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News 1/17/18

January 17, 2018 News No Comments

Top News

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Former HHS Secretary Tom Price, MD joins Atlanta-based staffing and technology company Jackson Healthcare’s advisory board. Price’s Georgia roots run deep, with leadership ties to Resurgens Orthopedics, Emory University, and Grady Memorial Hospital. He spent eight years in the Georgia Senate before heading to Washington, DC as a congressman and cabinet member. 


Webinars

January 24 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET: “Location, Location, Location: How to Deploy RTLS Asset Management for Capital Savings.” Sponsor: Versus Technology. Presenter: Doug Duvall, solution architect, Versus Technology. Misplaced or sub-optimally deployed medical equipment delays patient care and hampers safety-mandated preventive maintenance. It also forces hospitals to buy more equipment despite an average utilization that may be as low as 30 percent, misdirecting precious capital dollars that could be better spent on more strategic projects. A real-time locating system (RTLS) cannot only track asset location, but also help ensure that equipment is properly distributed to the right place at the right time. This webinar will provide insight into the evaluation, selection, and benefits of an RTLS-powered asset management solution.

February 13 (Tuesday) 1:00 ET. “Beyond Sliding Scale: Closing the Gap Between Current and Optimal Glycemic Management Practices.” Sponsor: Monarch Medical Technologies. Presenter: Laurel Fuqua, BSN, MSN, EVP/chief clinical officer, Monarch Medical Technologies. The glycemic management practices of many hospitals and physician staff differ from what is overwhelmingly recommended by experts and relevant specialty societies. As a result, they are missing an opportunity to improve the quality, safety, and cost of care for their patients with diabetes and hyperglycemia, which commonly represent more than 25 percent of their inpatient population. Hospitals that transition from sliding-scale insulin regimens to consistent use of basal / bolus / correction protocols are seeing reductions in hyperglycemia, hypoglycemia, and costs. Making this shift more effective and efficient is the use of computerized insulin-dosing algorithms that can support dedicated staff using a systematic approach.

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


Announcements and Implementations

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Q2i develops an app to help physicians care for patients after discharge from inpatient, outpatient, or residential treatment for substance use disorder.

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Innovaccer develops the Provider Utilization Portal to give providers a better understanding of payment and performance trends across facilities.

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Digestive Care (FL) will replace its Greenway Health EHR with EClinicalWorks technology, including EHR, population health, and mobile app software.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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CareDox raises $16 million in a funding round led by AI Life Sciences Investments LLC and 7wire Ventures. The New York City-based company has developed pediatric-focused healthcare technology for schools and payers that connects to immunization registries.


Telemedicine

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ClinicTracker adds telemedicine capabilities to its EHR for behavioral health.

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Vein911 Vein Treatment Centers (FL) offer patients telemedicine consults via Chiron Health technology.


Government and Politics

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CMS will host a webinar on January 23 and 25 to help solo and small-practice physicians better understand the process for submitting MIPS improvement activity and attestation data.

AHRQ taps Octo Consulting Group to maintain and improve its Quality and Safety Review System.


Other

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Pediatrician Yoon-Taek Chun, MD will serve as a translator at the Winter Olympics in South Korea next month. Chun is no stranger to caring for South Korean patients, having served as a South Korean army doc in the DMZ several decades ago. He’ll close down his solo practice in New York for nearly a month to travel to Pyeongchang – a move that doesn’t seem to worry his patients. “They promised me that they will be very healthy while I am away,” he quips.


Sponsor Updates

  • Nordic acquires the revenue cycle transformation practice of The Claro Group.
  • Culbert Healthcare Solutions will exhibit at the MA/RI HFMA Revenue Cycle Conference January 18-19 in Foxborough, MA
  • Nordic releases a new video, “Achieving a return on your EHR investment in 2018 and beyond.”

Blog Posts


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

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News 1/15/18

January 15, 2018 News No Comments

Top News

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Athenahealth will move forward with previously announced plans to expand its Atlanta office by 40,000 square feet at a cost of $2.7 million. The company cut 60 Atlanta jobs in October as part of restructuring and elimination of 9 percent of its 5,500 jobs nationwide.


Webinars

January 24 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET: “Location, Location, Location: How to Deploy RTLS Asset Management for Capital Savings.” Sponsor: Versus Technology. Presenter: Doug Duvall, solution architect, Versus Technology. Misplaced or sub-optimally deployed medical equipment delays patient care and hampers safety-mandated preventive maintenance. It also forces hospitals to buy more equipment despite an average utilization that may be as low as 30 percent, misdirecting precious capital dollars that could be better spent on more strategic projects. A real-time locating system (RTLS) cannot only track asset location, but also help ensure that equipment is properly distributed to the right place at the right time. This webinar will provide insight into the evaluation, selection, and benefits of an RTLS-powered asset management solution.

