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News 2/21/18

February 21, 2018 News No Comments

Top News

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Practice Fusion will soon start charging providers for its EHR software, which has thus far been free thanks to revenue gleaned from embedded pharmaceutical ads. Providers could see monthly subscription charges of $100 as early as next month, according to a company spokesperson who did not indicate if the ads would remain. The decision comes six weeks after Allscripts announced it would acquire the company for $100 million – a fraction of its former valuation. Competitors have been quick to chime in, pointing out that Practice Fusion’s changing business model makes for an opportune time to look for new solutions. Others wonder if the company will flip to a data-selling model akin to Flatiron Health.


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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In an effort to tap into the healthcare market, EnterBridge Technologies acquires healthcare analytics and benchmarking business SMA Informatics Partners. It has named the newly combined company New Health Analytics. EnterBridge co-founder Todd Nuckols will become CEO of the 10-employee company.


Announcements and Implementations

Hands On Technology will integrate Ability Network’s RCM application into its TheraOffice rehab EHR/PM.

Apex Revenue Technologies adds expanded physician branding capabilities and more custom patient payment options to its MySecureBill software.

NextGen will add OptimizeRx’s prescription messaging service to its EHR next month, alerting physicians in real-time to prescription savings and educational content.

Amion adds PerfectServe’s clinical communication and collaboration platform to its physician scheduling software.

Fertility Pro adds Azalea Health’s RCM capabilities to its EHR for fertility specialists.


Telemedicine

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This year’s record flu season prompts Teladoc to provide over 300,000 virtual consults in the last five weeks. Flu cases accounted for 1 in 5 Teladoc visits in the peak month of January – quite a bit higher than the CDC’s reported 1 in 15 in-person visits for the same time period and perhaps a solid indicator that providers and patients are turning to telemedicine before darkening the doors of germ-ridden clinics. Recent reports indicate the flu may have plateaued, with the season expected to possibly last into May.

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PlushCare offers allergy sufferers advanced diagnostic tests from Thermo Fisher Scientific and participating labs as part of its virtual consult services.


Research and Innovation

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Researchers determine that retrospective claims data is more beneficial than EHR data when predicting a patient’s medication adherence. Prescription fill gaps of at least six days were found to be the biggest indicator of a lack of future adherence.


Other

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A JAMA editorial highlights the ways in which small physician practices can leverage service-sharing arrangements in an effort to keep their doors open and patients well-cared for. While these types of arrangements have been around for several years (if not longer), they are experiencing heightened interest as today’s practices struggle with burdensome regulatory programs, IT costs, decreased reimbursements, and burnout. The authors suggest that, though many questions remain related to ROI, such arrangements may be the best bet for practices who want to stay afloat.


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From the PRM Pro 2/21/18

February 21, 2018 From the PRM Pro No Comments

The Future of Healthcare: Artificial Intelligence in 2018
By Jim Higgins

We’ve all seen it. What was once considered to be something only found in Sci-Fi movies is quickly becoming part of our daily reality. Artificial intelligence and machine learning are integrating themselves into all aspects of our lives. Studies show that 74 percent of Americans already use AI every day. Healthcare is not exempt. Variations of AI are starting to pop up in every corner of the industry. From robots that can interpret lab results to programs that help doctors make intelligent decisions during surgery to bionic hands that can “see and learn” in order to improve movement, it’s hard to find an area of healthcare not impacted by AI. And although artificial intelligence is still in its infancy, 75 percent of healthcare executives say they have plans to invest in artificial intelligence, machine learning, and predictive analytics within the next three years. Here are the reasons I predict AI will be one of the biggest healthcare trends in 2018:

AI increases practice efficiency

Healthcare employees have been bogged down with repetitive, menial tasks for decades. These tasks take away from time spent with patients and increase burnout for employees. AI is finding ways to eliminate these challenges. According to reports from healthcare executives, the automation of these time-consuming tasks is one of the key ways they anticipate using AI. Some of the most popular AI systems include those that eliminate the burden of:

  • Routine paperwork (82 percent).
  • Scheduling (79 percent).
  • Timesheet entry (78 percent).
  • Accounting (69 percent).

By eliminating these time-consuming tasks, healthcare employees will be able to spend more time building relationships with the people who matter most — patients.

AI makes life easier for physicians

According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, it is anticipated that the US will face a physician shortage of up to 88,000 doctors by 2025. With burnout rates for physicians already hovering above 50 percent, these added demands will only add to their burdens. AI is one way to reduce pressure on physicians while improving clinical care.

AI makes decision-making for complex care treatment much easier. We live in a world with an ever-growing number of diagnosable conditions as well as patients that now have two, three, four or even more diagnoses. With literally billions of people (and almost as many medical conditions), there are an infinite number of possibilities of overlapping diagnoses. Treatment that may work for one patient may not work for another. This puts a huge burden on physicians and can negatively impact outcomes for patients.

