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Population Health Management Weekly Wrap Up 3/19/17

March 19, 2017 News No Comments

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Virginia Gurley, MD (Cultiva Health Consulting) joins AxisPoint Health as CMO.

The Los Angeles County Dept. of Health Services selects ClientTrack Care Coordination technology from Eccovia Solutions to support a five-year pilot program that will deliver social and healthcare services to 50,000 of the county’s most vulnerable Medicaid patients.

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Texas-based Seven Flags ACO enlists the population health management technology and consulting services of Innovista Health Solutions to help it manage 10,500 patients in value-based contracts. The ACO has also leaned on the expertise of the Texas Medical Association’s PracticeEdge value-based consulting firm.

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BCBS licensee Blue Health Intelligence offers a new analytics platform to help providers and payers address population health and financial management issues.

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Hawaii’s leading health plan HMSA selects Sharecare’s consumer health and messaging platform for a statewide rollout and also makes an unspecified investment in the company, started in 2010 by WebMD founder Jeff Arnold and TV’s Dr. Oz. Sharecare acquired the population health business of Healthways in July 2016.


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News 3/16/17

March 16, 2017 News No Comments

Top News

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Former CMS Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt announces his intention to “affiliate” with the Bipartisan Policy Center as a senior advisor. Slavitt will work alongside former CMS colleague Natalie Davis, who will serve as director of strategic engagement, on the center’s efforts to work with the American people to influence public healthcare policy. He has also announced his plan to work with the Avia Innovation Network, which collaborates with member health systems to develop digital solutions at scale.


Webinars

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March 29 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET. “Improving patient outcomes with smartphones: UW Medicine Valley Medical Center’s story.” Sponsored by Voalte. Presenters: James Jones, MBA, MSN, VP of patient care services and nursing operations, UW Medicine Valley Medical Center; Wayne Manuel, MBA, SVP of strategic services, UW Medicine Valley Medical Center. UW Medicine Valley Medical Center dramatically improved patient outcomes after moving to a smartphone-based platform for clinical communication and alarm and alert notification. Before-and-after analysis shows a reduction in hospital-acquired pressure ulcers and skin integrity events, fall and slip events, and medication errors. By limiting overhead paging, the medical center also created a calmer, quieter environment and improved engagement among nursing and hospitalists. Hospital executives will describe their experience and vision for the future in addressing quality, cost, and the patient-caregiver experience.

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


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Livongo Health announces $52.5 million in a Series D funding round led by General Catalyst, Kinnevik, EDBI, American Investment Holdings LLC, and Microsoft Ventures. The Mountain View, CA-based company, which has developed an app and supporting technology to help people living with diabetes, will use the financing to expand into other conditions and countries. The company has raised $143.2 million since former Allscripts CEO Glen Tullman launched it in 2014.


People

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Former Athenahealth Director of Interoperability John Voith joins Virtudent as SVP of operations. The Boston-based company, which bills itself as a telemedicine startup providing mobile dental care visits, is looking for larger office space as it plans service expansion into New Hampshire.

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Jeff Semenchuk (Hyatt Hotels) joins mobile healthcare marketplace and concierge service Zest Health as CEO.


Announcements and Implementations

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Texas-based Seven Flags ACO enlists the population health management technology and consulting services of Innovista Health Solutions to help it manage 10,500 patients in value-based contracts. The ACO has also leaned on the expertise of the Texas Medical Association’s PracticeEdge value-based consulting firm.

StayWell adds personalized content, personal calendar syncing, and interactive activities and videos to its CareEngage software, which offers digital educational and engagement tools to providers caring for patients with chronic conditions. 

Web-based appointment scheduling software vendor DocASAP joins the Allscripts Developer Program.


Government and Politics

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HHS Secretary Tom Price, MD takes part in a town hall hosted by CNN as part of his PR tour to drum up support for the Republican’s ACA replacement bill. Issues of access in light of the Congressional Budget Office’s latest review of the AHCA seemed to be top of mind for most attendees. Price disputed the CBO’s math, which found that, if enacted, the AHCA would leave 24 million more people uninsured by 2026 than under the ACA. “They do a pretty good job with numbers – coverage is not their strong suit,” he pointed out, adding that the office didn’t look at the bigger picture, which includes Republican plans for additional administrative and legislative actions. “What the CBO looked at was just one-third of the plan,” he said.


