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News 6/28/16

June 28, 2016 News No Comments

Top News

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Carlsbad, CA-based MedSphere and Salt Lake City-based ChartLogic merge, giving MedSphere access to ChartLogic’s ambulatory EHR product line and customers. ChartLogic will retain its brand name and operate as a division of MedSphere. The news comes on the heels of ChartLogic’s lab ordering system partnership with Change Healthcare, which announced today that it will form a new company with beleaguered McKesson Technology Solutions. Mr. H has more on that (plus lively reader commentary) here.


Webinars

None scheduled in the coming weeks. Contact Lorre for webinar services. Past webinars are on our HIStalk webinars YouTube channel. Be sure to ask for her “Summer Doldrums Special” that we always run through Labor Day and you’ll get a great deal.


Announcements and Implementations

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Integrated Software Solutions develops a cloud-based version of its MedEz EHR, PM, and billing software for behavioral health and substance abuse services.

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Medical financing company Parasail Health develops a new payment plan app to help patients find suitable financing plans before leaving the doctor’s office, or via a physician’s billing statement.

Phoenix, AZ-based Dox Podiatry adds India-based ITech’s billing and PM technology to its EHR for podiatrists.

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Allergy Partners, a network of allergy, asthma, and immunology practices in 23 states, develops and launches a mobile app that offers interactive patient coaching for specific conditions and helps to track medications, allergy injections, triggers, and symptoms.

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New Hampshire-based Derry Medical Center and Southern New Hampshire Internal Medicine Associates partner with VillageMD to form VillageMD-New Hampshire. The primary care-focused joint venture will help 57 physicians across the state transition to value-based care models with the help of VillageMD’s analytics, care coordination tools, and in-office support.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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San Francisco-based Medal raises $3.78 million as part of a seed round led by angel investors 8VC. The San Francisco-based startup, which has developed software that streamlines data sharing between EHRs, will use the funds to further hiring and product deployments. CEO Lonnie Rae Kurlander is a former third-year physician-in-training from Boston University.

Not surprising in the least: Capgemini’s annual World Wealth Report predicts that healthcare, high-tech, and financial services will be the industries most likely to increase the net worth of high net worth individuals (anyone having “investable assets” of $1 million or more) through 2025. Six percent of the world’s 1.8 billionaires have made their fortunes in healthcare, which I’m willing to bet up until now has consisted of medical devices, pharma, and life sciences. (Patrick Soon-Shiong of NantWorks fame, whose net worth is valued at $11.5 billion, is of course an exception to my assumption.) It would be interesting to compare the truly life-saving/changing innovations – not to mention philanthropic activities – that have come out of those healthcare dynasties with those that are likely to spring up within healthcare IT circles.


People

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Rob Rebak (Sharecare) joins AbilTo as CEO.

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The Federation of State Medical Boards names Kenneth Steier, DO (Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine-Middletown) a fellow.


Telemedicine

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Harvard Pilgrim rolls out Doctor on Demand telemedicine services to its health plan members in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire.


Government and Politics

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CMS begins to wade through over 3,700 comments on the proposed MACRA/MIPS rule, which should be finalized this fall. When it comes to physician practices, commentary has been decidedly negative as many trade associations believe the reporting requirements and penalties would be crushingly burdensome. MGMA bared no bones in its assessment: “MGMA and our members recognize proposed MIPS criteria are so onerous that, when coupled with an almost non-existent Advanced APM pathway, they would consume clinicians’ time and resources in collecting and reporting what are essentially government-mandated data points rather than spending time with patients.” It advocates, among other changes, postponing the start date to January 1, 2018, and reducing reporting requirements.


Research and Innovation

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I’m a little surprised at the attention a Mayo Clinic study has gotten, given that just about any physician with an EHR could probably have validated its hypothesis at the outset. The study of 6,375 physicians – 85 percent of which are EHR users – found a direct correlation between that use (including e-prescribing) and burnout across all ages, genders, specialties, and hours worked. I don’t care to register for full access to the study, so turned to Time’s summary for further findings, which, not surprisingly, included stats relating to the dissatisfaction physicians feel towards their EHRs, and the fact that most don’t feel the technology improves patient care.