AI, used in conjunction with a physician’s care, can help with this challenge. AI systems can now use algorithms to analyze data based on treatment decisions that have been (and are still being made) throughout the world. Add to that data analysis the ability to continue to learn and apply predictive analysis, and it’s easy to see how AI will begin to help practices provide higher levels of safety and quality for their patients while potentially reducing the workload of physicians.

AI revolutionizes the patient experience

At first glance, AI seems to have the most application for physicians. However, it also provides ample opportunity to improve the patient experience. Today’s patient has high demands of their provider — demands that are often difficult to meet. AI is one solution. Patients are already interested in medical-based AI. A study found that, as of 2016, 54 percent of patients were willing to embrace AI and robotics in their healthcare, and that number is growing every year. What are some examples of what AI can do for patients?

Improve outcomes—there are currently medical apps like PeerWell that help patients take a proactive role in their own care before or after surgery. These programs give patients specific daily plans for care. As the patient enters their information each day in the app, the program can make adjustments to their recovery plan based on the results.

Enrich communication—AI offers the potential to reach out to patients in a much more detailed and individual way. Through machine learning and AI algorithms, practices can easily reach out to patients when and how they prefer with more customized communications, whether it’s for simple reminders or diagnosis-specific education.

AI combined with human touch is the key to success

AI is an incredible tool to help meet the evolving complexity of healthcare and needs of modern patients. Despite all the hype, AI will not replace physicians, but instead enhance the quality of care offered by them.  As Wipro CTO K.R. Sanjiv put it, "While it can learn on a basic level, AI doesn’t rise to the level of human intelligence or pose a meaningful threat to human workers. Once you understand what you can’t solve with AI, you’ll see just what you can." AI will not dehumanize the healthcare experience; instead, it will provide a more detailed and personalized experience for all involved.

While AI itself may not directly threaten a doctor’s job, experts warn that physicians who take advantage of AI will eventually place physicians without AI technology at a significant disadvantage. Similarly, healthcare systems that are integrated with AI will eventually replace those healthcare systems without. Integration will become a necessity, not a luxury. As with all technology, it is important to balance the benefits of AI with the vital need to engage and connect. Finding ways to leverage AI in order to put more of an emphasis on the human component of healthcare is key to long-term success.

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Jim Higgins is the CEO and founder of Solutionreach in Lehi, UT.


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News 2/19/18

February 19, 2018 News No Comments

Top News

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21st Century Oncology Interim CEO Kim Commins-Tzoumakas (the company’s fourth chief executive in 16 months) tells the local paper that the company is looking to expand operations after emerging from bankruptcy and tackling legal issues related to a privacy breach of 2.2 million patient records and an investigation into improper Meaningful Use reporting – both of which led to separate settlements of nearly $30 million. She stresses that the company, which employs 4,000 across Florida, is intent on rebuilding trust and rehabilitating its image. “There’s certainly no guarantees we won’t have issues along the way,” Commins-Tzoumakas says, “but we’re doing everything we can to be one step ahead of those issues. And we’re being very transparent and open about it with all of our payers and certainly with our physicians and the rest of the community.”


Webinars

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


Announcements and Implementations

TeleHealth Services will deliver Healthwise’s patient education videos through its patient engagement platform.

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Innovaccer updates its ACO Compare benchmarking tool to give providers the ability to compare up to five ACOs at a time, assess performance trends, and generate more detailed reports.

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The NBA’s Sacramento Kings will use Connexion Health’s touchless health kiosks to monitor the posture, balance, and health of its players. Head Athletic Trainer Manny Romero believes the full-body scanner will help prevent injuries and lengthen the careers of his players.

Signature Medical Group (MO) develops CareMosaic Advanced, a care coordination and analytics platform for physicians participating in the CMS Bundled Payments for Care Improvement initiative.

SSI launches analytics software for ASCs that focuses on case management, clinical operations, financial performance, cost analysis, and scheduling.


People

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Flint Hills Community Health Center (KS) promotes Renee Hively, RN to CEO.

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Urgent care software vendor Practice Velocity hires Joshua Porter (EPowerDoc) as VP of business development, and Jaimie Kowalski (UniCarriers Americas) as VP of marketing.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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CentralReach secures funding from Insight Venture Partners. The Pompano Beach, FL-based company got its start in 2012 as an EHR/PM vendor focused on serving applied behavioral analysis clinics. It has since expanded to software for occupational health and speech therapy specialists.


Sponsor Updates

  • EClinicalWorks customer Petaluma Health Center (CA) wins the 2017 HIMSS Davies Award for improving hypertension control among its patients.
  • Healthwise will exhibit at the West ACE User Group Conference February 21-23 in San Diego.

Blog Posts


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News 2/14/18

February 14, 2018 News No Comments

Top News

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New York City-based urgent care chain CityMD will acquire competitors STAT Health and FirstMed Immediate Medical Care, bringing its total locations to nearly 100. Over half of those are on EClinicalWorks, which CityMD rolled out in 2016. Google tells me STAT Health uses Medent.


