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July 20, 2015 News No Comments

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The Michigan-based Great Lakes Health Connect surpasses its goal to have 1,000 physician practices utilizing its closed-loop Referrals application. The HIE, which also recently surpassed 1 billion annual health information transactions, plans to link 1,000 practices to the state’s immunization registry.


July 22 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET. “Achieve Your Quality Objectives Before 2018.” Sponsored by CitiusTech. Presenters: Jeffrey Springer, VP of product management, CitiusTech; Dennis Swarup, VP of corporate development, CitiusTech. The presenters will address best practices for building and managing CQMs and reports, especially as their complexity increases over time. They will also cover quality improvement initiatives that can help healthcare systems simplify their journey to value-based care. The webinar will conclude with an overview of how CitiusTech’s hosted BI-Clinical analytics platform, which supports over 600 regulatory and disease-specific CQMs, supports clients in their CQM strategies.

July 29 (Wednesday) 11:30 ET. “Earning Medicare’s New Chronic Care Management Payments: Five Steps to Take Now.” Sponsored by West Healthcare Practice. Presenters: Robert J. Dudzinski, PharmD, EVP, West Healthcare Practice; Colin Roberts, senior director of healthcare product integration, West Healthcare Practice. Medicare’s new monthly payments for Chronic Care Management (CCM) can improve not only patient outcomes and satisfaction, but provider financial viability and competitiveness as well. Attendees will learn how to estimate their potential CCM revenue, how to use technology and clinical resources to scale up CCM to reach more patients, and how to start delivering CCM benefits to patients and providers by taking five specific steps. Don’t be caught on the sidelines as others put their CCM programs in place.

July 30 (Thursday) 3:00 ET. “De-Silo Your Disparate IT Systems Around the Patient with VNA.” Sponsored by Lexmark. Presenters: Steven W. Campbell, manager of diagnostic applications and interfaces, Piedmont Healthcare; Larry Sitka, VNA evangelist, Lexmark. The entire patient record, including both DICOM and non-DICOM data, should be available at the point of need. Disparate, aging systems that hide data inside departmental silos won’t cut it, nor will IT systems that can’t integrate medical images meaningfully. Learn how Piedmont Healthcare used a vendor-neutral archive to quickly and easily migrate its images and refocus its systems around its patients.

Previous webinars are on the YouTube channel. Contact Lorre for webinar services including discounts for signing up by Labor Day.

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

The Texas Tribune covers the growing trend of private-equity firms looking to buy into primary care practices. While investors contend they are not interested in micromanaging physician offices, some physicians worry they’d lose their independence, leading to higher costs and less personalized care. Technology has factored into the equation: Younger, more tech-savvy docs seem to be more open to the idea of an outside firm taking control in return for otherwise impossible funding for new healthcare IT.

Announcements and Implementations


Healthcare CRM vendor Updox launches Updox Dmail, a secure, personalized Direct email address that physicians can register for and keep as they change practices or if they have an additional address through their EHR.

Research and Innovation

A small Northwestern Medicine study finds that smartphone sensor data including number of usage minutes and daily geographical locations can be used to detect depression. Researchers found users were more likely to be depressed if they spent more time on their phone in fewer locations. Based on the phone sensor data, the researchers could identify people with depressive symptoms with 87 percent accuracy.


The Mississippi Board of Medical Licensure withdraws a proposed rule that would require telemedicine companies operating in Mississippi to establish a formal agreement with a Mississippi-based healthcare entity and to use only secured video conferencing when medication is prescribed. The board has decided to commission an economic impact statement before it decides on a final rule. Teladoc chimed in with a statement declaring that the proposed rule would be “unreasonably limiting” to Mississippi physicians looking to practice via telemedicine.


The Federation of State Medical Boards will receive a $225,000 grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration to implement the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact, which will help to expedite physician licensing processes across state lines. FSMB will use the funding to develop specifications for technical infrastructure and educational outreach.

Senators Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Mazie Hirono (D-HI) introduce the Telemedicine for Medicare (TELE-MED) Act, a bill that would enable Medicare patients to receive care across state lines via telemedicine. The bipartisan bill has gained the support of the Healthcare Leadership Council, Health IT Now Coalition, and the Parkinson’s Action Network.

Government and Politics


The #SaveAHRQ movement has transcended Twitter and landed in Congress, courtesy of a letter sent by nearly 200 organizations calling for the Senate to spare the agency from the its proposed 35-percent funding cut. The House, as you may recall, has proposed doing away with the agency entirely in 2016.

Mark your calendars: Politico reports that ONC will hold its annual Consumer Summit in Washington, D.C. on October 1, lending even more weight to a date that is already fortunate enough to be associated with my birth and the transition to ICD-10.


Athenahealth CEO Jonathan Bush calls the rise of the convenient care movement one of the most important in the last decade, pointing out the retail power of a company like Target, and the overall impact it will have on healthcare’s demand curve (not to mention the leverage it has in demanding that local healthcare organizations connect to its IT systems, rather than the other way around.)


Ancestry.com launches AncestryHealth, a product the company hopes will enable consumers to create a digital record of diseases and causes of death that have affected their families over the decades. The company is working on a corresponding mobile app, and plans to partner with EHR vendors so that users can share family health histories electronically. The company, which also offers AncestryDNA, plans to add genetic information to the mix soon via its own testing service.

Sponsor Updates

  • NVoq offers “Your iPhone has Good Dictation. Why Doesn’t your Enterprise Application?”
  • PerfectServe offers “Care Transitions – Tips for Bridging the Gaps.”
  • Greenway Health announces its new brand. (Check out my interview with CEO Tee Green about the rebranding and refreshed company focus here.)


JenniferMr. H, Lorre, Dr. Jayne, Dr. Gregg, Lt. Dan

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