February 13 (Tuesday) 1:00 ET. “Beyond Sliding Scale: Closing the Gap Between Current and Optimal Glycemic Management Practices.” Sponsor: Monarch Medical Technologies. Presenter: Laurel Fuqua, BSN, MSN, EVP/chief clinical officer, Monarch Medical Technologies. The glycemic management practices of many hospitals and physician staff differ from what is overwhelmingly recommended by experts and relevant specialty societies. As a result, they are missing an opportunity to improve the quality, safety, and cost of care for their patients with diabetes and hyperglycemia, which commonly represent more than 25 percent of their inpatient population. Hospitals that transition from sliding-scale insulin regimens to consistent use of basal / bolus / correction protocols are seeing reductions in hyperglycemia, hypoglycemia, and costs. Making this shift more effective and efficient is the use of computerized insulin-dosing algorithms that can support dedicated staff using a systematic approach.

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Utah enlists Aledade to help it launch an ACO that will care for 4,000 members via its network of physician practices. The arrangement marks Aledade’s first contract in the state, and the continued expansion of its ACO business beyond its independent physician practice roots.

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Accountable physician group association CAPG rebrands to America’s Physician Groups.


People

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Western Sierra Medical Clinic (CA) promotes Christina Lasich, MD to CMO. She replaces Heather Lucas-Ross, MD who has returned to full-time patient care.

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The Council of Accountable Physician Practices appoints Stephen Parodi, MD (The Permanente Medical Group) chairman of the board.

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Clinical research-focused data analytics company Patient IP hires Mike Wilkinson (PPD) as president and COO.

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Modernizing Medicine names Arnold Levy, MD an advisor for its GMed subsidiary.


Announcements and Implementations

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Premier Physician Network expands portal access to include easy medical record viewing for patients at its seven facilities in New Jersey.


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News 1/10/18

January 10, 2018 News No Comments

Top News

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The Boston Globe highlights the progress EHR vendors like EClinicalWorks are making with embedded virtual assistant technology akin to Alexa and Siri.

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EClinicalWorks CEO Girish Navani previewed the technology during the company’s user conference last fall, and rolled it out to customers in December. Epic is reportedly preparing to launch its own virtual assistant before HIMSS. Athenahealth also has one in the works.


Webinars

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January 24 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET: “Location, Location, Location: How to Deploy RTLS Asset Management for Capital Savings.” Sponsor: Versus Technology. Presenter: Doug Duvall, solution architect, Versus Technology. Misplaced or sub-optimally deployed medical equipment delays patient care and hampers safety-mandated preventive maintenance. It also forces hospitals to buy more equipment despite an average utilization that may be as low as 30 percent, misdirecting precious capital dollars that could be better spent on more strategic projects. A real-time locating system (RTLS) cannot only track asset location, but also help ensure that equipment is properly distributed to the right place at the right time. This webinar will provide insight into the evaluation, selection, and benefits of an RTLS-powered asset management solution.

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


Announcements and Implementations

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PerfectServe will integrate its clinical communication and care team collaboration platform with Microsoft Skype for Business to allow clinicians to conduct video conversations from within the PerfectServe application.

Allscripts adds clinical, financial, and informational point-of-care messaging from OptimizeRx to its EPrescribe, Professional EHR, and TouchWorks EHR software.

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Portneuf Quality Alliance (ID) selects population health management technology from Lightbeam Health Solutions.

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Shoreline Vision (MI) signs on for support services from Great Lakes Management Services Organization.


People

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William Milo (Surgery Partners) joins Physician Partners of America as SVP of practice operations.


Government and Politics

As of January 1, prescribers in Nebraska must report all dispensed prescription drugs to the statewide PDMP. Providers will also now receive alerts when patients receive high dosages of opioids within the last seven to 30 days. The PDMP is powered by e-prescribing and medication management technology from DrFirst, and is one of the only such databases to integrate with the state HIE.


Telemedicine

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Youth Villages (TN) adds telemedicine services to its deployment of Mozzaz digital health tools.

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WeCounsel develops the VisuWell brand to offer specialists turnkey telemedicine services. VisuWell CEO Sam Johnson founded patient messaging company Relatient in 2012 after a long sales stint with Greenway Health.