Research and Innovation

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A GAO report highlights the disconnect between ONC’s efforts to encourage provider adoption and utilization of EHRs and its ability to measure the effectiveness of that adoption when it comes to patient access. For example, though 87 percent of EPs offered access, just 30 percent of patients took advantage of it. The authors point out that, “ONC cannot determine if patient electronic access is higher for participants in the Blue Button Initiative compared with non-participants or if providers who use the Patient Engagement Playbook achieve more patient electronic access than non-users.” They recommend that ONC develop performance measures to help assess patient access of digital health data and adjust programs as needed.


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Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk, HIStalk Connect.

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News 3/15/17

March 15, 2017 News No Comments

Top News

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HHS Secretary Tom Price, MD and CMS Administrator Seema Verma embark on their first joint endeavor, penning a letter to the nation’s governors emphasizing their commitment to working with states on improving Medicaid program and the lives of its beneficiaries. Key areas they have targeted for collaboration include improving federal and state program management, increasing employment and community engagement, aligning Medicaid and private insurance policies for non-disabled adults, providing reasonable timelines for home and community-based services transformation, and providing states with more tools to address the opioid epidemic – the only one of which would seem to overtly involve the use of health IT.


Webinars

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March 29 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET. “Improving patient outcomes with smartphones: UW Medicine Valley Medical Center’s story.” Sponsored by Voalte. Presenters: James Jones, MBA, MSN, VP of patient care services and nursing operations, UW Medicine Valley Medical Center; Wayne Manuel, MBA, SVP of strategic services, UW Medicine Valley Medical Center. UW Medicine Valley Medical Center dramatically improved patient outcomes after moving to a smartphone-based platform for clinical communication and alarm and alert notification. Before-and-after analysis shows a reduction in hospital-acquired pressure ulcers and skin integrity events, fall and slip events, and medication errors. By limiting overhead paging, the medical center also created a calmer, quieter environment and improved engagement among nursing and hospitalists. Hospital executives will describe their experience and vision for the future in addressing quality, cost, and the patient-caregiver experience.

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


Announcements and Implementations

Scribe Healthcare Technologies adds Azalea Health’s PM software to its dictation and billing solutions.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Springtown, TX-based SurveyVitals acquires CMS-certified CAHPS survey administrator Novaetus for an undisclosed sum. The acquired Novi, MI-based company’s CAHPS certifications include PQRS, outpatient and ambulatory surgery, and PCMH, among others. Novaetus founder and President Lori Moshier will join SurveyVitals as CAHPS program director.


Telemedicine

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Charleston, SC-based Zeriscope develops a mobile telemedicine exam kit that includes live video and cloud-based data-streaming capabilities. Co-founder Robert Adams, MD helped to develop the Reach Medical University of South Carolina’s Telestroke Network in 2008, which has since grown to over 20 sites across the state.


Government and Politics

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President Trump nominates Eric Hargan, a shareholder in Greenberg Traurig’s Health & FDA Business Dept., to serve as HHS deputy secretary. Hargan, who served on the president’s transition team, worked at HHS in various positions between 2003 and 2007.

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CMS and HRSA launch the Connected Care educational initiative to help providers better understand and implement chronic care management services for Medicare patients, particularly minorities and/or those living in rural areas.

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MGMA demands that CMS release 2017 MIPS eligibility information, especially notifications about the low-volume threshold exemption – of which nearly a third of eligible clinicians will likely take advantage – and a final list of approved qualified registries and qualified clinical data registries. “Transitioning to MIPS is a challenge involving upgrades to electronic health record software, reengineering clinical workflows to meet data capture and reporting requirements, contracting with data registries, and training clinical and administrative staff,” writes MGMA Government Affairs SVP Anders Gilberg. “Without basic information about eligibility, physicians and medical groups are significantly disadvantaged from positioning themselves for success in the program.” 


People

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Allied Physicians Group (NY) promotes Kerry Fierstein, MD to CEO.


