I at least eyeball the emails that come through from HIMSS vendors. If there’s a problem with the email formatting and the subject line doesn’t render correctly in the inbox, it goes straight to the trash. Marketing teams definitely need to be on top of testing this before they send their blast communications.

If the subject line seems compelling enough to open it, but I find formatting issues in the email itself (such as a poorly constructed salutation), it’s likely to go straight to the trash as well, since I find that highly annoying in addition to the fact that it conveys a message that a company isn’t attentive to detail. If they can’t manage the little things like formatting their communications, can I trust them with my clients’ outcomes? I understand that marketing is far from being considered a little thing and there’s a lot of complexity involved, but thousands of companies are able to do it right every day, so it can be done.

There used to be a lot of direct mailings to CMIOs in the weeks before HIMSS that included invitations from vendors to visit their booths and teased potential announcements. Some of the big spenders would even send goodies ahead of the meeting. Some would fall along the lines of “HIMSS survival kits,” including energy drinks and water bottles. Although eye-catching and fun, I’m not sure how much the average CMIO really used them or whether they thought they were a waste of money and postage.

I always liked hearing about the booths that were hosting events or activities to benefit a charity, such as “come by to stuff a backpack for a deserving school” or something similar. Those definitely got my attention because they were not only fun to do, but a good diversion from a long day at HIMSS.

Other mailings were a little kitschier, especially if the meeting was scheduled for Las Vegas. This includes vendor-branded casino chips to bring to the booth. I don’t know how many people actually carried those to the show, let alone took them to the booth, but I saw them year after year so they must have been effective, at least to some degree. Cards to bring for a drawing were also popular, and it’s been interesting to see how those drawings have evolved over the years. In 2011, it was IPad city, and I was lucky enough to bring one home. Over time, Fitbit devices became popular, then Bluetooth speakers, Apple watches, and more. I’ve seen a couple of vendors give away designer handbags, which is a fun twist. There was one company that gave away jet ski and one that gave away Vespa scooters. I’d definitely stop by to get a Vespa pic if someone offers one.

Mailings have definitely fallen off over the last several years. For HIMSS19, many of the mailings were late and were waiting for me when I returned home. Although HIMSS20 was a casualty of COVID, I received fewer than a dozen mailings. HIMSS21 brought less than a handful of postcards. I haven’t received any mailings this year, although it’s still early. I feel like physical mail is likely going to disappear, but would be interested to hear from any marketing professionals on whether they still feel there is a role for it. It’s certainly a differentiator if you’re one of the few vendors who does it and is likely to garner a little more attention than the flood of emails that we all receive.

In thinking about being actually at the show and what makes me want to visit a booth, my list is fairly well harmonized with what Mr. H publishes nearly every year. Friendly and engaged booth staff who are outward facing as people walk by makes the top of my list. Nothing says “we don’t want to talk to you” like being heads-down on your phone. Even the tiniest booths will get my attention if they look remotely interesting and the staff actively tries to engage clients. Hopefully the HIMSS badges will be printed this year in a way that booth staff can see our titles, because I think that helps a bit in the exhibit hall dance as well.

The booth needs to be clean and organized, with no clutter on tables and definitely no overflowing trash cans. If you have swag to give away, it needs to be organized and not look like a yard sale. Small tchotchkes that make the show easier are always appreciated – hand sanitizer, lip balm, Tylenol packets, etc. Little pieces of chocolate are always a fan favorite, especially if you need a pick me up after several hours of cruising the exhibits. I’m not a big fan of glossy paper take-aways simply because I don’t want to carry them around, not to mention the environmental impact of those. I might take a picture of materials to remind me of a vendor, so maybe having something that displays the vendor, its core offering, and its website in a way that can be easily captured would be useful.

Of course, I always make sure to visit the booths of our HIStalk sponsors and I’ve enjoyed seeing our signage over the years. I test drove my new HIMSS shoes last week so now all my boxes are checked and I’m ready to put my exhibit hall strategy together.

What are your plans for HIMSS22? Leave a comment or email me.

Email Dr. Jayne.

Morning Headlines 2/24/22

February 23, 2022 Headlines No Comments

Minded, a telehealth platform specializing in managing mental health medication, raises $25M

Medication-based mental health telemedicine startup Minded raises $25 million in a Series A funding round that the company will use to expand beyond the seven states it currently serves.

Omada Health Closes $192 Million Series E Financing to Bring Virtual-First Care to Millions

Omada Health, a virtual chronic care management company, raises $192 million in a Series E funding round, bringing its total raised to nearly $450 million.

OhMD Closes Latest Round of Financing, Led by FCA Venture Partners

Patient engagement and text-based patient-to-provider messaging vendor OhMD secures financing in a funding round led by FCA Venture Partners.