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A Salesforce study of over 1,700 insured adults finds that most aren’t taking advantage of technology to keep in touch with their physician. Over 60 percent still use the phone to schedule appointments, while 62 percent rely on their physicians to manage their health data. And yet the majority of those same adults would be open to telemedicine visits, mobile apps, and wearables integration. The sticking point of digital health rears its ugly head once again: Just because consumers have access to these shiny new tools doesn’t mean they will use them in meaningful ways, or that physicians will welcome them with open arms.


Other

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NPR looks inside a secret government warehouse with rows upon rows of medical necessities stockpiled in the event of a healthcare catastrophe. Part of the CDC’s Strategic National Stockpile Program, the  warehouse (purportedly one of six) will be ground zero for distribution of supplies worth over $7 billion to state and local governments. “We have the capability, if something bad happens, that we can intervene in a positive way, but then we don’t ever want to have to do that. So it’s kind of a strange place,” says SNS Director Greg Burel. "But we would be foolish not to prepare for those events that we could predict might happen.”


Contacts

JenniferMr. H, Lorre, Dr. Jayne, Dr. Gregg

More news: HIStalk, HIStalk Connect.

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JennHIStalk

News 6/27/16

June 27, 2016 News 1 Comment

Top News

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A hacker known as “thedarkoverlord” advertises 655,000 healthcare records on a dark Web marketplace, allegedly stolen from healthcare organizations in Missouri, Georgia, and the Central/Midwest. The hacker claims he conducted each breach via an unknown vulnerability in each organization’s remote desktop protocol, from which he kept going until he “got to the juicy machines running their electronic health systems” – at least one of which he claims is SRSsoft’s EHR. The data is being sold to nefarious dealers for between $100,000 and $411,000, though the hacker has also claimed he’s holding the information ransom for “a modest amount compared to the damage that will be caused to the organizations when I decide to publicly leak the victims.”


Webinars

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June 28 (Tuesday) 2:00 ET. “Your Call Is Very Important.” Sponsored by West Healthcare Practice. Presenters: Cyndy Orrys, contact center director, Henry Ford Health System; Brian Cooper, SVP, West Interactive. The contact center is a key hub of patient engagement and a strategic lever for driving competitive advantage. Cyndy will share how her organization’s call center is using technologies and approaches that create effortless patient experiences in connecting them to the right information or resource. Brian will describe five key characteristics of a modern call center and suggest how to get started.

Contact Lorre for webinar services. Past webinars are on our HIStalk webinars YouTube channel. Be sure to ask for her “Summer Doldrums Special” that we always run through Labor Day and you’ll get a great deal


People

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Helen Darling (National Quality Forum) joins the Teladoc Board of Directors.


Announcements and Implementations

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Salt Lake City-based ManagementPlus, a part of The Eye Care Leaders Group, adds revenue cycle solutions to its line of health IT and consulting services for optometry practices.

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Mi Doctor (TX) implements Redox’s API, enabling its Relaymed point-of-care test administration software to receive orders and post results directly into its EClinicalWorks EHR and PM systems. The integration is the latest in a list of new relationships for the API integration startup, which has up until now focused on hospital-centric systems.


Government and Politics

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New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announces that the city will leverage Zocdoc’s physician scheduling technology to help employees on its health plan access in-network physicians across all five boroughs. The partnership is part of the city’s WorkWell NYC initiative, which aims to help its 1.2 million employees, retirees, and dependents become and remain healthy.

A state-run physician ranking system comes under fire (again) for placing cost above quality, and culling cost assessments from sample sizes deemed too small to be statistically reliable. Developed by the Group Insurance Commission for state of Massachusetts employees, the $7 million system uses its rankings to place physicians in tiers – the higher the tier, the higher the co-pay. “There has been a fair amount of concern raised about tiering by our members for several years and the GIC method of tiering was particularly worrying based on the methodology they use,” said Dennis Dimitri, MD. “We shouldn’t apply flawed methodology and inadequate methodology and then have both physicians and patients suffer as a result of these inadequacies.”

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CMS reports it has paid out $34.7 billion in Meaningful Use incentive payments as of last month, including over $9 billion for EPs. It’s worth noting that none of that went to new AMA President Andrew Gurman, MD who has been transparent about the fact that its more fiscally responsible for his solo practice to take the penalties than to invest in new technology.


Other

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First it was tasty nail polish in Hong Kong, now its phone chargers in India. KFC has launched limited edition “Watt-A-Box” packages in Delhi and Mumbai to spice up its paper boxes, most of which are being given out via an online contest.