Research and Innovation

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An analysis of data from 500 independent physicians shows that 58 percent don’t have a preferred hospital partner – a stat that points to the need for community providers of all types to realize that patients are no longer loyal to a particular hospital. Surveyed physicians cited quality of care, patient preference, and convenience as top referring factors. Just under 40 percent are more likely to refer to a hospital that provides authorizations to its community physicians. Nearly the same amount will refer to a different hospital if that facility offers self-scheduling tools.


Sponsor Updates

  • Gartner names AdvancedMD to its FrontRunners quadrant for EHRs.
  • The Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel talks with GE Healthcare CEO of Clinical Care Solutions Anders Wold about the company’s plans to open a new facility in Wisconsin.
  • Aprima will exhibit at the AAPM Annual Meeting March 16-18 in Orlando.
  • The HIMSS EHR Association recognizes several companies, including GE Healthcare, for adopting its new EHR Developer Code of Conduct.
  • EClinicalWorks will exhibit at the 2017 VMGMA Spring Conference March 19-21 in Charlottesville, VA.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk, HIStalk Connect.

Get HIStalk Practice updates.
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JennHIStalk

News 3/14/17

March 14, 2017 News 1 Comment

Top News

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Seema Verma is sworn in as CMS administrator after a full Senate vote Monday night confirmed her along party lines. Her appointment comes at a fairly tumultuous time for healthcare. She takes over a $1 trillion agency tasked with overseeing health plans for 130 million people – the majority of which are in a state of semi-panic thanks to the Trump Administration’s decision to repeal and replace. Her boss, HHS Secretary Tom Price, MD will address the GOP’s much-opposed healthcare bill during  a CNN-hosted town hall tomorrow night.


HIStalk Practice Musings

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Today marks the 28th anniversary of Pi Day – a commemoration of the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. (It literally pained me to type that sentence. There’s a reason I went into journalism – primarily to avoid math.) The tradition, which was started by physicist Larry Shaw and his fellow San Francisco Exploratorium staffers, has without a doubt expanded into the popular zeitgeist. Even folks at the FCC – including Chairman Ajit Pai – seem to be having fun with it.

Fun facts: March 14 is also Albert Einstein’s birthday. Microsoft is offering Pi Day discounts of 31.4 percent on several laptops.


Webinars

None scheduled soon. Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre for information on webinar services.


Announcements and Implementations

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The Fort Lauderdale, FL-based MediXall Group announces general availability of its new PWeR EHR and PM platform.

Coastal Imaging (NJ) selects RCM software and services from Healthcare Administrative Partners.

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Compulink develops an all-in-one EHR, RCM, and PM software solution for pain medicine providers.

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Entrada makes several improvements to its mobile EHR engagement app, including giving users the ability to view EHR data in real time, and quicker overall access to clinical content.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Primary care management services company Primaria Health launches a Medicare ACO in Central Indiana. A joint venture between VillageMD and Indianapolis-based health system Community Health Network, Primaria’s network includes 375 independent physicians who care for 130,000 patients across 38 counties in the region.


Research and Innovation

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A small Open Notes-like pilot study finds that patients and providers benefit when patients are given the ability to type their appointment goals into their EHR beforehand. Conducted at the Harborview Medical Center’s (WA) adult medicine safety-net clinic, study participants felt that the exercise improved communication between patients and providers, resulting in a more collaborative and efficient visit. (This sample patient agenda and follow-up commentary from the patient and provider is pretty compelling.) Speaking my with “patient” hat on, I’d enjoy the ability to add my goals for upcoming appointments via my practice’s patient portal, and have that agenda automatically transfer to a universal EHR/PHR managed by me and caregivers of my choosing.

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This is a bit dated, but in light of the current legislative environment I suppose it’s worth mentioning that researchers have found no evidence that ACA-induced insurance expansion resulted in a strain on primary care practices. Overall appointment rates from 2012 to 2014 were stable, with wait times of six to seven days for new patient appointments remaining largely unchanged. The authors cite healthcare IT, including EHRs and secure messaging, among their reasons as to why access remained level despite millions of newly insured consumers.