HIStalk Interviews Patty Hayward, VP, Talkdesk

February 23, 2022 Interviews No Comments

Patty Hayward, MA is VP of strategy, healthcare and life sciences, of Talkdesk of San Francisco, CA.

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Tell me about yourself and the company.

I’ve been in healthcare IT for the past 25 years. I’ve worked with several organizations to transform processes and procedures in areas such as medication safety and revenue cycle. I worked at Aetna, helping with the first ACOs. I’ve had a lot of stints in population health. Now I’m working with patient experience.

Talkdesk has been around for 10 years. It offers the first cloud-native contact center as a service. It was born out of a hackathon from Twilio. There was a niche in the market that needed to be worked on. The company has kept over 50% of its employees based in product and R&D, which is a huge commitment to innovation, looking at how we can transform and disrupt different areas.

About a year and a half ago, the decision was made to look at specific verticals, with healthcare being the first. That’s when they brought me and other folks on board. For us, it’s all about how to reimagine that patient experience, reduce friction, and help providers offer a different experience than is typical. We want to make sure that it is synchronized across multiple channels and is personalized and convenient.

How do large health systems tailor their digital health strategies in the face of potential competition, but while operating at capacity and with record profits?

Interesting and unique forces are definitely in play. There’s a lot of change in the market. Large retailers are jumping into the market, bringing their experiences to target areas such as primary care, population health, and chronic disease management. That’s going to give them a lot of ability to steer. Whoever you’re dealing with most — your primary care doc or someone who is working with you to manage your chronic disease — is who you will listen to on where you go. Younger generations are interested in different ways of doing business and thinking about healthcare in a different way. Record profits make it attractive for people to jump in, and you are seeing that.

Amazon has the luxury of catering to a self-selected customer base that is comfortable with an online-only relationship. Do providers have a different challenge in accommodating people who may prefer interacting in person or via telephone?

You are seeing this a lot with Medicare Advantage plans. They are obviously targeting the senior population, but they are tech savvy and tech forward in their approach and are using it in a smart way. They are giving a lot of choice and a lot of opportunity to utilize technology selectively, but also using care guides to guide folks through the system, which is much needed when you think about chronic disease patients in the Medicare population. It is difficult to navigate. They are allowing their members to come to them as they can, or as they would like to, whether that’s via voice or via technology. They are also using technology to make their agents efficient. So there are multiple ways to look at technology and how to implement it. It doesn’t have to be patient- or member-facing.

How are health systems using their contact centers differently?

Health systems are starting to look at their contact center as a strategic asset versus just the cost center it was in the past. It is the front door, typically the first touch that a patient has with their organization. We went the NGPX patient experience conference at the beginning of December and one of the things that struck me was that about 95% of the presentations were on HCAHPS scores. Those are acute focused, inside, did we do these certain things. When I had conversations with a lot of folks, the Mayo of course jumped out and started talking about patient experience in a very different way. They still do HCAHPS, because you have to, but they have jumped over to using Net Promoter Score as a measure of patient satisfaction. That’s unusual in the space.

People are starting to think differently about how they can transform to “how did we make you feel” versus “did we do the right things all the time.” A lot of forward-thinking folks are looking at how to do this differently. You are also seeing CMS start to push member experience as a huge piece of how they reimburse, making that one of the biggest metrics that they are using for star rating.

Providers used then-modern technology such as PBX systems or online contact forms to prevent people who needed help from easily accessing their employees. How are they thinking differently about tailoring communications using someone’s preferred method and personalizing the message?

People are talking about things like digital front door. Health systems, especially those that take risk or have their own plans, want more interaction with their patients in the right way. Being able to do things like send a text reminder that is interactive versus “say yes to confirm or no to cancel.” They want to keep that revenue stream going, because if you miss an appointment, that’s money out the door. They want to continue to have those record profits. There are a lot of ways that you can work through that whole aspect.

During COVID, the volumes that hit their switchboards were unmanageable. I talked to several health systems whose entire phone systems were taken down by the volume. People quickly automated as much as possible, standing up IVRs to give automated answers to quick questions, offering chats, and adding FAQs to their websites. Taking simple things that could be easily answered by automation off their switchboards to give their agents time to answer questions and have good interactions.

Forward-thinking ones are looking at the disruptors that are coming into the space and taking patients off of their books. How can we keep up with them? Amazon Care is going after employers, not necessarily patients themselves. Hilton was their first big one. There’s some big innovation in not only the care that is given, but in how they get patients on their rosters.

Most businesses assign a single customer identity and a defined way to interact with them. How well do health systems coordinate the many reasons they might be communicating with someone – clinical care, marketing, reminders, population health, billing – and give their employees a single view into every one of those communications?