With his typical aplomb, Athenahealth CEO Jonathan Bush quells rumors he may one day run for the highest office in the land. “First of all, we need another Bush like I need a hole in my head,” he said. “I don’t want to be another Bush, but I do want to be politically active, I do want to provide air cover.” He also made it clear he won’t vote for Trump, adding that, “If he was a little bit less clinically narcissistic, I would vote for him.” I can’t help but think back to his appearance at HIStalkapalooza …


Contacts

JenniferMr. H, Lorre, Dr. Jayne, Dr. Gregg

More news: HIStalk, HIStalk Connect.

Get HIStalk Practice updates.
Contact us online.
Become a sponsor.

JennHIStalk

Population Health Management Weekly Wrap Up 6/26/16

June 26, 2016 News No Comments

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Kili Chivers (PointRight) joins recently rebranded I2I Population Health as chief growth officer.

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New York City-based Fitango Health launches a new set of remote-monitoring and patient engagement technologies that include video, email, and text messaging; wearables integration; and compliance tools. The company added telemedicine capabilities to its population health management services last month.

Rite Aid subsidiary Health Dialog and H2 Wellness develop the Interact personal health portal for risk-bearing organizations looking to manage behavior change across patient populations. Rite Aid will roll it out to employees later this summer.

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Knoxville, TN-based consulting firm Pershing Yoakley & Associates develops a set of population health management services to help providers better prepare for value-based care initiatives.

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Aurora Health Care (WI) and StartUp Health seek innovations to integrate into a personalized population health platform that will provide targeted care to Aurora patients and the surrounding community. Digital health startups have until July 20 to apply. Selected companies will have access to StartUp Health Academy’s lifetime coaching program and Aurora’s internal commercialization, IT, and innovation teams. The platform will launch in early 2017.

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C.L. Brumback Primary Care Clinics (FL) goes live with Forward Health Group’s PopulationManager and The Guideline Advantage.

CaseNet integrates Interpreta’s real-time clinical and genomics analytics into its TruCare care management software for public and private payers.


Sponsor Updates

  • Leidos Health will exhibit at the HFMA ANI Conference June 26-29 in Las Vegas.

Blog Posts


Contacts

JenniferMr. H, Lorre, Dr. Jayne, Dr. Gregg

More news: HIStalk, HIStalk Connect.

Get HIStalk Practice updates.
Contact us online.
Become a sponsor.

JennHIStalk

News 6/23/16

June 23, 2016 News No Comments

Top News

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Aledade celebrates its second anniversary in the ACO formation business with a slew of announcements. It has partnered with PCPs to form new ACOs in Nevada/Utah, Michigan, Missouri, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia; and signed its first commercial contract, with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana. Physicians enrolled in its Louisiana-based ACO will work with patients via BCBS Louisiana’s Quality Blue Value Partnership program.


Webinars

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June 28 (Tuesday) 2:00 ET. “Your Call Is Very Important.” Sponsored by West Healthcare Practice. Presenters: Cyndy Orrys, contact center director, Henry Ford Health System; Brian Cooper, SVP, West Interactive. The contact center is a key hub of patient engagement and a strategic lever for driving competitive advantage. Cyndy will share how her organization’s call center is using technologies and approaches that create effortless patient experiences in connecting them to the right information or resource. Brian will describe five key characteristics of a modern call center and suggest how to get started.

Contact Lorre for webinar services. Past webinars are on our HIStalk webinars YouTube channel. Be sure to ask for her “Summer Doldrums Special” that we always run through Labor Day and you’ll get a great deal.


Announcements and Implementations

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Practice Fusion develops a predictive modeling program using de-identified EHR data to help physicians identify rare diseases. The program uses clinical decision support advisories in the EHR to alert physicians to a patient’s propensity for having a rare disease, and then offers resources including available testing to confirm or rule out a diagnosis.


People

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Jim Boswell (Baptist Medical Group) joins IKS Health as executive vice president and managing partner, client advisory services.

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Continuum Health Alliance names Don McDaniel (Sage Growth Partners) president and CEO, and Robert Haft (Morgan Noble) chairman of the board.


Government and Politics

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ONC posts recordings of its annual meeting sessions.