Webinars

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


Announcements and Implementations

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PerfectServe will integrate its team collaboration platform with QGenda’s physician scheduling software to accurately deliver calls and messages.

Patient education and branded content company PatientPoint works with MeUCare to develop a multimedia messaging tool for physicians and their patients.

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Compulink adds text-based patient messaging capabilities to its Dermatology Advantage EHR and PM software.

CampDoc.com adds single sign-on and account management technology from Christensen Computer Company to its EHR for camps.

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Advanced Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery (FL) will roll out Modernizing Medicine’s EHR and analytics software across its 180-plus clinics.

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After a successful pilot, Pottstown Medical Specialists (PA) will utilize Saturn Care’s app-based Chronic Disease Management Program as part of its Chronic Care Management program.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Scranton, PA-based care management company Signallamp Health raises an undisclosed amount of Series A financing from Sopris Capital.

HIPAA compliance software vendor Compliancy Group announces it now accepts cryptocurrency payments.


People

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Fresh off its $3.5 million settlement with OCR, Fresenius Medical Care North America promotes Ahmad Sharif, MD to CMIO.

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Vermont Information Technology Leaders names former Navy SEAL and state legislator Mike Smith interim president and CEO following the retirement of John Evans.

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Ann Johnson (Zest Health) will join the American Telemedicine Association as CEO in March.

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Nextech Systems hires Wyn Partington (NexTraq) as CMO, and promotes Rebecca Sanford to chief people officer.


Government and Politics

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OCR makes it clear that organizations found guilty of HIPAA violations can’t escape their financial penalties by going out of business or declaring bankruptcy.


Other

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A few of my favorite #healthpolicyvalentines


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News 2/12/18

February 12, 2018 News No Comments

Top News

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OxyContin manufacturer Purdue Pharma slashes its sales force to 200 and announces it will stop promotional opioid sales visits to physician practices. The move comes in the of wake of a federal investigation and 14 state-based lawsuits that claim the company deceptively marketed opioids to physicians.

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An open letter on the company’s website assures readers it is an advocate of combatting the opioid epidemic through limiting prescriptions and improved utilization of PDMPs.


Webinars

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.

February 14 (Wednesday) 2:00 ET. “Time is Money: Aurora Health’s Journey of Implementing and Advancing Cost Accounting.” Sponsor: Strata Decision Technology. Presenter: Patrick Nolan, VP of finance, Aurora Health Care. Aurora Health Care’s implementation of Strata’s Decision Support module involved not only building an improved cost accounting model, but improving the process to engage a cross-functional team in cost development. It now has accurate, consistent cost data to support decision-making. Aurora’s next phase will be to use actual procedure and visit times to allocate costs. This presentation will provide a detailed view into both the implementation and future direction of the Strata Decision Support program within Aurora.

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


People

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Shenandoah Community Health (WV) names Mike Hassing (Community Link Consulting) CEO.


Announcements and Implementations

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Detroit-based Reliance ACO selects cloud-based population health management technology from The Garage.

Banyan integrates automated reputation management technology from BirdEye into its marketing services for providers.

LW Consulting adds Practice360’s registry for MIPS reporting to its line of services.

Practice management company Continuum Health offers RCM software and services from Gebbs Healthcare Solutions.

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Precision Imaging Centers (FL) selects RadNet’s ERAD technology including an RIS, patient and physician portals, and communications capabilities.

Outcome Health will offer up CardioSmart educational content for patients from the American College of Cardiology through its proprietary digital devices in physician practices.


Government and Politics

President Trump signs into law a funding bill that includes the CHRONIC Care Act, which expands telemedicine access for ACOs and Medicare Advantage plans, and allows for reimbursement of telestroke care and home dialysis treatment.


Telemedicine

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Texas-based Cohen Veterans Network rolls out mental telehealth services to post-9/11 veterans.

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The local paper profiles the launch of two telemedicine companies by PCP Tony Ruffa, DO. Ruffa launched EUrgicare and Psychxpress after working with Gannon University’s Small Business Development Center, which helped him develop the websites and identify and reach target markets. He hopes to soon offer telemedicine services to local employers for $10 a month per employee.


Other

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This article highlights shared medical appointments and the impact they are having on primary care for diabetic patients in rural and underserved areas. What stands out is the group support these programs offer, particularly for patients who lack social support systems so vital to improving and maintaining their health.

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California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones will investigate Aetna’s claims review process after it comes to light that the payer’s employed physicians don’t typically review patient medical records when deciding whether or not to approve care. The records review process came to light during the deposition of Jay Ken Iinuma, MD a former Aetna medical director called to share his experience as part of a lawsuit brought by a former Aetna member suing over denied coverage.


Sponsor Updates

  • EClinicalWorks will exhibit at the 2018 AAD Annual Meeting February 16-20 in San Diego.
  • Healthwise exhibits at the 2018 South ACE User Group Conference in Raleigh, NC.

Blog Posts


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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 ......