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News 6/20/18

June 20, 2018 News 1 Comment

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Cardiologist Lynne Perry-Bottinger, MD files a $1 million John Doe lawsuit in federal court over an anonymous Healthgrades review that she believes was left by a competitor. The suit accuses the reviewer of “false advertising, libel, unfair competition, and tortious interference.” Perry-Bottinger believes the negative review (click the image above to read) – one of a total of five for her on Healthgrades – has led several patients to cancel appointments. Healthgrades has refused to unveil the identity of the reviewer without a subpoena.


Webinars

June 21 (Thursday) noon ET. “Operationalizing Data Science Models in Healthcare.” Sponsor: CitiusTech. Presenters: Yugal Sharma, PhD, VP of data science, CitiusTech; Vinil Menon, VP of enterprise applications proficiency, CitiusTech. As healthcare organizations are becoming more adept at developing models, building the skills required to manage, validate, and deploy these models efficiently remains a challenging task. We define operationalization as the process of managing, validating, and deploying models within an organization. Several industry best practices, along with frameworks and technology solutions, exist to address this challenge. An understanding of this space and current state of the art is crucial to ensure efficient use and consumption of these models for relevant stakeholders in the organization. This webinar will give an introduction and overview of these key areas, along with examples and case studies to demonstrate the value of various best practices in the healthcare industry.

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


Announcements and Implementations

Athenahealth will offer Epocrates end users drug therapy advice from Therapeutic Research Center via Prescriber’s Letters updates.

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DrChrono adds payment processing capabilities from Square to its EHR and OnPatient portal.

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Greenway Health integrates QardioMD’s remote monitoring devices and software with its EHR and practice management system.

NoteSwift develops an API toolkit for vendors interested in adding the company’s Samantha virtual documentation assistant software to their EHRs.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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IGambit, parent company of data analytics management and remote monitoring business Healthdatix, will acquire chronic care management services company Winpoint Health for an undisclosed amount.

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Medication management startup MedX Services opens for business in Chattanooga, TN. The company has developed an at-home medication dispensing and care communication system that will keep physicians, pharmacists, and caregivers in the loop when a patient misses a daily dose.

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I missed this last month: Boston-based IT services and support company Versatile launches a healthcare managed services division for ambulatory organizations.


Government and Politics

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National Coordinator Don Rucker, MD offers an update on how the ONC is making good on the interoperability promises of the 21st Century Cures Act. High-level items of note include encouraging the development of APIs to make health data more shareable, sharing best practices to help stakeholders avoid information blocking, moving forward with TEFCA (Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement), and continuing to find ways to reduce the administrative burdens on physicians.

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To advance its MyHealthEData patient data-sharing initiative, CMS will host a Blue Button 2.0 Developers Conference August 13 in Washington, DC.


Telemedicine

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This article profiles, Docity, a telemed startup founded by Marine Corps veteran James Cowan that is working to bring virtual consults to consumers through bundled offerings from their Internet service providers. It’s an interesting concept – one that the company pivoted to after attempting to stand up a direct-to-consumer telemedicine service.


Other

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Latham, NY-based Med Associates notifies its billing customers of a March data breach that may have exposed the medical records of 270,000 patients. The company attributes the breach to unauthorized access of a workstation.


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From the PRM Pro 6/20/18

Why Every Medical Practice Should Make the Leap to the Cloud
By Jim Higgins

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

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Just over a decade ago, the only cloud we knew about was that big, white, fluffy thing in the sky. Since around 2006, however, “the cloud” has changed life as we know it. We use the cloud to binge watch Netflix. To create a work report via Google Docs. It enables us to protect and save pictures through apps like Dropbox. We use the cloud to connect with loved ones on Facebook or Skype. And — without question — cloud computing has completely changed the face of business. It is estimated that by 2020, 60-70 percent of all software, services, and technology spending will be cloud-based.

While healthcare traditionally lags behind the rest of the business world, research shows that cloud computing is making its mark here as well.

  • Ninety-two percent of healthcare providers see the value of cloud services.
  • Sixty-seven percent of healthcare offices are currently using SaaS applications.

Moving to cloud-based applications has a number of advantages for medical practices. The top reason people in the industry like cloud computing is because it saves money. But beyond the financial advantages, there are many other reasons every practice should consider moving to the cloud:

1. Improved patient satisfaction. The cloud gives patients unprecedented access to their own medical information, keeping them informed and engaged in their own care. And they like it. In fact, the majority of today’s patients say that they would choose a doctor that uses the cloud over a doctor that does not.