The key is integrating with the system of record. If it’s the EHR, you want to make sure that you’ve got a connection to make the API callout so you can see snippets. You aren’t trying to duplicate the EHR – you want the highlights of things that are of interest. We are completely customizable, so we can build that to the experience that you would like. You may have different groups that need different visions. Someone who is in revenue cycle and billing wants a different look than those who work in patient access or care management.

You would want to be able to see if they started it off with a chat. You would authenticate to have a real conversation, be able to see who they are, and be able to do things like patient scheduling. Then if it is escalated, to be able to bring all of that information to that agent’s workspace so that they can see what’s happening and they don’t have to listen all over again. You see that in other verticals, where when people call in, they start with a discussion with an AI agent and then escalate to a human who says, “Give me a minute to get caught up on what you’ve said.” That’s an important aspect that we don’t tend to have in healthcare as much. It’s important to have that integration into the EHR.

Patient portals used to be viewed as consumer-unfriendly, but suddenly they are the well-received launching point for most interactions with patients. How do they fit into the ideal consumer experience?

Patient portals are not going to be real time. I just had my annual physical and it took a week to get a response from my physician. The patient portal can automate things that make sense for patients to do when they are on their computer, such as scheduling appointments, rescheduling, paying their bill, things like that. But a lot of times, people are on their smartphone and want to be able to start a conversation using the chatbot in the corner of the web page.  

Ideally, it’s all tied together and you can see the history. If there’s an interaction that’s recent, you want to be able to pull that in, create intents, and use AI to determine that the person is calling in because they’ve asked their question three times. You should see that as you’re answering the phone call. It’s important to be able to synchronize all these things, which typically doesn’t happen today. You call in and they have no vision into what you’ve been doing. I’ve been with my primary care provider for 19 years and it’s like I’m brand new every time I call.

Providers used to just hang out a shingle and people lined up, so nobody worked too hard to attract new patients. How are chief digital officers or chief experience officers who come in from other industries working with health systems who aren’t used to having to be consumer-friendly?

They are bringing in all sorts of people for these roles. It’s not just folks who are traditional healthcare. You have people coming in from Disney, Best Buy, the retail sector, and the entertainment sector with a viewpoint of what it could look like. They are bringing a different and unique lens to how you can capture more of the populations and become a destination place where people want to go. Mayo Clinic can dictate the kind of patients it wants, and other systems are, like you said, taking the approach that their shingle is out and people are coming.

Disruptors that are coming into the space are going to peel off those more valuable individuals, those who have more money to spend, and offer additional services that they are willing to pay for. If you look at that Amazon Care video, it’s pretty cool to be able to have a virtual visit, and if they can’t solve it on videoconference, they will send someone to your house or your place of work and then deliver your medications in two hours. There’s this full circle of care that can happen that makes it convenient and easy for you to seek the care you need.

Otherwise, folks will avoid doing that and then end up in a worse position or in the ER, which may be profitable if the ER isn’t taking risk. But if they are taking risk, all of a sudden the cost situation flips. That’s where the change is. Fee-for-service loves that ED visit, but with fee-for-value where you take on risk of the population, it’s a different discussion. We are seeing a lot of push towards fee-for-value. It has been going on for over a decade, but we are seeing more folks jumping in and offering different opportunities to grab onto that fee-for-value area and show value back to the government or to employers who are paying the bill.

What developments will we see with the company and industry in the next few years?

You will see AI take a bigger role, both in the things that are easy to automate and those that are not. It will take a huge role in helping the agents with their work, so that information is easily accessible and correct so that you can get it done quickly the first time. Agents will be able to spend more time and emphasis on that empathetic journey that you would like to show to your patients, at least those organizations that do it well.

You’re going to see a lot more emphasis on providing what in retail they call a delightful journey. Not too many people would call healthcare’s journey delightful. You typically come there stressed out and having a lot of interactions, so being able to deliver an experience like that is important. As we get folks to take care of themselves in the way that is prescribed, how do we activate the patient? How do we get them to think about how to take care of themselves and make the right choices? All of that will start to come together. Smart watches, devices, and different areas will allow you to get a lot more help and a lot more ability to, when you want, get guidance in real time.

Morning Headlines 2/23/22

February 22, 2022 Headlines No Comments

Cerner Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2021 Results

Cerner, whose acquisition by Oracle remains on track for sometime this year, announces Q4 results: revenue up 4%, adjusted EPS $0.93 versus $0.78.

WellSky® to Acquire TapCloud to Bolster Patient Engagement Technology That Improves the Patient Experience and Lowers Costs

WellSky will acquire TapCloud, whose patient engagement platform collects a one-minute check-in that asks about symptoms, concerns, and available support.

Health Catalyst Announces Intent to Acquire KPI Ninja

Health Catalyst will acquire KPI Ninja, which offers interoperability solutions and population health analytics.

Clinical Data Release Leader MRO Announces Acquisition of MediCopy

Release of information solutions vendor MRO acquires competitor MediCopy.

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