Other

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AMA, a vocal detractor of the AHCA, launches a new advocacy website to equip patients and providers with tools to voice their dissent with the proposed bill. The association’s formal objectives include:

  • Ensure that covered individuals do not become uninsured.
  • Maintain existing reforms such as coverage for pre-existing conditions and parental coverage for young adults.
  • Ensure that low- and moderate-income patients have access to affordable, adequate coverage.
  • Ensure funding for Medicaid and other safety-net programs.
  • Stabilize the individual health insurance market.

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Pi Day humor gets me every time.

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Anyone else find it funny that Pi Day is celebrated during National Nutrition Month?


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk, HIStalk Connect.

Get HIStalk Practice updates.
Contact us online.
Become a sponsor.

JennHIStalk

News 3/13/17

March 13, 2017 News No Comments

Top News

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IExhale raises $1.86 million seed funding round led by Dorilton Capital. The Beverly Hills, CA-based startup, which launched its messaging and phone-based therapy app for California residents last December, will likely use the investment to add video consult capabilities and expand into additional states.


Webinars

None scheduled soon. Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre for information on webinar services.


Announcements and Implementations

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ClinicTracker upgrades its behavioral health EHR to be more compatible with new and emerging operating systems. Added features include compliance automation, enhanced reporting, and staff and patient portal enhancements. 

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Curatio develops a social support app for people suffering or recovering from a variety of ailments. Features include the ability to connect with people from similar backgrounds with the same condition, a physical and mental health symptom tracker, patient communities, and educational materials.

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Southwest Behavioral & Health Services (AZ) adopts EnSoftek’s DrCloudEMR at its 15 facilities in the metro Phoenix area.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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CaptureRx will relocate to larger headquarters in downtown San Antonio early next year thanks to a variety of tax breaks and waivers. The 17 year-old company and its 114 employees have developed technology that helps safety net providers manage inventory and financial transactions for 340B prescriptions. It has pledged to invest in further development of the historic Kress building, and will create an additional 200 full-time jobs within six years. 


Research and Innovation

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Just over half of 1,300 surveyed physicians report using multiple methods to remind patients of appointments, according to a new MGMA poll. I’d like to dig a little deeper and determine what combination improved no-show rates the most. Providers, feel free to share your experience with technology and appointment reminders in the comments below.


Other

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The local business paper covers the opening of a second One Medical practice in Boston, highlighting the ways in which its homegrown technology and membership-based business processes are helping to prevent physician burnout: “The balance of the virtual care means less burn out for us,” says Julie Sugarbaker, a OneMedical nurse practitioner who came from the world of private practice. “I don’t even know what percentage of e-mails or phone calls I don’t deal with during the day, because they’re handled by the virtual team.” She adds with a laugh that patients thank her for “fitting them into her schedule. They don’t know the back end that goes into reserving a percentage of same-day appointments and our process.”

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ProPublica launches aggregates data from several healthcare projects at a new website. Consumers can look at specific providers based on payments received from pharma companies, number of prescriptions written by drug type, their Medicare fees for visits and treatments, and complication rates for surgeons who perform common elective procedures covered by Medicare. The nonprofit will launch a corresponding API later this year to give software developers the ability to integrate the data with their own applications.


Sponsor Updates

  • Intelligent Medical Objects will exhibit at the Cerner UK Collaboration Forum March 13-16 in London.
  • NVoq will exhibit at the AAOS Annual Meeting of Orthopedic Surgeons March 14-18 in San Diego.
  • PerfectServe will exhibit at the Renal Physicians Association Annual Meeting March 17-18 in Nashville.

Blog Posts


Contacts

Jenn, Mr. H, Lorre

More news: HIStalk, HIStalk Connect.

Get HIStalk Practice updates.
Contact us online.
Become a sponsor.

JennHIStalk

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  • Cynthia: Jenn, very interesting article. I really enjoyed seeing the Y become a part of healthcare, outside the 4 walls....
  • Lazlo Hollyfeld: EMRs can't provide a registry subset of their patients who are current hospitalized but plenty of other options solution...
  • : According to DHC Crystal Clinic Orthopedic Center uses Centricity Practice Solution 10...
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