Today’s patient platforms (powered by the cloud) make it possible for patients to “meet” with their doctor virtually. For those patients who live far from healthcare facilities, have a strong fear of the physician’s office, or don’t have readily available transportation, this option can be the difference between being seen or not. The growing desire for cloud-based virtual visits is backed up by research that shows three out of four patients (77 percent) say that they want access to virtual care and telehealth.

In addition, the cloud gives physicians unparalleled access to information about a patient’s potential condition, based on data from thousands of patients with similar symptoms — all accessed via the cloud. As doctors are able to more accurately diagnose disease in their patients, patient satisfaction rises.

2. Disaster protection. A few years ago, one of our clients experienced a devastating fire that destroyed their entire practice. Fortunately, they had all of their appointment information set up on the cloud. This meant that they were able to know which patients were scheduled to come in that day and easily shoot off a text letting them know about the disaster.

Using patient communication through the cloud keeps you in contact with patients no matter what your situation (even if the only problem is a power outage). In addition, when patient files are stored on the cloud, they are easily accessible if you move to a temporary facility while rebuilding. In the case of a large-scale disaster, where the patients have been impacted as well, the cloud gives patients access to their own medical information—making available everything from important prescriptions to a full health history.

3. Better collaboration. It is generally agreed upon that collaboration is one of the most important aspects of effective healthcare, indicated by the 96 percent of executives that say a lack of intra-office collaboration or poor communication leads to mistakes. Cloud computing is a great way to improve communication and cooperation between doctors, staff members, and office managers.

By allowing professionals to communicate instantly via the cloud, everyone in the office can have the information they need — wherever they may be at that moment. If something unexpected pops up during the course of a regular day, cloud-based applications make it possible for the entire team to handle the change without needing to hunt each other down.

4. Reduced burden on everyone. More than half of all practices say that using systems via the cloud reduces the burden on staff or allows them to function with fewer staff members. In addition, 68 percent of patients say they feel relief when their provider offers the ability to complete tasks through the cloud. The cloud moves some of the burden from staff to patients — giving them a feel of more control over their care at the same time.

By moving many administrative tasks to the cloud, practices also leave the window open to growth. Administrative tasks that once took up a large part of a practice’s day can now be taken care of without any work required by staff. A majority of patients say they have paid their bill over the cloud via a patient portal. And 77 percent of patients say the ability to schedule appointments online is important to them. The cloud allows practices to be flexible and scalable when it comes to adding new patients.

Simply put, cloud computing is no longer just a nice-to-have option for healthcare practices. It is critical to the future growth and competitiveness of every office. By moving to the cloud, you can maximize your resources all while making patients happier. It’s become a no-brainer.


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Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

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News 6/18/18

June 18, 2018 News No Comments

Top News

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Walgreens will open a new office in Chicago next year to accommodate its growing Technology Excellence Center, which includes the company’s retail pharmacy technology, digital, mobile, and e-commerce groups. The 20,000 square-foot facility will eventually employ 1,800, including 1,300 who will relocate to the city where Walgreens was founded in 1901.


Webinars

June 21 (Thursday) noon ET. “Operationalizing Data Science Models in Healthcare.” Sponsor: CitiusTech. Presenters: Yugal Sharma, PhD, VP of data science, CitiusTech; Vinil Menon, VP of enterprise applications proficiency, CitiusTech. As healthcare organizations are becoming more adept at developing models, building the skills required to manage, validate, and deploy these models efficiently remains a challenging task. We define operationalization as the process of managing, validating, and deploying models within an organization. Several industry best practices, along with frameworks and technology solutions, exist to address this challenge. An understanding of this space and current state of the art is crucial to ensure efficient use and consumption of these models for relevant stakeholders in the organization. This webinar will give an introduction and overview of these key areas, along with examples and case studies to demonstrate the value of various best practices in the healthcare industry.

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


Announcements and Implementations

Marin County in California selects care coordination technology from ACT.MD to serve as the case management hub for its new Whole Person Care initiative. The program will focus on providing healthcare and social services for Medicaid recipients, particularly the chronically homeless, through data sharing between county departments and community service organizations.

Athenahealth integrates Brightree’s referral management software for home medical equipment with AthenaClinicals.

