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News 2/18/19

February 18, 2019 News No Comments

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Researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine in California determine that life expectancy increased by 51.5 days for every 10 additional PCPs per 100,000 people over a 10-year period. More specifically, those 10 additional PCPs resulted in a 0.9-percent reduction in cardiovascular deaths, a 1-percent reduction in cancer deaths, and a 1.4-percent decline in respiratory deaths. Additional specialists increased life expectancy by 19 days. “The surprising result was how much PCP supply has declined despite so much emphasis on primary care over the last decade,” says lead author Sanjay Basu, MD. “I think the problem comes down to money. We pay less for prevention than treatment — and the former is where primary care lives.”


HIStalk Practice Announcements and Requests

While I can’t say I missed the #HIMSSanity of HIMSS this year, I did miss getting to rub elbows with HIStalk readers and catching up with Lorre and the elusive Mr. HIStalk. (I still get a thrill when he covers a news item I’ve suggested.) Jonathan Bush’s absence also seemed to have left a void. (One of my favorite HIMSS sessions was one several years ago that featured Bush and CIO/gentleman farmer John Halamka.)

Based on the reviews of Mr. H and Dr. Jayne, it seems there was definitely a lack of health IT celebrities this year, perhaps reflecting the post-MU era that has resulted in a consolidating industry controlled by big health systems, big vendors (some now without their founding fearless leaders), and faceless private equity firms. It seems attendees were more excited about sock giveaways than game-changing health IT concepts.

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Speaking of giveaways, I came across this “prescription” pad at my local ice cream parlor and thought it would make for a good HIMSS giveaway next year, perhaps accompanied by a scoop of the attendee’s choice. Warm scones in the morning followed by an ice cream pick-me-up in the afternoon could surely help HIMSS-goers survive the exhibit hall.


Webinars

March 6 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET. “Pairing a High-Tech Clinical Logistics Center with a Communication Platform for Quick Patient Response.” Sponsored by Voalte. Presenters: James Schnatterer, MBA, clinical applications manager, Nemours Children’s Health; Mark Chamberlain, clinical applications analyst, Nemours Children’s Health. Medics at Nemours Children’s Health track vital signs of patients in Florida and Delaware from one central hub, acting as eyes and ears when a nurse is away from the bedside. Close monitoring 24 hours a day integrates data from the electronic health record, such as critical lab results, and routes physiological monitor and nurse call alerts directly to the appropriate caregiver’s smartphone. This session explores how the Clinical Logistics Center and more than 1,600 Zebra TC51-HC Touch Computers running Voalte Platform connect care teams at two geographically dispersed sites for better patient safety and the best possible outcomes.

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


Announcements and Implementations

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Fogo Data Centers adds medical record archiving, migration, and cloud-based hosting solutions to its line of EHR Express services.

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CampDoc works with Applications Research Corp. to develop interfaces that connect its EHR with Jewish Community Center and YMCA operating software.


People

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Practice management company United Rheumatology names Douglas Tardio (HealthCost) CEO, Bill Moore (HealthCost) CTO, and Jim Albano (JF Albano Health Care Services) as EVP of payer relations and operations.


Government and Politics

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The USDA will give funding priority to Distance Learning and Telemedicine program applicants who propose projects that will provide opioid treatment services to patients in 220 at-risk rural areas. Applications are due April 15.


Telemedicine

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The local paper profiles Community eConsult Network, an offshoot of Connecticut-based Community Health Center that has, over the last decade, built up a robust e-consult network that helps low-income patients receive treatment in a more timely and convenient manner. Customers include public and private payers, and other healthcare providers. Dermatologist Chris Norwood, MD sometimes handles 20 e-consults a day through the network, netting about $35 a consult. “I wouldn’t call it profitable,” he admits, “but it’s not an enormous money sink and I think it does help the community greatly. No one is buying a Ferrari with this.” While luxury car dealers might not be profiting, Medicaid is definitely saving money through e-consults, as a CeCN study in Health Affairs last December showed: Patients who had e-consults in four specialties saved Medicaid $82 per patient, per month, versus those who had face-to-face visits with specialists.