Netsmart will embed the virtual doctor service of American Well in long-term care and behavioral health EHR,  giving patients improved access to professionals and allowing them to obtain services from home.

Teladoc integrates its traditional telemedicine services with text-based second opinions from Best Doctors, which it acquired last summer, in a new app.


Research and Innovation

Organizers of the Healthy Nevada Project will offer an additional 40,000 residents Helix DNA kits when phase two of the population health study opens in the spring. Genetic data from study participants will be added to the health, population, and environmental data already being collected to develop a data set that will inform future public health projects.


Other

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Road warriors, beware: A Columbia University study finds that people who travel for work two weeks or more out of the month are more anxious and depressed than those who travel less. They are also more likely to smoke, exercise less, and have trouble sleeping.


Sponsor Updates

  • Culbert Healthcare Solutions will exhibit at the HFMA Revenue Cycle Conference January 18-19 in Foxborough, MA.
  • KLAS recognizes Aprima as a top-tier vendor of ambulatory RCM services for the large and small clinic categories.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk.

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News 1/8/18

January 8, 2018 News 2 Comments

Top News

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Allscripts will acquire Practice Fusion for $100 million in cash. San Francisco-based Practice Fusion has raised over $150 million since launching in 2005. Its EHR and PM technology supports 30,000 ambulatory practices and 5 million patient visits per month.


Webinars

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January 24 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET: “Location, Location, Location: How to Deploy RTLS Asset Management for Capital Savings.” Sponsor: Versus Technology. Presenter: Doug Duvall, solution architect, Versus Technology. Misplaced or sub-optimally deployed medical equipment delays patient care and hampers safety-mandated preventive maintenance. It also forces hospitals to buy more equipment despite an average utilization that may be as low as 30 percent, misdirecting precious capital dollars that could be better spent on more strategic projects. A real-time locating system (RTLS) cannot only track asset location, but also help ensure that equipment is properly distributed to the right place at the right time. This webinar will provide insight into the evaluation, selection, and benefits of an RTLS-powered asset management solution.

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Cityblock Health raises $20.8 million in a Series A funding round led by Maverick Ventures, which it will use to help deploy its first clinical partnerships and hire additional staff. The New York City-based startup has developed a membership-based care management company focused on serving the primary and behavioral healthcare needs of urban neighborhoods that have historically had little to no access to healthcare services. Andy Slavitt, whose new investment company also contributed to the round, has joined the company’s Board of Directors.

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An AMA report on the economic impact of physicians shows that they support 12.6 million jobs and generate $2.3 trillion – 13 percent of the US economy.


People

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Kelly Robison (OptumCare) returns to Brown & Toland Physicians as CEO.

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Rich Berner (Allscripts) joins MDLive as CEO. Berner replaces Scott Decker, who took the helm in November 2016 after four years at HealthSparq.

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SRS Health promotes Khal Rai to president and CEO.


Government and Politics

Physicians in Nevada begin to chafe under the state’s new opioid prescribing law, which requires them to perform a number of steps that have yet to be fully defined. The chance of failure has many erring on the side of caution so as to avoid penalties set forth by the Nevada Board of Medical Examiners. “They’re scared, frankly,” says Daniel Burkhead, MD a pain management physician who has been tasked with overseeing adherence of the bill at his Las Vegas practice. “They’re scared that we’re going to have some flaw in our paperwork, some flaw in our process that opens us all up — all seven providers — to being sanctioned by the board in various ways. So when I’m talking to my providers and telling them how to implement this, I have to go with the most conservative thing I can think of.”


Telemedicine

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MediCann will implement Heally’s telemedicine software for medical marijuana consults in California. The companies will also partner on cannabis dosing research for a range of ailments.


Other

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Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration notifies 30,000 Medicaid beneficiaries of a November data breach that occurred when an employee fell prey to a phishing email scam.


Sponsor Updates

Blog Posts


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk.

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Contact us online.
Become a sponsor.

Readers Write: Telehealth Essential to Overcoming SDOH obstacles

January 4, 2018 Guest articles No Comments

Telehealth Essential to Overcoming SDOH Obstacles
By Jessica Robinson

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A recent industry analysis estimates that 40 percent of clinical outcomes are determined by social and economic factors, while 30 percent are due to patient behaviors, and 10 percent are attributed to the physical environment, such as transportation and housing. That leaves only 20 percent of outcomes that are driven by direct clinical care.