Aledade partners with population health management company Emtiro Health to launch an ACO for independent primary care practices in North Carolina. North Carolina-based Emtiro will serve as the frontline point of contact, while Aledade will supply technology, analytics, and regulatory insight.


People

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Innovaccer CMO David Nace, MD joins the Population Health Alliance’s Board of Directors.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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In Connecticut, the City of New Haven partners with venture capital firm HealthVenture, and accelerators Bridge Innovations and Origami Innovations to open Health Haven Hub. The nonprofit incubator will offer early-stage health IT companies workspace, funding, and mentorship.


Telemedicine

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True Nature Holding opens for business with telemedicine service lines for both humans and pets. The Atlanta-based company, which has tapped Jay Morton (Local Pet Rx) as president and interim CEO, plans to develop additional patient engagement, care coordination, and remote monitoring technologies.


Other

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Family physician Daniel Dwyer files a $200 lawsuit against Apple after the company refused to revert his iPhone back to its previous operating system. Dwyer’s litigious act was prompted by an operating system update that occurred without his consent and while he was on the phone with the local pharmacy on behalf of a patient. “… I couldn’t use my phone until the update finished,” Dwyer explained. “It was a devious trick that they did, and it’s not fair. They interrupted my business. Thank goodness it was not a life-threatening situation, but it could have been.”

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Independent physician practices in Vermont say enough is enough after patients complain of exorbitant lab fees charged by University of Vermont Medical Center. They have stopped sending their labs to UVMC, despite better access to lab results within the health system, and have instead turned to significantly cheaper labs that are out of state or handled by companies like Quest Diagnostics, which provides an on-site phlebotomist and digital results in 24 hours.

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DNA testing kit company Dante Labs mistakenly sends five customers used saliva kits, blaming the error on its third-party fulfillment partner. It’s not the first black eye for at-home genetic testing companies: Orig3n DNA failed to recognize that one of its customers was in fact a dog, while several of the more well-known companies sent the same customer extremely different results – all of which makes me think results should be taken with a grain of salt (or ounce of saliva).


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

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News 6/13/18

June 13, 2018 News No Comments

Top News

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New Mexico-based oncologist Barbara McAneny, MD takes the presidential helm during AMA’s annual meeting, while Atlanta-based psychiatrist Patrice Harris, MD becomes president-elect. Both women – the association’s fourth and fifth female presidents, respectively, have strong ties to health IT.

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As the co-founder and CEO of New Mexico Oncology Consultants, and founder and manager of the New Mexico Cancer Center, McAneny has spearheaded the use of health IT like NantHealth’s clinical operating system as part of community oncology medical home programs. She has vowed to propel AMA forward in its work with data scientists and tech innovators to bring value to digital breakthroughs in medicine.

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Harris has been active on AMA health IT committees and will continue to head its opioid task force. She is in private practice, serves as an Emory University professor, and consults on healthcare delivery services and trends.


Webinars

June 21 (Thursday) noon ET. “Operationalizing Data Science Models in Healthcare.” Sponsor: CitiusTech. Presenters: Yugal Sharma, PhD, VP of data science, CitiusTech; Vinil Menon, VP of enterprise applications proficiency, CitiusTech. As healthcare organizations are becoming more adept at developing models, building the skills required to manage, validate, and deploy these models efficiently remains a challenging task. We define operationalization as the process of managing, validating, and deploying models within an organization. Several industry best practices, along with frameworks and technology solutions, exist to address this challenge. An understanding of this space and current state of the art is crucial to ensure efficient use and consumption of these models for relevant stakeholders in the organization. This webinar will give an introduction and overview of these key areas, along with examples and case studies to demonstrate the value of various best practices in the healthcare industry.

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


Announcements and Implementations

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White Oak Pediatrics (MD) goes live on patient portal software from EClinicalWorks.

The American Podiatric Medical Association taps MyMipsScore to develop an app for its members, giving them access to its MIPS Calculator, MIPS eligibility status, and related analytics.


People

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Gamil Kharfan (Claro Insurance) joins ACO and MSO company Genuine Health Group as its first chief growth officer.

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DuPage Medical Group (IL) hires Nick Martin (Optum International) as CTO.


Telemedicine

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Physical therapist Richa Kohli launches TheraNow, a Web-based physical therapy platform that includes virtual consults, in 14 states.