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk.

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News 2/13/19

February 13, 2019 News No Comments

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Middletown, CT-based PursueCare raises growth capital from WRD Capital and Starboard Capital Partners as it prepares to launch telemedicine services for patients undergoing opioid addiction treatment. CEO Nicholas Mercadante previously served as president and CEO of long-term care company MedOptions, where he helped to develop a telehealth program.


Webinars

None scheduled in the coming weeks. Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre for information.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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As part of its post-Aetna acquisition plans, CVS Health opens three health-focused concept stores in Houston that include an expanded clinic, lab for blood tests and screenings, and wellness rooms for classes and yoga. Customers can also speak with care concierges, who will walk them through the store’s healthcare offerings; and dieticians, who can connect them to Noom’s Web-based weight loss service. Aetna customers will get extra consult time with CVS pharmacists to discuss any care concerns they may have. The company has allotted $2.6 billion to build out additional HealthHubs.


Announcements and Implementations

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Solutionreach adds text message-initiated mobile payment capabilities to its line of patient relationship management software and services.

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After acquiring Aprima last week, EMDs launches Aria Health Services to assist customers with RCM, credentialing, and enrollment.


People

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Optometry-focused RevolutionEHR promotes Corey Crawford to VP of operations.


Research and Innovation

A DrFirst survey of 199 patients finds that more would prefer to communicate with their physicians via text rather than patient portal, making ONC’s decision several years ago to decrease requirements around patient engagement via portals seem to be ahead of its time. Patients also indicated that they would like the ability to text a family member’s care team, and would be open to receiving healthcare and appointment reminders from their providers via text.


Other

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In Colorado, expectant mother Jaci Vincent delivers her baby at Copper Mountain’s ski clinic after realizing her labor had progressed too quickly to make the drive with her mother-in-law to nearby St. Anthony Summit Medical Center. Ski clinic staff, equipped to handle urgent and emergency care, sprang into action to help deliver Mackenzie Copper Vincent.


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk.

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News 2/11/19

February 11, 2019 News No Comments

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Veritas Capital and Evergreen Coast Capital (an Elliott Management affiliate) wrap up their $5.7 billion acquisition of Athenahealth. As previously reported, Veritas Capital’s Virence Health business will combine with Athenahealth under the Athena name. Virence Chairman and CEO Bob Segert will lead the new business at Athena’s headquarters in Watertown, MA.


Webinars

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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New Jersey-based Medical Transcription Billing Corp. rebrands to MTBC to reflect its broader health IT capabilities.


People

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Patient engagement and management vendor HealthKos hires Mercedes Varas (Kipu Systems) as senior director of implementation and client experience.


Announcements and Implementations

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Community Care of North Carolina implements VirtualHealth’s Helios care management technology.

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Ophthalmic Consultants of Long Island (NY) joins the Healthix HIE. OCLI providers across 19 locations can now take advantage of Healthix’s real-time clinical alerts to stay on top of care events like admissions and discharges. OCLI is the first group of its kind to join the HIE.

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NextGen Healthcare leverages Availity’s health information network to make patient pre-registration solutions like insurance and verification and cost estimates available to its customers in real-time.


Government and Politics

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HHS proposes a new rule that would enable patients to access their health data from federally-funded providers at no cost and without delay. The rule, which would go into effect next year, would necessarily require providers and payers to adopt technology to make this real-time data-sharing possible. It would also give HHS the authority to call out organizations that don’t comply.


Research and Innovation

A Kareo survey finds that, due to the increasing complexity of patient payments and healthcare costs, nearly a third of providers surveyed expect to outsource their billing services within the next two years.


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk.

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News 2/6/19

February 6, 2019 News No Comments

Top News

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The DoJ announces that Greenway Health will pay $57 million to settle allegations that include:

  • Falsely obtaining 2014 Edition certification for its Prime Suite EHR by modifying test-run software that hid the fact that required clinical vocabulary was missing.
  • Failing to correct an error in its 2011 Edition software that led users to unknowingly apply for Meaningful Use incentive payments that they were  not actually eligible for.
  • Giving kickbacks to users who recommended Prime Suite to their colleagues.