For healthcare providers, that small impact on outcomes may seem discouraging. However, what this finding also shows is tremendous opportunity to explore new care delivery methods that confront the other 80 percent. Telehealth, for example, has the potential to engage patients, change behaviors, and overcome some of these non-clinical factors, which are typically grouped under the social determinants of health category.

Defined as “the immediate and structural conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work, and age,” SDOH can be more efficiently and effectively confronted through telehealth for numerous reasons. One of the most important is that it removes many barriers to accessing physical care. Moreover, when used in conjunction with a population health management strategy and platform that is integrated with the telehealth solution, providers can identify and begin overcoming SDOH challenges.

Starting with the basics

Delivering care to patients at their home through a computer or mobile device is gaining strong acceptance across the country, driven mainly by consumers and employers. A recent survey shows that 77 percent of consumers are interested in receiving more care through telehealth, while 96 percent of employers offered telehealth benefits in their company health plans.

Adoption is also poised to increase among providers. The CMS Next Generation ACO program, for example, recently released a waiver that eliminates current medical facility and geographic restrictions for assigned beneficiaries, allowing them to receive telehealth services from their home. Other new legislation, such as the 21st Century Cures Act, may also remove those restrictions when Congress reviews a report on telehealth payment policies in 2018.

All of these telehealth trends can help overcome many SDOH obstacles, the most immediate of which are transportation challenges. Allowing patients to remain in their home to receive care eliminates that hardship while also enabling patients with physical limitations — another SDOH challenge — to access care more easily.

Understanding social determinants of health

Determining if a patient falls into a social determinant category that would prevent them from accessing care or adhering to a care plan can be a challenge. However, it may be as simple as asking some pertinent questions during registration at an office visit. For example, asking the patient if they have reliable transportation to and from a provider’s facility is an important question, as is inquiring if their work schedule permits them access to care during typical business hours.

Once that data is gathered, it can be aggregated with medical histories and other clinical information to be analyzed through a PHM platform that helps care managers identify and monitor patients who may need additional support. That insight might reveal that a patient is an ideal candidate for a telehealth-augmented care plan. Regardless, PHM and telehealth platform integration is critical to ensure efficiency and that providers have seamless access to the data they need at the point of virtual care.

Further information can be captured about a patient’s SDOH through a home visit combined with a simultaneous virtual visit. Using the organization’s PHM platform, a care manager can arrange a home visit where a nurse or other clinician can meet with the patient to discuss care plan adherence obstacles and conduct an assessment of the home environment. If needed, that clinician can contact a physician or other specialized healthcare professional through a virtual visit so that the patient can ask questions and obtain needed guidance immediately and with less effort, reducing the risk of unnecessary accidents or potential crisis situations from occurring.

Telehealth care quality

Not only can patients overcome some care access challenges more easily, but many patients report a more positive and meaningful care experience through telehealth. That finding is likely because delivering care through telehealth requires physicians to concentrate on the patient through their computer monitor, which can eliminate some of the distractions of a busy medical facility. That concentration, combined with a limitation to only visual and aural observation, means conversations can be more interactive and engaged. The patient, too, is less distracted and more at-ease speaking to the physician from the comfort of their own home.

Further, telehealth is ideal for high-need patients who may need more regular provider visits. Often, regular encounters with these patients serve as check-ins for vital signs and to see how the patient is doing. Most high-need patients have equipment available in their homes to monitor their vitals, and telehealth allows their provider to touch base on how they look and are feeling, without having to work around space or scheduling restrictions. This streamlined visit opens up providers to spent appropriate time and attention on these patients, while opening up their office space and appointment slots for more crucial or urgent cases.

Above all, strengthening that engagement can overcome SDOH obstacles that are leading patients and providers away from their care goals. When used in conjunction with a PHM strategy that helps identify and align telehealth resources with appropriate patients, ACOs and other clinically integrated networks can achieve the outcomes that distinguish themselves in their respective markets as high-performance organizations.

Jessica Robinson is VP of product management and delivery for The Garage in Orlando.


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Recent Comments

  • Tana Lucas: Good points for any medical practice to consider, not to replace face to face quality care of course. It seems these add...
  • : After talking with multiple providers one of the larger trends I noticed is that a lot of practices that were "using" PF...
  • Numbers skeptic: So at the time of their sale, Practice Fusion is claiming "30,000 ambulatory practices".... Historically they have tr...
  • Esteban Burgos: Great Article! I appreciate you breaking down the difference between Efficiency, Effectiveness and Revenue Integrity....
  • Jennifer: Hmmm ......