MinuteClinic announces it has seen over 25 million patient visits since it first opened in 2000. Acquired by CVS Health in 2006, the retail clinic now has 1,000 locations in 31 states, with plans to surpass 1,500 by 2017. It is in the midst of rolling out Epic’s EHR across all of its sites.
May 19 (Tuesday) 2:00 ET. “Lock the Windows, Not Just the Door: Why Most Healthcare Breaches Involve Phishing Attacks and How to Prevent Them.” Sponsored by Imprivata. Presenters: Glynn Stanton, CISSP, information security manager, Yale New Haven Health System; David Ting, CTO, Imprivata. Nearly half of healthcare organizations will be successfully cyberhacked in 2015, many of them by hackers who thwart perimeter defenses by using social engineering instead. The entire network is exposed if even one employee is fooled by what looks like a security warning or Office update prompt and enters their login credentials. This webinar will provide real-world strategies for protecting against these attacks.
May 20 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET. “Principles and Priorities of Accountable Care Transformation.” Sponsored by Health Catalyst. Presenter: Marie Dunn, director of analytics, Health Catalyst. Healthcare systems must build the competencies needed to succeed under value-based payment models while remaining financially viable in the fee-for-service landscape. This webinar will outline key near-term priorities for building competency at successfully managing at-risk contracts, with a particular focus on the importance of leveraging data to drive effective decision making.
I had a nice chat with Regina Holliday in our most recent webinar. We had a chance to discuss the evolution of the patient advocacy movement in health IT circles, next steps for The Walking Gallery, and the best ways for patient advocates to be effectively disruptive at large industry events.
Amanda Greene (@LAlupusLady) will host the next #HIStalking tweet chat on Thursday, May 14 at 1pm ET. As a lupus sufferer, she’s is particularly excited about hosting during Lupus Awareness Month. You can view discussion topics here.
Announcements and Implementations
Non-profit Delaware Health Net selects SA Ignite’s MU Assistant software to help its FQHCs access quality performance data within their respective EHRs, and improve their ability to monitor Meaningful Use attestation progress.
In other Delaware news … Aledade announces that its Delaware-based ACO has doubled in size to 24 doctors in the first four months of this year. The ACO, whose daily operations are managed by Quality Insights of Delaware, now covers 18,000 Medicare patients.
Alliance Health and Amiigo partner for a new chronic care management program, which will merge patient data collected using Amiigo wearables with patient-reported data gathered through Alliance Health’s social networking platform. The data will then be shared with care teams in an effort to reduce treatment costs and improve outcomes. The companies are working on a pilot program focusing on 300 patients who are at-risk for cardiovascular events.
Dean Lewis (University City Science Center) joins MyTelemedicine.com as CFO and COO.
Government and Politics
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker deals with fallout from a Pioneer Institute study that contends the state’s administration acted illegally in attempts to cover up the disastrous rollout of its health insurance exchange in 2013. Comments from anonymous whistleblowers that worked on the rollout of the Health Connector site are peppered throughout the report, including gems like this one: “It’s like when you’re a kid and you do something wrong and you are waiting to be caught. We were waiting for people to realize how bad this was.”
Research and Innovation
An AAFP study finds that family doctors who provide more care themselves, rather than passing it off to specialists, reduce hospitalizations and healthcare costs. The study also found that physicians who performed a wider range of services reduced overall patient costs by between 10 and 15 percent. Accompanying commentary notes that, “This probably trumps any other innovation in terms of reducing Medicare costs.”
A survey of clinicians who participate in the Meaningful Use program and who work for practices that have earned patient-centered medical home status finds that only half of them receive timely notification of hospital discharges, a capability they believe is “very important.” One-fourth of the respondents actually worked for hospital-owned practices, so the percentage of independent practices that receive hospital discharge alerts for their patients is pretty abysmal.
Michael Murphy (Sharp HealthCare) replaces David Feinberg, MD on the Cal INDEX Board of Directors.
Family practice physician Edward Bujold, MD paints a pretty clear picture of the frustration he and his staff have experienced as a result of keeping up with the certifications, attestations, and other regulatory paperwork that go along with patient-centered medical home status:
“The NCQA and the Office of the National Coordinator say they are improving care, but I don’t see them improving their recognition processes in ways that relieve the burden of work placed on practices that have active quality improvement programs. I am considering walking away from the PCMH recognition process even though I believe in the practice transformation it is intended to guide. I realize that if we decide not to seek ongoing recognition as a PCMH, we will suffer financial hardship, but we have more important business at hand—taking excellent care of patients, improving our practice, and engaging with our patients in a meaningful way.”
A KQED Science article covers patients accessing their own data, the MUS3 dial-back of view / download / transmit requirements, the cost of obtaining copies of medical information, and the lack of provider incentive to provide it.
The Brookings Institution publishes a concise, easy-to-read paper on the “Origins and Future of Accountable Care Organizations.”
Mashable points out that every date this week is a palindrome (in the U.S.), and suggests we celebrate by “buying a race car, eating an evil olive or saying the phrase ‘Mr. Owl ate my metal worm’ over and over again.”