In addition to the financial penalty, Greenway will be required for the next five years to abide by a Corporate Integrity Agreement that includes letting current users upgrade to other Greenway software for free, or migrate their data to another vendor without penalty or extra fees.

“In the last two years, my office has resolved two matters against leading EHR developers where we alleged significant fraudulent conduct,” said attorney Christina Nolan, referring to the $155 million EClinicalWorks settlement, which was similar in nature though larger in scope. “EHR companies should consider themselves on notice.”


Webinars

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


Announcements and Implementations

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Simple Interact adds on-demand patient email and text messaging capabilities to its line of patient engagement and front office software.

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Alliance Cancer Specialists (PA) selects patient relationship management technology from Navigating Cancer.

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Petaluma Health Center (CA) selects Carium’s customized patient engagement and care coordination app.

Insight Imaging (CA) and Naugatuck Valley Radiology (CT) select cloud-based medical image management software from Ambra Health.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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PerfectServe acquires physician scheduling company Lightning Bolt Solutions and patient engagement vendor CareWire. Terms of the deals weren’t disclosed. PerfectServe acquired Telmediq earlier this year. The acquisitions are, according to PerfectServe CEO Terry Edward’s recent interview with Mr. HIStalk, part of the company’s broader strategy to “build the care team collaboration platform of the future.” You can read the rest of the interview here.

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Population health management company EQHealth Solutions opens a new office in Little Rock, AR, to better accommodate its its work with the state. Several divisions within its Department of Human Services have selected medical management technology and services from EQHealth to assist them with prior authorizations, reviews, referrals, consultations, and overall support.


People

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Fishers Direct Family Care founder Risheet Patel, MD joins direct primary care management company Freedom Healthworks as medical director.


Telemedicine

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Online birth control and at-home testing company Nurx expands its services to Oregon. It now covers patients in 22 states plus Washington, DC.


Sponsor Updates

  • Culbert Healthcare Solutions will exhibit at the WRUG Winter Conference February 14-15 in Las Vegas.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk.

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

News 2/4/19

February 4, 2019 News No Comments

Top News

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Health IT integration vendor Bridge Connector will move from Miami to expanded office space in Nashville, TN and expects to hire 50 more employees later this year – essentially doubling its workforce. It has raised $10 million since launching two years ago.


Webinars

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


Announcements and Implementations

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CitiusTech announces GA of BIC-Audit, which leverages the company’s BI-Clinical software to help providers run audits on demand and ensure compliance with quality measurements.

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Florida Orthopaedic Institute integrates DocASAP’s patient matching, navigation, and scheduling software with its GE Centricity EHR and practice management system across its nine locations.

North Carolina-based ACO Triad HealthCare Network selects referral management software from Proficient Health to better enable communication and collaboration between providers at over 300 practices.

Digital Health Solutions develops a screening module within its tablet-based Child Health Improvement through Computer Automation (CHICA) software to help pediatricians better assess a patient’s risk of sudden unexpected death in epilepsy. CHICA was developed by IU School of Medicine professor Stephen Downs, MD through the university’s Innovation and Commercialization Office.

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Martin’s Point Health Care implements email and file protection software, as well as secure data retention and archiving technology, from Egress. Martin’s Point serves military families and Medicare Advantage members in seven facilities in Maine and New Hampshire.


Telemedicine

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HeyDoctor adds opioid overdose prevention medication Naloxone to its direct-to-consumer telemedicine services.

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Workit Health secures Series A funding in a round led by Blue Cross Blue Shield Venture Partners that it will use to scale its online addiction treatment service, which includes in-person care, telemedicine, and personalized online recovery courses.


Other

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Pharmacists at Lake Odessa Pharmacy in Lansing, MI go above and beyond during last week’s polar vortex, delivering medications via snowmobile to snowbound patients who needed refills. Temperatures in Lansing got down to 4 below zero with wind chills hovering between minus 25 and minus 40. “We’re so grateful that we live in a small community and they’ll do things like that,” said one customer. “We were surprised when we found out and we’re thankful.”


Sponsor Updates

Blog Posts


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk.

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