Other

That’s fear you smell: Researchers in Italy find that dental students perform better when conducting exams on mannequins outfitted with shirts previously worn by students during class lectures, as opposed to offering checkups to mannequins wearing shirts worn during more stressful exams.


Sponsor Updates

Blog Posts


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk.

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News 6/11/18

June 11, 2018 News No Comments

Top News

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Pediatrician Mona Hanna-Attisha, MD recounts in The New York Times her personal and professional struggle to get to the bottom of lead-induced illnesses that were plaguing her patients after the city of Flint, MI switched water sources in 2015. She’ll release a book recounting the experience, the effects of which are still impacting the community, in the coming weeks.

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A few snippets:

“Most of my professional life as a pediatrician and medical educator had been pretty predictable. Clinics, meetings, presentations, red tape, training sessions and lots of talking with faculty members and residents and patients. But I’d always seen my work through the lens of social justice. To put it simply, health is justice, especially for the youngest among us.

Now I was coming to see that my work couldn’t stop with treating patients and training other pediatricians. I was becoming something new — an activist, and a detective.

So, along with a growing team of doctors and scientists, I held a news conference to release our findings and demand action. It was an unusual thing for a local pediatrician to do. But that’s what you do when nobody’s listening. You get louder.”


Webinars

June 12 (Tuesday) 2:00 ET. “Blockchain in Healthcare: Why It Matters.” Sponsor: Quest Diagnostics. Presenter: Lidia Fonseca, CIO, Quest Diagnostics. Blockchain technology is gaining traction in many industries, including healthcare. It’s not only a hot topic, but is also showing promise with real-world applications. This webinar will share how blockchain may play a key role in the future of healthcare IT by helping to solve some of the industry’s challenges, distinguishing the hype from reality by discussing how it works, how it can impact healthcare providers, and its future application in healthcare IT.

June 21 (Thursday) noon ET. “Operationalizing Data Science Models in Healthcare.” Sponsor: CitiusTech. Presenters: Yugal Sharma, PhD, VP of data science, CitiusTech; Vinil Menon, VP of enterprise applications proficiency, CitiusTech. As healthcare organizations are becoming more adept at developing models, building the skills required to manage, validate, and deploy these models efficiently remains a challenging task. We define operationalization as the process of managing, validating, and deploying models within an organization. Several industry best practices, along with frameworks and technology solutions, exist to address this challenge. An understanding of this space and current state of the art is crucial to ensure efficient use and consumption of these models for relevant stakeholders in the organization. This webinar will give an introduction and overview of these key areas, along with examples and case studies to demonstrate the value of various best practices in the healthcare industry.

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


Announcements and Implementations

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Kareo announces GA of Engage, practice and patient relationship management software that includes online patient intake and scheduling, secure messaging, reputation management, and analytics.

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Chicago-based direct primary care practice ImagineMD leverages Best in Class Care’s online referral and transparent pricing network.


Government and Politics

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In California, the Long Beach Dept. of Health develops an online reporting system for food-borne illnesses. Local health officials hope that new system will result in better oversight of eateries, and help them to understand just how many patrons end up seeking medical care for their symptoms. Its previous telephone-based reporting system averaged just 72 calls a year.


Research and Innovation

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Researchers at the Leiden University Medical Center in Holland find that breast cancer patients can recall their health data with remarkable accuracy up to 18 months after surgery – a boon to patients and the physicians who want to foster shared decision-making during follow-up care. Researchers also point out that such recall can help cut down on time spent on explaining procedures, and can benefit researchers by helping them “decide which information to obtain from patients or medical records.”


Telemedicine

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Epic Health develops Carie, a mobile app that offers virtual consult and in-office scheduling capabilities.


Other

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In Australia, a media outlet calls out online physician scheduling and review website HealthEngine for tampering with patient reviews. Media analysts found that over half of the nearly 48,000 reviews had been edited in some way, with many being changed to more positive wording. HealthEngine Chief Executive and GP Marcus Tan at first defended the company’s practices, pointing out that it publishes only positive reviews to “celebrate” the art of medicine. He quickly recanted after the news broke and has vowed to launch an internal audit of review editing processes.

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The beta version of Apple’s latest software update, iOS 12, will give users the option to turn their AirPods into hearing aids via the new Live Listen feature, which amplifies sound through built-in earbud microphones and an accompanying Made-for-iPhone hearing aid device.


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