HHS adds new members to its Health Information Technology Standards and Health Information Technology Policy Committees. Appointees include Aaron Miri (Imprivata), Rajesh Dash (Duke University School of Medicine), Kay Eron (Intel), Peter Johnson, Kyle Meadors (Drummond Group), Terrence O’Malley, MD (Massachusetts General Hospital), Andrey Ostrovsky, MD (Care at Hand), Wanmei Ou (Oracle), and Larry Wolf (Strategic Health Network).

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Cue the healthcare and technology media hysterics: First, President Obama jokes about joining LinkedIn once his term is up. Next, he includes precision medicine in his list of potential future gigs. “… [T]he fact that now you can have your personal genome mapped for a thousand bucks instead of $100,000; and the potential for us to identify what your tendencies are, and to sculpt medicines that are uniquely effective for you. That’s just an example of something I can sit and listen and talk to folks for hours about.”


Telemedicine

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Supplemental health benefits company Healthera offers organ donors free telemedicine and portal messaging services via HealthiestYou.

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Following in Louisiana’s footsteps, Alaska Governor Bill Walker signs legislation no longer requiring telemedicine providers to be physically located within the state.


Other

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A new report from security software company Kapersky Lab finds that ransomware attacks have increased at an alarming rate over the last two years. Nearly 720,000 people were ransomware victims between April 2015 and March 2016 – nearly 600,000 more than were hit the year before. While at-home users remain the object of most ransomware attacks, targeted attacks on corporate users have more than doubled.


Contacts

JenniferMr. H, Lorre, Dr. Jayne, Dr. Gregg

More news: HIStalk, HIStalk Connect.

Get HIStalk Practice updates.
Contact us online.
Become a sponsor.

JennHIStalk

DOCtalk with Dr. Gregg 6/23/16

June 23, 2016 News No Comments

EHR Litter

Hot topics in HIT these days are all around interoperability, big data, data exchange, MACRA, etc., all of which pretty much revolve around the generation of data. But before we get too far down the data-generation path (if we’re not there already), maybe it’d be a good idea to consider a much less sexy concept – the notion of “EHR litter.”

In all likelihood, you’ve never heard of EHR litter before. I hadn’t. In fact, I think I may have coined the term. It came to me one day when out mowing my lawn …

Living on a fairly busy street in our town, one of the seemingly incessant scourges is that of litter. As I was picking up the fourth piece of somebody’s waste – a used Kleenex, I believe it was, yuck! – it struck me yet again how lovely it would be to just once mow the grass without having to handle the often gross refuse of my neighbors.

As I mowed on, it further struck me that so much of the detritus that I receive in digitally-created notes from hospitals and other providers is very similar to my yard experience: There’s good stuff in there, but doggone if there isn’t a whole heap of “litter” that just wastes my time!

Think about it. If “big data” is ever going to get us anywhere, it should be big, useful data, not copy-paste crap that often isn’t actually applicable to the current patient note, or system-generated phrases that add no value to the medical story other than making it easier/faster for some poor clinical schlub to get through his dullardly data-capture duties and get his bullet points all clicked to ensure reimbursement.

Whether obtained via fax, PDF on CD or flash drive, C-CDA, or secure messaging, so much of the “medical” content that we providers now have to wade through is like so much litter; it’s truly trash that takes time to scrounge through and wastes digital space. It serves no purpose for ongoing patient care.

To be honest, sometimes I’m not sure if it is any better than the old handwritten pen-and-paper notes that were often illegible. Both waste provider time, both provide limited (if any) value, and both are fairly infuriating. Both are, essentially, medical content litter.

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All this waste-of-space content will divert us from our goals of making big data useful, data exchange worthwhile, and interoperability efficient.

I promise to do my best to eliminate “litter” from my notes. I hope you – be you provider or EHR vendor – will do your part to get rid of your EHR trash.

(And, if you happen to drive by my yard, please don’t throw your trash out there, either.)

From the trenches …

“If what I write is literature, I guess you’d better emphasize the ‘litter.’” – Lydia Lunch

dr gregg

Dr. Gregg Alexander, a grunt in the trenches pediatrician at Madison Pediatrics, is chief medical officer for Health Nuts Media, an HIT and marketing consultant, sits on the board of directors of the Ohio Health Information Partnership, and is the semi-proud author of “Monsters Don’t Fart!


Contacts

JenniferMr. H, Lorre, Dr. Jayne, Dr. Gregg

More news: HIStalk, HIStalk Connect.

Get HIStalk Practice updates.
Contact us online.
Become a sponsor.

JennHIStalk

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